It will be interesting to see what backlash he gets for this one.
Feel free to discuss this piece by Pepper Schwartz, a professor of Sociology at University of Washington.
I’d say she is ignoring a couple of large elephants in her office that are crapping all over her carpet.
I’ll elaborate more later.
I had to say that, because of the headline in this article. (HT: Vox Day)
Women who have several sexual partners before getting married have less happy marriages – but men do no harm by playing the field,a study has found.
According to new research by the National Marriage Project, more than half of married women who had only ever slept with their future husband felt highly satisfied in their marriage.
But that percentage dropped to 42 per cent once the woman had had pre-marital sex with at least two partners. It dropped to 22 per cent for those with ten or more partners.
But, for men, the number of partners a man they appeared to have no bearing on how satisfied they felt within a marriage.
Researchers said the study showed that sex with many different partners ‘may be risky’ if the woman is in search of a high-quality marriage.
Don’t shoot me, I’m just the messenger.
Susan “Princeton Mom” Patton created a firestorm by writing this editorial for the Wall Street Journal.
The feminist establishment has their panties in the mother of all twists. If you don’t believe me, read the comments for that article.
Reinforcing Patton’s advice, Vox Day has followed up with this, where a PhD scientist, who married in her 40s and has quit her job to be a SAHM, chimes in.
“The idea that women are too focused on being intellectual, or shouldn’t have career aspirations that would allow them to earn more than their (potential) husbands is absurd and patently offensive.”
She’s wrong. It’s not absurd or offensive, it’s straight-up truth. And it’s not even so much about the money (although, for the health of a marriage I do believe the husband should be the breadwinner), but about sacrificing career aspirations to do the single most important thing a woman can do, which is to get married and raise a family.
I am a highly intellectual woman with a successful professional career, and I realize now what a mistake I’ve made by not settling down and having children early. I married 12 years ago, but put off having children in order to finish graduate school and establish my scientific career. Last December, at the age of 42, I had a baby daughter. I realize now that this would’ve been MUCH easier 10 or 20 years ago. It’s not only a struggle to care for a newborn at my age, but making the sudden shift from a woman who has, for decades, been very busy with intellectual pursuits and relatively unencumbered by responsibility to a stay-at-home mom has been unexpectedly difficult.
My own dear departed mother got married at 19 and had me and my brother at 21 and 22 years of age. I look at old photos of her with us as babies, and she looks deliriously happy. She LOVED being a mother. She had that crazy young-person energy you need to raise babies and no established adult life that she felt like she was losing in order to become a mother. Later, when my brother and I were older, she went back to university to finish her degree and enjoyed many happy years as a teacher.
I regret putting off children for so long. I wish I had put off my graduate education and career in order to have had more healthy children. (My first daughter had a fatal chromosomal abnormality and was stillborn. The risk for such problems increases sharply with maternal age — another reason to start having children young.) The one thing I did right was to learn to cook and keep house, the love and skill of which I learned from my mother at a young age. But motherhood has not come easy at 40+. For that reason, I will tell every girl I know (including my daughter) to not make the same mistake I did. Put off the career. Learn to cook and keep house, find a good man and get married young, and start having babies as soon as possible.
I really like Vox’s statement: “So, who are you going to listen to, young women? Who do you think knows what she’s talking about, the woman with both the PhD and the child or the crazy cat ladies with neither physics degrees nor children?”
Some will read what Vox and myself are saying, and think we are misogynists who seek to keep women from achieving and being their best.
Quite the contrary; while I cannot answer for Vox, I simply have observed that, as a general rule, women want to get married and have kids. In their heart of hearts, they want this more than they want a nice career. This is normal and to be celebrated.
I’ve met ZERO old fogeys who married early and had kids and ditched their career aspirations only to regret it. I’ve met plenty who forsook marriage and family life for careers and wish they had done the opposite. I’ve met plenty who forsook marriage and family life, and now cannot find a man to marry. I’ve met others who married later but now must rely on technology to conceive a baby.
I have a good friend at work who is in her early 40s, debt-free, in great condition, doesn’t (to the best of my knowledge) ride the carousel, and wishes she could get married. In her most fertile years, it didn’t work out for her. Some of that is on her, some of that is on circumstances. Sure, she’s liberal. But she’d otherwise make a good catch for someone. Trouble is, her best marriageable years are behind her. She has baggage, and has acquired cynicism as a result. Not only are other men skeptical of her, she is skeptical of them in ways she would not have been 20 years ago.
