First fruits of the war on marriage: poisoning women’s lives

Summary: Feminism has been reshaping marriage for 40+ years under the banner of “having it all.” Now the first effects become obvious, as more women are alone and unhappy. Some complain. Some advise other women that singleness is for the best. What comes next might reshape our society. Are these women first fruits of feminism’s collapse in marriage rates? That is, will many men in the Millennial and Z generations refuse to marry?

‘Sex and the City’ author Candace Bushnell regrets not having kids, says she was ‘truly alone.’
— By Jeremy Nifras at Fox News, 29 July 2019.

Dreamstimefree – 4064398.

Marriage and children were always her priority.

By Dalrock at his website. 17 July 2019.
Reposted with his generous permission.

I recently came across a heartbreaking article in the National Catholic Register that underlines why the books aimed at young Christian women telling them to focus on having fabulous lives in their “season of singleness” and that they are a prize to be won are so cruel. The article is “The Cross of Infertility: Finding Companionship With the Saints” by Emily Stimpson Chapman. Excerpt {red emphasis added}…

“For as long as I can remember, I dreamed of having a large family. Five, six, seven, eight children – it didn’t matter; I was prepared to take as many children as God sent me. There was just one problem: My 20s came and went without God sending me a husband. Another decade passed, and with my single status unchanged, reality set in. There would be no eight babies. Nor would there be five babies.

“By the time I finally did meet a wonderful man and get engaged at age 40, I hoped for just two. The doctors assured me that was realistic. I was healthy, my hormones all checked out at optimum levels, and there was no reason I shouldn’t conceive. I believed them. After all, my friends my age or older were having babies. Why wouldn’t I?

“Eighteen months later, I’m still asking that question, and the NaProTECHNOLGY doctor I’ve worked with has no answer. Even at age 42, he thinks I should be able to conceive.”

When I read articles like this, I think “Why didn’t someone warn her?” From her bio it is clear that despite her claim to have always wanted marriage and many children, she focused her youth on career and education.

“Emily holds a BA from Miami University of Ohio (Phi Beta Kappa, summa cum laude), where she studied political science, history, and English literature. She also did graduate work in political science at John Hopkins University and theology at Franciscan University. Before moving to Steubenville, Emily worked in Washington, DC, first as a Legislative Assistant to then Congressman Jim Talent (R-MO), then later at the Heritage Foundation, where she served as Special Assistant to former Attorney General Edwin Meese III.”

This is, of course, the feminist life script, and is not coincidentally the path men traditionally follow to attract a wife. It also has become the standard upper-middle class (UMC) life script, as Novaseeker describes. Most UMC women are able to pull this off, because as the clock is ticking down they get intensely pragmatic in their search for a man. The famous quote by Sheryl Sandberg (COO of Facebook) on the subject captures part of this pragmatism.

“When looking for a life partner, my advice to women is date all of them: the bad boys, the cool boys, the commitment-phobic boys, the crazy boys. But do not marry them. The things that make the bad boys sexy do not make them good husbands. When it comes time to settle down, find someone who wants an equal partner. Someone who thinks women should be smart, opinionated and ambitious. Someone who values fairness and expects or, even better, wants to do his share in the home.
— From Lean In: Women, Work, and the Will to Lead (2013).

Marry Him: The Case for Settling for Mr. Good Enough
Available at Amazon.

There is also a ramped-up sense of urgency for nearly all UMC women around age 30. Lori Gottlieb’s famous “Marry Him: The Case for Settling for Mr. Good Enough” article in The Atlantic (later expanded into a book) warned UMC women not to wait around for Mr. Perfect. Kate Bolick’s “All the Single Ladies” reinforced that warning in 2011. Bolick said …

“We took for granted that we’d spend our 20s finding ourselves, whatever that meant, and save marriage for after we’d finished graduate school and launched our careers, which of course would happen at the magical age of 30. That we would marry, and that there would always be men we wanted to marry, we took on faith. How could we not? …

“But what transpired next lay well beyond the powers of everybody’s imagination: as women have climbed ever higher, men have been falling behind. We’ve arrived at the top of the staircase, finally ready to start our lives, only to discover a cavernous room at the tail end of a party, most of the men gone already, some having never shown up – and those who remain are leering by the cheese table, or are, you know, the ones you don’t want to go out with.”

