Marriage strike?

Grerp has sparked a spirited discussion on her blog with her post A question for the gentlemen.  In that post she mentions the oft cited manosphere threat of a marriage strike:

Having read extensively what the men in this corner of the interwebz have to say about marriage – that it’s a trap, a form of indentured servitude or slavery, that it’s a sure way to get robbed of both your money and your children in divorce court, that there are no women who are good wife material left  in America – I’m left wondering what women should do if there is to be a marriage strike (or if there is already a marriage strike, which may be the case given the recent census data about marriage).

So this has me thinking about the question of whether or not there really is, or will be, a marriage strike.  My first answer is that it depends on how we define the term.  If those using it are thinking of a classical strike where men would eschew marriage out of a sense of male solidarity in an effort to extract a better social bargain, this isn’t happening and won’t happen any time in the near future.  As I pointed out in Sex Cartel! in order for such an effort to be effective there would need to be means to enforce the strike.

But this still leaves open the possibility that men would avoid marriage not because they wanted to achieve some grander social aim, but because they felt it was in their individual best interest.  This of course is another question entirely.

The most frequently cited data considered proof of a marriage strike is the number of marriages per 1,000 unmarried women.  The Spearhead shared exactly these statistics in a post earlier this year ominously titled The End Of Marriage.  They compiled the data into a helpful graph to assist us in visualizing the extent of societal change we are experiencing:

The end of marriage?

The end of marriage?

They even project out the trend into the future in semi tounge in cheek spirit:

Predicting the end of marriage.

Predicting the end of marriage.

So I guess thats it ladies!  Game over;  you may as well pack up your ring fingers and go home, right?

Maybe not.  The data in the chart above suffers from two common problems when we are looking at data on marriage rates.

The first problem is that it lumps in all racial and demographic groups.  I pointed out in the Sing for a husband post that since the delightful lady in question was 35 and white, per the census data she was one of the remaining 15% of women in her demographic who were unmarried.  Thats right.  Roughly 85% of white women in the US have married by the time they reach 35.  But the story would have been different if she were a black woman singing for a husband at age 35.  In that case she would have been in the same boat as roughly 45% of her peers.  15% and 45% are very different numbers, especially if you are singing for a husband!  Any time you see marriage rates lumped together, you have to ask how reflective this is of you or whoever you are talking to.  Averaging 15% and 45% isn’t helpful to either group.

The second problem with the data in the chart above is a bit more subtle.  The biggest problem with answering the question of whether marriage rates are changing is the problem of timing.  If 100% of women used to marry exactly at age 20, and now 100% of them marry exactly at age 40, do fewer women marry now than in the past?  In either case, 100% of women are marrying.  But something rather important has also happened.  More vexing still is for someone looking to understand marriage rates in the above hypothetical there would be a twenty year period where marriage rates appeared to decline precipitously.  The data would show 100% marriage until the change, then decline steadily, and then jump back up to 100% again.  Until the first crop of women delaying marriage reached aged 40, all you could do is speculate on how likely they would be to marry.  That is a 20 year information gap, simply to know what would happen for today’s women.  If you wanted to know about the next generation you would have to patiently wait another 20 years.

The data series above is deceptively susceptible to exactly the kind of delay in marriage we are experiencing.  Lets go back to the absurd hypothetical above for illustration purposes to see how such a shift would show up in the data.  It probably isn’t correct but lets assume that the above graph only measures marriage rates for unmarried women 20 or older.  Lets also assume no divorce, and no deaths, changes in birth rates, etc.  For the first scenario where women all married exactly at age 20, the number of marriages each year per 1,000 unmarried women would be 1,000.  For the second scenario where women wait until exactly 40, only 1/20th (5%) of the women aged 20-40 (all unmarried) would marry on any given year (those who turned 40).  So in the second scenario the rate of marriage per 1,000 unmarried women would be 50.  In this admittedly absurd hypothetical, the rate of marriages per 1,000 unmarried women dropped from 1,000 to 50, even though the only change was a delay in the age of marriage.  In both cases 100% of women were ultimately marrying.

So the marriage rate per 1,000 unmarried women metric isn’t particularly helpful;  we know that women are delaying marriage, and we know that marriage rates vary widely based on race.  This takes me back to my original analysis from my second post on Grey Divorce.  Lets look at the most recent census data for white men and women:

Percent of White Men and Women Ever Married by Age, 1999 and 2009

Percent of White Men and Women Ever Married by Age, 1999 and 2009

What I see in this data is that those in their mid 30s and older today don’t look that different than their predecessors did 10 years ago.  At the same time women today in the age brackets under 35 look markedly different than their predecessors, and the difference is progressively greater the younger the age bracket you look at.  Something is happening. The question is what is happening? Is the change simply an acceleration of women delaying marriage as we have seen for over a hundred years?  And even if this is their intent, will they be able to catch up with previous marriage rates in the future?  Will men still want to marry all of these additional late brides?  We simply won’t know for another ten or so years.

What I do know is that the women making these choices are taking a significant risk if they expect to marry later.  In just ten years time, the percent of white women marrying by their early 20s has dropped from 30% to 23%.  This is comparatively a rather large 23% reduction.  Whether they know it or not, they are betting that men 5-10 years from now will be more willing to marry an older woman than men have in the past.  They might be right.  We can only speculate while we wait to see.

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139 Responses to Marriage strike?

  1. Gorbachev says:

    It’s possible all these ladies are getting married.

  2. Lovekraft says:

    41 year old causasian male never married, no kids. No debt either. Except my mortgage. Car is paid off, and job is secure and pay is adequate.

    With No-Fault Divorce aiding in my parents’ divorce, and signs showing that it is even harder for a man to walk away from a bad marriage with dignity and a sense of fairness, I have become very wary of marriage. Early on, dating women would reveal early on a certain sense of entitlement and little or no accountability. Usually, their position on abortion would determine whether we go further. Nothing worse that a baby aborted against the father’s wishes.

    I am looking at marriage from the eye of a pioneer. Not as an entrenched, pampered liberal douche who hands his testicles over to his woman. A pioneer who seeks a mate who will support him through thick and thin, just as I am expected to do. We pioneers of the Men’s Rights Movement do not harm others, but make sure we do not get harmed ourselves, and Marriage 2.0 is replete with warning signs.

  3. dragnet says:

    “Whether they know it or not, they are betting that men 5-10 years from now will be more willing to marry an older woman than men have in the past. They might be right.”

    Yes, this really is the question.

    And yes, this strategy may pay-off, and it definitely will for some women. But as a general rule, I don’t think this gambit can succeed mostly due to the realities of waning female fertility and a growing awareness on the part of individual men as to the true nature of their self-interest. I think it more likely that the older, more established men these women were hoping to marry will tend to pursue women in their 20s for marriage.

    I think the so-called “choice mom” movement will be gaining steam.

  4. novaseeker says:

    The time gap is certainly an issue with these kinds of statistics. There simply is no way of knowing what the women and men who are now under 30 will be doing in the next 10-15 years in terms of getting married. The stats can’t tell us that.

    However, I do think it’s very unlikely that we’re seeing a massive, sudden shift away from marriage. I think it’s far more likely that people are cohabiting, and marrying later — in bands from the late 20s to the late 30s dependent, somewhat, on education/professional status. There will be marginally more people who do not ever get married in the years ahead due to the economic situation we are in today, as well — that needs to be factored in, too. But I would be rather surprised if we’re suddenly going to see 50% of men or women not being married, in the 40+ age range, in a similar study done 10 years from now.

  5. Hope says:

    One thing that has shifted culturally is that it’s now seen as “low class” to marry early, in one’s late teens or early 20s. It’s very fashionable for middle class folks to marry in their late 20s and early 30s. 40 is seen as a bit too late still. Everything has been pushed back by about 10 years, in part due to extended schooling for the middle to upper middle class.

    In my husband’s graduate program there are lots of people in their early 20s who are not in any hurry. He is a few years older, but getting married and having a kid at 26 is quite early among the “educated middle class.” This is happening even in the very conservative state of Utah. I imagine the effects are more potent in larger cities.

  6. The Quest For 50 says:

    I think it really will be an individual trend adding up, rather than a big social “movement”. But as enlightened men like ourselves begin to “infect” the culture with our advanced knowledge and perspective, this viewpoint will become more mainstream.

  7. J says:

    And yes, this strategy may pay-off, and it definitely will for some women. But as a general rule, I don’t think this gambit can succeed mostly due to the realities of waning female fertility and a growing awareness on the part of individual men as to the true nature of their self-interest. I think it more likely that the older, more established men these women were hoping to marry will tend to pursue women in their 20s for marriage.

    Actually, what I see happening among the younger women I know is a growing awareness that putting off marriage can lead to fetrility problems. I see the age of first marriage slowly dropping in the near future–at least among women who want kids.

  8. dalrock says:

    Interestingly J your point and Dragnet’s aren’t mutually exclusive. In fact, they would fit together quite well. If women say 5 years from now start to want to marry younger, they could out compete the 20 somethings today who decided to put it off, and marry the late 20s early 30s unmarried men who are getting their provider feet under them. That would be a worst case scenario for the current bulge of women delaying marriage working their way through the system. They need the women who come behind them to make the same choices or they could find it much more difficult to get married. They could essentially end up as the ones holding the bag at the end of the pyramid scheme.

  9. J says:

    Brendan,

    That’s a great analysis of the situation. The notion of marriage dying is ridiculous because people will inevitably continue to pair off. It’s a natural urge that isn’t going to change soon. A lot of the strike “threats” by men are either empty or come from men without the option to marry anyway.

    I once had a male co-worker who fit the description that Lovekraft gives of himself. (Not that I’m trying to imply anything about Lovekraft.) It looks great on paper, but every guy who fits that description is not necessarily husband material. My co-worker was quite the omega and chronically smelled like urine. He had a lot of issues with women, their sense of entitlement, their lack of accountability, divorce, disease, abortion, etc. But the bottom line was that women weren’t interested in him. I think a lot of this marriage talk comes from men who are not in love relationships with women.

  10. J says:

    Interestingly J your point and Dragnet’s aren’t mutually exclusive. In fact, they would fit together quite well

    I think you’re essentially correct, though you need to account for the growing numbers of women marrying men a few years younger that will partially offset men marrying younger women. That will somewhat lower the number of women who never marry.

    [D: Predicting the future is a good way to make a fool of yourself, so I'm trying very hard to avoid doing so. With that said, I think you are making an assumption that in that hypothetical scenario men in their early to mid 20s will be willing to marry women in their early to mid 30s. They are the ones vividly witnessing the cultural shift of young women to promiscuity. They might have more aversion to marrying a 30 something woman than older men. They also are more likely than women to see their SMV increase if they wait a few years and then marry a woman 5 or so years younger than them. In that scenario, the ones without a chair when the music stops would be the last generation of women who pushed the envelope on marrying later. This is what I have been saying. I don't know what will happen. I'm just pointing out the possibility of the current shifting at exactly the wrong time for some of these women. I think you are very invested in seeing an outcome of every social change which always favors women. It has generally worked that way in the past. I wouldn't bet it will always be that way in the future.]

  11. J says:

    All quite true.

  12. The notion of marriage dying is ridiculous because people will inevitably continue to pair off.

    The question isn’t that people won’t pair off, but will people pair off in that legal arrangement, and I suspect ultimately, that it’s less likely for a sizable segment of the population.

    I think a lot of this marriage talk comes from men who are not in love relationships with women.

    Some of you may recognize me from other blogs where I write about how marriage is pointless arrangement for males. It’s pretty easy for me to write about such things since I feel there’s nearly no chance of me getting married ever. I grew up at home in a household that didn’t reek of feminism, but I’m still left with a disappointing picture of marriage and to a lesser extent, stay at home mothers. So while have some of the ideological underpinning to prop up some silly theories, I advocate them primarily because I have no use for marriage. Otherwise, I’d be one of the idealistic idiots trying to say that my marriage will magically be different.

  13. Guardial says:

    “Delayed” marriages simply shift to the right on the graph. They don’t become invisible. If delayed marriages were a major factor there would be deceptive rises in the marriage rate as women caught up with the old marriage rate. There would be a lot of wavering around a horizontal line.

    Instead marriage rates dropped by 50% over the course of 40 years. Since 1973 the marriage rate has steadily dropped, never once even managing to hold even.

    Delayed marriage only contributes false hope to the numbers, even as more and more aging brides find themselves unable to conceive. Subtract these marriages out and current day marriage rates will look even worse.

    Remarriage after divorce is also artificially propping up the numbers.

    There is no way to pretty up a multi-decade 50% drop in marriage rate. That’s as clear a trend as you are likely to see in your lifetime.

    Add in the effects of delayed marriage and divorce and that graphic is misleadingly optimistic.

  14. zed says:

    Statistics can pretty much be spun any way someone wants to spin them. There is a vast difference between having ever been married and currently being married. A few years back some female celebrity (Britney Spears?) got married in Vegas and the marriage lasted less than 24 hours. Strictly speaking she would be counted among the women who have ever married, but that number by itself says nothing about the health of the institution in general.

