It’s a depressing state of affairs on my Facebook feed lately (hey, a girl has to do SOMETHING to entertain herself at work!)
First, the articles and clips we have ALL seen on Newt Gingrich and his ‘open marriage’, then a depressing sounding article in The Atlantic called All the Single Ladies where it states statistics on marriage and the ‘decline of males’. The statistics are daunting: male median wages falling 32% since the 70s and 55% of all college graduates are female vs male. There were quotes from ‘professional’ women lamenting the loss of ‘marriageable’ partners.
Are we all doomed to become the concubines of the likes of Mr. Gingrich? Will we all end up as single mothers? Is this what we deserve for feminism? And, why are women in Latin American and European countries so happy and content? What are we doing wrong??
My lovely Brazilian friend (who seems to have an endless stream of men to choose from and lots of sex) explained her ability to make her own living gives her the independence to date who ever she wants-PhD or no. She further indicated “blue collar men are lovely, strong men that are in contact with their element”.
And I thought……What if we didn’t view this as a ‘shortage of men’ but as a freedom to date outside of certain economic social norms? And, what if we didn’t look down on people who dig ditches, wield hammers, lay pipe, run electrical wire?
A few weeks ago, I watched Mike Rowe of Dirty Jobs present to the Senate Commerce, Science and Transportation industry. He spoke of an American trend where men no longer “wake up clean and come home dirty” and how (for most of us) skilled, manual labor is done by someone we never bother to meet or interface with.
Then, he spoke of the shortage of skilled labor and how an apprenticeship in a trade like carpentry is considered ‘alternative’ in today’s world. That we are all disconnected with the inner workings of life- who makes the food we eat? how does a car engine work?
He explains “I became less interested in how things got made and more interested in how things got bought”.
As the daughter of a blue-collar worker, I grew up around men who wore jeans covered with grease and who could build us anything we wanted. My friends had dads and uncles like that as well and we spent our teenage years being more impressed over a guy’s muscles and souped-up cars than over their MacBook or trust fund.
Maybe the lesson in all of this is that we need a cultural shift-
That a man who earned $1.6 million “influence-peddling” from Freddie Mac is NOT a good catch (and certainly not deserving of 3 overlapping wives) and that the guy who fixed your sink is.
So, ladies, don’t despair! Just start a home-improvement project or chat up your local fireman/electrician/organic farmer. You might score both a husband AND a handyman!