Tuesday, April 6, 2010

Revenge of the Nice Guy Part 7

More comments from Revenge of the Nice Guy

Paul Parmenter said…

It is good to see so many constructive comments here. Duncan, you have hit the jackpot on this one. Probably because it is a vitally important debate - are women worth marrying at all?

Unfortunately the very fact that this can be a subject for debate shows just how far down the slope women have slid, and just how far the disgust of men has been provoked. This question would never have entered the head of any sane man 50 years ago. Now large numbers of perfectly sane men are asking it and disagreeing on the answer.

There are now two very big problems: the nature of marriage itself - hacked about by politicians and the legal profession and bastardised so as to take power out of the hands of husbands and place it in the hands of wives; and the nature of women, whose morality and character is tested by the power they have been given, and which so often come up short.

So marriage is now not a state to be desired by men, but a state of risk - marriage to the right woman can still be rewarding, but marriage to the wrong one will for sure be disastrous. And the terrible thing is that no man can know for sure how any woman will react to the power she is given in marriage until he is actually married to her, by which time it is too late.

I would certainly echo the advice given above by Anonymous 11.05 - never consider marrying a divorcee, or the daughter of a divorcee, or a single mum. But that just eliminates certain high risk women. What are you to do when probably every woman you will ever meet presents some sort of risk to you, greater or lesser but still a risk?

This is just a more important version of the dilemma facing men who are brought up to offer their seats to women on buses and trains. But once you have been publicly berated and humiliated by a woman calling you a chauvinist pig for doing so, you think twice about doing it again. And if it happens again, you learn that it was not just one rogue female that you were unlucky enough to run into; there are more of them out there. And if you see more women doing the same to more men, you learn that there is an epidemic of rude, unpleasant women, so you seriously consider never offering up your seat to any woman ever again. And it doesn't matter how many women tell you they would smile, accept your offer and say thankyou; you simply don't know who will do so and who won't. So you don't take the risk.

Now I don't care if the risk of divorce and the loss of your home, children and material wealth is at 50% or 40%; that is still outrageously high. I would consider even 10% a dangerous level. Would you play Russian roulette with a gun with ten chambers, and a bullet in one of them? Neither would I. So doing it with a gun with only two chambers has to be accounted utter madness.

So sorry, but I am with the "don't marry at all" guys on this one. Marriage is a busted flush in the Western world, and the better it is put out of our misery the better. But there is still great hope; just because marriage is broken, does not mean that all human relationships are. It just means that a great social institution that worked very well for centuries has come to the end of its usefulness, like a juicy apple that has become infested with worms and is now rotten and inedible. If it can't be restored to what it was before, it must be thrown away and replaced with something better. Maybe the next step in the debate is to discover what that something better might be.