    [D: I'm not looking to spin anything. If you think I'm being dishonest in how I'm presenting the data, feel free to correct my error. The marriages per 1,000 unmarried women metric has been widely misunderstood. I didn't see what was wrong with it until I thought about it more which is why I wrote the post.]

    A fair amount of buzz has been generated recently about the findings of the US Census –

    Among the total population ages 18 and older, the proportion married dropped from 57 percent in 2000 to 52 percent in 2009. This is the lowest percentage recorded since information on marital status was first collected by the U.S. Census Bureau more than 100 years ago.

    As a cultural trend, the magnitude of this decrease can’t be arrived at by simply subtracting one number from the other and saying the percentage of those married has dropped by 5%. The true number is 100-(52/57) or a drop of 8.7% in less than a decade – almost 1%/year.

    [D: Just keep in mind that stat has the same weaknesses as the marriages per 1,000 unmarried women. You have to break out the demographics, and it is susceptible to delayed marriage. I'm not saying delayed marriage isn't significant, but it needs to be understood in context. I don't think women marrying later is evidence that men are on a marriage strike. It doesn't make sense. Men being choosy would seem to mean a preference for younger, not older brides.]

    When I was in college back at the end of the 1960s, it was fairly common for sexual revolutionaries to start having sex and when their parents found out they made them get married. A large percentage of those marriages did not last until graduation, but both the men and women would have been among the ~90% ever married by late 40s of both sexes in Dalrock’s table above, even if they did not remarry ever. However many did, and simply added to the statistics of even higher divorce rates than first marriages among 2nd and subsequent marriages. I know a lot of such women on the cusp of their 60s who are unmarried today.

    [D: The AARP did a study which found what you are describing. The media spun it as late life being exciting and empowering for women. The actual study found exactly the opposite. Here is my post on that.]

    As novaseeker noted above, not marrying does not mean not pairing up. However, cohabitation is not a form of “marriage lite” the way some people regard it, but rather more of a means of practicing serial monogamy while depriving divorce lawyers of payments on their BMWs.

    The term “marriage strike” is a cute and compelling little sound bite, but I think it is not accurate and masks something which is actually much larger and more significant. Simply equating getting married with “going to work” or “having a job” for men is as much a redefinition of what marriage used to mean and a signal of a profound shift in the public consciousness as the term “gay marriage.”

    You do not hear men who do not own horses being referred to as being on a “horse and buggy strike.” A little more than a century ago most people owned horses because they were the primary means of locomotion and drayage. But technological and social changes eventually replaced horses with internal combustion engines (still rated in “horse” power.) People’s habits and patterns changed, the automatic assumption and accommodation of horses as part of the social fabric slowly faded away, and people both lost all skills for maintaining them and ceased to consider them as necessary – but more as luxuries. Expensive luxuries.

    [D: 80% of white men in their early thirties haven't bought a horse and buggy. But they have gotten married.]

    The same may be true of marriage. It is certainly no longer the necessity it once was – both practically for survival and socially to avoid being stigmatized.

    If it is a “strike”, then the time-honored method of getting the workers back to work is to give them a better contract and better working conditions – which means reforming the family courts and modifying some of the prevailing attitudes of women toward men.

    But, if it indicates that we are going through a major cultural shift and entering a period of “post-marriage consciousness” it is questionable whether any measures at this point in time will reverse it.

  15. @ Dalrock, “Interestingly J your point and Dragnet’s aren’t mutually exclusive. In fact, they would fit together quite well. If women say 5 years from now start to want to marry younger, they could out compete the 20 somethings today who decided to put it off, and marry the late 20s early 30s unmarried men who are getting their provider feet under them. That would be a worst case scenario for the current bulge of women delaying marriage working their way through the system. They need the women who come behind them to make the same choices or they could find it much more difficult to get married. They could essentially end up as the ones holding the bag at the end of the pyramid scheme.”

    Bingo. Waiting an extra five years puts women at a severe competitive disadvantage. Waiting an extra ten years,… well, it’s bad. It’ll work out for some of them. But making that bet – “that men 5-10 years from now will be more willing to marry an older woman than men have in the past” – that’s foolhardy.

  16. dalrock says:

    @Guardial

    “Delayed” marriages simply shift to the right on the graph. They don’t become invisible. If delayed marriages were a major factor there would be deceptive rises in the marriage rate as women caught up with the old marriage rate. There would be a lot of wavering around a horizontal line.

    No. I showed how sensitive the metric is to delayed marriage. The longer women wait to marry, the more unmarried women there are each year to divide the number of marriages by. So even if somehow the number of marriages each year remained steady (say lots of remarrying divorcées) the metric would drop as women delayed marriage. A more meaningful metric would be to divide the number of marriages by the total number of women of marriageable age. This would behave more like what you are thinking.

    There is no way to pretty up a multi-decade 50% drop in marriage rate. That’s as clear a trend as you are likely to see in your lifetime.

    I’m not trying to pretty anything up. The data is what it is.

    Add in the effects of delayed marriage and divorce and that graphic is misleadingly optimistic.

    You are reading a lot into this post. I’m just sharing the data. Poke around the blog a bit and I think you will find I’m not the pollyanna you have taken me for. Marriage 2.0 is broken. But the data shows men aren’t on strike. Not yet at least. Pure and simple.

  17. Josh says:

    Long time lurker, first post. Came via Haley’s Halo, via (who else?) Roissy.

    I’m a mid-20’s Boston man, and I’m pretty much as urban-educated SWPL as they come, so here’s my view from the ground floor. Mostly Christian circles, but also just the generic NPR crowd.

    Virtually all upper-class women, even in their early-20s, badly want to get married. Having fun and partying and having a powerful career is all well-and-good, but what they really want is societal respectability. That means marriage, house, dinner parties with fine china. Believe me, they would quit their NGO-jobs in developmental economics in a heartbeat for that. They dream of being the first to get the ring and showing it off to their adoring, suddenly jealous, single friends.

    But they’re not going to marry anyone. There is no glory, no adoring envy, in marrying the first guy that stumbles out of a bar. They want the ideal equal-partner man, with social ambition. Someone her mother can brag about to her friends. He should come from a good family, have a good income, good looks, be well-spoken, and generally sail gracefully through the banal rituals of SWPL socializing (“Adele, I love what you’ve done with the place! The curtains are fabulous!”). Ideally, this man would also be somewhat of a doormat, letting her pursue whatever kid/career combo she desires, but that’s not hugely important. Who he is and what he provides is more important than when he wants – those can be negotiated down later.

    The problem is, of course, one of supply. The education gap among young men and women is well known. The men who do fulfill these requirements have their choice of women. If they are good church-bred men, they are dutifully married off post-haste. Otherwise, they play the field. So what do the women do? They either orbit unhappily, lamenting about the lack of good men, or they embarrassingly slum it with a lower-class man, someone who went to no-name school, or perhaps works in a manual trade. If, God forbid, they actually find themselves loving their lower-class man, they slowly fade away from the social scene, preferring to be a princess among the proles than a basket case among the high-born. But this is quite rare. Most of the time, it’s just sheer domination. He is little more than a leashed puppy, forced to look good and trying not to embarrass her with his limited vocabulary.

    But eventually, as they reach 30, they widen their scope. The class restriction remains in place, but shorter, chubbier, less wealthy men are now in contention. After all, all men eventually go bald and flabby, but a degree from Harvard is forever.

    The “marriage curve” by age – 57% by 29yo, 79% by 34yo, really is an indication of the the relaxation of their standards. There isn’t a marriage strike, at least in the upper-class. There are plenty of willing betas waiting in the wings.

    One phenomena that has always plagued the upper-class is the eligible bachelor slumming it with a hot prole. It does happen, but not as much as you would think. The concentrated scorn of relatives generally prevents it. Girlfriends and mistresses, sure, but not wife-material. Secondly, the socially-inept upper-class men are generally unaware of their options out in the real world. Take a skinny bespectacled Harvard MBA to a Cambridge bar, women won’t look at him twice. Send him across the river, different story. The problem is, he won’t even set foot in a bar, and has probably never spoken to a woman with a visible tattoo.

    That’s my view from upper-class Boston. Class matters, and marrying well matters. Because marriage is the key to respectability, you’re not going to see a marriage strike any time soon.

    [D: Welcome Josh. Interesting insight. I wonder what impact (if any) game will have on that. Knowledge about how to get laid strikes me as a secret even the KGB couldn't have kept.]

  18. Lily says:

    This is the ‘strategy’ I took. Didn’t work for me in the long run though. Should have listened to my granny.

    [D: Listening to your granny is usually the wise choice.]

  19. The term “marriage strike” is a cute and compelling little sound bite, but I think it is not accurate and masks something which is actually much larger and more significant.

    I agree. I have never believed there is such a thing as a marriage strike under way, but as Zed has pointed to here, a major cultural shift.

    I have often read that America is usualy about a decade behind Euprope with regard to social trends. If that is true, and the demise of marriage in Europe is fairly well documented, it would stand to reason that what we have here is more profound than a strike where a meeting of demands could bring a turn.

  20. Brendan says:

    The interesting thing is that Europeans have much more stable cohabitation relationships than we do in the U.S. — although their cohabitation relationships are still less stable than their marriages. In the U.S., a shift away from marriage, unless it is accompanied by a substantial increase in the stability of cohabiting relationships, won’t really replicate what has happened in Europe, but will have a much worse result. I suspect this is why marriage is “hanging on” in the U.S. much longer than it did in Europe. Far fewer Americans seem able to swing long-term stable unmarried relationships with children than Europeans seem to be able to do.

  21. Brendan says:

    What you’ve written also reflects my own experiences with the upper-middle and higher echelons of SWPLs in my own life. Marriage is thriving, most everyone is married by 35 at the latest, and divorce rates are low. I also agree that the marriage curve that happens in the early 30s really represents the period of settling for those who didn’t get their first dibs before they hit 30.

    The issue with marriage, however, is its demise in the rest of the demographic — the true middle class (whatever that means) and lower. The CDC has figures that confirm that education levels, especially advanced degrees, correlate with much higher marriage rates, which reflects what you and I have seen with our own eyes. The issue is the rest of the demographic.

  22. Mirco says:

    The problem in Europe is the high number of people out of work, the general high taxation and the large number of laws making taxes higher for people marrying. Add to this the divorce laws didn’t help.
    In the last year some TV News show started to cover the “divorced Dads living in poor shelters”. Many of these are normal middle class people that before divorce was normal guys with a wife and children that, suddenly, find themselves out of their home and owing child support.

    Couple marrying often need the economic help of their parents to be able to buy a home and raise their (few) children.
    Who have not parent able to give them a house or help them to pay for it must delay the time they will be able to marry and have children.

    First reason the children/female ratio is so awful.

    Given the divorce laws, I’m seeing some parents (the mothers usually) of young men to know that helping their child to buy a home is dangerous if he marry and then divorce. So, usually, they keep ownership of the home without asking a rent. By laws, this will entitle the couple to become owners of the home after 20 years ( usucapione ). If the lady divorce before, she will not be able to obtain the home.

  23. Lavazza says:

    Josh: I do think there is a trend of marriage strike also among upper class and upper middle class men, but that strike is for the moment reserved to not remarrying. These men will only consider cohabitation and a 50/50 share of running expenditures. I am divorced in my mid 40ies and quite high earning but my plan is to go into semi-retirement (taking some unpaid leave for travel every year, which I am already doing, as a start and later only working freelance or as a consultant telecommuting from a plesant country) once my youngest kid graduates from secondary education in my early 50ies. I guess you will see more men in my situation following my example and to see quite a lot of upper middle class men in the 25-35 range playing the field by saying that they might marry if they find the right woman and then going into semi-retirement in their mid or early 40ies, which is a choice they do not have if they go the wife and kids route.

    [D: This is a really important point. Nearly all white women in the US have the opportunity to marry if they wish. However this doesn't mean they have unlimited bites at the apple. The AARP study the media went orgasmic over actually painted a very bleak picture for later life (40s) divorcées. This fits with what my wife and I have observed as well. What happens post divorce is probably the more meaningful cultural shift at least so far. But I don't see the MRA blogs stressing this. I think a lot of folks have misunderstood the marriage rate per 1,000 unmarried women data (as I did until I really looked at it recently) and focused on the wrong area.]

  24. Lily says:

    I had not heard this US behind Europe before.

    I got married in my early 20s. I must say that I was heavily influenced by women in my workplace who were in their mid 30s and unmarried which is what you’re talking about here. For some reason I was terrified (though I didn’t exactly tell anyone) I was going to end up on the shelf and without having children. I got married to someone 10 years older.

    Looking back now, the majority of my friends got married between 27 and 32 and to guys their own age or up to 5 years older. Some of them had been together previously 1-2 years but most much longer relationships in which case they’d lived together. One thing that seems common is couple lives together, then when they get married they stop using contraception & baby 1 turns up pretty quickly.

    There are outliers of course. Like me lol.

    Interestingly, although it’s a long time since I worked in that place, all those older 30 something women ended up married with at least one child. Except one but she was American and went back there so who knows. They married guys of a variety of ages, none significantly older (I mean more than 7 years), some a bit older, some similar age, some younger.

