A couple of disclaimers.
#1: I encourage you to read this article before reading this SOC. #1.1: I hope that the article is a joke.
#2: I have a few friends that are married that are pretty amazing. Clearly, what I write here is my opinion and doesn’t reflect upon aforementioned amazing friends.
#3: This is a Stream of Conscious post.
If you didn’t click on the link here’s the premise: the salon.com article from January 15, 2013 by Katie McDonough compiles advice from around the web on how to nab the guy of your dreams who just happens to be “floating around the internet”.
I read “Amy Webb lived every red-blooded woman’s nightmare when, at 30, she still wasn’t married” and cringed. My immediate reaction was to think “this has to be some kind of joke” , look at the article’s tags, and check other articles written by the author. I felt my stomach turn as I realized that this article was probably not a joke but an attempt at serious (hard-hitting?) journalism.
I’m not going to sit here and lie. Yeah, sometimes the fear of never having a significant other, married or otherwise, does creep up. And sure, I admit that sometimes that fear is intensely stifiling and horrific. However, i don’t define myself and my daily actions solely on this quest to mitigate the “nightmare” of never getting married. Conversely, who exactly deems this solitary life as a nightmare? I find it horrifying that women such as Amy Webb continue to saddle 21st century women with the archaic idea that becoming a spinster with cats (as the video at the end of the Salon article highlights) is a sad, horrible existence. The parenthetical consolation that Webb’s story has a happy ending since she gets married is just…absurd, demeaning, and sad.
Continuing with the article: Webb comes up with an ingenious way to decode, as it were, what men like and don’t like in women. Men, it appears, are not attracted to curly hair, do not appreciate a sense of humor in dates, and are put off when they feel their manhood is threatened. [Aside: according to the article I’m doomed] Women can threaten a date–and potential husband–by having a better paying job, a more complex job description, or by having “scary hobbies” like karate. Really. Really?! Basically, what Webb and McDonough are essentially saying is that women who are interested in finding a man online would be wise to conform to a set rule of standards men have. To, sadly, change who they are if they want to be successful with the whole internet dating thing. Especially curly haired women that practice taekwando, own a thriving business, and can think for themselves. Ugh.
Other advice so graciously compiled by McDonough includes: being more open to taking small gestures–like a man sneezing (!) on you as flirting, wisely being less internet available (read: don’t join every dating site) to reinforce what a “precious, limited commodity (!) you are”, and not dating guys like Jacob from this article. [Aside: its an interesting read and Jacob is a douche]
This is getting ridiculously long and borderline ranty (or maybe its already fallen off the edge) so just a few more things. Out of curiosity I looked up the definition of “spinster”. According to Miriam Webster a spinster is an unmarried woman, especially one past the common age of marrying. I think what this SOC all comes down to is that, in the end, women need to stop letting others, regardless of sex, define them. After all, who is in charge of allocating “the common age of marrying”? Why should there even be a common mean age? Why should women let themselves be lumped into “happy endings” and “sad spinster-y” endings complete with cats?
I could write and write about this but for the sake of brevity (HA!) I’ll end it with this: I’m not trying to be completely gung ho “Girrrl Power” (although i do believe in female empowerment). I’m just trying to advocate common sense, especially when other women write this sort of, I’m sorry, crap.