The Unspun Truth About Marriage in the U.S.

June 25, 2013

It’s very difficult to get accurate information about marriage trends in America today. Or at least to get it free of political spin.

In one camp we have feminists exhorting women to prioritize career and delay marriage well into their 30s. They want you to Lean In and preferably skip the babymaking altogether. They’re invested in a narrative that says alternative family arrangements, e.g. “friend families,” are every bit as personally rewarding and beneficial to society as traditional families. They’re not worried about the future of marriage, and they welcome new role definitions.

In the other camp we have social conservatives who believe “the earlier, the better” when it comes to marriage. They don’t see  any value in education for females, who should instead be focusing on fulfilling traditional housewifely duties. They view marriage as being in serious trouble, with rates rapidly declining and the wrong people reproducing.

MRAs are also in the “marriage is dead” camp, being invested in the idea of a marriage strike as a rebuttal to feminism. They exude a sort of sadistic glee when the data is spun as indicating declining male interest in marriage.

Who’s right?

Stephanie Coontz’ latest article, The Distestablishment of Marriagesummarizes much of the data and research of recent years. Her citations, along with other recent findings, support the narrative that marriage rates are not declining (much). Rather, people are postponing marriage, viewing it as a “capstone of adulthood” rather than a launch into adulthood. This means that overall, people will spend fewer years of their lives being married, assuming static life expectancy. Whether you think that is a good or bad thing depends on your point of view. However, I find little support for the claims that men (or women) are reluctant to marry. 

Here are the facts, unspun:

The Marriage Rate Data

Coontz highlights the research of sociologist Philip Cohen, who has noted that the marriage rate has declined 66% (!!!) since 1950. Cohen compares the number of marriages each year in the U.S. per 1,000 unmarried women. In 1950, there were 90 marriages per year, but by 2011 the number had dropped to 31. At the present rate of decline, according to Cohen, no women will be getting married in the year 2043.

Coontz points out that the marriage rate automatically falls as the average age of marriage increases. In 1960, the majority of women were married before the age of 21. Today the average female age at marriage is 27. The table below shows the dramatic shift toward more 30-something marriages occurring during the past 50 years.

% Married after 30FemalesMales
19608%13%
Today33%40%

 

In terms of marital longevity, the optimal age for women to marry is 25, which decreases the risk of divorce by 24% compared to women 18 or less.

According to Andrew Cherlin, a professor at Johns Hopkins and author of The Marriage Go-Round, the CDC’s National Survey of Family Growth reflects the postponement:

 % Married, 15-44
201040%
1995:49%
1982:52%

 

The decline may have stopped in recent decades, Mr. Cherlin said, as lifetime marriage rates have changed little since the 1990s.

The figure of 4 in 10 women currently married may seem stark, demographers say, but it is simply a reflection of the fact that women are marrying later in the age spectrum. 

…The story, Mr. Cherlin said, is more about postponement than abandonment. Marriage has declined precipitously among young women, both college graduates and women with less education. But most women do eventually marry.

According to the report, 82 percent of women who ended their formal education after graduating from high school will marry by the age of 40. Among women with a college degree the figure is 89 percent.

Female Education and Income

Increasingly, people marry assortatively with respect to education. There are three primary reasons for this:

  1. Individuals often prefer to associate with equally educated partners.
  2. Educational expansion increases contact opportunities for equally educated men and women at an age when young people start to look for partners and form couples.
  3. Women’s changing economic role in dual-earner societies increases the importance of women’s education and labor force attachment.

Until the 1970s, college educated and high earning women were less likely to marry. Today, women born in 1960 or later are as likely to marry and much less likely to divorce.

Young adults with greater earning potential, who can afford the capstone celebration, are still marrying in large numbers, while those with poorer economic prospects are holding off. According to the National Center for Family and Marriage Research, 88 percent of 35- to 44-year-old women with four-year college degrees have married, compared with 79 percent of those without high-school diplomas.

In addition, education is highly correlated with marital success. Consider the four subgroups at the greatest risk for divorce, according to Coontz:

  1. Poor minority women
  2. Women who have given birth OOW
  3. Women raised by a single parent
  4. Women with a history of numerous sex partners

Less educated women are far more likely to be in these subgroups. For example, only 8% of college educated women give birth outside of marriage, while 57% of less educated women do. 

Based on the frequent alarmist articles I read re the rise of single mothers, I was stunned to see Cherlin point out that nearly all OOW births in the U.S. are to cohabitating couples:. 

Young adults without college degrees are increasingly likely to put off marriage and have their first children in cohabiting relationships, sometimes years before they marry. Nearly all of the increase in childbearing outside of marriage in the last two decades is from births to cohabiting couples, most without college degrees, rather than to single mothers.

Coontz points out the for most of the 20th century, cohabitation predicted divorce. However, since 1996 no correlation is evident, and cohabiting with definite plans to marry decreases divorce rates, compared to direct entry into marriage. 

In addition, education predicts female fidelity, according to the National Marriage Project:

 Marital Infidelity
College13%
HS or some college19%
HS dropout21%

 

According to sociologist Leslie McCall, income homogamy is also becoming more prevalent (emphasis hers):

As the marriage rates of most women declined, the average marriage rate of women with high pay increased  — from 58 percent in 1980 to 64 percent in 2010.  The most economically successful women are now more likely to be married than are other women, whereas the reverse was true in 1970.

Second, top-earning women often form dual-income households with top-earning men. So high-earning women and high-earning men double their earnings advantage when they marry, while the lower the earnings of a woman, the more likely she is, if she is married at all, to be with a low-earning man. The rise of income homogamy in marriage reinforces the widening gap in earnings.

Coontz believes that increasingly, men seek a spouse who will “pull her weight” financially. Economist Gary Burtless of The Brookings Institution does not believe that male preferences have changed, but that the environmental incentives have:

The tendency of like to marry like has remained roughly unchanged over time. What have changed are the labor-market opportunities and behavior of women.

In fact, Millennial men and women expect virtually the same things from men and women in marriage:

good spouse

 

According to Pew, Millennials still value marriage highly:

Even though their generation has been slow to marry and have children, most Millennials look forward to doing both. Among 18- to 29-year-olds who are not currently married and have no children, 70% say they want to marry and 74% say they want to have children. Among those who have never married and have no children, 66% want to marry and 73% want to have children.

(Note: Millennials are currently only age 8-28. There is little data on actual marriage among this generation. Additionally, the Millennial data is not segregated by education.)

Of course, none of this data says anything about whether you will marry, when you might do so, or with whom. My biggest concern is not decreasing interest in marriage, which I suspect will thrive, albeit in changed form. I’m more worried about the lopsided sex ratio in college. That’s going to result in a shortage of “marriageable” men, ready to set that capstone on adulthood. 

The optimal strategy for women who wish to marry well in their mid- to late 20s and stay that way is clear.

  • Earn a college degree in a subject with concrete, marketable skills.
  • Avoid incurring debt.
  • Say no to casual sex.
  • Dedicate yourself to the search for a life partner in your early 20s at the latest.
  • Filter husband prospects aggressively for character, intelligence and drive, as well as the explicit desire to marry.

 So few women are smart and strategic about marriage that simply following these five rules will put you way ahead of the competition.

  • Lokland

    @Susan

    “Less educated women are far more likely to be in these subgroups. For example, only 8% of educated women give birth outside of marriage, while 57% of less educated women do. ”

    I know you mean undergraduate or higher but you should clarify about this bit. Seems sketchy without it.

    • @Lokland

      Thanks for catching that, it should have said college educated. I’ve edited that.

  • JP

    “The optimal strategy for women who wish to marry well in their mid- to late 20s and stay that way is clear.

    Earn a college degree in a subject with concrete, marketable skills.
    Avoid incurring debt.”

    “Thanks to rising tuition and a tough job market, college seniors graduated with an average of nearly $27,000 in student loan debt last year.

    Two-thirds of the class of 2011 held student loans upon graduation, and the average borrower owed $26,600, according to a report from the Institute for College Access & Success’ Project on Student Debt.

    That’s up 5% from 2010 and is the highest level of debt in the seven years the report has been published.”

    We should expect to see students continually larded up with more debt in the future.

  • JP
  • Good post and good advice:

    Earn a college degree in a subject with concrete, marketable skills.

    Avoid incurring debt.

    Say no to casual sex.

    Dedicate yourself to the search for a life partner in your early 20s at the latest.

    Filter husband prospects aggressively for character, intelligence and drive, as well as the explicit desire to marry.

    It will be interesting to see what happens over the coming years, if the rising trend of never married white 25-34 y/o’s from 2007 to 2012 continues (though some of them are cohabiting) or plateaus.

    • @HanSolo

      It will be interesting to see what happens over the coming years, if the rising trend of never married white 25-34 y/o’s from 2007 to 2012 continues (though some of them are cohabiting) or plateaus.

      If the average age at marriage continues to rise, the postponement will continue to be reflected in those numbers. So it really depends on the incentives young adults have to marry vs. delay. A poor economy or high unemployment for recent college grads feeds into the delay, obviously. The key point here is that lifetime marriage rates remain high, and have been stable for a couple of decades. It’s not a decline in marriage, but a delay. There appears to be consensus among researchers about that.

      It would be interesting to know who is marrying whom in their 30s. Are women marrying men their own age, or are they marrying older men? Are they marrying men who were previously married? The number of both men and women marrying in their 30s – 40% and 33%, respectively, suggests mostly assortative mating with respect to age, with about a fifth of those men perhaps marrying younger.

  • A Definite Beta Guy

    Great analysis! I really like your insight into this issue. Especially since I am attending an engagement party this weekend, a wedding in the summer, two weddings in the fall, etc.

    Still seems that marriage is a major institution to me! 🙂

    More thoughts when I get home….

  • J

    According to the report, 82 percent of women who ended their formal education after graduating from high school will marry by the age of 40. Among women with a college degree the figure is 89 percent.

    This seems to contradict the ‘spherian notion that not educating women past high school will result in a higher rate of marriage for beta males. BTW, I believe that prior to 1960, the 90% of women eventually married. The rate for college-educated women is still similar.

    Increasingly, people marry assortatively with respect to education. .

    Yet so many in the ‘sphere say the’d be happy with uneducated women. Can you “outlier”? I thought you could.

    Susan, I love your concluding advice. I’m not sure how else a girl in this day and age COULD find a worthy guy, plus these are traits I would appreciate in a DIL.

  • Abbot

    “…among the subgroups of women facing the greatest risk of divorce — poor minority women, women who have had a premarital birth or were raised in single-parent families, and women with a history of numerous sex partners”

    The mere mention of that latter risk is going to get Coontz into a heated bath of crap with feminists. What research led her to include female promiscuity? Reading this website?

    .

    • The mere mention of that latter risk is going to get Coontz into a heated bath of crap with feminists. What research led her to include female promiscuity? Reading this website?

      I was surprised Coontz cited that, to tell you the truth. I’d love to see her notes!

  • Gin Martini

    I just attended my grand-niece’s wedding this weekend. She has a two-year old, daughter. Her entire line all had kids before marriage, up to and including my SIL. I think that pattern is permanently set, matrilineal style.

    Biker/metalheads melding with a hipster clan. PBR cans in the parking lot. Beards and piercings and shorts and skinny ties and boots all a once. First time I’ve seen a female groomsman.

    I probably was the only untattooed person, under 60.

    Hey, least she got married… this is the future!

  • JP

    “Biker/metalheads melding with a hipster clan. PBR cans in the parking lot. Beards and piercings and shorts and skinny ties and boots all a once. First time I’ve seen a female groomsman.

    I probably was the only untattooed person, under 60.”

    I trust that you explained to them the profound decivilizing effects of their lifestyles and encouraged them to turn from lives of depravity, decadence, and decay to lives of virtue and uplift.

    Did you offer to spiritually mentor your grand-niece and her new husband so that their children would avoid such a sad and hopeless outcome?

    It’s best that the young child not know that she was a bastard child until later in life. She will ultimately learn that she is illegitimate, but learning that when she is older will certainly cushion the blow.

    I advise you to do what you can to assist her in finding suitors who will overlook such a blemish when the time comes for her to wed. It will be difficult, I know, but critical to your restoration of your family’s name.

  • A Definite Beta Guy

    Re: economic incentives to marry, I notice there is a definite plateau in the 1990s on rising marriage age, that does seem to persist for quite some time

    http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/wonkblog/files/2013/03/greasto-crossover-marriage-childbirth.jpg
    http://www.google.com/imgres?q=average+age+of+marriage+over+time&um=1&safe=off&client=safari&sa=N&rls=en&hl=en&biw=1487&bih=722&tbm=isch&tbnid=vck2iJ-7KXI8iM:&imgrefurl=http://thinkingonthemargin.blogspot.com/2009/04/is-there-ideal-age-for-marriage.html&docid=RdXtWPxgSX0ckM&imgurl=http://3.bp.blogspot.com/_reeo_0uYuKM/Sd2HImvh3xI/AAAAAAAAEQk/ik_nn9NJnKk/s1600/median_marriage_age.jpg&w=600&h=350&ei=BifKUeCRN8epyAG9k4G4DA&zoom=1&ved=1t:3588,r:0,s:0,i:81&iact=rc&page=1&tbnh=169&tbnw=293&start=0&ndsp=17&tx=222&ty=70
    http://www.bsos.umd.edu/socy/vanneman/socy441/trends/marrage.gif
    http://worthwhile.typepad.com/.a/6a00d83451688169e201348159f6ec970c-800wi

    Granted not all the numbers are the same and I have not checked source data, but quite interesting.

    Also interesting, comparisons across the world:
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Age_at_first_marriage#Europe

    Also interesting?
    http://www.un.org/esa/population/publications/worldmarriage/worldmarriagepatterns2000.pdf
    Some nations really stand out. The age discrepancies in some Muslim nations are phenomenal. In Jamaica, only half of people are married at age 40! In most nations most people are married by age 4o and not many in wealthier nations are married in the 20-24 bracket.

    Granted some of the data is older.

    However, this is a trend that started in the late 1970s, and many of the social and economic trends that started then are not exactly healthy, to say the least. I would say the jury is still out on whether this is a good trend.

    I am too lazy to do much investigative work right now myself, though.

    • @ADBG

      Nigeria is 12! OMG

      Clearly there’s a pattern where nations with gender equity have much later marriage. I’m sure those Nigerian girls aren’t eager to marry the moment they get their first period.

      I’m quite surprised at the countries that have a higher age for women than the U.S. – Taiwan, Japan, Canada. Iceland and Sweden are over 32! Interestingly, aside from Saudi Arabia (14) and Yemen (11), most of the Middle East is quite high.

  • From that Wikipedia link.

    Yemen: Men 28.0 Women 11.5 Year 2012

    ಠ_ಠ

  • A Definite Beta Guy

    *citation needed

    All this needs to be taken with huge huge huge grains of salt. I would say that there is a lot we do not fully understand.

    I am also more worried about the college ratios than anything else.

  • JP

    “From that Wikipedia link.

    Yemen: Men 28.0 Women 11.5 Year 2012

    ಠ_ಠ”

    Their fertility rate is about 5.

    That means that modernity hasn’t hit them yet

    Compare to Iran.

    “Land of the Mullahs”

    Basically same marriage age as the U.S.

    Total Fertility Rate?

    1.4.

    That means that they are basically modern.

    Weird, eh?

  • JP

    “I didn’t see any discussion that native-born Americans are no longer at replacement rate, which means the coming collapse of society.”

    Nobody in the Western Hemisphere is really at replacement rate.

    That being said, the actual carrying capacity of the Earth, in terms of human population isn’t clear, either.

    Nor is the supply of the cheap energy that enables the green revolution clear, either.

    Here’s the Population of Constantinople over time:

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Population_of_the_Byzantine_Empire

    Amazingly, your population can go up and down over the centuries and you can still be a functioning empire.

    (I don’t really care about the time after 1204, since the Crusaders basically shredded the Eastern Roman Empire).

  • JP

    I meant “Eastern Roman Empire” not Constantinople.

    Been a long time gone, Constantinople.

    Now it’s Turkish delight on a moonlit night.

  • “For the average man, marriage is a losing bet .”

    When a man is no longer allowed to be a patriarch/protector (I’m not talking about any of that “Alpha” nonsense) they’ll not get married and have kids.

    All this talk about what to look for in a mate, etc. comes down to a few things: the continuation of the middle class and the middle class continuing to replace itself. It’s not happening here anymore.

    I had a friend who taught in Mexico for several years. There are two classes: the super-rich and the poverty-stricken. It’s starting to happen here.

    • I had a friend who taught in Mexico for several years. There are two classes: the super-rich and the poverty-stricken. It’s starting to happen here.

      Yes, the wealth gap is increasing. As McCall pointed out, high earning, high achieving women are marrying high earning men. Those 2 high income marriages leave everyone else in the dust. In contrast, men with poor career prospects delay marriage and family because they know they cannot fill the provider role.

  • Liz
  • Frank in Calif.

    Susan, Coontz is a hardcore feminist, so that places her in one of your 3 brackets above, making her a partisan in this debate and not an objective observer as you are. The political Coontz is a master at spinning data and avoiding issues that contradict her radical egalitarianism. A case in point is the paragraph midway through her NYT piece about women supposedly not pricing themselves out of the marriage market. It’s a classic spin as she sidesteps females’ inegalitarian tendencies to marry up and instead focuses on marriage rates between high earning women and low earning women 10-20 years ago.

    You are right to be concerned about the shortage of ‘marriageable men’ as women won’t marry down and feminists like Coontz don’t want to deal with that issue.

    • @Frank in CA

      I agree, Coontz is firmly in the “positive spin” camp. As you see, I ignored several of her claims. But I did go to the source material on others, and she is right – marriages are happening later, but there is no marriage strike, and the number of women and men who will marry is still very high. I was surprised to learn that – a reading of much popular media gives the impression that the marriage rate is dwindling to zero (as Cohen has implied).

      Coontz does ignore hypergamy, which is the elephant in the room. We’re going to have some number of men and women “left over” in the marriage sweepstakes, and they’re not going to be compatible with one another. That’s hypergamy in action.

      IMO, that lopsided college ratio is the Titanic of the SMP. Yet I’m the only one talking about it. We have an emergency on our hands – young American men are not thriving. When are we going to wake up and pay attention to their needs?

  • @Susan

    The key point here is that lifetime marriage rates remain high, and have been stable for a couple of decades. It’s not a decline in marriage, but a delay.

    I certainly agree with that statement. I will point out that the data for the study you link to

    http://www.cdc.gov/nchs/data/nhsr/nhsr049.pdf

    were taken from 2006-2010, or roughly 2008 as the average year. So this is backward looking data (as all data necessarily is since you can’t take data about the future right now). It shouldn’t be interpreted as what will happen.

    My main point is that this data doesn’t fully take into account what has happened since 2008 (since it averages 2006-2010 together and doesn’t have 2011 or 2012) and as we see in the data out to 2012 the percent of never married whites females rises a lot from 2007 to 2012 for 25-39 y/o’s (http://dalrock.wordpress.com/2012/11/24/more-grim-news-for-carousellers-hoping-to-jump-at-the-last-minute/ my apologies for the link but in this case he has good graphs on this issue).

    Of course, this is still in the delay mode, since we don’t know what they’ll eventually do but it seems likely with a bigger influx of single white women into the late thirties cohort that this will translate to larger %’s of never marrieds in their 40’s.

    The study does point out that the ever-married by 40 rate dropped from 86% to 84% but was not statistically significant due to the size of the error bars:

    By age 40, the difference in the probability of age at first marriage for women was not significant between 1995 (86%) and 2006–2010 (84%)

    I’m not predicting a huge decline in the eventual marriage rate but I think it will decline a few more percent as the larger-than-ever singles 30-34 and 35-39 y/o cohorts likely won’t suddenly marry at higher rates than previous cohorts of the same age…but it’s the future so you never know.

    The main point is that if women want to marry and have kids (as opposed to OOW) then they should do as you say in your points that end your post.

    • @HanSolo

      It’s very true that with marriage trends evolving fairly rapidly, by historical standards, five years is a long time. You are right that we can not bank on 2008 data to predict the future.

      As usual, I am struck by the differences in behavior and choices between those with a college degree and those without – increasingly I feel it is necessary to view the two sub-SMPs, rather than the SMP in aggregate.

  • CrisisEraDynamo

    @ Bob Wallace

    When a man is no longer allowed to be a patriarch/protector (I’m not talking about any of that “Alpha” nonsense) they’ll not get married and have kids.

    All this talk about what to look for in a mate, etc. comes down to a few things: the continuation of the middle class and the middle class continuing to replace itself. It’s not happening here anymore.

    You actually hit upon something important.

    Since middle-class men are no longer allowed to be masculine (gotta be an “equal partner,” you know), alpha male jerks and the super-rich are the only attractive men left.

    I had a friend who taught in Mexico for several years. There are two classes: the super-rich and the poverty-stricken. It’s starting to happen here.

    As the feminists love to say, this is both unstoppable and desirable. Men having a meaningful place in the family is, to them, a great crime against humanity. What happens to society as a result is none of their concern.

  • CrisisEraDynamo

    @ Susan

    Yes, the wealth gap is increasing. As McCall pointed out, high earning, high achieving women are marrying high earning men. Those 2 high income marriages leave everyone else in the dust. In contrast, men with poor career prospects delay marriage and family because they know they cannot fill the provider role.

    They also don’t have a snowball’s chance in Jamaica of attracting the women they want. Women can earn their own money now, so male providership isn’t the prize it used to be.

    I’m quite surprised at the countries that have a higher age for women than the U.S. – Taiwan, Japan, Canada. Iceland and Sweden are over 32! Interestingly, aside from Saudi Arabia (14) and Yemen (11), most of the Middle East is quite high.

    Regarding the Middle East, I’m not surprised at all. David P. Goldman, a.k.a. “Spengler,” has written on this topic, and he elaborates on it in his book How Civilizations Die (and Why Islam Is Dying Too). Also, he has written on First World birth dearths generally.

    • @Crisis

      They also don’t have a snowball’s chance in Jamaica of attracting the women they want. Women can earn their own money now, so male providership isn’t the prize it used to be.

      Agreed.

      Thanks for the Spengler link – I’m astounded to learn of “the closing of the Muslim womb.” It strikes me as so counterintuitive! Clearly, I have a very inaccurate picture of the typical Muslim woman.

  • CrisisEraDynamo

    @ Susan

    IMO, that lopsided college ratio is the Titanic of the SMP. Yet I’m the only one talking about it. We have an emergency on our hands – young American men are not thriving. When are we going to wake up and pay attention to their needs?

    They won’t.

    The system is working exactly as designed. Men aren’t supposed to thrive in this “brave new world” or whatever they call it nowadays.

    If there isn’t a marriage strike, it’s only because of cultural inertia and the Disneyfied fantasy of “the one” and the “soul mate.”

  • queeninjun

    I’m a first time commenter on HUS; I stumbled on this site a few months ago and have been reading Susan’s posts more frequently in the last couple of weeks. First, I want to say that I went through the whole dating combat thing and came out okay. Two years ago, I got married for the first time at age 34 to a man who was never married of age 38. Neither of us had kids and we plan to have a child in the near future. His number with women was somewhere around 250 before he and I met. It would take several, several multiples of my number to even reach his number. I’ve got a masters degree and so does he. Right now, I make more money than he does, but he’s an independent writer, so making more money than a writer usually is the case for many people with a career, like myself. He comes from a fairly wealthy family, and, basically, due to feminism putting more easily sexually available women on the market, he has slept with many good-looking women sans commitment (he showed me several photos of his ‘exes’) on his own continent and several others. He’s been to the sex tourist meccas, like Thailand and Morocco, slept with many women there, and has even dated the non-American types (who all the men on the ‘sphere claim are ‘better’ than American women in all ways), but still, this Frenchman fell for me. I was probably a 8-9 on the SMV scale in my 20’s, and it was not lost on me that my SMV was probably skewed and that in reality, I’m most likely a 7 (with value rapidly dropping as I got deeper into my 30’s). When he met me, he was mad at himself for falling for me. I wasn’t a) as hot as his other conquests b) didn’t wear the right underwear (I’m not really a lingerie girl) c) competed with him intellectually d) was too old (he imagined settling down with a HB10 in her 20’s) e) and was an annoying American with feminist leanings (not too heavy, but they’re there). He’s very French and kind of macho, which doesn’t bother me. I would love it if he wanted to put me out of business so I could be a SAHM, but I don’t think that’s going to happen because he is uncompromising about his work. I know he likes me partly because I can pull my own weight financially. And underneath all of my politics and all the rest, he said that he saw a person that truly knows how to give love – he’s said that a lot of hot women don’t know how to love someone. Even though he’s had hotter sex with other women, he’s stayed with me even though I have given him several opportunities to leave me. He knows the door is always open and that it’s his choice on a daily basis to stay or go. I’m not sure why he loves me as much as he does even though he’s let me know that I’m so clearly deficient in so many objective, market value ways, but I know he loves me. And no, there was no marriage ultimatum from my end. He proposed on his own to me. I turned him down, he asked again, and I said yes. I just know what I want, and I told him. FYI, I have made EVERY bad dating mistake that Susan cautions her readers against. Every single one. And I still ended up marrying a cool foreign guy who is more alpha and romantic and charming than the average American man. He genuinely likes women and even when he sympathizes with women, he never comes across like a beta. Strangely, he’s also the tallest man I’ve ever been with. I always thought I’d end up with some divorced with kids 45 yo guy when I hit my 30’s. I thought I needed to be realistic. Maybe I’m an exception, but that’s not the way fate worked out for me. Granted, I was very determined to find someone and wasn’t letting any guy waste any more time than I saw fit to put into him. There was no negotiating relationship goals with me and in my 30’s, I finally had the confidence to stick to my guns and to be ready to move on quickly if the dude didn’t share my goal of marriage and kids.

  • @Susan

    And the interesting thing about college is: is it the actual experience of going and working hard enough to graduate that creates people that are more stable for marriage or that people who are stable for marriage also choose to go to college? I suspect it’s a bit of both.

    And yes, I agree that the two SMPs are different enough to warrant separate treatment.

    • @HanSolo

      And the interesting thing about college is: is it the actual experience of going and working hard enough to graduate that creates people that are more stable for marriage or that people who are stable for marriage also choose to go to college? I suspect it’s a bit of both.

      Good point. They have at least some degree of future time orientation and impulse control, though honestly, I fear that standards are pretty low at a lot of colleges. Still, some people are able to focus and lift themselves out of poverty – others lose motivation. I’m sure the respective mating choices reflect that as well.

  • queeninjun

    @ Susan, there are plenty of people on the manosphere talking about the decline of the American male. I, too, see it. There is a guy I work with who is working full-time and only now getting around to earning a college degree (he’s close to 30). Maybe our society doesn’t encourage guys to pursue higher education because people don’t think that boys/men need the push to do it. Maybe people assume that men are logical, and if a man sees a logical value in pursuing a higher education that he will naturally do it.

    • @Queeninjun

      Welcome, thanks for leaving a comment. It sounds like things worked out really well for you – congrats. I’d love to know if there are any lessons or advice you would share with single women – what have I missed?

  • J

    Been a long time gone, Constantinople.

    That’s nobody’s business but the Turks, JP!

    • That’s nobody’s business but the Turks, JP!

      They Might Be Giants was our kids favorite band for years, and covered that. Birdhouse in Your Soul is one of my favorite songs! They also put out a kids album later. Must put that on my list of Gifts for Future Grandchildren.

  • J

    @Han

    All middle class values, including regard for education, correlate to marital stability. You eally can’t parse out any one factor.

  • CrisisEraDynamo

    @ queeninjun

    Good to hear you found a husband you’re attracted to.

  • @J

    And are the values inherent to the class or to the people? Meaning, if the people that would have been in the middle class no longer are do they start to drop some of those values?

    Do parents who were raised middle class but now are lower-middle class–due to reasons beyond their control like a weak economy–raise children that will have the same middle class values or will they have lower-middle class values?

  • CrisisEraDynamo

    @ queeninjun

    Regarding men and college, Google “Fire Montana Blueprint” without quotes. Colleges, as far as I can tell, have nurtured an anti-male culture.

  • A Definite Beta Guy

    @ Crisis

    The system is working exactly as designed. Men aren’t supposed to thrive in this “brave new world” or whatever they call it nowadays.

    The thing is that there is no “system” per se. Well, sorta.

    But in every society and in the heart of every person, there is tension and conflict. We are not completely rational beings and we are not perfectly homogenous, harmonized societies.
    Always, always tension.

    That’s what I learned from studying fiction, that I didn’t understand when I was a book-worm reading Free to Choose and Road to Serfdom. That warring heart is fundamental to humanity and to society’s evolution.

    Something else I learned from fiction: imagine the worst thing that could happen to your character.
    Now do it to them.
    The unforeseen event out of nowhere that changes everything puts the whole system in disarray. Those Black Swans are what change the world.

    Now the question is, how is OUR system going to change, and what Black Swan is going to change it?

  • Abbot

    A little off topic, but basically this is the SMP

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gBVuAGFcGKY

    .

  • A Definite Beta Guy

    @ Susan

    Nigeria is 12! OMG

    Clearly there’s a pattern where nations with gender equity have much later marriage. I’m sure those Nigerian girls aren’t eager to marry the moment they get their first period.

    I’m quite surprised at the countries that have a higher age for women than the U.S. – Taiwan, Japan, Canada. Iceland and Sweden are over 32! Interestingly, aside from Saudi Arabia (14) and Yemen (11), most of the Middle East is quite high.

    A lot of the nations have shockingly high ages, IMO. Clearly a TON of nations are going past the 25 mark, which essentially means little or possibly negative gains due to decreased stability and fertility rates.

    I mean, we get disgusted at 12 year olds marrying, and with good reason. On the other hand, nations like Japan and Portugal are doomed, and nations like Ukraine and Bulgaria may be so weak in a decade or so that they can hardly field a few divisions against the Russians, while the US may be debating whether we REALLY need 2 carriers and the French ban Amazon out-right.

