Summary: Men and women are going their own way. The result might be a crisis of unimaginable size, and more difficult to fix than putting Humpty Dumpty together again. Think of it as social entropy, an arrow that runs in only one direction. Emma Watson going her own way. Women going their own way. Vogue and…
These stories often have sad endings, but not the sort that the next generation of women are likely to learn from. The careers and parties are fun, and women gain experience year by year. They tell of women leading lives with men as bit parts — wandering on and off stage (wisely, as such women will file for divorce on the slightest whim). But they learn too late that time was not their friend. As in Sciortino’s tale of life in the 30’s. Red emphasis added, highlighting one of the great themes in feminist literature (it’s not the woman’s fault).
“But it’s not just that being single suddenly feels alienating in your 30s. It’s also that dating itself becomes more difficult. For one, the stakes are higher. You don’t want to waste your time on someone who doesn’t feel like they could be ‘the one.’ But simultaneously, thinking “would he make a good dad?” after knowing someone for the duration of a martini makes you feel like an insane, rom-com cliché of a woman. Not ideal.
“Essentially, we are far more discriminating in our 30s than we were in our 20s, which is both a blessing and a curse. We know more about what we want and what we won’t tolerate — but to a point where almost no one is good enough. I find myself having thoughts like, ‘I could never date him, he wears V-necks.’ Or, ‘He was nice, but he sleeps in a mezzanine bed.’ And this perpetual dissatisfaction is especially true in New York, where inflated egos are paired with incredibly high standards and the illusion of infinite choice.
“That cliché of thinking ‘someone better might be just around the corner’ is real. But I keep turning corners, and I keep meeting finance guys with high cholesterol who just discovered Williamsburg. Sigh. Sometimes I think I should’ve picked someone when I was 25 and stupid, and then just made it work.
“The catch is, as we become increasingly picky, the pool of soul mates keeps getting smaller. Here’s another 30s development: Now, when I meet a cute guy, he’s often already married. Just recently, I felt like I was truly connecting with my orthodontist — I mean, he’s literally been putting his fingers in my mouth for six months — only for him to drop last week that he has a wife. I feel mislead.“
Much of this genre of women’s literature consists of tales about women attempting to “have it all” (often with disastrous results) — and others saying that women cannot have it all (here, here, and here).
What happens to these women if they either do not find Mr. Right, or cannot convince him to marry her? Cats. Women’s media comforts them about their choice. Such as Cosmo” “Because, let’s face it, cats are often more emotionally intelligent than men. …The cat is permanent; you’re replaceable.”