Wednesday, March 23, 2005

Turnabout's Fair Play

The Wheel of Time turns, and....

Ha. Sorry. Couldn't help it. You know, after decades and decades of listening to people harping on about women and their biological clocks and "all women want to get married as soon as possible" crap, it's sorta funny to see the tables turned:

"Dr. Harry Fisch, a urologist at Columbia University, asserts that men over 35 are twice as likely to be infertile as those under 25, and that a drop in testosterone after 30 can contribute to a psychological need to drop domestic anchor. And as the increase in fertility technologies and professional commitments for women pushes the average age of marriage back, some men are assuming a take-no-prisoners approach to shopping for a life mate.

For ages, men who have reached a certain age -- 35, perhaps, or 40 -- and found themselves single have freaked out. These days, their quests to settle down seem not to be the exception, but the rule."

::snicker:: You know, there's a social pressure aspect to it that comes into play for men about 30-35; the same pressure women often feel at 20-25 if they're not at least in a "serious relationship." I work with a couple of guys in that crucial "over thirty but not yet forty" range, and I can tell you that they're wife shopping with as much or more zeal than their late-twenties, early-thirties female counterparts.

35 is the magic number for the guys I work with. They're getting itchy. How much of that is nature, and how much is society saying, "Uh, dude, if you have kids now, they'll be 20 when you're 55. Better get going! Start up the interviews!" is anybody's guess.

But it's damn funny. Twenty years ago, nobody would have even mentioned guys who were eager to get married. We'd keep pretending that the only people interested were women.

Well, you know what? When women are able to financially support themselves, have kids with the help of friends or donors, and create their own lives independently, there's also not so much of a push for them to hook up with some random guy, either.

This is the scary female autonomy everybody's freaked out about.

Women who are free to live the lives they choose.


Amanda, Echidne, Trish, all with some views.

4 comments so far. What are your thoughts?

Anonymous said...

I assume you're bringing this up because you're unhappy about society as a whole trying to apply reproductive standards to people, and watching those people react to it without ever fully being aware of the pressure applied, right?

And, while it's great that studies are noting it, the societal pressure has been around forever. Most of the desperate bachelorhood crap is caused by the conflict between society telling men that successful men go out and have a lot of sex with a lot of women and society telling men that they have to settle down and raise a family -- the flip-side of women being hit with "Sex outside of marriage makes you a whore" and "Your worth is determined by how much a man likes you" at the same time and trying to rectify these two messed up pressures.

I'd think that you'd be more interested in identifying (and attacking) the root causes of this stupid social pressure for both sides, rather than snickering at the fact that the other side of the coin receives crap from society, too. 

Posted by Patrick

Anonymous said...

Heh. I have a friend who is turning 34 this year who has suddenly gotten engaged - to a woman he met through a personals ad....


Posted by donna

Anonymous said...

True fact often ignored: Everything declines with age. Performance. Even Attractiveness. Your body betrays you by becoming a cesspool of half remembered desires wrapped inside a flabby shell of pain, decrepitude, disinterest and vain hopes. It's better when young. Most things are.

But given about a decade of dating experience (or more!) for many 'singletons', few should be making the same errors that their elders did, and yet somehow they usually wind up on the same tried and true paths. Flash over substance. The easy mark over the person of substance.The aesthetic of mere image over real style. Plastic over flesh, shiny tin plate over high carbon steel, cheap veneers over good hard woods. Me, I blame evolution. 

Posted by VJ

Anonymous said...

The funny thing is, I'm in that 30-35 window, and I don't feel particularly desperate to get married or have children. I suspect that has something to do with my own dating history, with which I will not bore you. 

Posted by Linnaeus