There are two competing narratives when it comes to women divorcing. The first is the feminist narrative: I don’t need a man! or A woman needs a man like a fish needs a bicycle! The other way to see it is in the context of women’s preference for serial monogamy with a divorce theft sweetener. Divorce isn’t intended as a final act, but instead sets the stage for entry into an expected new and better relationship while collecting cash and prizes.
Surprisingly the feminist narrative is extremely popular in the manosphere. The basic premise here is that men are dead weight to women, and that women receive nothing of value to being (some would even argue getting) married. Not surprisingly, the language the men of the manosphere use when making this feminist argument often is boilerplate feminist. For example, which of the following comments is from a man in the manosphere, and which is from a feminist explaining that marriage is bad for women?
The men are content. Anytime [women] ask them to pull their weight, they are the ones who piss and moan. All of my friends are tired of raising their man along with their children. Thus is life. If I could offer young women advice: Don’t get married. You’ll be better off living alone, doing what & when you want to, learn handy work yourself… or hire an electrician or carpenter because a husband will never get around to it.
‘Manliness’ is gone, it’s left the building. It’s even criminal. Women don’t really want that, or need it. It’s useless. They’ll either move back in with the parents after they get the sperm or they’ll move into subsidized housing. To be brutally frank, not even Game will keep your wife in these circumstances. A woman with two small kids doesn’t really want to be gamed. All she knows is there is some dude who she had kids with and all he does is come home from work and plops down into the couch like a sack of potatoes. She’d rather be alone or move back in with her parents.
…It’s ordinary men – most men – that are the new ball and chain.
I would submit however that the test of Dalrock’s assertion would be Britain and the Scandi Nations. There, marriage collapsed almost overnight. Britain went from the land of Mrs. Miniver to that of Clockwork Orange, and then straight to Harry Brown, in about three generations. Over 50% of White births in Britain are illegitimate, if anything Hindu/Muslim births are propping up the national legitimacy rate. In the Scandinavian nations the situation wrt legitimacy is even worse.
I’d say that women want a variety of things. When given a choice: marriage and nuclear family, vs. sexy Alpha guys and kids with them even as single mothers, they choose the latter at least over half. At least. After all, what is better, a loser beta male who is a good father and provider but unsexy and with no harem, or the excitement and domination and sexual thrills of an Alpha and bearing his kid? Particularly when there is no need for a provider, the government plus a woman’s own earnings can substitute for that.
Like it or not, legitimacy and the nuclear family are ending. The nuclear family is dead, dead, dead in places like Sweden, Denmark, Norway, and even the Netherlands. Certainly in Britain. Dying rapidly here.
So I guess the matter is settled. Both feminists and men in the manosphere are convinced that women no longer need men, and they specifically no longer want or need husbands or their children’s father in the household.
However the data and our understanding of female psychology both contradict this widely and deeply held belief. Whiskey claimed that we could see proof of his thesis in the stats for Britain and Scandinavia; yet Lavazza offered a link to statistics which contradicted this in Sweden:
Whisky: You’d better look at the percentage of children living with both their parents rather than OOW births. In Sweden 90 % of 1 YO live with both their parents. For 17 YO it is 60 %.
I was able to find stats from the UK which dispelled the claim that women there no longer feel compelled to either marry or at least do the next best thing before having children. See Table 5 from This report from 2003. For whites in the UK, just under 60% (58.9%) of babies were born to married parents. If you add in cohabiting parents it is just over 85%. I also found this report from 2011, appendix table A1 (last page). 84.2% of all women (all races) in the UK had ever married by the age of 40 in the last time period they have data for (2004-2007).
Previously I’ve shared data proving that a woman’s likelihood of divorce tracks closely with her perceived opportunity to remarry. As women grow older their chances at remarriage drop dramatically, and so does coincidentally their likelihood of divorcing. This is reinforced by the findings of the AARP survey. They found that a woman’s age at time of divorce correlated with her likelihood of dating:
Their age at the time of divorce also impacts dating, especially among women. Eighty‐eight percent of women in their 40s dated (35% did before the divorce was final), while 79 percent of women in their 60s and older did the same (13% did before the divorce was final). (Page 39)
But for middle age and older women, their post divorce romantic lives are nothing like they are in the divorce fantasies:
Almost 9 in 10 men (87%) dated after their divorce, compared to 8 in 10 women (79%)… Among those who dated after the divorce, more than half of men (54%) but fewer women remarried (39%). (Page 39)
Many women, especially those who have not remarried (69%), do not touch or hug at all sexually. An even larger majority of women who have not remarried do not engage in sexual intercourse (77% saying not at all), in comparison with about half of men (49%) who have not remarried. (Page 6)
The divorce fantasies themselves offer a strong indicator that women aren’t divorcing with the hopes of living their lives alone. Divorcées want the next stepping stone on the path of serial monogamy. Otherwise, why is it nearly universal that the heroine divorcée ultimately winds up either remarried or with another worthy man promising commitment? Eat, Pray, Cats wouldn’t have been a bestseller or a box office hit. Likewise, it isn’t an accident that Single in the Suburbs ended with the divorcée receiving a profession of love and commitment from a secret multimillionaire hunky handyman. Even Lorraine Berry ended her tale with an assumption of lifelong commitment. I’ll also go on the record predicting that a sequel to How Stella Got Her Groove Back titled How Stella Died Alone With Her Cats wouldn’t have the same panache.
Equally telling is how far the women in the “true life” divorce fantasy stories have to stretch the truth in order to make their story fit the mold. In EPL, the heroine met a hunky exotic successful import/export businessman. In real life he is in his late 50s and nearly 20 years her senior. The dashing businessman of the book and movie now asks her permission before he spends money:
Elizabeth Gilbert’s husband rang her from Vietnam and asked, “Do I have permission to buy a 7,000-pound marble Buddha?”
Her answer: “You don’t need permission, ever.”
It gets even more romantic, the reason the old man proposed is he wanted to live in her house but he needed a visa to enter the US. The real Stella story is arguably even worse. Unlike in the movie, the hot young Jamaican stud the divorced author married was visibly gay, and ironically she later accused him of marrying her for a visa as well. Adding injury to insult, the author was then forced to pay him spousal support even though he had signed a prenuptial agreement.
If the celebrated success stories are so brutal, one can only wonder how bad the failures or even just ordinary endings must be. Certainly the AARP study gave us a grim look at this. Surprisingly however this is generally a topic researchers lack interest in. Finding data on what I’ve coined as post marital spinsterhood is very difficult. A few months back I found some data from the US Census SIPP tables on marriage and divorce. They break their data out by race, and the following data is all for White Non Hispanic women. One key benefit of looking at a single race is that it avoids shifts which might be due to changing racial demographics. I chose to look at White Non Hispanic data because White women are amongst the most likely to remarry after divorce. There is evidence there that post marital spinsterhood amongst white women is indeed on the rise:
While this isn’t a huge jump, it does confirm the general trend. Even though the latest data is from 2009 the bulk of the divorces for the women then in their 50s would have happened decades earlier. Since we know that remarriage rates for women are declining over time and with age and women are marrying and divorcing later now than in the past, there is every reason to expect that these figures will look even worse for women divorcing today when they are in their 50s.
One startling thing I noticed when looking at the data is that the percentage of women who have ever divorced drops dramatically as the age brackets increase. Either this is an artifact caused by past low divorce rates, women who ever divorced leaving the country in droves, or women who ever divorced dying at significantly higher rates than women who haven’t divorced. I don’t have any data disproving a mass divorcée expatriation, but my gut tells me this isn’t the case. Looking at the shape of the curves over multiple points in time it appears that this isn’t an artifact of past low divorce rates either: