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Lament of the Single Woman
July 8, 2003
by Carey Roberts

Eligible women are finding it harder these days to find a man who is willing to commit for the long haul.

And it isn't for lack of social commentary. I was walking out of my local Borders bookstore the other day, and there were two books by the check-out stand promising to help desperate women find that someone special.

Women's magazines are replete with advice columns to help readers find their Prince Charming. But alas, these columns are generally clueless when it comes to getting the male perspective on the issue, as if the woman's point of view is all that matters.

Case in point is Susan Reimer's recent diatribe, Young Men are Running from Marriage. Her column, like most in the genre, offers little in the way of compassion, wit, or wisdom.

This is how she describes young men: "Other than a 29-inch waist and a full head of hair, there isn't much to recommend the twentysomething male...He is living an extended adolescence - an adult-olescence - and every immature, irresponsible, self-absorbed thing he does is reinforced by the latest issue of his favorite men's magazine.

If Ms. Reimer's commentary reflects the attitudes of most single women, it's no wonder that men aren't lining up to buy their marriage licenses.

So let's shift our focus back a couple frames to gain a broader perspective. What would we see?

First, men are well-aware that half of all marriages end in divorce. And men have heard too many horror stories about spiteful women who have cleaned out their bank accounts and demanded lifelong alimony. And as far as the kids, they fear ending up as a parental outcast, permitted by the divorce decree to "visit" their own children every other weekend.

Then, there's the feminist-driven Violence Against Women Act. That's the federal boondoggle which has spawned domestic violence laws around the country that make a mockery of "innocent until proven guilty." Research shows that domestic violence is a 50-50 proposition. The wife wallops hubby with a frying pan, so he retaliates with a jab. The police show up, and the man spends the night in the slammer.

Or the wife can obtain a restraining order simply on the basis of her claim that she is "fearful" of harm. She does not have to provide any proof that danger is imminent - just her word that she is afraid will generally suffice.

And then, to put it bluntly, too many women have accepted the Great Lie that women have been eternally oppressed. As columnist Wendy McElroy put it, the "most damaging effect of the Great Lie is that many women invest their emotions and energy in rage rather than remedy....Instead of attacking their problems, they attack people who have caused them no harm -- men as a class, men they've never met."

As a result, these women approach relationships trying to prove they are as good as, or better than, their male partner. How many men in their right mind are interested in that kind of adversarial relationship?

Radical feminists have succeeded in tilting the balance of marital power strongly in favor of women. And men, fearing that marriage may turn out to be a raw deal, have simply made other plans.

So by weakening the marriage prospects of millions of women, feminism has ironically ended up hurting and victimizing the very persons whose interests it claims to speak for.

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