  25. Lavazza says:

    In Germany the “reproduction strike” (Zeugungsstreik) is also happening among upper middle class men.

    http://www.bmfsfj.de/RedaktionBMFSFJ/Abteilung2/Pdf-Anlagen/kinderlose-maenner-in-deutschland.pdf

  26. Badger Nation says:

    Dalrock,

    Stats aside, reading the ever-growing pile of columns and articles about “man-children,” “what is wrong with guys these days,” “why won’t he commit,” etc etc, makes me think the marriage strike (a diffuse operation if there is an “operation” at all, and essentially a pushback against the pampered young American woman’s social agenda) is working.

    [D: Yes. I think there is probably something to that. Men are likely pushing back, but not in the way which is being generally asserted.]

  27. dalrock says:

    @Lily
    I got married in my early 20s. I must say that I was heavily influenced by women in my workplace who were in their mid 30s and unmarried which is what you’re talking about here. For some reason I was terrified (though I didn’t exactly tell anyone) I was going to end up on the shelf and without having children. I got married to someone 10 years older.

    Hi Lily,

    I saw your other response above as well. You raise an important issue and that is that women shouldn’t feel they need to rush into marriage just to be married. I can see where it might sound like I’m saying that, but it wasn’t what I had in mind. I think you have seen my other posts where I argued strongly that women shouldn’t marry unless they are head over heels in love.

    Love happens when you find it. I will continue to argue that women shouldn’t marry without it. The only advice I would offer is if marriage is important to women, they should probably make it a priority (same with men). Also, if they are giving themselves enough time and chances and still find they can’t reciprocate love, they should consider what might be at the root of that. I can imagine a number of women are reading this and already doing all of the above. For them the discussion can only make them more frustrated. This isn’t my intent. I’m open to suggestions on how to prevent or address that.

  28. Badger Nation says:

    Another thing about marriage striking is that like radical anti-male feminism is only palatable for certain women, MGTOW (men going their own way) or ghosting is only a realistic option for a small subset of guys. People of both genders generally have a drive toward companionship, even if they think the modern institution of marriage is broken, and eschewing relationships detracts from most people’s quality of life. Additionally, not every man is going to have the ability to maintain game and attractiveness to women throughout his life.

    So typically, a companionship-minded man (and in a lot of cases, a woman) is liable to get on the marriage train as a compromise move to maintain or consummate their companionship.

    However, Dalrock and others (including me) feel that the decision to get married is not a time for “compromise” – you should be head over heels in love for it. Getting in reluctantly only corrupts the idea of marriage further. What we see today is many people not taking that step, and simply cohabiting or otherwise getting the benefits that have been extended to those who don’t marry. I don’t think that’s a bad thing per se; marriage should be reserved for those who really want it full-on. Another reason I think we should make it harder to get married before we make it harder to divorce.

  29. Badger Nation says:

    Actually, I think I was setting up a strawman…I think all the settling anxiety and shaming is more the result of the materialistic, status-obsessed society we live in (at least in spoiled urban America). I’d bet marriage striking and other avoidant measures are more a response to this demanding behavior than a cause, because who wants to marry such shrews?

  30. I’m tempted to argue that it’s not so much a reflection of the marriage strike, but simply young women complaining that their alpha boyfriends aren’t willing to commit to them. The “man-children” reference may refer to the few beta males that have opted out for a life of video games, hobbies, and freedom.

  31. dragnet says:

    @ dalrock

    “I think you are very invested in seeing an outcome of every social change which always favors women.”

    Thank you for saying this. A lot of women really need to believe that men and the SMP will change in the ways they want if only to ensure the softest possible landing for them when the music stops regarding the excesses of feminism and our misandric society. Period. This bias colors a lot of the posts of the female commentariat of Susan Walsh’s blog, and even some of Susan’s writings. The idea that a wide swath of men might come to actionable conclusions regarding their own individual self-interest at the expense of the women around them is either ignored or actively discounted. I believe this is one reason why the tenor of these debates are often so hostile—a lot of times it’s a struggle just to get women to understand that they don’t actually get to come out on top in every single social upheaval, and certainly not at our expense. And that women have really only had the upper hand largely because didn’t know a “war” was on, and didn’t really have the means to educate themselves. That is no longer the case, and I think the next generation of my men (guys my age) are going to be a lot less squeamish about pursuing what they deem to be in their self-interest—whether or not the women around them approve.

    And it can’t happen soon enough as far as I’m concerned.

  32. Gorbachev says:

    The idea that a wide swath of men might come to actionable conclusions regarding their own individual self-interest at the expense of the women around them is either ignored or actively discounted. I believe this is one reason why the tenor of these debates are often so hostile—a lot of times it’s a struggle just to get women to understand that they don’t actually get to come out on top in every single social upheaval, and certainly not at our expense. And that women have really only had the upper hand largely because didn’t know a “war” was on, and didn’t really have the means to educate themselves. That is no longer the case, and I think the next generation of my men (guys my age) are going to be a lot less squeamish about pursuing what they deem to be in their self-interest—whether or not the women around them approve.

    And it can’t happen soon enough as far as I’m concerned.

    I agree, of course: Even with like-minded women, they seem to be most interested in outcomes that may be better for men, but that still favor women in some way, or are still very good for women. They focus on how good it would be for women.

    As a man, … I’m much, much less interested in that and more interested in making things better for men and society in general – and women and their interests, as far as I’m concerned, can fall wherever they may. I don’t worry about it.

    I think women would be better off, objectively, but I do get the impression that acquiring the softest landing in a new social order does seem to be big on their minds.

  33. Brendan says:

    I think that “man children” also more generically refers to men who are not interested in committing. It’s commonly used as a generic term to cover the waterfront of behaviors women seem to find undesirable, from video games to sports center to PUA activity to not wanting to commit.

  34. Gorbachev says:

    @Josh,

    You’re right about Boston. This is still the capital of New England, and old families still sing the tune. The SWPLs vote Dem, and love Obama, but would freak several shades of pink if their daughter brought home a black guy.

    I’m a mid-20′s Boston man, and I’m pretty much as urban-educated SWPL as they come, so here’s my view from the ground floor. Mostly Christian circles, but also just the generic NPR crowd.

    Christians in Boston are a different group, though.

    Tend to be “even moreso” for New England.

    My family is the same.

    My GF is Zoroastrian; my parents would have no idea what to make of that. Sounds For’n. We all believe in the same Jesus, right?

    Anyway, I can’t convert and she’s only partly religious.

    Virtually all upper-class women, even in their early-20s, badly want to get married.

    This is true. All the ones I've met.

    Having fun and partying and having a powerful career is all well-and-good, but what they really want is societal respectability. That means marriage, house, dinner parties with fine china. Believe me, they would quit their NGO-jobs in developmental economics in a heartbeat for that. They dream of being the first to get the ring and showing it off to their adoring, suddenly jealous, single friends.

    And they move out of town to burbs and quaint respectable addresses with glee.

    That doesn’t happen in NYC.

    They want the ideal equal-partner man, with social ambition.

    This has been true here for 300 years. Not likely to change.

    Someone her mother can brag about to her friends. He should come from a good family, have a good income, good looks, be well-spoken, and generally sail gracefully through the banal rituals of SWPL socializing (“Adele, I love what you’ve done with the place! The curtains are fabulous!”).

    Puke.

    Ideally, this man would also be somewhat of a doormat, letting her pursue whatever kid/career combo she desires, but that’s not hugely important. Who he is and what he provides is more important than when he wants – those can be negotiated down later.

    The problem is, of course, one of supply. The education gap among young men and women is well known. The men who do fulfill these requirements have their choice of women. If they are good church-bred men, they are dutifully married off post-haste.

    They seem to get married quite young.

    Otherwise, they play the field. So what do the women do? They either orbit unhappily, lamenting about the lack of good men,

    And the local media is filled with this. As is the local conversation.

    or they embarrassingly slum it with a lower-class man, someone who went to no-name school, or perhaps works in a manual trade. If, God forbid, they actually find themselves loving their lower-class man, they slowly fade away from the social scene, preferring to be a princess among the proles than a basket case among the high-born.

    This is remarkably apt. I’ve seen this, too.

    But this is quite rare. Most of the time, it’s just sheer domination. He is little more than a leashed puppy, forced to look good and trying not to embarrass her with his limited vocabulary.
    But eventually, as they reach 30, they widen their scope. The class restriction remains in place, but shorter, chubbier, less wealthy men are now in contention. After all, all men eventually go bald and flabby, but a degree from Harvard is forever.
    The “marriage curve” by age – 57% by 29yo, 79% by 34yo, really is an indication of the the relaxation of their standards. There isn’t a marriage strike, at least in the upper-class. There are plenty of willing betas waiting in the wings.

    For the women, this does seem to be the rule.

    One phenomena that has always plagued the upper-class is the eligible bachelor slumming it with a hot prole. It does happen, but not as much as you would think. The concentrated scorn of relatives generally prevents it. Girlfriends and mistresses, sure, but not wife-material. Secondly, the socially-inept upper-class men are generally unaware of their options out in the real world. Take a skinny bespectacled Harvard MBA to a Cambridge bar, women won’t look at him twice. Send him across the river, different story. The problem is, he won’t even set foot in a bar, and has probably never spoken to a woman with a visible tattoo.

    When they do discover this, they can go hog-wild, though. I know more than a few of these types “slumming” it with some very hot proles, including non-white (especially Asians, who are like honorary whites) types, and often these chicks even have tattoos. And once they go, they often go hard.

    The women seem to love it, too, not resenting the beta. I wonder why. Maybe it’s such a huge step up they don’t know what to do.

    It’s quite funny when you see them trying to interact with proper ladies and women, when their husbands meet; the *men* all gravitate towards the prolish wives, and look *genuinely* envious.

    I’ve seen that endlessly.

    I’ve got a very close friend I used to bring to functions all the time; we’ve been seen together so often it’s been assumed we were living together (she’s been my wing woman for the past while, too). She sports a tattoo on her shoulder and a wry smile that says: You want to but you can’t.

    While not the hottest woman in the room in NYC (a 7, not more, but not less), she cuts a fine figure and inevitably has the attention of every Fine Lady’s husband.

    They seem fascinated by her: Her wit and intelligence are obvious, she’s clearly educated and not poor, but she seems effortlessly social and completely irreverent. And she just looks unlike the shrewish society women here in Boston.

    Seriously, I’m sure half of these men fantasize about bagging some woman like this. Not that they’d know what to do with her – and that’s a fact.

    That’s my view from upper-class Boston. Class matters, and marrying well matters. Because marriage is the key to respectability, you’re not going to see a marriage strike any time soon.

    This is true.

    BUT

    This is also an island.

  35. Gorbachev says:

    @Lavazza,

    In Germany the “reproduction strike” (Zeugungsstreik) is also happening among upper middle class men.

    http://www.bmfsfj.de/RedaktionBMFSFJ/Abteilung2/Pdf-Anlagen/kinderlose-maenner-in-deutschland.pdfStudie

    Kinderlose Männer in Deutschland – Eine sozialstrukturelle Bestimmung auf Basis des Sozio-oekonomischen Panels (SOEP)

    This was already old news a while ago.

    Unsurprising.

  36. Josh says:

    @ Dalrock:

    Thanks for your kind comments. The intersection of game, Christianity, and marriage is interesting to me, which brought me to your excellent blog.

    Game…hmm…I don’t know. Despite Roissy’s belief in the gina tingle, I think most upper-class women are very resistant to impulsive behavior. First, they are never going to be in vulnerable situations. Sloppy drunk in a little black dress at the local bar, that’s just not going to happen. Second, their defenses never really come down, and gaming through that is going to be hard. Third, they have a tight social network around them that you have to win over as well. If you’re not upper-class yourself, their friends will tear you up. God forbid you wear white socks or a baseball hat un-ironically.

    The upper-class didn’t get there by being stupid. They (we?) are long-term oriented, and even if they have the hots for the smooth-talking gardener, it’s strictly hush-hush, and if anyone finds out, he is fired immediately. They date to marry, try to marry within the class, and a lot of social proofing goes on. That means what your parents do, are your parents married, where did you go to school, what do you do. If the answers to those questions are wrong – game is not going to help much.

    [D: I may be misunderstanding the reality on the ground there. I was thinking if some of the passed over younger upper class betas learned game and decided to discreetly slum it with tat sporting prole chicks while waiting for the respectable ladies to give them the time of day. They would learn it to meet immediate needs, but take the understanding of women and relationships with them into their later marriage. This would seem to allow them to attract an upper class woman for marriage sooner (if desired) as well as allow them to keep the marriage more on their terms (less lapdogs). But I have been known to wear white socks and even the occasional unironic ball cap, so I may not understand the true constraints these fellows find themselves operating under. :) ]

  37. Josh says:

    Yes, I agree completely. The real marriage problem is in the lower and middle classes.

    Here, I think we have more of the “career woman, wants to go to NYC for sex-and-the-city” syndrome. Upper-class women don’t care about that. Ordering a Cosmo at a Manhattan hotel bar is nothing. They want summer houses.

