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What's a Modern Girl to do?

Check out this article on feminism (and it's decline?) by Maureen Dowd, one of my fav NYT columnist. Some excerpts:

"John Schwartz of The New York Times made the trend official in 2004 when he reported: "Men would rather marry their secretaries than their bosses, and evolution may be to blame." A study by psychology researchers at the University of Michigan, using college undergraduates, suggested that men going for long-term relationships would rather marry women in subordinate jobs than women who are supervisors. Men think that women with important jobs are more likely to cheat on them. There it is, right in the DNA: women get penalized by insecure men for being too independent."

"Art is imitating life, turning women who seek equality into selfish narcissists and objects of rejection rather than of affection."

"A 2005 report by researchers at four British universities indicated that a high I.Q. hampers a woman's chance to marry, while it is a plus for men. The prospect for marriage increased by 35 percent for guys for each 16-point increase in I.Q.; for women, there is a 40 percent drop for each 16-point rise."

"When Gloria Steinem wrote that "all women are Bunnies," she did not mean it as a compliment; it was a feminist call to arms. Decades later, it's just an aesthetic fact, as more and more women embrace Botox and implants and stretch and protrude to extreme proportions to satisfy male desires. Now that technology is biology, all women can look like inflatable dolls. It's clear that American narcissism has trumped American feminism."

"But it is equally naïve and misguided for young women now to fritter away all their time shopping for boudoirish clothes and text-messaging about guys while they disdainfully ignore gender politics and the seismic shifts on the Supreme Court that will affect women's rights for a generation."




( 6 comments — Leave a comment )
Nov. 1st, 2005 01:58 am (UTC)
This is an interesting opinion piece.

You and I have spoken about why wealthy women shouldn't marry beneath them. This is part of why a man is less likely to marry his female boss. I see it as a choice by the women in those positions more than by the lower-tiered men. As the article says: Women moving up still strive to marry up. Men moving up still tend to marry down. So women moving up are trying to select from a very rarified pool. Dropping your standards may not make you happy, but it will increase the pool.

munchor's ex-step-dad seems to have married above him quite successfully, but he is by far the exception.

THe article includes a paraphrasal of one of Maureen's guy friends "if there's one thing men fear, it's a woman who uses her critical faculties.". This may be true for a lot of guys, though I personally have always preferred the company of insightful, clever, and entertaining people. Perhaps I'm the exception.

I suspect that I am kind of frozen in the era in which I came of age, which is only a few years behind Maureen Dowd, and I've been kind of isolated away from dating since about 1980, so I've missed this backlash. It's easy for me to attribute these changes to the successes of the religious right. Maybe I'm wrong.

Nov. 1st, 2005 06:02 am (UTC)
We have?

Woman marrying up is not selecting from a rarified pool.. since woman are still earning less then men, and more men are in leadership positions. Only 2 female CEOs in the fortune 500, I believe?

Dating in general is not easy.. especially when you have high standards :-)
Nov. 1st, 2005 02:39 pm (UTC)
I suspect most people do not like to feel in competition with their (prospective) mates. In aid of this they may choose a mate who is securely above or below them in the hierarchy they care about, or they may choose someone with whom they can cooperate instead of competing.

I choose to make relationships of cooperation as far as I am able, because I feel that whether the 'winner' in the competition for the better share of esteem, resources, mate-prospects, etc. is man or woman, participating in the competition still feeds the hierarchy/competiton model, in which *someone* always ends up at disadvantage.

wordygirl has recetly written on gender-roles, social hierarchy and relationships, which I think you might find interesting reading.
Nov. 1st, 2005 02:43 pm (UTC)
It's probably true that most people don't want to compete with their mates. This article does suggest that men have more problems with it then women. It seems to be more difficult when a woman makes more than a man, for example.
Nov. 1st, 2005 05:39 pm (UTC)
Men are scum.
And women keep other women down.
Nov. 1st, 2005 10:30 pm (UTC)
The prospect for marriage increased by 35 percent for guys for each 16-point increase in I.Q.; for women, there is a 40 percent drop for each 16-point rise

Ooo, I'll have to use that excuse next time anyone gives me any shit about not having settled down yet! That completely explains it! :P

What a depressing article. And oddly enough, I think I've always dated guys who make less than I do (or would eventually make, as a prospective teacher). Never bugged me.
( 6 comments — Leave a comment )


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