They were brought up to have fun, fun, fun which meant as much sexual freedom as the boys. And they certainly did have fun in their twenties when their bodies and hair was at its best, when it seems tomorrow would never come.
And how did this work out? Was it a triumph of womanhood? Not according to Marisa Micallef. She writes despairingly of the position that these women have now been left in. It seems that once these women hit their mid-30s, that men of their age and older won't make commitments to them, preferring the company of younger local or Eastern European women. The only men available are poor immigrant men, who don't have the money to finance the lifestyle that these women want:
But the minute they start to hit their mid thirties, the minute they realise they have slept with everyone they wanted to sleep with, they look around and see a very reduced market indeed, a very unattractive supply of potential male partners...
Whatever the reason the supply is not matching the demand. The only glut of men are the very sad illegal immigrant, and very obviously these are not what the beleaguered Maltese female is looking for especially if she is looking for a degree of financial security to finance her coffees with girlfriends complete with the whole nail, skin and straightened hair look which doesn’t come cheap, but is now de rigueur, even for many single parent mums living off benefits.
What can a 30-something woman do? The men of her age seem to have the advantage:
Some of my thirty and forty something male friends complain that the girls they meet, especially the local ones are all a mite too keen to settle down, find husbands and make babies. The thirty something girls on the other hand complain there just aren’t enough men around, and the ones that are, around that is, are fine as friends go but are not interested in any form of commitment. And that indeed when they do decide to commit they find someone much younger, much more malleable, perhaps foreign, but in every case girls who are prepared to play second fiddle to them.
This includes hanging around with his male friends and his partners, remaining pretty and well maintained while he deteriorates physically to an astonishing degree, and generally having pretty unbalanced relationships despite years and years of equal educational and other opportunities. At the end of the day if there isn’t enough of a supply of men and of heterosexual men particularly, and if men can pick and choose and go younger and younger, or foreign or more foreign, the imbalance and the catholic-arab attitude we have in many relationships is bound to persist.
So perhaps traditional marriage wasn't such a source of inequality after all. And perhaps it would be in women's interests to marry a little earlier in life, before their own attractiveness has declined and before they have helped to create a culture of casual relationships.
Marisa doesn't consider these options. She thinks the solution might be for mothers to bring up their sons differently or for wealthier foreign men to be brought to Malta:
it certainly is a boy’s world, and here in Malta and Gozo particularly so. The only way to improve things might be a different generation of mothers and importation of the male equivalents of all the East European women who are here. Trouble is though our girls still seem to like the local talent, even though it is in ever reducing supply?