Here’s the thing, though: we put a lot of emphasis training boys and girls to prepare for adulthood. We insist that they go to college, get degrees, and pursue the professional career paths. What we DON’T do–as a society–is train them to prepare for marriage and family life. We do not teach them about the economic tradeoffs and challenges because that would appear sexist or misogynist.
And for those who don’t like what I am saying, I have some honest questions for you:
(1) If this were no big deal, then why does Kate Bolick even get any press? Why is it even a news story that women who don’t marry early will have a harder time marrying?
(2) If this were no big deal, then why the outrage over what Susan Patton is saying?
Now some might also ask why we should consider Patton–or Stickwick (the gal who wrote to Vox)–over the feminists?
I would suggest this: the feminists have more to gain with other women being as miserable as they are. It’s a strength in numbers thing.
I have met very few single women who are older than 30 who are happy. And I mean very few. Almost all of them wish they could get married. The conservative, non-feminists HATE being single and WANT a husband and kids.
But here is the thing: even the feminists want that. They just don’t want to admit. The very few happy feminists I know, have a strong husband and at least two kids.
As for the single feminists I know? They are the most miserable of people. And the thing that they despise the most: the happily-married conservative woman. Particularly if she has more than two kids. It’s unbridled envy.
So, feminists, what is the problem with Patton’s column? Is it that she expresses a truth that you don’t want to accept? Is it that she is speaking to your situation and you know she is right?
Or is she just wrong?
If she is wrong, you are more than welcome to make your case here.
First, some disclosures. These are no-brainers, but the ensuing discussion is going to almost certainly create some blowback.
(1) From a Christian standpoint, I accept that men and women alike are called to eschew sexual immorality and to keep sex in the marriage bed.
(2) While the dynamics of the pickup (PUA*) culture are rational, they are not something endorsed by Scripture. Ergo, the man who “plays the field” is in the same spiritual peril as the woman who “hooks up” or engages in sexual relations in a non-marital scenario.
Ok, with those out of the way, here we have an interesting poll which, if true, gives men more reason to be skeptical about marriage.
Susan Walsh has long contended that, as a result of feminism and the allure of “no strings attached sex”, women are gravitating to the Alpha males in such a way that (a) a small percentage of men are having a disproportionate amount of the sex, and (b) as a result of (a), many Alpha males have a “soft harem” fomented in no small part by the hookup culture.
The poll seems to jibe with the dynamics of Game exacerbated by the onslaught of feminism: many women are riding the carousel–in either hookups or serially-monogamous relationships with Alpha males–and then “settling down” with the “nice guys” (Betas), who aren’t as exciting as the Alphas were. The dynamics are so lopsided that, in the college ranks, the male virgins–in raw and percentage terms–outnumber the female virgins.
Those of us guys who were/are in the ranks Christian singles for any significant length of time have seen these types pass through. They often have degrees, they are in their late 20s or early 30s, sometimes–not always–they are divorced (a bad marriage to an Alpha), and are now looking to settle down with a “good Christian guy”.
Like I said, we can rip the men all day about such things as “playing the field” (the Alpha males), delving into pornography, and even, in some cases, dating women for a long time without committing. The Church does a good job of that. I can say for a fact that the men’s leaders are on top of this matter like flies on dung.
At the same time, I don’t see a whole lot of attention given, from the pulpit or even in the publishing house, to women who play the hookup culture, or engage in serial monogamy.
If the poll I have cited is even in the ballpark–and it probably is–then this type of baggage is every bit as insidious for the husbands as the baggage of male porn usage is for the wives. Don’t believe me? Heregoes…
If the lackluster sex isn’t bad enough, the poll found that 66 percent of married women would rather read a book, watch a movie or take a nap than have sex with a spouse.
That should fill men with great confidence about the appreciation their wives have for them.
So where are the ministerial exhortations and admonitions? Where are the “pro-family” leaders? Where are Driscoll and Chandler?
And where are the prominent Christian women leaders who should be exhorting and admonishing the ladies?
*PUA is an acronym meaning “PickUp Artist”, and is commonly used in the blogosphere to describe those who pick up women for short-term sexual relationships, hookups, or one-night stands.
