Friday, July 13, 2012

Two Canadians hit a nerve with London Girl

There is in Australia and elsewhere a big city culture in which young women think of their 20s as a time to engage in a single girl lifestyle of travel and careers and uncommitted relationships.

Take, for instance, London Girl. She was completely thrown when a couple of Canadians queried her single status at age 27:
The two Canadians had joined myself and a friend at our table after the football. They'd shuffled over as the big screens rolled up, bought a round of drinks; we imparted our London knowledge and now the conversation had moved on. Somehow, the subject of age came up. I told one of them mine, and was completely thrown by what came next.

"Isn't 27 a little old to be single?"
"Pardon? Too old?"
"Yeah, like if you want to have kids and stuff - isn't 27 a bit old to still be single?"

Once I'd picked my jaw up off the floor and provided a response which didn't include nearly as many swear words as I'd have liked in retrospect, it wasn't long before I was wishing them a good night, and making my excuses to go home.

The next morning, his question was the first thing to come to mind.

Too old?

The Canadians were kind of right. 27 isn't too old, but if a woman is serious about having children, then by that age she ought to be strongly focused on family formation. After all, if you want the option of having 3 children then you ideally need 6 or 7 years to get there, which brings a woman now in her late 20s up to her mid-30s - the time that her fertility becomes less certain.

But London Girl is caught in the headlights. On the one hand she thinks she might be trailblazing a new path of a single girl lifestyle:
We're a generation living in rented accommodation, with friends instead of other halves, or even still at home with parents. We're working hard at our careers and relationships come second, we travel the world after university instead of beginning the hunt for a job, often not finding a permanent one until well into our mid twenties. Even in our careers we're feeling our way: the jobs we've got now didn't exist when we started uni.

Marriage will happen - at some point - but not now, not yet, not while there's fun to be had. And kids? As a 27 year old girl who spends her nights surrounded by mostly single friends, and mornings in bed with a hangover and the vague but cheering memories from the night before, the idea of being responsible for a child is nothing short of terrifying.

But she's not so sure if it's all going to work out well:
There's an edge to it; a desperation creeping in, a scrabble to locate the nearest hot man in any given vicinity.

If you squint and look around the pub at 11pm on a Saturday night, over at the group of girls laughing, dancing, hugging, chatting and doing shots, you can sometimes see and hear the point at which the old generation, the one that told us we'd be settled by 30, is meeting this new one; where you can have it all - but later, and detect a bit of panic. It's in our conversations and the back of our minds; the way we search the people at the bar.

This doing it later stuff, it's a nice idea in our heads, and we're doing it with gusto. But our hearts haven't quite caught up yet.

So, are we too old? No, we're not too old. We don't look it, we don't feel it, we don't realise it.

But if by some stretch of the imagination it turns out we are, then we'll surely be the first generation to know about it.

But they're not the first generation. There have been several generations of middle-class English women since the 1880s which have failed to launch. Generation X women are the most recent to miss out: a report last year showed that 43% of university educated Generation X women are childless.

Is this London Girl's fault? Not really - it seems, in fact, that a boy she really liked was the one to break up with her. But she is representative of a certain kind of woman who is hesitant about family formation where they should be decisive.

Timing does matter when it comes to family. It doesn't work out well if women encourage their male peers to think that they are not required as husbands or fathers until some very late and very vague time in their lives. It doesn't work out well if women wait until the last dwindling years of their fertility to try to have children. It doesn't work out well if men and women become too habituated to a solo lifestyle.


  1. Three cheers for social darwinism. I can't muster the pity for her and women like her.

  2. What a vile woman, when she says "Not while there's fun to be had" she means that she intends to go on crucifying Our Blessed Lord all over again with sin after sin until her failing health (brought on by such an evil life) prevents it somewhat. It's best to avoid even coming near, let alone having any dealings with such infidels. "Bear not the yoke with unbelievers. For what participation hath justice with injustice? Or what fellowship hath light with darkness? And what concord hath Christ with Belial? Or what part hath the faithful with the unbeliever? And what agreement hath the temple of God with idols? For you are the temple of the living God; as God saith: I will dwell among them. And I will be their God: and they shall be my people. Wherefore: Go out from among them and be ye separate, saith the Lord, and touch not the unclean thing: And I will receive you: and you shall be my sons and daughters, saith the Lord Almighty." II Corinthians, Chapter 6, Verses 14-18. You are a son of Our Lord's One True Church as I am Mr. Richardson, why not concentrate on strengthening the tiny remnant of the Faithful, with an article on the importance of the frequent contemplation of the Four Last things for instance, instead of trying to get thro' to those who have given themselves up to work iniquity. At this point it seems better to let the dead bury their dead. These modern neo-pagans don't want to be helped, in fact they're liable to attack anyone who would try to do so. This phenomenon was also observed by Our Most Holy Saviour, "Give not that which is holy to dogs. Neither cast ye your pearls before swine: lest perhaps they trample them under their feet: and turning upon you, they tear you."

