“29/31″: A Time-Travel Video About The Wall

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.

40 Comments

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40 responses to ““29/31″: A Time-Travel Video About The Wall

  1. P Ray

    Some of the excellent rationalisations I’ve overheard:
    “I wasn’t ready for you earlier”
    “I can only appreciate good men after being experienced with the bad”
    “All men sleep around anyway, why should I have to live by a double standard”
    “You aren’t a nice guy if you won’t make my dream of marriage a reality”
    “If you really loved me, love me even when I’m flawed”
    In person: “You have to treat me as more than a human being”. :)

  2. Great article!
    Is very funny because one thing I noticed that no one warns people about is that after certain age being single adapting to living with another person if you had been living alone for a while is quite hard, adapting to sharing, letting someone know where you are going to be and all that after you left home for years takes a lot of patient and maturity…another things traditional societies got right was having the kids stay at home till they were going to fund families themselves. It creates and incentive to mature and is easier to share space out of force of habit.
    I had been reading your articles but I really had nothing to add, just letting you know I’m still around. :)

  3. BlackCat

    @P Ray: Those are hilarious. I hope you laughed, too. Out loud.

  4. SouthTX

    I married young. Our last kid was when she was 32. All are healthy. And happy. Can’t believe folks wait that long before they are married. She never wanted a single life.

  5. SouthTX

    Old school will win in the end.

  6. JS

    @P Ray…. what do you find so wrong with a person saying “You have to treat me as more than a human being”….I treat the homeless guy I pass every morning on the way to work as a human being. I treat the Starbucks barista as a human being. I treat the security guard in the lobby of my office as a human being. BUT, I treat my boyfriend like the most important person in my world. I would NEVER treat my bf as “just a human being.” I always treat boyfriends (as well as friends & family) as MUCH more than just a human being. I dont get your issue with that concept. If your gf is no more important to you than a homeless guy on the street, then why is she your gf?

  7. Lovely piece, Badger! I confess I’m one of those schadenfreude-laden bloggers — I delight in every new Great Hamster mental contortion I see splashed across HufPo as a rationalization of why these ladies can’t seem to find men. And I love pointing out the obvious, and then demonstrate to them how their chances of finding a husband decline dramatically after 30, how they’re abysmal at 35, and if a woman makes it to 40 . . . well, she’s pretty much screwed sideways when it comes to finding a man who wants to keep her. Then they look at me, fear in their eyes, and ask me “what can I do?” in a quietly desperate voice.

    “Invent a time machine, go back to your freshman year of college, and talk your younger self out of being a 21st century career girl in favor of the virtues of being a wife and mother. Other than that . . . well, there’s always the prison population. Those dudes aren’t going anywhere.”

  8. lovelost

    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’s a genuine and true feelings for men, who are 30+ and well established in their professional life, what is the contribution of a woman in his life upto now? none. so why should i share?

  9. Anacaona,

    I never doubted your faith in the Badger!

  10. SouthTX,

    “Can’t believe folks wait that long before they are married. She never wanted a single life.”

    In fairness, I don’t think it’s always a question of whether she “wants” a single life. Lots of women go from college into the working world, get into a friend group in the working world and the months and years just slip by, another season passes with a few more nights at the clubs but no real prospects, and their ire and anxiety build.

    Despite the Manosphere’s ouevre, there are a lot of women living in American cities who aren’t having lots of casual sex, they’re going about their lives without a good idea of how to get to their long-term goals. They are dragged into the bars and clubs by their more gregarious friends, they are bad fits in those environments so they aren’t approachable, and they don’t have a path forward.

    What they need to do is get into communities where they are surrounded by functional, positive relationships, not “fabulous” but lonely single women who have used fashion, high society and thrill-seeking traveling to replace the affections of a man. I’ve observed that after about 25, young people tend to striate into crowds of either single or coupled/married/parenting pairs.

    http://badgerhut.wordpress.com/2011/10/29/field-report-its-hard-to-befriend-couples/

    http://badgerhut.wordpress.com/2011/07/07/wide-filters-for-online-dating/

    But whether they are making the conscious choices or just following the direction of their crowd, young women need to understand that they themselves have a lot of individual power to influence their romantic future – they provide the signal, so they need to be around men and women who are looking towards marriage so they can take advantage of the collective social proof effects.

    They best not waste that power until “there’s nobody left.” They also need to bag their toxic friends, which means learning to realize that some of your friends are emotional and destructive basket cases who will over time bring negativity and failure into your life.

    http://theprivateman.wordpress.com/2011/03/06/her-toxic-female-friends/

    For my own part, I never had any particular interest in the “single life.” I wanted to marry early, it didn’t happen for a lot of reasons that are often the subject of this blog, and I’ve learned to enjoy life as it is (which interestingly has led me away from desiring marriage as strongly as I did before my red-pill journey, and it’s not just about the legal risks involved). Plenty of women are in the same scenario, they don’t have a lot of girl game and don’t really know how to change their situation (a lack of self-efficacy and self-driving power is a big issue with lots of young people). And they’re egged on by the “I have so many options!” crowd, which has infected popular culture.

