The Myth of the Career Woman by M. Notkin – Why Women Are Still Single in Their 30s and Older

The Myth of the Career Woman by M. Notkin

I’m a conservative, but I’ve been beyond fed up for years now at how so many other conservatives, as well as sexists of whatever variety, assume that the reason why most women are single past the age of 30 is because they chose career before marriage.

Along with that is the other annoying, very wrong, and sexist assumption by men online that all of us women who remain single past the age of 30 had lots and lots of “nice guys” who wanted to date us back in our 20s, but we coldly, cruelly turned them all down.

I don’t know what the hell those men are talking about, because I did not have lots and lots of men asking me out on dates when I was in my twenties.

But it’s simply not true that all women choose career over “marriage and family.”

Why aren’t men giving up careers to be stay at home fathers, taking care of children?

I never cared much one way or the other if I ever had children, but I had wanted to be married. And I’m not single because I “chose career over spouse.”

I have more observations about this essay below:

(Link): The Myth of the Career Woman by M. Notkin

The image of the single, childless “career woman” is drawn so sharply in our minds, so deeply ingrained in culture and overused in media, it obfuscates the real story. Contrary to popular belief, most working women are not putting their careers ahead of love, marriage and motherhood.

Never mind that there are no “career men” — no one accuses a single, childless man of prioritizing career over love and family just because he’s single and can pay the rent.

But women are made to wear this label — though I have yet to meet a woman who has declined a date with a guy she’s interested in because she’d rather be on a Zoom call.

While college-educated women are settling down and having children later than was once the case, the “career woman” is mostly a mid-century myth, an outlier like Mad Men’s Peggy Olson, who belongs to a time when women went to college to earn their “MRS” degree.

… Don’t get me wrong. When I grew up in the 1970s, getting a college degree was never in question. Neither was finding a career. But I expected to also find love and get married, and I yearned deeply to have children. In fact, there was nothing I wanted more. Betty Friedan’s Feminine Mystique encouraged women to see having a career as additional to being anything she set her mind to, not an alternative.

…Yet the feminist narrative still urges us to believe that the childless daughters of hundreds of generations of mothers don’t want to be mothers because they have jobs.

The record increase in late-age first-births proves that most women do; they hope love will arrive in time or choose single motherhood when it doesn’t.

In the meantime, these women are not crying into their keyboards, or sitting idly, swiping left and right, wiping away tears. While there are moments of deep grief after a break-up or another birthday without a birth — I was there myself in my late thirties and forties — these women invest their wealth in the happiness they can control, not lament what they cannot.

These lessons begin in college. Young women witness firsthand the gender divide on campus, where on average 60 percent of undergraduates are women and 40 percent men.

It’s the very scarcity of men on campus that is precisely why young women aim their career aspirations even higher, working even harder, besting the rate of men with degrees in just about every discipline but computer science, engineering and math.

A 2012 University of Minnesota study asked: “Does a scarcity of men lead women to choose briefcase over baby?” The researchers found that when women have few mating prospects on campus, they are more motivated to pursue ambitious, high-paying careers, knowing it may take more time to find a partner. In other words, women are not pursuing a career instead of pursuing love; they focus on creating wealth because men are scarce.

…“Most women are unwilling to settle for men who are less educated, less intelligent and less professionally successful than they are,” writes David Buss, psychology professor at UT Austin, in his 2016 essay, “The Mating Crisis Among Educated Women.” And the longer it takes for a woman to find a suitable mate, the less desirable she is to men who, as Buss says, “prioritize, for better or worse, other evolved criteria such as youth and appearance.”

Can women escape this paradox and find love? Richard V. Reeves, senior fellow at the Brookings Institute and author of Of Boys and Men: Why the Modern Male Is Struggling, Why It Matters and What to Do About It, believes so. Women are not seeking “breadwinners” in male partners, he says. But they want men with a sense of purpose and direction. It’s not a man’s academic achievement or income a woman finds attractive; it’s that he can demonstrate that he has his shit together.

