We are a commune of inquiring, skeptical, politically centrist, capitalist, anglophile, traditionalist New England Yankee humans, humanoids, and animals with many interests beyond and above politics. Each of us has had a high-school education (or GED), but all had ADD so didn't pay attention very well, especially the dogs. Each one of us does "try my best to be just like I am," and none of us enjoys working for others, including for Maggie, from whom we receive neither a nickel nor a dime. Freedom from nags, cranks, government, do-gooders, control-freaks and idiots is all that we ask for.
For thousands of years, marriage had been a primarily economic and political contract between two people, negotiated and policed by their families, church, and community. It took more than one person to make a farm or business thrive, and so a potential mate’s skills, resources, thrift, and industriousness were valued as highly as personality and attractiveness. This held true for all classes. In the American colonies, wealthy merchants entrusted business matters to their landlocked wives while off at sea, just as sailors, vulnerable to the unpredictability of seasonal employment, relied on their wives’ steady income as domestics in elite households. Two-income families were the norm.
Not until the 18th century did labor begin to be divided along a sharp line: wage-earning for the men and unpaid maintenance of household and children for the women. Coontz notes that as recently as the late 17th century, women’s contributions to the family economy were openly recognized, and advice books urged husbands and wives to share domestic tasks. But as labor became separated, so did our spheres of experience—the marketplace versus the home—one founded on reason and action, the other on compassion and comfort. Not until the post-war gains of the 1950s, however, were a majority of American families able to actually afford living off a single breadwinner.
Haven't read the whole thing, but the first third is not unfamiliar to me.
She calls it the evolution of marriage, others on the interweb refer to it as societal suicide. And regardless of whatever she thinks marriage is evolving toward, her descriptions are of something that most certainly is unsustainable.
The problem with stories like this is that they always see everything in terms of themselves. This isn't about marriage or women or even men. It is about her. Life isn't fair and doesn't care about you. You have opportunities and choices. Some people are luckier than others and some people are smarter than others. When you are quite old and look back maybe you/we/I will still think it is about "me". It isn't and never was. I can only conclude that she was probably right about not marrying the lucky young man and most certainly did him a favor. She is still young and can still make good or bad choices as opportunites present themselves but I suspect every choice will be made based on what she can get out of it and not what she can put into it. I am also almost never at a loss for free advice, unwanted or not. I don't have any advice for her. Maybe the best thing is she remain single and not ruin someone else's life with her inability to ever be happy and satisfied.
I'm not going to pretend I read the whole article, and I was annoyed by the "I, I, I" stuff, but on balance she made some decent points. Technology, in many of its manifestations, is impacting fertility, the structure of the family, and the relationships between men and women. It's probably early days, and who knows how far we are on this journey of adaptation, but so far I am underwhelmed. Sure, I know that the biological nuclear family was the result of a confluence of trends and possibly it was a flash in the pan, but maybe it was preferable. I see so many adults who grew up without their fathers, or at the very least a steady competent, emotionally adequate male figure, that seem to have never gotten over it. Besides "Daddy Issues", it seems to manifest in negative ways, from lack of resilience, to anti social and self destructive behaviors. It is self perpetuating as their capacity to parent effectively is diminished.
For men, feminist women are a bad investment. They will either dump you or not remain faithful to you, and if you made the mistake of marrying them, they will take your kids as well as all your assets as they walk out, all the while blaming everything on you. Even if you were the model husband, you will be excoriated as not being exciting enough and "the feelings just weren't there any more." And since the family courts are rigged in their favor, you will never know what hit you.