    “Old school will win in the end.”

    Maybe not in this country. The future belongs to those who show up, and societies with stable, monogamy-beneficial structures will survive over those that go nhilistic. Lots of prognosticators have noted that the developed Islamic world is outbreeding the West, even in the West’s own countries, and attributed much of it to a more traditional family outlook.

  11. Ian,

    Glad you liked it, quite the honor. I’ve had slightly uncomfortable conversations with several women where I ask them “why do you think men get married?” After some nervous fidgeting on their part I explain that men don’t get married to watch movies on the couch – they want a regular sex partner, a mother of their children (if they want that) and some communitarian structure to their adult life.

    Beyond a certain age (per the stats you quote), a woman can’t produce the children, and has less space to provide the other items as the long-term single life has crowded out the man’s life structure.

    These women are predictably flabbergasted. They really had no idea what sort of lifestyle desires were driving men’s decisionmaking.

    For a man who wants children, marrying a woman beyond reasonable fertility is just a total non-starter. There’s more to marriage than children, but for men who don’t want children or whose girlfriends are beyond the age of having them, they are seeing increasingly that taking that final step doesn’t have a lot of point to it.

  12. Badger: I need to start asking that very question to every woman out there. I cannot believe these infertile divorced broads and their idiotic entitlement mentality actually exist.

  13. Zac

    “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).”

    This was a great quote.

    Women are at a slight disadvantage when it comes to having the opportunity to find themselves and then get married. We take it for granted as men that our stock rises as we get older. I don’t think being condescending towards woman who want to improve and better their lives and stay single is a positive way to be though. If we as men would like that opportunity for ourselves we should recognize it’s a human need and women are humans as well.

    I can definitely understand where these women are coming from. It’s a little callous to put them down for having taken that path. Certainly some of the examples you provided of women who were callous themselves towards men are reaping when they sow but what about all the nice women who just wanted to be single because they didn’t want to marry at a young age? Why would you want to put them down. Maybe I’m missing something here.

  14. Badger, great article. I recently perused Lori Gottlieb’s book, “Marry Him” which covers this exact topic. Basically, Lori urges young women to settle on a man for the right reason as to not end up like her: a single mother in her 40s without reasonable dating prospects.

    Unfortunately, as a man in my early 30s, I can tell you that I still see this behavior from women around my own age. Many continue to be delusioned into thinking they have a bounty of options. This is especially true with internet dating, where most women under 35 that are reasonably attractive can still garner attention of men, many of whom are younger. The problem is they don’t realize many of these younger men aren’t looking to buy the farm on a girl over 30, but will still date and sleep with them. Also, many women this age have “held out” for Mr. Right for so long that they’ve developed an insanely long list of requirements.

    It’s definitely hard not to have a bit of schadenfreude towards this behavior, especially when you’ve been on the receiving end of “there’s something missing” a few times. I’ve contemplated stepping out of the LTR/marriage dating market (at least with women my own age) as I am not seeing the long term rewards that I once did. I’ve always been more focused on having a life companion/partner with a family second. As you said, we’ve developed our own lives now and I’m used to my freedom and the rewards that brings me. Even when a woman my age is done with the fabulously single life, I’m not thrilled with the prospect of being “settled for” in order to be a cash machine and sperm bank. There’s something distasteful about the prospect of entering a binding legal agreement with someone under those pretenses. No wonder men in their 30s tend to date younger or stay single. It’s not exactly rocket science.

  15. Candide

    It’s not just the fertility, it’s also the beauty years. You want to enjoy most of the woman’s beauty years, if you are going to marry her with all the risks involved. Most women these days only start thinking about marriage when their beauty years are right near the end.

    I must say I love me a good schadenfreaude. I’m reaching the age where I can see this in my female peers, and I’m loving it.

    Like you, Badger, I was very marriage minded when I was younger (early 20s). After the Red Pill, and realising my options in the SMP, particularly now that my SMV is going up and up, I have no desire to get into a LTR let alone marriage plus all the legal risks.

    These women are predictably flabbergasted. They really had no idea what sort of lifestyle desires were driving men’s decisionmaking.

    I’ve been somewhat involved (helping friends out) in event promotion, some being a sideshow of a local dating site. They have lots and lots of women, but very few men attending. I asked them similar questions and they have nothing to say. Some even resort to a bit of good ol’ shaming language. They never had to give a rat’s arse about men’s feelings, needs and desires before, so they have no clue why men don’t show up or stay. They just thought men would have to show up to check out all these “gorgeous intelligent strong independent” women.

