Summary: Men and women are going their own way. The result might be a crisis of unimaginable size and more difficult to fix than putting Humpty Dumpty together again. Think of it as social entropy, an arrow that runs in only one direction.
Emma Watson going her own way.
Women seeking to have it all
Vogue and the fleet of other such magazines and websites tell stories about the glory of being hot, young, affluent single women. It is great to be in their 20’s. Here is an account by Karley Sciortino in Vogue of the morning after a birthday “foursome.”
“I had an email from the couple’s joint Gmail account: ‘It was a pleasure f**king you into your 30s. Hope to see you again sometime!’
“I got home, hungover and happy, and threw out my Adidas sweatsuit. I couldn’t decide whether I should invite Sam, the software engineer who I met on Tinder who I actually like-like, out for after-dinner drinks. He’s a multilingual bisexual — the best type of guy.”
Life gets better in their 30’s, as she explains in “How Did I Become the Last Single Person in My Friend Group?”
“’At 25, you care,’ I explained. At 25, you don’t get invited to the good parties, you wear the wrong clothes, and you sleep with guys who you think are successful but in hindsight were actually hangers-on, and when they don’t text you back, you care. At 25, you can’t afford a good colorist so you dye your own hair from a $9 L’Oréal box and in the wrong light your blonde looks green. You’re insecure, you fake orgasms, and your Craigslist roommate’s coke parties keep you up all night. People don’t take you seriously, and you hate that you care, but you do. Sure, my boobs were a bit perkier at 25, but they didn’t even look that great because I bought the wrong bra.
“‘Around 30,’ I went on, ‘your life starts to naturally sort itself out. You have this surprising newfound confidence — it’s like it just sneaked up on you in the middle of the night. You stop caring about the little, insignificant things. It’s so freeing, not to care.’”
These stories often have sad endings but not the sort that the next generation of women are likely to learn from. The careers and parties are fun, and women gain experience year by year. They tell of women leading lives with men as bit parts — wandering on and off stage (wisely, as such women will file for divorce on the slightest whim). But they learn too late that time was not their friend. As in Sciortino’s tale of life in the 30’s. Red emphasis added, highlighting one of the great themes in feminist literature (it’s not the woman’s fault).
“But it’s not just that being single suddenly feels alienating in your 30s. It’s also that dating itself becomes more difficult. For one, the stakes are higher. You don’t want to waste your time on someone who doesn’t feel like they could be ‘the one.’ But simultaneously, thinking “would he make a good dad?” after knowing someone for the duration of a martini makes you feel like an insane, rom-com cliché of a woman. Not ideal.
“Essentially, we are far more discriminating in our 30s than we were in our 20s, which is both a blessing and a curse. We know more about what we want and what we won’t tolerate — but to a point where almost no one is good enough. I find myself having thoughts like, ‘I could never date him, he wears V-necks.’ Or, ‘He was nice, but he sleeps in a mezzanine bed.’ And this perpetual dissatisfaction is especially true in New York, where inflated egos are paired with incredibly high standards and the illusion of infinite choice.
“That cliché of thinking ‘someone better might be just around the corner’ is real. But I keep turning corners, and I keep meeting finance guys with high cholesterol who just discovered Williamsburg. Sigh. Sometimes I think I should’ve picked someone when I was 25 and stupid, and then just made it work.
“The catch is, as we become increasingly picky, the pool of soul mates keeps getting smaller. Here’s another 30s development: Now, when I meet a cute guy, he’s often already married. Just recently, I felt like I was truly connecting with my orthodontist — I mean, he’s literally been putting his fingers in my mouth for six months — only for him to drop last week that he has a wife. I feel misled.“
Much of this genre of women’s literature consists of tales about women attempting to “have it all” (often with disastrous results) — and others saying that women cannot have it all (here, here, and here).
