Monday, July 10, 2017

Hypergamy and Delayed Marriage Among Women

       Hypergamy in action: "Shortage of eligible men has left women taking desperate steps to preserve their fertility, experts say"--The Telegraph. The article reports:
       The first global study into egg freezing found that shortages of eligible men were the prime reason why women had attempted to take matters into their own hands.
           Experts said “terrifying” demographic shifts had created a “deficit” of educated men and a growing problem of “leftover” professional women, with female graduates vastly outnumbering males in in many countries.
             The study led by Yale University, involved interviews with 150 women undergoing egg freezing at eight clinics.
               Researchers found that in more than 90 per cent of cases, the women were attempting to buy extra time because they could not find a partner to settle down with, amid a “dearth of educated men”.
                 Experts said the research bust the myth that “selfish career women” were choosing to out their fertility on ice in a bid to put their careers first.
          The New York Post, reporting on the same study, had this to say:
                   Of the 114 US participants, 47 percent had a master’s degree and 34 percent had an MD, PhD or the equivalent. The findings were recently presented at the European Society of Human Reproduction and Embryology conference in Geneva. They have not yet been submitted to an academic journal.
                     “There is a major gap — they are literally missing men,” Marcia Inhorn, lead author of the study and a professor at Yale, said at the conference. “There are not enough college graduates for them. In simple terms, this is about an oversupply of educated women.”
              Broadly goes into more depth, reporting:
                       Marcia Inhorn, a professor of anthropology and international affairs at Yale University, and her co-authors were interested in exploring why more women were choosing oocyte cryopreservation (or egg freezing). Recruiting participants from eight IVF clinics in the US and Israel, anthropologists conducted interviews with 150 women (114 in select US cities and 36 abroad) who had completed one cycle of egg freezing already between June 2014 to August 2016.
                          Researchers determined that most of the women weren't "preserving" their fertility because they wanted to focus on their careers, which is one commonly toted explanation. "It was clear early on but confirmed by the end of this study that the main reason this group of highly educated women were freezing their eggs, usually in their late 30s and early 40s, is that they had been unable to find a partner committed to, basically, marriage and family building with them," Inhorn tells Broadly. "In almost all cases, women told me they had been trying all throughout their education and careers to find a partner in life, but that it hadn't happened yet."
                           The study notes that this is a "reflection of a growing, but little-discussed gender trend, with women increasingly outnumbering male college graduates in both countries." In other words, Inhorn says, "it's a demographical issue."
                    Note that this report does not illustrate a shortage of men, but a shortage of men that these women deem worthy of their affections based on education and, thereby, income. Or, as Vox Day notes, this is a case of pure hypergamy, observing: "Sure, they should simply settle for less-educated men. But they won't. Because hypergamy."
                             Actually, it less the education than the associated money and social prestige. I am remindecd of a November 2011 Atlantic article by Kate Bolick titled "All the Single Ladies [sic]." It also mirrors the theme that there are too few "good men" for women--specifically, professional women--to marry.
                              Ms. Bolick starts her therapy session by relating:
                        WHEN I was 28, I broke up with my boyfriend. Allan and I had been together for three years, and there was no good reason to end things. He was (and remains) an exceptional person, intelligent, good-looking, loyal, kind. My friends, many of whom were married or in marriage-track relationships, were bewildered. I was bewildered. To account for my behavior, all I had were two intangible yet undeniable convictions: something was missing; I wasn’t ready to settle down.
                          Mr. Bolick acknowledges that marriage may now, 10 years later, be more a matter of luck, than choice. (Strangely, she doesn't seem to consider that someone else's choice may play a part). However, she explains:
                            The decision to end a stable relationship for abstract rather than concrete reasons (“something was missing”), I see now, is in keeping with a post-Boomer ideology that values emotional fulfillment above all else. And the elevation of independence over coupling (“I wasn’t ready to settle down”) is a second-wave feminist idea I’d acquired from my mother, who had embraced it, in part, I suspect, to correct for her own choices.
