Likelihood of Success

Ron Coleman’s pretty good blog

Waiting for Mr. No-Bar

Posted by Ron Coleman on July 2, 2007

I saw a great comment on a TigerHawk thread about an absurd Associated Press story. Forget about all that — it came via Glenn, of course, where I learn everything — and focus on this point (emphasis added):

Rising incomes and security for women allows them to pursue the highest status men possible. Think the [characters] of Sex and the City. They will generally delay children and marriage until the highest status guy comes around. Which for most of them it won’t.What HAS changed since 1990 likely is more and more emphasis on status, particularly in the marriage market. A quick look at women’s TV, particularly Lifetime, the View, Oprah, etc. along with the magazines can show how much status and status alone seems to dominate women’s preferences. This status emphasis is likely the twin result of consumerism/materialism which tends to increase status competition in a mass-market society, often one atomized, and increased wealth which allows women to trade along status preferences for other things.

Excellent point, but there could be more to it. It’s clear that women who marry and have children early inevitably undermine their economic viability by doing so. They are dependent on the success of their husbands and, as is well known, on his continued interest (often mandated by law) in contributing to their economic success, and that of their offspring.

Now, women who seek to avoid this by developing their value in the job world during those key decades from college graduation through the early 40’s would, you would think, have much less of a problem in this department; but you’d be wrong, because (a) they’re used to a high level of disposable income, and (b) at this point of their lives, they can’t fathom coupling with someone lower on the socioeconomic totem pole, as they may have been in their younger and idealistic days. (Think of Rebecca and Larry the Plumber from Cheers.)

Ironically, by keeping their options open, they’re narrowing them — and, as the anonymous commenter at TigerHawk points out, probably for good.

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2 Responses to “Waiting for Mr. No-Bar”

  1. Well, I don’t think you can take the section of the media that focuses on women and draw any conclusions regarding women in the real world. They’re more about selling soap with a sprinkling of feminist ideology than anything else.

    I do agree that women who wait too long to marry usually don’t, for a variety of reasons, with simple human nature being the most important. You get old and set in your ways, and the longer you live alone, the less able you are to accommodate somebody else’s way of living.

    And I think that women who are so cold and calculating as to put social status above things like compatability, and uh, love, would not be very attractive to men anyway. When you get right down to it, not many people actually “choose” whom to marry. It just happens.

  2. Well, Trudy, there are a lot of ways just happening happens, though, aren’t there? I do suppose it is a mistake to place too much emphasis on how TV characters act, especially since they operate in a social milieu with which I have no familiarity at all. On the other hand, I understand the show was popular because it hit a chord of familiarity with its fans.

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