    There’s a lot to be disgusted by in OUR society, we’re just used to it. Sorta like, you know, Southerners used to think of slavery as just a peculiar institution.

  • CrisisEraDynamo

    @ Susan

    Darn it, Susan! You keep holding back my urge to breathe fire about the state of males in American society! 🙂

  • MM

    @SW

    IMO, that lopsided college ratio is the Titanic of the SMP. Yet I’m the only one talking about it.

    Is this the cause for concern you’re referring to?
    http://www.clevelandfed.org/research/Commentary/2011/2011-21.cfm

    • @MM

      Thanks for linking that article – I hadn’t seen it before and it contains some great stats and graphics on the widening education gap between the sexes.

  • queeninjun

    @ Crisis, I just read that story you told me to Google. How disgusting. Any woman in her 20’s to 30’s can see how men are falling behind. I didn’t really grow up during the time that classrooms favored girls and when I went to college in the late 90’s, there was still a majority male presence on my college campus in Southern CA. I work in a field that was male-dominated and is slowly becoming more female-dominated even though I privately believe that men would actually be better at my job than I am (I know I’m not supposed to say that, but I think it’s the truth). Not sure what to do about it except to tell mothers to invest heavily in their sons and their future. Since most of the readers here may not be moms, yet, they should keep a good eye on their sons’ educations. I know my mom practically forced my brothers to attend college even though they were mean to her, intimidated her and had several behavioral problems – my dad didn’t utter a word to them in support of college since he valued their freedom and thought it was more manly not to tell them what to do. It’s hard to raise a son once he’s bigger than you (if you’re female) and to get them to do their homework. Maybe moms today just give up too easily and there is also no societal push to get boys to enter college, either.

  • Sai

    Good advice, Susan! Everyone should avoid debt, nothing good can come of it.

    @JP
    Hey, what’s wrong with bikers? They seem to me like a happy lot…
    (yes, I know you said humans don’t exist to be happy, but there’s only so far one can go before throwing up the hands and proclaiming “*bleep* it, I’m going to go to Dave and Buster’s and spend some money and SMILE!”)

  • CrisisEraDynamo

    @ queeninjun

    …there is also no societal push to get boys to enter college, either.

    The establishment is stuck in the 1960s. They need to wake up and see what’s going on here in the 21st century.

  • Queeninjun, thank you for taking the time to share your story. I found your powers of introspection and your humility to be remarkable, and I enjoyed reading about your swashbuckling Frenchman’s evolving attitude because I have a roughly similar history to his in terms of SMP activity.

  • CrisisEraDynamo

    @ Susan

    Thanks for the Sommers article. I can chalk it up to idealism on her part; she wants women around the world to prosper without denigrating men. She acknowledges that there’s a problem with current conceptions of feminism, and she wants to correct that.

    • I can chalk it up to idealism on her part; she wants women around the world to prosper without denigrating men. She acknowledges that there’s a problem with current conceptions of feminism, and she wants to correct that.

      I agree, and who knows, it can’t hurt. She’s not going to make new feminists for the old order. Actually, any press that highlights inequities, whether cultural or legal, is good press.

  • Gin Martini

    Queeninjun, wow, you won the lottery! Converted a super-alpha! Congrats! You win at life.

    JP: “I trust that you explained to them the profound decivilizing effects of their lifestyles and encouraged them to turn from lives of depravity, decadence, and decay to lives of virtue and uplift.”

    Fuck, no.

    JP: “Did you offer to spiritually mentor your grand-niece and her new husband so that their children would avoid such a sad and hopeless outcome?”

    What, and have more people hate me? No.

    JP: “It’s best that the young child not know that she was a bastard child until later in life. She will ultimately learn that she is illegitimate, but learning that when she is older will certainly cushion the blow.”

    Four generations seems perfectly fine with it. Who am I to argue?

    JP: “I advise you to do what you can to assist her in finding suitors who will overlook such a blemish when the time comes for her to wed. It will be difficult, I know, but critical to your restoration of your family’s name.”

    Not *my* family name. Sry.

  • Anacaona

    They Might Be Giants was our kids favorite band for years, and covered that. Birdhouse in Your Soul is one of my favorite songs! They also put out a kids album later. Must put that on my list of Gifts for Future Grandchildren.
    I got two of their CD’s for my babyshower. PURE GOLD! 😀

  • queeninjun

    @ Susan, thanks for the warm welcome – you are doing awesome work with this blog! I love your posts and think you have great advice. You’ve covered a lot that I think that I wish I knew ten years ago, and I guess in a few points, here’s my advice:
    1. Don’t let a guy determine the timeline for commitment. You don’t need to put it out there and try to have a mature discussion with him about where it’s going. You determine what relationship milestones you want to hit and when. Then you tell him what you’re looking for. Be prepared to walk at any time. Men don’t pick up on small cues – they need huge dramatic earthquake type maneuvers to get the hint, so if you have to walk in order to see where he stands, have the courage to do it. If he doesn’t follow, don’t look back and cut off contact. If he wants you, he knows how to find you. Men will string out the timeline for commitment as long as they can and if you feel like you are doing him the favor by bringing it up so you can collaborate on an acceptable timeframe for commitment, don’t fall into this trap. Men bargain in a winner-take-all kind of approach and they will become competitive with you about who will get a bigger slice of the pie in exchange for commitment – they will always cut a larger piece for themselves to your surprise and dismay. Your sincere and giving effort to collaborate and talk about it will only be met with suspicion and disgust and abandonment. Men don’t collaborate on timeframes. They view it as women having an agenda and trying to control them – they don’t understand our biological clocks and our need to connect (we feel MOST free when we are totally connected to someone, not oppressed the way that men do). Don’t even give him options about what you will do based on what he wants. He has options over his life, but he will not instinctively understand our female need to collaborate and to sacrifice our wants for others – he sees this as a weakness to be exploited, and then he will rationalize his decision as giving you something that you wanted, commitment for the short-term. And he will not understand why that isn’t good enough. Don’t expect him to. He really DOESN’T understand why it’s not enough for you.
    2. Ironically, with men, you have to be strong like a man to get what you want and need from a man. Intimacy is something that is built brick by emotional brick with men and it takes a LONG time and it’s lonely work because you as a woman will have to bear the brunt of this work. You know that gushy, warm, romantic tender BF you want? You have to earn that and build enough comfort with him to get him to drop his defenses. You have to endure a lot of emotional closeness and then drastic pulling away from men – it hurts us deeply, but it’s a part of their process in getting close. Men know that once they depend on and trust a woman, it’s nearly fatal for them if the relationship ends. They are emotionally much more fragile and have more underdeveloped emotional skills than women. Relating is not their strength, it’s ours. As the relationship progresses, you will feel more confident in it while he knows that if you leave him, it will shake him to the core in a way that he won’t be able to handle. As women, we are sexually and emotionally vulnerable in the early stages of dating and courtship, and they in the latter (if you’re a woman whose MMV is high).
    3. A guy who you’ve slept with and who isn’t trying to make you his girlfriend will not be jealous if you are dating or hanging out with another man. If he’s tasted your SMV and has assessed your MMV and hasn’t chased, he never will. Getting ‘accidentally’ pregnant or in a car wreck (don’t you want to come see me in the hospital?) won’t work. Cut your losses and move on.
    4. Be willing to love in spite of your reproductive agenda. If you really love someone, say it like you mean and be BRAVE enough to stand in the discomfort of him saying he doesn’t feel the same way. In America, we have a very tit for tat view of relating with the opposite sex – we are unwilling to love unless we get something back. Love, and be brave enough to walk away if he doesn’t want you. Just because he doesn’t love you doesn’t mean that someone else won’t and it doesn’t mean that you have to not love yourself. Keep your goal of a LTR in mind. No one will judge you for giving love freely like they will judge you for giving sex freely. You only get judged for giving love when you have an agenda to get something back for it.
    5. Men will want you to look like a woman but think and act like a man. Yes, you can learn to be more direct in your conversation and be more rational, all good things to be. But NEVER stop being a woman. Our roundabout ways and our concern for others and our irrationality are just different values that men don’t understand. It doesn’t mean we’re worse or inferior. Hang onto these qualities because despite what men think, life cannot be organized and neat and tidy and emotionless and all go, go, go all the time. The mysteries and beauty of life defy comprehension – they just need to be experienced, and as women, we’re pros at this. It makes us unique. Men are scared of this side of life and will try to make you feel bad about it and bad for living in your feelings. Just because they think it’s bad doesn’t mean you have to change. Meet them halfway, but what makes you feminine is deeper than what appeals to them on a purely physical level. Femininity is a strong force and most men want it in a easily digestible form in the beginning, and what’s easy for them to digest is sex. As a relationship grows, a true man will be able to delight in all the stuff he thinks is ‘crazy’ about a woman, because men need to be desensitized to femininity over time. They are more emotionally afraid of us than we are of them. American women are under a lot of pressure to look like women but think and act like men. Honestly, men like to complain, but they love that you think, act, and feel like a woman. And being true to your femininity keeps you different and attractive even when your looks fade. Your man can’t get that unique way of seeing and experiencing life from a male friend or even from porn. Mature guys know this. Screen out all the guys who don’t see it this way.

    • @Queeninjun

      Wow! Thank you so much for your thoughtful reply to my request. You’ve got some fascinating advice there – some of it controversial. I’m going to make it a post and I predict a very good discussion!

  • Queeninjun, welcome to HUS, and thanks for telling your story! Do you ever worry about the issue of career vs. kids? Or is your husband going to be taking care of kids since he is a writer and I presume works at home?

    My husband and I barely (by some definitions) fall under the Millenials generation, as we’re both 29. We both work, but my husband works “more” than I do — his career is going places, and I suspect he will be a leader of some type by his mid-to-late 30s. My work is a lot more flexible, so I do more of the childcare.

  • Gin Martini

    QI, 250/7 = 35. You are quite elite, and will fit in well here! We sorely lack in women who have conquered super-alphas here. Anxiously awaiting your advice on how to scale the highest peaks, and win!!

  • Richard Aubrey

    So cohabbing hasn’t correlated with higher divorce rates since 1996. Either cohabbing is more serious than it used to be or marriage is less serious.
    Your guess…?

    • Either cohabbing is more serious than it used to be or marriage is less serious.
      Your guess…?

      The cohabs that don’t work out blow up before they lead to marriage. If a couple lasts through cohabbing and gets to the altar, they’re likely to have a stable marriage.

  • Esau

    Susan — Overall a very good post, informative mix of data and perspective analysis. However, I was struck by this passage in your comment 26 above:

    “IMO, that lopsided college ratio is the Titanic of the SMP. Yet I’m the only one talking about it. We have an emergency on our hands – young American men are not thriving. When are we going to wake up and pay attention to their needs?”

    I agree with the general sentiment, that to the extent that a lopsided F/M college ratio is a sign of young men “not thriving”, it is not being widely discussed; so you are something of a leader or pioneer on this angle.

    However, when you say “when are we going to wake up?”, I also think you could usefully start with yourself in many ways; because I think you still have a lot of reflexive misandry that it would help you to recognize and shake off if you really want to help people, men and women both.

    First I want to (temporarily) table the question of a lop-sided college ratio. Yes, it’s an important fact, and maybe a sign of some terrible growing problem. But I don’t think the “answer” to why it’s happening will be well-contained in any short statement; queeninjun has offered a few causal ideas in the comments above, and as far as I can tell they make as much sense as any short statements I’ve seen from anywhere else.

    The important point I want to make, is to de-conflate the two concepts you’ve mentioned here, namely the lop-sided ratio and the decline in propensity to marry: even if the college ratio were perfectly 50/50, any significant female hypergamy would still result in an impairment of marriage prospects. Yes, the lop-sided ratio will hurt things even further, but it is not itself the mainspring of a marriage-ability problem: female hypergamy, in an equalist society, guarantees that all by itself, and this is the truth that should be highlighted front and center.

    To put it another way, (a) an equalist society (ie where men and women have equal opportunity to develop their talents), (b) significant female hypergamy, and (c) wide-spread happy marriages are a literally impossible combination to have simultaneously. As with so many of these tru-isms, you can have two but not all three; and American society seems to have gone from having (b) and (c) at the expense of (a), to having (a) and (b) at the expense of (c). Is there a possibility of having (a) and (c) but giving up (b)? Maybe, but not until we honestly recognize the fundamental incompatibility among them.

    You identify hypergamy in comment #26 as “the elephant in the room”, which is a good start — and light-years beyond feminists like Coontz — but not nearly good enough. The important point to realize here, is that there is absolutely nothing men can do about this marriage problem while remaining honest human beings. If women are going to insist on both equality and hypergamy, then a large chunk of men are going to be un-attractive to the point of un-marriageable*, period, no matter what paths men take. The fundamental contradiction is housed entirely within women’s psyches, and change will have to come from within them.

    [*] Yes, I know you disagree with the claim that large numbers of men can truly be un-marriageable, since so many men do eventually get married. However, I call your attention to the all-important word “eventually” there. Remember how the median age for men to (first) marry is now quite high, something like 28? That’s more than fifteen years past puberty for the later half, having spent perhaps the majority of their waking lives un-marriageable until the women around them obviated hypergamy, by either falling behind or wising up.

    Here your reflexive, religiously observed even-handedness amounts to misandry: the marriage problem is made inevitable purely by women’s unresolved internal contradictions, and somehow attempting to paint it as a general societal problem, or a failing on men’s part, is to miss the all-important operative point.

    A very similar analysis applies to the other great “male shortcoming” that is so often brought up here, namely the decline in “masculinity”. Once again, the root of the problem is not any failing on men’s part, as we so often are told — they’ve been feminized! they don’t know how to act like men!, etc. etc., ad (truly) naseum — but in women’s unresolved, and largely even unrecognized, internal contradictions. I can go into more detail on this in a later comment, but the short form is: reflexive equality and reflexive male dominance (benevolent or otherwise) are flatly incompatible, at least for an honest man to hold; and yet women insist on having both. And, when men — unsurprisingly — can’t square the unsquare-able circle, your reflex is to frame this as a shortcoming in men, when it should be seen as a the consequence of a fundamental flaw in women. Misandry takes solid flight, and despite your broad, basic sympathy for men you blind yourself to the important truth.

    To wrap all the way back to #26, you end by asking when we are going to wake up and pay attention to young men’s needs. I submit, that one thing young men need is to be told the truth about women’s unresolved internal contradictions, and not to be spuriously blamed for outcomes that are not of their own making.

    • @Esau

      The important point I want to make, is to de-conflate the two concepts you’ve mentioned here, namely the lop-sided ratio and the decline in propensity to marry: even if the college ratio were perfectly 50/50, any significant female hypergamy would still result in an impairment of marriage prospects. Yes, the lop-sided ratio will hurt things even further, but it is not itself the mainspring of a marriage-ability problem: female hypergamy, in an equalist society, guarantees that all by itself, and this is the truth that should be highlighted front and center.

      I don’t agree. Women have been marrying assortatively and staying married for some time. The high status woman is not on a quest for the ever higher status male. JDs marry JDs. MDs marry MDs. MBAs marry MBAs. Academics marry academics and artists marry artists. I do acknowledge that if the female’s career soars ahead of the man’s, that’s a strain on the relationship. But I don’t see evidence of problems in egalitarian marriages.

      I wrote about the study Education, Hypergamy and the “Success Gap” in the post How the Ascendancy of the Alpha Female Will Impact Marriage. The introduction of the study very much speaks to your point:

      In general, hypergamy with respect to say, income or social status is a common finding across societies and over time. For instance, anthropologist Barbara Miller (1981) studied areas of rural north India and found that strong pressures for hypergamy implied a lack of suitable husbands for high caste girls. This created a disequilibrium that wasresolved through female infanticide. In another context, the Talmud (a set of ancient writings outlining Jewish laws and practices) advises men to “go down a step to take a wife,” (Yevamot 63a) , and states that “a woman from a more distinguished family than her husband may consider herself superior and act haughtily toward him” (Rashi).

      Mare (1991) and Pencavel (1998) find that there has been an increase in positive assortative mating with respect to education; i.e., spouses’ education has become increasingly similar. Schwartz and Mare (2005) study marriages among younger couples and report a decline in hypergamy over time in this age group.

      If hypergamy remains constant, a greater concentration of women at the top and men at the bottom of the education distribution will lead to a decline in marriage rates for these two groups.

      However, they found evidence of increasing hypogamy in marriage.

      Using census data, the study found that hypergamy has decreased over time for women with more education:

      The results for men are consistent with this prediction; however, those for women are not. In fact, the data suggest that for women, education was substantially less of an impediment for marriage in 2000 than in 1980. The marriage market accommodated the shift in part through a decline in hypergamy at the upper end of the education distribution.

      Comparing male and female education levels in married couples, they found that marriages today have net negative hypergamy among the college educated. Note that those without any college are more hypergamous than ever:

      Net Hypergamy (Ed. <12)
      1980: 27.2%
      1990: 40.2%
      2000: 45.4%

      Net Hypergamy (Ed. > 12)
      1980: 4.5%
      1990: -4.1%
      2000: -18.6%

      So how do I square this with my statement about hypergamy? Because we’re likely to have a wide gap between those who are single when the music stops. A surfeit of high achieving women and low achieving men. That degree of hypogamy seems unlikely to be realized, though obviously none of us know how this will play out.

      [*] Yes, I know you disagree with the claim that large numbers of men can truly be un-marriageable, since so many men do eventually get married. However, I call your attention to the all-important word “eventually” there. Remember how the median age for men to (first) marry is now quite high, something like 28? That’s more than fifteen years past puberty for the later half, having spent perhaps the majority of their waking lives un-marriageable until the women around them obviated hypergamy, by either falling behind or wising up.

      Why do you ignore the fact that women are in the same boat? Do you perceive that women are steering this ship, with large numbers avoiding marriage and finally giving in to formerly unmarriageable men? If so, I don’t agree. I think that very hypergamous women stay that way, and less hypergamous women happily marry men with similar (or apparently even fewer) education credentials.

  • queeninjun

    @ Bastiat – Thanks for the comment. Me and my husband look at each strangely sometimes, like we can’t believe we ended up with each other. The soul and what it wants and love and how strong a force it is can cut through so much. Love is a mysterious and powerful force and I’m glad it came to visit me and my husband. I think he still can’t believe that he ‘settled’, but I’m very appreciative of him. He’s not just a number count to me – he’s more than that.
    @ Gin, I didn’t convert him, but that’s very nice of you to say that. He converted himself. He was just mature enough to know what really mattered to him. I think he kept playing the playboy lifestyle because it got him kudos from his friends and because his writing wasn’t as successful as he wanted it to be during the time his friend’s careers were taking off – banging women around the world gave his some status among his peers. Who knows? If he becomes the next Tarantino, someone younger and hotter than me might become the next wife. I really don’t spend a lot of time worrying about it. If you want a super alpha, you have to be very excited about your own life, never be condescending or competitive, share in others’ joy, be grateful and interested in life even when you’re single and be true to yourself and never apologize for who you are. You will set yourself apart in the eyes of good men.
    @ Hope, do I worry about kids vs. career? No, not really. It will work itself out. If I give up my career, I give it up to raise kids and I’m all right with that. That’s not something I would have said 10 years ago. I’m sure it will be challenging. There are plenty of mothers out there who have started their own businesses at home and there’s more and more good info out there on how to do that. Ironically, I have a business idea that my husband is pushing me to start so that we can get set up financially. How I want it to go is that I want him to be co-CEO and we will run it and parent at the same time. This is not some feminist dream of mine to have it all, but considering where he is career-wise, we might both have to run this business that I want to start and parent at the same time. Not ideal, but I know we will make it work. Having children means a lot to us both, so I know we will do what it takes. I have full faith in him.

  • queeninjun

    @ Crisis, I don’t think I would force my sons to attend college, but I would get them solid male mentors and teach them how to go after their passions in a way that can financially sustain them. One of my heroes right now is James Altucher and he has some surprising insights on why college may not be the right choice for many people. I want my boys (if I have boys) to be trailblazers and pioneers and unleash that male drive that allows new things to be built and created. Mainstream education really blunts that drive in most men. I wonder if the men here could chime in about what they would consider to be an ideal curriculum for male children/young men to undertake. There is a young guy named Scott Young who’s an expert at learning. He did MIT’s computer engineering Masters course in 6 month on his own because he’s a master at speed learning. Today’s men don’t need college so much as they need initiative to conquer something in life. No one gave Tim Ferriss, Scott Young, or Chris Guillebeau any ideas or permission on how to do cool stuff, and I doubt many women could stand in their way either. Blaming women for guys not having ambition is a little too easy. The rise of women is a definite cause of deflation among men, but let’s not pretend the sky is falling and that men have zero recourse and that all their options to make something of their lives have been reduced to zero. College isn’t the only way to be successful and not having been to college is not an excuse not to hold yourself to a high standard in whatever it is that you do.

  • @Esau

    To put it another way, (a) an equalist society (ie where men and women have equal opportunity to develop their talents), (b) significant female hypergamy, and (c) wide-spread happy marriages are a literally impossible combination to have simultaneously.

    A very concise and informative formulation of the situation.

  • MARY

    “To put it another way, (a) an equalist society (ie where men and women have equal opportunity to develop their talents), (b) significant female hypergamy, and (c) wide-spread happy marriages are a literally impossible combination to have simultaneously.”

    And yet – not.

    The demographic that marries most and stays married most in the USA is Susan’s demographic – upper middle class university graduated professionals.

    This is the same demographic that has the most equal oppurtunity between men and women and the most oppurtunity for female hypergamy to be expressed.

  • MARY

    queeninjun June 26, 2013 at 12:41 am

    @ Crisis, I don’t think I would force my sons to attend college, but I would get them solid male mentors and teach them how to go after their passions in a way that can financially sustain them. One of my heroes right now is James Altucher and he has some surprising insights on why college may not be the right choice for many people. I want my boys (if I have boys) to be trailblazers and pioneers and unleash that male drive that allows new things to be built and created. Mainstream education really blunts that drive in most men.

    ____

    Queeninjun, most humans beings are not trailblazers or pioneers. Most human beings are in fact quite ordinary, nothing special at all. What if your boys don’t want to blaze any new trails or pioneer anything? What if they just want to live ordinary, low key lives, like billions of other humans are doing?

    Would you have a problem with that?
    Would you seek to change them?
    Or would you happily accept them the way they are?

  • biff

    QI,

    Glad you were able to get married. But, you got married 2 years ago at age 34 , so 36 now and want to have a kid soon? So if you got pregnant immediately that would be like first kid at 37 (if you meant that you are already pregnant now, it’s my misread). And you’re talking about “boys”? It’s certainly possible, but also many women over 35 just aren’t able to have even one kid. Seen that too many times. Best of luck to you on that.

    Second issue, getting the super alpha is a goal that instinctively makes women excited. However, how likely is it that a guy who has banged 250+ women in his life will be able to suddenly switch gears and be faithful for the rest of life? I just haven’t heard of too many players really turning around and making good husbands, but maybe I don’t know enough of these kind of guys…

  • MARY

    “Our roundabout ways and our concern for others and our irrationality are just different values that men don’t understand. It doesn’t mean we’re worse or inferior. Hang onto these qualities because despite what men think, life cannot be organized and neat and tidy and emotionless and all go, go, go all the time. The mysteries and beauty of life defy comprehension – they just need to be experienced, and as women, we’re pros at this. It makes us unique. Men are scared of this side of life and will try to make you feel bad about it and bad for living in your feelings. ”

    – I found this paragraph strange. The first thing that jumped out at me, “our irrationality are just different values that men don’t understand. ”

    Most if not all of the worlds most known religions were created by men. Those religions have literally billions of members who are – men. So how is it that in your opinion “men don’t understand irrationality”?

    “Our roundabout ways and our concern for others … are just different values that men don’t understand”.

    – Men have no concern for others? Since when?

    “Hang onto these qualities because despite what men think, life cannot be organized and neat and tidy and emotionless and all go, go, go all the time.”

    – Who and where are these men that are “emotionaless and all go, go, go all the time”?

    “The mysteries and beauty of life defy comprehension – they just need to be experienced, and as women, we’re pros at this. It makes us unique.”

    – Unique? We more than half the planet’s population, yet somehow women as a collective whole are “unique”?

    ” Your man can’t get that unique way of seeing and experiencing life from a male friend”

    – Again, what’s “unique” about a “way of seeing” that supposedly more than half our planet’s population possesses?

    “Men are scared of this side of life and will try to make you feel bad about it and bad for living in your feelings. ”

    Again, doesn’t compute. Like I said, men invented most of the known mainstream religions. Men compromise most of the leadership in those religions and billions of men are members of/believers in those religions.

    What is a better or more vivid example of “living in your feelings” than religion?

    So now all of a sudden all men have become atheists and are no longer living in their religious feelings?

  • queeninjun

    @ biff, I don’t know how it’s going to turn out. I know that my husband is a writer and hasn’t made the income that many of his peers in more traditional jobs have. He’s not the young, cute guy with an endless window of potential anymore. He’s going to be pushing 40 and still working at his ‘dream’. He lived the playboy lifestyle while he could, and frankly, without deep pockets, even for him, the sun is setting on that lifestyle. I do worry about getting pregnant, but I know many in my friends circle who are my age or older who have had kids. I’m not talking much older, either. I was ready for a kid right after I met my husband, but he wasn’t. Not like I was the one putting it off. I’m not sure that my husband will be faithful, to be honest. When I met him, I met him through a friend as someone I should contact for help when I was in Paris. I didn’t even know anything about his history. To be honest, I was meeting different men (intro dates) during the time I met him. Personally, I didn’t see our relationship going anywhere because I didn’t think he would be attracted to someone like me – I got the distinct feeling that he thought he deserved better. Whatever, I’d been around a few like that in my life and I didn’t really give it much thought. I only stuck around with him because it was his choice to pursue. If he cheats, well, then he cheats. I don’t really have control over that and to be honest, a young, hot woman doesn’t have total control over him, either. He left a young, hot 21-year-old chick (broke up with her so he could date someone else) who he said he had the best sex of his life with for a 39-year-old woman, so I don’t know if he’s weird or what. He would date women younger and older than him. My point is is that I’m not worried about my age with him. He has shown that he has feelings for younger and older women (he even thinks 50-ish actresses are hot). If he cheats on me with someone younger, I wouldn’t be surprised, if she’s older, I wouldn’t be surprised. I would be hurt either way, but not surprised. Mostly, he would be a kind of a gigolo since he is not that financially settled, and if he cheated, it’s not like I’d feel like the other woman was winning the ultimate prize – he’s a good man with a good heart, but he’s not at the top of the heap. By this age, he should have more of a career and other women, no matter the age will notice the same thing. He will inherit money, but that won’t make him the kind of guy who will be able to command the most fair among potential trophy wives. And he’s starting to bald, too. Young women find him attractive, but would they want to stay with him? Not sure about that, unless his writing career picked up fast. If they were from a third world country looking for a way out, I could see him going down that road, taking advantage of hypergamy among these women. But he has told me that he doesn’t feel comfortable with dating a Thai or a Moroccan because the cultural differences have just been too great. That feeling of his might change as he gets older. But don’t sarcastically wish me luck on my life and marriage. If you don’t want to really wish someone luck sincerely, don’t do it at all – life’s hard enough without the cynicism. There are some big what-if’s and flaws in our marriage that I’m not trying to hide – I just hope, like anyone in any other marriage, that luck lands on my side in working through these weak areas.

    @ Mary – if my (potential) sons are normal and average, that will be fine with me. I’m normal and average too.

  • MARY

    Crises,
    “They also don’t have a snowball’s chance in Jamaica of attracting the women they want. ”

    – Ever heard of Cool Runnin’s?

    Susan,
    “Thanks for the Spengler link – I’m astounded to learn of “the closing of the Muslim womb.” It strikes me as so counterintuitive! Clearly, I have a very inaccurate picture of the typical Muslim woman.

    – Its typical of women around the world, no matter their religion, to delay marriage and have fewer children the more educated and wealthier they become. Education and wealth brings awareness around family planning and the risks associated with child birth as well as access to birth control.

    Dirt poor women with no education have a lot of kids because they don’t know how not to, or if they have some idea, they don’t have access. They have very little say over their lives, bodies and reproductive systems also.

    “It’s best that the young child not know that she was a bastard child until later in life. She will ultimately learn that she is illegitimate, but learning that when she is older will certainly cushion the blow. ”

    – Children are not “illegitimate”.

    You were being sarcastic – right?

    “I had a friend who taught in Mexico for several years. There are two classes: the super-rich and the poverty-stricken. It’s starting to happen here. ”

    – I just returned from Mexico last week. This isn’t true. But I’ve found Americans say this about several countries, including India. And those countries have several classes.

    Strange perception but I think it has something to do with them being exposed for the first time to drastically different standards of living than the ones they were raised with and not knowing how to differentiate between the various classes in foreign cultures.

  • Lokland

    @ADBG

    “Something else I learned from fiction: imagine the worst thing that could happen to your character.
    Now do it to them.
    The unforeseen event out of nowhere that changes everything puts the whole system in disarray. Those Black Swans are what change the world.

    Now the question is, how is OUR system going to change, and what Black Swan is going to change it?”

    This isn’t a fantasy novel.
    There doesn’t have to be a light at the end of the tunnel. Sometimes evil will win the whole game.

    IOW, nearly every society that has ever existed has fallen by one means or another.

    Some have fractured and those splinters had one or two that grew into another great society but in all cases none of them have lasted forever.

    It seems quite silly to assume that there will be some solution for Western civilization when (real) precedent says that it is far more likely just to die (or decline into nothingness).

  • Lokland

    “They also don’t have a snowball’s chance in Jamaica of attracting the women they want. Women can earn their own money now, so male providership isn’t the prize it used to be.”

    This probably explains why men are choosing not to go to college.
    No useful reason for doing so and strong disincentives for even trying to.

  • MARY

    Queeninjun,

    Hi!

    I’m not at all surprised your husband who you described as very good looking when you first met and “alpha” fell for you and proposed. I’m nothing to write home about in the looks department and have gotten 5 marriage proposals from sincere, handsome, exotic, foreign men. You say your French husband is more romantic and charming than typical American men and my experience in globe-trotting bears witness that most foreign men are more romantic and charming than American men and I advise all women who are not finding luck in love State Side to get a passport ASAP.

    I agree with “the Manosphere” on that ^ point, but reverse cowgirl 😉

    So your husband was really good looking when you met him but now he’s showing signs of aging?

    A few things might have me worried though. This for instance…

    “When he met me, he was mad at himself for falling for me.”

    and

    “he’s let me know that I’m so clearly deficient in so many objective, market value ways.”

    – Well, I hope he still isn’t letting you know this after he married you.

    and

    “I know he likes me partly because I can pull my own weight financially.”

    – I might worry about him expecting you to pull his weight too.

    “He’s been to the sex tourist meccas, like Thailand and Morocco,”

    – I knew about Thailand but had no idea that Morocco was a “sex tourist mecca”. I’ve been there a few times and don’t recall seeing anything that looked like sex tourism, although for women it certainly is “romance tourism” because of all the handsome, romantic and charming Moroccan hotties. In fact, 1 of my 5 proposals was from there. Sweetest young man you could ever imagine, with a full head of that luscious curly black argan oiled hair and eyes like the Dark Nile Lotus. Alas! It was not meant to be.

    But anyway, Moroccan sex tourism is really a thing? Where are the women and children from that are being pimped out? Morocco itself or they are trafficked in from elsewhere?

  • CrisisEraDynamo
    “To put it another way, (a) an equalist society (ie where men and women have equal opportunity to develop their talents), (b) significant female hypergamy, and (c) wide-spread happy marriages are a literally impossible combination to have simultaneously.”

    And yet – not.

    The demographic that marries most and stays married most in the USA is Susan’s demographic – upper middle class university graduated professionals.

    This is the same demographic that has the most equal oppurtunity between men and women and the most oppurtunity for female hypergamy to be expressed.

    You answered your own question. Of course upper middle class women will marry upper middle class men. Lower class women want them too, but there aren’t enough of them to go around, hence the modern SMP.

  • CrisisEraDynamo

    @ MARY

    Oh, and I did see Cool Runnings. Excellent movie.

  • QueenInjun, I think that you have some good insights into the male prototypical view re: commitment. Gottman has noted, as you did, that men are inherently cautious about emotional investment because they generally are more psychologically vulnerable than women are once they do go all-in.

    Women may find “emotional intimacy” to be genuinely satisfying; men often find it scary and want to keep things light and simple and avoid anything resembling a grave relationship confrontation. Gottman found that men displayed symptoms of adrenal stress and body alarm reaction (BAR) hours after some of these little talks, while their female partners had long since returned to physiological equilibrium. As a rule, we appear to be configured for tactical problems that are sharp, violent, and decisive, and have more difficulty managing longer-term, ambiguous, unsolvable emotional complexities.

    The man’s desire to commit is highly correlated with his perception of having multiple, equally compelling options. This sounds like guys are simply looking for sexual opportunities and that’s certainly part of it, but the other part has to do with his attitude towards a particular woman’s uniqueness in his localized SMP experience.

    A man could have only a few options, but consider them relatively undifferentiated and thus be unwilling to commit and a “bad boy for life”; another man could have a ridiculous number of options, but find that a particular woman is differentiated in highly attractive ways and thus be very willing to commit to her (however, to the other women in his circle he would appear to be a player or commitment-phobe).

    Re: the aging player. I think active guys know that there may be a time to hang up the guns, but the catalytic event which triggers retirement will depend on a lot of variables that are difficult to predict. My own, admittedly quirky view on this is I always figured that Father Time would grind down my ability to gain no-strings sex and that I would need to either A) commit more and more or B) to lower my standards and expectations. I assumed that this would be graphically represented by a steady decline in my ability to have casual sex with women of a given target SMV level. At some point they just would not have casual sex with me and I would need to start upping the ante in the sex/commitment negotiation until the market cleared again.

    I was also realistic in terms of knowing that my marketing dynamics would shift from physicality-related things to resources, job, status, “worldliness”, education, etc. as age took its toll. I wouldn’t be able to compete with the strapping young athletes on appearance and conditioning and would need to emphasize provisioning capability and a premium lifestyle.

    To make a long story short, I started quite early with a fabulous pro debut and my N was approx. 90 by the time I was 24-25. I figured that 30-32 would be the beginning of the end of my pro career, but the SMP seems to have kept shifting with me and female intrasexual competition, at least in my circle, appears to be extremely high—much higher than it was when I graduated from college. It’s like an arms race. The female competition that I have seen as a professor on a 65-35 gender ratio (or even 70-30) private liberal arts campus is even more extreme and resulting in a few legit Lara Crofts now walking around, while a lot of the currently-hot guys are getting soft from the easy living and may find that their player lights burn out early unless they start investing in themselves and building long-term alpha development plans.

    • . Gottman found that men displayed symptoms of adrenal stress and body alarm reaction (BAR) hours after some of these little talks, while their female partners had long since returned to physiological equilibrium.

      No wonder women have to initiate the DTR!

  • Gin Martini

    PJ: “This is the same demographic that has the most equal oppurtunity between men and women and the most oppurtunity for female hypergamy to be expressed”

    Because that demographic succeeds at (b) at the expense of the others? And so, you see the lower classes lose about on (b) which kills off (c) in that class. And if (c) doesn’t exist in one class, it isn’t “wide-spread” anymore, it relegated to that class.

    It works, sure… if you’re in that demographic. Surely, everyone cannot be, not now, and long-term.

    I suppose it’s like musical chairs. As long as you get a seat, everything is awesome.

    • I suppose it’s like musical chairs. As long as you get a seat, everything is awesome.

      It is exactly like musical chairs.

  • JP

    “@JP
    Hey, what’s wrong with bikers? They seem to me like a happy lot…
    (yes, I know you said humans don’t exist to be happy, but there’s only so far one can go before throwing up the hands and proclaiming “*bleep* it, I’m going to go to Dave and Buster’s and spend some money and SMILE!”)”

    Nothing’s wrong with bikers (although one of my friends in law school swore off biking forever after his good friend was essentially vacuumed under a big rig and squished – so the problem is that bikers and mack trucks don’t coexist well).

    I was just riffing off of Mr. Martini’s marriage story using a Victorian motif and placing myself in the mind of an upwardly mobile member of the Victorian circa bourgoise circa 1830.

    I never said anything about humans not existing to be happy.

  • JP

    @Mary:

    “You were being sarcastic – right?”

    It was more that I was using the motif of Victoriana to respond to respond to GM in a very anachronistic way.

    I’m most proud of my alliteration.

    “In common law, legitimacy is the status of a child born to parents who are legally married to each other; and of a child conceived before the parents receive a legal divorce. Conversely, illegitimacy (or bastardy) is the status of a child born outside marriage. The consequences of illegitimacy have pertained mainly to a child’s rights of inheritance to the putative father’s estate and the child’s right to bear the father’s surname or title. Illegitimacy has also had consequences for the mother’s and child’s right to support from the putative father. (See Affiliation (family law).)”

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Illegitimate

  • JP

    “The high status woman is not on a quest for the ever higher status male. JDs marry JDs. MDs marry MDs. MBAs marry MBAs.”

    Can you please, please, please stop calling the JD “status”?

    This might have been true 20 years ago, but it’s now Pluralistic ignorance.

    The JD is mostly a ginormous millstone around the necks of people.

    I mean, it often has *net negative value* on your resume and the $100,000 debt smooshes your net worth.

    I have no words for the scope of the problem in law-land.

    • Can you please, please, please stop calling the JD “status”?

      Perhaps it’s cred has sunk in recent years but it’s still something you can tell mom and dad about your new boyfriend. It has a nicer ring than high school dropout, for example.

      The salary info you posted for Duke Law implied stratospheric status.

  • JP

    @Susan:

    “Thanks for the Spengler link – I’m astounded to learn of “the closing of the Muslim womb.” It strikes me as so counterintuitive! Clearly, I have a very inaccurate picture of the typical Muslim woman.”

    It’s not a picture of the “Muslim womb”.

    It’s a picture of Muslim culture colliding with and being shredded by modernity (technic Faustian civilization – i.e. the West).

  • A Definite Beta Guy

    Lok,

    My point wasn’t so much that everything is going to turn out hunky dory. Actually I am somewhat of a pessimist. My point is that “the system” is always at war with itself, and unforeseen events have a way of really shaking up the existing order.

    I am not an uber-pessimist on America though. Japan? Portugal? Finished.

    Were I Eastern European, I would also worry about the looming Russian bear.

  • Richard Aubrey

    Susan,

    “”The cohabs that don’t work out blow up before they lead to marriage. If a couple lasts through cohabbing and gets to the altar, they’re likely to have a stable marriage.””

    That the correlation between cohabbing and divorce has disappeared since 1996 implies there was one prior. So something’s changed. Any ideas?

    • That the correlation between cohabbing and divorce has disappeared since 1996 implies there was one prior. So something’s changed. Any ideas?

      Perhaps the nature of cohabitation has changed. Among lower SES groups, cohab today is a placeholder for marriage, and couples have children while cohabbing. In higher SES groups, it’s a prelude to marriage and couples delay childbirth until after marrying. In researching the post, I believe I read that over half of college educated couples today live together before marrying. The thing that seems to make the most difference is whether the arrangement is a trial run to see if there is sufficient compatibility for something permanent, or whether the couple has already decided to marry in the near future.

  • Susan, do you feel that the almost inevitable bull market in hypogamy (speaking generally, of course, and mainly about college degrees) will be associated with “Superior Wife Syndrome” and heightened female marital dissatisfaction? Or does the bar just get lowered in terms of expectations on the man, as it arguably/controversially has in some cohorts?

    Also, if fewer men satisfy the hypergamy bar, how might their behavior patterns change to reflect market pricing power? Would they tend to become so-called toxic optimizers with entitled checklist requirements?

    • @Bastiat

      Susan, do you feel that the almost inevitable bull market in hypogamy (speaking generally, of course, and mainly about college degrees) will be associated with “Superior Wife Syndrome” and heightened female marital dissatisfaction? Or does the bar just get lowered in terms of expectations on the man, as it arguably/controversially has in some cohorts?

      It’s really hard to say without segmenting the market in detail. For example, let’s look at how females who want to marry might segregate according to level of hypergamy:

      High Hypergamy, Very Attractive: Very likely to be left standing when the music stops.

      Moderate Hypergamy, Very Attractive: Will marry a “catch” by 27.

      High Hypergamy, Moderately Attractive: Alpha carousel rider.

      Moderate Hypergamy, Moderately Attractive: Normal couple with 2 kids.

      High Hypergamy, Less attractive: Jerry Springer guest, dysfunctional life.

      Moderate Hypergamy, Less Attractive: SOL, never had a chance of finding a seat.

      All of the High Hypergamy women are more likely to experience dissatisfaction over time, IMO. You could also slice this according to SES and get a different look.

      Also, if fewer men satisfy the hypergamy bar, how might their behavior patterns change to reflect market pricing power? Would they tend to become so-called toxic optimizers with entitled checklist requirements?

      High value men will have increased opportunities to lengthen their checklists and settle later, if at all. Here too, we might segment the market, with the lever being desire for sexual variety, as opposed to pair-bonded family life.

  • A Definite Beta Guy

    @ queen
    Mainstream education really blunts that drive in most men. I wonder if the men here could chime in about what they would consider to be an ideal curriculum for male children/young men to undertake.
    Young boys need to take education more seriously and invest more effort into it. However, they need more time for play, they need more say in what they get to learn, and they need more hands-on learning and more competition in the environment.

    They also need to be able to accomplish and build something.

    I don’t think it is so much what the lessons are, as it is how they are learned.

  • JP

    @Susan:

    “The salary info you posted for Duke Law implied stratospheric status.”

    Yes, for mid-career attorneys from years ago.

    It was an instant “ticket” to six figures when I got out and jobs were being thrown at people. I was even recruited to do my own job in-house a few years into my practice (which would have resulted in a pay increase).

    The terrain has shifted and the legal employment environment is crumbling.

    Here’s just one example:

    “The median starting salary for new law school graduates from the Class of 2011 fell 5% from that for 2010 and has fallen nearly 17% just since 2009. The mean salary fell 6.5% compared with 2010, and since 2009 the mean has plunged almost 16% according to new research released today from NALP. The research also reveals that the median starting private practice salary fell over 18% from 2010 and since 2009 has fallen an astonishing 35%. These are among the most dramatic findings that were released this week from NALP’s Employment Report and Salary Survey for the Class of 2011.

    “This drop in starting salaries, while expected, is surprising in its scope” according to NALP’s Executive Director James Leipold. “Nearly all of the drop can be attributed to the continued erosion of private practice opportunities at the largest law firms.””

    http://www.nalp.org/classof2011_salpressrel

    I am fine.

    New attorneys are not fine at all.

  • JP

    Here’s an unhappy Duke grad who has an online petition regarding tuition.

    “Meanwhile, the employment situation for Duke Law graduates is rapidly deteriorating. Only 82.1 percent of the class of 2011 was able to obtain full time, long term jobs requiring bar passage[11] – a low number considering the high debt levels of graduates. More alarmingly, salaries have failed to keep pace with rapid tuition growth. Only 58.9 percent of 2011 graduates landed jobs in private firms, and of that group only half made $160,000 as first year associates.[12] This means that less than 30 percent of Duke’s 2011 class earned even close to enough money to sustain monthly payments of approximately $1,600 that the average student borrower faces under a standard ten year payment plan.[13] In fact, FinAid estimates that a salary of $200,239.20 is necessary to comfortably pay off this level of debt, a salary unobtainable for the vast majority of Duke Law graduates.[14] Moreover, only 11.6 percent of the class obtained public interest or government jobs that might qualify them for Duke’s loan forgiveness program.[15] The stark reality is that many Duke Law graduates are saddled with non-dischargeable student loan debt that is simply impossible to pay on the average lawyer salary – if they are fortunate enough to obtain paying legal work.”

    http://dukelawpetition.blogspot.com/2013/01/duke-law-tuition-petition.html

    • @JP

      Only 58.9 percent of 2011 graduates landed jobs in private firms, and of that group only half made $160,000 as first year associates.

      This is what I recalled. 160K per year for 30% of the new grads sounds pretty good to me!

  • JP

    And the layoffs are beginning. Again.

    A major BigLaw player just threw 60 associates onto the associate scrapheap. That’s $200,000 per year to….zero. With no good way to get back on the train.

    “”The ‘new normal,’ in the view of Weil’s management and echoed by legal industry experts, is that the market for high-end legal services is continuing to shrink. Dan DiPietro, chairman of the law firm group at Citi Private Bank, said he believed that the profession could experience a wave of job cuts. He said that there were too many lawyers at the country’s largest firms, estimating the excess capacity at as much as 10 percent of the lawyer population.””

    http://dealbook.nytimes.com/2013/06/24/big-law-firm-to-cut-lawyers-and-some-partner-pay/?src=me&ref=general&_r=0

  • Escoffier

    Susan, you seem to disapprove of early marriage, and your words could be interpreted to mean that you also disapprove of women not attaining a certain level of education (I assume you think women should at least get a BA) and not going all-in on a serious career.

    However, re: the … let is call then “reservations” of some in the sphere about all this … what would you say to the following?

    A BA is expensive. If a young woman really wants one and can earn one debt-free, by all means. If she intends to use it as the launch pad for a career, then by all means.

    However, if her goal is to get married, have children, and be the primary care-giver to those children, is higher ed such a great investment of her time and money? Again, if she can get the degree debt free, no biggie, and it might be a wonderful thing for her to have. (Though I note that most people, male and female, who get BAs are checking a box, they are not there for a love of learning that animates and consoles them throughout life.)

    Ditto for a career. What, ultimately, is the point of starting a career that will be abandoned within a decade? I can think of perhaps two: 1) build assets which she can pool with her eventual husband’s to make a down payment on a home or otherwise launch their married life; 2) have some skills/experience to fall back on in the case of economic hardship, his death, divorce, etc.

    These are not terrible reasons but there are many costs associated with them and it’s not entirely clear that the benefits outweigh the costs. Also, reason #1 can be self-fulfilling, as we have seen. The more women who do this, the more doing so becomes a necessity as home prices rise and the amount of money it takes to get started climbs and climbs. This is already an iron rule in the blue cities/counties, less so in redder areas. Does it really make sense to replicate the blue social model in every red area as well?

    In other words, why should we create a general societal expectation that the only good woman is woman with a higher ed degree and an upscale career?

    • @Escoffier

      Susan, you seem to disapprove of early marriage, and your words could be interpreted to mean that you also disapprove of women not attaining a certain level of education (I assume you think women should at least get a BA) and not going all-in on a serious career.

      Is this a response to the current post? Because I was still waiting for you to respond on this education issue from last week…

      I do not offer approval or disapproval of early marriage. I simply cite the statistics, which was my sole intent in the post. No spin.

      Re education, again I do not weigh in on the value of education in the post. The data is very clear that women with college degrees outperform their less educated sisters in every way when it comes to marital success – less cheating and less divorce, higher quality relationships and a higher standard of living.

      I do have feelings about women and education, but they are not relevant here. Getting a BA is essential for women who hope to marry well, aside from any other benefits it confers. Of course, education and successful marriage are correlated, but perhaps there is no causation. The same people who pursue education may also possess qualities that make them good spouses.

      Lastly, I have never said women should go “all in” on a serious career. In contrast, I suggest women apply themselves to seeking a life partner by their early 20s at the latest. This would be difficult or even impossible for a young woman working long hours. I encourage women to have plenty of free time for socializing and meeting new people in their 20s.

      In short, Escoffier, you have tried to box me into the first group I wrote about – the feminists who don’t care about marriage. That is not my position.

      A BA is expensive. If a young woman really wants one and can earn one debt-free, by all means.

      I specifically stated in the post that women should avoid debt. Of course, many parents save for their children’s educations, and financial aid is also available. I know three young people who graduated from private liberal arts colleges at a net cost of 3K per year after aid and on-campus jobs were factored in. (They are all from the same family.)

      In any case, how much debt one chooses to assume should depend on an analysis of the breakeven on that debt. From the article MM linked earlier:

      In the late 1970s, college graduates earned about 40 percent more than high school graduates, and today that differential stands at 90 percent.

      Foregoing a college degree is probably never a good decision, though there is little use in studying basketweaving. With increased evidence that men are selecting for earning potential and educational parity, going to college is highly advantageous to females, whether they choose to marry or not.

      However, if her goal is to get married, have children, and be the primary care-giver to those children, is higher ed such a great investment of her time and money?

      Compare the household income of women aged 33-35, based on education and time of marriage:

      Married at 20
      HS grad: 55K
      BA: 78K

      Married at 25
      HS: 61K
      BA: 115K

      Married at 28
      HS: 62K
      BA: 122K

      The college grad earns more herself and marries better as well. If she wants to be a SAHM, her husband’s earning potential is of critical importance, obviously, and her chances of marrying a college grad when she isn’t one are slim.

      Ditto for a career. What, ultimately, is the point of starting a career that will be abandoned within a decade?

      Few women have this luxury, and among those who do, abandonment isn’t always the preferred option. For example, I always maintained some semblance of a career for the intellectual stimulation, despite the fact that my earnings plummeted. One might even include this blog – I would obviously be incapable of writing it without a college education, or perhaps even an MBA. It does not pay for my education, obviously, but provides other compensations that I value highly, and I am able to make that choice.

      In other words, why should we create a general societal expectation that the only good woman is woman with a higher ed degree and an upscale career?

      Wow, you have a strong tendency to create strawmen but this is beyond the pale. When did I say education or an upscale career add moral or character value?

      I’m curious. IIRC, your wife has a doctorate – in Physics? or Philosophy? You appear to value her intelligence. Do you plan on giving your daughter the opportunity to pursue an education? Or will you decide, as SSM has done, that she will be a submissive housewife and will therefore need no intellectual development?

      Answer this question or bow out – I will not tolerate your dodging it any longer.

  • Bully

    Husband provides good income is important: 41%
    Wife provides good income is important: 19%

    huehuehuehuehuehue

    The more things change the more they stay the same.

    • @Bully

      huehuehuehuehuehue

      The more things change the more they stay the same.

      Yes, that is interesting, and both sexes feel that way!

      I also thought it was interesting that doing chores was very low priority.

  • JP

    @Escoffier:

    “These are not terrible reasons but there are many costs associated with them and it’s not entirely clear that the benefits outweigh the costs. Also, reason #1 can be self-fulfilling, as we have seen. The more women who do this, the more doing so becomes a necessity as home prices rise and the amount of money it takes to get started climbs and climbs.”

    Cheap credit is supporting housing prices (and the stock market), not wage inflation.

    “Prices have risen 10% in the past 12 months and 18% in the past two years while new home demand and construction has barely moved off historic lows. As for employment in the home construction industry, it remains dead. ZIRP and subsidized mortgages have caused gross distortions in the housing market that fool people into thinking that there’s some kind of fundamental recovery under way.

    Those subsidized super low mortgage rates have driven phony demand. As mortgage rates normalize, the phony demand will dry up. Likewise, as fixed income investment yields return to historically normal levels, empty nesters and retirees who have wanted to downsize or cash out will soon be able to actually earn a decent return on their money. They have sat on their hands and stayed put in their old homes because the proceeds of a sale would earn zero interest. They’ll soon have an incentive to sell. For sale existing home supply will increase just when the phony demand is vaporized.”

    http://wallstreetexaminer.com/2013/06/25/housing-inflation-aint-recovery-check-out-this-chart/

  • Escoffier

    I am talking about the long-term trend since feminism inaugurated the 2-income couple. None other than Senator Elizabeth Warren (D-MA) wrote a book explaining this.

    • I am talking about the long-term trend since feminism inaugurated the 2-income couple.

      Exactly. Any progeny of yours must be half of one or find his/her prospects sinking.

  • Bully

    “A major BigLaw player just threw 60 associates onto the associate scrapheap. That’s $200,000 per year to….zero. With no good way to get back on the train.”

    Moral is.. if you want to get rich.. don’t do what everyone else is doing to get rich.

    Saw it during the dot com bust in the 90s and seeing it in law now.

  • Bully

    Hypergamy is not immune to market forces. If there is a dearth of suitable men (in its eyes) on the market, then it must adjust or perish, just like the basement dwelling 40 year old that won’t settle for less than a model.

  • A Definite Beta Guy

    How does these hypogamous marraiges jive up with the numbers on relationship dissatisfaction if woman is making more money?

    • How does these hypogamous marraiges jive up with the numbers on relationship dissatisfaction if woman is making more money?

      Good question. I haven’t seen a study on that.

  • JP

    “@JP

    Only 58.9 percent of 2011 graduates landed jobs in private firms, and of that group only half made $160,000 as first year associates.

    This is what I recalled. 160K per year for 30% of the new grads sounds pretty good to me!”

    It only applies to the T14 and it’s going to get worse going forward because the profession is in steady secular decline.

    The rest of the poor J.D.s are in quite a bit of trouble.

    The U.S. has 202 accredited law schools and their average debt is over $100,000.

    And you have to avoid the associate scrapheap.

    Also, after you have been practicing 7-10 years, if you don’t make partner, your LMV drops like a rock.

    It might be best looked at as a *temporary* status boost with declining value after you’ve been out 4 years.

  • JP

    @Bully:

    “Moral is.. if you want to get rich.. don’t do what everyone else is doing to get rich.

    Saw it during the dot com bust in the 90s and seeing it in law now.”

    This really started, in earnest, in 2008.

    Applications for law school are dropping like a rock five years later.

  • Bully

    I thank my lucky stars that I went to a no name school for comp sci and came out with like zero student loan debt as a result. Seven years later I’m approaching the 100k bracket with no debt in sight.

  • J

    And are the values inherent to the class or to the people? Meaning, if the people that would have been in the middle class no longer are do they start to drop some of those values?

    They could, I suppose, depending on whom they are surrounded by.

    Let me try to elaborate what I mean by “middle class values.” I’m not sure you have to actually obtain a certain of income to hold them, but there is a set of values that often lead to success–frugality, regard for education and hard work, ability to delay short-term gratification in exchange for long-term success, ability to put the welfare of a family above what’s fun for an individual, etc. Adherence to those values is predictive of economic success, so people call them “middle-class values.” As person can be WC and still raised with those values, but those values will, if the economy cooperates, help them escape the working class.

    The much maligned 60s are an example of how attitude and economy can cooperate. In my WC neighborhood and a million others like it, there were many uneducated people who bought into the idea that was broadcast by the media in daily PSAs: “To get a good job, get a good education.” Those people made sure their kids studied every night insstead of cruising the streets or getting drunk. They made their daughters realize that the men they’d meet in college or on the job would be better husband material thanthe guy who worked at the corner gas station, so those girls didn’t get knocked by and “have to marry” men who were marginallly employed . When going go rough in a marriage, they toughed it out because they knew a divorce would have the kids living a worse neighbor than their current one with fewer resources to go around. As a result, the more capable children of the WC went to college in unprecedented numbers and became MC. The unfortunate, unintended consequence of this was a brain drain out of the WC.

    Do parents who were raised middle class but now are lower-middle class–due to reasons beyond their control like a weak economy–raise children that will have the same middle class values or will they have lower-middle class values?

    They could. Obviously the new environment might change how the kids view life.

  • Escoffier

    Rather suprised to see such hostility. What triggered it? I don’t see that anything I wrote was the least bit offensive.

    You’ve made a lot of comments lately about other bloggers you appear to look down on, or at least you disapprove of their choices. I tried to present what I take to be their reasoning in a dispassionate way. Which is, again, if a woman’s goal is to get married and be the primary caregiver to her children, do the necessary costs of higher ed and a career necessarily make social or economic sense?

    Regarding my own wife, I am (or was) a “niche customer” in the MMP. What works for me, what I was looking for, is not really something by which anyone should be setting policy or even giving advice in a general way.

    Since you mostly give advice to the college educated and the MC and above, then yes, your advice and the reality of my life as lived have a lot more in common (culturally) than people in different circumstances who have other outlooks (and wants and needs). But we’re a minority. The larger cohorts out there who think and live differently than us may have perfectly valid reasons for their opinions.

    • @Escoffier

      Rather suprised to see such hostility. What triggered it? I don’t see that anything I wrote was the least bit offensive.

      Hostility is not the right word. Impatience and frustration fit my mood better. They have been triggered by your continual erection of strawman arguments. Every aspect of your original comment was inaccurate. I do not appreciate having my words and intentions twisted. I also don’t enjoy wasting my time on specious arguments. Please quote me directly in future instead of paraphrasing my words beyond recognition.

      You’ve made a lot of comments lately about other bloggers you appear to look down on, or at least you disapprove of their choices. I tried to present what I take to be their reasoning in a dispassionate way. Which is, again, if a woman’s goal is to get married and be the primary caregiver to her children, do the necessary costs of higher ed and a career necessarily make social or economic sense?

      I do not believe I have made a lot of comments about other bloggers lately. I did comment on the despicable position SSM and SD have taken regarding the education of females. Do you believe it is right for a mother to decide early on that her daughter will not go to college, because she will get married and be a primary caregiver instead? Not only that, she will be “married off early” by the parents’ design? Does the contemporary female have no say in the matter? Would you send women back to the 19th c? Even in the early 20th c. women were permitted to make these choices for themselves.

      In addition, as someone of considerable intellect, I assume you have an intelligent daughter. Is her education superfluous? Will you advise her to avoid AP classes in high school? Why should she bother developing an intellect? If she wants passionately to become a doctor, will you inform her that she will not become a doctor, because you have decided she will be a wife and SAHM instead, preferably by her early 20s?

      These ludicrous, archaic examples follow from your position. You the elitist intellectual and these self-loathing wives of cheaters make strange bedfellows indeed.

      Regarding my own wife, I am (or was) a “niche customer” in the MMP.

      The “niche” of women with a college education?

      Since you mostly give advice to the college educated and the MC and above, then yes, your advice and the reality of my life as lived have a lot more in common (culturally) than people in different circumstances who have other outlooks (and wants and needs). But we’re a minority

      Yes, and the rural polygamists in Utah have different wants and needs. That doesn’t make them reasonable or sane. Are you really claiming that women who want to keep their daughters pregnant and uneducated are in the majority? Good God, any decent mother wants more than that for her daughter. I think you’d be hard pressed to find women who share that view, even under the poverty line. You have to come online to a weird little corner of the net to find them.

  • J

    Queeninjun, wow, you won the lottery! Converted a super-alpha! Congrats! You win at life

    So, GM, why is it that other people’s happiness and success rile you so much? You do this a lot–make self-deprecating comments and resentful comments about others. You have a lot in your own life you should appreciate instead of doing this as often as you do.

  • JP

    @J

    “So, GM, why is it that other people’s happiness and success rile you so much? You do this a lot–make self-deprecating comments and resentful comments about others. You have a lot in your own life you should appreciate instead of doing this as often as you do.”

    He’s angry that he’s a day late and a dollar short.

  • JP

    @Escoffier:

    “Which is, again, if a woman’s goal is to get married and be the primary caregiver to her children, do the necessary costs of higher ed and a career necessarily make social or economic sense?”

    They make sense in the context of credentialism and credential inflation.

    There is always a risk that the woman would have to re-enter the workforce if the man is unemployed.

    What you want, thought, is educational *diversity*, a doctor-accountant, or a government lawyer-doctor pairing.

  • JP

    @Escoffier:

    My analogy doesn’t really work for doctors/dentists. Maybe replace that with PA or nurse anesthetist.

