Tuesday, November 20, 2012

What she never considered

If you're an Englishwoman with a university degree, chances are that you'll have children very late in life, if at all:
Women graduates are delaying the age they have children until 35 - almost a decade later than those who do not go to university.

The trend of university educated women delaying family formation was already in place here in Melbourne when I was in my mid-20s, back in the early 1990s. I can recall thinking at the time that my female peers were mad to put something so important last on their list of things to do and that some of them would regret it later on.

And now it's later on and we have the regrets. One of the latest is from an English journalist called Claudia Connell:
At the age of 46, I accept that my opportunity to have a family has gone and the chances of meeting a decent man aren’t looking too rosy either.

Claudia Connell
Claudia Connell did what was expected of her. She maintained her autonomy by dedicating herself to an independent, single girl lifestyle in her 20s:
For me, the single girl lifestyle that I embraced and celebrated with so much enthusiasm in the Eighties and Nineties has lost much of its gloss, and is starting to look a little hollow.

I was part of the Sex And The City generation — successful, feisty women who made their own money, answered to no one and lived life to the full.

When it came to men, our attitude to them was the same as it was towards the latest must-have handbag: only the best would do, no compromises should be made, and even then it would be quickly tired of and cast aside.

She didn't think much about future consequences:
What none of us spent too long thinking about in our 20s and 30s was how our lifestyles would impact on us once we reached middle-age, when we didn’t want to go out and get sozzled on cocktails and had replaced our stilettos and skinny jeans with flat shoes and elasticated waists.

When I look around at all my single friends — and there are a lot of them — not one of them is truly happy being on her own. Suddenly, all those women we pitied for giving up their freedom for marriage and children are the ones feeling sorry for us.

Freedom is great when you can exploit it; but when you have so much that you don’t know what to do with it, then it all becomes a little pointless.

She still assumes here that freedom is individual autonomy rather than an opportunity to fulfil important aspects of self.

In her younger years she felt confident to set the rules when it came to dating. But again she just didn't think ahead:
What I never considered, though, was that one day they’d stop coming along altogether. I really wish I’d known that once you’re in your late 30s, men are pretty thin on the ground. And once you’re in your 40s, it’s as though they’ve been wiped off the face of the Earth.

A woman over 45 on an internet dating site is made to feel as welcome as a parking ticket. The sites may be full of single men in their 40s, but they sure aren’t looking to meet women of the same age!

It seems that she spent her younger years dating numbers of men whilst waiting for Mr Alpha. She's now realised that such men might have preferred a sweeter and less complicated wife than what she was offering:
I also think it’s an uncomfortable truth that the sort of high-flying alpha males we were all holding out for didn’t want women like us. All the successful men I know have married sweet, uncomplicated women who are happy to forfeit their careers to support their husbands.

I should make clear that I don't think the solution is for a woman to panic and to mislead a man she doesn't love into marriage. The political point I'm making is that modern women are given two goals that are difficult to reconcile: the maximising of autonomy and family formation. The "compromise" of being a sassy, independent woman in your 20s, confident that there will always be suitable men on offer so that a decisive commitment can be endlessly deferred is not a wise one. A woman has to choose what's most important and as Claudia Connell has found out a freedom of having no commitments can come to seem pointless.

29 comments:

  1. Lower class women have always worked (whether part-time or inside the home). Lower class women have always balanced family life with part-time work. Why doesn't high-status women follow this script? Why do they want to "have it all"?

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  2. The fact that this could happen is a strong argument for a new model. Reproduction is too high a need for civilization to risk to the whims of young women.

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  3. Elizabeth Smith said...

    Lower class women have always worked (whether part-time or inside the home). Lower class women have always balanced family life with part-time work. Why doesn't high-status women follow this script? Why do they want to "have it all"?


    They believe that men can "have it all" since men can work, meaning to be financially independent, and to have kids, because the wife takes care of them. They only see what they believe is the so called "privilege" that men have. What they don't understand/see is that the man works 50+ hours a week to support his wife and children, he sacrifices his pleasure of golfing, drinking with his buddies, and watching the game on the weekend so that his wife and children can have all their needs met in exchange for the wife raising their children.

    Feminism goes against everything that women have known for ages, feminism rejects the notion that being a mother is a noble goal, it twists the minds of the ignorant masses into believing women get paid less, while ignoring the differences in hours per week and job locations.

