Singletude: A Positive Blog for Singles

Singletude is a positive, supportive singles blog about life choices for the new single majority. It's about dating and relationships, yes, but it's also about the other 90% of your life--family, friends, career, hobbies--and flying solo and sane in this crazy, coupled world. Singletude isn't about denying loneliness. It's about realizing that whether you're single by choice or by circumstance, this single life is your life to live.

Saturday, February 16, 2008

How Single Men Make Women Settle

I thought I'd said my piece on "Marry Him" by Lori Gottlieb, but it was stuck in my head today like the wedding march on repeat. Specifically her assertion that women settle, but men don't have to.

The so-called battle of the sexes frustrates me because, after all these years, it's still rooted in an us-against-them mentality. Well, a house divided against itself cannot stand.

If anything, the backlash to radical feminism only entrenched the archetype of the single woman as the Entrapper, who uses her feminine wiles to pull off the mother of all bait-and-switches, promising sex in exchange for 18 years of indentured servitude to her children. This stereotype persists even as women outpace men in education and join them in the board room and is the subject of countless bachelor party jokes and much commitment-phobic stammering.

What bothers me about it is not that it's untrue. I'll even go so far as to admit that it is true of the mating game as it stands now. What gets my dander up is that women have been backed into this corner, from which the only way out is scheming and pressuring, by men who believe that the future of the human race isn't their responsibility.

Granted, childrearing is not a responsibility that every man (or woman) should undertake. But most men still want children and end up fathering them. Not to conjure unwanted visions of Whitney Houston, but until they perfect this stem cell cloning business, the children are our future. We need both men and women to produce them. Sorry, but we're not as advanced as those asexual amoebas yet. And, frankly, many men want to be involved in their children's lives, so much so that it's a right guaranteed by law.

Despite these facts of life, females are routinely treated as though their biological drive to preserve the species is somehow aberrant or, at the least, incompatible with the evolutionary drives of men. Well, newsflash, guys: your genes are at stake here, too.

An excuse I may hear at this point from men is that their Darwinistic urge is to be procreators, not caretakers. But that's nonsense. Men have always supported the next generation, whether by hunting, farming, or fighting, and we have plenty of evidence that men participated in their children's lives from antiquity, even if not to the intimate degree that mothers did. In fact, before the advent of birth control, fatherhood was pretty much a given in any young man's life. It's only in recent years that men have balked at taking on this role and procrastinated about it for as long as possible.

Well, here's another tidbit that may interest you: Males hit "menopause" too, and their fertility declines after age 35 or 40. Yet when you ask men in their twenties or even early thirties about having children, a common response is, "Oh, sure, someday."

My point is that men today seem to have joined sides in a self-defeating war against women and ultimately the human race. Their contemporary "bros above hos" mentality falsely paints women as the enemy instead of partners in perpetuating the species and children as some kind of punishment. Due to this erroneous worldview, men who meet fantastic partners in their twenties and early thirties often resist starting a family, forcing these women to "settle" later. The men assume they can always avail themselves of younger partners after they've racked up enough notches in the belt, unaware that their own fertility, as well as their energy for children, will also decline...and that women 20 years younger don't always make the most willing or compatible partners.

Men, we may be living longer, but none of us are getting any younger. Please rejoin the human species. We can't do this without you. It's time you remembered that you need us, too.


Do you think women have to settle more often than men? If so, why? What do you think about male attitudes toward marriage and children?


Fun Link of the Day

14 comments:

bobbyboy said...

"Do you think women have to settle more often than men? If so, why? What do you think about male attitudes toward marriage and children?"

Unfortunately, I believe woman settle much more than men. Maybe it's because of that "Biological clock" that woman are more in tune with than men. Probably though, it's the societal pressures that are put on woman from a very young age to get married and settle down.

I have been an advocate against society's stereo typing of many ideals and expectations put on people, especially the young generation. This topic can however, go on endlessly.

I have to tell you that men still don't worry anywhere near as much as woman when it comes to male "menopause." Actually, I've heard men discuss this in a "Oh really? Interesting! Let's get a beer." kind of way.

Full-Grown Single said...

Eh. Whatever. It sells magazines.

Clever Elsie said...

I have to tell you that men still don't worry anywhere near as much as woman when it comes to male "menopause."

I know it. It's a shame. It seems to me that men in previous generations used to be much more interested in having kids, if only for the pride of passing on their heritage. While I know that children are NOT for everybody, someone has to raise the next generation, and it saddens me that so many guys have abandoned the idea.

Anonymous said...

You have a great blog but your argument is flawed.

Men have always supported the next generation... from antiquity

Granted. And women have always been under the authority of men from antiquity. Submissive women that cooked, made all househould chores, had sex even if didn't feel like it - the marital duty- and never divorced (70% of divorces are initiated by women), which considered their husband as their master. More importantly, men WHO WERE SURE OF raising their children instead of paying monthly payments and see them every two weekends (if the ex is not feeling vindictive)

Is this out-of-fashion? Yes, also men wanting to support children.

You can't have it both ways. Women want to be modern when it suits them and old-fashioned when it suits them. When this turns out to be impossible, it is the fault of men. Please, grow up and accept your responsibility. Blaming other without seeing your own faults is not an effective way to change things.

As a men who was socialized to be a father but has decided to be bachelor-for-ever, I can tell you that having children is not worth the effort anymore. You marry, have children, your wife divorces you (because she is bored or she doesn't feel fulfilled) and you lose your house, half of your assets and end up paying all your life for children that you barely see. You end up with a broken heart (because of your children) and an empty wallet, slaving yourself to support the ex who has destroyed your life.

It's only in recent years that men have balked at taking on this role It's only in recent years that men have been forced to pay child support without seeing their children.

My point is that men today seem to have joined sides in a self-defeating war against women and ultimately the human race.

Oh, my god, you don't get it, do you? It's women who declared war on men several decades ago. Men were called male chauvinist, deadbeat dads, oppressors, commitment-phobic, aggressors, rapists, don't doing the household chores.

Men were labelled as the cause of all the women's problems. Women's liberation implied men's bashing.

Men never have declared war on women. This is laughable and ridiculous. There are no books telling "all women are harpies" but there are books telling "all men are rapists". Men only abandoned a situation which is against them. Men flatly don't care. We are only doing the only thing that is reasonable. Refusing to play in a game which is weighted against us. It is not evilness, not any kind of punishment (this is utterly laughable). It is only self-preservation. We don't want to collaborate with our own destruction.

If you want men to come back to the game, change the laws. I have not known any woman who is outraged about our divorce laws. Maybe you think that men would want to marry and have kids when everything is against them.

Please rejoin the human species.

Oh, god. We are not cats. We are human beings. Not doing what women want does not make us non-human.

We can't do this without you.

Maybe you should have thought this before decades complaining and whining about:

- Women don't need men.
- A woman without man is a fish without a bycicle.
- Women must be independent.
- Single moms are great.
- We can do it alone.

You have achieved your dreams. Congratulations. But now you are not satisfied. And, predictably, it's the men's fault.

When will women grow up and accept their responsability instead of blaming men for all their problems, like six-year-olds? You can whine and nag and enjoy your illusion of having the high moral ground or you can admit your mistakes and do something about them. It is your choice.

Clever Elsie said...

Anonymous:Thanks for your comment. I’m glad that you’re voicing your disagreement, but you should know that if you intend to make a future rebuttal, you’ll have to attach a name to it. In keeping with the policy of most print media, if you’re going to make an attack, you should be willing to stand behind it. Also, for future reference, if you want me to publish any more of your comments, you’ll need to tone down the ad hominem rhetoric. I don’t talk to you or any other reader that way, and I expect to have the same courtesy extended to me. (I realize there are no rules posted on this, but this is the first time it's been an issue, so obviously it's given me something to think about on that score.)

Your response is well thought out, but it misses the point of my post. My post was never intended as an argument for the institution of marriage. My argument was that men who are going to form families should do so sooner rather than later. In fact, you’ll notice that I kept the word “marriage” out of it until the very end of the post because my argument was about forming a family unit and having children, not signing a legal document per se. My post was based on the premise that the majority of men will choose to have families–-about 84%, according to a 2000 survey by the U.S. Department of Health & Human Services–-and was, therefore, directed at them, not at the 15% who decide unequivocally, as you have, that children “are not worth the effort.” Indeed, I acknowledged that kids are not for everybody.

Your argument, on the other hand, is about reasons to avoid the legal bonds of marriage as currently practiced in the U.S. I could turn this into a debate about marriage since, for the record, I disagree with a number of points in your post, but they are, nevertheless, irrelevant to my argument, and I need to write today’s post before even considering a longer response to what is basically a tangent. Hopefully, there will be time later in the day after posting to address it.

Finsals said...

Hello, I am the previous anonymous. I didn't know that it was required to attach a nick to my post. Anyway, I am glad to do it.