  • J

    In another context, the Talmud (a set of ancient writings outlining Jewish laws and practices) advises men to “go down a step to take a wife,” (Yevamot 63a) , and states that “a woman from a more distinguished family than her husband may consider herself superior and act haughtily toward him” (Rashi).

    Yet many of the believers in Ashkenazi superior intelligence (Steve Sailor, et al.) attribute it to the marriage of Talmudic scholars (intellectual giants) to the daughters of wealthy merchants (financial giants). Sounds like assortative mating to me.

    Gottman found that men displayed symptoms of adrenal stress and body alarm reaction (BAR) hours after some of these little talks, while their female partners had long since returned to physiological equilibrium.

    Yep, men really are the weaker sex in that regard. My mother, as I have said before, dedicated her life to protecting my dad from the shit storm of his own emotions. I think a lot of women do. Women really do have to learn to appeciate men for what they can give emotionally (which is often demonstrated by doing things for the woman as opposed to talk) and realize that their more complex emotional needs are best played out with other women. You have to keep it light with men; they respond to emotional wear and tear differently than women do.

  • BroHamlet

    @ADBG

    Young boys need to take education more seriously and invest more effort into it. However, they need more time for play, they need more say in what they get to learn, and they need more hands-on learning and more competition in the environment.

    Have you read Robert Greene’s book ‘Mastery’? There are some very important concepts described in it regarding choosing your life’s work and walking the path to becoming a master of it. I think the most important concept in the book, and one that can be applied in the case of young boys is that of apprenticeship. As Greene describes it, an apprenticeship is a sort of comprehensive hands-on learning experience. He details examples of this among many famous masters of their fields who are doing what they consider to be their life’s work. The concept of choosing something that holds your attention and seeking opportunities to learn about it both academically and through hands on experience is a model that schools might look to implement to reach boys. Notice that there are a good few people who are stars in their fields who didn’t begin to shine until after they got a taste of their passion and experienced it in a multi-faceted way beyond academia- for some the real world experience motivated academic pursuits.

  • jack

    College admission rates are grossly inflated because of government intervention in countless ways. The reason why women are going to college more than man is because of the Leftist nature of today’s welfare state. Also, college degrees have become so important because employers are legally forbidden to use IQ tests.

    Women are not smarter than men. Nor are they naturally more ambitious. The entire economy has been disoriented by the 1001 regulatory programs that distort free market dynamics. The Left wants more non-whites and more women in EVERY field of endeavor. The Left is waging a war against white, heterosexual males in the name of its egalitarian ideology. Women are temporarily benefiting. But it needs to be understood that our nation and indeed the West is DOMINATED by cultural Marxists. It is their country and they set the terms.

    And as we see they have massively disrupted mating and marriage patterns. But still the cultural Marxists/Progressives/Modern Liberals/Left are the 800 pound gorilla no one talks about. Egalitarianism is the modern secular civic religion everyone answers to. But it can not last. The American welfare state will not last. Its marriage patterns will not last.

    What a true liberty oriented society would look like and what its SMP would like like is fascinating to speculate on. But it is not this.

  • jack

    Another problem I have is with the hypergamy discussion. It only takes into account one variable; i.e. earnings. Or earnings and status.

    But the value of men has multiple values that need to be factored in. Not the least of which is “game” or psycho-sexual savvy. Women may end up marrying lower earning men who have better developed personalities and psychologies. That is the compensating value that some men offer.

    Also, many men aren’t going to college because they realize that the universities and colleges are largely Leftist indoctrination centers. Men will be on average less conformist than women. But most non-college attending men will be working and building experience in a trade. Many of these men will have better long term prospects than many college degreed men.

    So many variables here.

  • CrisisEraDynamo

    @ Susan

    You appear to value her intelligence. Do you plan on giving your daughter the opportunity to pursue an education? Or will you decide, as SSM has done, that she will be a submissive housewife and will therefore need no intellectual development?

    [Emphasis mine.]

    Pretty tall assumption you’re making there, Susan. Just because someone’s a housewife doesn’t mean they’re idiots.

    • @Crisis

      Pretty tall assumption you’re making there, Susan. Just because someone’s a housewife doesn’t mean they’re idiots.

      I am not making any assumptions. Here is a quote from SSM’s site which nicely displays her attitudes about women, which dovetail with the Taliban:

      Ton: The more I think about these things, the more convinced I am woman are not moral agents and should be returned to the legal position of property, either their fathers, or closest male blood relative or the property of their husband. Rape would then also be a crime against the property rights of the man who owns her.

      Sarah’s Daughter: Amen

      Sunshine Mary: [ssm: I second that amen!]

      Let’s see Escoffier defend that.

      Do you defend it?

      (I need to know so I can ban appropriately)

  • Sai

    @Esau
    “To put it another way, (a) an equalist society (ie where men and women have equal opportunity to develop their talents), (b) significant female hypergamy, and (c) wide-spread happy marriages are a literally impossible combination to have simultaneously.”

    That makes sense. How do we get large numbers of women to think hard about letting go of (b)?

    @JP
    I made a mistake, you DIDN’T say that. Sorry. I just got the impression from some of your other posts about the extreme demands on humans to always do XYZ and never do ABC and it didn’t seem to matter what we humans wanted, liked, felt or thought.

    @jack
    I think everybody here agrees that some of the government’s meddling has been harmful… but at one point you were not treated well if you were not white or male. Again, not everything that has happened was a good idea. The best thing to do now is figure out how to make things so that neither gender gets thrown under the bus (borrowed that last part from Just1Z).

  • JP

    “I just got the impression from some of your other posts about the extreme demands on humans to always do XYZ and never do ABC and it didn’t seem to matter what we humans wanted, liked, felt or thought.”

    That’s just my early misapplication of mathematical certainty to a domain in which it doesn’t apply , coupled with maladpative perfectionism.

    I think that my actual view is a more of a form of moral universalism that takes cultural development and culture into account.

    I’m not a cultural relativist.

    I also only want to apply morality to domains in which morality actually applies. Some actions are pretty morally-neutral.

    However, I don’t think that people get to *choose* whether actions are morally good, bad or neutral, rather the morality of a given culture is both objective, and it is co-extensive and co-arises with the culture at issue.

    Basically, I would say that for any choice in which morality is implicated there is a right choice and a wrong choice and essentially that people don’t get to *vote* on which choice is right and which choice is wrong.

    As I said, I don’t really care that Oskar Schindler was a adulterous womanizing drunkard.

    In fact, that he was a known heavy drinker probably helped him do his job.

  • Fish

    @Susan
    “High Hypergamy, Less attractive: Jerry Springer guest, dysfunctional life.”

    LMAO – for real, I died at this one. . .

  • Zuckercorn

    Jack @ 120, 121

    Speaking as a lawyer and a former academic, your description of society has little basis in fact.

  • Gin Martini

    I fail to see how complimenting someone else is somehow self-deprecating ..the tongue-in-cheek humor is just riffing on how desirable is to cage the alpha, after all, it is the fantasy, after all, right?

    Why do you always bring up the sphere in every single thread? I can’t even get a break from that if you keep bringing it up!

  • Just1X/Just1Z

    @Sai
    Just logged in just to say how much I appreciate being remembered by you, but most especially that you remembered my sentiment (that it was about not pushing more anybody under the bus, not about revenge).

    Keep smiling, I love you 😉

    moutahere (I only came this time due to a tip-off)
    be well, be lucky (everyone)

  • A Definite Beta Guy

    In some nations, like Pakistan, lawyers stand up to the military and demand democratic rights.

    In some nations, like America, lawy-erm, “politicians,” order the military to assassinate Americans without trial.

  • BuenaVista

    In respect of how education may better serve boys than it does today, my point of departure is my outlook; I don’t know how I could have made it through school under the present conditions. I broaden my perspective to include the social ethos at large, as at the time I didn’t distinguish between school life and home life: it was just life. Hence in contrast to what Son#1 experienced:

    a. I believe the current blended ratio of male-female instructors today is approximately 1:7. Contrast: In junior high and high school, excluding PE teachers (who were all men), I frequently had more male teachers than female. (For reference, this was in flyover country, and I attended public schools prior to college.) Boys need examples, mentors, concerned men who evinced a style and example. In an equalist, feminist school system today, a woman is sufficient example for a boy.

    b. Boys were not pathologized for being physical creatures as they are today. We played games before, twice during (two recesses), and after school. In addition PE class was *daily.” We walked or biked to school. We still barely made it through the school day, which was shorter than it is today, during a school year that was shorter than it is today. After school many of us were pursuing our small jobs (paper routes, snow shoveling, lawn mowing). For several years I had morning and evening paper routes — an additional two hours of humping printed matter. Son #1 grew up in the wealthiest county of America. His schools “couldn’t afford” PE more than twice per week. And PE was co-ed, and became what in high school we called “health”. He never had four weeks of football, four weeks of wrestling, four weeks of hoops, four weeks of softball. He had nutrition classes and dancing. There’s a reason 99% of the world’s Ritalin is prescribed to American boys.

    At the same time, fathers, once divorced, are actively discriminated against by their children’s schools, which usually refuse to communicate them under the policy of “one child, one email” — which goes to the mother.

    c. The zero-risk mania which governs children’s lives restricts boys to environments supervised by adults: in school (women dominant); after school (no paper routes today); on the weekends (we started camping on our own at 10 or 11) (we rode our bikes by 11 well into the countryside, disappearing for hours with no cell phone tethers) (we all carried pocket knives, had our own hatchets). So boys now have no opportunity to explore, get in trouble, break a bone or the law here and there.

    Boys today similarly have no responsibilities. I drove my first tractor (this was a field tractor, not a lawnmower) at 5, with my grandfather sitting behind me and working the pedals. I mowed my first hayfield before I was strong enough to be on the ground tossing bales onto the wagon. A single tractor cost a year’s income, on that farm. This wasn’t odd or even remarked upon. In South Dakota the legal driving age (unrestricted) is 14; my sympathies if you bring that up in suburban Washington.

    d. Single-parent (custody awarded mother 9/10 times) households have destroyed any masculine examples at home. Common now, there was one (1) in my school life from kindergarten through 11th grade. Then there was a second one. That was it. This was in a socially progressive university town, not a conservative backwater. I didn’t know but one child, IOW, who didn’t grow up eating dinner with his dad. Boys now spend two orders of magnitude more time with their laptops than they do with a male authority figure.

    e. Single-parent households (custody mother, situation hostile): boys cannot get a scratch on themselves doing anything with their dads on their bi-weekly weekend visitation, or the hostile parent will be calling child services. A father attempting to retain contact with his child will opt for chess, not go hiking through brambles, shoot squirrels, teach him to catch a baseball (it *will* hit him in the face sometime). Boys need to test themselves, get broken bones, get lost, get scared. All out, today.

    f. SAHM UMC household: Dad may be working 60 hours a week, and families do not eat dinner together. I worked 80, often. (Yes, I’m divorced, but she remarried and husband #2 … works 60 hours a week.) My dad ran a newspaper, and was considered a very hard worker. He was home by 5:30 every day. We came home from grade school for lunch: he was there for lunch.

    g. Scouts. I disappeared two weekends a month, in the company of boys and other boys’ fathers. The men were college professors. The guy who taught me to rock climb was a Ph.D with a Silver Star from Okinawa. The guy who taught me to sail was a religion Ph.D. The guy who taught me to build a fire discovered the Van Allen radiation belts. Good luck replicating any of those experiences today. The fathers are at the office, Scouts are for dweebs, and organized sports are conducted as much for the parents as the children.

    If I were to regain custody of Son#2, we would move to a small town in Iowa, he would attend a parochial school prior to going to an all-boys prep school, and I would solve for male leadership in school, same-sex activities and sports; he would have jobs, a Daisy and a .22; he would have a paying job or chores with the only opt-out being sports teams; he would build his own boats and he would iron his own shirts. If he didn’t know why he wanted to go to college, I wouldn’t fund it, and point him at the same Navy that served his grandfather and great-grandfather so well. (Or some such until he did know why he wanted to attend college.)

    The collapse in college attendance by males simply reflects their understanding that schools, and university life, are simply not designed for boys, and they know it and act accordingly. BB noted a couple weeks ago that many of his (UMC/UC) privileged male students describe a future of Hemingway-esque adventure, and I suggest that it’s simply because they want to be in environments in which they need not get permission slips from their female teachers to play dodge ball at 11. These are 22 year-olds whose childhoods were taken away by divorce, feminist education systems, and a culture of maniacal risk avoidance.

    I realize I’m not saying anything that Helen Smith hasn’t just published, but in my defense I lived it first.

    • @BV

      I cosign the appreciation for your comment on the typical American boy’s experience.

      f. SAHM UMC household: Dad may be working 60 hours a week, and families do not eat dinner together. I worked 80, often. (Yes, I’m divorced, but she remarried and husband #2 … works 60 hours a week.) My dad ran a newspaper, and was considered a very hard worker. He was home by 5:30 every day. We came home from grade school for lunch: he was there for lunch.

      This has not been my experience. In general I have to say that all the families I know do eat dinner together at least 4 or 5 times a week. (Kids do their own thing on the weekends.) We always ate at around 7:30, so my husband simply did not work after 7. That was a choice he made, but I don’t think he was unusual.

      Granted, it’s a far different scene than the days when the whistle blew at 4 p.m. and dad came home for dinner at 5 on the dot.

      he would attend a parochial school prior to going to an all-boys prep school, and I would solve for male leadership in school, same-sex activities and sports;

      This is the route we took after yanking our son out of public school after second grade. It was awesome. Every book read, every play performed, every sport played, every science project – all tailored specifically to appeal to boys.

  • BuenaVista

    SW: “Yes, and the rural polygamists in Utah have different wants and needs. That doesn’t make them reasonable or sane.”

    At the risk of my own excommunication, I note that there is zero basis, as of this morning, to deny any form of marriage contract to any adult or collection of adults. (I head that point of view before this morning, incidentally, but it always struck me as ironic when my gay friends went batship crazy when I mentioned that in the context of gay marriage.) I assume that your judgment reflects a personal preference, rather than an expression of any natural law.

    • At the risk of my own excommunication, I note that there is zero basis, as of this morning, to deny any form of marriage contract to any adult or collection of adults.

      Conservatives have been highlighting that as a byproduct of gay marriage from the start. Jeremy Irons recently predicted that in Britain fathers will marry their sons to avoid the estate tax.

  • BuenaVista

    In regard to Helen Smith’s book, the hostile reactions tend to fall into two camps, or both at once.

    First, the feminist critique (being leftist and culturally socialist) simply cannot process her logic of incentives. The main thesis of the book is that men exist in a social marketplace that offers disincentives to certain behaviors (marrying, parenting). They simply ignore her point about creating incentives, or destroying incentives, for certain behaviors. Similarly they ignore the incentives that a matriarchal social and legal system has to sustain itself.

    Second, they fault her for providing a cultural jeremiad instead of a Ph.D thesis (telling stories that foot to law, rather than conducting a 20 year double blind study establishing causation.

    In the first case, there’s nothing to be argued if a person doesn’t believe other persons do not respond to incentives. In the second, she didn’t set out to write that book, just as, e.g., no such double blind analysis was performed prior to instituting no-fault divorce.

    Charlotte Allen’s review today in the Journal represents both objections succinctly. I am grateful that she pointed out that in Elizabethan England (when women were not allowed on stage, and debtors went to prison, and children were hanged for theft) men were required to support their children whether or not they sired them, as remains the case in the USA. (Big woof, she notes.) That was very insightful, and contributed much.

    So if Queeninjun is contemplating raising and educating a boy, I would suggest Men On Strike. God knows she is more concise than I have been.

  • A Definite Beta Guy

    Abraham Lincoln didn’t have much formal education and gave all of his earnings to his father until he was 21.

    Then again, we don’t live in that age anymore….

    I will tell my daughter to go to college. Not because it will expand her mind. But because she has no choice. She will live in the most unequal American society to ever exist, bar the Antebellum South, in income inequality and disparity of outcomes so vast that F Scott Fitzgerald will rise from his grave, and write a long, resplendent poem about how meritocratic and utopian the Gilded Age was.
    If she does not want to be part of the Unwashed Masses, dependent on credit, subject to a social safety net that is being constantly cut, likely to have no retirement at all, she will have to go to college.

    • Abraham Lincoln didn’t have much formal education and gave all of his earnings to his father until he was 21.

      Then again, we don’t live in that age anymore….

      Yes, and Zuckerburg and Gates are dropouts.

      I would like to see a meritocracy. Let the smartest, most creative leaders run the show. Educate the most able. No special allowances for sex.

      The idea that some lunkhead can benefit more from college than I did is laughable.

  • CrisisEraDynamo

    @ Susan

    Well, that sounds rather extreme. While I definitely believe that the current paradigm of no-fault divorce, default mother custody, alimony, and male-shaming is cultural filth that needs to be washed away now, and I also believe that men and women are not interchangeable and do not need to be in every occupational niche in the same proportions as men, I do not agree with SunshineMary’s position because:

    – Not all women are suited to motherhood.

    – Not all women want motherhood.

    – Mechanization has made housework far easier. Before the 1950s, it was an all-day, every-day affair.

    – Women can indeed make moral choices. They can also make immoral ones — a fact often forgotten by feminists and white knights.

    – If the male relatives die or are incapacitated, the women will have nowhere to go.

    – People have the right to shape their own destiny, so long as they don’t force others to bankroll it for them.

    If she wishes to curb the sense of entitlement that modern Western women have, a more humane alternative would be actually holding them responsible for any wrongs they commit, teaching them to accept uncomfortable truths (about attraction triggers, sexual habits of men and women, differences in male and female thinking, etc.), and removing any favoritism in family law.

    All of this without removing their civil rights.

    If there’s no longer a social or economic incentive to mistreating men, women will moderate their behavior. No need to treat them as “property” or anything so drastic as that.

    What I think is going on with SSM is what happened to Ayn Rand after she migrated to the US from the Soviet Union; Rand saw communism up close and was so traumatized by it that she came up with a similarly extreme philosophy that went in the opposite direction (Objectivism.) Likewise, SSM is so horrified by the modern, feminist-dominated culture that she wants to swing back to the other extreme of full female subjugation.

    While I have no patience with feminists, SSM’s solution isn’t the right one.

  • A Definite Beta Guy

    I will, however, strongly suggest that my daughter NOT get involved in politics. If society really does get significantly worse, we will not survive the 21st century without a military coup.

    This might sound extreme, but it is par for the course for democracies.

  • Great post by BV about the elementary school experience being a pussification gulag for boys. These guys don’t really get to begin to escape captivity until they are about 19.

  • CrisisEraDynamo

    @ BuenaVista

    Ouch. Boys today have it rough.

  • Jonny

    I don’t think you can describe the “other camp” as “social conservatives”. They are actually the Manosphere’s True Christians. They don’t identify with the squishy social conservatives that may have accepted and adopted feminist doctrine. As for the “marriage is dead” camp, they are peculiar. They are equally adherent to traditional marriage while not getting involved in the institution. It is their own contraceptive. They belong in the opt-out category.

    On the “CHSommers article at the Atlantic,” it isn’t going to win anyone over. People have checked out on feminism. A new perspective isn’t going to win people back. The problem with feminism is the worst extremists have not changed their minds. Go to any XXX column in Slate. Feminism has ran its course in the USA and any other first world country. If they knew when to give up, it was already 10 years past due. Unfortunately, feminists are still pursuing their agenda at men’s cost. They won’t stop until they get every men’s position and prestige.

    “The optimal strategy for women” should include a few more qualifiers.

    – Have children ASAP. Don’t wait any longer since it is likely you will marry in your 30s. Do not sound so coy about this. The basis for marriage should be children or it isn’t, then what the heck are you trying to get married?

    – Be flexible. Consider quitting your job. Let your husband lead while he can. Come back to the workforce later in life. A man doesn’t want a decisive stubborn woman unless he really wants one.

    – Don’t get into debt from your wedding or setting up the household especially if you want children. Or you will put things off like children when it is the last thing you should do with declining fertility.

    – Lose your clingy friends and pets. Your priority is your husband, not your BFF, your gay friends, or your ex-boyfriend. Your pet won’t like your husband. At best, you should shed them. At worst, keep them at a distance and in the backyard.

    – Your advisor should be your husband. It is no longer your mother, father, or girlfriend. If you can’t talk to your husband, the relationship is already compromised.

  • Escoffier

    Susan, as you must know, no mother can deny a daughter a college education in 21st century America. The utmost she can do is refuse to pay for it and, if she really wants to be punitive about it, cut off all contact on the basis of her disapproval.

    What a mother CAN do, is raise her daughter with the aim of encouraging her to seek her happiness and destiny (if you will) through marriage and motherhood over and above higher education and career. Maybe it will “take” and the daughter will seek that life, maybe not. Who’s to know in advance, not even the mother can know.

    Now, if it were true that such women literally had the power to deny their daughters an education and to sell or barter them into marriage, I would see a basis for your ire here. But we both know that is not true. What’s really going on here is simply that some women (and their husbands) are attempted to pass to their daughters a retrograde (by 2013 standards) set of opinions–opinions that, moreover, within our lifetimes were mainstream or at least not yet fringe. I know they are beyond the pale in the blue states because I have lived in nothing but my entire life but I also know that said opinions are not beyond the pale elsewhere. They are also not equivalent to the mores on display in “Big Love.” The equation of “different from the cultural and economic norms that prevail in the coastal UMC” with “rural Utah” is just not accurate.

    Regarding me as a “niche customer”—my point was this. You took my questioning whether a college education and a career is necessarily a great investment for a marriage-minded women to be hypocritical or at least inconsistent because I myself married an educated woman. Well, the marriage market should not take its bearings from me. First of all, I’m already married. Second, who’s to say whether any modern woman (other than my wife) even wants me or wants a guy like me? Third, there aren’t that many guys like me. So going for lots of education to attract someone like me would appear to be a risky investment at best.

    True, in the blue state UMC where we both dwell, a girl not getting the BA is fatal to her MMV, I totally agree with that. BUT the risk of a BA to her is also lower, since there is a far greater likelihood that her parents saved up to send her to college and/or can pay for her schooling out of pocket. Hence she will end up with little or no debt. Also, since IQ in the knowledge economy correlates highly with SES, chances are she’s already smart enough not to end up at a degree mill majoring in something that will land her a paper-pushing dead-end job but will be able to actually do something useful and make some money.

    The question remains whether such an education and career are valuable, broadly speaking, for marriage/family-minded women outside this cohort. I think that’s worth exploring.

    We live, as you have pointed out many times, in an era of declining female happiness that coincides and correlates with rising female educational and economic gains. Maybe it’s time to rethink the default position that more schooling and more career responsibility, money and prestige are the keys to more happiness.

    Since you’ve brought up my wife, I will say this. She found working to be a total bore and she had high-prestige, high-remuneration jobs. We’re both glad she worked because it allowed us to build assets. Had we, however, not always lived in stratospheric cost-of-living communities, we might have been able to have children earlier. Who knows.

    Anyway, the key point here is that she is very happy being a mom and not working. Very happy. She’s also not particularly impressed with the education she received as an undergrad and doesn’t think it was worth it. She loves, as I do, what we both learned in grad school and to this day (and to our deaths) we will keep reading and talking about those books and all the issues therein. It’s a very nice “feature” of the marriage. But again, very, very “niche.” We are outliers.

    • @Escoffier

      Susan, as you must know, no mother can deny a daughter a college education in 21st century America. The utmost she can do is refuse to pay for it and, if she really wants to be punitive about it, cut off all contact on the basis of her disapproval.

      Then why would she announce that her daughters are not going to go to college, and are going to “be married off” early? It’s the rare 17 year old who could do an end run around parents, apply to college, get funding, housing, etc.

      What a mother CAN do, is raise her daughter with the aim of encouraging her to seek her happiness and destiny (if you will) through marriage and motherhood over and above higher education and career

      A mother should encourage her daughter to seek her happiness and destiny. Full stop. It is not for you as a parent to decide what will make your daughter happy, or to disregard her own wishes for her future happiness.

      opinions that, moreover, within our lifetimes were mainstream or at least not yet fringe.

      Seeing women as the property of a male family member has been mainstream in your lifetime?

      Re college, SSM’s position would have been heresy even in 1965 outside of fringe elements.

      The equation of “different from the cultural and economic norms that prevail in the coastal UMC” with “rural Utah” is just not accurate.

      Have you lost your mind? Wanting a college education for girls is not a “Coastal UMC” norm. What percentage of Americans do you think would profess to share SSM’s view? 5%? At most?

      So going for lots of education to attract someone like me would appear to be a risky investment at best.

      I’ve never suggested that women should go to college to find a husband. In fact, you’ve argued that – I’ve always been perfectly happy to recommend they focus on that after graduation.

      I never meant to suggest women should attempt to snag someone like you. Assortative mating wrt education is the norm, and if a woman wants to be married to someone with an education (who will make 90% more than his high school counterpart), she’s most likely to win him if she is educated herself.

      The question remains whether such an education and career are valuable, broadly speaking, for marriage/family-minded women outside this cohort. I think that’s worth exploring.

      That’s worth exploring for them. You have no role to play. All you can do is thwart your own daughter’s wishes by taking control.

      Maybe it’s time to rethink the default position that more schooling and more career responsibility, money and prestige are the keys to more happiness.

      That is for each woman to decide alone when she is single, and with her husband once she is married. A recent article highlighted that the women from the top schools are more likely to stay home with children. Yes, they park their brains at the door for a while. But at some point, in the not too distant future, or even right now on weekends and evenings, those women may actually want to read a challenging book. Perhaps even write one! Education is a gift of intellectual development, and ending a woman’s education after high school is tantamount to issuing a life sentence of low status and ignorance.

      She’s also not particularly impressed with the education she received as an undergrad and doesn’t think it was worth it. She loves, as I do, what we both learned in grad school and to this day (and to our deaths) we will keep reading and talking about those books and all the issues therein. It’s a very nice “feature” of the marriage. But again, very, very “niche.” We are outliers.

      You may be outliers in terms of your interests and reading material, but sharing those interests is no doubt one thing that makes your marriage successful. Imagine your life if she didn’t know Gatsby is a book.

      So I’ll ask again – how will you approach your daughter’s education?

  • Bully & JP: “Moral is.. if you want to get rich.. don’t do what everyone else is doing to get rich.”

    GE CEO Jeffrey Immelt noted that when he graduated from B-school (in 1982), the most popular employer among the members of his graduating class was the videogame maker Atari, and remarked “I would just look at the list of where the most people are going to work and short the stock immediately.”

    Indeed, it doesn’t work very will to drive with your eyes firmly fixed on the rear-view mirror.

  • Hope

    Here in Utah I’m sure our boy will be going camping, shooting, four-wheeling and all sorts of boyish things before high school. My husband did all that, and he was called a redneck by the blue state elitists when he did some training out east. It’s just a different culture. For example, the culture I grew up with in China, playing baseball is not valued the same way as scoring perfectly on a test.

    Also, I’ve been a city girl until I moved here. The first time my husband drove me up to the mountains and off-road, my jaws remained open the whole trip. The nature and outdoorsy stuff are very popular here. I think it’s just a difference of priorities.

  • A Definite Beta Guy

    Escof,

    I do get what you are saying, but in terms of practical advice for young women, particularly intelligent young women, Susan’s suggestions here probably can’t be beat.

    On a macro-level, sure, consider how to place less emphasis on college and meritocracy and focus more on relationships and family and community: that goes for everyone.

    A young American woman, though, gains huge benefits by going to college, because of the way the system is set up. Not just financial, but social, and network.
    An intelligent young woman can still get some of the other goodies out of life by searching for her husband early and keeping her debt down, exactly as Susan has outlined her, and probably be eschewing casual sex, as Susan has also advocated.

    I really can’t think of anything better.

  • CrisisEraDynamo

    @ ADBG

    The problem is, when she reaches college, she will be taught to treat men as potential rapists, not potential mates.

    • The problem is, when she reaches college, she will be taught to treat men as potential rapists, not potential mates.

      That’s ridiculous. Of all the female college graduates I know, not a single one views men that way. Maybe some gender studies prof was saying so while they were there, but they didn’t take that class, apparently.

      Only radfems view men as rapists, and that’s especially harmful when they populate the halls of academia.

  • BuenaVista

    Hope, of course it’s a “difference of priorities.” That is the point of my contrasting different priorities, so that their differing effects may be observed. I’m verging on a tautology here because I should think that would be obvious. Recent innovations in boys’ education practices show the priority given today to boys’ subordination, and the destruction of schooling and domestic values that respect them.

    Also, this isn’t China so that seems rather a non sequitor. I’m unconcerned, as well, with the value system of Belarus.

  • Fish

    @BV
    “teach him to catch a baseball (it *will* hit him in the face sometime)”

    I think my dad regrets this the most. My parents got divorced when i was 6, I never took to baseball (although it turns out being used to catching with your face makes being a hockey goalie a lot easier. I can use my glove as well these days).

    I think a major problem is there is a double standard that feminists have enforced (I am not a feminist basher by any means). There have been so many things pushed about women in science and educating daughters, there is nothing like that for boys. So while there is parental and societal pressure to “push” girls, boys get the laissez-faire hippy treatment of letting them grow “at their own pace.”

    What happened to parents making kids do things for their own good? I’m glad I don’t have kids. My youngest little brother is about to turn 19. He’s at a community college majoring in music appreciation. Freaking music appreciation. I practically BEGGED him to major in business (He is neither smart enough, nor does he have the work ethic for STEM, thats probably why he’s in community college), he ignored me.

    To you all who have/want kids, good luck. I predict this country will become a mess sooner rather than later. . .

  • CrisisEraDynamo

    @ Susan

    Regarding the raising of children, I agree in that one should let them choose their life path, while cautioning that no one owes them a living, so they should choose carefully. But how do you avoid paying for a useless degree that your child chooses? Either they incur six-figure debt for no payoff, or you do.