    But I think the main problem is economics, not culture. With college debts and (still) high home-prices, it just costs so much to start a family. The upper-class have rich parents to pay the start-up costs. The middle-class doesn’t, so they wait for the money.

  38. Josh says:

    Hmm…that’s something I haven’t considered. Honestly, I don’t know.

    But I think the kids part is the sticking point. Upper-class men rarely intentionally have kids outside of marriage. And kids are important, because who else are you going to give the wealth to?

    So I could see less of an urge to re-marry, if the first marriage has already produced reasonably successful kids. But I think the never-married, childless-man would be under enormous pressure to settle down and have kids.

  39. Josh says:

    A fellow Bostonian! Thanks for the vote of approval.

    It is an island, but for those on the island, it’s the island that counts.

    I’m jokingly known as a “closet redneck” among my SWPL friends, because I unapologetically listen to country music and go bowling. But because my credentials are bullet-proof, I’m still in the club.

    Like you say, I think if you leave the island, you can leave hard, and have your fill of hot chicks. But you’ve lost membership, and that is a scary thing for most. Other kids will whisper to your kids, “Is it true your mom used to be a bartender?” That having been said, there are some classes of non-upper-class that are acceptable choices.

    1. Wholesome midwestern girls. Sweet and Christian, and dream daughter-in-laws for any mother.

    2. Europeans (men or women). As long as they are not obviously Euro-trash, they can just blind everyone with their accent, style, and unapologetic smoking and drinking.

    3. Upwardly mobile Asians. Smart, family-oriented, with hard-working parents who probably have saved more money in twenty years that your family has in the last century.

    Again, the upper-class is long-term oriented. They might fantasize, but at the end of the day, they stick to their wives. Partly out of Christian duty, partly out of cowardice, but also because they care about their future social standing, and that of their family and children.

    And yes, Asians are honorary whites. The level of integration in the upper class is sky-high. It’s probably close to 1 in 4.

  40. Gorbachev says:

    You’re bang-on, of course.

    This is also true for a lot of New England.

    Europeans also get a pass. In fact ,the Boston elite are the closest we get to over here to having a French style Intellectual Class, with as many pretensions as the French class, too.

    The Asians seem to integrate without any difficulty. Also – weirdly – some Arab Christians. The ones who were well-connected and quiet about it. I never quite understood that. They tended to have some Lebanese/Coptic blood in them. Maybe you’d know more – I’m not into the Christian community.

    And nice milk-fed mid-western girls go over a treat here. Very popular. They get scooped up pretty fast.

    And I get whispers all the time when I go back home. My parents’ friends all talk about my non-marriedness and my divorce. It’s all quite shameful, because I did it all by the book (with a good bit of college tomfoolery, but it was expected of me).

  41. Dex says:

    These articles aren’t anything new though. I remember the “men are afraid of commitment” meme from the late 80’s when I was single.

  42. Hope says:

    My husband and I are not “respectable” SWPL types. But we both mingled with those types and could have been a lower rung person in an “upper” society. Except, all the status mongering make us sick. We probably would have done okay trying to break in, given our smarts and educational backgrounds, but it wasn’t worth it.

    The real price of “starting a family” is cheap if you forgo the typical status junk. I didn’t get an engagement ring. Our wedding rings were less than $1k for both of us including engravings, our wedding was less than $100 at the courthouse, and our honeymoon was less than $500. We haven’t bought any baby stuff yet, and we’ll be getting second-hand and hand-me-downs from friends.

    A huge part of the status junk is perpetuated by the woman and her circle of friends. Since I don’t have a female circle, and I don’t care about white socks or houses or name brands, it was very “easy” for my husband to feel like he can start something with me, without being henpecked about this or that status indicator. He also gets to keep his video games and hobbies.

    If I had to label us, I’d say we’re part of the intellectual middle class. Not a lot of family money, but we have old middle class values and high IQ lineages. The trouble with the middle class these days is conspicuous consumption. I talk to young women who think having a kid means the family should be making 100k a year. It’s totally absurd. Why would any man want to finance a lifelong, expensive woman? Being cheap (money-wise) as a woman is an incredible leg up in the marriage market. All the better if she also brings value like home cooking and massages.

  43. J says:

    @David Alexander

    Some of you may recognize me from other blogs …

    I do. I’eve even read a bit of your blog. (My DH and sons used to be really into trains.) You are an excellent writer, and you should think more of yourself in general.

  44. J says:

    However, Dalrock and others (including me) feel that the decision to get married is not a time for “compromise” – you should be head over heels in love for it.

    I hate the term “head over heels” because I think people need to use their heads as well as their hearts, but I know what you mean.

    Another reason I think we should make it harder to get married before we make it harder to divorce.

    Indeed.

  45. Josh says:

    @ Dalrock:

    No, I think you’ve got it about right. That’s probably a viable strategy for less-desirable upper-class men.

    I’m not sure how strongly reputation will affect them later on, because upper-class families have long collective memories. But I think a marriage-hungry woman would forgive a man a with a playboy past.

  46. J says:

    Hi Gorb,

    I lost track of the thread on which we were talking about PCG, but I did want to say that I think things look encouraging. All the best with this.

  47. Dex says:

    I think “head over heels” is a necessary but not sufficient condition.

    I don’t think making it hard to get married would make that big a difference. Too many people are more interested in getting married than in being married.

  48. Josh says:

    @ Gorbachev:

    Arab-Christians…hmm, I’ve never seen it personally, but I believe it. Lebanese are almost-European, like the Christian Turkish.

    The Lebanese-Christians I know are delightfully cosmopolitan, with a very balanced attitude towards Islam and Judaism, and they have this charming ability to switch between English, French and Arabic. They have a strong Christian conviction born of necessity in a hostile environment. So why not?

  49. Gorbachev says:

    Thank you, J. It’s conventional in an unconventional way. Just what my internal doctor ordered.

    I’ll keep you posted.

  50. Gorbachev says:

    I’ve been surprised by this in the past. I go around town and I occasionally bump into these highly educated types, married to old families, and I think– not what I suspect. And then I find out that she’s a Maronite Christian whose family lived in Lebanon but was originally from some part of Syria, or they’re Coptic Christians from Egypt – and you’re right, they switch between French and English and Arabic with complete fluidity. And they gravitate to the highest levels of the college and government system, too.

    They also tend to be very forward-thinking and *unslutty*. I get that very severe impression. While also being attractive and very cultured.

    I never knew what to make of them.

  51. J says:

    Gorb: I’ll keep you posted.

    J: Thanks. Looking forward.

  52. Josh says:

    I agree with you, and empathize completely. For myself, I wish to find someone probably a lot like you. Middle-class values, high IQ, home-cooking and massages, without the baggage of status-climbing. I care a lot more about raising bright, well-behaved kids than money or status.

    But alas, there is a system, and that system has been there for centuries because it works. I recently went to a super-wedding, held at the Harvard Memorial Church. There is a cold-blooded logic there, it’s not just materialism. It’s not just a marriage ceremony, it’s a triumph for the old-guard culture. The little girls in the pews are told that this is what they want. Dazzled young women rededicate themselves to resisting bad boys and snagging the white prince. The parents beam proudly and accept the praise for raising their children successfully. Boys, well, they probably don’t care, but as they get older, they also get the nagging feeling that they should get their sh-t together if they want this. For the newly-wed couple, it’s a powerful statement that they have arrived, with the full-blessing of friends and family. The best man regales the crowd with tales of dashing and tomfoolery, the maid of honor blushingly testifies to the virtue and beauty of the bride. Social norms are praised and reinforced.

    It all sounds very fake, but it’s really not. The feelings are genuine. It’s not all as horrible and snooty as it sounds. People are actually happy, and happy for them. But there is cultural policing going on, it’s part of the system. If you marry the wrong kind, don’t expect this.

    As for me, the anonymous commenter tapping away (at work!) at 3PM EST, my eyes are open to the system, but you have to understand, these are my family and friends whom I care about. Yes, it’s hypocritical and sometimes shallow. But I can’t just walk away.

  53. Hope says:

    Yeah, I knew other Asians who had no trouble getting upper class Bostonian / New England approval. Personally I just couldn’t hack it. I wasn’t extroverted enough, wasn’t into fashion or typical status-gainers, and I didn’t want that lifestyle anyway. In a way I had a deep disdain for those kids I went to private schools with, who had yearly ski trips and family vacations, who grew up into princesses with their expensive shoes and handbags, nice parent-supplied gadgets and all the study abroad opportunities in the world.

    Most of my former classmates (I grew up in Ohio and moved to Chicago) stayed out east or midwest. I’m in the mountain west now. It is nice in a lot of ways. There is much less status-posturing. If you’re not part of the Mormon Church there’s little official status to be had, anyway. There are the people who imitate California or the East Coast cultures, but everybody knows it’s just a put-on. There’s no authentic old money here. You can tell whose families moved here recently though.

  54. Lily says:

    Mine’s a great character. Over 90. Was up at Cambridge, then spent the war years in Egypt, then got married at 30, then had 6 children whilst doing work of an important nature.

  55. Lily says:

    @mirco

    Where are you referring to as Europe? The laws and taxes change quite a bit between say Sweden, France, UK and Italy. I am not sure unemployment is that much different between the european countries and USA but it depends on which European country probably.

    Interesting point about the parents helping children out with property purchases and what happens with split ups. I look at property prices now and I can’t understand how say any 25 year old can afford to buy, but that’s what older people said to me too, so I think each generation just has to buy in different areas.
    You have to be careful whether cohabiting or marriage. A good friend of mine has been burnt by this, or rather her parents have been.

  56. Badger Nation says:

    “I recently went to a super-wedding, held at the Harvard Memorial Church. There is a cold-blooded logic there, it’s not just materialism. It’s not just a marriage ceremony, it’s a triumph for the old-guard culture. The little girls in the pews are told that this is what they want. Dazzled young women rededicate themselves to resisting bad boys and snagging the white prince. The parents beam proudly and accept the praise for raising their children successfully. Boys, well, they probably don’t care, but as they get older, they also get the nagging feeling that they should get their sh-t together if they want this. For the newly-wed couple, it’s a powerful statement that they have arrived, with the full-blessing of friends and family.

    Harkening back to the days when marriage was a bonding of two families, and reinforced by the community at large. I for one think urban atomization/anonymization is a huge reason for the declining quality of marriage. A friend at work told me that family nearby is a big boost to a marriage, thoguh a cynic could argue it simply adds inertia and empty expectation to the equation rather than actual quality.

    On the other hand, marriage for love in the face of social challenges is regarded with a romantic quality of bucking society. Think Fiddler On The Roof – “we ask your blessing, but not your permission.” Or the unfortunate case of marrying a good person your family doesn’t approve of – your family depriving you of the support system that helps keep a marriage together.

  57. Hope says:

    @Josh, in the real upper class, wives don’t have to do much. There are maids and other low-class women to do the dirty work. They just have to socialize and look good, act as good hostesses, and of course manage social affairs. It sounds like the size of the wedding you described was appropriate for the kind of family circles in which you mingle. But properly middle class women are now wanting this, too, and that’s where the trouble comes. Middle class families take on huge debts to have those same elaborate weddings as the upper class. It’s absurd.

    The current system of the big fancy wedding might “work” for a short time for the new bride, but in the long haul it is deficient. The wedding is now the finish line, and there’s no preparing the bride to become a wife. Since most women (and most people) are not in the small slice of the upper class, these new expectations are turning men off in droves. And of course it ups the value of the upper class man tremendously — he can pick from any socioeconomic class, although usually he will end up married to a well-bred woman after having his fun. Think GW Bush, who was rumored to be a partier, ending up with a sweet Christian lady.

    @Badger Nation, family support really is quite important. I did not realize this until recently myself, since I was never close to my own family. His immediate family lives in state, and they attended our small ceremony. My mother-in-law loves that I didn’t want some elaborate wedding and that I am not concerned with superficial status. She is also excited about the grandson, and we talk about the pregnancy. Their acceptance of me into the family exerts a stabilizing force on our marriage. It’s not the only thing of course, but I definitely appreciate it.

  58. Lavazza says:

    I am not talking about old money here (maybe 0,05 % of the population). With upper middle class I mean the more successful half of lawyers, engineers and so on (maybe 2 % of the population).

  59. David Collard says:

    David Alexander and I have had this debate several times on the Internet already. I think he has a point. His argument, as I understand it, is that women are not interested – really – in most men. So most will marry men that they deep down think are second best. This will mean they will not be interested in playing the traditional wifely role, but will always feel they have “settled”, and will make peevish demands on their “beta” husbands to make up for their sense of loss, while secretly pining for the alpha that got away. He also feels that women are very hard work, that they “age like milk”, and that the rewards of being a father and husband are just not there any more, if they ever really were.

    He feels, if I understand him, that the rational male response for the average (beta) male is to avoid marriage, save his time and money, and use porn. In all honesty, on the latter point, even a wife whom one finds attractive, and who is sexually compliant, will leave some areas of a man’s psyche unsatisfied. He will be tempted to use porn, if only for a glimpse of variety.

    I have put myself forward as an example of a fairly happy long term marriage. I have also suggested that the basic problem in Western marriage is the declining status of men in general, which makes the average husband less and less attractive to a potential or actual wife. I have claimed that the average man can learn enough “game” to improve his marriage. David A however takes the determinist approach that only a few men can truly have natural “game” and be naturally dominant enough to give a woman “gina tingles”.

    David A believes, and I think he is correct, that most women are VERY keen to have sex with and service men, but only the very best men. Other men, such as himself, will inevitably miss out.

    BTW, David, have you joined Alte’s Google group? I think she was going to invite you.

  60. zed says:

    [ I don't think women marrying later is evidence that men are on a marriage strike. ]

    I get the sense that you are arguing against something I didn’t say, which is common enough on Internet forums that I have largely quit participating in them.

    I don’t think there is a “marriage strike” either. Saying this has actually gotten me attacked by quite a few MRAs because the whole metaphor implies that men are temporarily as a group refusing to marry until the “working conditions of the job” of marriage get improved. While this may give the illusion of having or creating a bargaining position to some, the metaphor fails if a substantial number of men don’t end up “going back to work” even if some sort of settlement is reached.

    Perhaps a better term than “marriage strikers” might be “marriage slackers.” Many people have commented on the substantial change in work ethic over the past 50 years. A lot of people no longer view “work” as the same sort of social obligation which most people viewed it as being half a century ago. In my demographic, I see the same sort of shift in attitudes toward marriage. There are obviously still pockets of social pressure to conform to the old ideal – like Josh’s Boston Brahmin circle – but demographically they only represent a very small portion of the general population.

    novaseeker has already mentioned the trends in Sweden, and no one seems to be talking about Swedish men going on any sort of “marriage strike.” What has happened there is that social values and patterns have changed. So have social values and patterns in the US, although not to the same extent. However, it does seem that the trends have been in the same general direction. I think it is somewhat more likely that these trends will continue in the same direction than they are to reverse themselves – just like the fairly consistent trend across many cultures and time periods for men to marry women a bit younger than they were and women to marry men a bit older.

    Josh pointed out the problem of supply versus demand for high-earning husbands. The problem for women in their mid-20s today is that their future husbands started getting torpedoed off the high-earning track back in the mid-1980s when education started swinging against boys and wide scale drugging them out of their normal maturation processes started being widely practiced. My barber had 3 out of her 4 sons put on Ritalin, and now they are pretty much basket cases.

    Potential good husbands for these women got taken out of the game years ago, and there just are not enough of them left to go around.

    Add to this the intensely negative PR toward marriage and women in general in feminist countries – illustrated by grerp’s statement that men are saying “there are no women who are good wife material left in America” – and I can’t imagine where all these seats that women are expecting to have when the music stops for them are going to come from.

    I think that the best that these young women can hope for is that there will be enough Karen Owens ridden hard and put away wet by enough Roissys, Roushs, and others of their ilk and their followers that a sizable number of these women will have disqualified themselves as potential wives and thus will shrink the pool of women who are competing for the men that Josh describes.

  61. But I think the main problem is economics, not culture.

    FWIW, I’ve noted that one of the reasons that I can’t get married is because my income potential is too low to justify being attractive. It’s unlikely that I’ll finish college, and in a high cost of living area, it’s very hard to afford housing unless one lucks out with a job in government and even those jobs are geared toward strong men, not weak and effete men like myself. In contrast, I’ll look at a female friend and realize that for social reasons, her lack of a degree and career prevent her from marrying the middle class men that she wants, and she’s stuck with the men that won’t permit her be a stay at home mother which she feels is necessary for the first few years of a child’s life.

    While we may be an exaggeration, I’m tempted to argue that there’s a pool of working class men and women who didn’t make the leap to the middle class, but have escaped the underclass that can’t marry because their ideal partners are out of reach, and their natural partners aren’t tolerable for them because of the presence of better partners around them, nor are they willing to take on the burden of dating beneath them.

    I think we have more of the “career woman, wants to go to NYC for sex-and-the-city” syndrome

    I look at that as an aspirational dream of many young women. In other words, young women assemble in New York to live a fantasy of working in a media friendly career while having great social and entertainment lifestyle which also includes sex with great alpha males that may deliver other fringe benefits if their income is high enough. While it doesn’t appeal to all women, there’s a subset that finds such a lifestyle attractive and believes it can last for far longer than one would believe is ideal.

  62. Höllenhund says:

    Great post, Dalrock. “Marriage strike” is yet another phrase that fails to properly describe the phenomenon it was meant to describe. “Marriage avoidance” and “marriage procrastination” would be more accurate ones.

  63. J says:

    So most will marry men that they deep down think are second best. This will mean they will not be interested in playing the traditional wifely role, but will always feel they have “settled”, and will make peevish demands on their “beta” husbands to make up for their sense of loss, while secretly pining for the alpha that got away.

    I know the arguement well. I think men really over-estimate how frequently that scenario occurs. I’ve been with my husband for over 20 years. I did not “settle” for him; in fact, I have a good deal of admiration for him although most posters in the manosphere would call him a mere “beta provider.” I very rarely even bother to think back to the “alpha that got away,” although I am happy to have dodged a few bullets.

    In all honesty, on the latter point, even a wife whom one finds attractive, and who is sexually compliant, will leave some areas of a man’s psyche unsatisfied.

    The same is true for women, hence chick flicks and romance novels. Not that I enjoy that sort of stuff.

    No one has a perfect spouse. To expect another imperfect human being to not leave some areas of one’s psyche unsatisfied is unrealistic.

    ….the rewards of being a father and husband are just not there any more, if they ever really were.

    My teenaged son, who has been locking horns lately with my husband, just left this morning on a school trip out of town. On his way out the door to go to work, my husband woke my son up for some last minute admonitions and to tell the kid to have a good time. My son groggily replied, “I will, Dad…I love you.” My husband, a little choked up, said, “I love you too.” So, “the rewards of being a father and husband are just not there any more, if they ever really were.” I call bullshit on that one.

  64. Brendan says:

    The issue is not that D.A. is wrong, per se, it’s rather the rigidity of it. Things can be more plastic.

    In other words, I think it’s basically correct that women prefer alpha in *some* sense. Different women will define that differently in terms of what they “see in” their husbands, but there does have to be some alpha-type strength. Where D.A. goes with that is to conclude that because more alpha is better, women will always only want the top dog men, sexually, and that any other men who is even a lesser alpha or a high beta will be de facto settling, even if the woman doesn’t consider it such. And he supposes that women only get really turned on sexually by true north alphas, and so that therefore the sex a beta provider husband gets from his wife will not be comparable to the sex she would provide for a silverback.

    There’s a grain of truth in all of these statements, I think, as long as they are not taken to be rigid truths. Most people start out with stars in their eyes in terms of what they want from the opposite sex and then tone it down to match reality and their own value point. I don’t think this is “settling” as much as it is “accepting reality”. Some people take longer to get to that stage than others, unfortunately. But most do eventually mate with someone of near value to their own, which by definition isn’t really “settling”.

    Of course that, in and of itself, is no guarantee of a happy marriage. Marriage is challenging and requires effort, and not everyone really is up to doing that, which is fine in and of itself. It would be better, in my view, if fewer people married if they were not up to being married, rather than the current default of most people eventually marrying, including many people who are just terrible at being married.

  65. J says:

    Most people start out with stars in their eyes in terms of what they want from the opposite sex and then tone it down to match reality and their own value point. I don’t think this is “settling” as much as it is “accepting reality”. Some people take longer to get to that stage than others, unfortunately. But most do eventually mate with someone of near value to their own, which by definition isn’t really “settling”.

    That’s it exactly. Additionally, I think that, when some of the silly stuff drops off the list, it tends to be replaced by more sensible stuff. “Must play guitar” gets swapped for “must be good to children.” That’s not settling either, it’s just growing up.

  66. Lily says:

    @dalrock
    I’m not against age difference relationships in any way. I have been with someone older and was open to someone of another age (though perhaps more like 7 than 10 or 15 as some in the manosphere think). But I am yet to see irl an age difference relationship of over 7 years of male/female where there is obviously ‘true’ love on both sides. The whole togetherness/us against the world/more babies just seems to occur in couples of similar ages more than otherwise. Just my irl experience, others may have different.

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  68. mike says:

    “15% and 45% are very different numbers, especially if you are singing for a husband!”

    File this one under improbable and hilarious sentences.

  69. And he supposes that women only get really turned on sexually by true north alphas, and so that therefore the sex a beta provider husband gets from his wife will not be comparable to the sex she would provide for a silverback.

    There are too many anecdotal stories from the PUAsphere that indicate that cheating wives are far more willing to perform certain sexual acts with vigour and enthusiasm for their alpha paramours instead of their lowly beta husbands.

    I don’t think this is “settling” as much as it is “accepting reality”.

    The problem is that there are countless stories of women who settle and then end up cheating on their spouses with somebody that has far more alpha than the husband. These women may accept reality in regards to who they can marry, but they still crave the alphas. Due to this, I don’t think any relationship between a non-alpha male and a female is sustainable unless the male doesn’t mind the cheating.

    and not everyone really is up to doing that, which is fine in and of itself

    Admittedly the problem is that we’ve yet to create as a society an alternative means of companionship for people that aren’t worthy of marriage. For all intents and purposes, the choices are limited to being lonely or being married or co-habitating in a LTR.

    I call bullshit on that one.

    Maybe it’s me, but I just don’t see the rewards to it anymore. I saw my father work hours of overtime to take care our family, but he passed away last year, and there’s a part of me that wonders why he worked so hard in vain for. I’m left wondering if his life would have been better if he was single and had money just for himself to enjoy his life and do everything else that he wanted.

  70. “Must play guitar” gets swapped for “must be good to children.” That’s not settling either, it’s just growing up.

    Yet, a few years into the marriage, “must be good to children” is boring, and she crawls back to “must play guitar” to make her happy.

  71. nothingbutthetruth says:

    This is the problem with Susan’s blog and the reason why I stopped writing posts on it. They are only interested in the facts that are coherent with their worldview. If you question this worldview, they tolerate you at first but, later on, they become hostile.

    When I pointed out that feminism has spoilt American women and that foreign women make better partners, Susan himself started language-shaming me and telling me that foreign women were kind of geishas and machines of making babies, while American women were strong and independent. And that men who don’t like them, they can leave America to meet some slaves and don’t leave the door hit on them in their way out. Too much for a woman who says she detests feminism.

    “Life is very short to fighting and fussing my friend” as Beatles said. This is why I left but I remember the hostility of this comment. I guess I touched some emotional button when I said a truth. American women are in denial and are enraged when their pretty lies are challenged. Well, not my problem. Life will teach them.

  72. …to get women to understand that they don’t actually get to come out on top in every single social upheaval, and certainly not at our expense.

    But women expect this because it always happened that way in the past. The difference was that in previous generations, women understood that life is a series of trade-offs. That no one gets to have “it all”.

    Now we have a system in place where women have had a series of rights bestowed upon us, but no corresponding responsibility has been demanded to temper what the law has given us.

    Is it any wonder that most women expect a soft landing no matter what?

  73. MikkoAP says:

    Men ARE conciously giving marriage a pass all over the western world.

    But there’s also another, bigger phenomenon: with the explosion of male unemployment, male educational underperformance and other phenomena resulting in the general marginalization of men, there will be fewer and fewer men women will WANT to marry.

    So many men, including ones who may be pedestalizers eager to marry and unaware of the real nature of feminism, will simply be UNABLE to get married.

    Given the completely unrealistic view of their real market value, more and more western women will continue alpha-chasing ’til their ovaries have shrivelled completely.

  74. Oak says:

    Good article. Interesting statistics. (Cracks Knuckles…) OK, here’s the deal guys and gals:

    1. Women file for divorce 72% of the time. If you live on the West Coast, and you’re college educated, boost that number to over 90%

    2. If you are a man, and you want custody of your children, your chances 15% that you will prevail in divorce court.

    3. Once they’ve lost custody of their kids, 75% of fathers complain their ex interferes with the limited visitation they have. 65% of women ADMIT to interferring with their exes visitation.

    4. The standard divorce game book for women, (take notes ladies): Quit your job, and lay around the house. (Call it ‘working from home’.) Approximately 6 months later, file for divorce. Now HE has to pay for both his own AND your attorney fees! Now you got him. Just string out the divorce proceedings until you get exactly what you want, and/or all the estate is spent on attorney’s fees. No matter what happens, he gets nothing. Most of the time, he’ll cry ‘uncle’ and you’ll get: The House. The Car. The Children. He’ll get: The bills. And visitation every other week. Don’t worry, the courts never enforce visitation, but if he’s late on payments, you can have him put in jail!

    So I’m in my 40’s, raised one daughter as a single parent, gaining custody precisely because I did NOT marry. (She had to pay for her own attorney.)

    To summarize: Under the current state of marriage, there is absolutely no benefit to men, yet the customs of marriage dictate that the potential groom get down on one knee and BEG for it, using expensive gold and gemstones as payment.

    As more and more men look at sexist family courts, and watch their friends one by one lose everything, they are putting off marriage.

    As they get older and wiser, these same men and wondering why they ever considered marriage a good idea in the first place.

    Women: If you want and like the institution of marriage, stand up for equal rights for men. Tell the courts that you demand the SAME not MORE rights than your male counterparts. Tell them it’s sexist that men only get custody 15% of the time. Demand that the expectation of paid work to support yourself is not just an ‘option’ for women who are bored, but an expected responsibility.

    Publically demand that women get the same sentences in court that their male counterparts get. They currently get 70% of the jail/prison sentences for the exact same crime a man may commit… (Does that 70% sound familiar? It’s also the wage gap between women and men. Get it? Equal rights=Equal responsibilities.)

    For men, I advise them to avoid marriage at all costs, and never cohabitate in a State that creates ‘comonlaw spouses’. Keep separate checking accounts, and each of you pay for half of all living expenses.

    I have a happy, long term relationship, and a grown daughter whom I raised into a beautiful responsible young woman. I point this out, because a lot of sexist women automatically assume I hate women because I believe in equality.

    And before all the replies about how not every marriage ends in divorce… please provide me with some links to ‘Divorce Insurance’. ;) If it’s really not that risky financially, I’m sure I can buy some out there… right? Anyone? lol.

    [D: Welcome Oak. Good points. Legally and socially Marriage 2.0 is a disaster. I wish that weren't true. Yet the data shows that men are still signing up for it in the same rates as before. There might be a revolt brewing by younger men. You could read the data that way. But for now the marriage strike just hasn't happened.]

  75. Oak says:

    Well I’ll be dipped, there IS divorce insurance!! But it’s a scam folks. It only covers part of the lawyers fees, and none of the other expenses. Well, good for someone to think of about it, even if it’s only a scam at this point. I’ll definitely google before I post next time. :)

  76. Gorbachev says:

    @Oak,

    I’m debating what to do myself, now. I survived a marriage and a very equitable divorce. I kept half the earnings and house; we split everything down the middle. It could have gone much worse.

    I now have a permanent LTR that looks to be a serious keeper. And she wants kids, and I’ve been itching to have them for a while. What I need to do is now engineer a situation in which I can *do* this in the next 2 years – with this woman, or another like her, but honestly, her.

    Marriage isn’t what I want. I live in Mass, and here the law is wretched for men; Any man who gets married is an idiot.

    Prenups are basically useless.

    But I need to consider this as an option because at some point, in the next 6 months, it’s going to become an issue. The girl has basically decided that barring anything untoward happening, I’m her man. In a serious way.

    And I’m satisfied with that.

    But – and now I need a solution. So, being averse to marriage – I know all the stories and know way, way too many men suffering from them – I need to find a way to mate with a potential partner, possibly this woman, and then create a stable situation for the having of a LTR and children. Which is pretty important to me.

    I’ve been criticized for being unrealistic, given my past (which is irrelevant – I’m basically a one-woman man, more or less, and I’m responsible and focused when necessary), and given the fact that it’s BETA to do it.

    Well, fuck that, I say: I want kids. I’m tired of throwing money into nieces and nephews trust funds. I want kids of my own.

    Is this beta?

    Is wanting a family beta?

    Seriously.

  77. Oak says:

    @ Gorbachev:
    Not getting married is your best bet. A pre-nup is just an interesting codicil to the marriage contract. You pay for it to be written, then pay to defend it in court. Judges usually throw them out unless they provide the same or better benefits for the woman than they would have gotten otherwise. Meaning, you can BUY certain rights with a pre-nup… say your grandfathers cabin by the lake that’s been in the family for generations…but only if you PURCHASE this right from your wife to be.

    Without ‘consideration’ (meaning $$$$$) any pre-nup isn’t worth the paper it’s written on. They cannot be used for child custody whatsoever.

    Do what I did. Have children, live together, don’t get married, and don’t live in common law states. Your chances are still slim, but you might find yourself in the position of being one of the few fathers who actually has his kids. And you know what? If these kids end up not being yours, you can NEVER be sued for child support. Nor can you ever be sentenced to debtors prison for failing to pay child support for someone elses kids. That ‘honor’ is only bestowed to men to say ‘I do’.

    [D: Good points.]

    Good luck! And for God’s sake don’t get married.

    @D: I believe that young people, specifically young men, are in fact boycotting, or at least not considering marriage. The state of Family Law has caused serious problems between the sexes, especially the younger generation. Many young men follow “Leykis’s Rules on Dating”. Basically a lot of young men are using women and discarding them, because they think that’s all women want to do with them. “They think we are walking wallets, so we treat them as walking sex objects. Fair is Fair.”

    Yes, I know, this is hardly new behavior. But I’ve never seen it so “out there” and discussed openly among young men. Most men I’ve talked to will admit that Marriage is a bad idea… I mean THAT is a huge change in attitude in a single generation. If someone said to me as a young man: “Marriage is bad for men”, I would have been flummoxed. Try saying it to young men now, and you’ll hear “I know.”

    [D: I observed the same thing on this post. Attitudes seem to be changing. But so far this hasn't translated into lower willingness to marry by men. At least not that we can pin down in the data. It will be interesting to see if/when this changes.]

    None of this is statistics, just my anecdotal blather… But the future of marriage currently depends on men acting against their own best interests… how long can that situation possibly last?

  78. dalrock says:

    One thing to keep in mind Gorbachev is that you are thinking more clearly than 99% of the men out there. This doesn’t mean you should go ahead and throw caution to the wind, but it is important. I agree with you on not marrying in MA. From what I have read, it just doesn’t make sense. Other US states aren’t great either, but MA is perhaps the worst. Have you considered relocating either within or outside the US and marrying there?

    Also, I’m curious what you think of my Interviewing a Prospective Wife questions and what you think her answers would be. I’m thinking specifically about seeing divorce as a failure, judging women who divorce, and what she would say to your young child if he/she came home and learned that “sometimes mommies and daddies stop loving each other”. Would she be shocked to learn my wife and I told our daughter the boy was wrong, and his mommy was a brat? Likewise what she sees as the obligations of a wife, etc.

    Since you are at ground zero and have so much perspective, I’m curious both how you think it applies in your situation and how far off the mark my thinking might be.

  79. Oak says:

    Sorry to double post, but I realized that I didn’t answer your question… Is wanting a family ‘beta’?

    Probably. There’s nothing sexy about a guy saying he wants children, even if he’s riding a horse backwards shilling Old Spice.

    This is a fight you can’t win, so don’t bother with it. Look, a lot of women want macho strong alpha men… there’s just one problem: Marriage places men in a subservient position, legally and financially. Litterally all the cards are now held by the wife.

    So in the act of marriage, you’ve already destroyed your ‘alpha’ position. By getting on your knees and begging for it, you are all the more pathetic in her eyes.

    You want to be alpha? Don’t get married. She may leave you for it, but you’ll always be the romantic ‘one who got away’. The one who stood up himself. That’s sexy.

    Superman, Batman, The Lone Ranger, James Bond, and nearly every action movie hero have one thing in common: None of them are married. Imagine James Bond trying to placate his shrieking wife as she threatens him with divorce if he goes on ‘business’ again… Yeah, women don’t find that sexy either.

  80. Gorbachev says:

    It’s not an issue yet, but I need to consider it. I mean, if I can’t have a meaningful LTR, one which fills certain desires that my mate may have, then I’ve got a problem.

    But the marriage situation is so unbelievably awful, to torturous for me, it’s hard for me to justify marriage.

    I have certain expectations of a permanent mate; these are made clear. She has a few, too, which are clear. What annoys me is the leverage the state gives – it’s just not an equal contract, at all.

    I have no idea what will happen, but I plan to move slowly. But I need to consider.

    I’m debating just living together, except that in Mass, the law is just as onerous in those circumstances.

    Of course, …

  81. Gorbachev says:

    It’s the losing half my things that boggles me. I have no substantial wealth, but I have collected some retirement savings and a second house (in the boonies, but it has a nice view) – and a car. And a job and some money and equipment.

    I know divorce lawyers can rape men. And then some more.

    I’ve seen it.

    But my divorce was easy enough; with an obliging ex-wife and a mutual dislike of lawyers.

  82. Gorbachev says:

    Yes, alright.

    So a family is beta.

    Well, fuck it, then.

    Beta it is.

    I can play Alpha in a Beta role if necessary.

  83. Oak says:

    That’s the spirit Gorbachev!

    Ah though, don’t forget… your last divorce went ‘well’ because your wife LET it go well. That state of amicability was entirely outside of your control.

    Sometimes the cat let’s the field mouse get away… but that’s not a good argument that cat/mouse relationships are equal.

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  85. Lily says:

    James Bond got married. But she was murdered just after they got married. He was very upset when she died.

    She was played by Diana Rigg so I doubt she would ever shriek at him, she’s the sort of English woman who was the backbone of the Empire.

  86. Lily says:

    “It’s the losing half my things that boggles me.”
    Out of interest, could you potentially lose half your things? Or half accumulated during the marriage?

  87. Lily says:

    “There’s nothing sexy about a guy saying he wants children”
    Oh, yes there is.

  88. Gorbachev says:

    @Lily,

    Half your stuff. Not just what you acquired since the marriage.

    Look up law in Mass. Mass basically hands over everything to the woman. And then there’s alimony: If you lose your job, too bad. You still pay. And stealth alimony: You basically get no visitation rights (at all), men virtually never get custody of their kids, as in when it happens it’s newsworthy, and at any time if you make more money virtually all of the increase can be siphoned away by the wife is she finds out about it – and lawyers are damned good at this.

    Getting married in Mass is financial and personal suicide. The woman has absolutely all of the power – the men have less than zero; they’re entirely at the whim of the woman and her lawyer. I know men who have gone from six-figure salaries to being utterly, completely ruined; the women make off not just with the current property (house, car, basically everything – including what his family had in the way of heirlooms, in one case a collection of 200 artifacts going back 300 years representing priceless treasures he was going to donate to his tiny town’s museum – and she blocked him, and acquired it, and it was sold at auction : irreplaceable stuff owned for generations, some of it amazing pieces of family history; he was also accused of sexually abusing his kids, charges proven to be false in court when he demanded a trial (family court takes accusations at face value; no evidence is necessary. This is actually true), and nevertheless this prevented him from seeing them for 15 years – etc. All of this is extremely common, so much so it’s not worth mentioning).

    Massachusetts has basically declared war on men and won. Any man getting married in Mass is an ignorant fool and a potential victim.

    It’s a common joke when men get lawyers in divorces – they’re better off getting airplane tickets.

  89. J says:

    Out of interest, could you potentially lose half your things? Or half accumulated during the marriage?

    Gorb may well be correct about Mass. state law. but in most community property states only those accumulated during the course of the marriage are subject to being divided in a divorce.

  90. Oak says:

    J, you are forgetting HOW these things are calculated.

    It’s by lawyers. Her lawyer says it was accumulated during the marriage. His lawyer says it wasn’t… Everything is fair game, and a judge will likely declare something community property unless there is clear and convincing evidence that it’s not.

    And community property has routinely been abused to extremes: The Vietnam vet who’s POW benefits are cut in half… The aforementioned cabin which was in the husband’s family for generations… but the wife used it once, so now it’s ‘community property.’.

    Hey, I don’t blame women for taking advantage… If the law offerred me the house, the kids, the car and made her work two jobs to pay for my upkeep, I would be tempted. Especially when the lawyers were explaining to me that I had a RIGHT to this treatement….

    @ Lily: You proved my point. James Bond was married, and the authors immediately saw this wouldn’t work. So they killed her, and portrayed him as the grieving widower… presumably drowning his sorrows in vodka martinis and girls named ‘Pussy Galore’.

    As far as men wanting children as ‘sexy’… we’ll just have to agree to disagree. Unless you are only referring to women in their mid-thirties who still haven’t roped a husband yet… THOSE women have typically already had their ‘fun’ with ever bad boy in town and are specifically looking for that ‘nice guy’ whom they wouldn’t give the time of day to 10 years ago.

    However, if a nice young man came to me, and said: “In your decades of experience with women, what do women find sexy?” The last thing out of my mouth would be “tell them you want children.”

    Women appreciate FANTASIES like that. In reality, the stable nice guy has significantly fewer sexual partners than the macho, jock, risk-taking, @ss&ole who rides a motorcycle.

    I’m not a proponent of this system, mind you… just an astute observer, and I suspect you already knew this information I’m giving you.

  91. Lily says:

    “James Bond was married, and the authors immediately saw this wouldn’t work. So they killed her, and portrayed him as the grieving widower… presumably drowning his sorrows in vodka martinis and girls named ‘Pussy Galore’.”
    She was killed in the original book by Fleming. And if I were proving your point (which I wasn’t) then they’d make a big deal about him being a widower in the movies.

    “As far as men wanting children as ‘sexy’… we’ll just have to agree to disagree.”
    Ok. I know what my friends and I find sexy in men (and I’m still friends with the women whom I was friends with when I was growing up and remember what they found sexy then). But as so many other things, it depends on the man saying it.