I disagree about my post being an "attack". I only want women to understand our point of view. Maybe they don't agree, but it is fine as long as they are able to admit that points of view different that theirs can be valid too. Most men I know tell that it is useless to discuss these topics with women because they don't want to listen our reasons. But I still have hope that women can listen to our point of view, even if they disagree. This is why I thank you for publishing my comment, althought it is difficult for a blogger to publish comments that don't agree with his/her point of view. You have made a call for men, so I guess you are willing to hear a male perspective about this.

I think you want men to return to having families (earlier in life). If you really want this, you must be willing to listen to men, even if they defy your worldview, even if you don't like their arguments. It is not going to be an easy task, because men don't always think like you and don't think the way society (political correctness, Oprah, etc) tell them to think. Wanting men to do what you want without listen to them is not going to work. Alternatively, you can be outraged by things men say, think you have the high moral ground and allow the problem to continue. If you are not part of the solution, you are part of the problem. I assume that this is not your attitude and this is why I am writting a reply to you. If not, I wouldn't bother.

Granted, not all men believe like me. But those who think like you don't need to be convinced (it is useless to preach to the choir). And they are lots of men who think more radical than me. I can point you a lot of websites.

Furthermore, I am not perfect and sometimes I am wrong. If you can convince me that something I said is not truth, I am more than happy to accept it (I have detected a mistake of mine: I misread the "punishment" thing)

On the other hand, there is no any "ad hominem" attack in my post. Not with the definition of "ad hominem" (please see http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ad_hominem). Maybe you can say me which of my comments botters you. I admit that, sometimes, I use non-appropiate language in my post. English is not my mother tongue and it is difficult for me to be precise in terms of style, register and proper words. But I am willing to apologize if I have been disrespectful and to try not to repeat disrespectful words.

My post was never intended as an argument for the institution of marriage.

It is not about the institution of marriage. It is about having children. If you have children without being married, you can lose your kids if their mother doesn't want you anymore and you are forced to pay child support. So my point is not marriage. It is about having family these days.

My argument was that men who are going to form families should do so sooner rather than later.

Why? Older men are richer and can support a family better (or alternatively, can pay bigger child support check). Older men are wiser, more responsible and, because they are not so testosterone-driven, they know what things they want in a partner, which produces better couples. Young men are willing to endure a woman only because she is "hot", regardless the fact that she may be incompatible with him and the relationship may be a disaster (but with good sex). Older men know better.

Older men's marriages last more than young men's marriages. This is a fact backed by statistics.

Males hit "menopause" too, and their fertility declines after age 35 or 40

The thing about menopause is not true, although there is a gradual declining of sex drive and fertility with age (not a sudden thing like menopause). About the decreasing fertility is completely true, it is irrelevant to the topics discussed. Quoted from Wikipedia: "male fertility does not decline as it does with females; there have been examples of males being fertile at 94 years old. At most, age "might possibly result in a moderate decline" in fertility in males.". Please read the book "The Male Biological Clock: The Startling News About Aging, Sexuality, and Fertility in Men"

Furthermore, men don't have this biological urge to reproduce that women have. Granted, young men (filled by testosterone) want to have families, but if they find the right woman. But if they don't find her, they don't feel devastated the way the women are if they don't end up having families. By the time they hit 30-something, testosterone recedes and men start thinking about their big head instead of their little head. And start realizing that it is better for a men to remain single without children than to have children.. At their late 30s, many men are confirmed bachelors (I can back this with studies) and the ones who aren't are wiser and more able to have lasting couples.

My post was based on the premise that the majority of men will choose to have families–-about 84%–-and was, therefore, directed at them

Well, once having family was a fair transaction. Anyway, after decades of women's and legislators removing all the incentives for men, men are fleeing the family thing. Granted, they are still 84% (old habits refuse to die quickly) but they are decreasing every day. They are less than 20 years ago and, 20 days from now, they will be even less.

Furthermore, 84% of men wanting to have a family does not mean they actualy will have a family. Men want to have a family if they meet the right women. Single moms by choice (women that, after deciding you they won't meet Mr. Right, decide to have children on their own) is an unknow phenomenom in the male world. You won't know any "single dad by choice". Women's drive to have children is biological (so very strong). Men's drive to have children is cultural (so, if they see this is not the best option, they don't feel bad by avoiding it).

Your argument, on the other hand, is about reasons to avoid the legal bonds of marriage as currently practiced in the U.S.

Wrong. My argument is about having kids. Marriage is irrelevant. Once you have a kid, you have legal bonds stronger than any marriage "per se".

I have seen the life of several friends of mine (some married, some cohabitating) destroyed only because their partner has decided to end the relationship. It is scary to see a man crying because he miss their kids. And I have seen that.

I, like most men who avoid marriage, would be willing to have children and family if I had the assurance that I will see my children grow up. Men don't have the biological drive to have children than women have. However, once the kids are born, children is the thing men love the most in the world. Having your ex, take your kids from you is the worse experience for a father. And there are millions of men devastated.

So in our current times, having kids is like putting half of your assets (current and future ones) and all your future happiness in a roulette. If the roulette goes black, you keep them (please be aware that this don't mean you are happier, only that you remain the same). If the roulette goes red, you lose them. (And there is more probability to go red than black, according to statistics). Not wise. Not wise at all.

My argument was also about a number of points that are flatly not true. The fact that men have done something for millenia means that they are willing to do that now, when conditions have changed. That the fact that men have joined sides in war against women and ultimately the human race. This is utterly nonsense (and I don't use other words because I would be disrespectful). Men don't want to make war against women. Men want to make love to women. Men only don't want to collaborate in his own destruction. The assumption that our attitude is refusing to "rejoin the human species" is only shaming language.

Men would want to have families early in life if they see this was a good decision for them. The same way that women want to have families early in life because this is a good decision for them. Men and women are only doing what it suits best. Men and women take decisions based on their own interest. No shaming language or false assumptions can change that.

Clever Elsie said...

Finsals: Thanks for giving us a name to go with the comment, and I appreciate the much more civil tone of your second reply. You asked what about your first comment made it an ad hominem attack, and I want to clarify that, not only for you but for the other readers. What I perceived as inappropriately personal and assaultive language were commands to "grow up," stop behaving "like a six-year-old" and cease to "whine and nag," suggesting that I'm infantile because my viewpoint disagrees with yours. Your English is excellent, by the way, and I think you have a very good grasp on what's appropriate, as demonstrated by your entirely appropriate follow-up comment.

Thank you also for clarifying that your argument was not just related to marriage and divorce. I mistakenly assumed that it was because it started out citing divorce law. You're right, of course, that even men who are not married are responsible for child support and don't necessarily get a fair custody arrangement.

It seems likely from your comments that someone you're close to has been burned by a divorce court. I'm sorry that that happened. However, Singletude has and always will be a blog about moving forward and changing the future, not trying to rectify the unrectifiable, that which has past. In accordance with this, my post was a call to move forward together.

I'm going to go through your comments and address your points in the order in which they were made because it's a little confusing to try to lump both responses together. FYI, I don't know whether you're here in the U.S. or elsewhere, but my responses will be based on conditions in the States since I'm not familiar with family law in other nations.

And women have always been under the authority of men from antiquity. Submissive women that cooked, made all househould chores, had sex even if didn't feel like it - the marital duty- and never divorced (70% of divorces are initiated by women), which considered their husband as their master. More importantly, men WHO WERE SURE OF raising their children instead of paying monthly payments and see them every two weekends (if the ex is not feeling vindictive)

Is this out-of-fashion? Yes, also men wanting to support children.


Okay, if I’m reading it correctly, the crux of your argument here is that it’s unfair to expect men to financially support children unless women are, essentially, their indentured servants, stripped of all personal rights, and unless men can always have joint custody of the kids. I’m not sure if that’s what you really believe or meant to say, but that’s what the argument above says.

First of all, there's a difference between a marriage based on forced submission and one based on a division of labor. Forced submission of any human being isn't a solution to anything, nor should it be the right of any person to "own" another. But for several generations after the legal emancipation of women (wherein they could vote, own property, share custody of children, etc.), they continued to largely work in the home while men worked outside it. Today, there are still happy marriages that work this way. Among couples who agree that the woman should work in the home, the man's job is to provide money, and the woman's is to provide meals, garments, a clean house, the lion's share of the childrearing, and to run errands for all of the above and other necessities as they arise.

I don't say this to make a case that it should be this way but to explain that even without forced submission in the equation, both members of a couple who live this way are contributing their fair share. To contend that women should also be without any personal rights is to advocate slavery. I can’t agree with that.

As far as family law that awards only partial custody or visitation to fathers who are fit parents and want joint custody, you’re right that this is an atrocity. As far as I know, courts still favor mothers when awarding custody, though somewhat less than they used to. Sometimes, when children are very little, this is based on the more intense attachment that children show to the primary caretaker, who is usually still the mother. But as kids get older, joint custody becomes more normative, and the kids’ feelings about who they want to live with play a big role, too. You may be interested in this article about the increase in presumptive joint custody. I think that’s a step in the right direction.

