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.