    And a working father/educated housewife setup can work if you’re homeschooling your children. Homeschooling requires a high level of education from the mother (wonder if SSM thought about that), and teaching your own children is certainly not “useless.”

    Regarding SSM keeping her daughters from college, I think she’s going to such extremes because she doesn’t want them to be indoctrinated in hatred of men. I agree that it’s not a good idea (the daughters won’t be able to homeschool properly or take care of themselves if the man isn’t around), but I see why she wants to do that.

    • But how do you avoid paying for a useless degree that your child chooses?

      You instill your values as you raise them. You teach them what is important. Sadly, daughters of women like SSM will probably never consider getting an education. They’ll wind up marrying someone like their father – a very bad outcome.

      And a working father/educated housewife setup can work if you’re homeschooling your children. Homeschooling requires a high level of education from the mother (wonder if SSM thought about that), and teaching your own children is certainly not “useless.”

      Homeschooling is clearly extremely variable in quality. A lot of those women are online all day long. I know that’s something that wouldn’t be tolerated in a public school, with good reason. And it ends with 12th grade, in any case.

  • Jonny

    “Educate the most able.”

    The most able don’t need the education system. They easily exceed the system. That’s why Zuckerburg and Gates dropped out.

    The less capable and advantaged need the most help and education.

    • The less capable and advantaged need the most help and education.

      They may need it, but they won’t be able to produce in any case. They should get as much education as they are capable of using. The gifted and talented should get the resources, as they will be the ones who drive the economy forward.

  • Fish

    @Susan

    “I would like to see a meritocracy. ”

    I rarely will use the word never, but we will NEVER see a true meritocracy. It will not exist in the professional sector, it will not exist in the academic sector. Everyone plays favorites for one reason or another. . .

  • Escoffier

    “A mother should encourage her daughter to seek her happiness and destiny. Full stop. It is not for you as a parent to decide what will make your daughter happy, or to disregard her own wishes for her future happiness.”

    “That’s worth exploring for them. You have no role to play. All you can do is thwart your own daughter’s wishes by taking control.”

    OK, really? A parent has no role to play in shaping what they hope will turn out to be a child’s wishes? I know you don’t believe this since you have said many times that you have raised your own children to want certain things, to value the things that you value. From what I have read, that has more or less turned out to be the case (as it so often does). However, it could also have turned out that one of them could have come to you and said “I don’t want to go to college, I want to be a _____.” (Fill in the blank with something you find particularly distasteful.) From my observation that happens less often that children generally following in their parents’ footsteps, but it DOES often happen.

    Parents can guide and cajole and it’s silly to suggest that they have no legitimate role to do so. What you appear to object to here is not that role per se, but if the guiding and cajoling is away from education and career. Which is fine, I can see why you wouldn’t want that for your own kids and their circle. I am not seeing why you can’t “live and let live” and take a more tolerant attitude toward parents who choose to guide their children in other directions.

    As it happens, I know a family here in my deep blue UMC suburb who fits the profile. A two-lawyer couple. They have two girls. The mother dropped out of the lawyering workforce and homeschools them. She regards her legal education and career as not only a waste but almost a fraud, that she was sold happiness and fulfillment and prestige and money but all she got was drudgery and debt. Now they live on less with only one income but she is infinitely happier. She tells my wife that she will encourage her daughters to get married early and start families. She does intend to send them college, FWIW, but I don’t see how that changes the main point.

    “Have you lost your mind?”

    Possibly, but I don’t think so. I thought I had dealt with and dismissed the possibility of selling daughters in marriage in 2013. I am aware that it happens on polygamist compounds (and in certain ethnic communities) but not anywhere else.

    What I meant was that the idea that most women would be happier emphasizing marriage and family over education and career was mainstream within living memory. The coastal UMC norm of today is the reverse: prioritize education and career.

    “Education is a gift of intellectual development, and ending a woman’s education after high school is tantamount to issuing a life sentence of low status and ignorance.”

    The logical conclusion from this sentence is that you think everyone should go to college. Do you believe that? That everyone can “make it” in higher ed. Do you believe that? That everyone will enjoy and profit from it on some level or another?

    I also note that earlier you got angry with me for suggesting that your comments were tantamount to saying that the lack of higher ed amounts to inferiority on some level. But this sentence, unless I am badly misinterpreting it, would seem to support that conclusion.

    Why you get so mad at people who like you and respect what you are doing, I do not get. I am not you enemy, at the very least, I am not trying to be.

    • @Escoffier

      I am not seeing why you can’t “live and let live” and take a more tolerant attitude toward parents who choose to guide their children in other directions.

      Because a mind is a terrible thing to waste.

      She does intend to send them college, FWIW, but I don’t see how that changes the main point.

      It changes everything! As ADBG has already pointed out, not having a college degree makes one a HAVE NOT. I wonder how your wife, with her stratospheric IQ, would have found a mate without one. Would Billy Bob the fast food worker have satisfied her hypergamous impulses?

      The logical conclusion from this sentence is that you think everyone should go to college. Do you believe that? That everyone can “make it” in higher ed. Do you believe that? That everyone will enjoy and profit from it on some level or another?

      I’ve already said that the most intelligent people should be educated. Not educating them would be a crime.

      Why you get so mad at people who like you and respect what you are doing, I do not get. I am not you enemy, at the very least, I am not trying to be.

      I’ve already explained the strawman problem. If you respect me, why put words in my mouth and change my meaning so drastically?

      Also, I cannot abide any commenter who believes that women should be male property and denied an education. I don’t consider SSM dangerous with her audience of low ranking males. But I certainly don’t want her ideas to infect HUS, and to the extent you share them here, I will shoot that down.

  • CrisisEraDynamo

    @ Susan

    Like I said, the wife needs a high level of education to properly teach her children.

    Also, what do you think of my comment here?

  • Susan…”The gifted and talented should get the resources, as they will be the ones who drive the economy forward.”

    I have never like the “gifted and talented” phrase, especially as it applies to special programs in school, because it implies it’s all about something you ARE rather than something you DO. Would be much better, in my non-humble opinion, to call these programs “High Achievement Programs,” or something of the sort.

    There is research, I think by Carol Dweck, which shows that if you give people feedback of the type “You did well on that test, you must be really smart,” then their future achievement will be lower than if you give feedback of the type “You did well on that test, you must have worked really hard.”

    In a business context, Peter Drucker argued that it is very bad to judge people on their “potential” rather than on their “performance.” Credentialism, of course, encourages the former at the expense of the latter.

    • @david foster

      Would be much better, in my non-humble opinion, to call these programs “High Achievement Programs,” or something of the sort.

      Fair enough.

      In a business context, Peter Drucker argued that it is very bad to judge people on their “potential” rather than on their “performance.”

      I’ve certainly experienced this first hand. For a while, all sorts of quant guys were hired into finance and consulting. You’re a physicist? Come be an investment banker! Very often, that raw IQ did not translate into good performance in a business setting, for a variety of reasons. There is much more to success than intelligence, obviously.

      Personally, I know that I lack self-discipline. I was never very good at studying. I have taken many exams just winging it. Obviously, I always did better on the verbal ones – more opportunities to BS the professor. In retrospect, Wharton probably should not have admitted me. They certainly wouldn’t do so today.

  • BuenaVista

    SW: “Conservatives have been highlighting that as a byproduct of gay marriage from the start.”

    Actually, I don’t think conservatives got spooled up until Scalia attacked the Texas sodomy decision on that logical basis. He predicted today’s outcome in that dissent. Of course the current president was anti-gay marriage until 18 months ago and Clinton signed the DOMA, both asserting a state interest in marital relations. So perhaps it was an equal-opportunity prejudice, for liberals and conservatives both.

    But we libertarians have been saying this for decades. Irons is pretty clearly libertarian in his approach to privacy.

    • Actually, I don’t think conservatives got spooled up until Scalia attacked the Texas sodomy decision on that logical basis.

      Yes, that is what I was referring to. I think of that as the start of the gay marriage effort, but of course it was not.

  • Escoffier

    “Meritocracy” carries its own special set of problems. It’s definitely not cost-free, as should be clear from our own society.

  • BuenaVista

    “But how do you avoid paying for a useless degree that your child chooses?”

    One way to assist a child in choosing a course of study is to require the child to pay for a significant part of it. I didn’t do this. I paid cash list price for both. About $800K pretax. The first two college degrees were proud moments, and I’m pleased with what they studied, but there were moments along the way when I thought I was dealing with entitlement emotions.

    The way I would do it now is thus:

    A surgeon friend was born poor in Aberdeen, SD. She was recruited to Dartmouth — a different universe — and a few other fancy places. (Champion tennis player, ‘A’ student, upper midwest: Ivies love them.) Each would have left her with significant debt, of course, and she knew she also wanted to practice medicine.

    So she took the full ride to Augustana, got more straight A’s, and saved her debt binge for medical school.

    Now she’s got more money than she can possibly spend in SD, but her children *will* pay for half of their college educations. So they will have an incentive not to study ephemera in college, I suspect, and this is good.

    I have a nephew who went through the selection process last year. (My sister is a theatre director, she lives hand to mouth.) I advised him to stay home and go to his state’s honors college, then get his ticket punched, if he must, at an Ivy in grad school. He demurred and wound up with a package at Harvard that only costs him $3K a year, but that yet sustains my advice: save the big spending for grad school when you know who and what you are.

    • @BV

      He demurred and wound up with a package at Harvard that only costs him $3K a year, but that yet sustains my advice: save the big spending for grad school when you know who and what you are.

      I disagree. That alumnae network it pure gold. I’m the sole Wharton grad in a women’s Harvard MBA group (I have no idea why they asked me to join). The difference between their experience and mine is incredible. I hear from Wharton on occasion when they want money. These women are at the b-school several times a year participating in all sorts of events and programs.

      Anyone who gets into Harvard should do whatever it takes to go there, including paying full freight with loans. It will pay for itself many times over.

  • JP

    “I have never like the “gifted and talented” phrase, especially as it applies to special programs in school, because it implies it’s all about something you ARE rather than something you DO.”

    It is something you are and it generally means that you need a form of special education.

    The problem is that they called it “gifted and talented” to begin with so that it became some sort of status symbol.

    If you don’t differentiate the education, I think that you end up somewhat “spergy” as J likes to say.

  • JP

    “I have a nephew who went through the selection process last year. (My sister is a theatre director, she lives hand to mouth.) I advised him to stay home and go to his state’s honors college, then get his ticket punched, if he must, at an Ivy in grad school.”

    Except that state honors colleges are full of spergy wackadoos.

  • BuenaVista

    Dynamo: “Homeschooling requires a high level of education from the mother …”

    Home-schooled kids outperform government school kids and private school kids in just about everything except football, and increasingly government schools are letting the home schoolers join the sports programs.

    I would rephrase your line: “Homeschooling requires a higher level of education from the mother, than is available from public schoolteachers, but fortunately, this is an extremely low bar to hurdle.”

    I’m a big fan of homeschooling because a) I didn’t have to stay home and deliver it; and b) it’s far more efficient than warehousing kids in classes where they spend most of their time not working and not receiving attention from someone who majored in something called “education.”

    I liken homeschooling as a version of the one-room schoolhouse. A woman would go off the the state teachers college, get a two-year degree, and then return to teach a fixed curriculum to grades 1-8 children, all in the same room. Maybe 15 kids, 8 different grades, short year, children missing school for seasonal farm duties — and they certainly outperformed any contemporary urban public school, and most suburban.

    • Home-schooled kids outperform government school kids and private school kids in just about everything except football, and increasingly government schools are letting the home schoolers join the sports programs.

      The only data I’ve seen on this is from an extremely conservative Christian college which is invested in promoting home schooling. Do you have another source?

  • A Definite Beta Guy
  • BuenaVista

    JP: “Except that state honors colleges are full of spergy wackadoos.”

    Better than the rich spergy wackdoos at Harvard, Oberlin or Swarthmore, I would say. But the car stickers are better, no question.

  • BuenaVista “Also, this isn’t China so that seems rather a non sequitor.”

    I was just making an analogy that different regions of the US can have cultural gulfs as wide as different countries.

    For instance, I didn’t know anybody who went camping regularly when I lived in Chicago. Here, it’s so common that a work lunch conversation was “lots of bears right now so be careful” to someone going camping this weekend.

    Basically I think what is being ascribed to feminism should be more ascribed to culture. China is definitely not feminist (selective sex abortion to get sons instead of daughters), and yet doesn’t care for outdoorsy stuff.

  • JP

    “JP: “Except that state honors colleges are full of spergy wackadoos.”

    Better than the rich spergy wackdoos at Harvard, Oberlin or Swarthmore, I would say. But the car stickers are better, no question.”

    If you grew up with less money, you have significantly more untreated issues and are more likely to shower on a regular basis.

  • JP

    I meant “less likely to shower”.

  • JP

    “Now she’s got more money than she can possibly spend in SD, but her children *will* pay for half of their college educations. So they will have an incentive not to study ephemera in college, I suspect, and this is good.”

    That’s inane.

    I spent five years studying engineering, a subject in which I had no interest, because it was free.

    Better to give the scholarship to someone who actually has some desire to be an engineer than someone like me.

    The only thing that I knew when I graduated from college was that I did not want to be an engineer. I never had much of an opportunity to take classes in which I might actually have an interest.

  • “Homeschooling requires a high level of education from the mother”

    In my opinion, it requires a special kind of patience, talent and passion for teaching. I don’t have it. My husband is a far better teacher than I could ever be, and even he would be bored out of his mind if he tried to teach very young children (he taught at high school and college levels).

    Think about what a lot of elementary education entails — repetition, practice, memorization and fundamentals, like ABCs and 123s. Most people who are well-educated generally would not enjoy doing that. Kudos to those women who want to go back to the 1900s lifestyle, homestead, grow their own vegetables, raise chickens, can their own food, handwash everything, never use antibiotics and homeschool their kids, but personally I say no thanks to that.

  • CrisisEraDynamo

    @ Hope

    Hey, I’m not telling you what to do. 🙂

  • JP
  • A Definite Beta Guy

    JP,

    Just finished that book today.

    Standard liberal clap-trap about fixing income inequality going to fix all of our problems.

  • A Definite Beta Guy

    “So we have this massive social failing. Alright. I can fix everything. We just….raise taxes on the rich…and give money to the poor!

    BAM EVERYTHING FIXED!”

    If your entire solution to a complex social problem is simply taxing the rich and giving the money to the poor, you might be missing something.

  • JP

    @ADBG:

    It looked like it had some good stories in it, though.

  • A Definite Beta Guy

    Oh, definitely, the issue is that our “cultural synthesis” for lack of a better word is a complete mess. Merely redistributing the wealth isn’t going to work and isn’t even going to be politically palpable.

    There needs to be a general equality between classes, not just an economic equality. Like he said in the book, in a small town, the richest man eats the same food as you and goes to the same church. He isn’t socially distant and he isn’t extremely rich and he isn’t alien.

    He might even treat you as a person even if you do not have a college degree.

    In contrast, simple redistribution keeps everything else in place. I will not go to church with Jamie Dimon, Jamie Dimon just pays a bit of money out of his pocket and gives it to me. Everything else remains the same, all the problems stay the same.

    Quite frankly, the communists have a better solution to the problem than he does.

  • A Definite Beta Guy

    That last comment was to JP btw.

    Off to read a bit more….

  • BuenaVista

    JP: “That’s inane.”

    Actually, you just proved my point. You didn’t have anything invested in your education, so you didn’t study something useful to you. I’m surprised you don’t see that. People spend *their own* money on things that have personal utility. You had no skin in the game.

  • J

    I fail to see how complimenting someone else is somehow self-deprecating ..the tongue-in-cheek humor is just riffing on how desirable is to cage the alpha, after all, it is the fantasy, after all, right?

    Complimenting someone isn’t self-deprecating. Perhaps I’m reading your tone wrong (and I apologize if I am) but what you may intend as compliments come off as sort of sour grapes-ish, “look how much better than me you think are” comments. Apparently, I’m not the only one reading you that way.

    Why do you always bring up the sphere in every single thread? I can’t even get a break from that if you keep bringing it up!

    I dunno, but I’m not alone in mentioning the ‘sphere. Nor is the ‘sphere able to not mention HUS. Why was Susan brought twice yesterday at SSM? This corner of the net remains fairly reactive to the disagreement within it.

    All I can suggest is that you stop reading my posts. I know this is a recurrent bother for you, so I’ll understsand.

  • JP

    “I’ve already said that the most intelligent people should be educated. Not educating them would be a crime.”

    Whatever I experienced at college, I would hesitate to call it an “education”.

    Granted, it was free and I got the credential that let me apply to law school, but I really would like those five years of my life back.

  • Escoffier

    Susan, everyone cannot go to college. Or, to the extent that everyone does, the course of study will have to be dumbed down to the point of vapidity, grade inflation will have to be rampant, and most students will still be bored to death, learn nothing, and many won’t even graduate. In other words, more or less the situation we have now, and are constantly augmenting. How is more of the same doing most of these people any good?

    If, as you say, only the “most intelligent” should be educated, that is a more viable approach. One which would serve to support the idea that women of normal or average intelligence who intend to prioritize family should think twice before spending a lot of time and money on education/career.

    BTW, it’s not entirely clear that not having a college degree makes one a “have not.” Or, if it does, that the ticket to “having” is a college degree. It’s more likely, that in the Information Age/Knowledge Economy, smarts are what separate the haves and the have nots. We could not send the 50% of people who are by definition below average in intelligence to college and have them turn out to be “haves.” Lake Wobegone was a joke. There cannot be a society in which everyone is above average.

    What actually seems to happen in the real world is that smarts are concentrated at the top of the SES pyramid, owing to assortive mating, and these kids are going to college as a matter of course, then they will have more kids who are smart, who go to college, and who “win” in this economy. Rinse and repeat, over and over. That’s “meritocracy.” College is the byproduct or epiphenomenon of smarts, not the reverse.

    And, actually, the Davos class does a fairly good job of finding smart kids in low SES areas (outside the white LMC, which it holds in contempt) and getting them into college and thenceforth into the UMC and above. At which point they more often than not abandon their birth/ancestral communities and never look back, beyond charity dinners and such. That too is a part of “meritocracy.”

    • @Escoffier

      BTW, it’s not entirely clear that not having a college degree makes one a “have not.” Or, if it does, that the ticket to “having” is a college degree.

      My son took a year and a half off from college. Why did he go back? Because, “This sucks, I can’t get anything better than minimum wage.” He graduated without a job, signed on with a temp agency that only deals with college grads, and was hired by a consulting firm after his second temp assignment.

      If a woman ever needs to work – ever, for any reason, she is screwed if she doesn’t have a college degree. She’ll only make half as much, with no upside. You can’t even be nursery school aide without a degree today.

      Yes, the value of the degree has declined. But boycotting it is not the solution, certainly not at the individual level. It’s a terrible strategy.

      You’re awfully judgmental of the elites who go to charity dinners, considering you are one of them. I’d love to be a fly on the wall when you tell your cronies at the Met Costume Institute Gala that you don’t believe girls should go to college.

  • JP

    “Actually, you just proved my point. You didn’t have anything invested in your education, so you didn’t study something useful to you. I’m surprised you don’t see that. People spend *their own* money on things that have personal utility. You had no skin in the game.”

    I wasn’t about to put my skin in the game because I had no interest in going to college in the first place. It was just what I was expected to do. Plus, I actually got paid my first year to attend due to surplus scholarships (winner take all!).

    However, I did then take out $120,000 in debt to learn that I had no interest in practicing law over the course of three years. That was my “own money”.

    At that point, I figured I had better stop going to school and become a lawyer.

    And I still have no idea of how to actually develop my talents or what my talents actually consist of.

    I’m pretty much without any actual goals in life.

  • JP

    “BTW, it’s not entirely clear that not having a college degree makes one a “have not.” Or, if it does, that the ticket to “having” is a college degree.”

    It makes you employable in a minimum wage job.

    It’s the new high school education.

  • A Definite Beta Guy

    And I still have no idea of how to actually develop my talents or what my talents actually consist of.

    Join the club.
    I am very good at posting stuff on the internet

  • J

    The problem is, when she reaches college, she will be taught to treat men as potential rapists, not potential mates.

    That’s ridiculous. Of all the female college graduates I know, not a single one views men that way. Maybe some gender studies prof was saying so while they were there, but they didn’t take that class, apparently.

    The italicized remarks acould be nearly a direct quote from SSM. She made that claim as well.

    I myself have never met a single female college grad who felt that way unless she was actually a rape victim.

  • Escoffier

    J, the issue of how effective campus propaganda is in the real world is interesting and important. I do believe that kids are able to immunize themselves from a great deal of it.

    But that does beg the question, who on earth truly thinks it is worth hundreds of thousands of dollars to expose presumably bright, impressionable and (we hope) eventually capable young people to errant nonsense at best and debilitating trash at worst?

    Maybe they should all get with their diploma t-shirts that say “I went into hock/spent my parents’ money, to the tune of four figures, to hear a bunch of bullshit I can spend the rest of my life ignoring.”

    That’s a great use of resources, no?

    This is leaving aside the effect that the universities have on the “commanding heights” of intellectual discourse.

    • Maybe they should all get with their diploma t-shirts that say “I went into hock/spent my parents’ money, to the tune of four figures, to hear a bunch of bullshit I can spend the rest of my life ignoring.”

      My kids read the great books, learned how the economy works, had internships on Capitol Hill (learned how government really works), navigated the social scene, rooted for teams, conducted lab research, wrote incredibly impressive papers on a variety of topics, spent time in Europe and Beijing, explored a lifelong interest in photography, became fluent in Mandarin, met an incredibly diverse group of fellow youths, bonded with favorite professors, learned to live independently, learned to honor deadlines, tutored kids, sang in the chorus, tried sailing, made lifelong friends, sparked an interest in philosophy that accounts for most of his reading today. And that is just the tip of the iceberg.

      A college is only as good as the degree to which a student takes advantage of its resources.

  • Susan, networking is why I would want to send our kids to (most likely private) school and extracurriculars. I didn’t network nearly as much as I should have when I was in school, and I definitely regret that.

    As for what other people want to do with their lives/kids, that’s their business. I think it’s pointless to discuss other people’s choices if you disagree with them, because they won’t change their mind, and you won’t change yours, so eh, waste of time. 😛

  • JP

    “But that does beg the question, who on earth truly thinks it is worth hundreds of thousands of dollars to expose presumably bright, impressionable and (we hope) eventually capable young people to errant nonsense at best and debilitating trash at worst?”

    The entire UMC.

    Apparently the purpose of college is to socialize with each other.

  • JP

    “Anyone who gets into Harvard should do whatever it takes to go there, including paying full freight with loans. It will pay for itself many times over.”

    This says Dartmouth is best for $$$.

    And that MIT is better than Harvard for $$$.

    http://economix.blogs.nytimes.com/2009/07/20/do-elite-colleges-produce-the-best-paid-graduates/?_r=0

    • @JP

      8 of the 10 top paying majors are engineering, and I think Harvard is not particularly strong there. Do they even have it as a major?

  • Escoffier

    Susan, I know plenty of Harvard grads who would disagree. Married to one.

    • Susan, I know plenty of Harvard grads who would disagree. Married to one.

      Then she did not take advantage of an incredible opportunity. The daily lectures there that are open to the public are a star studded parade of cutting edge thinking and debate.

      Mind you, I hate Harvard. They’re a terrible neighbor. The inmates are running the asylum.

      It’s still an incredible place to learn.

  • J

    Regarding SSM keeping her daughters from college, I think she’s going to such extremes because she doesn’t want them to be indoctrinated in hatred of men. I agree that it’s not a good idea (the daughters won’t be able to homeschool properly or take care of themselves if the man isn’t around), but I see why she wants to do that.

    A a parent I have to say I find that bizarre. I concur with you that it’s her motivation, but if she hasn’t been able to imbue her kids with her familiy’s values to the point that the opinions of those outside the home will have such a great effect, she’s already failed as a parent. I have kids and I have values I’ve taught them. Now they are going out into the world and I won’t be able to monitor or protect them. I’ll just have to hope I did a good job.

  • JP “Apparently the purpose of college is to socialize with each other.”

    Exactly! I wish I knew that when I was in college. I avoided the alcohol, weed, parties, frats/sororities, football and social scenes.

    At least I got work experience while in college and befriended some of the admins who worked at the university, enough to get a head start on making a living.

    It’s also a socioeconomic status thing. My husband is scornful of my BA and calls it my useless piece of paper, but he does like that I work full-time and contribute to household finances. He didn’t want a SAHM.

    Guys in our Millenial and younger generation who specifically seek out SAHMs are very few…

  • Escoffier

    “you don’t believe girls should go to college”

    Straw men, indeed.

    Anyway, you missed my point. College did not make your son capable of earning a good living and achieving high SES. His brains and upbringing (discipline, ethics, etc.) are the fundamental causes, not his degree. His degree is a credential which society in its current dispensation requires in order to give him any responsibility. The reality is that he could probably do whatever it is he is doing without the degree. Not to say “without the learning”, but it’s not as though he had to get that paper in order to learn what he needs to know.

    In any event, I am–as should be very clear–not arguing against the value of college per se, but questioning its value to the broad public. The fundamental reason that the value of the degree has declined is because “everybody’s doing it.” So “more of the same” will only make that problem worse.

    RE: charity dinners, also missed the point. One side effect of “meritocracy” is that it vacuums the talented out of lower SES communities and vaults them into the UMC. That’s very good for them as individuals, less good for the communities that lose them. To which their sole point of contact thereafter tends to be the charity dinner.

    • The reality is that he could probably do whatever it is he is doing without the degree. Not to say “without the learning”, but it’s not as though he had to get that paper in order to learn what he needs to know.

      No, he couldn’t, because he never could have gotten his foot in the door. Sure, you can do without a degree if you’re founding Microsoft or Facebook. The rest of us need the credential to get quality employment.

      I did not miss the point re charity dinners, just found it ironic that you chose that hobbyhorse, considering you are a frequent attendee yourself.

  • JP

    “@JP

    8 of the 10 top paying majors are engineering, and I think Harvard is not particularly strong there. Do they even have it as a major?”

    I don’t have any idea.

  • BuenaVista

    “Anyone who gets into Harvard should do whatever it takes to go there, including paying full freight with loans. It will pay for itself many times over.”

    My disastrous second marriage was to a Harvard MBA/Baker Scholar, so I’ve seen this first-hand as well. My sister also taught there under Brustein (American Rep), more first-hand exposure. However, setting aside whether or not a self-reinforcing nomenklatura is good for our society (I side with Chas. Murray and Christopher Lasch on this one), the politically neutral response is — to what end?

    The HBS network is good within Big Finance, used to be good when there was Big Media, and is good for consultants. Want to make the world a better place by working for a hedge fund? Great school. Want to invent and patent, say, a new ceramic ball bearing and employ 1000 people? Not so great.

    Forbes ran a survey a few years ago, looking at where CEOs of real companies (the kind that make things?) come from. Wisconsin outperformed Harvard. In general, people who make things don’t come from Harvard, because they can make too much money too fast *not* making things at Goldman or Bain. In my career in technology I’ve met very few executives from Harvard: too much work, too much risk, too little dough. During an 18-month stretch working for Bain, of course, all I met were Harvard clones.

    When I did my college tour I interviewed at three schools, one of which was Harvard, which wanted me to play baseball. My father was perturbed. (He matriculated from rural Iowa to the USS Missouri, to Oberlin and Columbia: this is the meritocratic arc that you favor, so his opinion was not just provincial bias.) I remember his saying, “I hope you don’t go there.” His point was based on his evaluation of the undergraduate education per se, not the ‘networking’ value of the degree. I don’t know that I would have gotten in, because I wound up dropping out of high school and starting college early in January. (I’m a proud high school dropout.) But no regrets. The Harvard guys have invested in my companies; they didn’t start them. That seems to be how it works.

    Absolutely the funniest and most accurate view of HBS, that I ever read, is Susan Cain’s Quiet. She explodes their ethic of entitled ‘leadership’ — the idea that you can’t effect leadership unless you master a high-alpha extroverted verbal style, whether or not you have any clue what you’re talking about. (See above: Bain.) I recommend it. They all remind me of Vox’s taxonomy of male personality types, and his definition of an alpha: blowhards with a crew of beta enablers hovering about them. I recommend the book to anyone who is a natural introvert, or is raising one, or is managing 100 of them.

  • JP

    “A college is only as good as the degree to which a student takes advantage of its resources.”

    Which is why you should have some idea as to why you are there.

    You would think after 20 years, I would stop having nightmares about the experience.

    Stupid college PTSD.

  • CrisisEraDynamo

    @ Hope

    Guys in our Millenial and younger generation who specifically seek out SAHMs are very few…

    A good Millennial is not supposed to seek one. They have to keep up their progressive street cred.

    @ J

    I have kids and I have values I’ve taught them. Now they are going out into the world and I won’t be able to monitor or protect them. I’ll just have to hope I did a good job.

    A good point. Helicopter parenting is never a good idea.

    The problem is, when she reaches college, she will be taught to treat men as potential rapists, not potential mates.

    That’s ridiculous. Of all the female college graduates I know, not a single one views men that way. Maybe some gender studies prof was saying so while they were there, but they didn’t take that class, apparently.

    The italicized remarks acould be nearly a direct quote from SSM. She made that claim as well.

    I myself have never met a single female college grad who felt that way unless she was actually a rape victim.

    Point taken. It’s just that I hear about a lot of crazy things happening on college campuses involving overzealous feminists. Thankfully, HUS isn’t this sort of place.

    Reading lots of manosphere sites skews your perceptions. While such sites are important and needed resources, read other things and live your life. I often find that when I meet up with my friends or family, my cynical mood just melts away and I end up feeling great.

    • @Crisis

      I often find that when I meet up with my friends or family, my cynical mood just melts away and I end up feeling great.

      That’s good to hear – I feel the same way. Sometimes I come away from the blog stewing about something and my husband helps me regain perspective. Cynicism eats away at the soul – it’s good to shed it when possible.

