Courtesy Captain Capitalism, a hilarious video about what it’s like when the belle of the ball doesn’t get the attention she used to, and how quickly that can happen.
The first verse goes thusly:
29: For the first time in my life I see it clearly,
I realize the power of being a woman
29 years old and time’s on my side,
I’m in my prime, I’ve hit my stride
I’ve got so much charisma and so many options,
It’s nice to always have my pick
31: THERE’S NOBODY LEFFFFFT!
I’M ALL ALOOOOONE!
The song proceeds with an increasingly awkward juxtaposition of criminal optimism and profane frustration. A YouTube comment described it as “the entire plot of How I Met Your Mother.”
I have to give this pair credit for really going after the underbelly of all these “man-up” shaming articles we’ve been seeing – that for every Bolickian tragedy we have shoved in our faces about a woman who woke up in her mid-30′s with no husband and tries to blame guys for not being everything she wanted in a hunky package, there were there’s one, two, five, ten good and decent men who would have made good matches she passed up when she had a good shot at locking him down.
As part of his thesis-level body of work about female marital habits and the cultural forces that drive them, my blog friend Dalrock has often commented on a pop-culture narrative that encourages women to delay marriage, and buttresses itself with the argument that living a fabulously single life is going to make them more desirable and effective marital partners (which itself seems to be a projection of the fact that women prefer to marry men older and more established than them).
While I believe anybody who isn’t ready for the commitment and sacrifice involved shouldn’t get married, and those who want to stay single should be free and unmolested to do so, telling a woman for whom marriage is a serious life goal (which is to say most of them) to intentionally blow it off until her late 20′s to “find herself” (or whatever new-age aphorism rationalizes enlightened navel-gazing and middle-class hedonism) is, as quoth Dalrock, a recipe for disaster.
One interesting factor here is that the two women have the same state – single. What has changed is their options, and thus their perception of the future. Dalrock commented on this phenomenon as well; he observed that women can play the “I have so many options!” game precisely because they believe it has to end happily; “they assume that marriage to a worthy man is an absolute given.”
On the other side, Dalrock has also elaborated on the concept of “signaling” demand in the marriage market and how it develops (or doesn’t) men who are good performers in marriage – the key ideas being the following:
- Over the entire sexual marketplace, men tend to execute the act of marrying in response to female pressure for marriage.
- For a man to prepare to be a marketable husband takes years of development of certain traits and attitudes (e.g. leadership, industriousness, domesticity and relationship orientation).
- Those traits sprout and strengthen in response to men’s perception that marriage is a positive, rewarding and expected lifestyle choice
- Women delaying the desire for marriage until their late 20′s means that the corresponding male cohort doesn’t see the signal (or the payoff) for marital fitness until advanced young adulthood either.
If men don’t see any demand (or reward) for them to be husband material (i.e. have good beta traits) until they cross 30, a couple of factors are going to get in the way of that development. First it’s harder to change your life outlook after about age 25. The sort of paradigm plasticity that allows just tends to gum up in a lot of cases. Second, a lot of the benefits of a stable, supportive marriage for a man are in his 20′s – when he’s getting established in his career and his lifestyle. You take a man who is 30 or 35 and tell him to man up and marry who’s decided it’s time she settled down and he’ll say “why? I built this life all by myself, what’s in it for letting someone waltz in and enjoy it with me now who could have gotten in on the ground floor?” It recalls the childhood story of the Little Red Hen.
To make his point, Dalrock references the excellent Solomon II post “The Marriage Zone,” in which the defunct blogger posited a thin time window in which men have the market value to snag a top-quality woman but have not yet habituated themselves to a lifestyle of casual relationships or serial polygyny.
Without a doubt, there’s a lot of schadenfreude in the Manosphere regarding women like Ms. “31.” Some of it is abstract (guys tend to be pragmatic and don’t take well to complaining about the fruits of your own decisions), but much of it is personal, many of these guys having been passed up for the charming rake, or the “fabulously single” lifestyle or “something’s missing” or whatever, only to get desperate calls back when the trappings of monogamy and commitment are at long last her best option.
Anyway, with all of this “I’ve found myself, now where is my husband?!” whining, a backlash is inevitable – even, as above, from other women.