thebitterbabe

never married, over forty, a little bitter

Month: April, 2014

excuses

http://nycyclist.kinja.com/men-stop-using-this-excuse-for-why-you-dont-date-wome-1489185452

Sorry, bro, but you’re running out of excuses for your ageist misogyny. If fertility issues and birth defects were that much of a concern for your family planning, you would have discovered early on in your Google search that your biological clock is ticking, too.

Furthermore, if society were as hung up on avoiding infertility and birth defects as it claims to be, there would be just as much of an uproar over men delaying parenthood as there is for women. But alas, we’re so accustomed to holding women responsible for all aspects of family planning that there’s no room for new information challenging our conventional wisdom.

There are a whole host of reasons men may seek to settle down with significantly younger women: being insecure, Peter Pan Syndrome, wanting someone who’s easier to control, being disgusted by signs of aging that you yourself have…

the browsers

For once, men are told that they can be too picky (although admittedly the writer makes the single life sound a bit enviable):

http://www.jcoach.com/2011/01/too-old-to-play/

The time you’re wasting now chasing women beyond your reach and dreaming of the perfect woman who fulfills every single criteria you’ve fantasized about is precious time you could be using to build a family with a great women…NOW. No, no, no I’m not telling you to marry a woman who you aren’t attracted to and have absolutely no connection with. Seriously, you mean to tell me that you haven’t been attracted to any of the women you dated in the last few years (if that’s the case you might have bigger issues to deal with)? But she didn’t exactly fit what you feel you need…something just wasn’t there…I know the drill.

the indecisive

http://www.salon.com/2005/09/20/kunkel/

I have a sense that particularly in New York — though I’m sure it exists this way in Boston and in San Francisco — there is a super-abundance of attractive, intelligent young women whom a man is very unlikely to be worthy of, who nevertheless set a higher value on him than he sets on them. This makes any sort of decision very difficult. Because to constantly be exposed to people whom you are unworthy of to begin with, yet who want you more than you want them, is confusing.

the flourishing

http://www.nytimes.com/2014/04/05/opinion/sunday/bye-bye-baby.html?_r=3

Why do commentators, like Chicken Little, treat this worldwide trend as a disaster, even collective suicide? It could be because declines in fertility rates stir anxieties about power: national, military and economic, as well as sexual. Margaret Atwood’s 1985 dystopian classic “The Handmaid’s Tale,” and the Mexican director Alfonso Cuarón’s 2006 film “Children of Men,” based on the P. D. James novel, are among the more artful expressions of this anxiety.

In reality, slower population growth creates enormous possibilities for human flourishing. In an era of irreversible climate change and the lingering threat from nuclear weapons, it is simply not the case that population equals power, as so many leaders have believed throughout history. Lower fertility isn’t entirely a function of rising prosperity and secularism; it is nearly universal.

I have often wondered why there’s so much pressure to have kids when our schools are crumbling:

The fewer children who need primary and secondary education, the more resources there are that can be invested in higher-quality education per child — especially crucial for younger children — and in expanding access to higher and continuing education for teenagers and young adults.

And when jobs are scarce:

It’s true that in the United States — the world’s largest economy for more than a century — younger workers face significant employment and career problems, which may partly be because of older workers’ holding on to their jobs. The labor-force participation rate among older workers, especially older men, has increased over the last decade (but represents only a recent reversal). Indeed, the uptick may have something to do with improved health and productivity of older workers; the rise of service industries and the decline of manual-labor occupations; gradual but small increases in the Social Security retirement age; and the destructive effects of the financial crisis on the housing and retirement assets of many baby boomers. One cannot extrapolate a long-term trend from the last six years.

muddling through

I remember being worried about turning thirty and then finding it liberating once I passed that milestone and still felt young. I had some of the best years of my life, in fact, from 30-32.

I feel myself once again turning a similar corner. I’ve passed through the worst years of realizing I won’t be having kids and may never get married and am feeling a blossoming of enthusiasm for life again. I’m still facing a number of challenges, but perhaps I’m on the upswing from the lowest-point of the U-shaped curve of happiness that age 44 is purported to be.

At the very least I feel my “muddling through” is par for the course in anyone’s life:

http://www.salon.com/2014/04/18/when_being_single_stopped_being_romantic_partner/

When I was pretending to be the easy-breezy single gal, I was buying in to the general cultural perception that single people occupy some developmental netherworld between goofy teenagers and sober marrieds. But as I cooked my brother dinner or grilled the urgent care nurse about his red-blood cell count, I noticed a peculiar sensation: self-respect. This was difficult, and while it would have been easier if we’d had partners, we were still managing.

Even the small stuff, I realized, wasn’t so small. One night, while sitting on Mark’s couch watching The Simpsons with him, I had a funny epiphany: I was all I ever needed to be. I didn’t have to be pretty or interesting or delighted with my life. I just needed to get the KitKats, to bring movies, to be a good sister.