But while large numbers of modern Christian women have adopted the UMC life script, they aren’t getting the warnings not to overdo it that their secular sisters are receiving. This is why you see Christian women like Emily Stimpson Chapman thinking that getting engaged at age 40 meant she could expect to have two children, and why she is shocked that at 42 she can’t conceive. Her secular sisters got the message, but she did not.

Marriage delaying Christian women are being reassured that everything is fine. They consume social media posts and read books written by other marriage delaying Christian women, and they are urged not to act with urgency like their secular sisters are doing.

You Are a Prize to be Won!: Don't Settle for Less Than God's Best
Available at Amazon.

I’ve written a fair amount about this army of aging never married Christian women writing on the season of singleness, including Wendy Griffith and Mandy Hale. Griffith wrote You Are a Prize to be Won! Don’t Settle for Less Than God’s Best. She eventually married in her mid-50s. Hale is still unmarried, and blogged back in November of 2018 about her creeping doubts about the “You are enough!” message she has been selling to unmarried Christian women. {Red emphasis added.}

“I’ve dressed it up in pretty pink girl power with a silver lining instead of gotten really, really REAL with you and with myself about my fears about being single and 39. And in doing that, my friends, I feel I have done you a disservice. I have done myself a disservice. It’s recently been called to my attention that I use positivity as a defense mechanism. Oh, I was angry when I heard that. Fearful. Indignant. Convinced the person telling me that HAD to be mistaken. I’m just a positive person! I argued. If I don’t look for the silver lining, what is the purpose to the bad things that happen?! If I choose to let in the darkness and the sadness and the REALNESS won’t I sink in it? Won’t it drown me? Won’t it make me a – SHUDDER – negative person?!??!

“The truth is I don’t know exactly why I’m still single. I think I’m starting to come to a better understanding of why, but for the moment, it’s still just shadowed and blurry truth that I’m struggling to make sense of. But the reasons I often convince myself that I’m still single aren’t pretty.

“I never meet guys. Like literally NEVER. A few years ago I felt like I could simply walk into a room and command the attention of the men in the room. I had no trouble meeting men. I got hit on regularly. But something changed along the way and that’s not my experience anymore. I suspect it was more an internal change than an external one, as I honestly think I physically look better now than I did ten years ago.”

The tragic thing is that when Hale should have been learning how to recover from her already failing plan, she was busy writing books encouraging other Christian women in the same situation. In 2012 she wrote The Single Woman’s Sassy Survival Guide: Letting Go and Moving On, and she wrote several others in the meantime. Now she writes articles on how to be a fabulous single retired woman for the AARP.

The Catholic Girl's Survival Guide for the Single Years: The Nuts and Bolts of Staying Sane and Happy While Waiting for Mr. Right
Available at Amazon.

Coincidentally Emily Stimpson Chapman also wrote a book in 2012 with a similar title: The Catholic Girl’s Survival Guide for the Single Years: The Nuts and Bolts of Staying Sane and Happy While Waiting for Mr. Right. I haven’t flipped through her book, but my sense is that Stimpson-Chapman’s book isn’t as bad as Wendy Griffith’s and Mandy Hale’s books are. Still, she clearly didn’t have even a tenuous grasp of the biological reality involved with “waiting for Mr. Right” while focusing on education and career. If she did, she wouldn’t have been shocked to find out at age 42 that she had waited too long to conceive.

Again, the difference between secular women and modern Christian women in this regard is astounding. Griffith, Hale, and Stimpson-Chapman all wrote their books after the two articles in The Atlantic warned women of the risk of delaying marriage too long. But Griffith, Hale, and Stimpson-Chapman were busy teaching younger women instead of themselves learning from the warnings of older women.

Even worse, aside from Hale’s glancing admission quoted above, none of them have come out to warn younger women that they were wrong, and not to make the same mistakes they made.