…Despite having their first children later than ever, most women don’t ultimately choose their careers over love, marriage and motherhood.
— end —

Additional comments about the editorial referenced above:

Where the author discusses the gender imbalances on college campuses, there is an identical problem in Christianity; Christians keep pushing the arguably unbiblical “equally yoked” teaching in regards to marriage, when there are more single Protestant / Baptist women, especially in church attendance, than there are single men.

The gender imbalance is a very real factor, but most Christians don’t want to grapple with it, and would rather assume that Christian women still single past 30 are feminist harpies who hate The Nuclear Family and Love Career Above All Else.

According to some guy cited in that piece who did research, he says most educated women are not willing to settle for a guy who is less educated or dumber than they are.

I don’t blame them. I was engaged to be married years ago, but my ex was really, really dumb – barely literate. I came to my senses and broke up with him, for that, among other, reasons.

Being with a partner who is that very stupid is almost like being a parent to a toddler, but I wanted a full life partner who was on my intelligence and competency level, not a dependent-like child.

One aspect of the editorial I disagree with (which I have not copied below) is where some research guy tells women to stop it with the “Toxic masculinity” talk, which he erroneously equates to “pathologizing men” or demonizing them.

That is not what the term “Toxic Masculinity” is referring to.

The term posits there is such a thing as Good Masculinity and Bad Masculinity (which even some other conservatives I’ve seen have acknowledged), with the “bad” version the one being slapped with the label of “toxic.”

“Toxic Masculinity” merely refers to sexist and traditional gender stereotypes for men, ones which often can and do hurt men themselves, as well as girls and women, and which a lot of boys feel pressured into accepting and living by as they go through life.

That’s it. That’s all the phrase refers to, it is not saying all men are bad and awful, or that men cannot and should not enjoy most pursuits mostly associated with men, such as watching NFL football, BBQing on a grill, or crushing beer cans in a single hand.

But to repeat yet again: there are plenty of women out there who end up single for a myriad of reasons, but one of them is not because they “choose” career over marriage intentionally; if a woman needs money to pay her bills, she will have to get a career.

It’s not that working women are replacing marriage with career  on purpose, but they have to pay for groceries and rent while waiting to meet a Mr. Right. I’m baffled why occasional idiot and conservative Tucker Carlson keeps bringing this up on his show – Carlson keeps mocking women for choosing to spend time and loyalty at a company (as an employee) rather than be chained to a husband and children.

Is Tucker Carlson and all the other conservatives with this bonkers, insulting view going to pay the rent, gas money, and other expenses for all single women so long as those women remain single, all so these women can just spend all their free time on dating apps, trying to date, to finally get to the altar?

What the F*ck does Tucker expect these single women to do, if not be employed? Just sit around staring out the window hoping God plops a “Mr. Right” in their laps?

(That is how I was raised, and I’m still single in my 50s. I was a Christian good girl and God did not “bless me” with a spouse. I followed most to perhaps all the usual Christian advice I heard when younger on “how to get a spouse” and none of that stupid advice worked.)


(Link): The Conservative, Christian Case for Working Women by J. Merritt 

(Link): College Women, Don’t Listen to Marriage Concern Trolls

(Link): Otherhood – An overlooked demographic – the Childless and Childfree Women and Singles Especially Women Who Had Hoped to Marry and Have Kids But Never Met Mr. Right (links)

(Link): Bizarre: Women Who Are Genuinely Fine With Being Single or Childless and Who Publicly Admit It Deeply Disturb or Infuriate Sexist Incel Types and My Fellow Conservatives, Who Want Such Women to Harbor a Victim Mindset

(Link): The Bizarre, Misguided Shaming of Single and Childless or Childfree Women by Pro-Lifer Abby Johnson – (Not All Single, Childless Women are Liberal, Pro-Choice Feminists)