You might also be interested to know that the majority of custody agreements are made to the satisfaction of both partners outside of court. There are few cases in which the couple is so dissatisfied with the arrangement that a judge needs to step in and force it on them. Nevertheless, 1.5% translates into 315,000 cases a year, so chances are that we all know someone who got the raw end of the deal. Again, I think it’s horrendous that there are dads who want to be more involved but can’t be. I think the tide is starting to turn in their favor, so let’s hope that continues.

Until it does, fathers who believe they’ve been unjustly treated can appeal the court’s decision, and these days they can also call on their state's Department of Children and Families in cases where the mother is interfering with visitation or emotionally estranging the child from the dad, as this is considered abusive. I’ve had some work experience that put me in close contact with the DCF, and they do investigate these claims, and custody arrangements are enforced or altered accordingly.

No matter how unfortunate the custody arrangement, men are still financially responsible for their share of child support. You say that "men wanting to support their children" is "out of fasion." What, then, would you recommend? That the state (i.e. we, the people) pick up the tab for a child we didn't create? The law holds adults responsible for their actions, including the creation of children. If the people who gave life to their children aren't held responsible for their welfare, then the kids either sink into poverty or place an undue strain on society. I don't think either option is viable.

You can't have it both ways. Women want to be modern when it suits them and old-fashioned when it suits them. When this turns out to be impossible, it is the fault of men. Please, grow up and accept your responsibility. Blaming other without seeing your own faults is not an effective way to change things.

No, I'm not going to take responsibility for a movement of a small subset of women (radical feminists) before I was even born. Just as I don't hold you or the men of this generation responsible for the men of antiquity who treated women like chattel. As I said earlier, my blog and my post are about things as they should be, not how they are or have been. I write about changing the future, not rehashing past mistakes.

Though the radical feminists were a very vocal group, their views were not representative of the majority of women, hence there has been no second generation of Andrea Dworkins and Gloria Steinems. (Even Gloria Steinem, mother of the "fish needs a bicycle" quote you cited, realized the error of her ways and married, rather sheepishly, a few years ago.)

Yes, women want to have the option of working outside the home, if that's what you mean by being "modern when it suits them." In today's economic climate, that's all but forced on us, whether we like it or not. Many women do like it, and many men prefer women with careers. There are also women who work part-time, women who telecommute, women who are full-time homemakers, and men who are stay-at-home dads. I believe that one's sphere of work is an individual choice, to be made in conjunction with one's partner. There are and should be as many lifestyle options as there are people with preferences.

I don't think any of the above arrangements are "impossible." It's not my experience that women see them as impossible or that they perceive those arrangements as "the fault of men." It is my experience that women who would prefer to be homemakers blame radical feminism for devaluing this role or for making it difficult to survive on one income.

You marry, have children, your wife divorces you (because she is bored or she doesn't feel fulfilled) and you lose your house, half of your assets and end up paying all your life for children that you barely see. You end up with a broken heart (because of your children) and an empty wallet, slaving yourself to support the ex who has destroyed your life.

As already discussed, it's a travesty when men who want to and are able to parent don't get that right, but custody agreements that are not acceptable to both parties are still in the minority. The division of assets is a tricky subject, and I don't think there's a black-and-white answer. Despite the highly publicized cases of wives walking away with millions of dollars in alimony, this only really applies in upper or sometimes upper middle class marriages. Women with full custody are still far more likely than men to live in poverty after a divorce--38% of women receiving child support are below the poverty line as opposed to 10.5% of men paying it. I'm sure there are women out there who abuse the child support system, but a lot more of them are struggling to get by. Those houses they're awarded? Often they have to sell them and move into a smaller place in a worse neighborhood.

Furthermore, you seem to assign all the blame for failed marriages to women. It's true that women file for divorce in 65-70% of cases. But just because women are the ones who file more often doesn't mean that the dissolution of the relationship was their decision alone. Occasionally, there are cases of unilateral fault in which the woman is just a heartless, selfish person who couldn't care less about her husband or the vows she made. There are men who are like that, too. But in most cases, I would dare say that it takes two to tango, and both partners contribute to the demise of the marriage long before someone goes out and legally finalizes it. Whichever partner you talk to will probably feel like the wronged party, but in truth, neither partner is blameless.

While I'm an advocate for single people, I think once someone commits to a marriage, they need to invest themselves in it for the long haul. Sometimes, due to abusive behavior by one partner or the other, this is impossible, but I think it's very sad that so many people walk away from their families because it's convenient to do so. As our attention spans have been shortened by TV and the Internet, so has our tolerance for interpersonal relationships that require patience, dedication, and compromise. That's a shame. But there's no research I know of to prove that the failure of the relationship (not the physical action of filing for divorce) is more often the woman's fault. Such things are very hard to quantify, and, as I said, each partner is liable to believe that he or she is in the right. In fact, I think this is one of the sources of the abominable attitudes that men and women have toward each other. Since most men surround themselves with male friends and most women keep company with other females, men hear mostly the man's side of the story, while the ladies hear the woman's. And, of course, most people are naturally biased towards their own gender and more inclined to believe and retain information that supports their point of view.

It's women who declared war on men several decades ago. Men were called male chauvinist, deadbeat dads, oppressors, commitment-phobic, aggressors, rapists, don't doing the household chores.

As women are still called bitches, hos, sluts, c***s, gold diggers, man haters, ball breakers, etc., etc., etc. There's a lot of mudslinging, and both sexes are covered in it.

Men were labelled as the cause of all the women's problems. Women's liberation implied men's bashing.

Women's liberation implied the attainment of rights and privileges equal to those of men. That some women extended this to male bashing was not an automatic outgrowth of women's lib, nor has it been practiced by all women.

Men never have declared war on women. This is laughable and ridiculous. There are no books telling "all women are harpies" but there are books telling "all men are rapists".

I'm sure, Finsals, that you can find a book about any subject on earth, including misogyny. In fact, long before the virulent attacks of the radical feminists, more than one Dead White Male wrote extensively about how women should be beaten into submission, cloistered from the world, raped at will, etc. And while I'm not going to conduct an exhaustive search on Amazon (you can do that yourself if you're interested), I know there are, as you said, other men who "think more radically" than you because I've seen them on such web sites as I Hate Women, Dump Your Wife Now!, and the like. In fact, if you search on the phrase "dump your wife," you'll find pages and pages of vitriolic sites dedicated to the hatred of women. Both sides are to blame, and I don't condone either one.

Men flatly don't care [about not forming families].

I find that statement very sad and am certainly glad that not everyone shares your opinion. It is, however, exactly why I wrote my post.

If you want men to come back to the game, change the laws. I have not known any woman who is outraged about our divorce laws.

I can't help wondering, if the laws favored men, as they did for thousands of years, would men be outraged? It took a very long time for men to listen to women, but now, unfortunately, the pendulum has swung too far in the other direction where divorce courts are concerned. However, it's starting to correct itself, as evidenced by the articles I cited above about family law. Of course, we still need more change. I do support local judges and elected officials who, to the best of my knowledge, share my beliefs. I also bring issues like this to light by writing about them here. What do you do? Or perhaps, since you "flatly don't care," you do nothing.

"Please rejoin the human species."

Oh, god. We are not cats. We are human beings. Not doing what women want does not make us non-human.


I think you've misinterpreted this quote. I didn't mean to imply that men are subhuman. The theme of the post was that men have increasingly distanced themselves from women and children, hence the incitement to "rejoin the human species" in the common goal of perpetuating ourselves. I'm sorry that you took it as a dig at men since that's not how it was intended.

I'm going to conclude here for now since I've devoted a lot of time to this answer and need to attend to other things. I'll respond to your second set of comments tomorrow or the next day, as time permits. If you'd like to respond, please wait until I have a chance to answer all your comments thus far so that we are both up to date.

Finsals said...

I'm going to conclude here for now since I've devoted a lot of time to this answer

Yes, this is the problem. The topics we are talking about are very complicated issues. Books can be written about this and we are trying to tell things in a post. It is exhausting to write those long messages. You will see that this message is the longest of all.

If you'd like to respond, please wait until I have a chance to answer all your comments thus far so that we are both up to date.

This is very logical and I would like to accept. But when I have read this I have always written my post.

Anyway, this is my last post. I thank you a lot your consideration for publishing my post and answering me. Even when we don't agree you are a smart and compassionate girl and it is good to speak with you. But I can't go on.

When I write this it is 3 a.m. and I am very sleepy. Tomorrow I have to wake up at 7 a.m. I am studying an online Master and I have a lot of work accumulated. I can't devote more time to writing posts. I am exhausted. Writing a post like this is exhausting because these are issues that are not easy to explain. English is not my mother tongue and this post has taken some 5 hours to write. I am very stressed and I can't go on. Please excuse me.