  • Escoffier

    “Then she did not take advantage of an incredible opportunity.”

    Uh, no. The faculty is overrated. We are still in touch with one great prof (who is in his 80s) but so many of the rest are dross, or else just “public intellectuals” without real depth. There almost nothing cutting edge about the place, not to say that I think cutting edge is the end-all, be-all, I reserved that for genuine depth even if old-fashioned (depth trumps originality) but Harvard is really the world’s most effective finishing school for refining elite conventional wisdom.

    I suppose your point is half right, which is to say, she did not choose to take advantage of the opportunity to use the Harvard network to make herself become a player in the Davos class but that’s because her interests lay elsewhere. Today Harvard is more open about the fact that they are not so much trying to educate as to socialize, credentialize and vouch for a person’s worthiness to join the global meritocratic elite–to proclaim them “clubbable” as it were–but back then they still laid it on thick about what a superior education they offered, which she found to be a crock.

    “No, he couldn’t, because he never could have gotten his foot in the door”

    Right. College grants the credential. Society insists on that. It doesn’t have to be this way. It wasn’t always. It won’t be forever. He could do his job without it but no one would give him the chance. It’s like a medieval guild, updated for our “meritocratic” age.

    • It’s like a medieval guild, updated for our “meritocratic” age.

      Exactly. Go rogue if you must, but realize that means a love of relative poverty.

  • CrisisEraDynamo “A good Millennial is not supposed to seek one. They have to keep up their progressive street cred.”

    Yeah but you know the expression, “watch what they do, not what they say.” The Millenial guys, if they truly wanted women who are like that, would go for those types of women. But in practice, they do not.

  • queeninjun

    @ Mary, I never said my husband was good-looking, I just said he had a high number. I don’t recall calling him an alpha either. We already signed a post-nup in France splitting our assets. If I want to support him, it’s solely my choice. He’s a screenwriter and has sold two screenplays. He trades oil futures when he needs money. He has his own place in Paris. He’s fine. And he will probably get a hefty inheritance. We don’t live in prehistoric ages where if a husband cheats on his wife, the wife will become destitute and die because her survival depended on the husband. In modern times, we still feel the emotional pain of adultery, but it’s only emotional. My body will be in no danger of going unfed, unclothed, or unsheltered like it would have in the past when a husband decided to bounce on his wife. French men have been traveling to Morocco for hundreds years to bed women. Moroccan women are known to be some of the most beautiful and sexually open women in the Arabic world.

    @Bastiat, to your many valid points, bloggers like Roosh who think they can be players into their 40’s without having developed a real job trajectory other than selling ebooks on how to bed women around the world don’t really stand a good shot in the marriage market. You’re right to feel that you shouldn’t let yourself go soft and not pay attention to developing other alpha traits (like a career) because you were too busy sleeping with women. So many women will be turned off by an unapologetic player when he’s ready to marry that he will likely be rejected by anyone who’s his socioeconomic/sociocultural equal. Granted, a man like this can always take advantage of the economic asymmetry between the 1st and 3rd worlds and bring home a hot, yet poor Russian, or a Thai girl, but this strategy is rife with its own set of problems. Usually these unions fail. My husband’s best friend tried to import a young Russian bride to France. She got there, got her papers and took off. She left him once she had better options. A work acquaintance married an uneducated Thai woman. He sends a lot of money to her family in Thailand, bought them a buffalo (they are farmers), and sends money to various relatives of hers on a regular basis. He hates it. As an American, he cannot stand Eastern collective culture, his wife’s twice annual trips home, and his obligation to send money to his wife’s relatives in order to keep them happy. I’m east Indian, so I know a thing or two about how incompatible in world view certain facets of Eastern and Western culture can be. Me and my husband battle it out all the time (but he’s French and likes to debate, I have to not take it so personally).

    The conversation has taken quite a fascinating turn about whether females should even be educated. I just say, if we make 70% of the money that men make, then we should only pay 70% of the price tag of tuition. Fair’s fair.

  • J

    But that does beg the question, who on earth truly thinks it is worth hundreds of thousands of dollars to expose presumably bright, impressionable and (we hope) eventually capable young people to errant nonsense at best and debilitating trash at worst?

    There’s always the option of picking a private college whose values agree with one’s own. And if this is about SSM’s daughter; SSM claims an IQ of 140 for her. I’m sure she’s scholarship material.

  • Ramble

    Consider the four subgroups at the greatest risk for divorce, according to Coontz:

    Poor minority women
    Women who have given birth OOW
    Women raised by a single parent
    Women with a history of numerous sex partners

    This is basically another way of saying, “Girls who are likely to make bad decisions, make bad decisions.”

    Based on the frequent alarmist articles I read re the rise of single mothers, I was stunned to see Cherlin point out that nearly all OOW births in the U.S. are to cohabitating couples:.

    Young adults without college degrees are increasingly likely to put off marriage and have their first children in cohabiting relationships, sometimes years before they marry. Nearly all of the increase in childbearing outside of marriage in the last two decades is from births to cohabiting couples, most without college degrees, rather than to single mothers.

    That is NOT what he said. He said that the increase was mostly due to cohabiting couples.

    Coontz believes that increasingly, men seek a spouse who will “pull her weight” financially.

    I will make this point one more time: it is not like they have much of a choice.

    For a large percentage of men, if they have any interest in having a family and raising them in a “nice” neighborhood, they will need their wife to make a competitive salary, regardless of whether this is what they would have otherwise desired.

    • @Ramble

      That is NOT what he said. He said that the increase was mostly due to cohabiting couples.

      You’re right, thank you for correcting me, that’s a big mistake on my part.

      Good to see you, you keep us honest!

  • CrisisEraDynamo

    @ Hope

    Point taken.

    Were I to seek marriage, while I wouldn’t demand a SAHM, I do not want the pretense of an “equal partnership.” I want to lead.

  • J

    Point taken. It’s just that I hear about a lot of crazy things happening on college campuses involving overzealous feminists. Thankfully, HUS isn’t this sort of place.

    College attracts all manner of extremists. Kids have to learn to filter.

    Reading lots of manosphere sites skews your perceptions. While such sites are important and needed resources, read other things and live your life. I often find that when I meet up with my friends or family, my cynical mood just melts away and I end up feeling great.

    It can skew your perceptions I went through a period where I expected random men to react to me likesome of the men of the ‘sphere do. It was pretty depressing.

  • CrisisEraDynamo

    @ J

    I went through a period where I expected random men to react to me likesome of the men of the ‘sphere do. It was pretty depressing.

    Likewise me expecting hateful behavior from women. Also depressing.

    I will say, though, that the manosphere has helped me see the woman-centric bias in the media and in public institutions, so it wasn’t all bad.

  • queeninjun

    @ Definite Beta. Jamie Dimon is probably Jewish. You wouldn’t see him in church for precisely that reason.

  • Liz

    @Susan, @Jonny

    The less capable and advantaged need the most help and education.

    They may need it, but they won’t be able to produce in any case. They should get as much education as they are capable of using. The gifted and talented should get the resources, as they will be the ones who drive the economy forward.

    Could you define what you mean by “the able”? Because it sounds like such a one-dimensional thing. This person is able, that person is not. But in fact, we all have talents in different areas. The goal of education is to draw them out.

    And who would decide what a child is “capable of using”? The owner of the resources, of course (who would then expect a share of the “production”).

    Unless we want these “gifted and talented “simply to use their well-educated selves to amass wealth and perpetuate special treatment.

    • @Liz

      Could you define what you mean by “the able”? Because it sounds like such a one-dimensional thing. This person is able, that person is not. But in fact, we all have talents in different areas. The goal of education is to draw them out.

      Point taken. Personally, I think drive trumps raw intelligence. Some kids have an insatiable, infectious enthusiasm to learn new things and do big things. We need to reward that, and we need to allow them time to develop.

  • Liz

    Referring to Susan’s comment, “Educate the able.”

  • Gin Martini

    J: “but what you may intend as compliments come off as sort of sour grapes-ish, “look how much better than me you think are” comments. Apparently, I’m not the only one reading you that way.”

    No, it’s look how much better you *actually* are. Duh.

    J: “I dunno, but I’m not alone in mentioning the ‘sphere. Nor is the ‘sphere able to not mention HUS. Why was Susan brought twice yesterday at SSM? This corner of the net remains fairly reactive to the disagreement within it. All I can suggest is that you stop reading my posts. I know this is a recurrent bother for you, so I’ll understsand.”

    Whoosh. Point over your head.

    Actually, it isn’t, really. But you seem ticked at my posts, evidenced by what you just posted, so I drew a parallel between the two. Maybe you could do me the favor, if they offend you?

  • queeninjun said: “Jamie Dimon is probably Jewish. You wouldn’t see him in church for precisely that reason.”

    Jamie Dimon is not Jewish. He is of Greek descent, and his religion, unsurprisingly enough, has been reported as Greek Orthodox.

    If Mr Dimon HAD been Jewish (and observant) then you wouldn’t see him in “church” but you would see him in synagogue. So I don’t see how your comment was in any way relevant to the ADBG point that you were responding to.

  • J

    The only data I’ve seen on this is from an extremely conservative Christian college which is invested in promoting home schooling. Do you have another source?

    I’ve never seen any data on this that I have found persuasive. In general homeschooling is only as good as the home school teacher, especially during the grade school years. After that, I think the homeschooling family is giving up a lot in terms of equipment and extra-curriculars–no science labs, robotics clubs, school orchestras, etc. They are also giving up the opportunity for a diverse peer group, though I think that is often actually part of the motivation to homeschool, to limit a child’s peer groupto those who look or think like one’s self.

  • Joe

    @Susan

    It changes everything! As ADBG has already pointed out, not having a college degree makes one a HAVE NOT.

    If I may stick in my $0.02 (and that’s all it’s worth), I fear (yes, really *fear*) that having a college degree is still leaving most everyone “Have nots” too.

    Susan, you also said that to not educate people is a crime. It seems that in our haste to educate absolutely everybody, the nation as a whole has pretty much destroyed the value of an education (and I blame us Baby Boomers for that one). It’s very nearly not worth the bother or the expense.

    In our haste to make higher education universally available the curriculum for most got “dumbed down”, the grades got inflated and it became much more important to meet the right people (in the Harvard and Yale fraternities, of course) than to master your studies (and I’ll point you to our last two presidents as evidence of that). We don’t have highly educated people in charge. We have highly connected people running the show.

    The real crime is in primary education now. Far too many children are finishing but functionally illiterate – the horror stories are easy to come by. Even the top students in some schools are not prepared for college; the sad fact is that college is a waste of their time and the taxpayer’s money. As a society we made this mess ourselves with idiotic educational policies, poor pedagogy and way too many uninvolved parents, especially uninvolved fathers. It is a crime for which the victims will pay.

    I despair because I see no easy solution except to let it all fall apart (in a thousand years they’ll be calling it the second dark ages). I console myself with the idea that there are enough good, committed parents who will see that their children learn the values they need to succeed, and some of those will invent new ways to succeed. Civilization will go on.

    But there’s going to be a lot of pain in the meantime.

    • @Joe

      I don’t disagree with anything you’ve said re the state of education in the U.S., including the higher education bubble. I do think we’ll see a lot of changes in college education, with new alternatives, including lower cost ones. Online learning with periodic tests to ensure mastery of a subject, for example. A student could earn a badge for completing material and move on to the next phase. I also like the idea of a vastly improved and expanded junior college system. A lot of young people could benefit more from an associates degree in a specific skill than they can benefit from a four-year liberal arts education.

      I do not think it’s a crime not to send every kid to college. Rather, I see it as a parent’s responsibility to nurture and provide for their children. That includes nurturing their intellect, as far as their ability can take them. To decide that a bright, able and curious student isn’t worth educating because their career will be housewife doesn’t seem like good parenting to me.

      I know from my SIL that in Italy, kids are tracked firmly at the end of 8th grade. Each student is sent to one of four high schools based on ability and interest:

      Vocational
      Science and Math
      Liberal Arts
      Elite Academy for the very best students, who get a classical education

      My SIL was told at age 14 that she would be a physicist. It was really that specific.

      Then again, we may not want to emulate Italy…

  • J

    No, it’s look how much better you *actually* are. Duh.

    Wow! Really? I’m sorry you feel that way. You don’t strike me as any worse off than most people. No matter who you can find to compare yourself to, I can guarantee you that most people have a lot of underlying bullshit that they are dealing with. Not to invalidate your feelings, but I really don’t see you as “less than.”

  • Esau

    Susan, thanks for your temperate reply at #80; though I think there are still some holes in your reasoning:

    ” Women have been marrying assortatively and staying married for some time. The high status woman is not on a quest for the ever higher status male. JDs marry JDs. …”

    The first and last statements are not proof of the middle one. Just because assortative marriage happens eventually, by age 26 or so, does not mean that hypergamy was not a driving force is a woman’s actions at some younger age, say 19 or 22. (Also, I’m not sure why your remarks here refer primarily to “high-status women”, ie with post-graduate professional education, etc., when the data you cite below them only distinguishes college educated couples.) She may well have been on precisely that quest, but given it up for one reason or another before getting engaged.

    Here’s a basic idea: people change over time, and so do their tastes and what attracts them, even once they’ve entered adulthood (this common-sense notion is not well-captured by evo-psych, though, and so may get overlooked in HUS parts). As an example, saying, as you so often do, that beta dad men must be attractive, because you see so many of them happily pushing strollers in the park, does nothing to disprove the contention that those same men had spent a previous ten or even fifteen years in the desert post puberty. So, saying “there is no real hypergamy because assortative mating happens eventually” is false, in the same way that “beta dad men are attractive because they do get married eventually” is false, just because tastes can change.

    With that said, though, I have to say that I’m not an intuitive believer in runaway female hypergamy, myself. While many ‘spheric concepts, such as the utility of aloofness or the persistence of shit testing, made immediate sense when I first read them in describing what I’d seen in past experience, the same was not true for female hypergamy as a concept. I could even say that female hypogamy has been somewhat more the norm of what I’ve seen up close, perhaps consistent with your data for the relatively highly-educated circles in which I’ve generally revolved.

    I can recall one vivid case, of a young woman with a great deal going for her — youthful good looks, excellent body, smart, accomplished, wealthy, Ivy graduate — and yet who was completely obsessed with getting the approval of a garage mechanic. By all reports he had few or no obviously positive qualities, but he did have a talent for selective disapproval that kept her coming back for the next crumb like one of Skinner’s pigeons. It was particularly pathetic to hear this very intelligent woman reduced to babbling nonsense like “He makes me want him!” when asked the obvious question about her questionable tastes. (Note the patent refusal to take any ownership of the problem, or to see herself as having any agency.)

    “Why do you ignore the fact that women are in the same boat? Do you perceive that women are steering this ship, with large numbers avoiding marriage and finally giving in to formerly unmarriageable men?”

    As for who’s steering the boat, I think your own perceptions are quite basic. A SW truism is, “Men display, and women choose.” Just reading from there, it is not rocket science to recognize clearly that those with choice are the ones in (relative) control. You don’t need Greek letters or evo-psych or much further thought at all: if men are the sellers and women the buyers, and in a free market it is the buyers who drive the action, then it becomes obvious that women are the ones steering the ship. The SMP, including all its suckiness, is an expression primarily of the female mind, period. (At least, for women with choice; which I think is the great majority at a young age).

    As for whether “finally giving in to formerly unmarriageable men” is an accurate description, maybe or maybe not, and I’m not claiming it is. Another perfectly reasonable description, as I mentioned above, is just one of changing tastes: In their teens and early twenties, women (as some averaged group, NAWALT) pursue the high goal of locking down an LTR with the man they find most attractive, but since they (perversely) find aloofness and self-centered-ness so supremely attractive in men they waste their youths chasing asshole bad boys, reaping only tears and frustration. Somewhere around age 24 or 25, maybe, on average, they then grow up, e.g., mature, and their tastes change to where the previously ignored decent guy now looks pretty good; and with her tastes and LTR desires are no longer in direct contradiction she can then make progress. So while it may look on the surface like “giving in” or “settling”, a simple “change” description might be better.

    The Roissians insist on seeing a “tastes change” story as strictly a swindle driven by female perfidy, ie the notorious “alpha fux, beta bux” meme. Personally I don’t buy that; it doesn’t ring true to me, and in any case it certainly seems wrong to try and shoe-horn so many stories into this one frame. But there is no doubt that, in my perceptions, women are primarily the ones in charge during the years of youth, and they’re making rather a hash of the job (more reading of HUS might help!).

    • @Esau

      So, saying “there is no real hypergamy because assortative mating happens eventually” is false, in the same way that “beta dad men are attractive because they do get married eventually” is false, just because tastes can change.

      I didn’t say there is no real hypergamy. I cannot explain the hypogamous marriage data. It appears that most women do in fact marry assortatively, and any discussion of their teenage tastes is pure speculation. I suspect that equal numbers of men and women would claim time spent in the desert as teens.

      By all reports he had few or no obviously positive qualities, but he did have a talent for selective disapproval that kept her coming back for the next crumb like one of Skinner’s pigeons.

      Funny how hypergamy works! What do women want? Social status. A garage mechanic can play the “hard to get” angle very effectively in the short term. Her hindbrain (not Ivy educated) jumps straight to “he doesn’t want me —-> he must have a ton of good options —-> he must be high value.” Obviously, she would be in for a world of misery if she married the guy. But she might quite enjoy a dalliance on the wrong side of the tracks with a bad boy with dirty fingernails.

      A SW truism is, “Men display, and women choose.” Just reading from there, it is not rocket science to recognize clearly that those with choice are the ones in (relative) control.

      Yes, that is true for sex. The reverse is true for commitment.

      Somewhere around age 24 or 25, maybe, on average, they then grow up, e.g., mature, and their tastes change to where the previously ignored decent guy now looks pretty good; and with her tastes and LTR desires are no longer in direct contradiction she can then make progress. So while it may look on the surface like “giving in” or “settling”, a simple “change” description might be better.

      I agree with this. The garage mechanic loses his allure as a woman matures. We should all be changing and making better choices as we mature, and mating is no exception. I suspect a lot of guys finally stop orbiting women they can’t have or stop pursuing psycho chicks for relationships.

      However, it’s important to note that some of those previously overlooked men (and women) have increased their SMV over time. My husband was so skinny in high school it almost pains me to see those photos. By his mid-20s he had filled out quite nicely. The baby face of the college freshman became square jawed with 5 o’clock shadow.

      It’s not necessarily that women lower their standards (sorry, I know you hate that term), but that people actually do become more attractive as they mature.

  • queeninjun

    @ David Foster, interesting tidbit that Jamie Dimon is of Greek descent and Eastern Orthodox. Beta had said that Jamie Dimon is not the type of person he would rub shoulders with at church because of the inequality gap in American – ergo, Mr. Dimon would be attending a place of worship with others of the same SES as himself. I am highly aware that Jews go to synagogue, but if your point is that synagogue, church, they’re all interchangeable, well, they’re not. Judaism is a minority religion in the United States, so that likelihood that Beta would be rubbing shoulders with Mr. Dimon (if he were Jewish) at a synagogue would also be quite low due to the fact that the Jewish population in the United States is concentrated in major urban centers, while Christianity is diffused throughout America. Plus, many wealthy Jewish people attend different synagogues than middle-class Jews. At least, that was what I saw when I lived in Los Angeles.

  • MARY

    “Homeschooling requires a high level of education from the mother …”

    Says who?

    I know a lot of homeschooling moms and dads and most do not have a high level of formal education. While some of them are extremely intelligent (without university degrees), and their children no doubt benefit from having “conscious parents” that are intellectual and “aware”, most of them are just ordinary people of average intelligence.

    Besides, homeschooling is so ’90s. UN-schooling is all the rage now. Google it.

    —–

    PS: I can’t recall who wrote it but a commenter here was lamenting the fact that men are dropping out of college or not going at all because they sense that women don’t need them as “providers” any longer. Well, good for those guys! I see no reason why a man should have to be a slave to the Education Industrial Complex or the Boring Office Job Industrial Complex.

    I think its great that men are “going their own way” and basically giving the middle finger to this sick, fat, gluttonous system.

    • Besides, homeschooling is so ’90s. UN-schooling is all the rage now. Google it.

      I have a cousin doing this. She gives educational status updates on Facebook all the time. Going to Disney world! Learned about hot cocoa and scones this morning! Off to the pool!

      This should be illegal.

  • J

    Jamie Dimon is probably Jewish.

    My goodness, why would you assume that?

  • J

    @GM–I’m not ticked now that I understand where you are coming from.

  • J

    As for who’s steering the boat, I think your own perceptions are quite basic. A SW truism is, “Men display, and women choose.” Just reading from there, it is not rocket science to recognize clearly that those with choice are the ones in (relative) control.

    Unless of course you are a woman to whom no one is displaying. I know you don’t believe it, Esau, but I’ve a number of women who spent their lives waiting for a man to show interest and it didn’t happen.

  • queeninjun

    Many commenters here are bemoaning higher education, but in my opinion, the real racket is public K-12 education. I was a substitute teacher for a short while in some underprivileged areas – these kids are not going to benefit from education they’re forced to get. The odds are just so stacked against them. Without family educational attainment, elementary, junior high and high schools are little more than holding tanks for the masses of purely unemployable people who are in abundant supply. An Amazon.com warehouse will open soon in a neighboring community, and in the newspaper, there were many job seekers quoted who complained that they couldn’t figure out the online application. How are they going to fare on the job of a very sophisticated company with sophisticated logistics and supply-chain management if they can’t fill out an online application? The short answer is, they won’t. They will get employment, but they just don’t have the skills to add value. And how will companies respond to this lack of value? They will respond by automating tasks that the current workforce is too undereducated to perform quickly and well. College won’t fix that sad fact for these workers. Honestly, without some extreme generosity on the part of the elite classes, or some crazy boom years of innovation that lead to huge job creation, these warehouse associate hopefuls don’t stand a chance.

    • @queeninjun

      I was reading an article about charter schools, many of which have had quite impressive results. It was noted, however, that the parents of the lowest performing students in regular schools don’t even bother to apply. It’s the parents who are involved and invested in their kids’ education who get them into better schools. I found the same thing in my work with a private, tuition-free all girls school in Boston. Kids had to test in. All of the girls were minorities, but not a single one was African American. Nearly all of them were children of immigrants. I asked why this was the case, and was told that American parents don’t bother applying, despite considerable efforts on the part of the school to get the word out.

  • MARY

    Susan –
    You say a BA is necessary for women who want to “marry well”. Could you please define “marry well”? Forgive me for saying but I think you are very biased toward the corporate, upper middle class professional life style with big house in the wealthy suburbs.

    How would you feel if your daughter married a man who dropped out of college to do permaculture in his lower middle class community so that his neighbors had access to affordable organic produce? Much of which he bartered with them in place of taking cash?

    J or JP –
    Can’t remember which but one of you asked if when middle class people go through financially hard times and get demoted to lower middle class, do they lose much of their middle class values or not?

    Answer:
    Yes. But it takes a while. And what causes that is not the lack of money per se but the environment and types of people they start to associate more with as a result of being in the lower middle class. So while previously middle class parents will retain the middle class values they were raised with, their kids, who would have had experience of becoming lower middle class and associating in that environment and with those people for years by the time they reach adulthood, will take on the values of the lower middle class environment that they were raised in during the later party of the childhood. That means by adulthood its fully ingrained.

    J said,
    “In general homeschooling is only as good as the home school teacher…”

    – I agree.

    “After that, I think the homeschooling family is giving up a lot in terms of equipment and extracurriculars–no science labs, robotics clubs, school orchestras, etc. They are also giving up the opportunity for a diverse peer group, though I think that is often actually part of the motivation to homeschool, to limit a child’s peer group to those who look or think like one’s self. ”

    – I know a lot of homeschoolers and they have access to a lot of equipment and extracurriculars now because regular schools are allowing access. Also they will often enroll their kids in adult courses at a community center for something like, acting, for example. So while the bulk of their learning is done at home, there are some courses or oppurtunities they avail themselves of outside of the home. I mentioned before I have some homeschooled teens enrolled in my courses which they take alongside adults. They also do volunteer work in their communities. I find some of them better socially adjusted than public school kids because they are interacting with people of all ages, not just their own.

    On the other hand I know some other “home schooled” kids that are just left to fiddle around on the internet all day.

    QUEENINJUN (or someone else maybe) said,

    “Young boys need to take education more seriously and invest more effort into it. However, they need more time for play, they need more say in what they get to learn, and they need more hands-on learning and more competition in the environment.”

    – They need more say in what they get to learn? How so? What do you mean? I know A LOT of Black students absolutely do not want to learn about “dead white guys” who enslaved their ancestors yet get honored as “Founding Fathers of the Nation” as if the are gods. I don’t blame them. But should they not be taught who these people are just because they don’t care? If they had a say they wouldn’t have to waste their time learning that.

    I imagine if kids actually had a say that they wouldn’t be learning most of what they are now and might be learning a lot of things their parents don’t want them to learn.

    SOMEONE SAID,

    “I can chalk it up to idealism on her part; she wants women around the world to prosper without denigrating men. She acknowledges that there’s a problem with current conceptions of feminism, and she wants to correct that.”

    SUSAN REPLIED,

    ” I agree, and who knows, it can’t hurt. She’s not going to make new feminists for the old order.”

    – The “old order” of Feminism actually stood for some ethics and values such as ending porn, prostitution and the sexual exploitation of children and women, even if they *think* they are choosing it themselves.

    Recent Third Wave Feminism on the hand seems to be ALL ABOUT porn, prostitution and the sexual exploitation of the self.

    • How would you feel if your daughter married a man who dropped out of college to do permaculture in his lower middle class community so that his neighbors had access to affordable organic produce? Much of which he bartered with them in place of taking cash?

      I’ll just say that we’ve already been very welcoming to one or two young men who were not on a traditional trajectory. I am concerned about a man being able to provide – at least for himself – and to contribute to raising his own kids. I wouldn’t want her working long hours to subsidize some granola-head scheme. 😛

  • Bully

    “A college is only as good as the degree to which a student takes advantage of its resources.”

    This cannot be said enough.

    I did far more and got further with my bottom-tier school degree that some of my friends in the Ivies did with theirs.

    • I did far more and got further with my bottom-tier school degree that some of my friends in the Ivies did with theirs.

      Anxious parents of high school seniors would do well to remember this. We get so worked up about where kids go to college, when the most important thing is what they do when they get there.

  • MARY

    “It changes everything! As ADBG has already pointed out, not having a college degree makes one a HAVE NOT. I wonder how your wife, with her stratospheric IQ, would have found a mate without one. Would Billy Bob the fast food worker have satisfied her hypergamous impulses?”

    Susan, you appear out of touch with the pulse of this nation.

    There’s a lot of people who do not want to get a degree to work for some big boss lady in a boring corporate office job. They want to travel the world, or grow their own food, or hold holistic retreats or any number of things and they can make money doing that.

    DO WHAT YOU LOVE AND THE MONEY WILL FOLLOW!!!

    Caveat: It may not be a lot of money, but the universe does seem to conspire when a person follows her passion.

    • They want to travel the world, or grow their own food, or hold holistic retreats or any number of things and they can make money doing that.

      I’ve known a few of those people, and they all had college degrees. That was the safety net that would be there for them when they finally returned from Walkabout.

  • queeninjun

    @ Mary, you’ve been picking on me, haven’t you? I never said any of what you attributed to me. People of all races need to learn who the Founding Fathers of America are. Fact is, this is a Judeo-Christian nation, our laws are built on the principles of the Bible; Greek, Roman, French, and British philosophies of democracy; and on the manifest destiny of universalism that only the West has espoused. I’m of Indian descent, and even I know this. Facts are facts. If kids don’t learn about the foundations of American culture and ideals, then they cannot navigate this society effectively. Unrelated, but I feel suburban life is the most boring part of America. It’s so bloodless and safe. The women who aspire to be some kind of suburban housewife queen gross me out.

  • MARY

    “@ Mary, you’ve been picking on me, haven’t you?”

    No.

    ” I never said any of what you attributed to me.”

    It was ADBG.

    However I sped read and it appeared on the surface like he was quoting you. I’m copying and pasting below;

    A Definite Beta Guy June 26, 2013 at 9:38 am

    @ queen
    Mainstream education really blunts that drive in most men. I wonder if the men here could chime in about what they would consider to be an ideal curriculum for male children/young men to undertake.
    Young boys need to take education more seriously and invest more effort into it. However, they need more time for play, they need more say in what they get to learn, and they need more hands-on learning and more competition in the environment.

    They also need to be able to accomplish and build something.

    I don’t think it is so much what the lessons are, as it is how they are learned.

  • MARY

    “Fact is, this is a Judeo-Christian nation”

    Disagree.

    “our laws are built on the principles of the Bible; Greek, Roman, French, and British philosophies of democracy; and on the manifest destiny of universalism that only the West has espoused.”

    Ahhhh, Manifest Destiny, the bastard child of the Doctrine of Discovery.

    A lovely pair, aren’t they?

    As far as “universalism”, well, Buddhist values are universal. Yogic values are universal. Vedanta is universal.

    So many schools of thought espouse universalism, so its basically up to us as individuals to choose which model of universalism we wish to subscribe to, if any.

    Remember now, some people prefer localism to universalism.

  • queeninjun

    @ Mary, if you’re going to disagree with me on the fact that this is a country based upon Judeo-Christian foundations. If not, Mary (quite contrary), what is based upon, in your opinion?

    Manifest Destiny is not a bastard child of anything. It’s a doctrine.

    Universalism, means something different in the context I’m using it in. Its meaning in world history is that the West thought its values to be universal and the West took tremendous pains to spread these values through colonization, war, and indoctrination. It’s an ugly history, but that’s what universalism means when it’s referred to in the study of history (not theology, history). Yes, Buddhism and the Vedanta have principles that can be understood and applied universally, but the way I’m using the term universalism is specific to the study of history, and the way in which you understand it is not the kind of kumbiah universalism I’m talking about.