Fair disclosure: I like Susan Walsh. While she blogs from a secular perspective, she has provided some good, stark perspective regarding the “sexual marketplace” and has done a good job articulating the price that feminism has exacted from both sexes. She has been excellent at exposing the down side of the hookup culture.
Still, I am having a hard time wondering why she is fighting the manosphere over something that–apparently–her own analysis has confirmed.
In the hullabaloo between Susan Walsh and the manosphere over declining “sexual market values” (SMVs), it seems that Susan has lost the forest in the trees.
First, a very brief primer on SMV, although I will frame it in terms of Marriage Market Value (MMV), as I am blogging to those who desire marriage, not those who are seeking hookups.
While the term is bandied about in pickup artist (PUA) circles regarding a man’s or woman’s sexual attractiveness, the MMV is merely a point on a scale from 1 to 10 of your desirability to the opposite sex for the purpose of marriage. In the latter respect, the MMV is useful in this: it allows both sexes an objective basis to determine where they stand on the curve and whether their expectations are reasonable, as well as determine what they may need to change to improve their respective desirabilities.
Needless to say, a man who is obese, lives with his parents, has no social skills, spends his days watching television or playing games is going to fall on the lower end of the scale whereas a man who is tall, muscular, and has a great job and excellent social skills is going to be on the higher end. The former would need to get a job, join a gym and start working out, and start developing social skills.
It also says that a woman who is 28, a veteran hookup, obese, unkempt, feminist, and tries to impress with her education and workplace accomplishments is going to be on the low end of the scale whereas a woman who is 23, fit, resourceful and smart but unassuming, and dresses well but modestly is going to be higher on the scale.
Note: I am not picking on anyone; I am simply explaining how the scale works.
Now here’s where things get dicey…
The manosphere has contended–and I agree–that a woman’s peak SMV/MMV, ceteris paribus, is going to land in her late teens and early 20s, after which it will decline slowly before–at around 28–falling more rapidly. This is driven by a number of factors. I’ll list four of them:
(1) A woman’s fertility starts sloping down after age 27;
(2) As a woman advances throughout her 20s, she will find herself competing with younger women for the same men;
(3) Once she is in her late 20s, the best men in her cohort are already married;
(4) After the 20s, a woman’s attractiveness–compared to her 20s–starts heading south.
This is why I have often contended that, if a woman desires to marry and have children, it is more equitable to cover that base sooner rather than later. This is because, if you graduate college at age 22, the clock is ticking down fast. You have 6 years before your fertility starts heading south, and–assuming you wish to date the guy for 2 years before marrying–that gives you a 4 year window during which your MMV may already be in decline. If you have a large amount of student loan debt, this puts you in a pickle.
(Oh, and two points need to be made here: (a) I’m not saying you shouldn’t go to college; I’m just saying you may need to develop a robust plan to execute this with little or no debt, and (b) Calling me names won’t change these realities, because I didn’t create them. I’m just the messenger.)
Oh, and this is not letting the men off the hook, either…
Unless a man has a really good bank account, protracted singleness will send your MMV heading south, and for some of the same reasons:
(1) While men can be fertile well into advanced age, women aren’t generally going to aim beyond their age cohorts. (Yes, a 20 year old woman will fall for a 50 year old man from time to time, but–let’s be honest here–it isn’t the norm.)
(2) Once you get past age 28, the women with the best MMVs in your cohort are going to be married.
(3) If you get sedentary and the pounds start piling up, your MMV is going to slide faster.
(4) If you are single past age 35, the women of reasonable MMV in your age group are going to have 2 strikes against you. (I can attest to that firsthand.)
Anyway, the contention by the manosphere is that women’s SMV/MMV goes down faster than those of men. I agree with that premise, as it is consistent with what I have observed. (I’m not a PUA–I never have been–but I’ve seen that dynamic quite frequently.)
Susan Walsh attempted to opine against that grain, which resulted in Vox Day and others putting her in her place. Walsh ultimately decided that, rather than this, the SMV/MMV picture looks more like this.
As I followed this back-and-forth–and especially in light of both graphs–I had a hard time understanding why Walsh was devoting so much energy to this, given that the material point by Vox and the balance of the manosphere is unchanged.
