Young Single Women Try to Appear Less Ambitious To Attract A Mate – via WSJ
Link to the article:
My comments about this article from the Wall Street Jounal (excerpts from said article are much farther below):
Single ladies who want to be married:
The kind of man you will attract if you minimize yourself, play yourself off as vapid, helpless, or ditzy, is NOT the sort of man you should want to be dating or marrying in the first place.
Further, if anything, the problem is the reverse.
If you are a woman with money in your savings account, or are employed and earning a pay check, you must be aware of men who are out to use your for your money – it happens. Our culture often paints women as being the gold-digger, but I have often seen the reverse situation.
Since I’ve been a little girl, most of the couples I have seen (cohabitating, dating, or married), including my ex fiance, have consisted of men who prey on ambitious women for the woman’s money. A lot of men seem to like and be attracted to ambitious women.
There are a lot of lazy men out there who are male gold-diggers: they leech financially off their wife or girlfriend.
I have an Aunt who works full time to pay all the bills, while her husband sits around in dirty overalls in a recliner watching football on TV all day, when he’s not down at the corner bar drinking beer with buddies. I have other examples I could cite, but that should be sufficient.
Single women: you need to be true to yourself, as the old saying goes.
If you get to my age (mid-40s), you will have a sh*tload of regrets if you played down your true skills, talents, and quirks over your life- all because you thought you had to do so in order to get dates or get married.
Never, ever downplay your true life goals, hobbies, interests, or intelligence to lure men to you. It won’t end up how you think it will – you will end up attracting a user, abuser, creep, or a self-absorbed sexist who doesn’t care about you, your life, or your goals.
If you end up single, it’s not the end of the world. You will get by just fine. You will find other things in life to preoccupy your interests and time other than romance, if you never get a husband.
If and when you do date (especially with marriage in mind), for the love of all that is holy, make sure the guy you are with shows signs and evidence of meeting YOUR needs, helping you reach YOUR dreams and career goals.
If you are little miss passive sweet thang – because you think you can attract a man that way – forget it.
I played that passive, sweet, docile, old fashioned woman role all my life (until the last few years, when I realized how wrong, harmful, and sexist it it), and I never got married.
(I was engaged at one time, but my fiance financially exploited me, he was terribly selfish, he never took an interest in me or my career, but he expected me to take an interest in his career and life, etc.)
So, just because you “dumb yourself down,” flutter your eyelashes, and pretend like you are not ambitious, is not a guarantee you will attract a man or keep one. It’s certainly not a guarantee you will attract a QUALITY man with whom you will be happy. I broke up with my ex, after all.
And again, this really bears repeating: the kind of man you will attract by behaving like a doormat is NOT the sort of man you want to be with: such men are either abusive, controlling, selfish, or a combination of all those things.
A lot of these women in the WSJ article (who I am assuming are secular) hold views about “how to nab a man” that are the same as what is regularly taught by gender complementarian Christians as well.
Complementarians are not “counter cultural,” as they often claim they are, because complmentarian teachings about women, dating, and marriage often echo or mirror sexist ideas secular society teaches girls and women.
Christian Comps (complementarians) wrongly believe that the Bible teaches that God designed each biological sex to perform, or be better at, certain roles.
For example, most Comps believe that God created men to be assertive, bold, protective, and “take charge,” but that God created women to be meek, passive, submissive, docile, weak, soft spoken, and frail.
So, in much of their sermons, blogs, magazine articles, blog posts, and other content, Comps teach Christian women to stifle their true talents and skills.
You will often see complementarian women (such as Mary Kassian and others) advising single Christian women who want to marry to “dumb themselves down,” though of course they won’t use the phrase “dumb yourself down,” and will even deny that is what they are teaching, but yes, that is what comp dating advice boils down to.
Comps will tell single women who desire marriage: don’t appear too ambitious, be super sweet, take an interest in domestic skills, defer to men around you, allow men to lead, don’t come across as assertive – and on and on it goes with the terribly out-dated, sexist 1950s ideas of womanhood.
There are a lot of women, Christian and no, who do not fulfill the traditional gender roles that Comps think are “biblical” or “God’s design.”
Take me, for instance. I was raised in a Christian gender comp family and taught to act and behave in an “old fashioned” way and to take an interest in stereotypical “girly” hobbies, but I never fit any of it.
Comps teach that all women should be passive, nurturing, want to have children, and be “frou-frou” and into homemaking skills and baking cookies.
In short, even in the year 2017, the majority of Christian gender complementarians hold up a 1950s “June Cleaver” sit com house-wife persona as being God’s intent for all women, and comps assume all women enjoy this, strive for it, and want it.