    One thing I loathe is how feminism has entered into the Church and made preachers across the world demean good men by telling them that all single motherhood would not exist if men would step up and be a man, and how the divorce rates are through the roof because of men not stepping up and being a man. All the while, they talk to women, siding with them by saying that if a woman feels "unhappy" then it's clearly the man's fault for not worshiping her feet and that she should divorce him, even though he works 8-12 hour days providing her with a roof and food.

    Feminism also brought in the notion that we must have a 2 household income, the goal was that with women in the workforce they won't feel like they "need a man" ignoring the irony of replacing 1 husband with a whole parliament/congressmen voting on giving her welfare.

    I can't tell you how blessed I am by God that He would give me an amazing young woman like my fiancee. I was raised with the ideals of no sex before marriage and to find a woman with more faith in God than I have, I could not have found a better woman. I'm really happy she doesn't believe in any of this feminism garbage, I could never imagine how stressful it'd be to be married to a slut that had sex with tons of men, even 1 or 2 actually, the reason is that once that first sexual bond is broken there is bound to be a time when she gets bored and cheats. Of course that goes for men as well, if I were a lady of course.

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  4. "I also think it’s an uncomfortable truth that the sort of high-flying alpha males we were all holding out for didn’t want women like us."

    Wait, weren't the boys and then the men displaced by affirmative action ladies themselves liberated, in the feminist world-picture, from the dehumanizing, un-manning treadmill of success? Shouldn't these liberated males, freed from the possibility of high-flying "alpha" status and instead given a more authentic, holistic masculinity, be the attractive ones, the ones that their feminist peers should have been holding out for?

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  5. My mother is an academic. She was 38 when she had her first child, me. I'm also an academic. My mother was 72 when her only grandchild, my son, was born. It's insane. Unlike my mother, I will encourage my son to get married and have (lots of) kids when he's still young, preferably early-mid '20s.

    Sometimes I also feel guilty about making my living off teaching (mostly) young women, making it much less likely they will have children when they should be having them. It's particularly an issue with the best & brightest, whose genes can least afford to be lost to posterity and who are the most likely to have children late, or not at all.

    Some of my postgraduate overseas students come from overseas and the ones from high-fertility countries (eg India, central Asia) sometimes do have children during their studies, making it very tough on them - studying + children is even harder than working + children.

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  6. Dorsey47:
    "The fact that this could happen is a strong argument for a new model. Reproduction is too high a need for civilization to risk to the whims of young women."

    I agree. It's an enormous disaster. From what I can see here in London the white lower-middle to middle class has a fertility rate somewhere around 0.66, ie 1/3 of what it should be. The top 5% do better, having enough money for the women not to work, or do make-work, while having 2-3 children. Still not as many as my Bangladeshi neighbour, who has 5 or 6 children. My white, divorced, neighbour has one, like me.

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  7. The same patterns emerge in the dating scene:

    High-status, older men with younger women
    Black men with white women
    (Older) White men with (East) Asian women

    All of the above should be depressingly familiar to anyone living in the West today.

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  8. Autonomy doesn't exist in a vacum, these women aren't autonomous in the least, the only true autonomous people are independent entrepreneurs.

    These women live a subsidized existence, a faux autonomy payed for by men.

    Take away Goverment subsidized female employment, teaching, child care, social services, health care, local government, affirmative action employment and you'll see autonomy crash like a house of cards.

    Problem is socialism ain't going away any time soon.

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  9. Anonymous said...

    Autonomy doesn't exist in a vacum, these women aren't autonomous in the least, the only true autonomous people are independent entrepreneurs.

    These women live a subsidized existence, a faux autonomy payed for by men.

    Take away Goverment subsidized female employment, teaching, child care, social services, health care, local government, affirmative action employment and you'll see autonomy crash like a house of cards.

    Problem is socialism ain't going away any time soon.

    -----

    well said, sir, well said. I'm going to post this on socialconservative reddit and see what others say.

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  10. I was struck by her use of the word "complicated." What is a "complicated" woman, after all? I suppose a woman with serious medical or mental problems might be described as "complicated," but apart from that I can only think that it means a woman who is disagreeable, unpleasant, quirky, and demanding. In short, a "complicated" woman is simply one who does just what she pleases and makes no effort to make herself agreeable or pleasant. We might just as well call her a "wild woman."

    A woman can get away with being, err, "complicated," so long as she is young and hot, but once that's over, her "complications" only aggravate the problem of plummeting sex appeal. To state the matter crudely, now she's just a fat bitch. Too bad the habit has already set in and its too late to uncomplicate herself.