  16. For my own part, I never had any particular interest in the “single life.” I wanted to marry early, it didn’t happen for a lot of reasons that are often the subject of this blog, and I’ve learned to enjoy life as it is (which interestingly has led me away from desiring marriage as strongly as I did before my red-pill journey, and it’s not just about the legal risks involved).

    That’s a spot on description of my life too.

  17. P Ray

    @JS: P Ray…. what do you find so wrong with a person saying “You have to treat me as more than a human being”
    “I always treat boyfriends (as well as friends & family) as MUCH more than just a human being. I dont get your issue with that concept. If your gf is no more important to you than a homeless guy on the street, then why is she your gf?”
    The fact that you have had “boyfriendS” means that you have given the important treatment to many guys in the past before.
    There is a word for women who give the “girlfriend experience”.
    Hint: They’re not called girlfriends.
    A man only owes respect to a woman, as much as she previously got from the first guy she gave all her loving to.
    Otherwise … she’s trying to sell Hyundai at BMW prices.

  18. P Ray

    @TheShortBachelor:
    “I recently perused Lori Gottlieb’s book, “Marry Him” which covers this exact topic. Basically, Lori urges young women to settle on a man for the right reason as to not end up like her: a single mother in her 40s without reasonable dating prospects.”
    Until many men realise that the woman who “finally wisens up and sees him as the one to spend her life with” as the same woman who IS CHOOSING HIM LAST,
    they’re sentencing themselves to a lifetime of being compared to previous boyfriends and how he should be grateful that she married him.
    Doesn’t sound like the recipe for a happy marriage.

  19. P Ray

    @JS: Read this and get back to me …
    unless you of course recognise,
    that a man you are attracted to, that disrespects you – can be tolerated because he’s flawed/troubled …
    but
    a man who you are NOT attracted to, that respects you, “respect is not enough”

    http://www.feministcritics.org/blog/2007/06/24/why-respecting-women-as-human-beings-is-not-enough/

    “Advocating respect as the “prime directive” for straight men interacting with women is hopelessly flawed. While respect is necessary for any positive and mutual relationship, respect is a relatively minor player in actually attracting people to you and connecting with them. The big players are qualities like charisma, sexiness, physical appearance (looks, style, and grooming), confidence, flirtatiousness, social skills, assertiveness (necessary for men, though it can help women), and empathy. A man can have all the respect for a woman in the world, but he still be rejected by her (or seen as “just a friend”) if he lacks these qualities. Yet he can have plenty of sex with women without respecting them and even while being a total misogynist, as long as he doesn’t make that attitude too obvious.”

  20. JS

    @P Ray…yes, I have had more than one boyfriend. I’m not exactly 18 (I’m 34) and we’re not living in an age of arranged marriages (in the US) so I dont really get why you’re picking on the use of the plural as if it’s some indication of being a fallen woman.

    Second, as I stated originally I also treat friends and family as more than just human beings…that means, yes, my parents, my siblings, my cousins, uncles/aunts, friends (going back to the 2nd grade and friends going back a few yrs) ALL get treated as more than just a homeless guy AND any man I have been in a relationship with is treated with the utmost respect and love.

    As for this bit: “a man who you are NOT attracted to, that respects you, “respect is not enough””… Respect is by definition “treating someone as more than just a human being” so if a man is showing me respect, which is in fact evidence of him treating me as more than just a human being, then why would you conclude that respect is not enough? That makes no sense at all. I have only been in relationships of mutual respect and kindness with men I was attracted to. Why would anyone (man or woman) enter into a relationship otherwise?

    I treat the people that I know as individuals and not like strangers on the street. I can see that this is a foreign concept to you as indicated by your need to quote some weird feminist blog in reaction and all of this suggests to me that we are at an impasse. Enjoy treating girlfriends with the same level of affection you afford the homeless…maybe that works for you. If so, rock on.

  21. JS

    @P Ray….also you never answered the key question I originally posed to you: “If your gf is no more important to you than a homeless guy on the street, then why is she your gf?”

  22. P Ray

    @JS: “Enjoy treating girlfriends with the same level of affection you afford the homeless…maybe that works for you.” If you find such men attractive, or know they are to others, means that women can take a lot of abuse from men they are attracted to … other men don’t exist. Thanks for proving that.
    @JS: If anybody questions their relationships, means they are wondering whether it’s worth it.
    The fact that you ask such questions of others, means that you’ve been in relationships that weren’t worth it.
    Who knows why people get together, but the reasons for the breakups are the same: cheating, loss of feeling, abuse. Why question something that happens, unless you have the feeling something is not right?
    As to: “we’re not living in an age of arranged marriages (in the US)”
    you don’t know much about the Abrahamic faiths, now do you?

    http://www.alternet.org/sex/92561/the_rise_of_arranged_marriage_in_america/

  23. P Ray

    abuse should have been in quotes “abuse”.
    Since if men doing that to women is bad,
    so is the reverse.
    Gynonormativity is a very difficult frame to get out of, when growing, the education system always plants it in your head that women have a superior way of knowing …
    yet they need the most relationship advice.
    Never understood that contradiction, myself.