Mark got better. “Cured,” the doctor said. We both went back to our regular lives and ordinary worries. But I cut the glamour-girl act. I wasn’t glamorous and I wasn’t always happy. I was an ordinary woman, muddling through, and that was more than enough.

the unemployed

http://www.salon.com/2014/04/15/motherhood_isnt_the_worlds_toughest_job/

Yeah, thanks for the props, but I have to say, I haven’t rolled my eyes this hard since Dove’s latest “Ladies are so gullible they think a patch can give them self-esteem!” bit. Let me break it to you gently, everybody. I don’t have the “World’s Toughest Job.” Aside from the fact that I harbor no illusions that what I do in raising my children is more difficult than say, defusing IEDs or putting out oil fires or finding cures for cancer or being a sweatshop factory worker, I also don’t consider motherhood my job. I have a career, one that’s satisfying and challenging and for which I get paid. But being a mother isn’t a job any more than being a spouse or a daughter or a friend or, let’s not fail to mention here, a father is. Oh, it’s work, make no mistake, physically and emotionally demanding work. Work that many of us chose and love. But it isn’t a job and it sure as hell isn’t on a higher moral plane than many other forms of work.

[…]

The fact that I have had and am raising children is not a resume item. It’s not something I “gave up” my life for. It’s sure not as hell a competitive act, one in which I somehow get to beat out every person who isn’t female or doesn’t have kids for best and most. And I don’t appreciate messages that seem to build women up while essentially telling them that nothing they can achieve in life matters more than having babies. You want to thank women, want to show women they have value? Close the wage gap. Challenge the insidious rape culture that exists in the military and in our colleges. Join the fight for our reproductive rights, so we can decide when and if we choose motherhood, safely. Don’t pat us on the head and minimize our contributions outside of the domestic sphere. You think motherhood is thankless, hard work? So is feminism. How about you celebrate that?

three seconds

It may seem like an opinion piece about the financial industry doesn’t belong on this blog, but I believe that the industry creates deleterious trickle-down effects on ordinary people’s prospects for marriage and family:

http://www.salon.com/2014/04/14/paul_krugman_slams_wall_street_for_undermining_our_economy_and_our_society/

tinderness

Have women become the new gay men? And do we want to be? My guess is no, and we never did, but trends have pushed our gender in that direction:

http://metro.co.uk/2013/09/12/is-tinder-just-for-hook-ups-3960399/

Of the nine who replied, only one said she was open to a hook-up. The most common response went along the lines of: ‘Maybe, but I’m not on here for that’.

So what does Tinder think its for? Its tagline ‘Discover those around you’ is much more oblique than Grindr’s mission statement ‘Find gay, bi and curious guys near you’, which seems to set out the state of play in quite clear terms.

But perhaps both apps and their taglines have adapted to their client-base. On the whole, members of the gay community are far more likely to engage in casual relationships than members of the straight community. If you want an example of how men would like to behave in relationships, look for what they do when women aren’t involved.

I imagine it won’t be long before Tinder users realise that Grindr works in the way it does because it’s dominated by men and that with women on board, Tinder will become like every other dating platform, fraught with tension, misunderstanding and frustration between the sexes.

the reset button

http://www.more.com/health/wellness/anti-aging-effects-meditation

Recently, alarmed at my brain’s seemingly swift degeneration (not to mention my impatience, distractedness, and maddening forgetfulness), I decided to try a different kind of mental exercise: meditation. It seemed unlikely that simply sitting, closing my eyes, and focusing on my breathing could help. But after only a couple of weeks — results are quick — I was starting to believe that the best thing to keep my mind calm, cheerful, flexible, and focused is to do nothing, for 15 minutes a day. Meditation made me feel both relaxed and more energetic. I developed a bit of distance between events and my reactions. Someone cut me off in the car? Maybe he’s having a bad day. A promising date didn’t blossom into a romance? Perhaps it’s his problem, not mine. Even at this early stage, I’ve noticed I’m much more able to let go of judgments of myself and others.

trolls

http://blogs.news.com.au/heraldsun/theperch/index.php/heraldsun/comments/dawson_case_spotlights_trolls_hatred_of_single_women/

But the whole, despicable, episode has spotlighted an issue that in our love-affair with social media is not discussed enough; one of its favourite punching bags is childless, single women.

Hiding gutlessly behind anonymous accounts, way too many misogynists make sport online of bullying childless and single women, vigorously and often. Now, with demonstrable, devastating effect.

Why women who are not married, or mothers, are singled out for special, sexist poison is a mystery. But any regular user who follows high-profile women will likely recognise this disturbing theme.

To say you’ve even noticed it is risky, because it gratifies the attention-crazed intentions of the more brutal trolls.

But I think it needs airing that women such as Dawson can face a drip-drip or bash-bash of such disgusting, personally-tailored abuse, in which often their own infertility or involuntary childlessness is brandished as the weapon.

Sexism is one, still too-common thing, but the contempt for women who have not married or for whatever reason don’t have kids, is nothing short of shocking.