  3. Well done those Canadians!

  4. She's about to receive the shock of her life in about a year or so.

    Yes, she's too old. And she's just going to get older.

  5. I assume you've all seen the 29/31 video. London Girl had better take heed.

  6. a 27 year old girl

    That's really all you need to know right there.

    How do we know that it's not her fault "a boy" (??) dumped her? Maybe he dodged a bullet.

    You really got the hamsters spinning over there! LOL This was golden hamster droppings:

    Did you actually say any of that with a straight face? Women have less to offer in their 30's? How about life experience, time to have developed maturity and personality and to actually know what they want? Not to mention the fact that women don't exist purely to procreate, what about careers and life ambitions outside of family life? Wouldn't you want a partner who's well educated, well traveled and with something to say for themselves? What am I saying, of course you wouldn't, by the sound of it you'd like a meek little girl with no ambitions beyond popping out maladjusted offspring every two years so you can have your 'normal' family.

    I think we all know what "well travelled" means. The "life experience" one is pretty funny. If you get married young, your life experience is your life together, not a load of random travels, drunken nights, a boring "career", and meaningless "relationships"/extended one night stands.

  7. Read the thread over at London Girl's website. Lots of hamster rationalizations as the manosphere would say. What really made me laugh was how a girl said that "many" women have babies in their 30's and 40's nowadays. Ahem. First of it's one child or twins and it's after years and years, tries and tries of ART (e.g. IVF) and even using those Third world younger, poor exploited surrogates because if the eggs are rotten it isn't easy to make them edible. It's like trying to ressuscitate the dead. Only God can do such things.

  8. Not to mention ART is expensive so naturally only the very top upper-class career white feminist women can afford it (e.g. daughters or women of the elite). Lower classed feminists can't afford it.

  9. If you get married young, your life experience is your life together

    CL, that was my thought exactly when I read that comment. One of the things that can more closely bond a couple together is a history of shared experiences. But with delayed marriage, those experiences are with other people - you are looking back to other people rather than to your spouse.

    That doesn't make successful marriage impossible but it's hardly ideal.

  10. Elizabeth Smith,

    Some women will conceive naturally in their late 30s, but a fair percentage won't and will have to, as you point out, resort to the stressful, intrusive and expensive option of IVF - which itself won't work for all couples.

    The thing is, why take a chance on something so important?

  11. Women that have children before 30 have far better chances of conceiving in mid to late 30's. I find it hilarious that feminists are having reality flung back at them, even in pubs and clubs.

    If you think the desperation and rationalisation hamster is clicking over now, it's 4 fold when the feminists hit 35. I think it doubles every year after that, till they accept they're in the throwing cat woman league.

  12. There were some forceful reactions to the comment I left at the London Girl site (Simon is better than I am at approaching people in this milieu).

    Some thoughts about the reactions:

    1. A lot of insistence that things are either unknowable or subjective.

    Which is odd coming from a liberal milieu as liberals are generally keen on technocratic solutions to things.

    But how can you apply human agency and reason to order society if things are unknowable and subjective?

    2. I think I understand some of the reason for the over the top reactions.

    If you're a liberal modern then you'll believe that there should be maximum individual autonomy, i.e. maximum freedom to act in any direction without impediment.

    But if I as a man state that it's rational for men to prefer to marry women who are relatively young and fertile and non-promiscuous then that preference then limits what women might choose to do. It impedes women in their autonomous choice.

    Hence the efforts to place such a male preference out of bounds.

    But that then leaves an inconsistency. To keep female autonomy maximised, male autonomy has been curtailed - it's been ruled out of bounds for men to prefer younger, more chaste and more fertile women.

    There are only two ways for liberals to try to remove the inconsistency:

    a) Admit that it's human nature for men to have such preferences, but insist that men should "overcome" such "base" preferences in order not to be "sexist"


    b) Insist that such male preferences are not rational or reasonable and that a woman's gift of herself to her husband is just as special or even more so if she's been with three dozen men before him, has only a couple of years of fertility left etc.

    You have to be an ideologically committed liberal to fully buy into this kind of thing, which is why the university educated inner-city types, despite their intellectual credentials, are more vulnerable to it.

  13. I thought this response on the sleepingeyes blog was interesting:

    " said...
    I think this piece on XOJane answers Mark Richardson's points pretty well.