I hope you learn something useful of my post, the same way I have learnt something useful for your posts. Thank you.

to "grow up," stop behaving "like a six-year-old" and cease to "whine and nag," suggesting that I'm infantile because my viewpoint disagrees with yours.

Well, I agree that this language was not appropiate (but not an ad-hominem argument, please see the definition of "ad-hominem") and I apologize for that. It was not intended to be a personal attack (but I admit that it seemed very much so). My comment was aimed to a certain kind of women (yes, I wasn't clear, so you don't have means to know it). Sometimes, I get exasperated because many women (not all) blame men of all their problems.

There has recently been a lot of articles written by women in their 30s labelling men of "immature" and "commitment-phobic" because of us avoiding or delaying marriage (I can give you some links if you want). Some of them have a lot of pages. The most amazing thing is that any of these writers haven't wondered "why men are avoiding marriage? what is the problem? how can we fix the problem?" This is too mature for these writers. It is easier to complain "men are immature", "men are commitment-phobic", "men are sex-obsessed" and complaining like a six-year old when his favourite toy is taken from him. Maybe these writers think that name-telling men is a good way of solving things. But it seems a childish tantrum to me.

After decades telling that "marriage was oppression for women", now that men are delaying marriage "we are refusing to join the human race". Whatever men do, it is wrong. Whatever the problem is, it is men's fault. This is very immature. It is the worldview of a child, that wants the world to adapt to his will, instead of him adapting to the world. If the world is not the way he want to be, it is unfair and the world is evil.

The hallmark of maturity is accepting responsibility. The worldview that women are defenseless victims of the oppression made by men or the patriarchy (a worldview started in feminist circles but that now it is pretty mainstream) is like a drug. Pleasant, of course (it is always pleasant to blame other of your own problems and think you have nothing to change) but keep women in a state of false childhood and it is the main stumbling block to solve the problems of women.

If you want men to marry, what about reforming divorce laws? If you want men to marry early, what about telling other women that don't marry old men? Why the blame of marrying out-of-your-age is put only on men? It takes two to tango. Every young woman who marries an old man, give us reason not to be worried about our age when marry. It is easy to blame other people.

Women have always wanted a good provider. This was logical when women didn't work outside home but it is still true now. According to a study, 75% of American women would marry for money (http://women.timesonline.co.uk/tol/life_and_style/women/relationships/article3166507.ece). So women prefer a wealthy old men than a young student. When young men see that, they focus on their career. They think that, if they get wealth, they can get the girl afterwards. And they are right.

When I was in my 20s, I was rather nerdy and a nice guy (I became a SOB afterwards). My illusion was to find a good woman and marry. I was very romantic and considerate to women. But no woman wanted me. I was handsome (when I saw old pictures, I see that). But, since I was a student, I was no good prospect. Some of my classmates married older men with money, some other banged the bad exciting guys. Anyway, I focused on my career (what else could I do?). Then, now that I am 37, I have an amazing job, wealth, a Ph. D. and two masters. I have three women who would be delighted to be my girlfriend but now I am not so full of testosterone and I am not willing to trade all the wealth (which was so hard to achieve) for a pretty face. I prefer to have friends-with-benefits (twice as fun, one-tenth of the hassle).

Women have always wanted to marry money (not all but many). They have always been willing to trade youth for wealth. But, in the so-called "patriarchy", this was not so easy, because older men were married and there was no divorce. Now that divorce is rampant, young women in their prime years can choose between young students and older men. And many of them choose older men. So there is no need for men to hurry. If young women and old men who married each other were objects of an strong stigma, the trend would stop.

It seems likely from your comments that someone you're close to has been burned by a divorce court.

I have been lucky because I have never married. I have always been single and I plan to remain this way until I die. But yes, you are right that I am close to people who has been burned this way. Several people. In fact, most of my friends.

my post was a call to move forward together.

Yes, I think this is the good attitude (not for me who I am a confirmed bachelor but for the new generations). But to move forward you have to understand the problem and then try to change things for the problem to be fixed. Only telling men to "rejoin the human race" is not going to work.

Okay, if I’m reading it correctly, the crux of your argument here is that it’s unfair to expect men to financially support children unless women are, essentially, their indentured servants, stripped of all personal rights, and unless men can always have joint custody of the kids.

No, it is not my argument (and you see that I don't express myself well). My argument is that conditions have changed and what it was true for millenia it is not true now. You can't argue that, because men have been eager to have children for millenia, they must keep doing that now. The same way women have changed their behaviour, men can adapt to the new circumstances. Something can be true for millenia and then start being false. This is my argument. For millenia transport was made by horse and then, suddenly, the car was invented and horses were not used anymore.

My argument is also that women tend to be old-fashioned when it suits them and modern when it suits them. This is unfair. Women want to earn equal that men(this is fair and I support that), but they want to receive chivalry and let the man pay for dates, because "I am an old-fashioned girl", have the custody for their children because "women are better child-carers". So they want to be equal when it suits them and non-equal when it suits them. This is utterly unfair.

As far as family law that awards only partial custody or visitation to fathers who are fit parents and want joint custody, you’re right that this is an atrocity.

Thank you. Until family law is changed, having kids will decrease and decrease.

As far as I know, courts still favor mothers when awarding custody,

This is an understatement. There are: 11,268,000 total U.S. custodial mothers and 2,907,000 total U.S. custodial fathers (--Current Population Reports, U.S. Bureau of the Census). The difference is abysmal. And there is no need of stats: everybody knows that the vast majority of cases custody is awarded to the mother, even if she has the worse economical situation or the worse psychological situation.

You might also be interested to know that the majority of custody agreements are made to the satisfaction of both partners outside of court

This is simply not true. I provide some data:

"A clear majority (70%) of fathers felt that they had too little time with their children." (Source: Visitation and the Noncustodial Father, Mary Ann Kock & Carol Lowery, Journal of Divorce)

"Very few of the children were satisfied with the amount of contact with their fathers, after divorce." (Source: Visitation and the Noncustodial Father, Koch & Lowery, Journal of Divorce and Remarriage)

37.9% of fathers have no access/visitation rights. (Source: p.6, col.II, para. 6, lines 4 & 5, Census Bureau P-60)

Until it does, fathers who believe they’ve been unjustly treated can appeal the court’s decision

Yes, and spend a lot of money and emotional stress to achieve nothing. Judges can rule but then the women can interfere the men's right again. Judges don't

punish women who interfere with visit rights. No women would go to prison for interfering in visits.

I have seen one of my friends trying to do what you suggest and, plainly, this doesn't work. His ex doesn't let him to see their children for the last ten years. He is now eight years with legal stuff, with no result. He has spent a little fortune.

Some statistical data I provide:

In a study: "Visitational Interference - A National Study" by Ms. J Annette Vanini, M.S.W. and Edward Nichols, M.S.W., it was found that 77% of non-custodial

fathers are NOT able to "visit" their children, as ordered by the court, as a result of "visitation interference" perpetuated by the custodial parent. In other words, non-compliance with court ordered visitation is three times the problem of non-compliance with court ordered child support and impacts the children of divorce even more.

Overall, approximately 50% of mothers "see no value in the father`s continued contact with his children...." (Source: Surviving the Breakup, Joan Kelly &

Judith Wallerstein, p. 125)

"40% of mothers reported that they had interfered with the non-custodial father's visitation on at least one occasion, to punish the ex-spouse." (Source: p.

449, col. II, lines 3-6, (citing Fulton) Frequency of visitation by Divorced Fathers; Differences in Reports by Fathers and Mothers. Sanford Braver et al, Am. J. of Orthopsychiatry.)

No matter how unfortunate the custody arrangement, men are still financially responsible for their share of child support.

Well, this is why men refuse to have kids more and more. If you give men all the responsibilities but few rights (custody), don't be amazed that men refuse to play this wicked game. So men have to be financially responsible for kids they are not allowed to see. And then you are shocked that men don't want to have children.

Have kids, let your heart be broken and your assets be taken from you. You only have responsibilities in this game and no rights. Not wise. Not wise at all.

What, then, would you recommend?

I recommend joint custody. This means that, if parents are close, the child can live half of the time in each parent's house. If the parents are far and this is inconvenient, a parent can have the residence, but men and women must have the same rights to have the residence. Furthermore, all decisions about the child (school to be attended, etc) must be made together. Furthermore, both parents are entitled to visit their children as much as they want.

About economical reasons, I recommend the cost of raising a children to be determined. Sometimes (with rich fathers ) the amount of child support excedes the need of a child so it is spent by the parent (an extreme case is Heather Mills with 32 million pounds, but there are cases not so extreme but also unfair).