  • queeninjun

    @ Yogic values are clearly not being accepted as universal. A San Diego school district was sued by parents for trying to incorporate yoga into its curriculum. Just because it’s been mainstreamed doesn’t mean that people even understand what it’s about, because I assure you, the vast majority of Lululemon-wearing hotties with a yoga booty ballet class to attend each day have NO idea what yoga is about and they way they practice it has nothing to do with yoga.

    • the vast majority of Lululemon-wearing hotties with a yoga booty ballet class to attend each day have NO idea what yoga is about and they way they practice it has nothing to do with yoga.

      LMAO this is my gym in a nutshell.

  • MARY

    “Yogic values are clearly not being accepted as universal. ”

    Then they have something in common with “western values”, don’t they?

    So basically we’re back to square one….

    There is no such thing as a truly universal universalism.

  • BuenaVista

    QI: “Honestly, without some extreme generosity on the part of the elite classes, or some crazy boom years of innovation that lead to huge job creation, these warehouse associate hopefuls don’t stand a chance.”

    I’m involved with a private school for at-risk boys that is located in the poorest neighborhood in DC. The typical child enrolled is from a single-mother household, and about half of the mothers have jobs. Most of the boys, therefore, are growing up in desperate poverty in public housing east of the Anacostia with no father at home. (No “educational attainment” by parents.) While the school is donor-dependent, that’s simply because WashDC’s school system will not share their tax revenue with schools they don’t control. DC spends approximately 50% more per pupil than we do.

    Education failure is not funding failure that will be ameliorated by “extreme generosity”. An eighth grader in the DC system costs twice the annual ticket at UVa.

    • I’m involved with a private school for at-risk boys that is located in the poorest neighborhood in DC. The typical child enrolled is from a single-mother household, and about half of the mothers have jobs.

      Interesting – your experience and mine differ here.

  • BuenaVista

    “As far as I’m aware, I’ve not come across any writing by any founding father in an official national document claiming the US is founded on “Judeo-Christian” principles. I can’t imagine what principles those would be. ”

    This is a rather astonishing comment. I would refer you to the Declaration of Independence, for starters, inasmuch as the argument for rebellion hinges on the concept of innate liberties, inhering in natural law, and warranted explicitly by God. After that I’d refer you to the Federalist Papers, the First Amendment and the constitutions of 49 of 50 states, all of which refer, as Pennsylvania’s constitution refers, to “All men have a natural and indefeasible right to worship Almighty God according to the dictates of their own consciences . . . “

  • Ramble

    Good to see you

    It is good to see you as well. I will try to stop by when I can, and say some nice things as well.

  • I’ve deleted Mary’s bigoted and ill-informed rant about religion.

  • Esau

    From 235:

    E, quoted: A SW truism is, “Men display, and women choose.” Just reading from there, it is not rocket science to recognize clearly that those with choice are the ones in (relative) control.

    J: Unless of course you are a woman to whom no one is displaying. I know you don’t believe it, Esau, but I’ve a number of women who spent their lives waiting for a man to show interest and it didn’t happen.

    First, your estimate for what I do and don’t believe is decidedly off. Note that I carefully qualify later in the comment, that the SMP being driven by female choice only includes those women who have choice; so I explicitly recognize that some women don’t. In general, I think that in my writing on HUS I’ve been much more cognizant of, and sympathetic with, the plight of involuntarily unattractive women than most commenters have been (I might be able to pull up past links if necessary). So, no, you are off the beam there.

    The question I would always ask, though, for the women you’ve known who spent their lives waiting for men to show interest, is this: what did they actually do while they were doing all that waiting? Did they make any effort to be physically attractive? to stay in shape, choose flattering clothes, etc. (it’s not like advice along these lines, for women, is hard to come by)? Did they bring themselves to venues where they’d be more likely to cross paths with single men? Were they open, friendly and inviting, and make sure not to come across as bitchy, bitter, and judgemental, or blank, spacey and remote? And this is just the portfolio of passive stuff, before we even get to the possibilities of taking the actual initiative that is open to women.

    Choosing not to do very much, including relatively passive things, to join the party should be recognized as a choice. The guy who soldiers on, approaches women regularly but gets shot down every time, and the placid girl who simply sits in her room and waits for Prince Charming to come find her there, may both be spending a decade in the desert. But one of them took action and they other didn’t, and that makes a lot of difference in who would get my sympathy for their plight.

  • Abbot

    “Just like unrestrained economic liberalism, and for similar reasons, sexual liberalism produces phenomena of absolute pauperization. Some men make love every day; others five or six times in their life, or never. Some make love with dozens of women, others with none. It’s what’s known as ” the law of the market”. In an economic system where unfair dismissal is prohibited, every person more or less manages to find their place. In a sexual system where adultery is prohibited, every person more or less manages to find their bed mate. In a totally liberal economic system certain people accumulate considerable fortunes; others stagnate in unemployment and misery. In a totally liberal sexual system certain people have a varied and exciting erotic life; others are reduced to masturbation and solitude…”

    –Michel Houellebecq

    .

  • CrisisEraDynamo

    @ Susan regarding homeschooling
    @ J as well

    No, homeschooling should not be illegal. Sure, you can point to some knucklehead who doesn’t educate their kids at all, but to state that the state or some corporation must raise the kids instead (which is what schooling is) is presumptuous.

    If parents want to educate their own children, let them.

    • No, homeschooling should not be illegal. Sure, you can point to some knucklehead who doesn’t educate their kids at all, but to state that the state or some corporation must raise the kids instead (which is what schooling is) is presumptuous.

      I didn’t mean that homeschooling should be illegal, but that “unschooling” should be. I think there should be some sort of accreditation process. Every child has the right to an education, and parents should not be allowed to deny it.

  • MM

    @SW

    It is exactly like musical chairs.

    Well, if true then it’s been marital musical chairs since about 1996. From the Cleveland Fed article I linked to:
    http://www.clevelandfed.org/research/commentary/2011/2011-21-2w.gif

    I’m just wondering, but has this translated into lower marriage rates and/or higher divorce rates for college educated women?

    And 28% of wives earn more, and are mostly more educated than their husbands. That would presumably be female college graduates + male high school graduates, for the most part.

    http://www.usatoday.com/story/news/nation/2013/03/24/female-breadwinners/2015559/?utm_source=feedburner&utm_medium=feed&utm_campaign=Feed%3A+newsmain2+%28News+-+Flipboard%29

    I’m not so sure the writing is on the wall.

    • @MM

      Well, if true then it’s been marital musical chairs since about 1996. From the Cleveland Fed article I linked to:
      http://www.clevelandfed.org/research/commentary/2011/2011-21-2w.gif

      I’m just wondering, but has this translated into lower marriage rates and/or higher divorce rates for college educated women?

      Great point! The answer is no. That appears to be compatible with the data on hypogamous marriage.

      And 28% of wives earn more, and are mostly more educated than their husbands. That would presumably be female college graduates + male high school graduates, for the most part.

      I found this fascinating:

      In most cases, the higher-earning working women interviewed by USA TODAY came from households in which their mother was a role model, working long and difficult hours outside the home.

      It sounds like there is some early indication that women will contentedly “marry down” wrt education. I wonder whether this differs by different kinds of colleges, other demographics, geography, etc.

  • JP

    My SAHM wife has just re-entered the workforce in one of her normal capacities.

    Taking care of another kid while that kid’s mother works.

    She’s still trying to figure out what to charge.

    Somewhere between $2 and $5 per hour seems reasonable to her, although it may end up being $0.

    I think she offers services on some sort of sliding scale, depending on the family’s income.

  • J

    I have a cousin doing this. She gives educational status updates on Facebook all the time. Going to Disney world! Learned about hot cocoa and scones this morning! Off to the pool!

    This should be illegal.

    Now, now, Susan. Those are all valuable things to learn. Disneyand is educational. Learning abot cocoa is home ec., and swimming is a necessary skill. Surely an child will profit fom knowing those things.

    @Crisis Era DYnamo

    I didn’t say homeschooling should be illegal, though I do agree with the policies of those states that set forth a curriculum for homeschoolers and attempt to have some sort of oversight. After that, I suppose it is the “right” of a parent to do what they wish with their own child’s education, even if it means hamstringing the kid eucationally in the case of less capable homeschoolers.

  • Ramble

    Yes, that is true for sex. The reverse is true for commitment.

    If you are taking requests, then I request that you do a whole post on this for your female readers. That concept is not intuitive (i.e. that it seems to flow in the one direction for sex and in the other direction for commitment/marriage)

    I have a cousin doing this. She gives educational status updates on Facebook all the time. Going to Disney world! Learned about hot cocoa and scones this morning! Off to the pool!

    This should be illegal.

    Unschooling should no more be illegal than chicken should.

    If people found out that poultry is good for you (and organic chickens and turkeys roaming about eating bugs and creepy crawlies are both delicious and good for you) and then decided to feed it to their children raw, that should not make us outlaw raw chicken.

    It should make us more aware that many people are not smart enough to be our neighbors.

    • It should make us more aware that many people are not smart enough to be our neighbors.

      Well who is going to support these unschooled people when they reach adulthood? It is my business if I have to pay in.

  • J

    I’ve deleted Mary’s bigoted and ill-informed rant about religion

    I didn’t see it, but I appreciate your keeping the threads clean of that sort of nonsense. Thanks.

  • J

    It should make us more aware that many people are not smart enough to be our neighbors.

    LOL. Indeed.

  • Escoffier

    Pubilc–or, to use Milton Friedman’s more precise term, “government”–schools are often so notoriously bad, I am wondering why such focus is being placed on the alleged inferiority of home schooling. Also wondering why government oversight would necessarily have a positive effect on quality.

    • @Escoffier

      Pubilc–or, to use Milton Friedman’s more precise term, “government”–schools are often so notoriously bad, I am wondering why such focus is being placed on the alleged inferiority of home schooling.

      I don’t think it’s inferior, I think the quality varies according to the quality of the teacher.

      So riddle me this, Escoffier:

      Is a woman who ends her education with high school in order to focus on marrying and having children qualified to home school her own children?

      There must be enormous overlap between these life choices.

      Can a high school graduate provide an excellent high school education to her own children?

  • J

    @Esau

    I’m sorry if you feel I misjudged your position, but the paragraphs that follow your first were basically what I expected you to reply. I don’t care to rehash that ground for the millionth time it’s been brought up here and elsewhere. There is a cadre of unattractive people, both male and female, who in the end are probably unmarriageable for a wide variety of reasons. Unattractive or socially awkward women are no less fortunate than unattractive or socially awkward men, and, except when they are disagreeable, I feel badly for them.

  • JP

    “Pubilc–or, to use Milton Friedman’s more precise term, “government”–schools are often so notoriously bad, I am wondering why such focus is being placed on the alleged inferiority of home schooling.”

    So what about those of us whose fathers were the superintendents of their schools?

    Was I being home schooled?

    Or was I in a public school?

  • JP

    @Susan:

    “Well who is going to support these unschooled people when they reach adulthood? It is my business if I have to pay in.”

    Nobody supports them.

    Limited education and illiteracy aren’t disabling condition.

    • Nobody supports them.

      Limited education and illiteracy aren’t disabling condition.

      Can they collect unemployment? Receive government benefits if they have no income? At the very least, they won’t be paying taxes.

  • JP

    @Susan:

    “Can a high school graduate provide an excellent high school education to her own children?”

    I’m thinking that arguing about this is adding negative value to this blog.

    • I’m thinking that arguing about this is adding negative value to this blog.

      You know what? I think you’re right! It’s a waste of time to debate what wackadoos are up to, even if they are my cousins.

  • J

    Pubilc–or, to use Milton Friedman’s more precise term, “government”–schools are often so notoriously bad, I am wondering why such focus is being placed on the alleged inferiority of home schooling. Also wondering why government oversight would necessarily have a positive effect on quality.

    The relative goodness of public schools depends on where they are located, the quality of student and faculty they attract, the amount of parental involvement, the educational backgrounds of the parents and many other factors. As popular as it is to call public education lousy, many good public schools exist, just as many good homeschools exist. However, universal education had been a cornerstone of our democracy for at last a century. That requires some oversight by qualified peole, generally a stste department of instruction. I have yet to see any other effective standard setting body emerge.

  • Abbot, that’s a very insightful quote. I’m noting it for future reference, because it captures the similarities between economic and SMP market dynamics and realities quite nicely.

    Re: education credentials, mating compatibility, etc. Since leaving the military, I have occasionally done some advisory work with DoD elements. One thing we looked at was long-term small unit structures on extended independent deployments, wherein a team of operators has to live with one another, often under very austere, difficult conditions, with little to no external support. The selection process used by the military units who operate this way needs to identify the traits that would be associated with an individual who can thrive in this environment.

    The model being used by our most elite units and a few foreign counterparts really was originally developed by the British Special Air Service. You basically want to first make sure that someone can accomplish tasks under difficult conditions, alone. They *have* to be emotionally self-contained and independent and to have buoyant, almost anti-neurotic personalities. Emotional stability, consistent moods, and self-management are key skills. Solo adventure travel experience is often a good indicator of this type of character; the extreme examples may be the long-distance sailors who do extended races, alone.

    The personality you want tends to be moderate in terms of introversion and extroversion; extremes of either can be difficult to live with over time.

    Now imagine that this unit has a standard list of recurring tasks that it must accomplish (a “Mission Essential Task List”, or “METL”, in milspeak). Some of these tasks may require team effort and some may be best accomplished by efficient individuals. Here is where it gets interesting: when it comes to the shared activities, you want the members of the team to individually enjoy those and to view them as “the vital essence of the job”. Because these require everyone to chip in if you are to be successful, everyone must thoroughly enjoy these activities and derive psychological benefits from doing them as a team.

    When it comes to the individual activities, however, you need broad coverage but don’t need everyone to enjoy them (some overlap builds redundancy, however). So, in our mil team example, at least one person should be a techie who really loves doing maintenance work on radio equipment and the low-light-equipped Nikons DSLRs, while another may enjoy pursuing advanced field medical skills, and still another may be a gearhead who loves working with motors, 3d printers, and drones.

    The individual needs to take pride in his development of mastery of these niche capabilities. You *don’t* want everyone to enjoy the exact same individual tasks and to hate the same ones, too, because you need the team to have complete coverage overall.

    Many intra-team blowups happen when you have a team that really crowds one particular piece of mission preparation and wants to avoid others. Someone gets forced to do that stuff and usually ends up resenting it, cutting corners, and causing the team to have a weak spot in that area.

    The lessons for mate selection would appear to be:

    1) find someone who is demonstrably able to handle stress and isolation while retaining good cheer and a private sense of humor;

    2) avoid personality extremes;

    3) come up with the domesticated equivalent of a METL statement for a couple or household and compare it to your potential mate’s concept of the relationship and attendant activities;

    4) identify the group and individual tasks and see if you have proper coverage. If you don’t, realize that these uncovered areas represent potential weakness points if you do try to operate as a couple. Obvious examples: sex is the defining, mandatory shared activity of the couple, and they should take great pride in being good at it.

    For co-hab scenarios, enjoyment of cleaning and cooking and other domestic skills would ideally be distributed among the two members in such a way that, for every critical individual task, someone actually enjoyed doing it.

    • @BB

      Abbot, that’s a very insightful quote. I’m noting it for future reference, because it captures the similarities between economic and SMP market dynamics and realities quite nicely.

      I agree! It also serves to remind us that there is no “chicken in every pot” solution. There will be SMP losers, and I don’t have an answer to that problem.

      I LURVE your lessons for mate selection. Ha, I love it when commenters write posts for me! Clipped and filed for publication soon.

  • JP

    @Susan:

    “Can they collect unemployment? Receive government benefits if they have no income? At the very least, they won’t be paying taxes.”

    They have to have been employed to collect unemployment.

    They get food stamps.

    I’m not sure how they get by or what they do.

  • JP

    Re College:

    Moral of the story?

    College is better than no-college if you want to work, even if that work is taxi-driving or clerical.

    “It’s a parent’s nightmare: shelling out big money for college, then seeing the graduate unable to land a job that requires high-level skills. This situation may be growing more common, unfortunately, because the demand for cognitive skills associated with higher education, after rising sharply until 2000, has since been in decline.

    So concludes new research by economists Paul Beaudry and David Green of the University of British Columbia and Benjamin Sand of York University in Toronto. This reversal in demand has caused high-skilled workers to accept lower-level jobs, pushing lower-skilled people even further down the occupational ladder or out of work altogether. If the researchers are right (which is not yet clear), the consequences are huge and troubling — and not just for college grads and their parents.

    The cold comfort I can offer is this: Going to college may still be worthwhile — if not to be sure of qualifying for skilled jobs, then at least to avoid the even worse prospects of those who don’t get a degree.”

    http://www.bloomberg.com/news/2013-06-25/why-are-so-many-college-graduates-driving-taxis-.html

    • @JP

      I mentioned earlier that while my son was looking for a job after graduation, he temped briefly. He had to submit a college transcript to sign on with the temping agency. So that he could do data entry for days on end.

      However, the agency’s strategy is smart – they have a very high success rate in getting their clients to hire their temps, and of course they take a nice fee.

      The only way to do OK without a degree is to be a successful entrepreneur. Risky bet.

  • Re: hypogamous. I have had a few female students who were seriously dating men who were not in college. They basically said that the situation was not ideal, but there were just not enough guys on campus so the alternative in many cases was to be alone (or in a harem).

    One of these girls was actually the one who told me about the HEB-M template and said that you were lucky if you could get 1 out of 4 these days; she said that her high school-educated boyfriend was Hot and a Badass and they could work on his Education and Money over time, but she’d stick with him even if he never really could engage with college very well. It was very touching, actually.

    The women who are truly going to be mauled are the ones who cannot adapt to real-world conditions, and who apply fantasy-world filters that practically guarantee them either spinsterhood or P&D rotational memberships.

  • Abbot

    “…that’s a very insightful quote. I’m noting it for future reference, because it captures the similarities between economic and SMP market dynamics and realities quite nicely.”

    The “liberals” typically abhor economic winners and losers. Yet, its mainly those same people (mostly feminists) who would say nothing against sexual winners and losers, even if they quite denying that this dynamic exists.

    • Yet, its mainly those same people (mostly feminists) who would say nothing against sexual winners and losers, even if they quite denying that this dynamic exists.

      Marcotte’s unsympathetic advice to nice guys comes to mind: “Be more attractive.”

  • Thanks, Susan! Please use, critique, modify as you see fit.

  • J

    There is research, I think by Carol Dweck, which shows that if you give people feedback of the type “You did well on that test, you must be really smart,” then their future achievement will be lower than if you give feedback of the type “You did well on that test, you must have worked really hard.”

    Yep.

    @Hope

    In my opinion, it requires a special kind of patience, talent and passion for teaching. I don’t have it. My husband is a far better teacher than I could ever be, and even he would be bored out of his mind if he tried to teach very young children (he taught at high school and college levels).

    Teaching young children requires a greater understanding of how learners learn than teaching college does. Obviously most people can master the grade schol curriculum. Conveying it to kids and helping them master it is a different story. College teachers teach subject matter; elementary school teachers teach kids.

    Kudos to those women who want to go back to the 1900s lifestyle, homestead, grow their own vegetables, raise chickens, can their own food, handwash everything, never use antibiotics and homeschool their kids,

    All while spending the day blogging about it on that paragon of 1900s technology, the internet. Super women!

  • Abbot

    “Marcotte’s unsympathetic advice to nice guys comes to mind: “Be more attractive.”

    Another helpful Marcottism: “The onus is on men not to be creepy.”

    Note that she never denigrates already attractive men (aka non-creepy) since she recalls only fond and pleasurable “nights” with them.

    TopGuys® are favored, protected and supported by feminists like Marcotte. NiceGuys® are denigrated and considered to be collateral annoyances and an unintended consequence of the so-called “sexual revolution™” that created the current Stud/Chump dynamic per the female gaze.

  • Escoffier

    “The only way to do OK without a degree is to be a successful entrepreneur. Risky bet.”

    Not true at all. I suppose it depends on the definition of OK, but there are many ways to make a nice living without a college degree.

    Yes, yes, I am aware of the decline of manufacturing and such (though the US manufacturing sector is still about 12% of GDP). However, the idea that “only college” can lead to a materially good life leads to an inevitable brick wall unless one assumes that every low wage task can be automated or outsourced and we can have an entire country full of highly paid knowledge workers. For little places such as Singapore and Switzerland, with overall very high human capital, something approaching this is possible, but for the US, no way.

    In other words, even if your diagnosis is correct–that one must go to college to be in the UMC–the solution cannot be more college. The upper quintile will then just have to find other ways to differentiate itself (something it is quite good at doing) while the lower tiers will spend time and money on college only to find out that they are still in the lower tiers, only older, poorer and indebted.

  • Escoffier

    “Is a woman who ends her education with high school in order to focus on marrying and having children qualified to home school her own children?”

    This presumes an answer to the earlier question. What is “qualified” and who gets to define it?

  • Escoffier “This presumes an answer to the earlier question. What is “qualified” and who gets to define it?”

    In the working world, “qualifications” involve education and experience. Most workplaces will accept a high school graduate with demonstrated good work experience in the field.

    In the “homeschool” world, I have no idea.

  • Abbot

    “Marcotte’s unsympathetic advice to nice guys comes to mind: “Be more attractive.”

    But wait! Here is a suggested pick-up line from Marcotte’s playmate Jaclyn Friedman:

    “I’m sorry, I’m listening, I swear, it’s just your smile is very distracting.’ ‘I felt I should tell you that I’m not just interested in you for your brain.”
    But that comes with an important caveat: Only do this after “you’ve actually engaged with and genuinely paid attention to her for a bit, and have reason to believe she’s feeling comfortable around you,” she says. “If you open with, ‘You’re gorgeous, do you want to go back to my place?’ you’re going to have very poor odds, because most women are going to just roll their eyes and try to lose you as soon as they can.”

    Friedman also advises — ”Listen more than you talk! Want to let a woman know you’re into her? Pay attention to what she’s saying and doing”

    So why hasn’t one of these prickly feminists, like Marcotte or Friedman, published a NiceGuys pickup guide?

  • Esau

    Marcotte’s unsympathetic advice to nice guys comes to mind: “Be more attractive.”

    Can’t you just see Amanda’s image, together with this quote, adorning the entry to an elective plastic surgery clinic? It’s gold, I tell you!

    • Can’t you just see Amanda’s image, together with this quote, adorning the entry to an elective plastic surgery clinic? It’s gold, I tell you!

      ROFL

  • Ramble

    Well who is going to support these unschooled people when they reach adulthood? It is my business if I have to pay in.

    By that logic, and someone already referenced it here, public schools should be outlawed considering that something close to 100% of “inner city” public schools are terrible.

    And, no, it is not the teachers. That is like blaming the grocery stores in inner cities for why so many urban youths have terrible diets.

    It’s the people (in this case, the parents and students).

    • @Ramble

      You’re right, the logic is the same. I would actually like to make people pay for a wide range of stupid decisions.

  • Ramble

    Can a high school graduate provide an excellent high school education to her own children?

    Well, as you brought him up before, Bill Gates only has a HS diploma. I understand that he is an outlier, but still, he would probably do fine.

    My mother would be another, more realistic, example. She came from a foreign country that did not send girls to college unless it was for nursing or teaching.

  • Ramble

    The relative goodness of public schools depends on where they are located

    Yes. Like Daniel Moynihan, as schools get closer and closer to the Canadian border, they get better and better.

  • Ramble

    You’re right, the logic is the same. I would actually like to make people pay for a wide range of stupid decisions.

    In a way, they do. Most of those idiots can not afford to live in Brookline.

  • @Abbot

    It’s like all the creep-shaming is subconsciously designed as a society-wide shit test to filter out the have nots from the haves. The haves have enough masculine dominance, attractiveness and rebellious badboyishness to either disregard societal conventions and approach women or just have women approach them.

    This is very effective if one is actually wanting to filter out the nice guys that listen to what society says is nice and act accordingly.

  • Anacaona

    In a way, they do. Most of those idiots can not afford to live in Brookline.
    Do they care? Is not much of a punishment if they don’t even know what they are missing isn’t it?

  • Ramble

    Ana, ime, the resentment is often there. There is a reason why so many rappers that came from the ‘hood move to the exclusive neighborhoods the second they get paid

  • Anacaona

    There will be SMP losers, and I don’t have an answer to that problem.
    Ugly people dating site? It would be a hard sell tough most people cannot accept the fact that they are unattractive and try and date people of similar looks. I didn’t felt particularly bad for being the loser of my group of friends but is hard to find any one that understands and accept they are unattractive and try to find similar like people for romantic liaisons. Maybe in the future :/

    • It would be a hard sell tough most people cannot accept the fact that they are unattractive and try and date people of similar looks.

      That’s certainly what I’ve been told here. It surprises me.

  • Ramble

    Ana, there is a fairly easy way to improve the SMP of many girls (and guys) in a place where we are, on average, fatter than we have ever been: make it socially acceptable for guys (the much more visual sex) to say to their GFs and wives that they need to lose 15 lbs (or whatever) to look more sexually attractive.

    However, I don’t see that happening.

    And, apologies for the hobby horse.

  • Gin Martini

    QI: “I just say, if we make 70% of the money that men make, then we should only pay 70% of the price tag of tuition. Fair’s fair.”

    This has been debunked many times. Women only earn 70% of men when you add them all the earnings up, and compare the totals. The number fails to control for hours worked, and chosen profession. It is pure propaganda, technically true, but makes you draw the wrong conclusion.

    So no, a woman doesn’t earn 30% less than a man doing the same job and same hours. Thus, you don’t deserve cheaper tuition.

  • MM

    @SW

    It sounds like there is some early indication that women will contentedly “marry down” wrt education.

    Yes, my wife’s technically more educated than I am, but isn’t the primary breadwinner (yet). A crisis in advance of the facts is no crisis at all. Rather, it’s just a dubious solution in search of a nonexistent problem. I have no doubt that SAHM + homeschooling is the best for some small % of families. But there’s no way that model could work for the general population, though, even if it could be mandated.

    I’m not certain what intangible benefits come with a college degree. There’s been a lot of speculation about that, whether it’s book smarts + work ethic + people skills = more productive employees once in the working world, or just self-selection at work. But the obvious benefit these days is the ability to hold a job and advance one’s career:
    http://www.bls.gov/news.release/empsit.t04.htm

    The difference in unemployment status couldn’t be clearer. Methinks there are a number of positive feedback effects associated with having a college degree: employment stability, standard of living, marital satisfaction, citizen participation, life expectancy, etc.

  • Gin Martini

    J, I am “less than” in UMC and higher contexts. People who marry into wealthy families are such people, so, there’s nothing wrong with looking up to them. Now that Ted’s gone, someone’s gotta root for the lower classes.

  • JP

    “J, I am “less than” in UMC and higher contexts. People who marry into wealthy families are such people, so, there’s nothing wrong with looking up to them. Now that Ted’s gone, someone’s gotta root for the lower classes.”

    I will help you root for them!

    I have an unmarried teen mom in my family, now.

    And my sister married a very well-tattooed man.

  • MARY

    Susan Walsh June 27, 2013 at 7:51 am

    I’ve deleted Mary’s bigoted and ill-informed rant about religion.

    ________________

    My comment was not about “religion” in general. It was about one in particular, and how the erroneous “Manifest Destiny” – the bastard child of The Doctrine of Discovery (google it if you are not familiar with this important aspect of world history), was wrapped in that concept of a One World Order, based One World Religion.

    And yet here we are, with a plethora of religions (or no religion at all) to choose from!

    Clearly there is no such thing as “Universalism”.

  • Anacaona

    That’s certainly what I’ve been told here. It surprises me.
    It’s a cultural thing,IMO.

    To use our favorite ‘ugly’ female celebrity if you take Lena Dunham and compare to the average American woman she will fair pretty good. But compared to the babes of TV land she looks plain and ugly. I wonder if there is a similar effect to too much porn based on TV/Magazines/movies at work there. Some people might rather have nothing that settle for something that is not even close to ‘the dream’

    Ana, there is a fairly easy way to improve the SMP of many girls (and guys) in a place where we are, on average, fatter than we have ever been: make it socially acceptable for guys (the much more visual sex) to say to their GFs and wives that they need to lose 15 lbs (or whatever) to look more sexually attractive.
    Try telling guys to stop being so nice too, while you are at it. Neither is politically correct.
    Also Ramble read above if you cannot get it up for the same woman over 15 pounds of difference I think you might have a problem. Most people are not that picky naturally and not is not based on what they have even models gain some weight once in a while and their men usually don’t leave them unless they are already planning to for whatever reason, YMMV.

  • A Definite Beta Guy

    @ Han

    This is very effective if one is actually wanting to filter out the nice guys that listen to what society says is nice and act accordingly.

    The point is that I should never have to suffer the indignity of unpleasant conversation with someone I find unattractive or boring.
    It creates a self-reinforcing system of haves and have nots, but that is not necessarily the point of the system. But, yes, it is in part designed to create a self-imposed shame filter to prevent unpleasant guys from hitting on girl or sexually escalating.

  • Anacaona
  • Anacaona

    @Ramble
    Forgot the smiley face 😀

  • @ADBG

    I agree it’s not the point, as in the conscious point, of the system. However, I think there is merit in looking at the underlying motives, behavior and outcomes to see if those might be having some subconscious role in what’s going on, even though the conscious point of something might simply be to not have to talk to guys a girl finds beneath her.

  • Esau

    I'”Most of those idiots can not afford to live in Brookline.

    Do they care? Is not much of a punishment if they don’t even know what they are missing isn’t it?”

    If they have cable, though, they can find out by watching “Real Housewives of Brookline, Mass.” Sure to be the next big hit…

  • queeninjun

    @ Gin, do you have a link to a study that debunks the myth that women earn less due to factors such as work hours, etcetera? I’m not joking when I say that I’d love to research the topic more for my own benefit.

