Wednesday, 12 November 2008
Let us consider the dust-jacket blurb on the back of Barbara Dafoe Whitehead’s ‘Why There Are No Good Men Left: The Romantic Plight of the New Single Woman’ (2003):
‘A double revolution is at work in modern American love. A revolution in higher education has created the most independent generation of young women in history, and a revolution in mating has created a prolonged search for Mr Right. Through extensive research and interviews, Whitehead documents the new social climate in which the demands of work, the rise of cohabitation, the disappearance of courtship, and the exacting standards of educated women are leading them to stay single longer and to find the search for a mate even harder when the time is right.’
This ‘man shortage’ has been a staple of Anglo-American pop-feminism since the early Seventies. Whitehead admits early on there is in fact no ‘man shortage’ at all: among American 30-34 year olds, there are four never-married men (30%) for every three never-married women (20%) (Whitehead, 2003: 10). Indeed if we accept Whitehead’s figures, there is obviously a ‘woman shortage’, confounding her whole thesis. Yet the rest of the book skirts this fact, focussing on such red herrings as cohabitation and the decline of courtship.
The only obvious solution to this conundrum is that white, middle-class women reflexively dismiss men of low socio-economic status as potential mates, giving them the false impression there is a ‘man shortage’. At a deeper level, it is obvious that middle-class, post-feminist white women retain traditional expectations of ‘marrying up’ in the midst of their new rights and freedoms. Traditional female privileges have been squared with new rights to create impossible expectations: and this is the broad error of Anglo-American feminism. It is an unstable conceptual hybrid, completely unworkable in practice.
Sex is the pivotal female weapon for manipulating men, and it is not in women’s interests to ever yield their power of sexual barter. Women will always ration sex to the highest bidder, whatever rhetoric of ‘liberation’ they care to espouse. Indeed, so ingrained is the female expectation of marrying a male of high income and status that men without resources are literally transparent to them. When ‘a shortage of men’ is translated correctly as ‘a shortage of men with more wealth than most women’ the true, vulpine values of post-feminist Anglo-American women are revealed.
Of course, a genuine feminist revolution would have ensured that women became indifferent to male income and other trappings of ‘patriarchy’. However, in the Anglosphere the retention of Puritanism with its attendant ‘Pedestal Syndrome’ neutralised any such possibility, allowing the Anglobitch to square her new rights with archaic expectations and privileges.