FB Post Stating Husbands Get Stressed If Their Wives Earn More Than Them Triggers Netizens
A Facebook post suggesting that husbands experience more stress if their wives earn a higher income than them has gone viral
The post, made by popular Facebook page Public Health Malaysia, has been raising eyebrows since it was uploaded on Monday, 7 February.
The 'health promotion' page with over one million followers on Facebook claimed to be sharing information from a 2019 panel data study by a researcher from the University of Bath called 'Spousal Relative Income and Male Psychological Distress'.
Public Health Malaysia's caption reads, "Normally, the husband is the main breadwinner in the family. Evidently, being a husband is not an easy task. They have to make sacrifices to find a bite of rice day and night for the family."
"So, it is not surprising if the husband is stressed with his life."
The Facebook page states that a study has shown that a husband's stress can be lessened if the wife works and earns a salary of less than 40% of their total household income
"For example, if the husband's salary is RM3,000 and the wife's salary is RM2,000, the husband is less stressed," the page wrote.
"However, the husband will be less comfortable if the wife earns more than 40%."
The examples that were given said if the husband earned an income of RM3,000 and the wife earned the same, the man would feel "uneasy".
And, if the woman earned up to RM10,000, the page said the husband would be "very stressed".
"In fact, the husband will be more stressed if the family fully relied on the wife's income."
The page concluded, "This could be the reason why men are less likely to find a partner that have higher incomes than them."
Although often sharing advisories from official government channels and being crossposted by government agencies, it is not known if the Facebook-verified page is affiliated to the authorities
Nonetheless, Public Health Malaysia's post has gone viral, been shared over 2,900 times, and received over 2,700 comments as of writing.
Many netizens disagreed with the sexist post. Many more have also voiced their disapproval and questioned the Facebook page's intent of sharing such misogynistic information.
"Actually, what is the advice and public interest behind this post?" questioned a Facebook user.
"Is Public Health Malaysia asking men not to marry women with higher incomes than their future husbands? Is this advice reasonable? If you want to talk about stress related to mental health, there are other examples. This example is immature. Hope the admin will be more mature in the future."
Another said, "This page's admin has shared information laced with patriarchy many times. What is the problem if a wife earns too much? If a man becomes a househusband, is there a problem too?"
Meanwhile, others concurred that men should never feel stressed or lesser than their wives, regardless of their incomes.
"Hahahaha the statements from this page are suddenly not relevant. If a wife earns an income, [the husband] is stressed, if she doesn't, [he's] stressed too? What? Are the husbands the only ones with stress?" questioned a netizen.
Another said, "To me, a husband is stupid if they feel threatened by a wife with high salary or her career. They should support each other. As they're called husband and wife, they should have teamwork. Put aside their egos and pay off family debts together, make savings together, and save tuition funds for their children."
Segambut member of parliament (MP) Hannah Yeoh has also called out the sexist content on social media
"What kind of information is being shared through official government channels?" she tweeted, sharing a link that showed the Melaka state government sharing a duplicate of Public Health Malaysia's post on Facebook.
The state government's post has since been deleted.
However, Public Health Malaysia's Facebook post is still up and the page responded on Twitter that they are not a government agency and that the study they quoted has been provided for people's reference.
Public Health Malaysia has previously posted inaccurate information regarding the pandemic and the Spanish Flu: