The Failed Female Strategy of Life Splitting

March 11, 2013

woman_on_tightropeLeslie Bell, writing in The Atlantic to promote her new book on young women and sexual freedom, observes that in her discussions with 20-something women, they often express shame about desiring a committed relationship. 

Some young women deeply desire meaningful relationships with men, even as they feel guilty about those desires. Many express the same sentiment again and again: “Why do I, a young and highly educated woman in the 21st century, value relationships with men so highly?” To do so feels like a betrayal of themselves, of their education, and of their achievements.

It’s not feminists indoctrinating women, it’s parents, encouraging their daughters to pursue career opportunities and success before allowing their thoughts to turn to “settling down.” Friends, whose parents have raised them with the same set of expectations, provide much needed backup for this strategy, offering bromides over Mimosas during brunch.  It’s the Sex and the City nightmare come to fruition. 

I was raised with this set of expectations myself. My mother felt stifled at home, and my father was convinced I could follow in his footsteps and even surpass his own achievements. From Irish parlor maid to Wharton MBA in two generations; not bad. Yet he would never call himself a feminist; he was simply a proud father who wanted the best for his daughter. 

Like women today, I too felt anxiety about losing focus and taking my eye off the ball, but when at 25 I met my husband, I began making compromises right away. I’d find a job in NY to be with him, then move with him to Boston, then agree to stay at home with a toddler who was miserable in day care. I recall feeling sheepish about these choices well into my 30s, dreading business school reunions, and feeling defensive about my stalled career. I did things like organize school fundraisers with all the confidence of a C level executive, desperate to prove I could be successful at something

When I pursued outside interests to break the routine of being a stay-at-home mom, my father continued to urge achievement and success. The landscapes I painted were amazing – I should send slides to galleries right away. My performance in the play was a show stealer – when would I get my Actors’ Equity card? I had to get downright pugnacious to defend my choices, even at the age of 40! It doesn’t surprise me that many women do as they’re told and prioritize career over marriage and family.

Bell describes a phenomenon she calls splitting, where women actively avoid relationships rather than struggle with the incompatibility between family and a hard charging career:

Anxiety is difficult to tolerate, and rather than experience it, many of the young women I interviewed and work with in my psychotherapy practice split their desire for a relationship off from their professional and self-development desires. Confused about freedom and desire, young women often split their social and psychological options—independence, strength, safety, control, and career versus connection, vulnerability, need, desire, and relationships—into mutually exclusive possibilities in life. Romantic relationships then often become something to be avoided and denigrated rather than embraced.

Katie, a 25-year-old woman I spoke with as part of my research, confided that she worried her single-minded pursuit of a graduate degree might limit her ability to meet a man with whom she could build a life…To put such a high premium on relationships was frightening to Katie. She worried that it meant she wasn’t liberated and was still defined by traditional expectations of women.

Erin Callan, the former CFO of Lehman Brothers, provided a vivid cautionary tale to women adopting this mindset in yesterday’s New York Times. In Is There Life After Work? Callan describes her “leisure time” at the age of 39, when she was well on her way to Wall St. superstardom:

When I wasn’t catching up on work, I spent my weekends recharging my batteries for the coming week. Work always came first, before my family, friends and marriage — which ended just a few years later.

…I don’t have children, so it might seem that my story lacks relevance to the work-life balance debate. Like everyone, though, I did have relationships — a spouse, friends and family — and none of them got the best version of me. They got what was left over.

Callan resigned her job just months before Lehman collapsed in the fiscal crisis of 2008. Without her job, she realized that she had lost her identity as well, and set out to find more meaning in her life. 

I have spent several years now living a different version of my life, where I try to apply my energy to my new husband, Anthony, and the people whom I love and care about. But I can’t make up for lost time. Most important, although I now have stepchildren, I missed having a child of my own. I am 47 years old, and Anthony and I have been trying in vitro fertilization for several years. We are still hoping.

Wow, 47 and still doing IVF – that saddens me. Callan is eager to point out to young women the problem with her failed strategy – the splitting of a life into “now” and “later” doesn’t work very well. 

Sometimes young women tell me they admire what I’ve done. As they see it, I worked hard for 20 years and can now spend the next 20 focused on other things. But that is not balance. I do not wish that for anyone. Even at the best times in my career, I was never deluded into thinking I had achieved any sort of rational allocation between my life at work and my life outside.

…At the end of the day, that is the best guidance I can give. Whatever valuable advice I have about managing a career, I am only now learning how to manage a life.

As women, we face choices. You cannot give 100% of yourself  to a career and another 100% of yourself to your family. You cannot be a superstar in both realms, it is impossible. Over the years, I have known many women who had careers and children – hundreds. I have never known a woman who had a high-powered career and a close relationship to her husband and children. Not one. Maybe Sheryl Sandberg or Marissa Mayer will be the exceptions, but I doubt it. Every single one of us must compromise if we want to find balance in life. 

Think about this now, before you make the choices that will set you irrevocably on one path. What is it that you want to achieve? What kind of legacy do you wish to leave with this one life you have been given? What compromises are you willing to make?

Life splitting is a failed strategy. You can’t afford to save relationships and children for Phase II. Decide what you want your life to be about, and set out to make that happen, beginning today. Your responsibility is not to your parents or your girlfriends. It is to yourself, and your future family, should you decide to have one. 

 

  • Abbot
  • Abbot

    The author says:

    “…they have a few different messages coming in, like “your 20s should be a decade that’s all about having as many sexual experiences as possible, diverse sexual experiences with diverse partners; in fact, that’s the way you figure yourself out, but at the same time you better temper that by making sure that it doesn’t go over a certain number.”

    Why do these “authors” never state who is putting out these “messages?” Its gotten to the point that nothing they say is credible and are just pulling stuff out of their asses

    http://www.alternet.org/sex-amp-relationships/finally-nuanced-look-hookup-culture?page=0%2C0

    .

  • Abbot

    “the splitting of a life into “now” and “later” doesn’t work very well”

    Biology aside, its not working because the notion being fed to women that men are just lining up with catchers mitts to field the leftovers is a major hoax.

    .

  • Abbot

    “your 20s should be a decade that’s all about having as many sexual experiences as possible, diverse sexual experiences with diverse partners; in fact, that’s the way you figure yourself out.”

    Is that how men “figure themselves out?” Via vagina? Why do these feminists constantly repeat this crap over and over? They are actually saying that a woman is not really whole and ready to be in a committed relationship until she has mounted multiple and diverse penises. Are they saying this in hopes that men hear it and just accept thats how their woman got to be who she is, the person you love? Its absolutely fucking revolting. Yeah, grandma was not a full person. These feminists contradict themselves. Sometimes they also say multipenis has no consequence then they spin around and say – it helps you figure yourself out.

  • Jimmy Hensricks

    Another great post, Susan.

  • Passer_By

    This strikes me as a uniquely North Eastern issue. Either that or it’s overstated by focusing on a few outlier women. Granted, it’s been 10-15 years since I associated with a lot of young, single working professional women – typically lawyers, but a few business degree types of various sorts. Some with business degrees. I never met one who wanted to avoid relationships for the benefit of a career, or who in any way felt like she wasn’t supposed to want a relationship. Things might have changed, but the feminist indoctrination in the ’90s seemed at least as strong as now.

    • @Passer By, @Tomato

      I never met one who wanted to avoid relationships for the benefit of a career, or who in any way felt like she wasn’t supposed to want a relationship.

      Bastiat Blogger is a college professor who reports that his female students very much feel this way.

      I will say that Leslie Bell’s sample for her book was only 20 women, a shamefully small number on which to draw conclusions. Not only that, in discussing them she has referred to her lesbian and transgender subjects. So who knows how many of these women she interviewed were even interested in motherhood. OTOH, she does refer to having spoken with many women over the years, and sees patients as a therapist, so perhaps she has a good sense of it.

  • Escoffier

    Sheryl Sandberg is focus of evil in the modern world.

    That might be a slight exaggeration.

    • Sheryl Sandberg is focus of evil in the modern world.

      Yeah, she’s terrible. I don’t know why people can’t see her for the self-serving narcissist she is.

  • Red Pill

    Wow. Truth.

  • Lokland

    @PB

    I suspect it is a hyper focus on one rather noticeable group.
    I have female docs/scientists/other smart nerdy professions in my social group as well as run of the mill stuff.

    A few haven’t dated and are career intensive but most are normal and have had a boyfriend while going to school. I’d say this was more normal then is typically believed.

  • Society’s Disposable Son

    I can totally see this. In most of my real life experience my guy friends who had a FWB, that situation was almost always initiated by the girl (the guys would have been ok dating usually) due to her being too busy with work or school.

  • Tomato

    Passer_By, I’ve never seen it either and I have been surrounded by women graduate students/medical students for the past 10 years.

  • Escoffier

    marissa mayer I am witholding judgement on for the present.

    It is a given that she won’t raise her own child, at least not as long as she retains that job. In a way, she and other corporate uber-wenches are not unlike the great aristocratic ladies of old, who contracted out the raising of their kids. E.g., Churchill saying of his mother: “I loved her, but at a distance.”

    However, those great ladies had virtues the current crop lacks, to say nothing of other differences in society. And, even so, Tacitus says that the decline of Rome began when it became common for patrician mothers to hand their children over to slaves rather than raise them themselves.

    • marissa mayer I am witholding judgement on for the present.

      FTR, I support her decision to terminate telecommuting. It’s a sound business decision. She was hired to save Yahoo, not to make it more family-friendly, which is very expensive. I annoyed a number of people yesterday at brunch by taking this “capitalist” view.

      I do agree that taking over an office to install a nursery for her baby is hypocritical, but someone suggested that many male CEOs have private gyms and no one complains. In that light, I see nothing wrong with it.

  • INTJ

    @ Escoffier

    And, even so, Tacitus says that the decline of Rome began when it became common for patrician mothers to hand their children over to slaves rather than raise them themselves.

    Correlation =/= causation dude. Patrician women should have raised their children themselves, but the decline of Rome was due to more general problems in society, not the way patrician children were raised.

  • Jonny

    “Bell describes a phenomenon she calls splitting, where women actively avoid relationships rather than struggle with the incompatibility between family and a hard charging career”

    This is a mouthful of nonsense. If this is true, women are in a sad state. How many jobs are “hard charging”? How many jobs will prevent you from getting married and starting a family? Why would be choice between a career or staying at home so stark?

    Splitting is the intentional giving up of having a life in favor of marrying your career. It’s a new religion of sorts. It is a new nuns lifestyle. It’s time for an intervention.

    • Splitting is the intentional giving up of having a life in favor of marrying your career.

      Well said, that’s exactly what it is.

  • Escoffier

    Take it up with Tacitus. But I recommend that you understand him correctly first.

  • ExNewYorker

    “This strikes me as a uniquely North Eastern issue. Either that or it’s overstated by focusing on a few outlier women. “

    I can imagine the full blown case of “splitting” would be more typical of the high achieving northeast corridor. However, various less extreme cases are things I see all the time…in a different form: “I don’t have to worry about relationships until later” or “I’ll be able to find a guy when I decided to settle down” (a la Kate Bolick). These sub-forms of splitting effectively raise one’s own career, fulfillment, enjoyment, etc., as coming first before thinking about any other relationship.

    It was this sort of mentality that made my marriage search a decade a ago difficult. It’s not a good thing to marry a woman for whom you don’t come first.

  • Suni

    Hi, lurker here.

    Wonderful post Susan!

    @Passer_by and Tomato, I’m Midwestern with friends all over the country, and this is a prevailing mindset among women my age. I am 25 and will be 26 in October.

    I am looked down on for foregoing an additional professional degree (though I don’t really *need* one) and wanting to be married with children. While not a prude in the least bit, I’m also looked down on for saving myself for marriage. I’m a media professional and am actively staying flexible by doing freelance work on the side and starting my own business on the side specializing in art and design, my passions, for when I do marry. Besides the entrepreneur bug, I want to be able to set my own hours, take a week off when I feel like it, ect. Again, this is a VERY ugly approach to life for many friends and family members. I’m currently single but am actively working on making marriage one of my goals.

    I used to be like many of the young women who look down on me–very anti-relationship thanks to my mom and other women around me. They meant well, but things change when you answer a phone call from your boss’ husband asking when I think she’ll be home…true story. Another time I answered a call from her 5 yr. old daughter asking when mommy will be home (these calls get bounced to me when a line is busy). 🙁

    Thanks, but no thanks…I’m grateful to have seen the error of my mindset as I was graduating college. For some time now I’ve been an avid lurker on your site and other men friendly/marriage/family sites. Hopefully there will be no in vitro at 47 for me!

    Oh, and before I go I wanted to add my demographic may be a little different than many of those here–I’m a black woman raised in the inner city.

    • @Suni

      Welcome, thank you so much for delurking! You got smart early, and there’s no doubt in my mind you will reap the rewards of this very sensible strategy. I have advised other women in college who already know they want to prioritize family and have flexibility in their careers to choose disciplines that are relatively friendly to part-time work and freelance/subcontracting.

      A disproportionate number of small businesses are being started by working mothers. Having a “trade” or specific skill set is better than being a generalist, as I was. Of all the fields, I think business is the least friendly to women, and there’s a reason for that – it’s costly, and it drives down profitability. Women can write all they want about the need for family-friendly policies in corporations, but who’s going to pay for that? How will American companies be competitive?

  • HanSolo

    The attitude is more for women to use their 20’s for personal/career development and then look for marriage in their 30’s. This attitude is spreading amongst the college-educated class in Latin America too, as I have several female friends in their early to late 20’s that have or had that attitude.

  • Ysabelle AC

    I agree that at the end of the day, be the person man or woman, he or she should choose a path that makes sense to them, not what other people in society expects.

    I kind of give your father credit though. He believed in you and that you could be more, he was very encouraging in whatever you did. That’s more encouragement that many people give their daughters. Sure you chose a different path, but he must have loved you to feel you could achieve what the world still considers “success”.

    vs. when I went to an ivy league college my cousin asked my mother why they were sending me because daughters don’t remain part of the family and there’s no need to waste so much money on me. I would give your father more credit for believing in you.

    • @Ysabelle AC

      I kind of give your father credit though. He believed in you and that you could be more, he was very encouraging in whatever you did. That’s more encouragement that many people give their daughters.

      It’s true – he was my greatest cheerleader, and he still is. We’re very close. He also taught me to think independently and to speak up for myself. I wonder why so many parents succeed in making their daughters feel a pressure to achieve while failing to give them a voice.

  • Suni, welcome and glad you delurked! You probably know this but there are at least four regular commenters here who are black women, so you are not alone!

    As to priortizing marriage and family, I definitely agree. I got married right after 26, and although it was a rocky road to get here, I had a wonderful baby boy at 28.

  • HanSolo

    @Susan

    It may not necessarily be feminists directly indoctrinating the girls but they definitely had a hand in forming the narrative that was “indoctrinated” into the parents that then got passed onto the daughters.

    I think that as word gets out and young women see what’s happening to the older single or childless women that they’ll realize they have to be more realistic and choose relationships earlier, assuming they want them and children.

    Interestingly enough, when I was in consulting, most of the female associates seemed to be married or in an LTR and a lot of the female entry-level consultants were in LTRs–I’d guess about half and half. But I wasn’t in NY and the impression I felt was that the NY office consultants thought they were the best and I imagine that more hard-charging females went there.

    • I think that as word gets out and young women see what’s happening to the older single or childless women that they’ll realize they have to be more realistic and choose relationships earlier, assuming they want them and children.

      I hope you’re right, that’s a key part of my strategy. There’s a lot of power in cautionary tales.

  • Emmanuel

    @Susan
    Like women today, I too felt anxiety about losing focus and taking my eye off the ball, but when at 25 I met my husband, I began making compromises right away. I’d find a job in NY to be with him, then move with him to Boston, then agree to stay at home with a toddler who was miserable in day care. I recall feeling sheepish about these choices well into my 30s, dreading business school reunions

    Hello Susan. Looks like your blog is still alive and striving! I guess there are no worries about that 🙂
    Some of the reasons why I left the USA at some point and never turned back are quite well laid out in the quote of yours just above.
    Business people (among others) over there “fascinate me” when they start talking about family values, yet promoting a corporate world that is precisely aimed at destroying family values for the sake of career achievement i/e corporate executives wanting more and more profit…not for the sake of everybody working for them, but for themselves.
    I was, I must say, depressed or appauled by the way people of both gender over there chose to meet one another, make love, marry, or not, and worst of all have children who, more often than not, where never either enough taken care of or loved enough. This pattern is of course gaining ground in Europe, albeit in a varied, not as extremely “lost and confused” way, but all the same.
    As for relationships and love, well….looks like nowdays values are working at just destroying that.

    • @Emmanuel

      Good to see you!

      I was, I must say, depressed or appauled by the way people of both gender over there chose to meet one another, make love, marry, or not, and worst of all have children who, more often than not, where never either enough taken care of or loved enough.

      Well, in defense of my fellow American mothers, I have found that many if not most of the highly educated women I know let career take a back seat to family. A lot of them still work, but they stepped off the high-powered track and took jobs where they could predict and control a 40 hour week. Many more work part-time, job share, etc.

      I do know a few women who are in very high pressure jobs, and to a one they are of the “aloof, ball-buster” variety. IOW, they act very much like men. Their kids have been raised either by stay at home dads (which is fine) or they’ve been farmed out to other caregivers. My kids went to school with some kids whose mothers I never met. They didn’t even make it to Back to School Night – just showed up for graduation at the end of 12 years.

  • Bully

    I know a handful of those high ranking exec types where I work – both male and female – and they’re the most miserable people I’ve ever seen despite the money they make. It wouldn’t surprise me if the women were even more miserable though. At least the men have the bonus (personally I consider it a Pyrrhic victory) of it funneling back into their SMV. The women don’t even have that. The executive mothers are the worst of all; and they’re execs in extremely cushy fields (HR) to boot.

    The singleminded pursuit of status is a particularly insidious disease that turns previously happy, warm people into unfeeling simulacra of human beings that only hunger for more, more, more in the attempt to feed the black hole that just keeps growing and growing and growing.

    Pick one thing and do it well. Do not choose the fantasy of ‘having it all’ over the reality of opportunity costs. Splitting your time leads to splitting your benefits.

  • Jacob Ian Stalk

    As women, we face choices. You cannot give 100% of yourself to a career and another 100% of yourself to your family. You cannot be a superstar in both realms, it is impossible. Over the years, I have known many women who had careers and children – hundreds. I have never known a woman who had a high-powered career and a close relationship to her husband and children. Not one. Maybe Sheryl Sandberg or Marissa Mayer will be the exceptions, but I doubt it. Every single one of us must compromise if we want to find balance in life.

    Let me get this straight. You’re using Erin Callen, ex-CFO of the company whose collapse revealed everything that was morally wrong with the finance industry, and Sheryl Sandberg, a woman who lazily basks in the reflected false glory of the daily siphoning of souls from their hosts, as an argument that a woman can only be a superstar in one realm of her life?

    How very odd.

    But then you go on to conclude this:

    [Your responsibility] is to yourself, and your future family, should you decide to have one.

    Underneath the sociological polish, this post contains the same narcissistic ideas that get women into trouble in the first place – self-service and the belief they can be superstars (whatever that means – there’s no such thing as a self-made woman). It’s the same old sugar syrup, bottled up as Susan’s Women’s Miracle Elixir (for the mayking of femayle lyves extr’ordinary).

    • @Jacob Ian Stalk

      Your manner of communication is so unpleasant I find that I simply cannot read your entire comment. Indeed, I wonder what you hope to achieve by leaving it. If you do by any chance wish to be heard and understood, I would suggest a more cordial demeanor. Agreement with me is not a prerequisite for commenting here. Civility is.

  • SayWhaat

    Oof…this post isn’t feel-good, is it?

    I am feeling enormous pressure from my family to have a successful career. They constantly compare me to my friends who are in med school or grad school pursuing “real careers”. I’m supposed to be coming up with a back-up plan in case my stab at the career I want doesn’t pan out — sensible, but how am I supposed to prepare myself for an alternate career while simultaneously preparing my writing portfolio AND prepare for the GRE/GMAT AND look for a relationship AND work at my current full-time job?

    My parents want me to go to a family friend’s upcoming wedding for the sole reason of networking with the groom’s NY friends for contacts in his industry to aid my career. I declined because 1) the trip is not worth the airfare and vacation days, and 2) I know it would not pan out the way my parents want it to because how the fuck do you schmooze at a wedding, especially with your parents watching your every move??

    On top of that, even though my relationship *just* ended, I feel like every day/weekend that goes by without meeting new people is lost time and opportunity that I will never get back. How am I even supposed to meet new people if I’m working all the time, I’m supposed to be taking steps planning my career (dream and alternative), and I know that online dating doesn’t work in my best interests? Even my hobbies aren’t conducive to meeting husband material, but how many additional hobbies do I have the time to take on?

    It’s like I’m carrying this enormous clock with Siri’s voice that keeps telling me that if I don’t meet my future husband within the next 1.5 years, I’ll never get married and have a family.

    What do I do? How do I do it? I need to husband-hunt during every spare moment until it’s clear that it isn’t happening. I need to develop my career to support myself in old age if I end up single forever. I feel torn in a million different directions.

    I’m 23 and I feel like I’m approaching 30. 🙁

    • @SayWhaat

      What do I do? How do I do it? I need to husband-hunt during every spare moment until it’s clear that it isn’t happening. I need to develop my career to support myself in old age if I end up single forever. I feel torn in a million different directions.

      First, take a deep breath! I think you do have your priorities straight. That puts you way ahead of the game right there. Can you imagine writing what Erin Callan wrote in 25 years? No way.

      Second, you are young, now is the time to go for broke on the writing. Give yourself a period of time – say, two years – at the end of which you will pursue Plan B if nothing is panning out. That does not mean you have to pursue Plan B now.

      Your parents want the best for you, obviously, but this is an example where you will have to make your choice and communicate that. It’s not easy to stand against parental expectations. I suspect that you will take a different approach with your own kids – I did.

      Hang in there.

  • Mike C

    your 20s should be a decade that’s all about having as many sexual experiences as possible, ***diverse sexual experiences with diverse partners; in fact, that’s the way you figure yourself out.”***

    Is that how men “figure themselves out?” Via vagina? Why do these feminists constantly repeat this crap over and over? They are actually saying that a woman is not really whole and ready to be in a committed relationship until she has mounted multiple and diverse penises.

    Abbott, you didn’t know….male penises are also “knowledge rods”. I believe semen also has this “essence of self-knowledge” contained in it, and each penis and load has a different essence of self-knowledge. Therefore, the more multi-penis a woman engages in the further down the road of self-discovery and self-knowledge she travels.

    The thing I do find most amusing about the feminist sex pozzies are the all the euphemisms they use for sex (empowerment) and all the tangential “benefits” they attribute to multi-penis such as “figuring yourself out”.

    On a different note, excellent post Susan. I know someone who could have benefited from this perspective 10 years ago. Sadly, I do think it is probably too late for her (in terms of family and children) and it is making her a bitter, nasty person. One of my favorite investment bloggers has an expression “you can figure it out now or figure it out later, but the sooner you figure it out the better shape you will be in” regarding a long-term financial/retirement plan. I think the same idea applies to women in their 20s in terms of the maximize career success versus family and children lifeplan. The sooner a woman figures out what SHE really wants (and not her parents or societal messaging) the better off she will be. At some point, biology and life circumstances will make the decision for her as options will start disappearing off the table. 47 and still trying IVF??? That is sad. That is a woman still in denial, and not having accepted that previous life decisions have taken away certain options. She probably has the money to spend in a most certain fruitless endeavor but the average 40+ woman does not.

  • Passer_By

    @Saywhaat

    “On top of that, even though my relationship *just* ended,”

    Wait, what? I’ve been away. Magnum Man flew the coop? I’m sorry to hear that (even if you still think I’m like a pervy uncle).

    “I need to husband-hunt during every spare moment until it’s clear that it isn’t happening.”

    Well, no. I don’t think most people meet their spouses when they are in “husband hunt every spare minute” mode (putting aside arranged marriages and match making). I’m picturing you in Elmer Fudd garb, looking at the camera and saying “Shhhhh. Be vewy vewy quiet. I’m hunting husbands!”

  • Iggles

    @ SW:

    FTR, I support her decision to terminate telecommuting. It’s a sound business decision. She was hired to save Yahoo, not to make it more family-friendly, which is very expensive. I annoyed a number of people yesterday at brunch by taking this “capitalist” view.

    As a millienal who works in the tech industry, I strongly disagree. It’s a terrible business decision.

    The brain power of the tech world is skewed young. Yes, the managers and CIOs are Gen Xers and Generation Jones (between Boomers and Xers). However, the developers and driving force behind tech innovation are mostly in their 30s and younger. Millennials care far more about flex time and other fringe benefits than our predecessors did.

    The whole package of what a job is offering employees is considered when accepting a job offer. In a world where the work you do is not tethered to a physical office, working remotely is a perk that is part of the norm. As a result, I suspect a lot of brain drain will occur in coming months as top talent flees from Yahoo in favor of positions with better benefits, perks, and a more stable longterm outlooks (Yahoo has had 3 CEOs in one year. Not a good sign!)

    IMO, the writing is on the wall. Also, the reasons Yahoo publicized for making their decision makes it seem like they cannot manage their employees. (Full disclosure: My boss is nearly 2,000 miles away and manages over 20 other employees in several countries. Yet, my manager able to keep tabs on us and what we’re working on. It’s shows gross incompetence that Yahoo managers didn’t know employees weren’t logging into VPN and doing their work!)

    Anytime you punish every for a few bad apples, prepare for a backlash. Other tech companies are shaking their head.

    • @Iggles

      I’m happy to stand corrected re the world of tech. I certainly understand why young people would appreciate flexibility in the workplace, and if you’ve got a set of skills in great demand, you can afford to hold out for more. What I’m really responding to is all the feminist press that stresses the need for a total overhaul in American corporate policy to accomodate more women at the top. That’s really what Sheryl Sandberg’s message is – we need companies to make it easier for women to rise to the senior ranks. I disagree, because I don’t see any incremental benefit to having more women at the top. I don’t believe most women really want to make that choice.

  • Bully

    SayWhaat: I’m in a similar position, though I AM 30, and male. There are people in my family that are pressuring me to have kids (not my mother and father, thank God, but my extended family is.) The fact that they are all strict Irish Catholics may have something to do with it. I have already told them nothing doing. It wasn’t an easy conversation to make, but I feel absolutely no one has the right to tell you what path you should take in life.

    I think you should take a long hard look at how you want your life to pan out and choose your path yourself. If you want to stay at 40 hours a week at your career and seek a relationship with your off time instead that is perfectly okay, and don’t let anyone convince you otherwise.

    Also, consider how much you will truly need to support yourself as a single person. Even in Chicago I was able to put down a mortgage on a nice condo on $50k/year. I make much more now but as of now the balance just keeps going into investments and I’ve been living on roughly the same effective salary for about six years now. You do not need six figures+ to live a happy, comfortable life. Far from it.

  • PokerCat

    I find the whole thought of devoting your entire life to a career as sad. It is unbalanced, and to be honest, your contributions will not survive your termination from the organization you currently work, unless you created the firm from the start (maybe).

    Furthermore I have found that the higher you rise, there is a greater sense of diminishing returns, both with salary, and with enjoyment of your career.

    I couldn’t imagine focusing on my career over my wife and children.

  • HanSolo

    @Bully

    You raise an interesting point in terms of propagating one’s genes. I’m not trying to address you or your life specifically but rather the broader issue. One can do “his part” and have children but then it’s in the kids’ hands as to whether the parents’ genes get passed on to the next generation or not. The parents (would-be grandparents) can try to influence things by upbringing, assistance, pressure, etc. but it’s mostly out of their hands.

    I’m thinking about this because in my family there are 6 kids. The oldest had 3. Then the next one is old and never dates so who knows if he’ll ever have kids–not likely, though possible. Then 3 are gay–no kids now or ever in their cases. Then there’s me. I’m my parents’ only hope for further grandchildren. I personally want to have kids so they will get some eventually, I assume.

  • Sassy6519

    @ SayWhaat

    On top of that, even though my relationship *just* ended, I feel like every day/weekend that goes by without meeting new people is lost time and opportunity that I will never get back. How am I even supposed to meet new people if I’m working all the time, I’m supposed to be taking steps planning my career (dream and alternative), and I know that online dating doesn’t work in my best interests? Even my hobbies aren’t conducive to meeting husband material, but how many additional hobbies do I have the time to take on?

    I totally know where you are coming from, believe me. Trying to juggle my job with grad school and my love life is challenging. Online dating has been disappointing, and straight men don’t really flock to pottery classes and theatre.

    Keep your head up though. I know things can be tough, but you are not alone.

  • Escoffier

    SayWhaat, I’m fairly “trad” and take it from me, 23 is not the time to panic.

  • HanSolo

    @SayWhaat

    You sound like a hard worker and someone that likes to plan for the future so, in light of that, I would tell you to relax and just find an appropriate balance that devotes some time to whatever things you end up choosing to do. Your career will work out fine in the end. You sound like you’re on the worried and over-achieving side of the spectrum (I could be wrong) so you have room to lighten up and still not be anywhere near slackerdom. If you were a total slacker then I wouldn’t give you the advice to chill out.

    I think you should keep doing online dating as a low-effort option where you don’t have to do much work (read the incoming messages and view the guy’s profile takes a few minutes a day likely) but the potential payoff is high because there are some good guys online and you might just find one.

  • SayWhaat

    @ Passer_By

    Yes, we broke up a few weeks ago. We just weren’t right for each other.

    LOL at the Elmer Fudd imagery.

  • SayWhaat

    Thanks for the support, guys. Thinking about this stuff can just get really overwhelming sometimes.

    You sound like you’re on the worried and over-achieving side of the spectrum (I could be wrong) so you have room to lighten up and still not be anywhere near slackerdom.

    You’re not wrong, lol.

    This reminds me of the time I was talking to some Indian kids during college admissions prep season, and I was seriously stressing out because I wasn’t scoring as well as I would have liked on my practice SATs, and I fully believed my mom every time she said I was doomed because I wasn’t scoring 1600s, and they were like, “SayWhaat. You’re in the 7th grade. You have time.”

  • Mike M.

    I’ve noticed that the women who got a family started, then worked on their careers, seem to do better than women who tried career development first.

    • @Mike M.

      I’ve noticed that the women who got a family started, then worked on their careers, seem to do better than women who tried career development first.

      Do you mean do better in general? They’re happier in life? Or do you mean they are more successful in their careers?

  • HanSolo

    @SayWhaat

    I think you’ll be fine enough careerwise no matter what you do (and I’m talking about within the limits you will pursue) so keep pursuing that but think about what will be most important to you in 20 years from now? Career, husband, kids? I think you can have them all…to some extent…so figure out what is most important to you long term, what sacrifices you might need to do short term to get there and realize you are young.

    I’m not sure how much time you spend on socializing in ways that are helpful towards meeting men but let’s say it’s 5. I think you could stand to take another 3 or 5 and make it 8-10 and that will provide more long-term happiness than using those hours on your job or applications, which I’m assuming you’re spending 60-80 on. Cutting it down to 55-75 will likely still be enough. If it’s not then you have to make the hard decision of whether you want the stressful career that excludes enough energy and time for men or not. It might make sense to keep working hard in your current job for a bit longer (short term sacrifice of dating) and parlay that into grad school or a good recommendation to be used in transitioning to a less time-consuming job.

  • SayWhaat

    I don’t think most people meet their spouses when they are in “husband hunt every spare minute” mode.

    Well, that’s the thing, isn’t it?

    “It will happen when you least expect it.”
    “Love and happiness will find you.”
    “It’ll happen right when you stop looking!”

    vs.

    “Marry and have babies before you’re 30.”
    “Your 20s are for finding a spouse.”
    “Your bio clock starts ticking at 27.”

    How are we supposed to look without looking? : /

  • Bully

    @HanSolo: Totally agreed, and it’s a philosophical conundrum I’ve given some thought to, especially because I’m an only child and this means my bloodline ends with me.

    The eventual decision I came to was that we are sentient beings and that gives us the ability to exercise dominance over our base urges of reproduction and self-preservation. I would find it unconscionable to have children, then demand those same children continue the cycle out of pure self interest. Life is a gift, not a loan. I just do not believe it is right to seek sort of vicarious immortality through the act of mere reproduction.

    If we’re just going to propagate for propagation’s sake and not use these gifts of self determination that we have been given we should just all go back to living in grass huts in the jungle because then we’re back to just being animals.

  • A Definite Beta Guy

    SayWhattttt,

    The challenge is to manipulated your life into finding a mate, not challenging yourself to find a husband like it’s your job.

    It’s not, I will head out of the door and find myself a husband today!

    It is, I will go outside and do what I need to do and what I want to do, and I will interact nicely with man and make sure I am exposed to them.

    As opposed to

    I will go outside and do what I need to do and what I want to do, which does not involve men at all and I will act awkward around men because it feels safer than putting myself out there.

  • Passer_By

    @saywhaat

    I think there is a happy medium between assuming love will find you by doing nothing, and spending every bit of spare time “husband hunting”. According to Susan, you’re pretty hot. You say you like sex a LOT. Those two things alone are going to put you above 95% of women for most guys, assuming you’re not a bitch (well, to anyone but me 😉 ). You’re going to get interest if you get out and about. Maybe now that you lost your V card it will be a bit easier to move into a relationship, since you won’t be putting such great expectations on it. If you’re as hot as Susan says, assume that you will need to be extra friendly since most guys have been conditioned to believe you have no interest.

  • A Definite Beta Guy

    So, you needn’t worry, my good friend 🙂

  • INTJ

    @ SayWhaat

    Well, that’s the thing, isn’t it?

    “It will happen when you least expect it.”
    “Love and happiness will find you.”
    “It’ll happen right when you stop looking!”

    “Marry and have babies before you’re 30.”
    “Your 20s are for finding a spouse.”
    “Your bio clock starts ticking at 27.”

    How are we supposed to look without looking? : /

    I know right? If it’s true that “It’ll happen right when you stop looking!”, then God has a twisted sense of humor. However, it would explain why relationship-seeking people seem to have so much trouble while the players and sluts who’re much more meh about commitment seem to have people offering them relationships.

  • HanSolo

    @SayWhaat

    First of all you have to be open to it (you are), 2nd, you have to put yourself in the environment where you’ll meet reasonable candidates, 3rd you show interest to men. (And the foundation of this is improving one’s looks and personality where possible but that’s another story so let’s leave that alone–and I’m not mentioning this related to you.)

    I think where the looking can go wrong for women is that it makes them not filter well enough and they want to find someone so they accept the wrong guy. Women don’t suffer from appearing too eager nearly as much as men do (that’s more something that players that don’t want commitment complain about–but, women, don’t go all talking about marriage with him on the first couple dates) so it’s not the looking itself that is intrinsically wrong. Also, women who become too needy and clingy can turn off the man but I don’t think most American women have this problem. In fact, more have the opposite problem of being too aloof and not wanting a relationship.

    So, I would say you should look. Just filter well and don’t be needy.

    • First of all you have to be open to it (you are), 2nd, you have to put yourself in the environment where you’ll meet reasonable candidates, 3rd you show interest to men.

      +1

      I think where the looking can go wrong for women is that it makes them not filter well enough

      +1

  • INTJ

    @ Escoffier

    Take it up with Tacitus. But I recommend that you understand him correctly first.

    Oh duh! I see what you were getting at now. My bad.

  • Sassy6519

    @ SayWhaat

    How are we supposed to look without looking? : /

    I’ve been asking this same question for some time now.

  • HanSolo

    @Bully

    I agree we can exercise dominion over our natural or base desires and that there is more to humanity than just reproducing. You said:

    “I just do not believe it is right to seek sort of vicarious immortality through the act of mere reproduction.”

    Interestingly enough, perhaps without intending too, that’s what the genes of our ancestors did, though. Maybe they didn’t seek it but they achieved it.

    Depending on whether one thinks humanity is just a collection of will-less particles that somehow give the illusion of agency or whether there’s some fundamental power to choose or whether there’s some divine hand involved will influence whether it was a sought result or just arrived at randomly–I personally think there’s something beyond just will-less particles flying around crashing into each other, some deflecting and others sticking and eventually coming apart.

    Throughout most of history people who reproduced did so even when they weren’t intentionally doing so. Now, due to birth control, abortion, prolonged singleness and other factors, people have much more choice and so it will be interesting to discover if there is some genetic component that gives rise to a conscious desire for children (in addition to cultural factors) and those will be the people that tend to have more children than other people of similar cultural background.

    Once again, not saying anything about your particular situation, just musing generally.

  • I realize I come from an economically depressed area, but I honestly haven’t seen all these career women. Lots of girls that went to the same high school as me and are within 2 or 3 year of me have a child or 2 already.

  • HanSolo

    @SayWhaat

    I meant to say “a woman should show interest to men that aren’t out of her league.” Not directed at you…but at women who have lists that are longer than they can “afford.” Any woman having trouble getting a man that she likes for long term should get a couple of blunt yet well-intentioned men of good taste to evaluate their looks and personality. I have done that with a few women and I think they found it helpful. However, they were mature (not old) and not into defending their ego at the expense of helpful truth.

  • jack

    There are going to be an awful lot of lonely people my age in a few years.

    Once these early opportunities are lost, they can never be regained. And I am not about to be second marriage material for a foolish girl who mis-spent her earlier years.

  • The Bennetts

    “It’s not feminists indoctrinating women, it’s parents, encouraging their daughters to pursue career opportunities and success before allowing their thoughts to turn to “settling down.”

    The reason parents do this is because all of us have seen at least one, but often more, case of a young woman, sometimes even just fresh out of high school, who thinks she’s “in love” and who give up all her plans, hopes and dreams about anything else other than the equally immature “boy” (because that’s what they are) she’s “in love” with.

    As adults who’ve been round the block a few times we know its just infatuation and that it will not last, but to her, he’s “the one” and there’s nothing nobody can say to convince her otherwise. Of course she’s throwing her life away, well at least a good chunk of its most formative and productive years, as we witness the rise and fall and ultimate demise of her “relationship”.

    After the break up she often has to move back in with her parents completely broke and with no marketable skills.

  • Iggles “As a millienal who works in the tech industry, I strongly disagree. It’s a terrible business decision.”

    I cosign this whole post. I work from home all the time, as do my coworkers with AND without kids. It’s a great perk.

    SayWhaat and Sassy “How are we supposed to look without looking? : /”

    I think it’s better to really keep your eyes open and like others have said, put yourself in suitable environments and show interest. Try to put yourself in a place where the male to female ratio is more favorable. For example, there are conventions that go through all the time. Lots of them, like car shows, gun shows, tech shows, have more men than women.

    Also… let it be known you are single. I think this was one of the reasons my husband talked to me. I was like “It’s Valentine’s Day, and I’m lonely,” and he happened to hear me. We chatted, and I thought he was interesting, so I asked him for his private contact information. He later told me that he thought it was weird, because he saw no need for us to communicate outside of the game. But doing so led to us talking to each other all the time.

    Finally, don’t be ashamed to be seen “spouse hunting.” Funny story about two of my coworkers. They were initially romantically interested in each other, but they had religious differences. So they went their separate ways but were still obviously in “spouse hunting” mode. One of them found a girl in his friend’s church, and the other one found a guy in the IT department at work. The guy’s wife just gave birth recently, and the girl got married a few months ago. It seems like because they put their mind to it, it really happened fast.

    • Also… let it be known you are single. I think this was one of the reasons my husband talked to me.

      Yes! Get over any discomfort and put the word out – you’re looking for the real deal. Encourage friends to set you up or invite you to group gatherings with other single people. It’s really just a form of networking – and paired off people will happily fill this role for their single friends if given some encouragement. It may not always be the case that they have someone in mind, but in general it’s good to let it be known that you are available – just as if you were looking for a job!

  • The Bennetts

    “your 20s should be a decade that’s all about having as many sexual experiences as possible, ***diverse sexual experiences with diverse partners; in fact, that’s the way you figure yourself out.”***”

    ” Is that how men “figure themselves out?” Via vagina? Why do these feminists constantly repeat this crap over and over? They are actually saying that a woman is not really whole and ready to be in a committed relationship until she has mounted multiple and diverse penises.”

    This is the general attitude even on teen, and believe it or not, pre-teen sex ed websites. They don’t come out and say it like above, but there is a very strong “no judgement, no shame, no guilt, exploration and experimentation is natural and normal” ethic that you don’t even have to read between the lines to notice. They say anything goes as long as its safe (meaning condoms are used if its male and female sex and same sex oral sex, they advice condoms for that too to prevent STDs), consensual and respectful of each others “boundaries”. Boundaries seems to be a buzzword. I think its replaced “morals” in today’s age.

    One site that is geared towards teen and pre-teen girls was discussing “fisting” in a very objective manner, pros and cons, and how to make it “pleasurable” and safe.

    I don’t know what to make of all this myself.

  • The Bennetts

    “Some of the reasons why I left the USA at some point and never turned back are quite well laid out in the quote of yours just above.
    Business people (among others) over there “fascinate me” when they start talking about family values, yet promoting a corporate world that is precisely aimed at destroying family values for the sake of career achievement i/e corporate executives wanting more and more profit…not for the sake of everybody working for them, but for themselves.”

    Better watch out there Mister. Someone’s gonna peek their head in and call you a “commie”. Or worse yet, a ……….SOCIALIST!!!!

    😉

  • HanSolo

    Letting men know that you’re interest in dating (but not desperate) is huge. It’s like a catalyst that effectively lowers the repulsive electric barrier and allows the reaction to occur.

  • Sai

    I appreciate the honesty in this post, because I too am guilty of “the people here are idiots, get a job, don’t be inadequate, make some money, don’t be poor, don’t starve, don’t waste your life doing nothing you want, don’t be broke, don’t be shiftless!” Sometimes it’s like “The Ten Commandments” and I’m both the Hebrew slave and the whip-cracking Egyptian, and there isn’t even Vincent Price.
    Cross your fingers for me, folks. I’ll do the same for you.

    @MikeC
    “Abbott, you didn’t know….male penises are also “knowledge rods”. I believe semen also has this “essence of self-knowledge” contained in it, and each penis and load has a different essence of self-knowledge. Therefore, the more multi-penis a woman engages in the further down the road of self-discovery and self-knowledge she travels.”

    LMAO

    @SayWhaat
    Everyone else has said it better than me, but you’re proactive and sane and I think you’ll be OK in the future.

  • “The Ten Commandments” and I’m both the Hebrew slave and the whip-cracking Egyptian, and there isn’t even Vincent Price.
    At least you are not a first born 😉
    And you won the Internet for the reference. 😀

  • Abbot

    “This is the general attitude even on teen, and believe it or not, pre-teen sex ed websites.”

    Whacky politics aside, this guy is saying a lot that is true. But why is this happening? What is the larger agenda?

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=j7XR9yH2ETk

    .

  • Speaking as a practicing capitalist, I disagree with Marissa’s decision about telecommuting.

    1)While it’s true that there is much value in personal interaction among people, the people who need to interact are often not in the same physical location. For instance, a product manager in city A may need to have close relationships with a sales support manager in city B, a marketing communications manager in city C, and an engineering manager in city D…these relationships may be much more important that his relationship with other people in city A. I don’t know anything about how Yahoo is geographically spread out, but this kind of dispersion is very common, especially in companies that have grown via acquisition.

    2)There are surely many employees who were hired with the explicit or implicit understanding that they would be able to work from home. By negating this agreement, Marissa is disempowering the managers who made the commitments and sending a message of centralization.

    3)In line with the above, if she doesn’t trust her senior executives to run their own organizations properly, she should get rid of them and put in people she does trust.

    4)To the extent that the objective is partly to get people to leave in order to reduce expenses…I thought everyone who had been in a management position for very long knew that when you pursue such a strategy, the ones who leaves are precisely the ones you want to keep, and the ones who stay are the ones you wish would go.

    I think the proper way to reduce staff in a business, when necessary, is by explicit decisions, not the (governmental) style of making things unpleasant and getting people to leave on their own. No fun for anyone, but sometimes must be done.

    No question, it’s Marissa’s call, but I think it’s an unfortunate one.

  • 1)There are a lot of people who work at home (or would like to) who don’t have babies, or, for that matter, in some cases, spouses.

    2)Prior to the Industrial Revolution, all kinds of industries were carried out at home with children there. Textiles production, for example, often involved the wife spinning and the husband weaving, sometimes with a couple of apprentices in the mix.

    In today’s world, is it really impossible to do (say) a graphic design job with a 10-year-old playing in the background and sometimes interrupting?

  • I think the proper way to reduce staff in a business, when necessary, is by explicit decisions, not the (governmental) style of making things unpleasant and getting people to leave on their own. No fun for anyone, but sometimes must be done.
    I agree even the ones that can stay now will label the place as “unsafe” because any decision might change their arrangement in a moment’s notice. Nothing to make people to start looking for another job than insecurity. She is an idiot, IMO.

  • The Bennetts…”It depends if the graphic designer is good at multi-tasking or not.”

    Which is precisely the reason the decision should be left a lower-level manager who knows the employee and his/her abilities and characteristics. If the chief executive believes the lower-level managers who are pushovers who can’t be trusted to do this properly, that’s a whole other problem.

    Also, the average corporate or government office environment is not exactly interruption-free. Our graphic designer is most unlikely to have his/her own private office. Much more likely (s)he will be in a cubicle, with people talking on the phone in cubicles on two sides and random people dropping in to have work-related (or not) conversations at any given moment.

  • Steve G.

    Maybe Sheryl Sandberg or Marissa Mayer will be the exceptions, but I doubt it.

    Riddle me this:
    http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424127887323884304578328271526080496.html
    If men have no objections to female bosses, then from whence cometh the Glass Ceiling?

  • Ted D

    Saywhaat – “How are we supposed to look without looking? : /”

    I hope you don’t take this the wrong way, but is comment made me chuckle. Mostly because I completely understand the frustration you are feeling.

    Every single one of my LTR mates were “accidents” in that I met them all by chance.
    1. Went to a HS party with a girl I was crushing on. She left with some other kid, and I sat next to her in a corner. Two introverts sitting in the dark at a party. Lol
    2. Took my cousin somewhere (because her car went belly up) and dropped her off with a friend offers. We chatted and hit it off.
    3. Met my ex at a band practice. Her brother was filling in on bass one day and she came by to pick him up after.
    4. Met my current wife at a friends house one Friday night I was over taking some adult time to get my head straight from my impending divorce. She had just moved in two doors down and met my friends wife earlier that week. Friends wife invited her over so she wouldn’t be bored spending Friday night with her hubby and his friend.

    So the point is: I never had a relationship with a woman I approached and asked out. They were all introduced through social circle of some sort, and in each case I was not actually looking at the time.

    Don’t know how to turn that into practical advice though. :-p

  • Bully

    @Susan:

    I’m a guy that has no plans on raising a family, but to me, child when young and career later makes all the sense in the world to me when I look at it. Retirement age is what, 65? I started my career right out of college at 23 and even as I celebrated my 7 year anniversary at my company, I had the sobering thought that I was still more than double my elapsed lifetime to retirement. That’s all of school + post secondary and almost a decade at my company. If a woman has kids right out of college and enters the workforce at 30, that is still a hell of a lot of time left to make a name for yourself.

    Compare that to delaying childbirth and the associated costs of fertility treatment, difficulty conceiving, and increased risk of birth defects.

    Maybe I’m looking at it wrong but it seems like a no-brainer.

  • Abbot

    “A lot of the other stuff may have been over the top but the over the top stuff are not the ONLY things PP is doing”

    Its like a good bill being proposed in the US Congress. Lots of less good gets mixed in so it can ride the with the good. PP operates the same way. Its how they get the tax payer to foot the bill for services feminists always wanted the public to pay for.

  • Abbot

    “If men have no objections to female bosses, then from whence cometh the Glass Ceiling?”

    When women figured out they didn’t want to compete with men.

  • HanSolo

    “How are we supposed to look without looking?”

    Wrong question. You should look–just don’t be desperate or undiscerning. 😉

  • J

    Business people (among others) over there “fascinate me” when they start talking about family values, yet promoting a corporate world that is precisely aimed at destroying family values for the sake of career achievement i/e corporate executives wanting more and more profit…not for the sake of everybody working for them, but for themselves.

    Yes, indeed. America is a “live to work culture” as opposed to a “work to live culture.” I spent some time in Europe when I was in my twenties and was impressed at how, although people had less stuff, they had better, fuller lives.

  • J

    @Say Whaat

    Sweetie, I’m probably your parents’ age or older , and I’m also pretty much invested in my sons’ material success, but even I have to tell you that your life is your own. Don’t live it in accordance with their expectations; pursue your own happiness. I spent a lot of time trying to make my parents happy; those were wasted years.

    In fact, I’d extend that advice to everyone regarding the expectations of whomever. Everyone has opinions about the lives of others, but in the end we come into the work alone and we leave alone. Ultimately, we can’t live for others. That’s not to say we should live narcissistically, but we need to realize that we responsible to and for ourselves.

  • Mac

    @Bully has some good points.

    If you and your spouse are starting off with little kids both at the start of your careers, you have to negotiate who gets to do what career-wise vs caring for the kids. Because the kids are already there. Once things take off without any of the accommodating needed for a family, it is a lot harder — mostly for men I think — to cut back for kids. So the wife sacrifices almost every time. For the kids. No one ever goes on, like @Escoffier, to chide *men* that they won’t raise their own child.

  • Passer_By

    @thebennets

    ““How are we supposed to look without looking?” Sunglasses.”

    Momma always told me not to look into the light of the sun. But mommmaaaa!!! That’s where the fun is!

  • Josie88

    I have no idea if the subject of working class moms has been touch on.

    Growing up among working class parents and working at entry level jobs, I notice that it is much more difficult for working class moms.

    One of my former coworker was complaining to me about how she almost never saw her kids because she has to work 40 hours a week for minimum wage.

    She had children young (she is now divorced, and is about 30 years old). Both she and her mom works for the same company as machine operators for the past ten years.

    She sends her kids off to school in the morning because she works the late shift, but when she comes home after a 8 hour on the job, it is already time to bed.

    Her mom work the morning shift and gets out in the afternoon, and pick up her children. Her ex-husband gets the kids on the weekends. There were also a lot of ethnic minorities working for the same company, and must balance works and raising a family.

    Moreover, what about the black/asian/hispanic women who leaves their kids with their families while they act as nannies to wealthy, affluent white women?

  • Josie88

    From my understanding, college educated girls are more successful at getting married and enjoying a rewarding career.

    If one have children too young, they are more likely to end up working dead end jobs.

  • angelguy

    This whole life splitting thing affects Men too.
    With the economy being the way it is now, Women are competing with Men for the same work, to support themselves.
    A salary to raise a family doesn’t go as far as it used to.
    That is why, many women are under pressure to pursue a “Career”.
    It is not just what society says, economics.
    So the idea of being a housewife, and having a Man be the sole breadwinner is an outdated concept.

    I think we as a society have to look at how Economics affect the family.
    If the economy was more balanced, perhaps people will feel more inclined to get married.

  • angelguy

    I also think that North America is letting corporations get away with too much, and causing Salaries to drop to low.
    The american dream was built on hard work, but if there are no incentives, and pay off, then things don’t progress.

    Corporate America has a lot to answer for….their time will come.

  • Abbot

    It fails because of human nature.

    Here is an evo-psych book that feminists are going to embrace. All nice and cozy and such

    http://www.amazon.com/Paleofantasy-Evolution-Really-Tells-ebook/dp/B007Q6XM1A

    .

  • Anne

    @ SayWhaat
    ” I feel like every day/weekend that goes by without meeting new people is lost time and opportunity that I will never get back.”

    I feel as if I could have written this! I am 22, but turning 23 this year. Even though early twenties is when you’re “starting out” at meeting someone and pursuing an education, there is so much focus on being young, that I feel like I should be in “my prime”, having everything together.
    I think it’s a bit of a comfort that so many people extend their adolescence though (bad for them, good for me). I know women in their late twenties, like my sister, who has got nothing figured out. I even know some girls who say they will start looking for a husband at 30. So if you’re 23 and already have the attitude that 1) You must spend your twenties wisely and 2) Never waste time on guys that aren’t serious prospects, I think you’re ahead of many 🙂
    There are a lot of men on the internet making girls freak out by saying they are practically off the market at 25. Looking at the way things actually are, most of the high quality men I know (who absolutely have options) have found girls that are 26-27 to settle down with. If you continue to develop your personality, you’ll be overall more desirable at 26 than now. If you don’t waste your time on assholes from 23, I think you’re on track.

    • So if you’re 23 and already have the attitude that 1) You must spend your twenties wisely and 2) Never waste time on guys that aren’t serious prospects, I think you’re ahead of many…most of the high quality men I know (who absolutely have options) have found girls that are 26-27 to settle down with. If you continue to develop your personality, you’ll be overall more desirable at 26 than now. If you don’t waste your time on assholes from 23, I think you’re on track.

      +1!!!

      The regulars on this blog have nothing to worry about, IMO. Just being aware puts you in good shape – so many women are just frittering away months (or years!) on end as if they have all the time in the world.

  • Escoffier

    Try not to waste your time with assholes before you are 23, too, because doing so lowers your MMV.

  • Anne

    @Escoffier
    Sure, but as long as a woman is attractive, actively dating and trying to get the best man she can get, she will encounter one or two. Those experiences are necessary to know how to get the right husband. Only important thing is to learn as much as possible and keep the N low.
    As for sex before marriage, I know there are different POVs there. My personal one is that waiting, unless you’re very religious and looking for a religious man, is a bad idea. I wouldn’t count “relationships” which didn’t include sex as experience, but I know this is a bit of a minefield.

  • Joe

    @Josie

    If one have children too young, they are more likely to end up working dead end jobs.

    Well, it’s a little obvious to say, but true nonetheless. You can end up in a dead end job even if you don’t have children. And since there are many more dead end jobs than not, most likely, you will. If you don’t, that’s gravy.

    My mother (who had six children) used to say “If we had waited until we could afford you kids, we wouldn’t have had any of you!” He smile let us know that what she meant was that money wasn’t the primary reason for starting a family.

  • Escoffier

    Anne,

    Be careful here. What you wrote could be interpreted to mean (and for all I know was intended to mean) “I had to have my fun with sexy alphas to become the wonderful catch whom I now am, but I’m done now and ready to settle for you.” Many, many guys will run from that.

  • Anne

    @ Escoffier
    No, that’s not what it means at all. That’s what you want it to mean. It means that a person with SOME sexual experience has a very different outlook to someone with none. I never said that sex should be with alphas.
    Very few people find the person they want to settle down with at 18. That doesn’t mean they were sleeping with alphas.
    There are “obvious” assholes (which any sane woman would steer clear from) and there are men who are capable of stringing you along, pretending they want commitment and so on. Many of them. As painful as some of those experiences may be, they will help you learn what you want and not want and how men think. A virgin doesn’t know anything about what kind of emotional attachment sex can bring either. If I was a virgin now, I would feel like I started way behind everybody else. I am not promoting promiscuity by any means, I am just promoting giving it a shot with someone you care about to see if it’ll work, and that includes sex.

    • @Anne

      there are men who are capable of stringing you along, pretending they want commitment and so on. Many of them. As painful as some of those experiences may be, they will help you learn what you want and not want and how men think

      Many women get burned by a cad or two, and IMO the sooner the better. There are indeed important life lessons there, and it’s a good way to learn what NOT to go for in a man.

      The data shows that many women try hooking up freshman year, and the numbers drop off dramatically after that. Clearly, many people learn their lesson.

      I know guys feel strongly that they don’t want a girl after she’s “had her fun with Alpha,” but the reality is that a lot of girls have a terrible experience with Alpha, never try it again, and are all too happy to partner with someone more LTR worthy in the future.

  • Escoffier

    That’s not what I “want” it to mean, but that is what it often “does” mean.

    I think you vastly overestimate the importance of sexual experience in imparting wisdom. Personally (as someone who has studied epistemology more than a little) I believe that is a a phony argument spun up by hamsters in order to rationalize away bad and/or self-indulgent past decisions.

    Susan and I disagree on this, FWIW.

  • Tomato

    “If a woman has kids right out of college and enters the workforce at 30, that is still a hell of a lot of time left to make a name for yourself.”

    Except agism is alive and well, and plenty of companies would rather hire the 20-something fresh out of training instead of the 30-something who took a break and often has not kept up with changes in technology and the field. Worse, they would rather hire the person in another country who will work for less and doesn’t have the agency to complain when the company dumps waste into their air and water.

  • Tomato

    Is the problem that women are having sex with alphas before settling down, or having sex, period? In other worse, would the apparent revulsion be tempered if these women had sex with betas or any other greek letter? Let’s be realistic, it’s not like women in their 20s are only having sex with alphas.

  • Abbot

    “a person with SOME sexual experience has a very different outlook to someone with none”

    Then it follows that a person with a lot of sexual “experience” has a very different outlook than a person with some. Its simply amazing that we are all just figuring out how impactful multipenis utilization is to a woman. Rock on.

  • Anne

    I wouldn’t have a problem to “agree to disagree” unless there is judgment and anger lurking behind the argument.
    All I’m really advocating is to go on some dates, see who you click with, and once you meet someone you care about who appears to care about you, take a leap of faith and give it a chance. It’s not casual sex and I don’t think it’s crazy. I just don’t see excluding oneself from the market as a good strategy for meeting a husband, which is why I can see that those who want to remain virgins until marriage will struggle.
    The idea that those who do date and have sex with a potential boyfriend secretly hate themselves for it in retrospective and try to “rationalize” it away is really far off to me. The only women I know with this attitude are those with high numbers who have slept around and are later being judged.

  • Escoffier

    Tomato:

    Quanitity and quality are both issues.

  • Lokland

    @Anne

    “There are a lot of men on the internet making girls freak out by saying they are practically off the market at 25.”

    50% of men are married at 25 with an average 0f 2-3 years in courtship/dating.

    To be correct, half the men are off the market by the time they are 26 (which with the average age for women corresponds to 24).

    Still a large pool but the number of potential husbands is halved by the time a woman is 24 (average age of marriage 26).

  • Lokland

    Pardon, 50% of men are married at 28. not 25.

  • From the article: “Why do I, a young and highly educated woman in the 21st century, value relationships with men so highly?”

    Has anyone noticed what a bizarre question this is? Would anyone ask:

    “Why do I, a young and highly educated woman in the 21st century, value my cat or dog so highly?”

    “Why do I, a young and highly educated woman in the 21st century, value attractive clothing and jewelry so highly?”

    “Why do I, a young and highly educated woman in the 21st century, value eating lunch and dinner so highly?”

    The real question is why anyone would think that being “highly educated” and “in the 21st century” would negate basic human desires.

    C S Lewis, in his fantasy novel That Hideous Strength, posited a sinister cabal which seeks, as part of its indoctrination proceedures, to kill “all specifically human reactions” in its new members.

    Is that what is being done by higher education in its intersection with popular culture?

  • Escoffier

    1) Dating without sex is not “excluding oneself from the market.” From the SMP, yes (by definition) but not from the DMP or MMP.

    2) It is far from evident that discerning the character of a potential mate, much less sniffing out the assholes, requires having sex with them.

    3) It’s not that these women secretly hate themselves (although some do). It’s that in some level, they know that men are troubled by their sexual past and that fact troubles themselves as well. So they come up with ex-post-facto justifications for why what felt good in the moment was actually character building and a virtue–a “positive good” you might say.

    Certainly there are plenty of men who will overlook a boyfriend or two (or three). However, two points about that are important to understand. A key word here is “overlook.” No man is going to say, either to himself or aloud, “I’m so glad you have that extra experience, it makes for a better you.” Actually, one type of man will say this (to himself): the player, because he thinks that the more prior experience a girl has, the easier lay she will be. But that aside, men who are seeking a girl for commitment will overlook a mild sexual past but they won’t be happy about it for its own sake.

    Second, the principle state, once accepted, can lead to all kinds of excess that damages a girl’s MMV. There is no clear line between what separates an acceptably low and qualitatively acceptable level of experience from “too much.” In practice, what any man will tolerate will vary from guy to guy. Which means that, in practice, the more lovers you have, and the more sex with alphas and in ONSs and flings , the more potential husbands you rule out.

    • @Escoffier

      Dating without sex is not “excluding oneself from the market.” From the SMP, yes (by definition) but not from the DMP or MMP.

      We know that the market of potential suitors for women who want to wait until marriage is mostly limited to religious communities. We’ve seen men here admit they don’t want to get with a virgin, we’ve seen women report guys rejecting them upon learning this, and we’ve seen portrayals in the media of female virginity being very uncool.

      I recently heard a young woman describe her best college friend as a virgin at 23, and her boyfriend, said, “Whoa, seriously? That’s pretty weird.” This is a total beta good guy.

      In a society where marriage occurs as late as it does today, preserving one’s virginity for marriage makes dating harder, not easier. Of course, I respect any woman’s decision to wait – and I think that most of those women know exactly what an uphill battle they’re facing.

  • Tomato

    So if one can determine quantity by asking for N, how exactly does one determine quality? Do background checks on all the men she supposedly slept with?

    A woman could move to another city, “reinvent” herself, and her suitors would never know.

    “Still a large pool but the number of potential husbands is halved by the time a woman is 24 (average age of marriage 26).”

    But divorce will put a sizable percentage of those married men back on the market, sometimes within a year or two of marriage. (The quality of said men may be lower than the starting pool, however.)

  • SayWhaat

    A virgin doesn’t know anything about what kind of emotional attachment sex can bring either.

    I disagree. I was well aware of the emotional attachment sex could bring when I was a virgin. That’s precisely the reason I was a virgin — I wanted to have sex in a relationship where I wouldn’t have to worry about letting my feelings grow unfettered.

    Also, Anne, there are many virgins who just haven’t had the opportunity for sex yet. Virginity =/= religion.

  • Escoffier

    “A woman could move to another city, ‘reinvent’ herself, and her suitors would never know.”

    Maybe. But:

    1) She might give off certain “tells” in spite of herself (this is a controversial idea, but one with some merit IMO).

    2) The strain of living a lie can be very exhausting and burdensome.

    3) On some level, she will know that her man is only with her under false pretenses and she will never know if he loves the real her or only the phony her. This can be debilitating to her self-esteem and happiness.

  • Bully

    @Tomato: I think the number is most important. Obviously it’s not realistic to expect that your wife is virginal in this day in age… but I don’t think it’s particularly worthwhile to obsess over whether a woman’s prior three (or whatever) lovers where alphas or betas but in all likelihood if they are alpha chasing as opposed to relationship chasing their number is going to be much higher.

    Re: ageism: this may be a corporate culture thing but at my fortune 100 megacorp it’s exceedingly rare to get hired at all before 30, even for the entry level positions. I was sort of an anomaly; something like 2% or less of our new hires are right out of college.

  • Anne

    @ Lokland
    I see what you’re saying.
    I assume this is a side effect of fewer men pursuing a college degree. I read once before that American men will look for a wife approx. two years after they’ve finished their education. So men with high school will settle down first, those with a bachelor’s degree next, those with a master’s degree last.
    What that means, to me, is that a woman who is looking for a man with a higher degree of education should be looking at men at the age between 26 and 30 (depending on where she lives). If half of men are married by the age of 25, I am not entirely convinced that is the better half, to be blunt. Of course a man doesn’t have to have a Msc to be a good husband. But it is obvious to everyone that it’s what many women are looking for. I can’t speak for all women here, it will depend on her options with men. There aren’t enough of those men to go around for everyone.

    I know this blog is American, so I’m coming at this from a different POV. The average age of marriage for men in the UK is around 30, 31 in France and Switzerland, 33-35 in Scandinavia (where I’m from, can reveal that at this point). The highest number of marriages for women happens between 25 and 29 (which also mean their husbands are a bit older).

    I can add that I don’t know anyone who’s ever saved themselves till marriage – the concept is just foreign to me. The US is in many ways more conservative (at least parts of it)

  • Abbot

    “The only women I know with this attitude are those with high numbers who have slept around and are later being judged.”

    Judged by whom and in what manner? With words or mere inactions?

  • Tomato

    Escoffier, all of those points are valid.

    Bully, it is true that hiring age is dependent on the company/field. And perhaps my comments about the wariness about the 30-something are exaggerations. I have certainly seen bias against hiring 40+ individuals, which could happen to someone who got a college degree, paused to have/raise children, and then got a PhD before trying to enter the job market.

  • Anne

    Abbot:
    By me haha. Well that is the case for my sister, not outright judging with words, but she knows how I feel about her “situation”. Inaction is probably the right word – she knows I don’t come to her for advice about guys because I don’t want to end up like her.
    In general, some girls are judging themselves. They will try to justify what needs justification even if they aren’t openly judged by anyone.
    Very few girls would actually say something to another, there is a very strong “mind your own business” attitude.

  • Tomato

    Here is the dichotomy as I see it:

    Talented, highly-driven men can pursue high-performance jobs (doctor, lawyer, scientist, etc.) AND have children (because their wives raise them). This is double-plus good for society (a talented person is contributing all of their talents, plus that talented person has passed along their genes/talented traits).

    Talented, highly-driven women cannot (?) do both. Which means they must either sacrifice their talents for a lower-performance job (society loses out because a talented person is not contributing their full talents) or not have children (society loses out on the perpetuation of talented genes/traits). Society loses either way.

    Is there a solution? Should driven women look for less driven men who would happily work a lower-performance job and raise their children?

  • Abbot

    “men who are seeking a girl for commitment will overlook a mild sexual past but they won’t be happy about it for its own sake.”

    Because a man knows it adds nothing positive to who she is (neutral at best) and certainly adds nothing positive to his relationship with her. This despite all the feminist claws out to get him to see it otherwise.

  • Abbot

    “Should driven women look for less driven men who would happily work a lower-performance job and raise their children?”

    Yes. This guy says that such men are Type-1 and can be used soon after she is done with all the Type-2.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OeL-Fn0V8iU

    .

  • Passer_By

    @tomato
    “Is there a solution? Should driven women look for less driven men who would happily work a lower-performance job and raise their children?”

    They should, I guess, but most of them won’t or can’t, and many of those who do will end up not being attracted to their husbands. Hypergamy is a bitch.

  • J

    Is there a solution? Should driven women look for less driven men who would happily work a lower-performance job and raise their children?

    I know a few female doctors who have househusbands. These are 25 year + marriages and seem happy.

  • Tomato

    Not all women are affected by hypergamy, though, if we’re defining hypergamy as “must earn more than me/have more status than me.”

  • Abbot

    There are glimpses of hope that get around the hypergamy problem. But feminists exacerbate it by pushing their sex-positive cult.

  • blogRot

    @ ayWhaat, @Sassy6519

    “”How are we supposed to look without looking? : /””

    “I’ve been asking this same question for some time now.”

    *Positioning*. Its been mentioned but bears repeating – guys notice and look at gals. We do. But we can’t if you’re cloistered away at home. You have to Position yourself in an enviroment to encounter men. Not just bars, coffee shops, clubs, or like socializing locales, but any place that puts you in but a fleeting moment of contact with a man (~ a half dozen a day, once you start noticing these moments).
    You could drop a friendly comment to the guy shopping next to you in the dog&cat food aisle at Target (as happened to me) or the guy working the garden center at Home Depot on the weekends. A small, friendly opening is what you’ll have to initiate to SUBDUE rejection fear paralysis that most all men have. And then *do* nothing more, just react if need be, and move on.
    [i] The man you want will remember you. [/i]
    Eventually you’ll be at your neighborhood grocery, hardware store, bank, sandwich shoppe, gas station, wherever, and the chance Positioning encounter is him again (even if you don’t really remember him), and, well… there it is: one of the seeds that Positioning placed has grown into something small and fragile, and if you choose you can nurture that budding relationship into something grand. Or maybe Positioning will work some other way – there are many paths to any successful pairing and chances are it will not be the path that your mind is picturing.
    Church used to be a place to Position because the man could reasonably know that you’d be there the following week, and guys need the time to build ‘just go for it’ courage greater than the Fear of Rejection – so if we know you’ll be there next Sunday we’ve got all week to mentally prepare.
    My wife’s bff, over multiple weekend visits to that Home Depot garden center, and despite being in her gardening clothing, had positioned herself in to a phone # exchange and their eventual relationship.

    *Positioning* is what makes the husbands’ saying “she chased me until I caught her” possible.

  • Tomato

    Yes, bars are a horrible place to meet a mate. What do you enjoy doing? If it’s being outdoors/active, get outside and consider joining a club or team. If it’s reading, hang out at the library or bookstore. If it’s cooking, take a cooking class. Volunteering is a great way to meet people, whether at the soup kitchen or at Habitat for Humanity (and there’s plenty of men in the latter).

    That way you can “position” yourself while having fun and learning new skills at the same time!

  • Jackie

    @Escoffier

    Esco, you seem to have very strong opinions about this without ever giving a tell about your own actions in this matter. This makes me question not only the validity of your responses, but also your right to the moral high ground as well.

    At least three times, I’ve asked you direct questions that you haven’t replied to. For example, in the last thread you had no qualms about volunteering the sexual responses/practices of a former girlfriend (which no one asked you about, to my knowledge).

    Yet you never replied to my direct question if you were a practicing Christian. You were quick to use Biblical arguments to dismiss gay marriage, but haven’t spoken about how those same moralities have applied to you.

    Theoretically, I should be on your “side”: I am reserving sex for marriage. Yet, reading about how you insisted on knowing the “N” of this former girlfriend, then sharing her devastation over you breaking up with and how she never got over you (not to mention posting what she was like in bed) … It just seems like there is so much cognitive dissonance in your posts.

    Would you want your daughter to be treated the way you treated this man’s daughter, I wonder?

    Besides that, you have mentioned that you are far-rightwing, IIRC. Yet it is implied in your posts that you lived with your wife before marriage, and hid this from your parents. I apologize if I am mistaken– that is why I asked you direct questions earlier.

    What I am trying to say is: Congruity. The reason Susan has such power and sway is because she is consistently congruent. Susan has a different viewpoint from me, but I don’t feel threatened by it the same way you do. On the contrary, I feel she supports me in my quest, even though she has an alternative perspective.

    Again, I apologize if I am mistaken about you. I just believe practicing congruity is the best way to make the changes you wish to see.

  • Escoffier

    I have said in the past that the reason I shared the story of that college GF was precisely as a cautionary tale. At the time, no one around me–not anyone I knew personally, not anyone in the whole culture who had my ear–would say that anything whatever was wrong with our relationship. Years later, her mother (so I am told) continued to speak fondly of me even though she new her daughter was still quite hurt about the whole thing. Moreover, even today, what we did follows the “script” for so-called restricted or good girls. Therefore, it’s A-OK.

    Yet, as I noted, it didn’t really work out for the girl, did it? Hence, maybe there are limitations or drawbacks to the “script.”

  • Tomato, most men feel more confident when they make more than their wives. For the first three years of our marriage, I made more than my husband while he was attending grad school, and I basically supported us, which I didn’t mind at all. Now he makes more, and I can tell he is happy about it.

    Even though I am not very hypergamous, there is definitely a part of me that is proud to have him be more accomplished than me. Men often get depressed and into a downward spiral if they don’t feel like they can provide. There have been lots of cases even here in HUS where girls who way out-earned their significant others had breakups over that and issues associated with it.

    I also think it’s unrealistic to expect men to be househusbands. Most men are not interested in that. The exceptions only prove the rule.

  • Escoffier

    Oh, and regarding my own daughter: unlike some in the manosphere, I don’t hold the male in such situations entirely blameness. But like them, I place a large responsibility for avoiding such situations on the female. Which is exactly what I intend to teach her.

  • OffTheCuff

    I think the Yahoo decision was the right move for a flailing company. And, I have been that 30-year old in the tech field who values his flex time, and has worked with local teams, distributed teams, and mixed local/distributed teams. You get a LOT more done, when you’re in the same room. This is why I work from home only rarely – usually, on bad snow days where the commute time is just stupid long. Of course, I don’t need flex time as much as others do, since my wife was a SAHM and now works part-time while going to school.

    Which brings me to education. SayWhaat, if you can support yourself, you’ve got a good job. I’m not sure why everyone thinks they have to maximize their earnings… for what? I’m definitely a work-to-live kind of person. My wife has a bachelors, but took off for a long time, and is going back to school for more now. She probably couldn’t support our 3 kids by herself, but she could be independent enough to support herself. The whole idea that unless you max out your career you’re not independent seems crazy to me.

    Also, online dating is fine. It’s just online dating websites geared to that, are lame. There’s so many other niche social networking sites. Use those instead.

    As long as you aren’t OPPOSED to marriage until arbitrary X (date or money or accomplishment), you’ll be fine. And I don’t get that sense.

  • Tomato

    Hope, that’s because our society has tied being a man with being a provider. Men openly state that they would never date a woman who made more than them because it would make them less of a man. So men wear themselves out in careers they hate so they can be the man. Men shun being a househusband or raising children because those are things women do, and by performing those roles it would make them less of a man. So men leave most or all the tasks of child rearing to their wives, and then wonder why they didn’t get equal custody after the divorce.

    This kind of thinking is bad for everyone.

  • Brendan

    Is there a solution? Should driven women look for less driven men who would happily work a lower-performance job and raise their children?

    That’s the obvious solution. It’s doubtful that it will be widely adopted by the most ambitious women, who are the ones it would benefit the most, because these are not men that these women generally respect very much, and are therefore not very attracted to them as mates. It’s not so much financial hypergamy (although there is that — relatively few women really relish the idea financially supporting a husband as Plan A), but rather more generic “I want to respect and look up to him” hypergamy which tends to get in the way of this when you are looking at highly educated women — which, again, is what we’re talking about when we’re talking about people trying to reach the top 1% of a given career.

    There are exceptions, but they are exceptional. In my 20+ years of law practice, in different cities and in different contexts (law firms and in house) I have known a handful of women lawyers who were married to men who were househusbands. The cases where it has worked have involved either (1) men who were superbly good looking — easy 8.5-9+ on the male looks scale — and had something else interesting going on (i.e.. successful creatives, successful athletes/trainers, etc.) which allowed them more flexibility and there was still outside help regarding the kids or (2) men who had lines of work which they could do well from home — either owning their own business or something similar — and in all cases women who wanted such situations because it suited their feminist personae (i.e., the women involved are, by and large on any scale, very, very dominant women, let’s just leave it at that). So, it *can* work, certainly — it just isn’t a common formula, likely because there are relatively few women who *want* that situation.

    Note I’m not talking about nurses or teachers who are married to contractors or cops. That’s nothing new. It’s about the upper middle class highly educated group that is gunning for the corner office.

  • Jackie

    @Escoffier

    Esco, I think you missed the entire point of my post (and, I note, ignored my direct questions for the 4th time now): Congruity.

    I.e. When you teach your daughter to avoid similar situations, will you be honest with your role in the situation? If you see her falling for a guy who behaved “just like Dad” will you tell her the truth about your past?

    This really bugs me, just like when Lokland said he will lie to his future children if any of them ask him about certain past behaviors.

    Esco, the reason I am not threatened (or ever that perturbed, though quite saddened) by the experiences of others is because my parents were congruent. Actually, they never preached, only practiced ethical behavior, then told us our options.

    You’re never going to be forthcoming about my direct questions, NBD.

    But for someone in the intelligentsia who specializes in ethics and philosophy… it seems strange that you are concerned more with preaching of virtue rather than the practice of virtuousness itself.

  • Escoffier

    Jackie, if I’ve avoided certain topics it’s because I fear that my speaking bluntly will offend you (not that I really care much about that, per se, but I do care about what affect my offending you might have on Susan, whom I don’t want to antagonize).

    If you want to discuss an issue–any issue–you need to be able to seperate the issue itself from the all the baggage you insist on bringing to it. Your insistence that the life history of the person stating X is inextricably bound to the truth or faslehood of X is … well, it’s not true, that’s the nicest way I can say it.

  • Jackie

    Also, Escoffier

    “At the time, no one around me–not anyone I knew personally, not anyone in the whole culture who had my ear–would say that anything whatever was wrong with our relationship. ”

    You have alluded to (but never directly responded to questions regarding) being part of the extreme Right-Wing. Doesn’t that involve personal responsibility at a very high level? How, then, can you abdicate your responsibility in face of “the culture”?

    Besides that, you have also alluded to being a Christian, which only has *one* standard of sexual morality for both men and women, in addition to being called to practice ethics that directly oppose so much of this world. So it confuses me that you are not accepting your role in all this, or acknowledging your own accountability.

    (I don’t know if you are like others I’ve known, who believe they will lose respect by admitting fault or weakness. But when my parents told me of their struggles, weaknesses and difficulties it only made me trust and respect them MORE. Not less.)

    Like I said, I’m not expecting an answer. But to me, I view your posts as incongruent, even on your self-appraisals which tend to be self-deprecating. And that’s too bad, because I (along with everybody else) could learn a lot from you, if I felt like I could trust in your congruence. Peace–

  • SayWhaat

    The whole idea that unless you max out your career you’re not independent seems crazy to me.

    That wasn’t my concern. I already live well within my means, and I’m building a tidy nest egg to boot.

    My concern is being able to provide for my future family. I have no idea what my husband’s career or income will be like, and until I meet him, I have to factor in all the possibilities and shoulder that burden alone. Being a woman, I have even less time to establish myself.

    That is the crux of the worry.

  • Jackie

    Esco, I know my intellect can be quashed like ant by you. 🙂

    That’s not what I’m talking about: I’m not interested in deconstructing arguments, I just want to trust you practice what you preach.

  • Jackie

    @Esco

    Escoffier, I don’t think I will ever make you able to understand my POV, and I will have to make peace with that.

    This isn’t related to you, per se, but can you see how people like OTC and me have been damaged, spiritually, by what you consider the “baggage” of the personal integrity of those pronouncing strictures and issuing moral judgments? That is where we are at the impasse.

    Maybe your kids are philosophically brilliant and none of these issues will arise. But if your daughter is anything like me (doubtful I know 🙂 ), she will revere your personal integrity above all things and it will guide her moral decisions more than anything else. Again, peace and no need to follow up–

  • OffTheCuff

    SayWhaat, i know you are, it’s your family that seems to be pressuring you to max out.

    But I don’t see why you’re worried about building a mega-career enough to support a family on one income. The whole point of marriage is to share expenses! If you’re married, and one is out of work, then the other person can rear the kids, and thats the biggest expense right there. Lets say i lost my job, and my wife worked – we could float along with her working full time and me watching the kids, for a few years with our emergency funds, with very little lifestyle change. She might earn 1/3 of what I do, but there’s a lot of stuff we could cut.

    Maxing out your career in the name of children is silly, provided that you plan to stay married.

  • Lokland

    @Jackie

    “This really bugs me, just like when Lokland said he will lie to his future children if any of them ask him about certain past behaviours.”

    Da hell did I do to get dragged into this?

    If we feel like randomly throwing out stuff we don’t like.

    The born again virgin thing (which is what I think you said you are doing) or the waiting for marriage despite past behaviour is rather morally bankrupt imo.

    Beyond that, if lying to ones children to make them happier is immoral. so be it. I will be the most immoral ans pentacle drawing prick this world has ever seen if thats the reward.

    • @Lokland

      The born again virgin thing (which is what I think you said you are doing) or the waiting for marriage despite past behaviour is rather morally bankrupt imo.

      Perish the thought! Jackie is the real deal and she has paid for her beliefs.

  • HanSolo

    @Jackie

    But why is it important that one practice what one preaches?

    I believe it comes down to cases where one doesn’t know if what someone else is saying is true or worth following and so you look for other clues that lend a bit of credibility. “I don’t know if that’s a good thing, or this is a hard thing being asked of me, but he’s doing it and seems happy and sincere so I guess I’ll do it too.”

    Logically, of course, a person can say truth x and live in manner not-x and x is still true, but at a human level many people have this desire to see congruency in practicing and preaching and in a setting where you have to decide to believe and follow or not this would have life and death consequences.

    This is especially applicable to cases where a leader figure is requiring great sacrifices and so you want to know that the cause is sincere and that that leader isn’t laughing his ass off behind your back and mocking all the dubes that are giving him money and sacrificing, doing what he said, while he’s doing the complete opposite.

    But, I’m curious, Jackie, why are you so concerned about Escoffier being congruous? And how, specifically, is he not being congruous? Is it the fact that he had premarital sex and doesn’t sound to be particularly repentant about it while promoting a return to highly-restricted sex-only-in-marriage values?

    Anyway, I don’t have a bone in this “fight” but just curious. Cheers.

  • HanSolo

    @Lokland

    I think Jackie is just doing the “old-fashioned”, actual virgin thing and waiting for marriage, not the re-virgin thing.

  • Joe

    @blogrot

    You could drop a friendly comment to the guy shopping next to you in the dog&cat food aisle at Target (as happened to me) or the guy working the garden center at Home Depot on the weekends.

    You’re so right.

    A short anecdote; a few years ago, I went a campaign to lose weight (and I did, too – about 40 lbs, and since I’m a small guy, that was not an insignificant amount). Besides the standard diet recommendations, I did this by doing as much walking as I could. I’d even walk around the office building a couple of times a day).

    Eventually, people who knew me noticed that I was losing weight and commented, so I had brief conversations. Then I started greeting almost everyone I met in the halls, whether I knew them or not, with a “hi” or just a nod – anything to acknowledge their existence. Much to my surprise, they started acknowledging mine. Even the young, good looking women.

    Out of habit, I started “acknowledging” people outside the office too, at Church, at the supermarket, on the street as I passed (even when I started running – a wave was sufficient). The feedback that I got was something just short of amazing. I have no doubt that if I had done that when I was in my 20s and/or single, I would not have needed a bar to meet women.

    I understand that just greeting random people in the street – or even just making eye contact – sounds weird at first, and maybe even dangerous to some women in particular, and there places where you wouldn’t want to do that. But in general, it’s not. The briefest hint of recognition that your facing another human being is something pretty rare in an era where everyone is wearing ear buds. The results will surprise you, especially if you succeed in making it a habit.

    Want to meet someone? Show them you know they exist.

  • Bully

    I just saw this on the front page of Reddit (for which the poster was given Gold.) I thought it was relevant and would like to share.

    —–

    I’m not past child-bearing age (but if I wanted kids, it would be getting urgent).

    But let me offer a sightly different perspective. Life offers choices and some choices rule out other choices. There will always be things your regret. I regret not having had the discipline to learn piano as a child, I regret not having spent more time with my grandmother when she was alive and mentally sound, I regret that I didn’t manage to get the career I wanted.

    The question is, is my life worse off for it? And what would have been the things you’d regret if you had achieved those things?

    Had I been a child piano wonder, I might have regretted all the time I didn’t spend playing outside. Had I spent more time with my grandmother, I’d have neglected other loved ones and missed out on some wonderful holidays. If I’d were a career woman I’d might regret my lack of time to pursue hobbies and volunteer work.

    For some people it’s a clear-cut choice, for other people it’s more like a 60/40 sort of thing.

    No one here can promise you you’ll never regret not having kids – but that doesn’t mean having kids is the right choice for you. Alternatively, those who do have kids – even though they might not admit it – will regret not having nights out or free time.

    In our society, there’s this ideal that we should be able to achieve anything and everything we want – but that’s a lie. Regret is a natural part of the human condition.

    In the end, you need to make your decisions based on what you want and need in the now – not what you might regret 20 years in the future. Because either way, that future will be different than you imagine it.

  • Jackie

    @Lokland

    LL, the discussion is about practicing what you preach.

    Earlier, I asked you what you would tell your future daughters about being in a “semi-open” relationship. If they fell for a guy who wanted to do that to them, and asked you about your prior behavior, you said you would lie to them. You said you would tell them the truth about everything else, and you could be extremely convincing if you had to lie in this instance.

    Personally, I have a different viewpoint. Like you consider my reserving sex for marriage (I am not a “born again” virgin) to be “morally bankrupt.” I shall just have to continue to live without your approval in this matter. 🙂

  • Lokland

    @HS

    I remember a very specific comment directed at me that makes me certain that is not the case.

  • HanSolo

    @Jackie

    Also, I think it is important for one to practice what they preach for their own good. I wasn’t trying to say that people should make a habit of going around preaching a lot of stuff they don’t practice.

    However, that is different from engaging in conversations where you point out the consequences of certain actions even if you yourself may be engaging in them.

    It’s like a smoker saying that smoking will increase your chances of lung cancer. Should the smoker not say that? I think they should and they can give their experience of what it’s like and as they get older share the likely negative outcomes they experience. OTOH, if the smoker tells his son he doesn’t smoke and that the son is evil for smoking and then sneaks out back to take a smoke and then sneaks in to take a shower and go nuts with the mouth wash then that would be hypocritical and wrong, IMO. Those are two different cases.

  • Jackie

    @Lokland

    “Beyond that, if lying to ones children to make them happier is immoral. so be it. I will be the most immoral ans pentacle drawing prick this world has ever seen if thats the reward.”
    ==
    LL, would this, then, lead to happiness:

    LL: Don’t do that, I never did that. (Even though I really did)

    Descendant of LL: Okay. (I’ll just do it behind your back and lie to you about it later.)
    ==

  • HanSolo

    And I think the smoking parent would be well-advised to encourage his son not to smoke. Now denying he himself smokes while telling the son not to is wrong and likely ineffective, especially if he gets found out.

  • Jackie

    @Lokland

    “The born again virgin thing (which is what I think you said you are doing) or the waiting for marriage despite past behaviour is rather morally bankrupt imo.”

    “I remember a very specific comment directed at me that makes me certain that is not the case.”
    ==
    LL, what comment are you talking about? I am really confused by this: I am not Evangelical, I am not a “born again” anything.

  • HanSolo

    @Joe 143

    Great comment, for both men and women to acknowledge that other people exist, to get out of our self-induced bubbles. Let’s bring back some humanity to life.

  • Jackie

    @Han Solo

    I guess I have such strong feelings about this because I would be shattered if my parents had done this to me.

    I felt like I could tell my Mom anything, while I still had her, and I felt like living up to my Dad’s integrity is something that is the hardest work for me. If the rug got yanked out from under me– that I was somehow being lied to, I would feel manipulated and like I couldn’t trust them.

    I have had such a hard time this entire year with seeing religious people in power do such damaging things from this mindset. This has caused a lot of anguish, actually. It’s taken a long time to get to a place where I am more balanced and healthier.

    So, Lokland and Esco, I apologize if I came down too hard on you. Can you see this is not really about you per se, as it is about a mindset that has caused me and some people I love huge damage? I probably should not have said anything in retrospect.
    ===
    Susan, this has been super-OT, I’m sorry and I totally understand if you’d prefer to delete this discussion. 🙁

    • @Jackie

      No worries. I think your point is valid, at the very least it’s something that every parent needs to think about. I confess I was surprised to read Esco’s description of his gf’s orgasms b/c I had the clear impression he did not engage in premarital sex. I understood his point to be that the sex bonded her to him in a way that was very hard for her to shake off when they broke up, and for that reason premarital sex is wrong.
      As you know, I do not share that view, but I allow for different experiences among people.

      The question of what to tell kids when they ask about your own history is a difficult one. I think most experts suggest not being honest with kids if one has done drugs – apparently, this makes kids feel more open to experimenting with drugs, figuring everything will still turn out fine in the end.

      I chose to be honest with my daughter in particular about my sexual history. I remain convinced that was the right decision – it opened up a level of honest dialog that would not otherwise have been possible. I was able to describe the pitfalls of my decisions, but also some of the benefits. I’m pretty sure that her father and I would never have gotten together without sex. :-/

      If a parent does choose to withhold information, I feel strongly that they should do so without being judgmental, keeping in mind they fell prey to the same temptations in their youth.

  • Escoffier

    Jackie, your point seems to be, if anyone who inveighs against X, has at any point themselves done X, then his argument may be safely ignored.

    Leaving aside that this position is anti-Christian, it is also illogical. Truth is seperable from history. If someone said “murder is wrong” and you later found out that he had committed murder, would you think murder is right? No doubt you would not, but likely you would also say, “I would prefer to take moral advice from someone whose concience and record are perfectly clean.” In that case, I wish you well in finding such a one.

    Beyond this you are of course free to ignore anything I say, on any ground you like, just as you have (repeatedly) ignored the several confessions I have already made. You may wish to hear more, but I will reveal more–or not–as the discussion warrants and as the spirit moves me.

  • Lokland

    @Jackie

    Your also not a virgin either, correct?
    But you advertising the truth to prospects? Or letting it be a don’t adk don’t tell scenario?

    ———-

    Stop being intentionally dense.

    Lok: Don’t jump off a bridge.
    Kid: Jumps off bridge.

    If the kid won’t listen to me anyway it doesn’t matter what I tell them they will be in for a life of pain unless I specifically guide them towards pain.

    Which is of course, not what I think you want to suggest.

    Realistic scenario:

    Lok: Sex will be better within the confines of a relationship. (to both)
    Kid: Has a relationship with someone whom they experience mutually love and caring.

    If they want to cause themselves pain thats beyond my control. I can’t follow them and pull cigarettes out of their mouth because in the will find a way to do so. Only provide my guidance, opinions and experience to help them achieve what they want (which will be largely be influenced by me and my wife, as are most parent child relationships).

  • Lokland

    “If the rug got yanked out from under me– that I was somehow being lied to, I would feel manipulated and like I couldn’t trust them.”

    may I humbly suggest that your a human being who is capable of adapting to different circumstances.

    It would be the end of the world is always an overstatement unless its your kid.

  • Lokland

    “I know guys feel strongly that they don’t want a girl after she’s “had her fun with Alpha,” but the reality is that a lot of girls have a terrible experience with Alpha, never try it again, and are all too happy to partner with someone more LTR worthy in the future.”

    Ahh, the glory of second place…

    • Ahh, the glory of second place…

      See what I mean? Even if she does not value the experience with the cad, you assume he is still her “winner.”

      Here’s an analogy:

      I love Ethiopian food. I found a hole in the wall serving it and went there for dinner. Afterwards I became violently ill with food poisoning and later learned that the restaurant had been issued several violations from the Health Department. It was a couple of years before I could even consider eating Ethiopian food again, but then a clean and well-appointed restaurant with an excellent reputation opened. I looked forward to having a delicious meal without worrying about quality control.

      When I arrived for dinner, the owner asked if I had ever eaten Ethiopian food before. I said that I had, but not in a while. He asked why and I explained that I had had an unfortunate experience. When he learned that I had patronized the filthy, now-closed restaurant, he told me that I was not fit to eat at his place, that I was forever sullied by that bacteria-ridden environment and disgusting food.

  • Bully, new mom here. I don’t regret not going out, because I never went out much anyway. I don’t regret less free time, because I was wasting most of that time before our baby arrived. I don’t regret any of the work involved, because I love our baby boy so much.

    I agree that people should make their own choices for themselves, but the woman you quoted is just one person. She can speak for her own regrets, but she does not speak for my regrets.

  • Escoffier

    Susan,

    I know we have many examples of players, or at least guys going through an “I’m not ready to settle down” phase, say that they don’t want virigns.

    Do we have evidence of “good guys” looking for a “good girl” to potentially marry deliberately ruling out virgins specifically because of their virginity?

    • Do we have evidence of “good guys” looking for a “good girl” to potentially marry deliberately ruling out virgins specifically because of their virginity?

      Well I personally know lots of “good guys” who are with “good girls,” but not so good as N=0. Nor are the good guys at N=0.

      What’s happened, for better or worse, is that virgins have become extreme outliers.

      How Many People Over 25 Are Still Virgins?

      The CDC also reports that by age 19, 80% of men and 75% of women have lost their virginity.

      High school’s a prime setting for men to lose their virginity: the odds a man who has engaged in sexual activity had his first experience between the ages of 16 and 17 are 1 in 3.7. The odds the first time took place between 18 and 19 are lower, 1 in 4.35, and drop to 1 in 5.88 for those who waited until age 20 or older. And the odds a man aged 25-44 has had no female partners are 1 in 35.71.

      More women than men are likely to postpone losing their virginity, but during the teens and early 20s their odds follow the identical trajectory. However, by the time a woman enters the age range of 25-44, the odds she has had no male sexual partners are 1 in 58.82—so somewhere along the line women start outpacing men in shedding their virginity.

      The only way to increase the number of virgins at marriage is for people to marry very young, and that will not be happening.

  • Tomato

    OtC, it’s the worst-case scenarios that keep people up at night. What if the husband dies? Or is so severely disabled that he cannot work? What if his job is outsourced and the remaining options can’t pay the bills? Or if the husband/wife/kids require medical care with bills that are insurmountable? What about divorce in cases of adultery, abuse, addiction, or neglect?

    One does not need to max out their career, but it can be very difficult figuring out what point is “good enough” to keep things comfortably afloat if needed.

  • OTC, SayWhaat is NYC I think. Things are crazy there.

    My husband and I would both have to make 3-5x what we currently make to even have a lifestyle close to what we have in Utah. Even then, a big house in a good neighborhood at 28? Daycare and private school for two kids? Leftover money to savings? Forget about it.

    IMO, move out of the big coastal cities and into suburbs if what you want is family and kids.

  • SayWhaat

    SayWhaat, i know you are, it’s your family that seems to be pressuring you to max out.

    But I don’t see why you’re worried about building a mega-career enough to support a family on one income.

    Right, I get that… I suppose that’s just me caving to familial expectations again.

    FWIW, I see where they’re coming from. They want me to have a higher quality life than what they gave me. They saw the Dr. Ghandis across the street pay off their mortgage in 2 years and just accrue wealth, they see their children land jobs that pay more handsomely than mine does now, they see other kids who (in their opinion) were less intelligent and are now surpassing me in career prestige.

    Basically, they’re worried about my future, and they want me to have a promising future so that other Indians won’t look down on me. They won’t say it, but there’s a great deal of status in the community involved. My mom keeps telling me to marry a doctor so that she’ll know that I’ll be taken care of.

    Ugh. I have no use for such politics, but I have a strong desire to not shame my family, either. I think this may be a difficult concept for Westerners to understand. :/

  • Lokland

    “LL, what comment are you talking about? I am really confused by this: I am not Evangelical, I am not a “born again” anything.”

    I believe it was along the lines of ‘I’ve had too many penises in me to be acceptable for an LTR’

    or some such nonsense

    when discussing what N disqualifies a women from LTR territory. (I cannot recall the comment I made that spurred this.)

    ——

    I tend to forget that religious people differentiate themselves with labels that have no real effect on behaviour or outcomes.

    Born again virgin is the evangelical way of saying I’m not a virgin and now intend to marry a man from the church who expects a virgin.

    Perhaps the difference is one of honesty.

    I don’t know.

  • Escoffier

    SayWhaat, I don’t think the medical profession going forward is going to be quite as renumerative as it used to be, so your mother’s advice is a bit out of date.

  • Jackie

    @LL
    “Your also not a virgin either, correct?
    But you advertising the truth to prospects? Or letting it be a don’t adk don’t tell scenario?

    ———-
    Dude, I know the discussions get busy around here. But that part about waiting for marriage is true. If I had N, I would say it.

    The only time I mention it (when my ex-fiance was cheating on me– the guys who have dumped me due to V-card– once I even had a roofie attempt in college 🙁 ) are about how much of a weirdo outlier, even as a religious person, it makes you to save sex for marriage.

    Earlier, I actually believed in NOT advertising it. My position that it is between me, my future husband and, possibly, my doctor if it came up. The majority view around disagreed.

    Anyway, that’s where I’m at. Peace–

  • Lokland

    “What if the husband dies? Or is so severely disabled that he cannot work? What if his job is outsourced and the remaining options can’t pay the bills? Or if the husband/wife/kids require medical care with bills that are insurmountable? What about divorce in cases of adultery, abuse, addiction, or neglect?”

    As a general rule. People move on.
    Dead- seems obvious
    Disabled- most cases I know of (anecdotal) have ended with the abled spouse leaving
    Job loss- empathy then divorce if he can’t fix it
    Medical bills- no experience
    Adultery, abuse, addiction- they tend to stick around and try and fix him or get a divorce (say 50-50 split)

  • Jackie

    @LL

    “I believe it was along the lines of ‘I’ve had too many penises in me to be acceptable for an LTR’

    or some such nonsense

    when discussing what N disqualifies a women from LTR territory. (I cannot recall the comment I made that spurred this.)

    ——
    LL, this really does not sound like a comment I’ve made. Is it possible that it is a hypothetical discussion of someone else?

  • SayWhaat

    I don’t intend to raise a family in NYC. No way in hell.

  • Lokland

    @Jackie

    You are a virgin?
    I very specifically remember that comment (because of the pure bluntness of it) and I thought it was you.

    If not, I stand corrected.

  • SayWhaat

    Do we have evidence of “good guys” looking for a “good girl” to potentially marry deliberately ruling out virgins specifically because of their virginity?

    Susan posted stats that a full third of men would not date a virgin. The percentage is not as significant as the % change.

  • SayWhaat

    SayWhaat, I don’t think the medical profession going forward is going to be quite as renumerative as it used to be, so your mother’s advice is a bit out of date.

    Doesn’t matter. Still doctor.

  • SayWhaat

    One does not need to max out their career, but it can be very difficult figuring out what point is “good enough” to keep things comfortably afloat if needed.

    This.

  • HanSolo

    @Escoffier

    Back when I was a virgin (for many years, I might add), I wanted to marry a virgin. Once I was no longer a virgin, and you might even say a player, I didn’t hold a woman’s virginity against her.

    There was one case where a virgin told me she wanted to have sex with me and I wanted to too but I didn’t do it because I could tell she liked me a lot, to the level of wanting to LTR/marry me and I liked her but not to that level. I told her I wanted her first time to be with someone special because she was more of the wait til marriage mindset, though she was obviously willing to not be that way with me.

    I think most guys looking for marriage would not hold it against a woman for being a virgin. I can see some being a little turned off if they think she might not be so skilled in bed but as long as they really like/love her that won’t be a deal breaker. And for many men it would be a plus. I guess there might be some wild men that really want to get into swinging or something that would assume the virgin wouldn’t want to do wild stuff and so that might be a turn-off but those people likely wouldn’t be good matches anyway.

  • Jackie

    @Esco

    Esco, I only have a sec, but wanted to let you know that I read your comment. Maybe I am “illogical” and “anti-Christian” in my feelings, but can you understand the source behind them?

    Look at how virulently many male posters get about women’s N, those who are less than pure– Can you say you have extended them the same grace you wish for yourself, before you accuse me of anti-Christian behavior?

    I missed your confession threads; I really thought you were ignoring my questions and had never responded to anything regarding your own accountability. I really appreciate that, Esco. 🙂

    We will probably never see eye-to-eye on most things, but I appreciate hearing from you. Thanks–

  • My mother (who had six children) used to say “If we had waited until we could afford you kids, we wouldn’t have had any of you!” He smile let us know that what she meant was that money wasn’t the primary reason for starting a family.

    I know a couple of men that wanted to wait till “their economy improved” to have children. Then they had it late around 40 and still poor. Most people keep themselves in the same economical realm more or less they started with, IME. Few people go from paupers to millionaires. So waiting to be making a lot of money might end up with spending that money on IV treatment or a very expensive adoption process, YMMV.

    It’s like a smoker saying that smoking will increase your chances of lung cancer. Should the smoker not say that? I think they should and they can give their experience of what it’s like and as they get older share the likely negative outcomes they experience
    Well if he has a cigar in his mouth while telling this I would say the message is a bit lost. But then again who knows I remember Susan Sarandon doing an ‘abortion is a human right’ speech while heavily pregnant so what do I know 😉

    I have had such a hard time this entire year with seeing religious people in power do such damaging things from this mindset. This has caused a lot of anguish, actually. It’s taken a long time to get to a place where I am more balanced and healthier.
    Might I suggest to follow the doctrine and not the people that taught it to you? I know everyone has a different source of faith but remember Jeremiah 17:5
    “Cursed is the one who trusts in man,
    who draws strength from mere flesh
    and whose heart turns away from the Lord.”

    The Lord is the only one to trust and follow your Mentors try their best but they are not God or perfect and some of them will fall and sin. If it happened in the past or the present don’t let them drag you away from the Lord with them or because of them, YMMV.

  • Jackie

    @Esco

    And, Esco, I have had a *ton* of “good” guys DQ me when I wouldn’t sleep with them. One of them a practicing Christian, whose brother was a pastor.

    Basically, my pond is super small and need mad-tight girl game to triumph. But I have faith (and HUS). 🙂

  • HanSolo

    @Esc

    I would not rule out a woman for marriage based on her being a virgin.

  • Escoffier

    SW,

    Still leaves some granularity. I mean, pretty much any guy not looking for a wife would probably not date a virgin. Also, the older a guy is, the less likely he will be to want to date a virgin.

    What I am wondering is whether there are any younger guys who would rule out a virgin not for a fling or a ONS but for a relationship that might lead to marriage?

    Keep in mind, it’s not like just because she’s a virgin doesn’t mean she will remain one until the altar. She probably won’t put out by date three but he still might see some action before the wedding.

    Or are guys conditioned to think that any girl past a certain age who is still a virgin is somehow “crazy”? If so, in the vast majority of cases, that is the culture overriding his innate desires.

    • What I am wondering is whether there are any younger guys who would rule out a virgin not for a fling or a ONS but for a relationship that might lead to marriage?

      Keep in mind, it’s not like just because she’s a virgin doesn’t mean she will remain one until the altar. She probably won’t put out by date three but he still might see some action before the wedding.

      I think that a male virgin would certainly prefer a female virgin. I suspect that most of the “college marrieds” who join at the hip during Freshman Orientation meet this description, though they mostly all go on to have sex, I imagine.

      And very few of them will marry – I believe Megaman posted a stat that only 13% of marriages are between college sweethearts.

  • Jackie

    @LL (171)

    Yes, I am.
    No, that comment is *definitely* not me.

  • Lokland

    @Jackie

    My bad, a thousand pardons.

  • SayWhaat

    Or are guys conditioned to think that any girl past a certain age who is still a virgin is somehow “crazy”? If so, in the vast majority of cases, that is the culture overriding his innate desires.

    Ya think?

    Jackie and I have both produced examples from our lives. Anecdotal, sure, but if she’s having this much trouble in a religious community, what do you think is happening in the larger society?

  • HanSolo

    @Jackie

    I felt like living up to my Dad’s integrity is something that is the hardest work for me. If the rug got yanked out from under me– that I was somehow being lied to, I would feel manipulated and like I couldn’t trust them.

    I felt like that but replace ‘dad’ with ‘church’. My whole world view and spiritual world view was shattered:

    I felt like living up to my [church’s standards was] something that [was] the hardest work for me. [The] rug got yanked out from under me– that I was somehow being lied to, I [felt] manipulated and like I couldn’t trust them.

  • SayWhaat

    I suppose I should be grateful for my mother’s consistent message that my life sans an M.D. would be doomed. 😛

  • Escoffier

    What I mean is, I believe that men by nature (which is to say, most men most of the time) are innately jealous not just about their mate’s sexual present and future but about their past as well. Hence, to convince men that virginity is *bad* has required a heroic effort of brainwashing.

    I know from my own youth that the message out there was strongly pushed on us that we should “not care about the past.” Anyone who does is “insecure,” etc. And yet it didn’t work on me or anyone I knew. I later came to conclude that the instinct was so powerful it simply cut through and overrode all the propaganda.

    I guess now, decades later, the message has finally succeeded and men choose the propaganda freely, over and agaisnt their own innate desires.

  • HanSolo

    @Anacaona

    The fact that the smoker smokes doesn’t make his message false that it’s bad for your health. That’s my point. People can say the truth whether they themselves are following it or not.

    Now, in the absence of 100% truth or wisdom on the part of the listener/follower then the congruity of the actions of the messenger with the message will influence the likelihood of the listener following.

  • SayWhaat

    Hence, to convince men that virginity is *bad* has required a heroic effort of brainwashing.

    Welcome to America. Here’s your hamburger.

  • As a general rule. People move on.
    In different ways but essentially yes

    @SayWhaat
    As a general rule people don’t know how they are going to act in emergency situations and don’t know how the environment will be either.
    You might have an idea that your husband will lose his job and you will sustain the family. But your husband might become someone else due to the job loss and the tension can bring out many other issues that you might not be able to save with all the money in the world and then some. So this “I need to be prepared for everything” has a tipping point and a natural barrier.
    I will say save at least 10% of your income, don’t become a status whore (meaning don’t think your life is over because you couldn’t change your car yearly like Dr Ditzy Jones did) and learn to enjoy your luxuries but not to tie your happiness to them so if you need to cut expenses it won’t be as hard and learn as many skills are you are passionate about. If you have skills that can help you set a plan B or a secondary or tertiary source of income (Etsy, E-bay, some gigs on the side) chances are you are going to be prepared for anything life throws at you, YMMV.

    Keep in mind, it’s not like just because she’s a virgin doesn’t mean she will remain one until the altar. She probably won’t put out by date three but he still might see some action before the wedding.
    Or are guys conditioned to think that any girl past a certain age who is still a virgin is somehow “crazy”? If so, in the vast majority of cases, that is the culture overriding his innate desires.

    Is funny back in my day virginity had a lot of taboos (like certain things you couldn’t do because your hymen was there) modern world dismissed lots of them and created new ones. There is all sorts of negative assumptions about it that is hard for anyone to keep it and for the ones that might be considering dating a girl to get over it.
    The media is probably the best measure when was the last time a virgin was depicted in a positive light? I don’t remember any ‘critically acclaimed’ work of fiction that has tried to show virginity as a reasonable choice at the top of my head. I might be wrong.

  • Bells

    Personally, I am definitely not waiting for marriage to have sex. However, I do prefer to have sex within the context of a healthy relationship. Amongst my friends, I am the last of the virgins.

    There is one 25yr old girl who is waiting for marriage because of strong religious beliefs. I say kudos to her. I don’t think have the self-restraint to wait that long!

  • There is one 25yr old girl who is waiting for marriage because of strong religious beliefs. I say kudos to her. I don’t think have the self-restraint to wait that long!
    I don’t know how common that is. Most of my waiting till marriage friends had sex with their fiances within months of the wedding, myself included. So the waiting until marriage might be more “waiting until I’m sure you are not going to ran off on me”. Although that is not fool proof either I know at least 2 girls that were left months before the wedding after they done the did. One of them was totally the goal to get her to put out and leave. 🙁

  • Kiwi

    “Is there a solution? Should driven women look for less driven men who would happily work a lower-performance job and raise their children?”

    “That’s the obvious solution. It’s doubtful that it will be widely adopted by the most ambitious women, who are the ones it would benefit the most, because these are not men that these women generally respect very much, and are therefore not very attracted to them as mates. ”

    I know a good handful of SAHDs but their wives are all firmly middle-class, middle-management types, not over-achievers, CEOs or even high level executives, so you may be right.

  • Escoffier

    Something that is so contra nature can easily be undone, though. Which is why I think the virgins give up too easily.

  • SayWhaat, I totally understand what you said, coming from a Chinese family of not one but two medical doctors. But you know what, my parents are miserable people! My father is a rich anesthiologist who will be growing old alone, and my mother is a narcissist who will alienated everyone in her life. I didn’t want to be like them one bit.

    I went to Northwestern which is on par with NYU, and there were expectations of higher success for me. I disappointed my mother by not going to graduate/business/medical school, and I didn’t marry a super wealthy guy like she wanted me to do. However, I won’t be putting up with mistresses like she did before my father divorced her. I may not be as educated as my older cousin who is over 30, has a PhD and lives in Beijing, but I am happy and love my husband and baby.

    BTW, hospitals are NOT fun places.

  • SayWhaat

    @ Ana:

    I appreciate the advice, and I hope that I’m already following it. 🙂

  • In my last post, “will alienated” should be “has alienated.”

    SayWhaat, where would you raise kids then? Upstate NY? Actually my father lived there for a while. Still quite expensive I believe. I say go out west. More men, less competition for the men, and get away from your parents. 😛

  • Jackie, are you still seeing the guy you said you were dating from your church? I haven’t heard much updates from you on your romantic life lately!

  • Kiwi

    “Basically, they’re worried about my future, and they want me to have a promising future so that other Indians won’t look down on me. They won’t say it, but there’s a great deal of status in the community involved. My mom keeps telling me to marry a doctor so that she’ll know that I’ll be taken care of.

    Ugh. I have no use for such politics, but I have a strong desire to not shame my family, either. I think this may be a difficult concept for Westerners to understand. :/”

    But I don’t understand what the problem is. You Indians have the benefit of always being able to opt for arranged (or assisted) marriage via your families’ large national and often international connections.

  • Jackie,

    You’ll do fine.

  • Tomato

    So women being virgins is good, but men being virgins is bad, which leads me to ask who are these men having sex with??

  • Escoffier

    Susan, if you were genuinely surprise by that, then you must have forgotten all of the earlier conversations we’ve had about my “college marriage.”

    • @Esco

      Susan, if you were genuinely surprise by that, then you must have forgotten all of the earlier conversations we’ve had about my “college marriage.”

      I figured, based on your opinions, that you must have done “everything but.”

  • Oh bloody hell, here comes another N-tanglement …

  • Escoffier, I remember those stories. I also remember telling you that you are clearly more of a ladykiller than you give yourself credit for, what with the Grace Kelly lookalike and the girl who was devastated by losing you. Also, winning your pretty wife over all the rest of your fellow grad classmates with a horrible male to female ratio.

    You may want to consider that your daughter will be more likely attracted to a man like you, who is quite high up on the totem pole but does not give off “cad” vibes. He might mean well, but due to not thinking too far ahead, he would accidentally break her heart. It may be better to use cautionary tales with concrete examples than to speak in the abstract.

  • SayWhaat

    Hope, I knew you’d get it. 🙂 I’ve never thought the doctor families in my community were particularly happy, either. There’s this one doctor who actually hates being a doctor and has always dreamed of a classical singing career. My dad told me that because he’s a doctor, no one will tell him that he’s only a slightly-above average singer — as if that was something to look forward to!

    I’m not originally from New York, so I have no qualms about uprooting and heading west. Actually, if my career aspirations work out, I’d pretty much have no choice but to live in L.A. I thought about the possibility of commuting, though that may be wishful thinking. Pasadena is quite lovely, however…

  • Kiwi

    Some people say that previous sexual experience makes a person a better lover for their eventual life long partner. This is assuming that he or she actually learned some skills during his or her previous romps and that those skills are pleasurable to the individual body of the life long partner. No two bodies are exactly alike. Sometimes people with a lot of experience think they know everything and are not willing to learn anything new.

  • Bells

    @Saywhaat,
    I can relate to your point-of-view. My parents also have the same mindset of desiring for their kids to surpass their own current lifestyle.

    Up to a couple of months ago, I was originally shooting to become a doctor. Studied for the MCATs, got my results, and started writing applications to be sent in to different schools. And then I took a detailed closer look on the pros and cons of being a Physician as a woman. One of the major deciding factor supporting my decision against continuing was the fact that I would ideally like to invest more time into my future children rather than bundling that energy into a demanding career.
    I am happy with my decision. And I believe that I have chosen a better career alternative.

    And like Escoffier mentioned, the medical profession isn’t as remunerative as it was in the past. There is a lot of tangled politics occurring at the moment.

  • OffTheCuff

    Hope, my parents live on Long Island. Nurse and machinist. People commute to NYC from further out than where they live.

  • Lokland

    @Susan

    Fun example
    Couple inaccuracies.

    People are not restaurants.
    You can be a rather slutty patron but not a slutty mate.

    Now, lets place those two restaurants right next to each other. With the owner standing outside.

    The one on the left is focused on serving multiple patrons with minimal effort. They make their profit via quantity. The outside is very flashy and eye catching.

    The restaurant on the right has only one table with one chair. They deliver excellent service one-on-one. The building, though nice, is nothing spectacular.

    —————

    You now walk up and look at both restaurants, weigh your options as both owners wait for you to make your decision.

    You choose the restaurant on your left.
    The owner of the restaurant on the right has doesn’t eat that night. Whereas the owner on the left has gained relatively nothing.

    —————

    You have your little fiasco over a couple visits (while the owner on the right continues to starve).

    You return and choose the restaurant on the right.
    At this point, you suspect, that blatantly choosing one over the other will go unnoticed.

    The owner declines you, politely (the fuck has ever heard of a man screaming at a woman for being a slut). You wonder why.

    But in the end, you did cause the man to starve and his restaurant only requires one to be filled. A few more days is nothing compared to spiting the person who did you wrong.

  • Lokland

    @Susan

    “And very few of them will marry – I believe Megaman posted a stat that only 13% of marriages are between college sweethearts.”

    Actually it was that 13% of people in college are married while they are in college.

  • SayWhaat

    But I don’t understand what the problem is. You Indians have the benefit of always being able to opt for arranged (or assisted) marriage via your families’ large national and often international connections.

    Are you PJ?

  • Lokland

    My point is that being chosen last is never anyones choice.
    And most people have a choice. (That does not imply virginity.)

  • OffTheCuff

    Sue: “I chose to be honest with my daughter in particular about my sexual history. I remain convinced that was the right decision – it opened up a level of honest dialog that would not otherwise have been possible.”

    What? Clearly the correct method is to never talk to your child about sex at all, and form an environment in which they would never dare ask a question about such an embarrassing subject. I’m well on my way to doing this myself, because I have no freaking clue how to do otherwise.

    (That would be sarcasm.)

    It just boggles my mind that people talk to their parents about this stuff. Whatever happened to generational distance and respect? I honestly don’t get it. Your kids are not your friends.

    • @OTC

      It just boggles my mind that people talk to their parents about this stuff. Whatever happened to generational distance and respect? I honestly don’t get it. Your kids are not your friends.

      You raise a very important point. Your kids are certainly not your friends. When I have shared my history with my kids, it has not been idle gossip or storytelling – every disclosure is a “teachable moment.” What I did, how it unfolded, and what I learned. Kids learn from their own mistakes, obviously – there is great power in natural consequences. But we also learn from the mistakes (and successes) of others.

  • Bells

    @Anacaona,

    Although that is not fool proof either I know at least 2 girls that were left months before the wedding after they done the did. One of them was totally the goal to get her to put out and leave

    That’s terrible! Poor girls. What a horrible way to be introduced into sexual relationships.

  • OffTheCuff

    PS by “I dont understand” I mean precisely that. It’s not an encoded way of saying “that’s wrong”, actually it sounds interesting, but it makes about as much sense to me as water flowing uphill. I’d kind of stare at it, thinking “wha????”

  • SayWhaat

    PS by “I dont understand” I mean precisely that. It’s not an encoded way of saying “that’s wrong”, actually it sounds interesting, but it makes about as much sense to me as water flowing uphill. I’d kind of stare at it, thinking “wha????”

    I’m with you there. I very much want to have an open, frank dialogue with my future kids, but I suspect that I will be highly awkward and uncomfortable when the time comes, haha. 🙂

  • SayWhaat

    All this talk about virginity, and Cooper is nowhere to be seen! He must be a busy man… 😛

  • OffTheCuff

    SW, yep, and what do we do if they never ask? Or if they refuse to talk? Kids are notorious for not doing what you want. The honest, open, frank dialog sounds like Magical Super-Families from Planet Perfectron to me. I have hard enough time trying to get them not to pick their nose at the dinner table.

    • @OTC, Say Whaat

      SW, yep, and what do we do if they never ask? Or if they refuse to talk? Kids are notorious for not doing what you want. The honest, open, frank dialog sounds like Magical Super-Families from Planet Perfectron to me.

      I can tell you that I had no script or game plan. I was always winging it. Most of the meaningful convos occurred in the car without eye contact (a blessing, makes things easier).

      I never introduced topics – I let my kids do that, and I responded in the moment as honestly as I could. I allowed my kids to know my vulnerabilities, my regrets, but also my joy. Obviously, they felt comfortable with me, knowing I was far from perfect, frequently self-deprecating, and would not judge them harshly.

      From an early age, I taught them values by sharing stories of my own failures – times when I had behaved in a way I regretted or felt ashamed about. They always knew I was a very loving but deeply flawed person.

  • Kiwi

    “It just boggles my mind that people talk to their parents about this stuff. Whatever happened to generational distance and respect? I honestly don’t get it. Your kids are not your friends.”

    I always felt creepy when my parents tried to discuss anything like that.

    Finally I had to explain to my mom everything I knew (read about) which included things she’d never heard of, so she would stop trying to broach the subject and creep me out. But there was no sharing of personal experiences, hers or mine (which I had none being only 13 years old at the time).

  • OTC, yeah I was a bit weirded out that my husband talked about the stuff he talked about with his mom. But they are both INFJ, and before he met me, my husband used his mother as a sounding board and for venting/advice/life talks. I do the same with her now, because she is wise and easy to talk to, unlike my own mother.

    I suspect Susan is somewhat like my MIL in that regard. Easy to talk to and gives non-judgmental but good advice. 🙂

  • Bells

    @blogRot,

    Thanks for putting the question: “How are we supposed to look without looking?” into concrete examples and explanations about positioning. I needed to hear that.

    I am a bit hesitant to rely on the effectiveness of this technique. Particularly because different sources have stated that men especially fear approaching women, randomly, in the daytime. However I can imagine utilizing this as a secondary, passive currency while actively searching for a partner.

  • Escoffier

    “The only way to increase the number of virgins at marriage is for people to marry very young, and that will not be happening.”

    First, I don’t think it’s the only way, and second, who knows what may happen? When/if society/the economy go splat, one likely response will be far earlier marriages, much less divorce, extended families living together, etc.

  • Jackie

    @Capt. Solo (184)

    Han, I am so sorry to hear that– it is what I always kind of thought may have been your experience. It has been that, too, for my other ex-Mormon and ex-Fundie friends. Very complicated to resolve this stuff.

    You are in my thoughts and I hope you have lots of nice wookies and a Princess or two as companions in your quest. 🙂

  • Jackie

    @Lokland (182)

    Hey Lokland,
    Your apology is most definitely accepted. 🙂 And I owe you one as well: I shouldn’t have brought up your post. We’ve all got stuff to work out, me especially.

    If anyone has seen the documentary “Mea Maxima Culpa” I think they will understand a little better. Over this time I found out my former priest, who I initiated me into the rites Reconciliation and Communion is one of the abusers who hurt my classmates. 🙁 🙁 🙁

    • @Jackie

      I trust you will understand when I say:

      Go Sean!

  • Kiwi

    SayWhaat, if I may, you are still young and have time, but if by say 27 you are not married I would opt for allowing your parents to work some connection magic. I say this because I know a number of Indian women pushing 40 who had planned to be married with kids by their early 30s at the latest but because they would not allow their parents to help, are single today. Single today doesn’t mean they are not dating, oh that they are. One or 2 is even living with a “partner” who refuses to either marry them or give them children. This is not what they had planned for their lives.

    Of course now they are too old and all of the Indian men their own age are married with kids and the only other Indian men who will even look at them are much older divorced or widowered uncle types.

  • Emily

    Virgins have a tough enough time in this SMP, but virgins who are waiting until marriage face a whole other set of challenges.

    Getting involved with a girl who is waiting until marriage would require 2-3 years of celibacy on the part of the guy as well (or however long the typical courtship period is). How many guys would be willing to do that? In fact, how many of the men who are now endorsing this model would have been willing to enter into this type of relationship when they were in their 20s?

  • Jackie

    @Susan

    Hey Susan!

    I really appreciate what you have to say and also wanted to say “thanks” for letting me participate, even though I am a weirdo outlier. :mrgreen:

    My mom was like you, in that she talked about things honestly and also started bringing up boys, dating, sex, etc all within the context of “Choices.” She didn’t say one way or the other was best.

    Also, she had never tried to deceive me about things like Tooth Fairy and Santa when I was younger (she didn’t lie, she would ask, What do you think?) so there was trust present.

    I think sex isn’t as important as finding a guy who shared my values. If I could find a fellow religious man who was serious about caring for “the least of us,” seeking God and being his best self, that is my highest value.

  • Abbot

    This is rich

    “We hadn’t accounted for a culture that wasn’t training men for change as well as women”

    The only way to get change is to change (train) men.

    How much more of this dribble is going to bombard the media?

    http://www.cnn.com/2013/03/12/opinion/roundup-having-it-all/index.html?hpt=hp_c1

    .

  • Kiwi

    Abbot, what exactly do you find objectionable to that article?

  • SayWhaat

    SayWhaat, if I may, you are still young and have time, but if by say 27 you are not married I would opt for allowing your parents to work some connection magic.

    I agree.

    Gonna do my damned best to not let things come to that, though. Lol.

  • Kiwi

    “Gonna do my damned best to not let things come to that, though. Lol.”

    I want to share a few examples; one of an Indian woman who refused to date non-Indians, and another who refused to date Indians.

    The first one wanted to date different men in her twenties and choose her own spouse without parental involvement. Nevertheless she would only date other Indians and was convinced this tactic would land her a fantastic Indian husband and family by 30 tops. She found that some Indian men were very picky and would not commit to her for reasons such as her social drinking. Some would not commit to her because of her religion or cultural background, despite her being Indian like them. A few times she came close to official engagement but for one reason or other the men called it off.

    Despite all this she refused to cast her net wider and date non-Indians and she also refused arranged marriage. She is single, childless and pushing 40 today.

    The other took the exact opposite route. She refused to date fellow Indians and would only date non-Indians. Under that circumstance naturally an arranged marriage was out of the question. She is also single, childless and pushing 40 today.

    Different paths, same destination.

    Both women did not cast their nets wide enough and both refused to consider arranged marriage.

  • Ramble

    It’s not feminists indoctrinating women, it’s parents, encouraging their daughters to pursue career opportunities and success before allowing their thoughts to turn to “settling down.”

    This is a little like saying, “It isn’t ESPN indoctrinating boys into being physically competitive, it’s their fathers”.

    Of course, it is their fathers who made ESPN so popular to begin with.

  • That’s terrible! Poor girls. What a horrible way to be introduced into sexual relationships.

    I know that in one case the guy left my friend because she was fired from her job where she made a lot of money and had perks like transportation and fancy meals when they met. Upon leaving her he got involved with a younger and poorer woman probably thinking to hit it and quit it. But she got pregnant ‘