So the cycle continues, with Anna Hitchings as the face of a new generation of never-married 30-something Christian women attempting to teach what they should instead be seeking to learn. Hitchings’ career as a writer finally took off earlier this year when Catholic Weekly published her piece “For want of a lot of good men.” Hitchings capitalized on her newfound celebrity by starting a blog teaching other Christian women (and men) who likewise have failed to marry. Recently she wrote a post titled “Making the most of your single years“, where she acknowledges the debt she owes to the never-married writers who proceeded her:

“While the tried and true guide to helping Catholic women ‘survive’ the single years has been provided by American writer Emily Stimpson has been written by American author Emily Stimpson {The Catholic Girl’s Survival Guide for the Single Years: The Nuts and Bolts of Staying Sane and Happy While Waiting for Mr. Right}, I thought it would be helpful to share some of my own advice on getting the best out of your singlehood. Just for the record, I don’t think being single is something that should be ‘survived’; I think we should be able to thrive in whatever state of life we are in, because that’s what God has willed for us now.”

—————- End of Dalrock’s post —————-

Editor’s afterword

There are many theories about who is driving the decline in marriage rates, men or women. That is odd, since the complaints are almost all by women. Maureen Brookbanks at the Daily Mail asks “Are reluctant men to blame for so many women being childless?” The answer is, of course, yes. Women are eternal victims, without responsibility for their woes. Alana Kirk at the Daily Mail asks “Where have all the good men gone?” – “Five single women share why they’ve struggled to find men worth dating. These sassy, sophisticated, solvent women say they are struggling to find other halves that can measure up.” There articles by women blaming men, such as “Peter Pan Syndrome: A Man’s Fear of Commitment.” And many many articles and books by women about how to get men to marry them.

There is little written by men complaining about a lack of women to marry, blaming women for them being single, or providing advice about how to get married.

Although feminists do not care, I find it heartbreaking to read about the casualties of the war on women. See the comments to Mandy Hale’s article about being single, such as by Mari: “I just get sad on some days at seeing what others have and longing for the feel of what having a family feels like, even with all the fights and ugliness.” Also see those at Gateway Women, “the global friendship and support network for childless women.” (H/t Hugh Mann)

  • Emma: “Some days I feel I just cant carry on and no longer want to be here. I feel so alone in my grief for a life I will never have.”
  • Sharon: “Wishing I knew different when I had made the decision to put a family on hold. I resented work, for taking the best years of my life, my prime”
  • Lucy: “Grieving hugely. Feel life is over. Breaking down in huge waves …I always was going to be a great mum.”

Two other important points. Never marrieds are one part of the growing group of single women; divorced women are the other. Also note that we appear to have moved beyond belief that cohabitation provides a functional substitute for marriage. The instability of such relationships and their high break-up rates make it a pause in singleness for most women – and a disaster for their children.

For more about this, see Dalrock’s post about the 2017 Never Married Data and a graph showing the percent of U.S. women never married, by age in 1980 and 2015. Also see my posts about the effects of feminism on women, in the For More Information section

About Dalrock

He is a married man living with his wife and two kids in the Dallas/Fort Worth area. He is very interested in how the post feminist world impacts himself and his family, and uses his blog to explore these issues. See his website. and his posts about finding a spouse, romantic love, the never married, and especially these posts ….

For More Information

Ideas! For shopping ideas, see my recommended books and films at Amazon.

If you liked this post, like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter. See all posts about women and the gender wars, about marriage, about divorce, and especially these about the effects of feminism on women …

  1. Women are freezing their eggs for feminism.
  2. A look at America’s future after marriage becomes rare.
  3. Misadventures of a young woman in modern America.
  4. The disastrous results of trying to “have it all”.
  5. The coming crash as men and women go their own way.
  6. A college course teaches students to date. Fun & sad.
  7. Women’s self-esteem: boosted to their self-destruction.
  8. Top pop stars prepare women for loneliness – Music videos by Christina Aguilera, Whitney Houston, Katy Perry, Hailee Steinfeld, and Fifth Harmony.
  9. Liberated women still need men. – Who knew?

Two major books about modern marriage

The classic: Men and Marriage by George Gilder.

Men on Strike: Why Men Are Boycotting Marriage, Fatherhood, and the American Dream – and Why It Matters by Helen Smith.

Men and Marriage
Available at Amazon.
Men on Strike: Why Men Are Boycotting Marriage, Fatherhood, and the American Dream - and Why It Matters
Available at Amazon.

16 thoughts on “First fruits of the war on marriage: poisoning women’s lives”

    1. Sven,

      Perhaps. Perhaps most of the people of Millenials and Gen Z will marry. Or perhaps they will make cohabitation works, as it appears (appears!) to work in Scandinavia.

      Or perhaps many won’t marry, and cohabitation will continue to fail for most. That would be another step into ClownWorld. Successful predictions are difficult to make this far into the unknown.

      But we do see that feminists are unconcerned about the casualties of their crusade.

  1. Franklin Wright

    I feel no pity when reading things like:

    Emma: “Some days I feel I just cant carry on and no longer want to be here. I feel so alone in my grief for a life I will never have.”
    Sharon: “Wishing I knew different when I had made the decision to put a family on hold. I resented work, for taking the best years of my life, my prime”
    Lucy: “Grieving hugely. Feel life is over. Breaking down in huge waves …I always was going to be a great mum.”

    I remember that pivotal moment in my late teens when I comprehended the danger marriage poses for men. Now two decades and change later, I’ve seen nothing to change my mind, just the expanded understanding that the death of marriage can be laid entirely at the feet of women. Feminists may have sown the seeds, but it was women that tended the crops with a zealotry typically reserved for religious cults. So when women face the reaping, I can’t help but feel a measure of schadenfreude, because when I see a woman lamenting her fate, I picture a man hopefully spared the loss of his children, his home, his dignity, his income, and all too often his life.

    1. Franklin,

      “I feel no pity when reading things like …”

      It’s a generational thing. I am a boomer, born at the peak. We inherited a working society, with girls worthy of marrying. Things fell apart fast. The young men I helped raise as a Boy Scout Leader, including my sons, share your feelings. My son said exactly the same thing after reading this post.

      Hence the disgust with our society seen in the popular meme “bring out the Flammenwerfer.” It’s emotional and even mad, but belief in the curative power of flame has a long history.

  2. Women that read this article need to know that men in the United States and men from Europe ARE getting married but not to western women. They are meeting and marrying Asian Women. It has been going on for about 40 years. (hint-hint).

    It is estimated that about 25K American men marry Filipino women annually, for example. One major reason is that Filipino women have not been consumed by feminism, are 80% Christian, have deep family ties, have no concept of divorce (no divorce law in the Philippines), cherish western men and are in a relationship for all the right reasons.

    Another large percent of American men marry Japanese, Thai, Chinese, Vietnamese, Cambodians, etc. Another reason is that there are millions of women to choose from. Popular Asian dating websites have from 500,000 to 3 million women seeking foreign relationships. The demographic of these women is across the board from maids to University Professors, doctors, nurses, accountants and others.

    Finally, Asian women and especially Filipino women have no concept of age difference. Many 25 year old women marry 60 year old men and have wonderful relationships. Can anyone really blame American men? All they ever wanted and continue to want is a forever lasting, loving, caring, respectful relationship.

    1. Codetrader,

      I’ve heard rumors about American men marrying foreign women, but not seen any numbers. Lots of articles about intermarriage – it is a hot topic the Left loves – but this specific aspect is like a smoke bomb exploding at the party.

      What is the source of your numbers? My guess is that it is a microscopic fraction of US marriages. But, as often the case, the trend might be more intresting.

  3. It’s nobody’s fault really. Our economic uncertainties are very meaningful for many, The traditional idea of marrying and a house to live in and children with prospects themselves looks unattainable today, Even two incomes won’t get them a house, just a rental. Children are expensive, like a million dollars[?] to spend over childhood and adolescence. The dysfunction you write in Clown Land doesn’t fill anyone with hope. It’s just accidental that it works out in many cases and being a bit wealthy at least.

    1. John,

      None of that is correct.

      • Economic uncertainty for most people is far lower than that in the past.
      • In most areas, two median incomes will allow a household to buy a decent home after some years of saving. People often just wart homes 50% larger than their parents and grandparents lived in.
      • Children are no more expensive now than in the past. Rather, people just have higher standards of what children “need.”
  4. This divorced boomer has a 34 year-old Son who never married, his first love was a nut, never got over it. He seems happy being single. I don’t mind it either.

