Quitting To Get Married
Job or wedding ring? She picks the ring.


(permanent link) added: 2012-08-11 11:07:34 sponsor: animeg3282 edited by: willthiswork (last reply: 2013-04-11 14:23:51)

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Indexes: Always Female, Wedding and Engagement Tropes

In some countries and time periods, women are expected to quit their jobs when they get married. This can cause conflict if the woman really loves her job and doesn't want to quit, but her husband and/or her company think she should quit.

There are some male jobs that do not permit marriage, the Catholic clergy being the best known. However, this is normally Always Female; men are "supposed" to be the breadwinner of a couple.

This is most common in Japanese works or Western works written (or, for period pieces, set) before the 1970s. In modern day Western works, a woman who quits to get married may be seen as a Gold Digger or Trophy Wife. The trope is moving toward Discredited Trope territory in the West, but hasn't quite gotten there yet.

A woman who does this may have taken a MRS Degree in college ... or quit college so she could get married, which is another variant on this trope. This is a common outcome of the Family Versus Career or Career Versus Man choice.

Examples:

Film
  • In the movie "Nightmare in the Daylight" Jaclyn Smith plays a woman whose husband gave up being a Catholic priest to marry her. In his words "God wants me to be this woman's husband".
  • In An Officer and a Gentleman, David Keith's character (Jim Worley) is an naval officer candidate who has a fling with one of the town girls (as candidates often do) named Lynette; she reports that she is pregnant in order to get him to marry her, but then he quits the navy to marry her. Lynette had wanted to be a navy officer's wife, so she dumps him (and informs him that she wasn't pregnant after all). He hangs himself.
  • In Kill Bill, the Bride (!) tries to quit the Professional Killer business in order to marry. It backfires horribly.
  • The film His Girl Friday starts with Hildy telling her ex-husband that once she marries her current fiance she's giving up her job with the paper to be a wife and mother. It's a Screwball Comedy and the ex is played by Cary Grant, so of course it doesn't work out that way.
  • Gender-flipped and retroactively applied in Good Night, and Good Luck.. Joe and Shirley Wershba are Happily Married despite CBS company policy prohibiting married coworkers. Their marriage is an Open Secret in the office, but near the end of the film their boss is told to lay off two employees, and gives them the opportunity to have one or both of them quit to save somebody else's job. Joe takes the offer.

Literature
  • In Strong Poison, this is how Lord Peter was able to get one of his staffers from his typing bureau to infiltrate Norman Urquart's law office. The office manager complains to him that the last female secretary was overcome by "a whim" and she ran off to get married. Lord Peter advises Miss Murchison to instruct the replacement to "make sure her skirts are the regulation four inches below the knee" because the manager is "feeling anti-sex appeal".
  • In Little House on the Prairie, Laura quits her teaching job when she and Alonzo decide to get married.
  • In L. M. Montgomery's ''Anne of Green Gables, Anne explains that her parents were school teacher until they married, whereupon her mother quit. Later, she works only until she married.
  • Lensman: Clarissa comments at the end of Gray Lensman that she's facing a huge amount of demerits for having not one, but three men in her quarters. The chief surgeon (one of those men) assures her she won't get in trouble, because her resignation to marry Kinnison will be backdated to before the meeting. (Note that Clarissa hadn't said anything about resigning, everyone[[hottip:*:including Clarissa, to be honest]] just assumed she would.) Turns into a 10-Minute Retirement when Mentor delivers a psychic Dope Slap to Kinnison at the beginning of Second Stage Lensmen ... but before she gets to go through with the wedding at the end of that book, she resigns again.
  • Reversed in the children's book Tornado Slim and the Magic Cowboy Hat. The hero wins a job as a wild west sheriff that is vacant because the man who was their sheriff left to get married.

Live Action Television
  • Mad Men:
    • Joan's new husband forces her to quit her job because he feels that if she keeps on working it will look like he cannot support his family. Then it turns out that he really cannot support them financially and Joan has to take a much less prestigious and lower paying job at a department store.
    • Averted when Don marries his secretary. He is actually quite supportive of her working at the firm as a copywriter and is disappointed when she quits the job to pursue an acting career.
  • Star Trek: The Original Series episode "Who Mourns for Adonais". Kirk and Dr. McCoy are discussing Lieutenant Carolyn Palamas.
    McCoy: One day she'll find the right man and off she'll go, out of the service.
  • In Soap Father Tim Flotsky quits the priesthood to be with Corinne. When he proposes she is surprised. "No, I quit the priesthood so we could go steady."
  • Gender Inverted in Up All Night. The husband quits his job to care for their baby and the wife continues to work.
  • In a sketch on Love American Style a woman who is a professional cake jump-outer has a boyfriend who doesn't want her doing that any more, so he proposes. She quits on the spot, mere moments before she's scheduled to jump.
  • Zig-zagged on the last episode of JAG where Harm and Sarah flip a coin for who will have to do this when they marry. The show ends before the coin lands.
  • In the backstory to The Dick Van Dyke Show Laura had quit a promising career as a song-and-dance girl to become Mrs. Robert Petrie, wife and mother. In one episode she goes back to work temporarily on The Alan Brady Show when another dancer gets injured. Rob is worried she'll want to continue full-time.

Manga and Anime
  • In Tramps Like Us , Sumire is concerned about whether Hatsumi would expect her to leave her job after marriage. She resigns briefly after her proposal, but after it is called off, she returns. When she marries Momo, she continues to work
  • In Hanasaku Iroha , Tomoe considers getting married and quitting her job, but after some wacky hijinks, she decides to wait a while since she enjoys working at the inn so much.
  • In Remote, the heroine quits her job as a traffic cop because she's about to get hitched, only to learn her fiance didn't get that promotion and salary hike after all. She tries to take back her resignation, but they already hired her replacement. Oh, but there's an opening in Homicide....
  • A flashback in the manga of Neon Genesis Evangelion has Yui Ikari, Shinji's mother, get asked by Dr. Fuyutsuki where she's planning to work after getting her doctorate. She answers she's actually planning to marry Gendou and start a family.
  • At the end of ARIA, Alicia announces she's retiring to get married. This comes completely out of nowhere in the anime, the manga spent a few chapters hinting about her seeing someone. All the Yuri shippers still collectively let out a Big "NO!".

Music
  • In Summer of '69 by Bryan Adams, he describes how his first band never got far because "Jimmy quit and Jody got married" (I think Jody, actually a guy, refers to Bryan's sound manager.)

Newspaper Comics

Real Life
  • Absolutely Truth in Television. In the US, as recently as the 1980s women were often discriminated against in the work force on the assumption that she was only there until she "found a man". While it's currently illegal to ask a female job applicant if she plans to get married or have kids, there are still employers who sneak those questions in.
  • In Christian denominations that allow married clergy, there is often the assumption that a pastor's wife will take on a volunteer (and unpaid) job at her husband's church. This trope causes problems both for unmarried clergy, who can't provide the free help, and for clergymen's wives, who might prefer to keep their paid job.

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