  24. Pingback: Don’t Pay Attention To Psych Surveys That Amount To Self-Fortune Telling | The Badger Hut

  25. Infantry

    ‘For my own part, I never had any particular interest in the “single life.” I wanted to marry early, it didn’t happen for a lot of reasons that are often the subject of this blog, and I’ve learned to enjoy life as it is (which interestingly has led me away from desiring marriage as strongly as I did before my red-pill journey, and it’s not just about the legal risks involved).

    That’s a spot on description of my life too.’

    +1.

    That was my starting position too.

    Post red-pill and after several years of game, nightlife, soft harem juggling with low quality women etc etc, I started recently looking to settle down in my early 30’s into a LTR. I haven’t found a girl of high enough quality/low enough risk to do that with yet and its a bit depressing. This is before taking into account the agendas of late 20’s early 30’s women who as has been previously stated, have used up most of their fun/attractive years and want a guy to fast forward to the boring mundane obligation/child raising stage.

  26. Pingback: The boyfriend invention | Dalrock

  27. Great post Badger, and thanks for all of the linkage. Given the bulge of women in this demographic preparing to click their heels and be magically swept away from the carousel into the status of wife, I suspect men like Marcos are going to be very busy.

    The part which this video captures which is so often overlooked in our sphere is that the hubris of the 29 year old doesn’t mean that marriage isn’t important to her. It is a bit like assuming people don’t take airline saftey seriously since no one inquires into the safety record of major first world carriers when booking flights. The lack of visible/conscious concern isn’t due to not caring if their flight crashes or not, it is due to the universal expection of safely arriving. Any suggestion that this may not be a given and the true priority becomes immediately apparent.

    An entire demographic of women have booked their marriage flights on Aeroflot and the white knuckles are starting to show after every unexpected bump.

  28. Pingback: Never marrieds piling up | Dalrock

  29. Opus

    For what it is worth, I see absolutely no interest by women in their thirties and forties in matrimony. They seem as bad tempered and difficult as their younger contemporaries and independent with it. Most women are married by their late thirties; those that aren’t usually seem to have massive red flags of one sort or another (drink problems, promiscuity issues, personality defects), and in any event had more than enough opportunties at a younger age, should they have chosen to take them. Of course, it may just be me, and my bad taste in women. If, however, marriage is one of their desires, then they go about showing such an interest in a very strange way. Perhaps it is just different over here.

  30. You’re really an old-fashioned guy at heart, despite all the playa vibe.

  31. Anon2

    In this video, the 31 woman is actually prettier than the 29 woman.

    But I am glad this video is getting exposure..

  32. Badger, I want to thank you for making me realize something with this posts. I recently outlined the modern SMP on my blog:

    https://rationalmale.wordpress.com/2012/06/04/final-exam-navigating-the-smp/

    I realize this is a loose estimation of the contemporary SMP, but it’s complete enough to serve what you’ve helped me understand here:

    By a combined effort of feminism, feminine primacy and its imperatives women have been socialized and acculturated to believe that their SMV profile is equitable and synchronous with that of men.

    Since women are essentially men, Equalism (the religion of feminism) convinces women that their SMV schedule should also be identical to that of men.

    Brilliant! I’m writing a blog post now,…

  33. Pingback: SMV in Girl-World «

  34. Excellent post. I too wanted to get married young. The girls I wanted had too many options and all the time in the world. Now a lot of them are uglier, fatter, bored, single or settled down with some chump, and Im on my prime and living the life.

  35. Candide

    Y’all a bunch of sentimentalists

  36. Pingback: Manosphere – Female Age and Sexual Market Value | 3rd Millenium Men

  37. Pingback: Self-Made Man « stagedreality

  38. RoastBeast

    31 is the new 41

  39. Pingback: Tales From The Wall | The Badger Hut

  40. valor

    i’m 23 male and knowing the things i know now it really seems shitty that i probably won’t get to have that good marriage that guys like dalrock were lucky enough to have. basically all women want someone already established and i won’t be there until at least 26-27, by then i’ll already be very used to getting my shit done myself and living alone. i thought about a mail order bride but i won’t have the resources to afford it as well as the life i would want for her until at least my early 30s, and by then it just won’t be the same as she’ll just be there for sex and kids, both of which i could have gotten here anyway. fuck this society.

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