Once the cost is determined, 50% has to be paid by the father and 50% has to be paid by the mother. Of course, the parent who has the residence has some expenses that the other has not. The parent who has the residence has to show that child support payments are spent to the child and not to the parent (this is proved by invoices and bills for major expenses, like tuitions). All of this can be determined by an independent accountant which is far cheaper than divorce lawyers.

Any father or mother who doesn't pay his/her share or don't let the other parent to visit their children must be punished by the law (now only parents are punished for not fulfilling their part of the deal).

Furthermore, I will discourage non-fault divorce. Of course, divorce with a legitimate cause can remain as it is today. I am only speaking of non-fault divorce.

I think marriage is the only contract in the history in humanity that you are rewarded when you break it with no fair cause. If you want to marry you must know that this is a serious issue, like our mothers used to think (Britney Spears-like marriages are not to be encouraged). So, if you decide to leave marriage, you have break a contract and you have no rights to the assets of your partner. This would reduce the number of people who divorce because they are bored. If you are bored, please learn a new language. Marriage is not an entertainment show but a serious and difficult institution.

I write about changing the future, not rehashing past mistakes.

To change the future, serious changes must be made. I admit I don't understand you. You seem to think that the system is fundamentally good. Well, it has some minor flaws, but you think it is not so bad. So how do you plan to change the future if you don't plan to change the system? Making calls to men to rejoin the human race? It is not going to work. Men are not listening. Men don't pay attention to words but to actions (our brain is not as focused to language as the women's).

Even Gloria Steinem, mother of the "fish needs a bicycle" quote you cited, realized the error of her ways and married, rather sheepishly, a few years ago. Yes, after misleading a whole generation of women who believed their views, dismissed all the other views as male-chauvinistic, and they f*cked their own lives (Excuse me for the swear word, I don't know how to say this otherwise in English). Was this the famous feminist which, in their golden years, grieved about not being able to have children after telling a whole generation of women that having children was oppression. Clueless people who brings misery to other people by spreading their own confusion.

Yes, women want to have the option of working outside the home, if that's what you mean by being "modern when it suits them." Yes, this is true and
this is good. And men have the option to have children late in life, avoid marriage or delay marriage. Rules have changed and they have changed for both sexes.

I have nothing against women having jobs. On the contrary, I think this is the best it has happened to men. Also feminism has been a movement who has fundamentally liberated men.

Now, we are not forced to work to provide for a women. We can remain bachelors and spend our money on us and women would take care of themselves, which it is great. Sex is not problem because they are so many women willing to give it cheaply without asking for the obligation of providing for them for life. You know the old saying "Why buy the cow, if the milk is so cheap?" Feminism has been great for men, except for the male bashing and the divorce laws. But if you are a bachelor, divorce laws cannot harm you. And male bashing is only a minor inconvenience.

Do you think that working outside the home is such a privilege? I wish I was like my brother-in-law who is a stay-at-home dad, the first one that I know (my sister works outside). May this trend continues. Now that women have conquered the workplace, it is time for men to conquer the home. That way, equality will be total. Since I am bachelor, I am used to do household chores (I have 20 years of experience doing housework) and, believe me, it is not that hard (maybe it was for our mothers but now it is not that hard). I would prefer this than going to work. Anyway, you know I plan to remain bachelor for life but, if I found a woman who wanted me to be a stay-at-home dad, I would marry her and have kids with her. But it is not going to happen. Maybe the next generation will fight this fight.

There are and should be as many lifestyle options as there are people with preferences. Completely agree. So there is no need to say that men are refusing to rejoin the human race when they avoid marriage. It is their own lifestyle and it is as legitimate as yours.

As already discussed, it's a travesty when men who want to and are able to parent don't get that right, but custody agreements that are not acceptable to both parties are still in the minority.

Not true. See my above stats. "A clear majority (70%) of fathers felt that they had too little time with their children."

The division of assets is a tricky subject, and I don't think there's a black-and-white answer.

Well, now there is a black-and-white answer. Men always black-Women always white. Men always lose their assets- Women always have the assets of men. Well, "always" is too hard, please change "always" for "the vast majority of cases".

Everybody is entitled to their assets. If a man have more assets, let him take care of the children. He has more economical conditions. But not, men are second-class citizens so the custody is awarded to the woman and then the man have to pay the woman for raising children. And then women wonder why men are in no hurry to having children? We have all the obligations but not the rights.

Why a woman have to be awarded the children's custody in the vast majority of cases? I already hear the feminists saying "because women are more adequate to raise children". But wasn't feminism about equality? Wasn't feminism about rejecting gender roles? What is it so hard about raising children? My brother-in-law is making an amazing job raising my lovely niece (18 months old and the most beautiful and intelligent child in the world, I wish you knew it because it seems a child movie star).

in fact, in the vast majority of cases, men are forced to pay alimony and child support to ex-wives. Wives paying alimony and child support to ex-husbands is rare. Some stats:


79.6% of custodial mothers receive a support award
29.9% of custodial fathers receive a support award

46.9% of non-custodial mothers totally default on support
26.9% of non-custodial fathers totally default on support

20.0% of non-custodial mothers pay support at some level
61.0% of non-custodial fathers pay support at some level

66.2% of single custodial mothers work less than full-time (this is why are worse financially)
10.2% of single custodial fathers work less than full-time

7.0% of single custodial mothers work more than 44 hours weekly
24.5% of single custodial fathers work more than 44 hours weekly

46.2% of single custodial mothers receive public assistance
20.8% of single custodial fathers receive public assistance

Conclusion: let the father have the custody. They are doing a better job.

I'm sure there are women out there who abuse the child support system, but a lot more of them are struggling to get by. Those houses they're awarded? Often they have to sell them and move into a smaller place in a worse neighborhood.

It was not her house. It was his house or their house. If the woman is so unable to support their children, give the custody to the father and let him pay for his children. Now the custody is awarded to the mother and the father have to give the house. It is unfair.

Furthermore, you seem to assign all the blame for failed marriages to women.

I don't do that. I haven't spoken of blame at all. Blame is a very complicated issue.

It's true that women file for divorce in 65-70% of cases. But just because women are the ones who file more often doesn't mean that the dissolution of the relationship was their decision alone.

Please, give me a break. What are you trying to imply? That men tell "Honey, I want to divorce you but we men are so lazy that I want you to go to the court to file the divorce". Of course, if women file the divorce more often is because they decide to divorce more frequently than men. Thinking otherwise is nonsense.

I am not talking about shame, blame or anything. I am talking about decisions. 70%-75% of the time women take the decision to divorce.

but in truth, neither partner is blameless.

I have not spoken of blame because this is very difficult of determining. You don't know if either partner is blameless. You don't know the situation. Me neither.

But there is one fact: it is women that take the decision to have the divorce. Not always, only 70-75% of cases. But it is the husband who loses his children and his assets, even if the woman is the guilty one. If they are both guilty, let them walk in equality of conditions.

Please imagine this situation. Suppose I am married. One day I come back home early from my job and discover my wife having sex with the neighbour. Well, sometimes these things happen. What is the most probable outcome of this situation?

You are right. I will lose my children and my assets. This is my penalty for having a cheating wife. What it is the penalty for my wife because of cheating?

Having the children, having my house and being paid for decades. Very fair. Very fair. Then women wonder how men are avoiding marriage more and more.

But there's no research I know of to prove that the failure of the relationship (not the physical action of filing for divorce) is more often the woman's fault.

I am not talking about fault, shame or blame. This is difficult to state. But it is easy to state that women initiate 70-75% of divorces, while labelling men as "commitment-phobics". Women are the ones who bail out the commitment.

It's women who declared war on men several decades ago. Men were called male chauvinist, deadbeat dads, oppressors, commitment-phobic, aggressors, rapists, don't doing the household chores.

As women are still called bitches, hos, sluts, c***s, gold diggers, man haters, ball breakers, etc., etc., etc. There's a lot of mudslinging, and both sexes
are covered in it.


Come on! It is not the same. Bitches, hos is an insult, like "men are pigs" and so on. Of course both sexes insult each other. These are things that are said between friends with a couple of drinks.

But the things I have said are not insults:

1. That women have been oppressed by men for millenia is not only a friend talk. It has became the mainstream opinion. Most gender books have this approach, and the idea is repeated by politicians, TV hosts, United Nations (I have worked for them), NGO's, most of Western governments and so on and so forth. That men are rapists is not a thought so widely spread but women who have writen books telling this are between the heros of the feminist movement and are interviewed on TV with a lot of respect. Do you imagine a mysoginist men writing a book telling "all women are sluts and men have been oppressed by them" and then being considered a public intellectual and being interviewed on TV with a lot of respect? Yes, and pigs fly.

3.Commitment-phobic is a label which is repeated in the media often when trying to explain that men are avoiding marriage. Would you see the word "ball breaker" in the media? It is not going to happen.

