Tuesday, January 03, 2006

Waiting for the NY Times Op-Ed Page to Have a 50/50 Male/Female Writers Ratio While Not Holding My Breath

Re: John Tierney's latest op-ed, which I can't link to, because the Times in its wisdom no longer allows it.

It's called: "Male Pride and Female Prejudice" and it's the latest in a spate of gee those poor rich college-educated women with good jobs and a mind of their own will never find a guy to marry boo hoo hoo kinda articles.

This one is totally unintelligible.

Johnny asks,
"When there are three women for every two men graduating from college, whom will the third woman marry?"

Uh--no one?

A nice blue-collar guy who graduated from high school?

A college educated woman?

A nice guy who didn't graduate from high school, like Peter Jennings?

A furriner?

This is not an academic question. Women, who were a minority on campuses a quarter-century ago, today make up 57 percent of undergraduates, and the gender gap is projected to reach a 60-40 ratio within a few years.

Yuh, and a quarter-century ago, nobody found it a problem that women weren't being educated. No one was whining about men marrying spouses who earned less than they did, or didn't work at all. How'd you miss that one, Johnny? Or is that just the natural order of things to which you'd like to return?

So more women, especially black and Hispanic women, will be in a position to get better-paying, more prestigious jobs than their husbands, which makes for a tricky variation of "Pride and Prejudice."

Ditto above. Tricky? Feh.

It's still a universal truth, as Jane Austen wrote, that a man with a fortune has good marriage prospects.

OK, tell me, why does this guy have a job? He has COMPLETELY and UTTERLY misunderstood Austen's beautiful and wittily ironic phrase, a phrase which is, in fact, this one:

"It is a truth universally acknowledged, that a single man in possession of a good fortune, must be in want of a wife."

[Yoo-hoo. Austen is making fun of Mrs. Bennet and her ilk, and also drawing our attention to the dismal economic realities of that time where intelligent women like Charlotte Lucas had to choose dismal dullards like the vicar merely in order to survive. Johnny has forgotten that Jane Austen chose never to marry.]

It's not so universal for a woman with a fortune, because pride makes some men determined to be the chief breadwinner

Oh, God. Get over it, Johnny.

I can't quote the entire article, nor, of course, can I link to it, but I can point out further strangenesses. Handsome, grey-haired Johhny claims:

Steven Nock of the University of Virginia has found that marriages in which the wife and husband earn roughly the same are more likely to fail than other marriages. That situation doesn't affect the husband's commitment to the marriage, Nock concludes, but it weakens the wife's and makes her more likely to initiate divorce.

Oh, so you mean economic equality means that women can afford to leave their bad marriages? But Johnny prefers it the other way around?

It's understandable that women with good paychecks have higher standards for their partners, since their superior intelligence, education and income give them what Buss calls high "mate value." They know they're catches and want to find someone with equal mate value - someone like Mr. Darcy instead of a dullard like the cleric spurned by Elizabeth Bennet.

This is bizarre on all counts. Johnny thinks that poor women, therefore, have lower standards for their partners?

[Let's leave aside Johnny's continuing misunderstanding of Pride & Prejudice. Mr. Darcy is of course, quite above Elizabeth's touch, and the dull Mr. Collins is quite a good catch, economically speaking, as he will inherit Longbourne. This is why Elizabeth's friend marries him.]

Which means that, on average, college-educated women and high-school-educated men will have a harder time finding partners as long as educators keep ignoring the gender gap that starts long before college

Are you noticing this phenomenon? I'm not, but I'm sure noticing that a whole lot of disgruntled, anti-feminist men seem real worried.

Advocates for women have been so effective politically that high schools and colleges are still focusing on supposed discrimination against women: the shortage of women in science classes and on sports teams rather than the shortage of men, period.

What, now there are so many women going to college that there are too many women going to college? Johnny wants us all to go back to having too many men?

You could think of this as a victory for women's rights, but many of the victors will end up celebrating alone.

So this whole column was written out of Johnny's deep and endless compassion for the college-educated spinsters of the world, all the latter-day Jane Austens. Poor intelligent single wretches. Boo hoo.

Or maybe he just wants someone to fix him up with Maureen Dowd?


Lily said...

Absolutely unbelievable. Oh wait, maybe its VERY believable in the sense that he's actually writing the drivel that a lot of men think. Of course the end-all for a woman are her marriage prospecs, right? One wonders why we went to college at all because if (a) marriage is our big consideration as implied (b) college shrinks our applicant pool considerably (c) the best thing to do is drop out of school, and feast on the multitude of options.
Therein lies the meaning of life.

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