What happens to these women if they either do not find Mr. Right, or cannot convince him to marry her? Foreshadowing this future, look to the writings of divorced women describing how they’re going their own way. The “happy and single” genre of women’s lit replacing stories of romance. Such as “I Didn’t Expect To Be Single At 42. Here’s How I’ve Embraced It.” by Jenn Maronek at (of course) HuffPo. See her Instagram page for photos of her and her cats.
Cats are the beneficiaries of the post-marriage America. Such as this in Cosmo: “Because, let’s face it, cats are often more emotionally intelligent than men. …The cat is permanent; you’re replaceable.”
Women going their own way.
An easy way to see how women are going their own way: See how they dress. In the bad old days, women dressed well — but commonly said they dressed “to please myself” with nice hair (curls, perms, etc.), stockings or pantyhose, make-up, staying ten pounds under their natural weight, and so forth.
Now we see women truly dressing to please themselves. Visit college campuses or shopping malls and see the young women. Their clothes most often are comfortable, loose, and drab. Their styles are low maintenance. They are frequently overweight or obese. They are going their own way, as is their right.
When getting married becomes a higher priority for women, changes in their daily appearance (not just dressing up for dates or clubbing) will be the most obvious signal.
Men going their own way, and the Empire pushes back
Women have pushed the average age of marriage into late 20’s. Successfully for most women. But the increasing number of stories like Sciortino’s tale of life in the 30’s suggest that is changing. As do all the articles about women complaining that women won’t marry them. “Peter Pan Syndrome: A Man’s Fear of Commitment.” “Learn how to make him commit: The Secret Lives of Men” by Joel D. Amos. “Where have all the good men gone?” by Alana Kirk.
Cheap booze. Cheap drugs (prices will fall with legalization). Sports. Video games. Masturbation, hook-ups, and eventually — sexbots. They add up to men learning to lead easy lives without marriage. The next decade might see a collapse in the number of marriages if more men see it as unnecessary or even a bad deal for them.
So the push-back begins. Women going their own way is progress. Men going their own way are “peter pans”, refusing to “grow up”, living in “perpetual adolescence.” The Wise and Good advise them to join the rat race. As in this video, one of the dumbest I have ever seen.
This instructional video gives two reasons for men to get married. First, to get respect. The roles of husband and father have not been held in widespread respect in America for generations. TV shows, films, and commercials portray them as buffoons and butt-monkeys, instructed in knowledge and morality by their wives and children.
Second, for all the benefits. But all the benefits are to women, children and society. The logic is the same as that of converting wild mustangs into gelded plow horses. Their productivity skyrockets, but is the horse better off?
This will not convince men to marry, risking divorce and a decade or two of child support.
Both men and women going their own way
Conservatives and liberals often describe a coming social disaster as resulting from a political, economic or environmental catastrophe — or even collapse. Such things have happened often in history.
America might face something different, and rarer: pure destabilizing social change. Changes in gender roles brought about by the culmination of a long philosophical tradition (individualism freed from constraints of society) and technology (contraceptive and medicine, liberating us from the constraints of nature). This is a revolution. Revolutions often have unexpected results.
Allen Bloom saw this in 1987, writing in Closing of the American Mind…
“People are no longer raised to think they ought to regard marriage as the primary goal and responsibility, and their uncertainty is mightily reinforced by the divorce statistics, which imply that putting all of one’s psychological eggs in the marriage basket is a poor risk. The goals and wills of men and women have become like parallel lines, and it requires a Lobachevskyan imagination to hope they may meet.”
For More Information
See the other posts in this series.
- A return to traditional values.
- Men finding individual solutions.
- Part 1 – An expert discusses individual solutions.
- Part 2 – Discussing women’s responses to men’s solutions.
- Part 3 – An expert sees wonders ahead!
- Part 4 – An expert: respect is a key battleground in the gender wars.
- Part 5 – An expert Game is toxic to feminism.
- Part 6 – An expert describes the road to respect for men.
- Coming soon, the answer: A counter-revolution in society.
Ideas! For shopping ideas, see my recommended books and films at Amazon.
Two books by Professor’s Regnerus about the revolution