    The days of “Leave it to Beaver” and “My Three Sons” are long gone, maybe never to return. Family unit issues.

    I miss them days.

    1. Ron,

      Watching old TV shows and films shows how the world has changed. Look at the young girls in those. A guy could marry one of them almost at random (which is how lots of marriages occur) and have decent odds it would work.

      Now we tell young men that they have to successfully understand a girl’s thinking and values in order to determine if she will make a good wife (vs. dumping him for the cash and independence once the kids are in school). Not something most young men can do successfully.

      1. Larry,

        “Watching old TV shows and films shows how the world has changed.”

        Yes, changed.

        My childhood days were Dad went to work and Mom stayed home (a housekeeper) keeping an eye on the five of us. Shipped off to school at six, family values were taught from age one to six, Heavy hands taught right from wrong, never lie.
        Church every Sunday, until we were old enough to skip it and hide in the woods.
        We didn’t have much, but we got along just fine. Family values.

        New age grandson’s parents (daughter and son-in-law) both working and little Kellen in day-care since two. Heavy hands will never be seen. Two cars, nice house, big screen. More the material world.
        No church.
        I’m keeping an eye on things…

  5. What I find so difficult to understand is how the traditional/conservative/Christians that Dalrock documents are acting in such complete support of feminist goals, such as the destruction of the family and marriage. (while of course being profoundly in denial). Feminists have stated this goal with much justification so their actions are in some sense comprehensible, but to be so corrupt, so … idk, “weak”, so immune to spoken reason… Very strange indeed.

    1. kingfisher,

      I don’t understand it either. Note that Dalrock shows that these people, including ministers and such, grossly distort the clear words of the Bible to fit their feminist ideology. One doesn’t need to believe the Bible inerrant to find this strange.

      The guess I find most likely is that these people no longer believe Christianity. But being a Christian leader – salary, book deals, etc – is a nice gig. And the vacuums in their souls are filled by Leftist ideology.

      1. I spent the winter checking out the Christian (Eastern) Orthodox church and these people are about as traditional and careful with theology as they get. Still, there’s little to no recognition of what Dalrock says and a lot of implicit feminism. People are very strange.

      2. The only thing I can think of, is acting in simple naked self interest. It’s consistent with what you say about the elites of both parties being very self serving. Except it’s the church leadership and institution in this case.

  6. There may not be one “underlying reason” for this lack of interest in marriage and family now.
    The following is of a rather “narrow perspective” — a man and a woman, let’s leave the LGBxyz out of this.

    I think that it could be, as usual in these affairs, a combination of factors:
    (a) The expectation level may be way beyond realistic and that so from both sides and socially
    (b) The econ-social situation of young people isn’t exactly conducive to starting and raising a family
    (c) The gender “wars” don’t help either

    I can hear the objections —

    (a) is not just about fitting a dream (the “right” man, woman; true love …), but about a lack of willingness to sacrifice anything for getting it; many may be, well, badly spoiled.

    (b) FM: “Economic uncertainty for most people is far lower than that in the past.”
    True from one perspective = we’re surely certain we will never have anything; BUT (seriously): ()Working class (as blue-colar) now has a very few options and a very small chance to make living, have a house/appt., car(s) and vacations. () Middle class, whatever is left of it, e.g. professionals tend to carry a large ($100k seems common) student loans and the most important time to start practice/carrier is just after university — that time is also optimal for starting a family.
    Also re. (b) — appalling lack of essential social services (comparing to the rest of the ind. world) most know about universal health care, but — No ‘maternity leave?’ — nobody outside of US believes me; and ‘paternity leave’ — you’re smoking that cheap stuff again?!; affordable quality ‘day care’ … etc, etc.

    (c) blaming/victimizing in sense of (a) as well as in enforcing “equality,” not only as in the sense of (b), but in social sphere (friends, family, colleagues…); again, hard work and a willingness to compromise in building of a relationship seems to be regarded as inferiority rather than a virtue…

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