The way I see it, Vox has merely contended that women peak sooner (true in both graphs), begin their declines sooner (true in both graphs), and–due to fertility–have more to lose by playing the “game” whereas men begin their ascent later (true in both graphs), peak later (true in both graphs), and have higher MMVs in advanced age than women of the same age (true in both graphs)
Ultimately, it reinforces the point that myself–and others–have made all along: if you are a woman and wish to get married,
(a) Your optimal years are going to be in your late teens through your mid 20s;
(b) If you go to college, it can work against you if you do not plan and execute prudently;
(c) If you go to college and do not find your mate in college, your time window is going to be more limited when you graduate;
(d) Any exposure to the hookup culture is going to adversely impact your MMV in a devastating way;
(e) After your mid-20s, you are in the 2-minute warning, after which things start going south in a hurry.
This is not to slight my female friends who are older. After all, I married at an older age myself, and I had some of the same setbacks. I wish those on no one.
Still, the truth bears telling, as the younger generation needs warning.
And no, we are not shaming every single mom here. But Dalrock–picking up on a post from Captain Capitalism–has a very interesting take.
And yes, I agree with Dalrock and Captain Capitalism regarding the general situation. I’ll explain later, as work-related matters are eating my time right now.
Hugo Schwyzer–whom I plastered a few times from here–has been forced to resign his professorship at Pasadena City College. Good riddance.
He was the prototypical male feminist. He was the poster boy for the cause, and was given favorable coverage at prominent feminist blog sites. He even parlayed his born-again feminism into a professorship–of women’s studies.
He claimed that while he was once the bad boy who slept with his students, he had turned away from his evil ways, which included sleeping with a gal–who had been abused–then trying to kill her and himself. He was a family man now: married with children. He used that bully pulpit to engage in man-shaming that would have made Al Mohler blush.
But alas, he was caught in a sexting scandal, and–in the course of events–it turned out that he either (a) resumed sleeping with his students, or (b) never stopped doing so.
Once this came to light, even the liberals at PCC could no longer give him a pass.
HT to Susan Walsh. I definitely prefer MMV (marital market value) over SMV (sexual market value). I cannot say I have an issue with most of what she has written.
As for her pointers to the ladies to “Up Your Girl Game”:
1. Achieve and maintain physical fitness.
2. Dress to flatter your body shape and use makeup to enhance your features.
3. Aim for a vibe in your appearance that says “girlfriend” rather than hookup.
4. Cultivate a friendly demeanor and pleasant personality.
5. Recognize that guys will care about your sexual history, and behave accordingly.
6. Indicate interest in a relationship to filter out cads and attract like-minded guys.
The only one I would take slight issue with is #2. I would recommend that a gal dresses casually to professionally. If she has “features”, trust me: the guys are going to notice no matter how suggestively–or not–that she dresses. We’ll notice because, well, that’s what guys do.
To her credit, Walsh does balance #2 with #3. I would summarize it like this: while it is okay to dress attractively, there is also a fine line between that and dressing like a slut. I recommend taking good care of yourself, dressing modestly–but not trashily–and being affable (#4).
#5 and 6 are huge. Listen up, ladies: Any woman–no matter her attractiveness–can get laid. Go to any frat party, and–without much effort–you’ll have at least one ride.
But here’s the thing: the men–even the good guys among us–don’t have it quite as easy. (Even the most successful PUAs–think Roissy–strike out about 70% of the time.) A good guy has to work very hard just to get a woman who is interested in him for anything.
We also know that, if you have had a substantial number of partners–the studies I’ve seen indicate that more than 5 is where things start getting bad–your chances of being good marriage material start dropping like a paratrooper with a faulty chute and no reserve.
The men know this.
This is why Christian guys–generally a forgiving lot–aren’t going to be enamored with the prospect of dating a Sigma Chi Gangbang Champion. While everyone–even a virgin–is going to have some sexual baggage (in our pornified society, it’s darn-near impossible NOT to), the guys are looking for a “keeper”.
Call me what you want to call me, but a high number of partners does not say “keeper”.
So ladies, in this marathon called life, please think twice before you drink of the sex-positive cup that the feministas are handing you.
The naked truth is this: they are a pathetic, miserable herd of rabid jackals who wish to make you as miserable as they are.
Well Hell’s Bells!
(HT: Vox Day at Alpha Game)
BEIJING — Feminists are concerned that some Chinese women in their late 20s who are doing well in their careers but are labeled “leftover women” for not having married yet, may be their own worst enemies.
