Fewer young men in the US want to get married than ever, while the desire for marriage is rising among young women, according to the Pew Research Center.
Pew recently found that the number of women 18-34 saying that having a successful marriage is one of the most important things rose from 28 percent to 37 percent since 1997. The number of young adult men saying the same thing dropped from 35 percent to 29 percent in the same time.
Pew’s findings have caught the attention of one US writer who maintains that feminism, deeply entrenched in every segment of the culture, has created an environment in which young men find it more beneficial to simply opt out of couple-dom entirely.
Suzanne Venker’s article, “The War on Men,” which appeared on the website of Fox News in late November, has become a lodestone for feminist writers who have attacked her position that the institution of marriage is threatened, not enhanced, by the supposed gains of the feminist movement over the last 50 years.
“Where have all the good (meaning marriageable) men gone?” is a question much talked about lately in the secular media, Venker says, but her answer, backed up by statistics, is not to the liking of mainstream commentators influenced by feminism.
She points out that for the first time in US history, the number of women in the workforce has surpassed the number of men, while more women than men are acquiring university degrees.
“The problem? This new phenomenon has changed the dance between men and women,” Venker wrote. With feminism pushing them out of their traditional role of breadwinner, protector and provider – and divorce laws increasingly creating a dangerously precarious financial prospect for the men cut loose from marriage – men are simply no longer finding any benefit in it.
As a writer and researcher into the trends of marriage and relationships, Venker said, she has “accidentally stumbled upon a subculture” of men who say “in no uncertain terms, that they’re never getting married.”
“When I ask them why, the answer is always the same: women aren’t women anymore.” Feminism, which teaches women to think of men as the enemy, has made women “angry” and “defensive, though often unknowingly.”
Actually, feminism teaches men to regard certain men as the enemy: men who are chaste before marriage, and who want marriage and who want children and who expect women to stop working when young children arrive are the enemy. But bad boys who don’t want marriage, and just want to have fun and thrills without imposing any pro-child structure on the relationship are still very much in demand.
As I read it, the problem is that women have a natural desire to get acceptance sexually from “bad boys” men who exhibit traits that are entirely opposed to the traditional tasks of a husband in marriage.
Instead of preferring men with abilities as protector and provider and moral / spiritual leader, women have been pushed by feminism to deny the value of these traditional male roles. In the past, women were taught to resist the temptation to pick the bad boy, because there was widespread suspicion of single women’s ability to make rational choices about men. Their fathers and brothers and churches pushed them towards men who had marital ability: chastity, self-control, communication skills, personal responsibility, enterprise, etc. Today, no one is telling women to pick men who have demonstrated ability in husband behaviors. So, they just pick the ones that look the part: height, muscles, facial hair, tattoos, piercings, etc. Those men give them the tingles, and they are more interested in showing off than in picking a man who can do the marriage job.
The feminist solution to the natural desires of women to prefer the bad boy is not to direct them towards good men who have marriage ability. It’s to continue to direct them to bad boys, but to remove the need for a provider man by directing them into life-long careers and/or dependency on government welfare programs. I am all for women getting STEM degrees and working prior to the arrival of young children, but feminism is really telling women that staying at home as a wife and mother is wrong. And so, rather than looking for a man who can allow them to stay home with young children, they focus on working or collecting welfare for fatherless kids.
The article says this:
[T]he link between marriage and childrearing has become disconnected in the minds of the so-called Millennial generation, those between 18 and 29. While 52 percent of Millennials say being a good parent is “one of the most important things” in life, just 30 per cent say the same about having a successful marriage, an attitudinal survey found.
The gap, of 22 percentage points, between the value Millennials place on parenthood over marriage, was just 7 points in 1997. The research found that Millennials, many of whom are the children of divorce and single-parenthood themselves, are also less likely than their elders to say that a child needs both a father and mother at home, that single parenthood and unmarried couple parenthood are bad for society.
Young women keep choosing bad boys who are fun and non-judgmental and live in the moment, then they are disappointed when these free and easy bad boys reject the responsibilities of husbands: fidelity, providing, etc. From their small sample of bad boys, the young women conclude that all men are incapable of marriage. But the reason they get the relationship results they get is because they choose poorly in the first place. Unfortunately, this just drives them further into their careers or further into dependency on big government.
What I’ve been finding lately is that the traditional skills that women used to have that made them suitable as wives are disappearing. The traditional skills are soft skills like listening, caring, nurturing, encouraging, supporting, being responsible and frugal, etc. Women traditionally were able to focus on relationships and sacrifice fun and thrills in order to invest in others and build them up. Today, I see a lot of forced busy-ness and impatience with the needs of others. Instead of focusing on relationships, there is a focus on selfishness. An impatience with the demands of relationships, and a desire to delay marriage and child-bearing as long as possible.