  92. Lily says:

    Wow Gorb, that’s harsh. If you’re thinking of getting married, maybe you should move first.

    It’s very bad form to take someone’s family heirlooms. I do wonder how some people are brought up sometimes. I think my parents would cut me off if I did something that despicable.

  93. Gorbachev says:

    @Lily,

    It’s true – lawyers can basically define everything as communal property. Their job is to represent the (material) interests of ONE party. The problem is that the women truly do have virtually *all* of the power.

    There’s just no incentive to get married unless you have no assets.

  94. Hope says:

    For my husband, who has nearly no assets of his own, it was simple. We got married and are having a baby, and he has only things (materially and otherwise) to gain. We also live in Utah, and I am guessing the laws are not so bad. I don’t think he has known any man who was really screwed over by a divorce, although he comes from divorced parents as well.

    Wanting a family is a good and natural thing. It’s quite primal, really. Whether or not it’s “beta” depends on the observer. The state ultimately has no more power than the individual actors. Picking the right person is essential. Remember, a woman can have all the powers of the state on her side, and still be killed by a furious man.

  95. Oak says:

    I respect your opinions on the matter. It’s worth mentioning that when dealing with human beings, I need to be cautious on saying what ‘X’ group or ‘Y’ group likes and dislikes. I can only make a crude generalization about a group, and you are discussing yourself. Obviously, you know what you are talking about. :)

    But do you see my point on heros on the big and little screen? Married men are scarce as heros. Generally, if a married man is portrayed at all, he’s the bumbling idiot. The guy who couldn’t fix dinner without causing a catastrophe. He’s a custody-case; incapable of caring for himself or his family without his smarter and wiser wife to direct the activities.

    What I meant about proving my point was: the author apparently felt the storyline would not work with the protagonist married. I mean, he COULD have written a whole “Mr. and Mrs. Bond” series. But he decided that it was incompatible with ‘James Bond as Hero’.

    Because a married man is a man that’s lost something in today’s society. He no longer fits the role of Alpha Hero because he’s been ‘groomed’ in the subservient role of Husband and Provider.

  96. Oak says:

    You bring up a good point. Many times, public shaming will cause a litigant to ease their stance with the soon-to-be-ex..

    A male in divorce court with no legal power, may have some social power to pressure his ex to allow visitation, or allow a family heirloom to remain in the family.

  97. Lily says:

    @Oak
    I definitely know what you’re talking about on the little screen. There’s a real lack of good male characters around in the little screen, ironically I think some of the better ones are in Desperate Housewives. I just don’t think James Bond was a good example to prove your point, and the book was written a long time ago.

  98. Hope says:

    A lot of mainstream heroes lack significant depth. But some authors create more complex characters. For example all of the major good heroes in the Dune series have partners. They are not treated with a simple one-dimensional portrayal. There was also nothing subservient about these male heroes who get married, have progeny and rule over planetary systems.

    Incidentally, the last few novels in the series feature a female-centric group that could be read as the modern equivalent of hardcore feminists. Whereas the Bene Gesserit work their powers from behind the scenes and never seek to overthrow male reign, the Honored Matres attempt to enlave men via sex. The male-female power dynamics are very interesting.

    Great series, if you have not read it.

  99. Oak says:

    I have, (well… the first two books anyway.) And I liked it. A good example of an exception to the rule. Books have the luxury of being less shallow than the typical TV movie or hero. I thought of Lord of the Rings, which has very few female characters, yet it’s obvious that the author did not feel comfortable with the feminine voice. He wrote what he knew, which were strong male figures. Yet the feminine characters when portrayed, were portrayed lovingly and with respect.

    I would say my point is aimed more at ‘popular’ TV and movie characters.

  100. Oak says:

    Or LOTS of assets… :) It’s really just middle class men that need to avoid marriage. The rest can lose it easily, or have nothing to lose!

  101. Lily says:

    Or marry a woman with money so you can split hers too. Or does that not matter in MA?

  102. Lily says:

    Spice :-)

  103. Oak says:

    @ Lily (Sorry, no reply button by your post)

    Women very, very seldomly marry ‘down’. You almost never hear about a wealthy female CEO marrying the janitor. Men marry women beneath their salary range all the time. Women do not.

    Otherwise, your implication is right on. A rich woman could lose half her fortune to a broke unscrupulous ex.

  104. Lily says:

    “Women very, very seldomly marry ‘down’. You almost never hear about a wealthy female CEO marrying the janitor. Men marry women beneath their salary range all the time. Women do not.”
    No, not a janitor. But over here at least, it’s quite common for women to marry men who earn less than them (or if getting married earlier, they know they will earn less).

    It doesn’t seem that uncommon in the US either if a post I read on Roissy (betas and herbs in DC) is anything to go by, IIRC.

    Over here, it’s quite common to see a female investment banker or lawyer with a guy who works in politics, in research, or in journalism or media. These jobs earn a lot less in comparison but have the same if not more status.

    You can also get the female ad executive and a ‘landscape architect’ or a photographer, or an artist.

    Both the Prime Minister and the Deputy Prime Minister of the UK have wives who earn significantly more than them. 4 to 5 times more. Admittedly, that’s on the extreme end of the scale but I think there’s enough going on to make ‘women very, very seldomly’ untrue if you’re talking on it from purely a monetary perspective.

    But yes, you’re right, unlikely a janitor. Though, you don’t typically see male CEOs marrying cleaners either.

  105. Oak says:

    I’ll buy that Lilly: Using money is an oversimplification.

    Perhaps a better calculation is Status, which money is a large part of. You mentioned several circumstances of high status jubs that are not necessarily higher paying jobs.

    It was probably a mistake using upper class people as an example: Rather than a female CEO, how about a female restaurant manager marrying the busboy? A female office manager marrying the male secretary? (The other way around happens all the time.)

    I’m going to stick with the sentence: Women very seldomly marry down.

  106. Lily says:

    “It was probably a mistake using upper class people as an example: Rather than a female CEO, how about a female restaurant manager marrying the busboy? A female office manager marrying the male secretary? (The other way around happens all the time.)”

    It’s hard for me to say, as I don’t think these sorts of jobs are that much in the public eye to comment.

    I also don’t know that many personally in those jobs. I do know these:
    – a pub owner and a handyman (he is fit though, that’s status in itself)
    – owner of an ad agency and a ‘landscape architect’ (he’s really a gardener)
    – a female politician and a male ‘secretary’ (but admittedly he is secretary to another politician so it’s not like being secretary in say a plumbing company)
    – doctor and a cook (a pub cook not a top chef)
    – advertising exec and a plumber

    I do agree with you that in general women will take status into account more than men (who will take looks into account more than women) but it’s not the whole truth by any means, many women are more open minded than some may imagine.

  107. Oak says:

    I believe you Lilly! Even your anecdotes surprise me. I can’t think of a single woman, including my own parents, where the woman married a man who made less… at least not at the time of the marriage!

    I hope my posts are not read as “Man good, Woman bad.” That’s not how I feel. I feel that bad behavior in women is fare less examined than male behavior. If you want a primer about bad male behavior, all you have to do is pick up a newspaper.

    Before the invention of the internet, no one, and I do mean NO ONE gave me proper advice on women. All their behaiovr was chaulked up to ‘mystery’. “Well, you know women…” And older men rarely gave useful advice to young men beyond, “find a nice girl and marry her.”

    If she divorced you, it was probably your own fault. At some point, the whole thing started smelling rotten to me, and I decided that women have motivations that were absolutely quantifiable and not at all mysterious.

    I think the majority of bad marriages could be stopped by simply demanding a looong engagement. No less than 5 years. If you still want to get married 3 years after intimate relations are a distant memory, you probably have a keeper. ;)

    Yes, yes, I know… not ALL women are like that. Just the majority. (A German study showed that women’s libido was inersly related being in a self-reported stable relationship. 80% of women self reported little to no interest in regular sex after 20 years of being in a stable relationship.) I wish I could say that’s not been my experience, but it matches my observations.

  108. Oak says:

    Sorry about the typos. I’m using a computer with an out of date browser, and I can’t read all of my posts.

  109. Lily says:

    I think a lot of perceptions and the disillusion in womenkind is a result of men ‘pedastalising’ women. They don’t deserve it, they are just people.

    It’s interesting our life experiences are so different. I do live in a metropolitan area and I read on this blog that the US is 10 years behind Europe (but I’m not sure how to take that as to me the countries in Europe are so different). And even on the Dark Lord’s blog there was talk about relationships in DC which I referenced above.

    My granny (who is over 90) has plenty of stories about women and men from different backgrounds getting together. That may have been the war though. The uniforms, lol. But even before her time, her mother’s time (when women married so they could have the respectability to ‘hang out’ with other men), there were women from America marrying men in England who had a lot less money but had ‘Status’ aka an old house or a title.

    My boy’s done well in life and has money but my family regard him as ‘beneath me’. But they *love him*. Truly. And the doctor/cook reference I made was my sister, though only two years ago.

    Things are different now. Even from 10 -15 years ago. My mother actually apologised to me recently that if I’d met my boy when I were younger, she would have disapproved. But she can see how happy we are together and how good we are for each other. Much better together than the guy I was married to who was so good ‘on paper’. I don’t want to speak badly of him because he is not deserving of it, and even if he were, it would still be bad form. In the end we just weren’t meant to be. I would love to have met my boy when I were younger, but my parents aside, I don’t think we would have made it. He’s ready now, I doubt he would have been before.

    I’ve always envied people in the US as you always seem more open minded in comparison. But actually my grandmother’s generation seem more open minded. I really don’t know if it was the war or laxing with time on what’s really important. The examples I quoted before are also partly postwar social mobility.

  110. Lily says:

    “I feel that bad behavior in women is fare less examined than male behavior.”
    I think this is true. It’s not something I think about a lot because I’m aware of the behaviour that goes on around me, and in the UK we have this mid market newspaper called the Daily Mail which *loves* female shaming, but on the whole, women’s bad behaviour is not treated as badly as male bad behaviour. I do think the esteemed blog owner was overly-harsh on Elizabeth Gilbert which I’ve expressed before, but having now seen first hand the hype her book/movie had, I can understand it more.

  111. Hope says:

    I don’t know many marriages in which the man makes less than the woman at time of wedding either, although this was the case for my husband and me. He’s a grad student, and he won’t be making a real wage until probably a year from now, or more. But I suppose status-wise he will have a masters in mathematics, whereas I only have a bachelor’s (though it was from a “top” university, it’s still a mostly useless degree).

    There is a kind of romance, I think, in being with a man who has no money. He’s certainly not going to view me as a gold digger, or a status whore, because of our circumstances. We’re also comfortable enough, and there are no huge anxieties over money. Love is quite a bit more important to me than any kind of material wealth. Then again, my own mother had this attitude before my father screwed her over (his family was a lot poorer than my mother’s), and since then she had been pressuring me to marry rich. I still did not.

  112. Oak says:

    Thanks for the reply, I find the differences fascinating.

    I live in small-town, west coast, liberal Oregon. Eye rolling is allowed. ;)

    I am the child of a ‘hardcore feminist’ if you’ll forgive the term, and I continue to have very strong egalitarian views. Engaged twice, but never married. In both cases, the woman was clearly selling me a bill of goods, and simply couldn’t keep up the act long enough to seal the deal.

    At the age of 37, something clicked in my mind, and I set out to understand the bad behavior I’d been seeing and allowing in my own relationships. I soon discovered that when I discussed the apparent inequities in marriage to other women, especially my mother, that they resorted without pause to using shaming language:

    “I don’t think men REALLY have it that bad.”

    “Yeah, well… maybe these men deserved that.”

    “What do you have against women?”

    And I was just horrified. I had assumed that in the discussion of equality, there was no need to check the gender of the person being exploited, but that’s exactly what was happening. It couldn’t be sexism, because I had the wrong chromosomes.

    And among my liberal friends, not a single woman would ‘break ranks’ and admit that something is terribly wrong in Family Court and men/fathers were being treated as second class citizens. I admit, I am frustrated that I can’t even have reasonable calibre debates on the subject with the vast majority of women.

    As you say Lilly, I am perhaps guilty of pedestalizing women in the past, which is a form of sexism in and of itself.

    As a person who always expected to get married and raise a family, I feel as though I’ve gone through all five stages of grief! I’m hoping that, barring the occasional flash of anger, I’ve come to a place of acceptance.

  113. Lily says:

    @Hope
    “I don’t know many marriages in which the man makes less than the woman at time of wedding either, although this was the case for my husband and me. ”
    I think this is partly an age thing, maybe more likely in people marrying later than you. Though saying that, I know couples where they’ve been together since university and though he may have been cleverer, he goes into say research and she goes into something which pays more but has less status from a cleverness point of view.

    “There is a kind of romance, I think, in being with a man who has no money.”
    Definitely. For me personally, this would have been in my very early 20s or now, but not in between. But that’s just me.

  114. novaseeker says:

    It’s well-known that Mass is one of the worst states in the US in terms of family law. It also chills remarriage for men, because the second wife becomes a co-debtor for alimony to wife 1 — no joke. If Wife 1’s ex-husband loses his job or something, his second wife can be made to fund the alimony to wife1, as it is subsumed into the “marital debt” of marriage2.

