I’m a little late to this article in The Guardian about how women ought to be content with dying alone in a flat being eaten by her cats, but here goes anyway:
Not long ago I had a discussion with a friend about why she married, and ultimately divorced, someone she knew wasn’t right for her. She said she bought into society’s deafening message that being with a man – any man – is better than being alone, and certainly better than dying alone, which is allegedly the worst fate anyone, especially any woman, can suffer.
Society’s message is not that women should be with any man, but that making the effort to be in a functioning relationship and putting up with some degree of inconvenience is better than being alone.
When I told her that I’ve never feared dying alone, and in fact have sometimes feared the opposite, she told me I was incredibly lucky.
The author is 40. I wonder what she’ll say when she’s 50?
Because this meant I wouldn’t end up settling for a life that doesn’t actually make me happy, even if society tells me it’s supposed to.
There’s always the option of shacking up with that strawman she’s built.
Apparently I’m not alone. (Pun intended!) Data confirms that more women have begun to realize that there are far worse things than dying alone, which is great news for women but bad news for the patriarchy.
Women accepting they will die alone is great news…for women? Hurrah for modern feminism!
“Broke men are hurting women’s marriage prospects,” the NY Post recently declared, citing a study from the Journal of Family and Marriage. The article claimed that “most American women hope to marry” but there is a shortage of men with stable incomes and lives, making it tough for women to do so.
Why does the modern woman need a man with a stable income? After all:
CNN reports that there “are more single working women than ever,” and by 2030, according to the CDC, “45% of working women ages 25 to 44 in the United States will be single”.
If more women are working, why the insistence on a man having a stable income? Sounds a bit old fashioned to me!
Contrary to decades of prevailing wisdom that those who marry are better off, a 2017 study published in the Journal of Women’s Health found that women who stay single or who divorce are actually healthier than those who stay married. By contrast, married men are healthier than men who are not. Why the discrepancy?
Divorced women have more time to go to gym classes (alone) and they’re able to eat lettuce every night without a man demanding meat and potatoes?
When a man divorces, he may see his physical and emotional health slide. He loses the person concerned with keeping him healthy and much of his social network.
Until he remarries, which is usually the case.
By contrast, women who divorce just see their relationships evolve from investing in a man to investing more heavily in other social or community connections.
A community of bitter divorcees who talked her into it in the first place.
For years, the feminist writer Linda Hirshman courted controversy by advising that marriage, unless to an exceptional man, is often a “bad bargain” for women. With every child a woman has, she sees her pay and long-term professional opportunities decline, particularly if she leaves the workforce for a significant period of time.
Because every woman knows that a promotion to Assistant Head of Marketing in GlobalMegaCorp’s Bristol subsidiary and the accompanying 3% pay rise (pre-tax) is worth more than having a lousy kid.
Furthermore, marriage has historically presented women with two options, neither good: marry a man and sacrifice your autonomy and career goals to become financially dependent on him. Or marry a man and maintain your own career but be prepared to have a “second shift” career taking care of him and the home.
Whereas single motherhood is just peachy.
Even among more open-minded millennial men, the female spouse still ends up doing the majority of caregiving and housekeeping.
That’s because men spend longer at work supporting their wives and families.
More women, however, are foregoing marriage and motherhood. In doing so, they trade in their “second shift” and instead begin taking care of themselves.
The sharp rise in the use of anti-depressants among the same demographic is probably just a coincidence.
To use Hirshman’s language, they are rejecting a “bad bargain”. This new status quo frustrates men who feel entitled to female companionship, such as angry male “incels”.
Women who reject men who don’t have stable incomes to support them complain those same men feel entitled?
Women have more economic power and freedom to set standards regarding the men they will be with, and what they will put up with from those men, than at any time in history.
And having set those standards, they find nobody is willing to meet them – at least with them. Apparently this is progress.
More women are deciding that being in a bad marriage, or trying to co-parent with an irresponsible man, is much worse than dying alone.
This is nothing new. It’s been the case since divorce laws gifted women the house, the kids, and half of everything the man ever owned.
Once dying alone is no longer scary to women, men lose power.
Fighting the patriarchy by dying alone.
So it shouldn’t be surprising that some incels are outraged.
Fighting the patriarchy Annoying some incels by dying alone.
It’s no different than those who mourn the days when they didn’t have to compete for jobs against women and racial minorities.
No different, and just as imaginary.
It must be frustrating to lose power you once had but didn’t necessarily deserve.
As you likely found when men stopped being interested in you.
That’s not to say women shouldn’t marry and have children. It is to say women should feel empowered to do so, only if they truly want to and with partners who are worthy of them, who champion and nurture their success, not hold them back or drag them down.
Or, apparently, can’t pay for their upkeep.
More women are embracing that message, and that could ultimately do more for women’s equality than any government policy ever will.
And the fox didn’t want the grapes anyway: they were too sour.