There is no room in Comp thinking and teaching for women who don’t fit this mould or who have no interest in fitting it.
I have never fit that sort of old fashioned, 1950s view of women: I have always had a bit of a Tom Boy streak. I usually liked and preferred entertainment or hobbies that were considered “masculine” by some people, such as Bat Man comics, Science Fiction movies, riding my bike, running with boys, and climbing trees.
I was always interested in motorcycles and wanted one of my own.
I hated dolls, Disney Princesses, Barbies, wearing dresses, and playing with pink plastic toys.
I was never particularly interested in babies or having a baby of my own. I don’t care for domestic arts – I don’t care for ironing, dusting furniture, and doing laundry.
Some women just don’t fit these notions of womanhood, but society and gender comp Christians keep shaming and scolding women into trying to fit into a box of their own creation.
All it does is frustrate women.
I have a hunch that if I could’ve been free to be me back when I was a teen or in my 20s, I probably would’ve been married years ago.
Ironically, I think these Christian (and secular) teachings about womanhood, gender roles, dating, etc, is what put hurdles into place preventing marriage from happening, as I did not trust men or feel comfortable around them, in part because I was taught it was not good or biblical for me to be me.
I always had to put on a mask and play a role, which amounted to being a nice, sugary, docile doormat.
I was not permitted to have boundaries, because my Christian mother and church felt that having boundaries was selfish, un-ladylike – in turn, I was not allowed to be assertive but taught to sit in silence if someone was rude to me.
(I should note here that this view is part and parcel of Christian gender complementarianism: complementarianism is the same thing as Codependency.
Complementarians will either directly or implicitly teach girls and women that it is wrong or outside of God’s will for girls and women to have boundaries. However, lacking boundaries is one characteristic of codependency, and God never sanctions codependency in the Bible.)
Telling me I could not or should not defend myself if someone became abusive or rude to me kept me afraid of people – specifically men and dating – all through my youth.
And I kept doing as Christians told me to do, kept praying asking God to send me the right guy, but he never did. But I can see now how this garbage – telling women to hide who they are, and be super passive so as not to scare off men – hinders a woman from getting married it does not help!
If a man is too insecure or intimidated by the “real” me, including my ambition, he’s not the sort of guy I’d want to marry any way. He’d be a selfish jerk who expects me to cheer him on in his daily struggles and his career but not give a rat about my struggles or career goals. I’ve lived that out before with my ex, and I won’t be going there again.
Single women operate in both labor market and marriage market—and those spheres value different qualities, study finds
Maybe you haven’t come such a long way, baby.
Nearly two decades into the 21st century, young, professional women feel compelled to minimize their accomplishments and ambitions—but only if they are single, according to (Link): a new study of M.B.A. candidates.
Young, single women are simultaneously operating in the labor market and the marriage market—and those spheres value different qualities, said Amanda Pallais, an economist at Harvard University and a co-author of the study that surveyed 355 students.
So millennial women face an age-old trade-off between professional goals and their desire to attract a mate. When they believe men are watching, single women are noticeably less assertive and minimize their goals, including salary expectations, found Ms. Pallais and her colleagues, the University of Chicago’s Leonardo Bursztyn and Thomas Fujiwara of Princeton University.
…They [women workers] also reported lower professional ambition and less tendency to take leadership roles in their day-to-day work lives.
Actions that may help women advance in the workplace such as speaking up in meetings or asking for a raise, “signal ambition or assertiveness, and those things are penalized for women in the marriage market,” Ms. Pallais said, citing prior research that suggests men prefer mates who are less successful and less educated than themselves.
..When students believed their answers were private, the responses from men and women showed they held similar career expectations. But if students were told that classmates would read their questionnaires, the responses from single women were dramatically different.
…For women in long-term relationships, and both single and joined male peers, answers were comparable whether the surveys were public or not. The one exception was salary, where joined women had lower goals than men.
Why don’t single men face the same trade-offs their female counterparts do? Ms. Pallais said men are rewarded for being ambitious, assertive, and successful in both the marriage and labor arenas.
(Link): The Selfish, Lazy Husband Who Kept Blowing Off His Stressed Wife to Go on World War 2 Reenactments – Male Entitlement in Relationships: Why Women Divorce Men – and Churches and Culture Support This Male Entitlement
(Link): What Two Religions Tell Us About the Modern Dating Crisis (from TIME) (ie, Why Are Conservative Religious Women Not Marrying Even Though They Want to Be Married. Hint: It’s a Demographics Issue)