“They are still living in a traditional mindset and values, even though there’s no way that those can solve their problem,” said Feng Yuan, a feminist and head of Beijing’s Anti-Domestic Violence Network, in a telephone interview. Other feminists agreed with her.
What is missing is a stronger awareness of the dynamics of gender, said Ms. Feng. “If they don’t gain gender consciousness then they can only rely on luck to solve their problem,” she said, meaning they can only hope to solve the problem if they meet a man who earns more than they do.
The other side of the coin is this: in China, thanks to the stupid “one child per family” law–compounded by the emphasis on having a male over a female, which incentivizes abortion–there are far more available men than there are available women. This is probably also contributing to the extra choosiness by the women, which–in turn–works against them as well as the men.
MrsLarijani and I noticed the same thing at her alma mater (Covenant College). A couple days before we got married, her college had a singles forum. Both sexes were well-represented (very much unlike my alma mater). Almost all of them were between ages 18-22. Almost all the women were at least moderately attractive. Every one of them wanted to be married. And yet there was little or no intentional pursuit going on.
I’ll bet I could have randomly paired each guy with a gal–tearing a page from Sun Myung Moon–and everyone who wanted to be married could have been married, and this would have resolved some of the anxiety on both sides.
One of the moderators–a graduate who was himself in extended singleness–did, to his credit, point out that the male students had a unique opportunity that they could not reasonably expect outside of college: a deluge of women. I gave him an earful afterward and told him to keep telling the guys that: it won’t get any easier.
“Shengnu,” or “leftover woman,” a term applied to China’s well-educated, unmarried women, has long been hurtful for those labeled in that way.
Recently, some have started to push back by swapping it for another word that is pronounced identically but is written differently in Chinese, and has a far more positive meaning: “shengnu,” or “victorious woman,” as I write in my Female Factor Letter today. (Some prefer to render that as “successful.”)
Yet despite the hurt, some women seem unaware that wanting a man to earn more, even when they themselves are equally well-educated and capable, may be working against them.
Zhou Wen, 27 and unmarried, is a secretary at an American marketing company in Beijing. She explained that it’s widely thought a man should earn more than a woman for the match to be right.
“Why aren’t girls prepared to marry a man who earns less? Because income represents your ability,” she said in a telephone interview.
“If you earn less it means you have less ability and no one wants to marry someone with less ability,” she said.
Why not be financially equal, sharing the rent and other living expenses?
“Most people think that equality isn’t just a question of 50-50 on bills,” she said.
“Male-female equality is about making men and women equal and if I contribute 50 percent of everything that doesn’t mean I’m equal,” she said. “Men should respect women, respect their ideas and ways of thinking, and not be the kind of person who says ‘everything a woman says is nonsense,’” she said. That said, she added: “I’m not opposed to going 50-50.”
I would not be so hard on the Chinese women in this case. While hypergamy is nothing new, there’s a lot more cultural emphasis on it over there. Compounding matters, these women are doing exactly what they have been pressed to do by their parents and society. Combine that with the poverty from which many families are now emerging, it’s easy to see how the women over there can get sucked into a proverbial death spiral.
Having said that, parents–on both sides of the Pacific–need to look long and hard at what they are teaching their children.
The fertility clock is not something invented by men. It is biological and it is what it is. Fact is, it peaks at about age 28.
If you graduate from college at age 22, your optimal fertility window is 6 years.
If you have not met your husband, that means you now have 6 optimal years during which to find a man, date, get serious about getting married, get hitched, and start working on having children.
During that time, if you date a guy and it doesn’t work out, you are back to square one.
After that 6-year period, you enter the sub-optimal phase, during which your best childbearing years are over, and your biological clock is in the 2-minute warning. Making matters worse, if you’re not careful, your peak attractiveness might also start slipping, and this could be a problem when you are competing with younger women for the same pool of men.
(Don’t start hating on me for saying that, because I didn’t create the reality; I’m just reporting it.)
Oh, and hypergamy doesn’t make this any easier.
Now I realize that a feminist can read this and conclude that I am against women getting an education and a career. In fact I have said nothing of the sort.
At the same time, going that route is going to require a level of prudence, planning, and purposeful action that cannot be taken for granted.
And society is behind the curve dealing with this problem.
China has the problem in spades, but it’s not exactly rosy over here either.