    Yes, you might be 27 - or 31 in the author's case - but if you're not in a strong, stable partnership, then what then? Just launch yourself at any random man in a bar? No thanks."

    If you follow the link, it's a video that actually seems to strongly support the point Mark was making.

    "(Simon is better than I am at approaching people in this milieu)"

    Well it's the milieu I live in, and most of the women I know are like the posters there, whether they're at the 25 'life has just started!' or the 35 'omg my ovaries!' stage. :) They're not bad people - also they're generally not nearly as promiscuous as the Manosphere types or 'Sex & the City' make out; that level of promiscuity generally seems to be more a gay male projection. But they are doing what they think they're supposed to do, and there is a risk of drifting into loneliness, infertility and unhappiness. I think some of the more shrill and angry responses (esp from Amy) are because this is recognised, at some level.

    I also think it's stupid to be telling a 27 year old that she's all washed up and will never find a man. But it would also be foolish of her to wait until 37 before she starts thinking about settling down. My wife had just turned 37 when our son was born, an extremely difficult labour leading to emergency Caesarean. We really were not aware that a first pregnancy at 36 was considered geriatric. If my wife had been fully aware of the facts she might have been willing to have a child much sooner.

  14. Me:
    "hey're generally not nearly as promiscuous as the Manosphere types or 'Sex & the City' make out"

    I can think of an exception who behaves a bit like 'Samantha', but she's actually American. Middle-class British women tend not to be extremely promiscuous IME, although lower-class women can be.

    In America there doesn't seem to be the same level of distinction by social class, American hook-up culture seems to go much higher up the social scale than one-night stands in Britain generally do.

    Some Australians have 'mates you have sex with', like American 'friends with benefits'. But British middle class women tend much more towards serial monogamy, at least after leaving University.

  15. Not all single women should be judged harshly. Some women are just unlucky or shy. I myself have been unsuccessful in finding a mate - not because i am career obsessed or slutty but because so few men(both younge & old) are interested in a serious relationship. In this culture the sluts monopolise all the men & good girls get ignored or bullied. I was also raised in a family that was obsessed with me getting married & having babies at a younge age & discouraged any education above grade 10 level.

  16. anon:
    "Not all single women should be judged harshly. Some women are just unlucky or shy. I myself have been unsuccessful in finding a mate - not because i am career obsessed or slutty but because so few men(both younge & old) are interested in a serious relationship"

    You also need to be careful to get a decent, reliable man. I knew a married couple where the woman did everything 'right' - she was completely decent, traditionally oriented, she married young, she wanted a family. The man had been promiscuous, what the Roissy-types call an 'Alpha' (ha) - and when he married, he *thought* he wanted to settle down, but he ended up cheating on her and divorcing her. She was completely innocent, her only fault was to be naive and too trusting.

  17. anon:
    "In this culture the sluts monopolise all the men"

    I'm not sure about that - the sluts monopolise the promiscious 'Alpha' men who are most obviously attractive to them, but there a lot of other men not getting much action, what the Roissy-ists call 'Betas' (again inaccurately).

    I have a female cousin-in-law who is very beautiful and intelligent, but lacking in self-confidence. In her case though this seems to have worked to her advantage, she married a man of somewhat lower social status who is maybe not terribly bright or financially successful, a Roissy 'Beta', but he *is* reliable, he can hold down a job and not cheat on her (her being beautiful might help there), they have two lovely daughters and they seem to have avoided the financial and other problems that assail many couples.

    If she had been hypergamous, like many women with her talent and looks, she might have ended up not doing so well. Eg I know another woman, an old school friend, also pretty, talented and intelligent. She recently finally married her partner, who was divorced with children. She has a high-status husband, but it's unlikely she'll ever have kids of her own.

  18. London girl is a tragedy.

    The cause, however, is the poor fathers this generation of women have - if they haven't divorced their family, they're hiding from them at work. Instead of telling their daughters to settle down, marry and raise kids as early as possible, these young women are told to pursue worthless careers and live as a hedonist.

    Furthermore, big business sees profit in women choosing career over family. More women working keeps wages low, and the low birthrate can be fixed through immigration, which further decreases wages and increases property value making it nearly impossible for a young family to buy a house and raise kids in an effective way.

    The same attitudes that brought down Rome are far advanced in this locale and many others. The birthrate is so low now (and the social infrastructure supporting the low rate so ingrained) that there is no foreseeable way that Australian women will ever have the 3+ children required to maintain a society - thus the country will be in a state of flux until a particular culture decides to make it theirs - probably China whereafter Australia will become a satellite supplying the motherland with raw materials. All this because of feminism, who would've thought.