4. In talk-shows telling men to share half of the household chores is frequent. But, nobody tells women to bring 50% of the paycheck (which is rare because women usually marry up). And it would be impossible in talk-shows hear about women being sluts and hos.

5. A lot of complaining in the media about men being the major part of politicians and demanding quotas. Weirdly, there are not complains about men being 90% of soldiers, firefighters and other professions with danger of death. Quotas for that are not demanded.

6.When talking about divorce, the term "deadbeat dad" is not strange. But it is never said that women abuse physically of children way more than men do.

61% of all child abuse is committed by biological mothers
25% of all child abuse is committed by natural fathers
Statistical Source: Current DHHS report on nationwide Child Abuse

7. When talking about domestic violence only women are mentioned. In Spain, a law of domestic violence was passed and the only ones who are protected by the law are women. Last year, 30 men died of domestic violence, but they are not protected because they have a penis. Talk about feminism. Talk about equality


The common denominator of all these things (and I could go on and forth) is that they enforce the "women-good, men-bad" worldview. Feminism began by defining the men as "the enemy". Please read the classic of feminisms. Please observe women complaining about men and blaming them of all their problems. Please see the interviews to professional women in the media. This has been continuing for decades and has permeated the popular culture. Even many men are absorved these messages which has been bad for their self-development. (When I was young, I was filled with guilt, because I have assumed all things women tell of men. So, for example, I felt guilty about looking the breast of a topless woman, although I couldn't help it. Until I realized that a)I am a man and I love female breasts. My sexuality is natural and I am not a pig for having a sexuality different than women's 2) A woman showing their breasts naked and then get angry when I look at them is a plain hypocrite).

Women defined men as their enemy and wanted to be liberated from them. Wanted to be independent. This is good, but, please, when you achieve what you wanted, please celebrate. Don't start complaining because men are independent from women. We have the right to be independent and avoid and delay marriage if we want.

After decades of being told that we were the cause of women's problems, now women tell that men have started a war against women. This is ridiculous. When faced with a situation with women that we don't like, men don't attack women. Men leave. It is easier and men value simple things. Men value peace of mind.We are not starting a war against women. We are avoiding marriage. And we are not doing it because we want to punish women. This is nonsense. We are doing it because it is the thing that it suits best.

Women's liberation implied the attainment of rights and privileges equal to those of men.

Part of the true. But not the whole true. But it is late and I don't feel like writing two more pages for dealing with a complicated issue.

That some women extended this to male bashing was not an automatic outgrowth of women's lib, nor has it been practiced by all women.

Women complaining about men is a constant in human history. Please read the Bible, read the Illyad, read Cato the Elder, read madame Bovary, read the major books of universal literature. Read the women's works: George Sand, Simone de Beauvoir, Sor Juana Inés de la Cruz. Women bashed men before feminism. Feminism has only given a proper framework to fuel and justify this male-bashing and to make it a science.

I haven't met one single women who has not made male-bashing when the world wasn't the way she wanted. Not my sisters, not my mother, not my previous girlfriends, not my friends-with-benefits, not my cousins, not my female co-workers.


Men never have declared war on women. This is laughable and ridiculous. There are no books telling "all women are harpies" but there are books telling "all
men are rapists".

I'm sure, Finsals, that you can find a book about any subject on earth, including misogyny.


Of course. I can find a man that bites a dog, but it is far more probable to find a dog which bites a man. Of course, there are books who bash women but there are marginal books. You won't see any of these books commented on TV or in literary supplements of the newspaper. This is not considered mainstream literature and it is generally despised.

For each book that bashes women there are one hundred which bash men. And, more importantly, books which bash men are considered mainstream, are best-seller ("The Rules", "He is not that into you", "The 51% minority"), commented on TV, newspapers and considered cultural phenomenons.

Men flatly don't care [about not forming families].

I find that statement very sad and am certainly glad that not everyone shares your opinion.


Well, granted, not all men think like me. But the trend is increasing more and more. 20 years ago, the number of men rejecting family was tiny. Now it is part of the mainstream (but it is not yet the majority). But this is increasing more and more.

Social changes like these are slow. But 20 years from now I guess the majority of men will have this trend.

It is not that men have become evil suddenly. The same men would have had families in other ages. It is that now family is not worth it. Feminism and divorced laws have redefined family, halving the duties of the woman and doubling her rights, halving the rights of the man and doubling his duties. Women thought that they had achieved a bigger better deal. And one day, the Western man woke up and realized that it was far more convenient not to get married.

And, slowly but without stopping, they started delaying families until they hit 30s and their testosterone recede, so they live happily ever after as a bachelor.

In the short run, feminism and divorce laws have opressed us. But in the long rung, they are liberating us. Feminism is the best thing has happened to men.

It is, however, exactly why I wrote my post.

But your post is useless, Elsie. I don't say this to annoy you, but because it is true. You are telling that everything is OK (the system is fundamentally good and it is correcting himself) and then call to men to rejoin the human race. Do you think that this is going to work?

Every time a man is f*cked off in court (excuse me for the language but it is the easiest way to say it), there are a lot of men who are watching. Their friends, their family, etc. My youngest sister has a friend (David) who has been married to a woman for two months. The woman dumped him and took his apartment and his car (he was from a poor family and these were all his savings). He is alone. Do you think I know this guy? I don't know him. But even I have realized what has happened. All his friends, family, the brothers of his friends (like me), and all people close have realized that. So every man f*ked in court have a multiplicative effect.

Now, men don't like to complain. We are taught to take it like a man. I am a very talkative man but this is not usual. So every time a thing like this happens, men write a note to self "Marriage is a bad business. It is best not to have a family". Men are slow learners but they end up learning.

And then when you get to the 30s, you realize that you do not need a woman to be happy. This is one of the happiest moments in the life of every man who has not married. When the testosterone recedes and the man has developed his hobbies (in my case, studying, travelling, reading) and it is happy alone. He is free. Women will come to his life but he doesn't need them. He can have the life he wants. As Blaise Pascal said "All man's troubles come from not knowing how to sit still in one room". This is why men used to marry in her 20s, when they were willing to trade a life of work for a pretty face.

I am very happy this way and I enjoy my freedom. Did I tell you that next year I was going to work to other country? I am so excited by this new adventure.

If I was married, I couldn't do that.

I can't help wondering, if the laws favored men, as they did for thousands of years, would men be outraged?

Well, I don't agree about laws favored men. I think it was a division of labor. But anyway, men have shown more empathy about women that the other way around. Who voted the laws that recognized women the right to vote? Men (100%). Who voted the laws who favor women in divorce? Mostly men. Who voted the laws who made only women victims of domestic violence? Mostly men (more than 80%).

The other way around is ridiculous. Do you think a parlament full of female politicians would have voted a law who favors men when divorcing? No way! Most women don't empathize with men. The sisterhood is powerful.

There is a fundamental problem with women. Many women (not you) misidentify their enemies. The enemy of a woman who wants to marry and/or have a family is not a man. The enemy of such a woman is a woman like Heather Mills or the ex of David (my sister's friend). When a woman strips of his assets her ex, she is sending the message to men that it is better to avoid marriage. And men receive this message (they don't like to speak out loud, but they are not silly, they know what is happening).

So the thing that amazes me the most is how, when a case like this is commented in the workplace, most women support the Mills-like woman instead of the husband. I have felt like screaming "this girl is your enemy, you idiots!". But I don't say anything. They wouldn't understand. Of course, all the men arround are busy taking silent notes to self "If these girls are supporting Heather Mills, this means that they could do the same. Please avoid being
involved with these girls and, maybe, avoid marriage."

I do support local judges and elected officials who, to the best of my knowledge, share my beliefs. I also bring issues like this to light by writing about them here.

Good for you!!! This is good. If only there were more women like you the problem would be under way of being solved...Other thing you can do is talking to female friends about this issue.

But it is too early. The marriage avoidance is 30% (and there is cohabitation) and most women live under the illusion that they are able to get guys marry by pressuring them, by telling immature, etc. Sometimes this works. Sometimes don't. But until the marriage avoidance be in 50% (and cohabitation avoidance will be higher) or so, nothing can be done.

To solve a problem, there are a series of steps.

1) A majority of people have to be aware of the problem
2) A majority of people have to agree on one solution.
3) Politicians must be pressured to offer the solution.
4) The solution must be implemented and develop its effects.

The most difficult steps are 1 and 2. We are not in 1 (maybe we are in 0.1). Most people are not aware of the problem. There must be a majority of woman willing to change the situation. Now, this is not true. I don't think the problem is solved in the next 20 years (and probably more). In the meantime, millions of women will be alone or be single women. I pity them (well, if they are happy alone like me, I don't pity them) but I am not willing to sacrify my life and my happiness for them. Millions of men will bail out of the family concept.

