Category: Archive

America’s single women defy damned lies and statistics

February 16, 2011

By Staff Reporter

It’s been 30 years since the Equal Rights Amendment failed to pass, but it seems that we don’t really need it now anyway. How can we worry about equal pay for equal work? We’re far too busy worrying about the fact that because we are spinsters, we’re 50 times more likely to be hijacked by terrorists, or probed by aliens than our married sisters.
What intelligent woman wouldn’t immediately go online or begin replying to the personals? A relationship with a man, any man at all, is the obvious way of pre-empting danger. Glass ceiling. What glass ceiling? Don’t be annoying me about glass ceilings. I have more important things to think about. I really must get pregnant in order to avoid becoming road kill. What if I got married and then divorced, what would my odds be then?
Yes, sisters, don’t concern yourselves about discriminatory practices in the workplace. Care ye not about sexual harassment. Don’t even give a thought to a hostile working environment. Why? Because, girls, a house without a husband is a hostile living environment.
It’s strange, really, considering the risks of being single, that there’s any of us left at all.
Just where do these statistics about single women come from? Who makes the odds? I think it’s a conspiracy enacted to turn every single woman over the age of 30 into a desperate man-obsessed Bridget Jones clone.
There was a time, not so long ago, when the prospects for an unmarried woman were very bleak indeed. She could become a nun, a governess or a whore. These days, luckily, we have a few more options to choose from. Mind you, those options will become irrelevant if we spend all of our time worrying about how to get a man, how to please a man, and how to keep a man. We will be so knackered that we won’t have time to actually think about what the real issues are. Which, of course, is the objective of the conspiracy.
It’s around here that some of you are tut-tutting and shaking your heads. What an exaggeration you think. This lassie is way off. Am I? OK then, let’s make a list of the women who’ve become president of the United States of America. That would be none. Ireland, the supposed Catholic country which is very down on women (and I’m not saying it isn’t), has had two. India, a country with extremely strict cultural codes by which women have to abide, has produced one female president. Over the years I have heard several arguments against having a women president. The sanest of these, and this should give you some insight into how mad the others were, is that women get pre-menstrual and a woman president might go a bit potty before her period and hit the button. Right.
OK, let’s go a bit more local. How many women have become mayor of New York City? How many even ran the last time around? Woman make up half of the population but only a fraction of Congress. When it comes to various ethnicities represented in the “melting pot” of the United States, quotas are introduced. We have a thing called positive discrimination. What positive discrimination does is lower the bar for certain minority groups based on race. Quite frankly, I think this is disgraceful. Isn’t that a way of saying to those same minorities, “You’re not as clever as us”?
The argument is that various ethnic groups live in disadvantaged areas and do not have access to the same resources as their Caucasian brethren. This is complete nonsense. This is the equivalent of saying that there are no poor white people and no rich black people. If “positive discrimination” is necessary, which it is, given the disparity of wealth in our city and our society, then it should be applied along economic lines rather than racial ones.
So you cross the ethnic and/or economic barrier and get yourself a good education. For women there is then the second layer of discrimination, the one that is not recognized, that doesn’t exist. When I became the executive director of the Emerald Isle Immigration Center, a man approached me at a function and said, “Well it’s about time that we had a beautiful redhead at the helm.” This man, a perfectly nice man, had absolutely no idea what an inappropriate comment that was and I doubt he would have said it if my name was Conor.
The ingrained dismissal of women will continue for as long as we accept the notion that it’s not only very weird, but dangerous, to be single — as long as we keep buying into these absurd statistics, as long as we keep quoting them at each other. Trust me, it’s extremely unlikely that any of us will die in a plane crash, a car crash, or get hit by a falling meteor simply because we are single. Every time you get into a plane, or a car, or cross the road, you are running a risk. It’s the same risk for everyone, male or female, married or single.
I know that in some of your minds I’ve already been cast as a man-hating lesbian feminist. Far from it. I quite like men, and much as I like women, I have absolutely no desire to sleep with one. And since when did feminist become a dirty word? I’m not saying I don’t want to get married either. I would. However, being stigmatized for not doing so by now is what bothers me. I may never marry, but that won’t be the end of the world, despite what the statistics say. Thank God I do have some options, as I’d make a useless nun, a homicidal teacher and a desperately bad whore. (Far too choosy, just in case you were wondering.)
So, single girls, rest easy in your beds tonight and be careful crossing the road.
The opinions expressed represent those of the writer, not necessarily those of the Irish Echo.

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