(Link): Police: 150 Starving Cats Discovered in NY House Where Presumably Married Couple is Found Dead – (Time To Stop With the “Single Cat Lady Will Die Alone But For the Cats” Sexist Trope, Thanks)

(Link):  The Chelsea Handler Childless Woman Upset: Other Conservatives Wrongly Conflating Married Motherhood with Womanhood or with Happiness, Meaning, or Purpose

(Link): Writers at WND and Real Clear Wire Sound Like They’re Freaking Out Over Increasing Numbers of Single Women Who Aren’t Marrying or Having Children

(Link): Article: 30 And Single? It’s Your Own Fault

(Link): A Case Against Early Marriage by Ashley Moore (editorial)

(Link): Want To But Can’t – The One Christian Demographic Being Continually Ignored by Christians Re: Marriage

(Link): Ten Year Old Boy Shoots His Mother Dead Because She Wouldn’t Buy Him a VR Set Off Amazon – Motherhood and the Nuclear Family Doesn’t “Save” Society or Guarantee Safety, Happiness

(Link): Christians: Please Stop Telling Singles that Their Singleness is “For God’s Glory” /  Owen Strachan’s “Being Single To Bring God Glory” Essay

(Link):  How Sorry Do We Feel for the Lonesome Single Bachelors of New York? by T. Moore (never married men in their 40s talk about being tired of being single)

(Link):  It Goes In Cycles: Push For “Early Marriage” Makes the Rounds AGAIN Lately, Because of Marriage-Idolater, Singleness Shaming Brad Wilcox (Feb 2022)

(Link):  To the Christians (especially married ones) Who Like to Instruct Single Christian Adults They Should Only Marry Other Christians, Listen Up (Re: Equally Yoked Rule)

(Link): Just Say No – For white working-class women, it makes sense to stay single mothers. (Not enough eligible single men for women to marry) by N. Cahn and J. Carbone

(Link): Article: Why Are So Many Professional Millennial Women Unable To Find Dateable Men?

(Link):  Single Adult Christian Pressured Into Marriage by Her Church – And Regrets It

(Link):  Woman Book Author – Andrea Tantaros –  Suggests That Single Women Are Miserable And Can’t Get Husbands Because Feminism. My Critique of Her Article / Book

(Link): Do Millennial Men Want Stay-at-Home Wives?

(Link): The best age to marry is when you meet the right person – editorial responding to study that says if you marry past 30 your marriage is doomed

(Link): Young Single Women Try to Appear Less Ambitious To Attract A Mate – via WSJ

(Link):  Husband-Hunting is the Worst Part of a Christian Upbringing – Christianity Made Me Obsessed with Finding a Husband – by B. Ramos

(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) 

(Link): Acceptance (vs. Denial, Anger, or Should-ing) – Helps in Healing and Getting Through Painful Events and Dealing With Things You Cannot Change

(Link): Men with ‘Golden Penis Syndrome’ Are Ruining Sex and Dating for Women

(Link):  Why are Working Women Starting to Unplug from Their Churches? by Sandra Crawford Williamson (Also discusses never married adult women)

(Link):   Pastor Actually Questions, in the Year 2017, If It’s Acceptable for Mothers to Work Outside of the Home

(Link):  Southern Baptist’s New Sexist “Biblical Woman” Site – Attitudes in Total Face Palm of a Site One Reason Among Many This Unmarried and Childless Woman Is Saying Toodle-Oo to Christianity

(Link): Southern Baptist Al Mohler Intimates That Childless And Childfree Adults Are  Not Human (2019) – and He Thinks This is a Good and Biblical Worldview

(Link): If the Family Is Central, Christ Is Not

(Link): Lifeway Research: Pastors Encourage Single Adults, Some Provide Targeted Ministries (How Churches Are Ministering to Adult Singles in 2022)

