Technically Danielle Crittenden is Canadian but she is currently living in the US so I’ll give her the American Woman (AW) designation. She participated in an interview to promote her book What Our Mothers Didn’t Tell Us: Why Happiness Eludes the Modern Woman. I have not read this book (yet) but I found her interview to be very illuminating. Danielle doesn’t discuss men looking for brides overseas, but a lot of what she says explains the phenomenon, so I find what she has to say very relevant in explaining why AW just aren’t desirable for American men.
At nearly half an hour, the video might be a little long, but I have some remarks below and you can skip to the appropriate time marker in the video to get the salient ideas that I think are noteworthy in the video.
Danielle summarizes her thesis that feminism and the woman’s rights movement got derailed because they extrapolated the concepts of equality before the law with equality in everything. Consequently, traditional roles in marriage and child rearing, not only get treated secondary, but their denigrated to the point where women choosing these roles are openly criticized.
This is a big thumbs up from me. You won’t get any argument from me about giving women the same opportunities as men. But the current cultural climate in America is openly hostile to marriage with laws that pretty much guarantee that marriage itself is a fleeting prospect in America that will cost both genders dearly in the long run, and that’s if your lucky enough to get married. For most men, just trying to get off the sidelines and into the game is getting more and more difficult with each passing year and many of them are searching overseas as a result.
Danielle claims that the sex revolution was another extension of equality between the sexes but ended up screwing women in the long run by squandering their most valuable “assets” at the most valuable time in their lives.
This might be a good time to dispel the myth that women like sex just as much as men and have sex drives just like men do. BZZT! WRONG! This is wishful thinking at best. This isn’t to say that women don’t enjoy sex and derive pleasure from it. They do. But in terms of drive and desire, men have women beat by about an order of magnitude. You know the increased sex drive that women get when they start ovulating? That’s how a man feels every day of the month, times ten! All the equality talk isn’t going to change this biological fact.
The truth is that men and women have competing reproductive goals. For men, sperm is cheap and he can spread it far and wide without much cost to himself, and the wider he spreads it, the odds of producing viable offspring increases. So his reproductive strategy requires a higher sex drive. In biology, we call this r-selection.
Women, on the other hand, have a limited number of eggs, plus she has a gestational period of up to 9-10 months to produce one offspring (typically) at a time. A high sex drive would squander what few resources she would have on mates that probably wouldn’t be the fittest, which would be detrimental to her off spring and her genetic lineage. So she must be selective in who she mates with and a high sex drive would work against this biological imperative. We call this K-selection.
So the whole gender equality movement attempted to overwrite eons of sexual selection much to the detriment of women. Danielle is correct. Women have a relatively brief period of time in their lives where they are most fertile and attractive and it happens to be that same time period where they were encouraged to explore their recently acquired sexual freedom while they concurrently pursue careers. Men simply don’t have these issues to deal with since they can mate and produce viable offspring well into middle age and beyond. So in the long run, women end up being screwed (pun intended).
Women can have it all, but not all at once. Danielle advises women to lock down a partner early and have children while they are most fertile and then pursue a career later in life.
This is an idea I haven’t considered before. Danielle took some lessons from women who started families early in life and later pursued their careers and ended up having fulfilling lives and advises other women to do the same.
I like this idea, but the horse has already left the barn. Today’s men that are coming of age have already noticed that girls aren’t looking very seriously into marrying at an early age, so men have adapted and either participated in the hookup culture, went overseas to look for brides or have simply left the dating scene entirely. So locking down a man or getting him to commit early in life will be difficult unless women have a change of heart and started dating men they put in the friend zone. The economic environment also contributes to this. It is nearly impossible to raise a family without both parents working. So there’s a lot of positive feedback driving this cycle of putting off marriage forward, so I see average ages for marriage getting higher and higher, perhaps plateauing in the mid to late 30’s for both men and women. People take cues from their environment and conclude that they need a good career established before they even think about a family which will likely put them in their late 30’s if my experience has been any guide.
The idea Danielle suggests would require a radical change in values. Starting families at a young age would require being willing to live on a shoestring budget in a studio apartment while driving a Corolla and eliminating or sharply reducing conspicuous consumerism. Is the millennial generation, the most self-entitled generation in American history, willing to do this? Time will tell, but I doubt it.
Once women get their careers established and explored their sexual freedom, they seek to settle down and find that there are no men around. The sexual revolution seems to have left men behind or assumed that men would be waiting to marry them when women determined the time was right.
Danielle understands a lot of things but as much as she talks about the sexual revolution, it seems that she doesn’t understand the environment at all. The man shortage isn’t because nobody has discussed men’s roles during the feminist, sexual revolution. It’s supply and demand.
It’s a mistake to assume that the sexual revolution made sex available to everyone. The current sexual market would seem to follow the 80/20 rule- 80% of the sex is only happening between 20% of the people. This creates a lot of resentment among the bottom 80% of people who are now involuntarily celibate (aka: incel). Men will either opt out of the dating market place entirely, search for brides in foreign countries, or emulate the top 20% in some way (ie: use game), and if successful, men aren’t going to want to settle down when they can have an entire sexual buffet for them to indulge in courtesy of the sexual revolution. Meanwhile, the bottom 80% along with the top 20% of women are still pursuing careers and out performing many men in today’s society (better jobs, better pay, more degrees, etc) so when they do want to settle down, they find many men unsuitable due to the women’s hypergamous nature.
So how do we change this? It would require some incentives to bring men back into the fold. What incentives? Good question! Maybe we should ask what men want out of life and relationships and try to accommodate that, but this isn’t likely to happen any time soon. Woman dominate the discussion on gender issues in this country and they aren’t giving an inch!
Danielle describes a generation of women who have grown up in broken homes or day care with divorced parents, or if their parents are married, they rarely see because they are both working. Many women are coming forward and saying that they don’t want this type of experience for their children. Danielle predicts that a revolution in attitudes will soon take place.
Well, this interview was conducted in 1999 and I haven’t see a revolution yet. At least nothing seems to be perceptible in regards to a revolution. So far we’re still seeing a drop in the marriage rate and the average age of marriage isn’t getting any younger. So I see no revolution yet.
Like a said earlier, there’s too much positive feedback into the current cycle to easily change it. Sex is so easily available to some men that they don’t need to put a ring on it. It’s too difficult to raise a family without two parents working full time. There’s a very broad social safety net and liberal child support laws. And the sense of entitlement is at all time highs!
There may be a revolution in these attitudes, but it would require an economic and political collapse of a long enough duration, that women begin looking for and committing to beta providers and refrain from having sex with alphas for fear of having to raise their children in a state of poverty. Such an economic collapse would also limit opportunities for men and women and encourage them to place more priority into seeking a lifelong relationship early in life with a committed partner.
Your guess is as good as mine when such a revolution occurs, but I won’t be holding my breath. Life is short and there are women abroad that would be happy to consider American men as a prospect.