    It’s an absolutely insane legal regime for family law in Mass.

  115. novaseeker says:

    As you say Lilly, I am perhaps guilty of pedestalizing women in the past, which is a form of sexism in and of itself.

    Maybe. It’s important to note gender differences, however.

    Women do tend, as a group, to support one another when a woman is found to be in conflict with a male. Not always, especially if circumstances are egregious. But it is the general, first, knee-jerk, impulsive reaction.

    Men, by comparison, tend to tear each other down when a woman is found to be in conflict with a man, and support the woman. Yes, there are exceptions (MRAs are a small exception, sometimes in patriarchal families there are exceptions), but generally this is how men behave.

    This is why feminism gained traction among women (it mostly addresses issues where female interests clash with male interests, which is pretty good at uniting a broad swath of the female sex), while the converse of feminism is D.O.A. among men. Feminists claim that this is because men know they have structural power, and so they do not need this. That is a very questionable perspective in 2010, where women vastly outnumber men in universities, are out-earning men in the under -30 group (which will probably continue as that cohort ages), represent more than half the workforce and so on while men represented 80% of the jobs lost in the great recession, while the feminists successfully lobbied Obama to make sure that a good portion of the “stimulus” went to women, even though it was men who were losing their jobs. The so-called structural power of men seems pretty weak, currently, aside from the “apex males”, who will almost certainly always predominate due to bell curve issues. Most men are not doing well at all today, but you *still* can’t get men to organize on their own behalf, as a sex, if it may come to contradicting women as a group — men are not wired to do that, and that’s why feminism won, hands down, and men are basically falling into oblivion.

  116. Oak says:

    Applauds

  117. Lily says:

    That’s an interesting point, Novaseeker. Maybe women do tend to support each other more than men on the whole. Though in micro situations, I’m not sure that’s true. From what I’ve seen, when a woman is starting out in the workforce she’s more likely to get mentoring support from a man than a woman. If she does manage to get support from a woman, then I think there’s more support than if she got it from a man, but from what I’ve seen, it’s harder to come by in the first place. Just what I’ve seen, other people’s experiences may be different and I have no stats to back this up.

    Oak “And among my liberal friends, not a single woman would ‘break ranks’ and admit that something is terribly wrong in Family Court and men/fathers were being treated as second class citizens”
    That’s very interesting. I have had a friend who recently went into a child joint custody ‘battle’. Not *one* of his male friends encouraged it. They all said ‘you’re wasting money and time, you’ll never win’. *All* of them.

    His mother and his close female friends supported him (I don’t know if all, but at least some of them). I, for example, wrote a letter of recommendation based on what he’d done for his child and also that I was willing to support in terms of help with childcare. But that was nothing really. And his mother went to court hearings with him. He was also willing to change his work so that he was able to pick his child from school etc.

    He didn’t just get joint custody, he got main custody. It’s officially ‘joint residency’ which is what we call it here, but in effect he has the main physical custody. I’m really disappointed in his male friends. If they are anything to go by, I am not surprised the MRA movement hasn’t gained traction, which is a real shame. I don’t think that men should have main custody as a rule, I am more for the Finnish/Swedish model, but in his case it was the right choice. I do feel bad for his ex wife, but it’s the best for the child which in the end is all that matters.

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  124. Mark says:

    Quote by Lily : “I also don’t know that many personally in those jobs. I do know these:
    – a pub owner and a handyman (he is fit though, that’s status in itself)
    – owner of an ad agency and a ‘landscape architect’ (he’s really a gardener)
    – a female politician and a male ‘secretary’ (but admittedly he is secretary to another politician so it’s not like being secretary in say a plumbing company)
    – doctor and a cook (a pub cook not a top chef)
    – advertising exec and a plumber”

    This is what I hate about the internet. There is always someone who provides exceptions to the rule. However, they are rarely ever able to prove their examples are real. They just respond with a hearty “I don’t have to prove myself to you” and that’s all she wrote.

    Come on guys, do you honestly believe that a female doctor is married to a male pub cook? Do you honestly believe any of her provided “examples” are real? Come on now, this is real life, not a Disney movie.

    Lily, I would be willing to bet my life that none of those examples you provided are real. How about you let me contact that female doctor? How about you let me contact any of your examples?

    I am sick of women like you who make-up exceptions to gain some hand in a debate.

  125. Oak says:

    PLUS, Mark, it igores the fact that these are the exceptions. They are not common. I could say “Gorillas have black fur” and sure enough someone will post a picture of an albino gorilla, and say my point isn’t valid.

    Bottom line, the vast majority of women reject anyone as husband material if they make less than they do. A common exception would be the woman working to put her husband through medical school; but that’s simply an investment on future returns.

    So what does that imply? The vast majority of women see marriage a path to enrichment. It was a woman that said: “It’s just as easy to love a rich man as a poor man.” Most men just scratch their heads at this. That’s not how men love.

    Men need to start looking at marriage the same way women do. Simply ask: “What’s the advantage to me?” If the answer is ‘there are no advantages’, then don’t marry. If she gives you an ultimatum, don’t marry. (She want’s the contract, no you.)

    Come to think of it: Just don’t marry. Until I hear one person give one advantage a man gets from marriage, that he can’t get cohabitating in a non-commonlaw state, it’s a dead issue.

  126. Badger Nation says:

    “If she gives you an ultimatum, don’t marry.”

    Walking away from ANY ultimatum is a pretty good default rule for most social dynamics. It says very boldly “I’m bigger than any threat you can put in front of me.”

  127. Dalrock says:

    @Oak
    PLUS, Mark, it igores the fact that these are the exceptions. They are not common. I could say “Gorillas have black fur” and sure enough someone will post a picture of an albino gorilla, and say my point isn’t valid.

    Yes, this really is the problem. You could offer hard stats of something and the response would be one anecdotal data point which the stats actually accounted for. On the other hand, I’ve offered stats followed by an anecdote which fits the stats, and the screams come out that it is only one example. Yes, but it is an example which fits the stats…

  128. Steve says:

    In 2011, for an individual of high worth or of high income, there is NO REASON TO GET MARRIED ! Marriage will lead to divorce 50% plus of the time. The higher earner/worth individual could be ruined or best case lose a portion of their estate. Family courts are setup to protect the “poorer” spouse, and brutally punish the breadwinner.

    Specifically, the following will occur:
    1) In equitable distribution states, 50%-80% of ALL the assets brought into and acquired during the marriage, could be given to the “poorer” spouse. Bye bye house(s), cars, cash, 401k, ect….

    2) Alimony – This is money paid to the poorer spouse in order to “maintain the lifestyle” of the poorer spouse. These payments can be 30-50% of the breadwinner’s gross earnings, and last A LIFETIME as seem in US states like MA. This is a form of modern day slavery, but many people do not know about such horrific laws. In addition, spouses of 2nd marriages in some cases, have to forfeit their earnings and assets to the ex spouse to maintain their lifestyle (in MA) !

    3) Child Support – If you made the HUGE mistake of having 1 or more children with your ex-spouse, you will pay a 30-40% or more of your gross income. Most of this money is “free spending” money for the ex spouse, and little goes to the child.

    4) Legal fees – Divorce lawyers are trained for conflict. The more a divorcing couple fights and goes to court, the more money spent on legal fees. HUGE amount of money can be lost to the deep pockets of lawyers.

    ALL HIGH EARNERS AND THOSE OF HIGH NET WORTH MUST STAY AWAY FROM MARRIAGE, OR ELSE BE FACED WITH DIRE FINANCIAL CONSEQUENCES. YOU HAVE BEEN WARNED !

  129. Joe says:

    Personally, I’ve deliberately avoided marriage all my life.
    This was one (of a number) of issues that came up at the end of one of my LTRs.
    Over the following couple of years I’ve gave marriage some serious consideration and did a lot of research (I’m a read-the-reviews-before-you-buy kinda guy).

    Once I discovered the ease with which your wife or cohabiting gf can utterly destroy your life with a couple of phone calls / a few forms filled in at “family court”, I came to the conclusion that my gut feeling was probably right all along.
    Husband = he-who-is-bound.
    Legally – you continue to retain your home, access to your kids, your wealth, your health and even your freedom (from jail) only as long as your wife / cohabitee permits it. Why would I ever give anyone that much power over me?
    Shocking.

    And that’s not even getting onto the wives who kill their hubbies (sometimes while sleeping) and not only get no, or very little jail time (by crying “abuse”) but in one case got a MEDAL for BRAVERY from the PM’s wife! O_O
    wtf?

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  134. Mark says:

    Don’t marry ever. Ever. It is slavery. Women cannot be trusted. She will cheat you, cheat on you, willfully and maliciously call the police on you. When they come you have no rights. They will jail you, threaten you, take your money. Divorce court is a sham. Child support is the only debt that you can go to jail for if you can’t pay it. Marriage is entirely too dangerous.

    No, this strike is not to get a better social deal. No. It is to get a better personal deal. A happier live free of debt slavery, free of the autocratic control of a woman. Porn is better than a woman over the life of the relationship.

    You can predict and guess what younger will do in years from now. But the smart man, opts. Better a good laptop than a bad woman. Much better.

  135. Chris says:

    Marriage = License for a woman to empty a man’s bank account.

    Don’t get married. Ever!!!

  136. bresner23 says:

    The problem is not marriage. The real problem is emasculated males thinking they are in a position to lead a relationship with a woman. Marriage is just ink on a paper. The relationship management is always the first issue to address: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=y5OdQGbVNa4

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  138. The Duke from Italy says:

    Marriage is designed to sexually enslave men:
    Humanity consists of Men & Women. But I am surprised to know as to why most of the difficult and dangerous work is assigned to men.

    When humans were developed in ancient land, search for food through hunting was a dangerous activity. Even in contemporary tribal societies, it has been found that almost 90% of the men die a violent death in search of food or security. This activity was given to men, and along with this activity the possibility of death. In middle ages, the only employment available was that of a soldier. Men were employed and died. I was just thinking as to why men accepted these dangerous works to do and opted for death, whereas women lived longer in the shelter of cave or home. In ancient days marriage was sacred. It was a divine right of a woman. It was also a divine duty of a man, to marry a woman, to discharge what is called “Pitri Rrin” (father’s debt). Marriage vow was unbreakable. Due to high mortality rate of men, and longevity of women; polygamy was moral and allowed.

    The situation changed. With development of science and technology, our planet becomes a safer place to live. Employment becomes available outside military also. Women opted to work outside. I am surprised to find the smartness of human females- as long as working outside was dangerous, they preferred the safety of home and the moment it becomes safer to work outside home, they decided to work outside home. Same goes with marriage- now it becomes possible for a woman to live alone, without support of a man- divorce becomes acceptable and moral. The sacred marriage becomes a personal choice.
    The smartness of womenhood does not stop here. They alleged that man has exploited women for thousands of years. They were not allowed to work outside home. They were kept in bondage in marriage. And surprisingly, many men believe this argument. To correct this historical wrong they are advocating various privileges to be given to women! This article is an attempt to examine the reasons of such manipulation of man.
    There is a basic dichotomy between men and women. Men want sex. It is said that men think about sex every 55 seconds. On the contrary women do not want sex. In a recent book, Why Women have Sex (Cindy Metson & David Buss), the authors say,
    “Research has shown that most men find most women at least somewhat sexually attractive, whereas most women do not find most men sexually attractive at all…..”
    Thus sex becomes a bargaining tool in the hand of women. Men wanted sex all the time. Women have monopoly on this demand of men. Due to this dichotomy men become a “Sexual Slaves”, i.e. they can be asked to do work which were dangerous and which women do not want to do. That is the beginning of slavery. Such manipulation of men is also evident in nature like some birds forcing males to construct a nest before they mate etc.
    Cultural development perpetuated this slavery of men and monopoly of women. Sex outside marriage was seen as taboo. Sex, which is a natural activity like eating or sleeping was given a sacred place. To reduce the supply of sex, prostitution was made illegal. All these cultural developments increased men’s dependence on a single woman for sex, so that slavery of the man can be perpetuated.
    In course of time a myth was created- “power of sexual desire”. In my view sexual desire is there and some power is also there behind it. But power of “food desire” or “sleep desire” is much more powerful than “sex desire”. The power of sexual desire was created artificially by reducing supply of sex, by suppressing sexual independence, by prohibiting free trade in sex etc.
    The effect of sex slavery is also seen today. In today’s world men work harder, in all dangerous situation, share their earning with the women, pay large amount of taxes to state….. and live much lower than the woman. Society and state condition them to marry to perpetuate their slavery. These developments have made man a slave, a sexual slave. In the society there is nothing like power of a man, there is only slavery of a man. Men must understand their slavery. If they don’t understand it, they will be treated as slaves and abused as exploiter. They will be living in the myth of “male power” and dying early. The “myth of male power” also allow state to make anti-men laws so that slavery of men can be perpetuated through power of law.
    The slavery of men is not in their chains, it is in their ignorance.

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