Then, one day, millions of women will be so desperate that they would be willing to change the laws to make man return to marriage. So the laws will be fair (not favoring men nor women, but plainly fair). And men, slowly but without stopping, will be returning to marriage. But I don't think I will see that or I will be very old.

It is a pity that things have to go so wrong to improve but women won't resign their privileges in divorce courts so easily. They have to become aware that is the only solution possible. And this takes time and a lot of desperation. Unfortunately.

What do you do? Or perhaps, since you "flatly don't care," you do nothing.

Well, you are right. It is too late for me. I don't care anymore. Even if the laws would change tomorrow, I would remain bachelor-for-ever. I have became accustomed to live alone. I am married to my freedom and it is the most amazing wife you can imagine.

In my 20s I would have married and be a family man. I was madly in love with my girlfriend but she dumped me before marrying her because she found a richer guy (now she is a single mom). But this has passed. This is why, Elsie, I do nothing. The situation is good for me. This is why men who are in their thirties are reluctant to marry.

Only that I get infuriated when men are blamed of all the women's problem and I write an angry post like the first one.

But, Elsie, you are a rare jewel. You are willing to listen. In cyber-space you are the first female I found willing to listen. When I try to say my point of view in cyber-space or to female friends they don't want to listen. They only name-calling. But you listen, even if you don't agree.

If you accept an advice of an old fart like me (I am 37), please marry a guy in his (and your) twenties. Don't be so perfectionist (like the author of "Marry him"). A good guy, hard-working, that loves you and want to have a family. Try not to delay marriage to thirties. This is dangerous.

I think you've misinterpreted this quote. I didn't mean to imply that men are subhuman. The theme of the post was that men have increasingly distanced themselves from women and children

But this is not true. We are not distancing ourselves from women and children. Most of my friends are female. I have friends-with-benefits. I have a loving mother and two sisters. I have my lovely niece (Did I tell you that she is the prettiest girl in the world?) and the sons/daughters of my cousins. Every bachelor I know has a lot of women and children in his life. We are not distancing of the human species. We are not perpetuating our genes but I don't think it is necessary. The world is overpopulated.

Well, it is so late. As I have said this is my last post. Thank you for your posts. I wish you well. I wish your dreams come true.

Clever Elsie said...

Finsals: I wish that, as I requested, you had waited to respond until after I'd replied to your last comment since it's much more difficult to reply to two different posts. From briefly reviewing your most recent comment, I see that you won't be continuing the discussion. Nevertheless, I'm going to reply in case you're still following the thread as well as for the sake of other readers.

you must be willing to listen to men, even if they defy your worldview, even if you don't like their arguments.

I think men and women must be willing to listen to each other. I don't think that's going on now in the population as a whole.

Granted, not all men believe like me. But those who think like you don't need to be convinced (it is useless to preach to the choir).

My post was directed toward men who will probably marry and have kids (about 84%) but are waiting to do so until the women of their generation are beyond their reproductive years.

there is no any "ad hominem" attack in my post. Not with the definition of "ad hominem" (please see http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ad_hominem).

I know what "ad hominem" means. It's an attack on the debater, not the issue up for debate. I stand behind my assessment of your first post as including language that attacked me, not just the issue.

Older men are richer and can support a family better (or alternatively, can pay bigger child support check).

One doesn't need to be wealthy to have a family, just financially stable. Plenty of young men in their twenties are financially stable, especially if they choose a female partner who also works at least part-time. Lots of families aren't wealthy but are very happy nevertheless.

Older men are wiser, more responsible and, because they are not so testosterone-driven, they know what things they want in a partner, which produces better couples. Young men are willing to endure a woman only because she is "hot", regardless the fact that she may be incompatible with him and the relationship may be a disaster (but with good sex). Older men know better.

Really? It seems that older men, such as yourself by admission in your next comment, may also be more bitter ("SOBs," as you said) due to their many failed relationships. When men are still young, many of them are, as you said you were, "nice guys." This argument very quickly deteriorates into the realm of opinion, but personally, I'd think a nice guy would make a much better husband and father than an SOB.

As I said, much of this is opinion. I've known lots of men in their twenties who were wise and responsible, as well as men in their thirties, forties, and older who were just...not. Things like wisdom, responsibility, and self-knowledge are subjective and not quantifiable.

I also object to your assertion that only young men are blinded by a woman's physical appearance. I'll grant that it's probably more common for young men to fall prey to this trap than for older men to be so misled, but this isn't a problem that's limited to the younger generation. We all know the stereotypical midlife crisis guy who leaves his faithful wife and family for some bubbleheaded, nubile blonde barely out of her teens, only to have the relationship implode a year later. The stereotype exists because those things happen. Furthermore, while younger guys may initially be more likely to enter a relationship due to physical attraction, few men will make that relationship permanent if they don't love the girl, no matter how old they are. I hope you realize I'm not advocating that young men grab the first girl they like and marry her. Rather, I was encouraging men to look for someone they could love while they and the women of their age group are still young and to settle down when they do find love rather than postponing the commitment indefinitely.

Older men's marriages last more than young men's marriages.

Only to a point. Those who marry at age 25 or older are more likely to have successful marriages than those who marry under 25 (though the divorce rate is only 10% higher for those who marry at 20-24). After age 25, the divorce risk levels off. For the record, I don't think marrying under 25 is a good idea for most people. But that doesn't mean one has to wait till 45, either.

The thing about menopause is not true, although there is a gradual declining of sex drive and fertility with age (not a sudden thing like menopause).

I'm aware that males don't experience a sudden cessation of gamete production in the way that females do. That's why I put the word "menopause" in quotes--to indicate that it wasn't the same thing as the traditionally accepted definition of menopause.

Quoted from Wikipedia: "male fertility does not decline as it does with females; there have been examples of males being fertile at 94 years old. At most, age "might possibly result in a moderate decline" in fertility in males.". Please read the book "The Male Biological Clock: The Startling News About Aging, Sexuality, and Fertility in Men"

I haven't read the book you mentioned (thank you for suggesting it), but just looking at the reviews, I can see that they actually support my point, not yours. This quote is taken from a review of the book on Amazon:

"In modern culture, the words 'male' and 'biological clock' aren't typically seen together, but Dr. Harry Fisch has news: after the age of 35, men have increased rates of infertility, can contribute to the likelihood of a miscarriage, and are more likely to father a child with Down syndrome."

If you read the links I left on this subject in my last comment, you'll see several other articles confirming the above. And I beg to differ with you that the decline in male fertility is irrelevant to my argument. If men become less capable of fathering children as they age, that's a good reason to have kids sooner rather than later.

Also, your argument for prolonged childlessness leaves a few other factors out of the equation:

1. Children require a level of energy that aging fathers don't readily have.

2. Men who become fathers at an older age risk dying before their children are grown, a very painful event for kids.

3. Large age differences between men and women contribute to the instability of relationships due to wide variations in maturity, experience, energy level, and sex drive.

Furthermore, men don't have this biological urge to reproduce that women have.

You're confusing biological urges with emotional urges. The biological urge to reproduce is the urge to have sexual intercourse. Both men and women are endowed with that urge, and I think it's pretty well established that men are very well endowed with it.

Granted, young men (filled by testosterone) want to have families, but if they find the right woman. But if they don't find her, they don't feel devastated the way the women are if they don't end up having families.

I suspect there are childless men who would beg to differ with you that they don't feel a loss. Are you aware that there are men out there who aren't interested in marrying a woman who doesn't want or can't have kids? I know because I've spoken to such men myself. How would you explain that other than to say that these men obviously want kids and would be dissatisfied if they didn't have them?

You know, it's a dangerous thing to presume that all people feel anything, including that all women want children and all men couldn't care less. In general, it does seem true that women anticipate having kids with more excitement and are more upset when they can't have them, but these are generalizations. You know, a month or so ago, a close male friend of mine related that he had recently held a colleague's baby and was struck by how ready he was to be a father. I suspect he'd be quite disappointed if that never materialized for him.

Men don't have the biological drive to have children than women have. However, once the kids are born, children is the thing men love the most in the world.

Here you seem to be saying that while most men aren't as eager to have kids as women are, kids are, nevertheless, a treasure that most men prize above all else. And yet you also say that kids "aren't worth it" for men. Do you see a contradiction here?

84% of men wanting to have a family does not mean they actualy will have a family.

Please go back and check the linked statistic, which confirms that 84% of men in the U.S. have fathered children.

Granted, they are still 84% (old habits refuse to die quickly) but they are decreasing every day. They are less than 20 years ago

True.

and, 20 days from now, they will be even less.

That's just an assumption. No one has any idea what will happen in the future. However, if the trend continues as it is now, that may be the case. It's my hope, though, that it will change.

I have seen the life of several friends of mine (some married, some cohabitating) destroyed only because their partner has decided to end the relationship. It is scary to see a man crying because he miss their kids. And I have seen that.