                                      Poor Ms. Bolick. She just hasn't found anyone that provides emotional fulfillment. Except, that isn't really what happened (at least in the sense that a normal person would define emotional fulfillment). Ms. Bolick's thesis is:
                                       [A]s women have climbed ever higher, men have been falling behind. We’ve arrived at the top of the staircase, finally ready to start our lives, only to discover a cavernous room at the tail end of a party, most of the men gone already, some having never shown up—and those who remain are leering by the cheese table, or are, you know, the ones you don’t want to go out with.
                                She notes that after nearly 40 years of reverse discrimination against men, and preferences for women (I'm summarizing), the pool of marriagable men is smaller.
                                [T]he decline of males has obviously been bad news for men—and bad news for marriage. For all the changes the institution has undergone, American women as a whole have never been confronted with such a radically shrinking pool of what are traditionally considered to be “marriageable” men—those who are better educated and earn more than they do. So women are now contending with what we might call the new scarcity. Even as women have seen their range of options broaden in recent years—for instance, expanding the kind of men it’s culturally acceptable to be with, and making it okay not to marry at all—the new scarcity disrupts what economists call the “marriage market” in a way that in fact narrows the available choices, making a good man harder to find than ever. At the rate things are going, the next generation’s pool of good men will be significantly smaller.
                                  At this point, you could be excused if you thought that the United States had suffered some disaster that has decimated the population of eligible bachelors. But no, even Ms. Bolick recognizes that the United States, in fact, has a healthy ratio of 50.8 percent of women to 49.2 percent of men. So why does Ms. Bolick tell us, "[t]hat we would marry, and that there would always be men we wanted to marry, we took on faith," but now lament that, in fact, the men she wants to marry don't want to marry her?
                                           Well, to understand Ms. Bolick's lament, you have to understand what she means by "good men." Based on her statements, it simply boils down to someone who makes more money than her. For all her pride in being a feminist, she is no different than the post-civil war women she cites in her article that chose to become spinsters instead of marrying down socially and economically. Apparently, "emotional fulfillment" and "independence" is code for "someone that can support me in the style and comfort I desire."
                                             Perhaps, if Allan had made more money, Ms. Bolick would now be married.
                                            And here is another case of a "worthy" spinster unable to find a husband.  Kate Mulvey, writing at The Daily Mail, tries to explain why she is still single at 50. Not surprisingly, she seems to think there is nothing wrong with her, but it is all the fault of the men she dates.
                                               For me, this is stating the blindingly obvious. I've lost count of the times men have rejected or insulted me simply because I was brighter, wittier or cleverer than they are. 
                                                 They have called me 'intimidating', 'scary', 'difficult' and 'opinionated'. Translated, that means: 'You are too clever and I don't like it.'
                                            Here is a taste of her dating style:
                                                     As far as I'm concerned, a dinner party isn't complete without a bit of an intellectual tussle during dessert - whether it be on the finer points of Ed Miliband taking on the trade unions, or President Obama playing a high-stakes game with President Putin over Syria. 
                                                       But little did I know that by honing my neurons and showing my intellectual rigour, I was scuppering my chances of romantic success. 
                                                           The backlash against my brainpower began in earnest in my 20s, when I was a struggling writer going out with Sebastian, a high-flying City trader. Initially he loved dating a writer - even (or, perhaps, particularly) a constantly broke one, and he had to rescue me by paying for everything. But as my career and social life suddenly took off, his affection turned to resentment. 
                                                           My career entailed a round of seminars, high-profile dinners and exciting parties. Sebastian might have made million-pound deals but he couldn't handle being my 'plus one'. After three years he told me he'd met someone who 'needed' him. Since then, relationship after relationship has imploded like a sinking soufflé.
                                                              ... Like a lot of career women, after years of looking after myself I have learnt to see men not as protectors but competitors.  
                                                                 Unlike the canny girls who learnt how to flirt with men from an early age, the brainy ones, like me, were too busy with their books to master the art of flattery. Instead we challenge rather than charm, we control rather than compromise. No wonder men find it hard to like us.
                                                          Actually, I don't think anyone--man or woman--likes to be around a person who is an argumentative, controlling, nit-picking, know-it all. Not everything should involve "an intellectual tussle." I suspect her suitors aren't intimidated by her intellectual superiority, but tire of every conversation being a debate.