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  11. You have to ask... should people who can't even figure out they will be much less attractive at 45 than they are at 25 even be allowed to vote? Their future-time orientation is clearly deficient.

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  12. To the person above...

    Whilst to most of us it should be obvious that women especially are going to be less fertile in their forties than in their twenties, to a politically correct type that might be seen as "biological essentialism" and thus ignored.

    The left in general, with its focus on extreme egalitarianism, doesn't much like the reality of human biological inequality, and so invents ways to deal with it by choosing to ignore reality.

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  13. The top 5% do better, having enough money for the women not to work, or do make-work, while having 2-3 children.

    And yet it's the women from these classes that scream for feminism and immigration the most. Alpha females with their White Knights destroying the West? Seems like it.

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  14. The top 5% do better, having enough money for the women not to work, or do make-work, while having 2-3 children.

    And yet it's the women from these classes that scream for feminism and immigration the most. Alpha females with their White Knights destroying the West? Seems like it.

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  15. Elizabeth Smith:
    "And yet it's the women from these classes that scream for feminism and immigration the most. Alpha females with their White Knights destroying the West? Seems like it."

    The old-established English upper middle class WASPs seem mostly apolitical, work in the private sector, and aren't much into feminism, immigration, and destroying the West. They're quite distinct from the intelligentsia/chaterati.

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  16. anon@ 10:01

    I really wish people would stop pushing this farce of claiming black men are "taking" all the white women.
    Interracial dating, marriage etc is incredibly low between these groups.
    What is high is the media saturation of this pairing.

    Blacks and some other groups like turks and indians are the only groups I see white women putting no thank you disclaimers on their personal ads.
    I have had a good laugh reading the letters sent by such groups to my female friends. They are truly pathetic.

    Dating site date backs this up with these groups getting the least responses and least success.
    White men are overwhelmingly the most preferred male group for everyone.

    Real life has proven this at least for myself. I have been able to "score" (long term romantic relationships) with women people regard out of my league.
    It all comes down to my attractiveness to women which is largely because i'm a straight white male.

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  17. Liberal academic Professor James Flynn (the term "Flynn Effect" regarding rising IQ scores is coined after his finding) has noted that the NZ population will get dumber as a result of educated women having fewer children. This trend would apply to most Western countries. Flynn observed:

    "Everyone knows if we only allowed short people to reproduce there would be a tendency in terms of genes for height to diminish. Intelligence is no different from other human traits," he told the Sunday Star-Times.

    "A persistent genetic trend which lowered the genetic quality for brain physiology would have some effect eventually."

    Statistics show women without tertiary qualifications who had reached their early 40s had produced 2.57 babies each.

    In contrast, women with a higher education were producing just 1.85 babies each."

    http://www.nzherald.co.nz/nz/news/article.cfm?c_id=1&objectid=10450313

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  18. Thus the selfishness of this generation is paid for by the stupidity of all subsequent generations.

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  19. Simon in london said:

    "My mother is an academic. She was 38 when she had her first child, me. I'm also an academic. My mother was 72 when her only grandchild, my son, was born. It's insane. Unlike my mother, I will encourage my son to get married and have (lots of) kids when he's still young, preferably early-mid '20s."

    I'm male. I was 38 when we had our first son and 43 when our last child was born. My mum was 69 when our first child was born. Because of her ill health she will not babysit our youngest as she is worried it may not be safe.

    Grandparents miss out when we delay having kids. Kids also miss out on having a long relationship with their grandparents. We could have had kids about 6 years earlier but my wife was finishing her university course and i was worried about getting the mortgage under control. We could have had kids in that time if we rearranged things a little. We guys should be taught about wasting time too.


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  20. anon@ 12:44

    So why is this so common in the media? Is it designed to cause mental illness to people like me?

    "White men are overwhelmingly the most preferred male group for everyone."

    Even for non-white women?

    I tell you something, if I had the opportunity to become a black man I would jump at the chance, and then I would go into nightclubs and harass as many white women as possible. I hate myself.

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  21. Even for non-white women?

    Yes. The data is a bit shocking. White males are strongly preferred by white women, Asian women and Hispanic women:

    "White women prefer white men to the exclusion of everyone else--and Asian and Hispanic women prefer them even more exclusively. These three types of women only respond well to white men. More significantly, these groups' reply rates to non-whites is terrible."

