Memo to Single Women: There Is Nothing 'Wrong' With Men Today

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Every few years it seems there is some article that comes out proclaiming that marriage is obsolete, all men are awful, or they only want stupid women. Not surprisingly, these articles are often written by single women.

The latest installment is from Kate Bolick and ran in The Atlantic. The premise is multi-faceted but can be generally pared down to this: Being single is becoming the preferable choice for many women. And while I love the general idea -- not everyone needs to or should marry -- I never understand the need to impugn all those who make different choices.

Not all men are either deadbeats or playboys and not all traditional marriages aren't working.

Bolick says the stigma of the single woman may soon fade and I hope that is true. Because then maybe we won't have to be subject to all the name calling on both sides. If Bolick is right and marriage is changing (open marriages are becoming more common, for instance), then maybe there will be different options.

I like that idea. But none of this means that people won't still want to be coupled. One need not throw the proverbial baby out with the bath water. Traditional marriage will always have its place on the field of potential lifestyle choices.

But the part I keep coming back to is this notion that "marriageable" men are hard to find. Bolick says: "We're contending with a new 'dating gap,' where marriage-minded women are increasingly confronted with either deadbeats or players."

In her mind, women are better off staying single than settling for men who aren't "marriageable." But marriageable sounds unnervingly snobby, like she is disregarding the idea that just because a person might be less educated or wealthy, he isn't husband-worthy. I am all for high standards, but not impossibly so.

If marriage is changing, then fine. But let's not pretend that marriage is changing because one woman in her late 30s living in New York City has gone through a lot of semi-quality men and declared them all "unmarriageable" and herself as "happy" being single. It seems that all the protesting is a bit transparent. Don't settle. That's a horrible idea. But don't generalize, either. It's just another extreme reaction.

Do you think all the good men are gone?

 

Image via Neeta Lind/Flickr

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Fraoch A'ronaigh

I don't think all good men are gone, I think many people are too ready to toss in the towel and not try and work at their marriage when it gets hard. It seems like if its not all sunshine and roses, people aren't willing to go the long haul anymore.

Lulu_B Lulu_B

I completely agree with Fraoch.

Rhond... RhondaVeggie

I think if you keep playing the field till you're pushing forty then you're going to have a hard time finding a husband. The guys who are available are mostly going to be players or guys that other women have married and rejected. The ones that will make really good husbands are already husbands by that point and there are only so many widowers out there.

uberm... ubermadchen

No way! If you determine marrigablility with intelligence and wealth you may get some quality men but you'll also get a lot of duds and arrogant fools.   I'm more educated than my husband but my intelligence is limited to a few subjects.  My husband, in many ways, is much wiser than me in many practical matters and such a hard worker at his job. He can even keep with me with many intellectual conversations without needing his own degree or published journal articles to back him up.  I'm glad I didn't pass over him just because he didn't have as many credentials as me.  He is totally marriagable and I got just in time!

Courtney Paige Neale

I completely agree with Fraoch too. There are a lot of scumbag dudes out there, but I really do believe there are a lot of good ones too. Just not sure where to tell my single friends to find them :/

Logan... LoganTroyMom

my hubby's great. Mind you we've stuck it out through many things that would make people throw in the towel (NOT CHEATING, to me that is the breaking point). But we worked it out. Back in the day you made it work bc you had no choice. Yes there were crap marriages but also good ones. Nowadays people are looking for someone with no flaws. We STILL work on our marriage all the time. It takes 2, and effort and communication.

Colet... Colette923

My generation is so lazy about marriage. I'm 25. My friends' marriages are breaking up because they aren't willing to make their spouse a priority and WORK on their marriages! My husband and I got pregnant by surprise only 9 months after we started dating and we're still just as in love and disgusting as ever. Alot of my friends would have just given up.

Momma... Momma2blessed

It goes both ways! There are many women out there that are wanting abtype of spouse that they themselves are not willing to be. There's too much of a 'me me' in society from both genders... the focus shouldn't be what this person can do for me in life but what *I* can bring to the relationship to make it better!

starr... starrsitter

There's also the fact that women no longer need to settle for sub-par husbands because they have more opportunity to have their own career/life/etc. and aren't relegated to being only a wife and mother. As a woman, you no longer have to choose between being married or a social oddity.

jlynx0 jlynx0

I don't think all the good men are gone. I think you don't become a good man or woman until you find the person who makes you want to be that way. If your a player with one person, maybe you haven't found that person who your suppose to be with. My husband and I both come from broken up homes. We do not want that. Plus he is a little leech I couldn't cut him off my hip with a chainsaw and vice versa. Open marriage would never be an option for us. We are both pretty traditional (and jealous/possesive.) 

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