Tuesday, February 06, 2007

Confusion

No not the blog. I'm just playing with the blog. I may play off and on over the next several weeks to see what I really want to settle on. Who knows, maybe I'll go back to the pink. We'll see.

I'm confused about something entirely different. You may remember a couple of weeks ago there was a NY Times article touting the fact that 51% were living without a spouse. That number was a tiny bit deceiving because 2% of those women were only temporarily seperated out of necessity (i.e. war, work, etc.). So, really, we are still safely under the half mark for women who are living single.

The article then went on to talk about how many women were finding satisfying lives in singleness. They were choosing to marry later, stay unmarried after divorce or being widowed longer. It was an interesting article. It got a lot of blog traffic.

The SF Chronicle followed with an article about single women, as well. It wasn't terribly memorable to me (but then I've been steeping myself in single women's issues pretty heavily lately). But they included a blog posting with a list of single women saying what they liked about being single. It was positive and affirming. But the comments of many of the men to this post was full of anger and recrimination. It had reflected the sentiment that I had seen among a few blogs after the NY Times article. These women were past their prime and no one would be interested in them. They obviously were only going to go for men with money. And so forth.

I can understand this somewhat. The article must have felt like a rejection of some sort, but it runs counter to popular attitudes that men express about marriage. I would have thought that the idea of "the old ball and chain" was gone for good, but a recent comedy show called Rules of Engagement seems to negate this. The set-up for the show is 3 men - one married, one engaged, and one single. The married man's attitude when speaking about his marriage is one of long-suffering. By contrast the single guy can "do anything he wants." I suppose that the middle man, the engaged one, is supposed to show the poignant "truth" that the other two are missing. But still the attitudes are there, even as satiric as they are.

So, why, then, is there such anger towards women admitting that they may like some things about living on their own? This is my confusion.

Just as an aside: in the study of the census data conducted by the NY Times, 35% of men had never been married compared to 27 or 28% of women. So it's not like women aren't getting married during their lifetimes, either.

4 comments:

Cody Bones said...

Spins, please don't look to CBS for guidance on relationships or trends, they are just interested in extremes, it makes for good television, but not so good reality. I think that people choosing to live their life for themselves, and not to societal pressures is a great trend and I hope that it continues. I've been married to a wonderful women for 16 years, and there have been times that I can't stand the sight of her, and others where she is the only women in the world to me, as usual, I think that the truth lies somewhere in the middle. The other point is that the only people who leave angry blog postings are angry people, not representative of the population in general.

hammer said...

LIke cody, i'd say there has to be a way to measure reality and not just through blips on the blogs and on new TV programs. let me know when you figure out how.

Also: of course there are contradictory messages-- there is not just one single way to perceive something as complex as "being a single woman."

Hyde said...

Sometimes I love being single, sometimes I hate it. I'd guess it's the same for marrieds... Isn't it like that for most things in life?

-h-

Aravis said...

I liked the show. On the surface it dealt with generalities, yet there was a poignancy to each relationship. The married man was portrayed as long-suffering at first and his wife annoyed me. But as the story developed, we got her side of things and it balanced it out, ending on a softer note. The single guy- portrayed perfectly by David Spade- is a confirmed bachelor out to have fun. A lot of single guys- and girls- are. There was the hint towards the end, however, that he really wants something more meaningful. He's not ready yet, but he's not quite as shallow as he seems.

I agree with you regarding the engaged couple; they seem the most normal and will be used as a foil for the single and married alike.

This is a show I'll watch again to see how it develops. It may devolve into a real mess, but I hope not.