(Link): Number of ‘Lonely, Single’ Men is on the Rise as Women with Higher Dating Standards Look for Partners Who are ‘Emotionally Available, Good Communicators, and Share Similar Values’, Says Psychologist

(Link): Five Things Single Women Hate to Hear

(Link): Lies The Church Tells Single Women (by Sue Bohlin)

(Link): The Gross, Shaming Natalism Propaganda on Gab Platform by Its Rude Members, Including By Roman Catholics and Other Conservatives

(Link): Critique of Federalist Editorial “There Is One Pro-Women Camp In American Politics, And It’s The Right by Elle Reynolds” – Do Federalist Magazine Members Realize There Are Single, Childless Conservative Women?

(Link): Is Singleness A Sin? by Camerin Courtney

(Link):  How the Dating Scene Became Stacked Against Women– via CT, by Gina Dalfonzo

(Link): Twice-Divorced Lady Suggests That God Told Her He’d Send Her Husband Number Three and She Got Married a Third Time – I Actually Don’t Find This Story Uplifting

(Link): The Irrelevancy To Single or Childless or Childfree Christian Women of Biblical Gender Complementarian Roles / Biblical Womanhood Teachings

(Link): Typical Incorrect Conservative Christian Assumption: If you want marriage bad enough, Mr. Right will magically appear

(Link): Fewer Americans See Their Romantic Partners As a Source of Life’s Meaning

(Link): What Christians Really Think About the Church’s Relationship Advice by Anna Broadway

(Link): Pew for One: How Is the Church Responding to Growing Number of Singles? by S. Hamaker

(Link):  Single Adults – Why They Stay and Why They Stray From Church – Book Excerpts

(Link): Otherhood – An overlooked demographic – the Childless and Childfree Women and Singles Especially Women Who Had Hoped to Marry and Have Kids But Never Met Mr. Right (links)

(Link): Four in 10 Adults Between the Ages of 25 and 54 are Single, Up From 29% in 1990

(Link): The Biggest Threat To Middle-Aged Men: Loneliness

(Link):  Nearly 4 in 10 American Adults Live Without Spouse or Partner As Single Population Grows: Pew

(Link): False Christian Teaching: “Only A Few Are Called to Singleness and Celibacy”

(Link):  Research: Being Single [or Fear of Being Single] is a Meaningful Predictor of Settling for Less in Relationships

(Link):  Christianity Should Be Able To Work Regardless of Culture, Childed or Marital Status / Article: Unlike in the 1950s, there is no ‘typical’ U.S. family today by B. Shulte

(Link):  How I Navigated the Minefield of Online Dating in Later Life – and How You Can Too by Alice Grebot

(Link):  The Grief, Happiness, and Hope of Late-in-Life Singleness by H. Ferguson (she married for first time at age 58)

(Link): How to Date When You’re Almost Middle-Aged by A. Broadway

(Link): Widower to Advice Columnist Talks about Being Stereotyped by Married Couples or Ignored by Other Marrieds Since His Wife has Died

(Link): Grieving widow doesn’t need to start dating in order to heal (letter from advice column)

(Link): Research: Being Single [or Fear of Being Single] is a Meaningful Predictor of Settling for Less in Relationships 

(Link): Can’t Find “The One”? Blame Easy Dating Apps

(Link):  Dear Abby: I Gave Up Dating, and 30 Years Later, I’m Lonely

(Link): The Stupid Advice We Give To Single Women Over 40 (from the Current Conscience Blog)

(Link): Gender Complementarian Advice to Single Women Who Desire Marriage Will Keep Them Single Forever / Re: Choosing A Spiritual Leader

(Link): Unmarried and Childless Women Are the Happiest, Happiness Expert Claims (2019 Study)

(Link):  Christians Advise Singles To Follow Certain Dating Advice But Then Shame, Criticize, or Punish Singles When That Advice Does Not Work