Are you aware of why their partners chose to end the relationship? Are you aware of why they were denied joint custody? I'm very sorry to hear that your friends may have gotten the raw end of the deal, but I don't know enough about these situations to assume that they were completely in the right and their partners were completely in the wrong. I've also seen women in tears because of a male partner who was abusive (physically or verbally), unfaithful, an alcoholic, drug addict, or gambler, or who had generally "checked out" of the relationship. But I highly doubt any of those men confided in their friends that they used their wives as punching bags, slowly stripped away their self-esteem with continuous criticism, or drank themselves into a stupor every night after work. These are extreme cases and may not apply to your friends. Maybe your friends were wonderful husbands in every way but unfortunately married shallow, self-centered women. But there are two sides to every story, and it's very difficult to assign blame to just one side unless you were living there with them in the privacy of their own home and had access to everything that went on behind closed doors.

Men don't want to make war against women. Men want to make love to women.

I had to chuckle a little at the irony of this. We all know that men want to have sex with women. We all know, too, that due to the same women's movement you say you hate so much, you are also now enabled to have the friends-with-benefits kind of relationship that you say you enjoy so much in your next comment. Yes, there is much to do with sex in your comments but little to do with love.

I, like most men who avoid marriage, would be willing to have children and family if I had the assurance that I will see my children grow up.

So in our current times, having kids is like putting half of your assets (current and future ones) and all your future happiness in a roulette....Not wise. Not wise at all.

Finsals, there are no guarantees in life. You could have children, and they could die young. You could have children who run away at 14. Life is a game of Russian roulette.

The divorce rate is slightly less than 50%, somewhere around 47% last I checked. Of those divorces, most will end in amicable custody arrangements. A few will not. To argue that you have a greater probability of winding up among those few doesn't hold up to the statistical evidence. (And, yes, the evidence holds up, but I'll have to get to that tomorrow.)

But more importantly, you're treating marriage like a roll of the dice, as though every relationship isn't based on what you do and don't do. The quality of a long-term relationship isn't the result of chance. It's the result of who you choose and what you do to make your marriage work.

Have you ever looked into the research on personal variables correlated with divorce? Here's one for you: more educated women are less likely to divorce. If you looked into it, you'd find that there are a lot of factors that make both women and men more likely to have sustainable marriages. You can control who you choose and how you treat her, and that goes a long way toward preserving a good relationship.

Men would want to have families early in life if they see this was a good decision for them. The same way that women want to have families early in life because this is a good decision for them. Men and women are only doing what it suits best. Men and women take decisions based on their own interest.

It's not really in any individual's interest to have kids, Finsals. Women who have children lose approximately $1 million in life earnings per child. They often lose their place on the career ladder. They lose the youth and vitality of their bodies. Sometimes, they lose their lives.

The choice to have children isn't really one that's made in self-interest. It's made out of instinct, yes, but it's also made out of a conscious decision that having a child or taking care of one (adopting) is an important contribution to the continuance of the human race and an experience that enriches our lives far more than it depletes them.

It's not a choice that everyone should make, and I encourage those who really don't want to not to do it. But most people do still make that choice because of the reasons stated above, and to those I say that it's in no one's best interest to delay having kids into the late thirties and early forties. Sometimes, we have to think beyond the present moment and do what's best for the future.

I'll have to leave your final comment for tomorrow since it was, as you acknowledged, quite long. If you change your mind about commenting further, I really do hope that you'll allow me to respond to your most recent comment first. Thanks.

Clever Elsie said...

Woops, forgot this part:

Single moms by choice (women that, after deciding you they won't meet Mr. Right, decide to have children on their own) is an unknow phenomenom in the male world.

It's not unknown. There are (admittedly rare) cases of men who adopt. It's also, of course, much more difficult for any man who wanted to do so to adopt because adoption agencies favor couples first and women second.

You're right, though, that the majority of single men don't choose to be fathers. However, this doesn't mean that's because men don't really want kids. You have to remember here that the fathering role is different than the mothering role. Mothers are generally more involved in day-to-day nurture, while fathers are more involved in play and discipline. While most mothers think they can handle the play and discipline, a lot of fathers don't feel equipped to handle the constant nurturing all by themselves, nor would they want to. One might say that men find it much harder and less appealing to be fathers without a mate to provide nurture, not that they have no interest in being fathers. This is also, by the way, the primary reason why women are more often granted full custody of the children. In fact, I have to wonder if most men would even want to provide the day-to-day caretaking required by full custody.

Women's drive to have children is biological (so very strong). Men's drive to have children is cultural (so, if they see this is not the best option, they don't feel bad by avoiding it).

Both sexes have a biological drive to reproduce (i.e. to have sexual intercourse). In addition, both sexes have an emotional drive to reproduce (i.e. the conscious desire to have children). It's obvious that this emotional drive is much stronger in women, but that doesn't mean it's nonexistent in men. The origin of the emotional drive in women is not fully understood. It's likely influenced by the higher levels of estrogen that women have, but it's also influenced by the sociocultural norms with which girls are raised.

Jenice said...

I’m just going to get right to it. Yes. We do settle. And I’m not going to go in a super long post to prove my point. I just have to tell you how my life has been the past 10 years I’ve been on and off the market. There is always going to be that girl that will just sit there and take crap so they won’t be alone. Men don’t care if they are alone or not for the most part. They figure they can snatch up any gal if they wanted to.
Women attach a lot more emotion to being in a relationship where I have found that men eventually run from it. Just my opinion and what I’ve dealt with. I have literally found myself saying, “Well, he’s not really what I’m looking for but he’s nice” just because I can’t find men of quality. I have settled more than once for just a guy who isn’t cruel. A guy who seems to care over what I’m really attracted to. Women seem to do this more than men because they can look past certain things like looks and, unfortunately, ambition. I see it every day. I’m not saying this is all a good thing. It’s just what it is.
And in a world like this, why would we want to bring children in it? Personally, I don’t want children and all I seem to run into are men who already have them anyway. And it’s a stereotype that women constantly have a “biological clock” that ticks and ticks.

Clever Elsie said...

Jenice: Thanks for sharing another female point of view! My experience largely reflects your own, and I agree with most of what you said, with the exception of your view on kids.

You asked who would want to have kids in this day and age. It's true this world is not always a welcoming environment, but then, has it ever been? It's always been filled with war, poverty, disease...I'm not sure if I want to bring more kids into the world myself, but there are always children who need homes. And as for the stereotype of the biological clock, while there are definitely women out there who don't want kids, do you really think it would be realistic to say that most don't? Of the women I know, most do.

John Wrangel said...

Finsals hit the the nail on the head. The risk is too great. I admit I'm a closet romantic and I had hoped to find a soul mate and have a large family but I am afraid of being turned into a slave. Women obviously don't share the same values as I have in regards to personal accountability and freedom (i.e. they vote liberal). I'm a 27 year old physician assistant and I have a happy fulfilling life and everyday I thank God I am single and childless. Why do I care if the human race of western civilization continues? I am a traditional conservative male enslaved in a socialist feminized nanny state. Western Civilization is dying because of the feminocentric leftist views that pervade. Why would I fight, work, or try to perpetuate such a state of affair? I'm going to enjoy my life and watch disinterestedly as birth rates drop from hard working educated people and climb among poor uneducated third worlders. This civilization isn't worth continuing and I'm fine with its death.

Clever Elsie said...

John Wrangel: Thanks for commenting because you reminded me that I never did respond to Finsals' last rebuttal. It was a lengthy debate, and I lost track of where we were, but it deserves a reply even if he never sees it because people are obviously still reading this thread.

I'm glad that you have a happy and fulfilling life. So do I. But I also think it's sad that you say you "had hoped to find a soul mate," as though your life were over at the ripe old age of 27.

There are both men and women who vote liberal, and I know plenty of women who vote conservative, including young ones. I was raised in a conservative community myself, so they abound where I'm from, as they do wherever there are religious and/or wealthy people and outside of most major cities.

As for a life of indentured servitude, that's something that can happen to either sex and just as frequently happens to women, who do more housework and childcare on average than do men, even though the majority are still in the workforce. However, no one can enslave you without your permission, male or female. It appalls me how many spouses think they need to say yes to Dear Hubby or Wifey's every request. Marriage takes compromise, but if you really don't want to do something, just open up your mouth and say no! Your identity doesn't end where marriage begins, although some people seem to be under that impression.

I'm not going to get into a political debate with you, so the only thing I'll say on that front is that I don't see how things have improved for us working stiffs under NeoCon Bush.

I think it's a shame you have such a nihilistic worldview, but you're entitled to it. However, I believe that if you don't like things, you should try to change them, not throw up your hands and sit idly by. It sounds like your ideas about gender roles are probably pretty traditional, so let me ask you this: By shrinking away from the world and refusing to take action for what you believe in, are you not taking the passive, "feminine" role that you say you deplore in today's men? Just something to think about.