                                                                  In another article, women who have never married claim that it brings them happiness. The three female writers provide their thoughts on growing old and statying single in response to Kate Bolick’s then-new book, Spinster: Making A Life Of One’s Own, which apparently argues that spinsters should be proud of their single status and enjoy their lifestyle.
                                                              One of the responding authors, Kate Mulvey, writes of how she was recently attending a birthday party for the son of one of her friends:
                                                                       Amid the hubbub, I was shouting into my mobile, organising my Saturday night ahead. I laughed and joked about yet another date, but my laughter was empty, merely a mechanism to cover up the loneliness I felt. 
                                                                         After all, I am 51, and quite honestly, I’d much rather be spending a cosy night in with a husband and children than running around like the teenager I so obviously am not.
                                                                    She also notes:
                                                                             I wonder if Bolick has factored in what will happen when old age catches up with her. The fact is, she is still in her early 40s, stunning with tumbling locks and full lips. Wait till the lips are puckered and the cheeks sunken. I often wake in the night terrified no man will ever want me again. 
                                                                               Because — and here’s the nub — Bolick’s feminist mantra of ‘If bachelorhood can be celebrated, why not spinsterhood?’ is simply naive. I am sorry, but as cruel as it is, being single is different for women. It’s unfair, even disgustingly so, but it is also true.
                                                                          The next two writers are still in their 40s. The first of these, Claudia Connell, who is in her late 40s, reasons that at least she is not stuck in a lousy marriage. She writes:
                                                                                  I’m glad, and rather proud, that I didn’t allow myself to feel pressured or panicked into being with somebody who didn’t feel right, as so many of my friends did. 
                                                                                     In fact, the very same women who urged me to be less fussy are now the ones who tell me how much they envy my life. 
                                                                                       They’re the ones stuck at home with moody teenagers who won’t leave home until they’re 30 and a boring, lazy husband they don’t seem to even like, let alone love. 
                                                                                         I have freedom, a good amount of disposable income and only myself to please. I know who I think got the better deal.
                                                                                    Melissa Kite, 43, writes:
                                                                                             We are capable, high-earning women who are opting for a life alone because we prefer it. Alone, not lonely. There’s a difference. Yesterday, I woke up, sauntered to an Italian deli for coffee, walked the dog, did some work, drove to the country and rode my horses, drove back into town, popped a chicken in the oven, watered the garden while it cooked. After dinner, I sat in my immaculate living room and read a gripping thriller in perfect peace and quiet. Finally, I made a cup of herbal tea and slipped between the crisp white sheets of my king-size bed with my spaniel curled up beside me. Perfection. 
                                                                                                If you ask me how that same day would have passed with any of my last three ex-boyfriends, my answer would be: somewhat tediously, very stressfully, and with hidden tears of frustration. 
                                                                                                 I would have been drawn into a dozen logistical nightmares over accommodating his life before I could even think about mine. He would have wanted a far more complicated dinner than chicken with salad. I would have had to make pudding. I hate pudding. 
                                                                                                   We would have watched a bad movie until the early hours, too bored and fed up with each other after a day of niggling over the small stuff to even try to have sex. 
                                                                                                     Now, I ask you, what’s in it for me to live like that? 
                                                                                                       I suppose, you would say, companionship or the joy of children. The problem is I have never had a great yearning for babies and my friends make great companions.
                                                                                                         What all three seems to have missed is that men are the gate-keepers of commitment. Mulvey is at the age that men are not interested in her, and she is facing the sudden realization that her health will not last forever, and being childless was not an accomplishment.
                                                                                                           Connell's rationalization that at least she is not stuck in a lousy marriage is pitiful. It is a tacit acknowledgment that she was incapable of a having a healthy relationship, or unwilling to put in the time to build a healthy relationship--i.e., that she had commitment issues. I suppose it is a good thing that she has only herself to please because it is only herself that will bother to please her.
                                                                                                               Kite is the most delusional of the three. She likewise concedes that she is incapable of healthy relationships. Under her two scenarios--spending a weekend with her dog and spending a weekend with her imaginary bad boyfriend, she still winds up with no sex. That she reveals that it is frustrating to accommodate anyone's else's desires and values an immaculate house and crisp white sheets above companionship just shows that she is a selfish control freak.