(Link):  Oil Town Where Single Male Population Vastly Outnumbers Females and they practically rape the women – Reflections on the Christian argument that men will treat women better if women in short supply

(Link): Following the Usual Advice Won’t Get You Dates or Married – Even Celebrities Have A Hard Time

(Link): Christian Single Women: Another Example of Why You Should Abandon the “Be Equally Yoked” Teaching: 21-Y-O Christianity Student, Children’s Minister Charged With Murdering Fiancée He Was to Wed in August; Made It Look Like Suicide

(Link): Federalist Magazine Staff Annoyed that Other Outlets Publish the Down Side of Motherhood and Are Requesting Sunny Motherhood Propaganda Pieces – As If Conservatives Haven’t Pushed for Motherhood Enough? The Mind Boggles

(Link):   True Love Waits . . . and Waits . . . and Waits – editorial about delayed marriage and related issues

(Link):  Christian Blogger About Divorce, Pastor Andrew Webb, Thinks All To Most Mid-Life Never – Married or Single – Again Adults Are Mal-Adjusted, Ugly Losers Who Have Too Much Baggage

(Link): Authors at The Federalist Keep Bashing Singleness in the Service of Promoting Marriage – Which Is Not Okay

(Link):   It’s Not Your Imagination, Single Women: There Literally Aren’t Enough Men Out There – Re: Man Shortage – Follow Up Interview 

(Link): What You Lose When You Gain a Spouse – What if marriage is not the social good that so many believe and want it to be? by M. Catron

(Link):  Women Who Stay Single or Get Divorced Are Healthiest by B. DePaulo

(Link):   Please Stop Shaming Me for Being Single by J. Vadnal

(Link): “Who is my mother and who are my brothers?” – one of the most excellent Christian rebuttals I have seen against the Christian idolatry of marriage and natalism, and in support of adult singleness and celibacy – from CBE’s site

(Link):  James the Single 40-Something Guy Asks 700 Club’s Pat Robertson Why Churches Don’t Help Singles

(Link): Cathy The Single Woman Asks Pat Robertson Why God Has Not Replied to Her Prayers for Years to Send Her a Spouse

(Link):  Never-Married Adult Man Named Stephen Asks Christian Host Why God Has Not Answered His 3-Decades Long Prayers To Send Him A Wife

(Link): Another Christianity Today Magazine Editorial (2019) Expects Single Women To Meet the Needs of Married Women – Christians Never Ask the Reverse

(Link):  Author of Marital Self Help Books Murders Wife

(Link):   Preacher Says in Sermon that Single Men Who Play Video Games Are Losers Who Have Retarded Spirits and This Creates Dating Problems for Women

(Link): Man Paid to Have His Wife Killed Over Lack of Sex: Lawyers – Husband Also Had Hitman Kill the Man’s Pet Pug Dogs, Beat Dogs to Death With a Hammer

(Link): ‘Deadly Wives’ Reality TV Series – ‘Very Devoted Christian’ Woman Who Held Bible Studies Drowned Her Husband in a Pool of Hydrochloric Acid

(Link): Man Who Worked as Preacher Allegedly Drowned His Pregnant Wife To Be With His Mistress

(Link): Christlike or Pornlike?  A Christian Woman’s Role in Marriage by Andrew J. Bauman and Taylor May

(Link): Dear Prudie: Help! My Boyfriend Refuses to Do Any Housework.

(Link):  I Want to Divorce My Unbelievably Selfish Husband, Advice by S. L. Brown

(Link):  Awful Early-Marriage Promoting Editorial, ‘The Future of Christian Marriage,’ from The Christian Post that Actually Cites Deviant Mark Regnerus (December 2020)

(Link):  The Best Age To Marry Is When You Meet The Right Person

(Link): The Nauseating Push by Evangelicals for Early Marriage

(Link): Lifeway Research: Pastors Encourage Single Adults, Some Provide Targeted Ministries (How Churches Are Ministering to Adult Singles in 2022)

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