    I find that disappointing as a traditionalist - I'd rather there was more loyalty shown by Asian and Hispanic women to their own men.

    See here.

    It might be true that some of the more sexually adventurous 20-something white women have flings with black men - but I wonder how many of them intend for this to lead eventually to marriage. Black male/white female marriages have the highest rate of divorce of interracial couplings (it's double the rate of white male/white female marriages).

    So anon don't be thrown by how the media portrays things. Put yourself in a strong position to marry (self-confident, stable income, masculine) and be aware that you have an advantage when it comes to dating white women.

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  22. Well, in the UK there are relatively few yellow Asians, and virtually no Hispanics.

    There are however many brown Asians as well as a lot of blacks in the UK though! Amongst these groups, do the women typically prefer white men over men of their own ethnicity? I doubt it...

    The comment about nightclubs and self-hatred was kind of not meant all that seriously.

    Whilst brown Asians tend to marry their own kind, it's the black men that are the ones that tend to really want to go for the white women. Just recently where I live there was a story about a 32 year old black man who raped a woman (no ethnicity mentioned, but likely to be white) that he met on Plenty of Fish, and another story about a Jamaican rapist of a teenager, and another story about a white woman who was flown to Nigeria to take part in a sham marriage to a Nigerian drug dealer guy...

    I am aware that black male/white female relationships tend to be quite unstable, with less likelihood of marriage, and even if marriage occurs there is more likelihood of divorce.

    I am self-confident, I am masculine, and I do have a social life, but I am also unemployed. It's worth pointing out that even amongst white people you get single mothers, people with drug and drink problems, unemployment and all sorts of social issues.

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  23. As for that OKCupid study, it could be as flawed as any other study.

    Some other studies that are quite notoriously questionable are researcher Richard Lynn's investigation into average national IQ, and a world map purporting to show average national penis size:

    http://www.sublimeoblivion.com/wp-content/uploads/2010/06/iq-world-map.png
    http://oi53.tinypic.com/11tbp79.jpg

    In the OKCupid study, I found it amusing that black males had the lowest percentage of any group who would strongly prefer to date someone of their own race.

    I also found it interesting that Asians (presumably yellow, meaning Oriental, from the Far East and South East Asia) were almost the only group in which the percentage of males who would strongly prefer to date someone of their own race exceeded the females that would... they would be the only group to have this characteristic but for the fact that for Pacific Islanders it is 1% higher for males.

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  24. anon:
    "We could have had kids in that time if we rearranged things a little. We guys should be taught about wasting time too."

    I certainly wanted children earlier; my wife wanted to focus on her career. Then there were actually a couple years when I didn't realise my wife was avoiding getting pregnant. As soon as she stopped doing that she got pregnant.

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  25. ***We guys should be taught about wasting time too.***

    This is true. I was in no hurry to start a family and quite content to delay things. I didn't really see it as something I would enjoy. However, since having our daughter a year ago I've been telling anyone who will listen that having your own child is the most fulfilling experience you'll have. My daughter has also brought incredible joy to my parents and grandparents.

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  26. anon 8:06 I really don't think the data from Okcupid is questionable. They are just revealing the statistics from their own site. They do this regularly on their blog. It never fits the PC narrative either. Which causes no end of anger from Liberals.

    After hearing about okcupid. I made a profile on it. Within a week.I was promoted to the "attractive" section of okcupid apparently many women have been rating me highly on the site.
    I'm also bombarded by women viewing and contacting me from around the world. Mostly white, a few asians.
    I've met some really stunning women off the site (and in the flesh too).
    They also introduced me to the fact that white women are defensively excluding non-white men from dating because there is a feeling of being fed up at the constant hounding by non-white men.
    It's really quite pathetic, some of the stuff I have seen.
    One woman I was talking to showed me a 3 page love letter by a black guy to her and it read like it was from a 6 year old. She just thought it was pathetic and creepy.

    The draw card for me seems to be that I am a straight white male.

    Now if I was susceptible to the nasty brainwashing by the media. I would not be aware of this.

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  27. "Grandparents miss out when we delay having kids."

    Also, most likely YOU will miss out on being a grandparent, and your grandchildren will miss out on knowing you.

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  28. I'm a male in my mid-forties and am currently on a dating site. My impression is that it is the men who are unwelcome on these sites. I know there is a glut of men on the particular site I'm on, and I'm guessing others as well. I have received almost no attention from women, and they show no interest in me. If this women was on a dating site I can assure her she would get a fair amount of attention.

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