                                                                                                                It is also interesting what is not said: all the things these women contribute or do ... or rather, don't do. They have traded companionship for self-pampering. They don't build or create anything, at least that they reveal. They appear to represent dead-ends not only evolutionary, but socially and creatively. Nothing will mark their passing. In fact, because of advancements in robotics, it is increasingly likely that the majority of men will not need women for anything that they value.
                                                                                                               Unfortunately, this is not limited to "Murphy Browns" of the world. We see a similar justification and excuse in the body of the Church (speaking of Christianity broadly). Mandy Hale writes at Today's Christian Woman that "Waiting for Marriage Is Hard." She relates:
                                                                                                        ... I started crying, all too vividly remembering the many times I’ve cried out to God about my desire for a family, children, traditions, people to grow old with, and a husband to hold me and tell me everything was going to be okay. I cried, remembering all the years of waiting, of enduring the space between “no longer” and “not yet,” and reliving all the moments when I’ve felt forgotten by the God who claims to love me. I recalled the countless instances of frustration and impatience and even despair as the birthdays pass, and my situation seemingly grows more and more hopeless. I might never find the simplest and most complicated of life’s blessings: someone to love who also loves me.
                                                                                                        However, Dalrock has reposted some of Hale's social media posts about men and being single, and it is clear that Hale doesn't necessarily want a man nor believes that she needs a man. For instance, in one post she states: "There's something kinda awesome about being able to say I've never had to rely on a man for one single thing." She also makes clear that she considers herself a "strong woman" that doesn't need a man, so any suitor better make her want him. So, in short, she has been asking God to provide her with a husband she neither needs nor wants and for what? To punish the poor man that falls into her clutches?
                                                                                                               While many Christian woman may see this as empowering--to remain free and independent as long as possible--and blame everyone but themselves for not finding a perfect mate, they are, in fact, suffering from a chargeable hubris and selfishness. One that I do not think that God will lightly forgive them. For one thing, they seek for perfection in an imperfect world, unwilling to humble themselves to the fact that they are imperfect and may need to settle for marrying someone who is imperfect. They choose the accolades of the world over following God's command to "multiply and replenish the earth." They ignore Christ's admonition to dispose of the beam in one own's eye before trying to pluck the mote out of another's eye.
                                                                                                                   Second, they are simply justifying their natural urge to "ride the carousel" and put off adulthood as long as possible. As Dalrock notes:
                                                                                                        For several decades now the feminist life script for women has been to delay marriage as long as possible to focus on education, career, travel, and sexual experience. Many have mistaken this strategy by feminists as signaling that they don’t value marriage, but this is not the case for the vast majority of them.  Marriage is essential to the feminist dream of having it all, they just don’t want to waste a day more of their youth and fertility on their husbands than absolutely necessary.  Even the fictional protagonist from Sex and the City must eventually marry Mr. Big at the overripe age of 42;  otherwise she would just be a slutty failure and not a feminist heroine.
                                                                                                        He goes on to explain the justification reasoning these type of women employ:
                                                                                                         If they only wait long enough, never settle, and persevere as strong empowered women, God will deliver their dream husband.  A strong empowered woman may have to wait until her late thirties or early forties to find a husband on God’s timetable, but what matters is that delaying marriage is God’s plan.  
                                                                                                         Dalrock points out the flaws to the justification argument:
                                                                                                        ... [M]odern Christian culture has identified the feminist life script as coming from God.  The very unbiblical feminist obsession with women’s self esteem has become a core tenant of modern Christianity.  She is a daughter of the King!  Nothing is too good for her!  Moreover, for a modern Christian woman settling is seen as an act of denying the power and trustworthiness of God, an act of apostasy.  While the Bible teaches women that they should cultivate a quiet and gentle spirit, something beautiful to God, modern Christians teach women that God wants women to be the opposite, that they are to be sassy, big and bold, loud and proud.
                                                                                                        I don't think God is going to be sympathetic about their spinsterhood. As the saying goes, you can lead a horse to water, but you can't make it drink. I suspect that these women have been provided numerous opportunities to find a good man, but pay no attention to these good men because the men lacked the social prestige or wealth these women seek, or these woman are too busy still chasing the Alpha "bad boys" to notice the "good man."

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