  • JP

    Women make less money in law because they tend to go in-house (less stress, less $$$) rather than stay in the BigLaw firms (more stress, more $$$).

    There should definitely be a study out there on this one.

    So, it’s definitely true that men make more than women in the field of law.

  • J

    J, I am “less than” in UMC and higher contexts. People who marry into wealthy families are such people, so, there’s nothing wrong with looking up to them. Now that Ted’s gone, someone’s gotta root for the lower classes.

    Meh. I’ve been both WC and UMC. Both groups of people have their bullshit.

  • Ramble

    Try telling guys to stop being so nice too, while you are at it.

    This is already in our pop culture and, I think, growing.

    The Big Bang Theory is constantly showing how much the blonde dislike the guy when he is “nice”. In fact, she sometimes comes right out and says it.

  • Ramble

    Also Ramble read above if you cannot get it up for the same woman over 15 pounds of difference I think you might have a problem.

    Pick a number: 20, 30, 40, whatever.

    And this is a little like saying, “If you can’t be happy with a guy just because he has stopped caring, then I think you have a problem.”

    And whether or not 15 lbs extra would prevent him from getting an erection is both a misdirection and immaterial (if she were hot before hand and gained 15 lbs, I am sure the average guy could get it up).

    However, honestly, I was not looking to derail the conversation.

  • MARY

    “Conservatives have been highlighting that as a byproduct of gay marriage from the start. Jeremy Irons recently predicted that in Britain fathers will marry their sons to avoid the estate tax.”

    Incest laws will prevent that.

    However, I said it first a few years ago right here at HUS;

    Plural marriages will become the norm.

    Mark my word!

  • MARY

    “That is like blaming the grocery stores in inner cities for why so many urban youths have terrible diets.”

    One of the complaints is that there are often NO grocery stores in ghettos, but there are liquor and fast food joints. So one has to ask the question: if people can open up liquor stores and fast food joints in the ‘hood, why can’t they open up grocery stores?

    I smell a conspiracy.

  • Esau

    Abbot at 295: “So why hasn’t one of these prickly feminists, like Marcotte or Friedman, published a NiceGuys pickup guide?”

    I assume you’ve seen this recent item from the ever-dependable Tracy Clark-Flory, in which Jaclyn Friedman is quoted approvingly:

    http://www.salon.com/2013/06/25/how_to_get_chicks_without_being_a_dick/

    Honestly, it never ceases to amaze me how these nitwits can keep getting national exposure for their illogical screeds. I’m beginning to think, that features like this are a secret Roissian plot to discredit “official” feminism as quickly and surely as possible.

    Sorry if this is OT; but, you know, letting Abbot be Abbot.

  • Anacaona

    The Big Bang Theory is constantly showing how much the blonde dislike the guy when he is “nice”. In fact, she sometimes comes right out and says it.
    First her name is Penny. Second is when Leonard is acting too weird/unfunny that she stops him. Too nice was not really the problem and she dated him and slept with him in spite off.

    Pick a number: 20, 30, 40, whatever.
    You always mention those freaking 15 pounds like you were in love with a beautiful girl and she became a hag the moment her scale went to 15… Hence why I say you are crazy, I’m not doing a general statement. My model friends could pack up to 30 pounds and still look great. Heck most of them went from size 0 to size 2 0r 4. Of course maybe you think size 4 is land-whales territory but they could still get jobs and look good, YMMV.

  • MARY

    “Can a high school graduate provide an excellent high school education to her own children?”

    – YES! Why not?

    She can each what she learned as well as keep learning herself and teach that. Its not like she’s living on an island alone with her kids with no outside contact, no internet and no libraries. Learning is a life long adventure.

    “I have a cousin doing this. She gives educational status updates on Facebook all the time. Going to Disney world! Learned about hot cocoa and scones this morning! Off to the pool!

    This should be illegal.”

    – Susan, its the homeschooling/unschooling world is not your world so you don’t know how it works. Its wholistic. Example: Say your kids ask about chocolate. Well they can spend a week or longer learning about cacao. Where it is grown. How it is grown. Its nutritional value. Its chemical components. Its market value in various regions around the world. Etc, etc, etc. Everything from geography to mathematics to statistics to business to archeology to sociology to religion/shamanism to the history of hallucinogens to anandamide (google it) and a whole lot more is covered under “cacao”.

    See how that works?

    Plus, home and unschoolers are often members of communities that have their own networks and employ each others kids when they get of age. If not, kids can take GEDs and get their high school diplomas and go on to university. It isn’t really a big deal.

    Yes, there are some slackers involved too. I know a few. But remember when I mentioned eariler the introverted “homeschooled” teen girl who was left home alone all day just hanging out on the internet? Well, she hasn’t gotten her GED yet but she has gotten a job, and not bad one at all. She’s something like a tour guide for kids and their families in a touristy spot so she’s both learning and teaching others simultaneously about her local environment and community.

    If she sticks with this job for a few years she could probably make manager or something.

    And Susan, about your bewilderment regarding African American students who’s parents did not bother to go through what it took to have them enrolled in the free private girls school – well some of those moms would have been dead beat moms and just lazy/neglectful. However on the other hand there is a feeling amongst many African Americans of “why should we bother trying to fit into this system when it is so staked against us anyway”. There is also another feeling of not really feeling at home or acculturated to privileged mainstream American life. And a private school for girls would count as privileged. And also the attitude of “Do I really want to fit into that world and do I want my children to?”.

    Some African Americans have “gone their own way” and aren’t really looking to excel in a system they neither relate to nor particularly respect for reasons of history.

    ” Now that Ted’s gone, someone’s gotta root for the lower classes.”

    – I’m doing my part. But where has Ted gone? What happened to him?

  • “I had a friend who taught in Mexico for several years. There are two classes: the super-rich and the poverty-stricken. It’s starting to happen here. ”

    “- I just returned from Mexico last week. This isn’t true. But I’ve found Americans say this about several countries, including India. And those countries have several classes. ”

    There is a phrase in Mexico: “Mexican rich.” My friend taught at a school for the kids of the superrich. Armed guards took them to school. Armed guards were outside the school. One girl never wore the same clothes twice. They had houses in three different countries.

    Then you have the lower-classes making money off of drugs, cutting off the heads of people.

    If that want you want here?

    The super-rich and the very poor are ultimately parasites. The only class that matters for a stable country is the middle class.

  • Jimmy Hendricks

    @queeninjun

    Here’s a good list with several links regarding the 70% pay myth:

    http://www.cbsnews.com/8301-505125_162-28246928/the-gender-pay-gap-is-a-complete-myth/

  • Lokland

    “The super-rich and the very poor are ultimately parasites. The only class that matters for a stable country is the middle class.”

    Not entirely correct.
    Notice what happens most of the time when people try communism.
    Middle class work ethic disintegrates because there is no reason to work.

    The poor act as a source of fear for what not to become. The rich act as a goal to attain.

    The trick is to make sure neither ever really happens without letting people relizing that it will never happen to them.

  • Anacaona

    The super-rich and the very poor are ultimately parasites. The only class that matters for a stable country is the middle class.
    I cosign this. There is a simmilar super-rich class that rules 90% of the assets of DR and are only like 1% of the population. I meet some of the kids from this class when I was touring with my book. They don’t even know how the country looks. They go shopping to Miami, Spain and Puerto Rico and visit each other fulled equipped houses (pool, billiards,discoteques, bars…) for entertainment. They don’t mix with anyone and have strong moral values that they don’t care to pass down or don’t show up because no one ever sees them. The poor have nothing to lose and the new money become degenerate with power as soon as they get some money. Middle class in my country is small, directionless and shrinking hence a lot of problems come from it, YMMV.

  • JP

    Part of the problem is Dunbar’s number.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dunbar%27s_Number

  • MARY

    There is a phrase in Mexico: “Mexican rich.” My friend taught at a school for the kids of the superrich. Armed guards took them to school. Armed guards were outside the school. One girl never wore the same clothes twice. They had houses in three different countries.

    Then you have the lower-classes making money off of drugs, cutting off the heads of people.

    If that want you want here?
    ________________

    No. But that’s not what I experienced in Mexico.

    I don’t where this “super poor vs super rich” myth originated but it has been applied by Americans (who’ve never travelled beyond Canada) to all of the countries I’ve lived in and travelled through.

    The standards of living are different in these countries, but all of them have several classes of very normal, ordinary people doing very normal, ordinary things, such as working at legal jobs and paying taxes even.

    Imagine that!

  • DivorcedInTexas

    Upper middle class professional women have a lot to risk getting married, giving up careers, having children, and possibility of divorce.

    Having been shy and chubby in my 20s, I didn’t get married until almost 30 to an also overweight man 10 years older whom was not an eligible bachelor – of course I didn’t know to even look for that then. I was just glad a man was finally interested in me. We split the bills 50/50 even though he made more money. He had no “provider” desire whatsoever and we never could get our house fixed up and my instincts told me the nest wasn’t ready, don ‘t have a baby with this man – he can not be counted on to provide. He became increasingly violent as financial hardships came, I started losing weight and getting better jobs and earning more than he did. I eventually had my family rescue me and lived with friends until I could get my own place safely after the divorce was finalized.

    So now I find myself 33, one of those that everyone said she would be beautiful if she just lost some weight – well now I’m doing it and pretty close to goal. I am college educated, great job, and no marriage or children prospects. I tried online dating and have had absolutely no luck meeting a man that has not already had children, that was actually able to provide a home for a child and me stay home to raise it. I even did searches on many sites to see if they were available – just maybe not contacting me. I make 80k a year and would find it difficult to live in the north Dallas suburbs and support a spouse and child. So I search for single men 35- 40 without kids making 100k a year. Practically non-existent. Most men with that income are now divorced, with current kids, and barely making ends meet. They certainly don’t want to start over again. Nor do I wish to replace their ex-wife’s income as the opportunity cost of just finding an eligible husband that wants me to have his children.

    So establishing that there is very little hope of me finding a full provider for possible children: 1 because few childless men are capable and 2: if they are capable they can have a Dallas model socialite of which I am not 3: very few are looking to settle down to marriage and family anyway.

    So if it will indeed take a two-income house to have a middle class life with house and kids, I have to find a mate that can earn a good income for 20 years and calculate the risk of getting divorced and becoming a poor single mom in her 40s. And then even less likely to find a husband. If the odds are 50/50 of divorce, how bad do I want children vs enjoying my single apartment life with good money, a cleaning lady that does all my domestic work for $50 a week, and no real responsibilities and total freedom. All the while I no the clock is ticking on the childbearing option.

    What no one says is that the alpha males that can fully provide that aren’t choosing me to mate with now, will be trading in the wife they do choose 20 years from now for a younger model once the kids are graduated. And she will be left with part of his estate, but no career skills. But she did get to have kids and actually raise them herself, so who knows. And the reason I know this is I can’t tell you how many of the good looking successful men I met online were actually married and cheating and their dumb housewife was either clueless or too dependent to be able to leave. She may be totally miserable in her state of social status where her trophy value is clearly eroding but she still has to put up with the jerk.

    How many professional women feel the need to bust ass at the day job, then come home and deal with kids, chores, dinner, and a husband that isn’t pulling his weight income-wise or with child care and chores? Oh, and you still gotta hit the gym and look great and put out like a champ even though you haven’t gotten flowers and romance since who knows when?

    Although I am thankful to have the opportunity to provide for myself a nice living, I am sad that it is so difficult to find a dual income household where women don’t get the short end of the stick. I think this is why 2/3 of the divorces are started by women. They get tired of having to be superwoman. And if they are going to have to be superwoman – at least if they get divorced they take control of their funds again and don’t have to clean up as much.

  • Atlas Shagged

    Divorced in Texas, GOOD COMMENT! I’m interested to see how Susan will address it.

    From my perspective, 2 points….

    1.
    The Problem:
    “What no one says is that the alpha males that can fully provide that aren’t choosing me to mate with now, will be trading in the wife they do choose 20 years from now for a younger model once the kids are graduated. And she will be left with part of his estate, but no career skills. But she did get to have kids and actually raise them herself, so who knows. And the reason I know this is I can’t tell you how many of the good looking successful men I met online were actually married and cheating and their dumb housewife was either clueless or too dependent to be able to leave. She may be totally miserable in her state of social status where her trophy value is clearly eroding but she still has to put up with the jerk.”

    The Solution –

    If I were in such a situation I would not divorce. I’d stay living with him – entirely at his expense, allow him to have a younger mistress on the side as I cougared it up with some young hot stud. And I would also spend my husband’s money on treating my young hot chocolate stud boyfriend and myself to weekend getaways at lavish resorts in exotic locales.

    Playne Jayne just got her groove back, y’all!

    2. The Problem:
    “How many professional women feel the need to bust ass at the day job, then come home and deal with kids, chores, dinner, and a husband that isn’t pulling his weight income-wise or with child care and chores? Oh, and you still gotta hit the gym and look great and put out like a champ even though you haven’t gotten flowers and romance since who knows when?”

    The Solution:

    This one is easy. Don’t do chores. Don’t cook dinner.
    Now, you know damn well he ain’t gonna let himself and his kids starve, so either he will cook or dinner will be bought. You’ll get to eat too!

    As far as chores, once the house gets nasty enough, he’ll clean it or hire someone to clean it. No worries, honey.

    Remember – we teach people how to treat us. So if your husband is treating you like a maid and a kitchen b*tch, its because you’ve taught him to.

    Time for some deprogramming!

  • DivorcedInTexas

    Well Atlas, amusing as you are –
    Isn’t this site advocating traditional gender roles to some extent? And that we are really happier with mom as housewife and dad as breadwinner and have more successful children? I really have no problem doing all domestic work if that is my job and I feel secure the husband will see to it that I am provided for throughout life. But if I have to go work in a major full-time position so that we can pay bills, I’m not also going to do 90% of the domestic work and child care as well. I’m not a mule. Then it is an issue of disrespect, lack of cooperation, and builds resentment. These are the issues (too tired for sex, how money gets spent, and chores) that dual income couples fight over that I bet are not such an issue in more gender-defined relationships. When mom has taken care of all the household stuff and dinner is on the table when dad gets home and the rest of the evening can be enjoyed and a little romance after well-behaved kids are in bed vs. drive through fast food for everyone in between getting errands done that couldn’t be gotten to because mom is at work during the day. By the time she gets home the kids are misbehaving because they were running wild at McDonald’s, the house is a mess, and Dad is watching the game and thinks he might get lucky that night. Umm, not likely. When mom is working 2 jobs and really putting in more hours and effort than dad to bring home the bacon, fry it, and clean it up – mom does not particularly care if dad is horny when she is exhausted and resentful.

    These are the issues that land dual income couples in marital counseling and divorce court. My ex refused to help in the kitchen when I worked late and we did eat out all the time and gained a lot of weight. But it really was his domestic violence that forced me to have to leave. I have since had to lose all the weight those bad habits added. Healthy dinners around the table are the gold standard and if husband gets home from work first and has already helped himself to sonic – not much of a relationship, might as well be roommates. But, all my sorority sisters that are now working mothers are overwhelmed and exhausted and wishing their husbands would do more to help out, and how many more years til the kids are gone? Will the marriage last that long?

    Since I am in the odd situation of having been married to an unambitious non-provider and saw my standard of living go down, my paycheck taken over, my environment cluttered and messy, my workload increase, my health deteriorate, and me being the one talking about things like how will we afford $1k a month for daycare and additional healthcare costs and save up so I can take maternity leave? We made about $90k together and I figured out that wasn’t going to be enough to make our modest house payment, 1 car payment, and regular bills, some wedding debt, and finish our fixer upper house for a nursery. We would have had to get second jobs to afford it, I would have but and he wasn’t willing to do that. Video games and pool night were more fun for him. So I did not pursue pregnancy. I am so thankful he was violent early on and I had a job and was able to get out before having any children with him.

    I know now that it is better to not be in a relationship than to be in a bad one with someone that won’t bust his ass right along with me to get ahead and provide for our household and is content to be lazy and unsuccessful. And I know my case is a bit extreme with the domestic violence, but the lack of ambition for financial success, willingness to work multiple jobs, and desire to pursue hobbies rather than just being an adult is what we professional women see as more than just a lack of a high paycheck, it’s a lack of discipline and assuming responsibility. Women have more options and are seizing them and working hard to get educated, get employed, and get ready for family – and the men are not.

    And since I’m 33, the pool of available single men 30-40 is really so bad that I consider it more of a risk than ever before. My job is high profile financial services and regulated by the government – I can’t have major debt problems, liens, bankruptcies, or even just bad credit. Do you know how bad the credit and debt problems are of most people? Any man I’ve met has credit card debt, student loan debts, a car note, and less than stellar credit. I worked two jobs after college until I paid all that stuff off. After my divorce I got a second job again for the last 2 years to pay off all my attorney fees, rebuy all the household items, and then continued until I had saved 20k as an emergency savings. So I am actually one of the few people I know that does not have consumer debt, has an emergency savings fund, and has been working awhile and my retirement accounts are about 30k now.

    I dont even hear of men that have the discipline to do what I’ve done to get where I am now. I have yet to meet a man that was willing to get out of debt and save his half for a down payment on a house if it meant working a second job. That’s just not fun at all! Although I really have gotten to the point of lowering my standards on men as far as earnings and looks, I will not legally bind myself to someone that doesn’t work hard and show discipline to at least get back to zero. Men are not only not preparing for marriage and family – most of them can barely take care of themselves. I am not so desperate that I will pay off his debts and make the down payment on a house for us, pay for a wedding, so we can move in and I provide for us there too. I honestly now know what men 30 years ago felt – how much will this cost me, how many more hours will I have to work, what are the risks, is it worth it? Perhaps when both of the kids are young and have a few college debts and are just starting out they can pull together and work out of it; but by the time you are my age, you expect that yah a man won’t support me, but damn does he have to put me in the hole and possibly ruin my credit? If he did, it could cost me my job too and then what.

    It amazes me even more that women will date these single men that have no abilities to provide for them, not even the ambition to put down hobbies and get out of debt, and for the cost of a steak dinner must be having sex with them. I know that’s what they thought I would do. Women allow themselves to be treated worse than a common prostitute. My country grandma said, men won’t buy the cow if they can get the butter for free. And things like even a hooker charges. Although crass, she was trying to get my attention and get me through my teenage years without having sex outside of marriage and being even lower than a hooker. The hookup articles you all describe here make me think of that – these girls allow men to treat them worse than hookers. Why don’t they just go be hookers and at least get their student loans paid off? All this hookup culture came in after I was already married, but now that I’m single and trying to date – I am shocked at what men think I will do when I don’t even know their last name or where they live or work. Sometimes they even think I will pay for half the dinner before an attempt to get me back at their place.

    What is sad is that all the men at my office are polished gentleman that rush to open my door, but I can’t date them! So I think a lot of my troubles with worthless assholes that can’t marry or afford call girls stem from the fact that I was online dating. I am going to focus more now on church and volunteering and places where I can at least get something good out of socializing.

  • Bed & Breakfast

    “Well Atlas, amusing as you are –
    Isn’t this site advocating traditional gender roles to some extent? And that we are really happier with mom as housewife and dad as breadwinner and have more successful children?”

    No. The blog mistress is a very successful Wharton grad and financial consultant who encourages women, including her own daughter, to pursue higher education and careers alongside marriage and kids.

    ” I really have no problem doing all domestic work if that is my job and I feel secure the husband will see to it that I am provided for throughout life. But if I have to go work in a major full-time position so that we can pay bills, I’m not also going to do 90% of the domestic work and child care as well. I’m not a mule. ”

    Nobody here holds the opinion that you would have to be a mule. Everybody here is of the opinion that domestic chores should be shared.

    In this day and age if you are muling it is nobody else’s fault but your own.

    Throughout your comments you use the word “help out” in reference in to husbands (yours and women you know) doing domestic chores which betrays the mentality that you think the majority of the house work and child care *should* go to you, while a husband should only be expected to lend a “helping” hand.

    “Helping out” is what my 5 year old nephew does when he comes over. Helping out is not something that grown-ass husbands and fathers do in their own homes with their own children. It is the full responsibility of a husband and father to do complete house work and child care.

    As far as the domestic violence – first hand raised to you … RUN don’t walk!

    That settles that.

    Again all this comes back to women teaching men how to treat them.

    Were there no signs before you married him that your husband was a lazy-ass slacker?

    Your idea to meet men offline is a good one.

    I would also recommend foreign men or immigrant men who come from hard working, responsible, family oriented and non-slacker cultures such as South Asian (Indian) men.

    Next holiday you get travel out of the country.

    If however you never manage to meet a compatible guy, you can always go for artificial insemination and hire a full time possibly live in nanny and just cougar it up every once in a while if you get horny or feel a lack of romance.

  • Gin Martini

    Join a harem. Problem solved!

    Wait, you wanted commitment?

  • DivorcedInTexas

    I’m new to the blog so have not read up on the blog mistress – so thanks for pointing that out. I really agree wholeheartedly. I really can never see me giving up my career at this point anyway. I have worked really hard and am in my dream job. Any man I would accept would have to share in the domestic work that we didn’t hire out or it just wouldn’t last kids or not. Since I still have many life decisions to make about relationships, marriage, kids, home buying, relocating, grad school, etc. This is an exercise for me to do research, imagine outcomes, talk about it with others and get feedback. Then when I have figured out more of what I want, I can do what I do best – define the goal and set out the steps needed to make it happen. I did this for work and my money, just not really in my personal life until now. Right now I baffle from one end to the other, and I know I need to figure things out a bit more if I want to be proactive this time around. Last time I married my first boyfriend – that was reactionary because I wanted to get married and obviously had little requirements beyond the basics. I think the saying is young and dumb?

    Were there signs that my ex would be violent and abusive? Honestly there were not that I noticed. He was never violent before we lived together. But there were signs that he did not have the same financial priorities that I had. But friends and family told me that I was ambitious enough for the two of us. That I was overly ambitious and because I work in financial services, think about money just way too much. So I figured it was almost snobby to judge someone financially and expect the same level of money-motivation. This may be true, I spend much of my time reviewing financial plans and portfolios and have seen thousands of clients over the years in all walks if life. And the image of the little 75yo old widow ladies asking me what are they going to do? The account is out of money how can this be??? They used to have 100k. And I have to pull out my notes and show them where I advised them every year at their rate of withdrawal, they would run out of money. I tell them that they can go get a job or go try for welfare, sell off assets, or start charging their kids for domestic services, etc. And they would just look at me like I was insane – they didn’t like any of those options. They would insist I give them another option. Like most people they have no acceptance of the reality that you can’t (or don’t want to) work forever, but being alive still costs money.

    I wish someone had told me that it doesn’t matter if he is willing to marry – he isn’t eligible to. Young women should go into marriage less on feelings that I am so glad someone wants to commit to me, loves me, takes me out and buys me flowers, (my ex did all that) etc. Men go into relationships based on logic of will this person accomplish what I’m trying to do? Is she fertile? Does she have good genes? Will she make me look good at the company event to my boss and clients? Do I love her so much that I am willing and able to deal with her debts and low income job?

    This time around I know that although I may like someone, it isn’t in my best interest to get into a relationship with someone not eligible to provide for their half of a home, living expenses, safety cushion, and their retirement expenses. Since these are my goals – I really would be better off staying single than marrying a dependent. Already learned that one the hard way.

    I would encourage women to quantify whatever their life goals are – which I suspect are similar to mine anyway – and then ask yourself is this guy eligible to participate in that? Or is he more likely to hold me back from my goals or from meeting someone else that is eligible? When you realize the answer is no the vast majority of the time that he isn’t eligible – there is very little reason to have sex with him in hopes he will like you and eventually commit – you don’t want to be committed to someone that holds you back. Dating should be to see if you like and get along with someone eligible to be your life partner.

    Anyone that has credit card debt, student loans, or any debts other than a home or car – is unacceptable to me. People act like that is so harsh of a requirement, everyone has some credit card debt. Debt is a symptom of bad choices and poor self-discipline, just like being overweight.

    Anyone that doesn’t have 3- 6 months emergency savings in place is unacceptable to me. Again many people think this is an absurd requirement of mine and that no one really has that. Obviously if you ever want to go beyond living paycheck to paycheck this is how you do it. And if you amazingly never have an emergency that it just goes into retirement.

    Anyone that doesn’t have a plan for down payment money on a home whether its savings or earning extra money is unacceptable to me- living in an apartment with others is not something I want to do for a long time.

    Anyone that can’t verbalize somewhat of a retirement plan in that they know they probably can’t work full time past 70 at the rate of income they make now. And have been working towards a solution for this – even though they may not actually know what is needed. That is what financial planners are for anyway!

    I have been told by many people that these are unrealistic requirements. Yet I have them all accomplished and am thrilled to not have much stress in life. This wasn’t by magic or happenstance – I just follow my own advice to either earn more or spend less to get out of debt and have short, intermediate, and long term money. It isn’t a new concept.

    I’ve been told I’m a gold digger by men and women. None of the above is for me – it is for their half. I don’t want the communal money going towards their prior debts rather than our future. I may not be able to fully support us in the event he loses his job, so their emergency savings is to buffer their lost income. It wouldnt be right if I have to pony all the money up for the home because it wasnt convenient for them to ever save. Their retirement savings is to go for their half of our expenses in our retirement. Of course I’m willing to give in proportion to my higher income, but they should still be able to meet their part.

    I lived through the fallout of this when my ex bought a house no money down at twice the going rates – that he and I could barely afford together (prior to marriage so it would only be in his name) yet I got to pay for half. Yes clearly a big red flag, but hey when the housing market tanked and I got to move out scott-free and take my paycheck with me – He got plenty of payback as it wasn’t my property under water. What I really lost was the years of income being devoted to paying down his mortgage term and not my own.

    When I did a budget on what it cost to raise a child and that we couldn’t afford it – he was unwilling to make changes to earn more or spend less elsewhere, which is why no kids. And also why he had no discipline to earn or save more to buy a house with a down payment and get a good rate.

    So these are quantifiable measures that I think would be good for anyone to qualify someone with as a viable life partner. Yes it will knock out all the poor, as well as the unaware, irresponsible and lazy. But if they won’t get a second job now to get out of debt – they probably won’t take one when the fence needs replaced or the cost of daycare is going up, and unless there is a windfall – the debt will increase and that stress and fights over money will likely increase as well, unless you just like working your tail off, still being poor with no end in sight.

    The only exception for this would be if someone was already working a second job or really saving and knew when they would accomplish these things. A work in process is fine as long as there are goals and a good work ethic to achieve them. I care more about that than current income. I know lots of guys making good money, but are in debt up to their eyeballs and pursue lots of expensive hobbies.

    You might say if someone were young they may not be able to achieve that yet, or if they have fallen onto hard times, etc. Regardless of their personal case, are they really ready to embark upon a successful adult life? If not, are they actually working on it? When will they achieve it? Is it worth waiting? If not, then it easily becomes apparent that they aren’t worth wasting dating time on, free yourself up to go meet an eligible partner.

  • Bed & Break-fast

    All good points, Divorced in Texas. I’m going to post this comment on the latest topic Susan blogged “How To Get a Boyfriend in College” because what struck me is that young college men would have none of the above going for them, yet Susan is advising young women to get boyfriends in college, not for the sake of just dating and fun, but with a view toward long term and even marriage.

    The old fantasy of “we started out poor and built a life together” type thing, I guess.

    I’ll advise you this: Maybe you should look for OLDER men. But that I don’t mean old men, but maybe men 10 years or so older than you who have never had kids and who are financially secure.

    Also, if you do not find a qualified mate during your still child bearing years, and you do not get artificially inseminated or adopt a child, it would be pointless to work so hard just to lead a single, childless life.

    At that point I would give up all this finance schminance business and travel the world, explore, adventure, learn and have fun Eat Pray Love style.

    Seriously.

  • Dinkney Pawson

    @Susan

    A night light for your grandchildren.

    http://www.thinkgeek.com/product/e791/

    • @Dinkney Pawson

      I love that night light! It is so thoughtful of you to let me know about it.

      Now if only my kids would get busy and reproduce! (Marriage first, please.)

  • Dinkney Pawson

    I meant it as a joke. Glad you like it.

    How did that picture keep the beaches shipwreck-free?

  • Jayn Rand

    Susan, I think your own kids are a prime example over almost everything we talk about here. They are both of marriageable age, one female, one male, yet neither are married. Your son as a long term (Asian at that, the M-sphere would be proud!) girlfriend but how come they’ve been in a “relationship” for so long and have not yet tied the knot?

    Why are they “delaying marriage”?

    What’s keeping your daughter from meeting a compatible potential husband right now?

  • Dinkney Pawson

    @301 Ramble June 27, 2013 at 2:15 pm

    Horse feathers! You cannot mean that Detroit schools are superior merely because Windsor is across the bridge to the north!

    Inner city and minority-majority schools in any area tend to be lower quality than more affluent schools in the same region.

    The schools here aren’t quite the bastions of PC nonsense that schools are in the north. Technical and business colleges are quite competent. Bjarne Stroustrup ended up at Texas A&M.

  • Jayn Rand

    “Inner city and minority-majority schools in any area tend to be lower quality than more affluent schools in the same region. ”

    Depends on the minority. Some of us are known as “model minorities”.

    OM

  • Dinkney Pawson

    @348 Jayn Rand July 7, 2013 at 10:18 pm

    The educated and skilled immigrants tend to short cut the usual pattern, going directly into the middle class. They are not yet a majority in most places, even if most of my daughters’s friends are Korean, Chinese, or South Asian, along with one Israeli.

    Min dottir har ocksa kompisar I Swerige.

  • Jayn Rand

    “even if most of my daughters’s friends are Korean, Chinese, or South Asian, along with one Israeli.”

    Keep your daughter in that circle and she’ll avoid de-evolving. The one exception perhaps being the Israeli. Israel is like the worst of Russia transplated to the Middle East.