Reprinted from Meridian Magazine, March 2011.
Recently a story called “Sex is Cheap” ran on the popular news magazine Slate.com. Essentially the premise was that while women are gaining more independence, power in business, and making more money, that they are losing control in pre-marital relationships. In short, because women gained power and equality, men lost power in every place except in romantic relationships, which is to women's detriment.
It used to be that men had to work to find a good woman. In previous generations, men didn't meet women at work or at school. They had to try harder to find and woo a woman. There was competition for good women. But now, women are everywhere, and a man doesn't have to even leave his house to meet a woman (because he can find them online.) In short, men do not have to work to find a woman. And, as compared to previous generations, there are now more women than men. Its just not that hard to find women anymore.
The next problem is that men aren't faring as well as they used to. Young men used to know that hard work, some money in the bank, and an education was the key to a great future and a great job (and to winning a good wife). But there are no guarantees anymore. Young men have to compete with women to get good jobs. Men have lost the power and security of past generations, mostly in thanks to the sexual revolution.
The sexual revolution may have given women more power and equality, but in return, men lost power and stature. In short, this makes it that much harder for a woman to find a man who is a strong leader that can be her equal. Men lost their footing, and men are often below the women now in these areas.
So Then Why is Sex Cheap?
The sexual revolution told us that women could have “pre-marital relationships” casually, and on their own terms. But when the numbers changed, and there were more women than men, it was no longer up to the women when relationships would happen. Men get to decide if and when something will happen. And unfortunately, women- who want something (in this case, whether it be casual sex or a simple date), but aren't getting it on their own terms, are accepting offers from men whenever they can get an offer.
In short, women have no control or power, and are willing to just give men what they want.
In the LDS parallel world, where maybe sex isn't the issue, but just getting a date is, I believe we call this “settling.” Women are just willing to take what they can get, when they can get it. Even if it isn't what they wanted, or what they were worthy of.
One interesting statistic in the article stated that virginity is more common on college campuses where women comprise a smaller share of the student body, suggesting that [when there are fewer women and the men have to work harder to get a woman] women have the power in sexual relationships. Comparatively, on campuses with more women than men, women are more negative about campus men, hold more negative views of their relationships, go on fewer dates, are less likely to have a boyfriend, and receive less commitment in exchange for sex.
Why? Because men just don't have to work for it. Men pass over the women with scruples and morals, and go for the “low-hanging fruit.” Who wants to actually have to put forth effort at dating and relationships, when you can just get no-strings attached sex for free?
Now, in the LDS world, where in theory, sex isn't the bargaining chip, does this all still apply?
Oh does it ever!
Let's take, for example, the mid-singles activity I went to just last weekend. By my count, there were approximately 50 mid-singles there- 10 men, 40 women. I can tell you that the room was full of attractive, talented women. Each of them successful, accomplished, and enjoyable to be with. It looked like a beauty contest and fashion show all at the same time. The girls came to impress. The men? Well, they enjoyed the odds. But none of them came ready to impress the women. (No offense guys, but deep down, you know I'm right.)
Now, if the sexual revolution worked, all the women would walk away, proud of her independence, proud to be equal in the work place, etc. And sure, TV and Hollywood like to play with our heads and tell us that there are plenty of women out there who are revolutionized and happy with it. They tell us that the Revolutionary Woman is strong, smart, sexy, and likes it that way. And in those “romantic comedies” where suddenly she meets a man so not her type, and falls in love, and is suddenly able to still be revolutionized, she will never have to compromise on all that power and strength.
I'm here to tell you, that it doesn't work that way. Women aren't falling for men not their type, who are less successful than them, and being whisked away on the backs of motorcycles while wearing business suits.
Here's the truth.
Women are stuck with a difficult decision. Do they just take the first man that comes along, afraid of not getting picked for the team? Or worse, never getting picked for the team? Even if that man is not what she was hoping for? Or does she stick it out, waiting for a man to be her equal? Which is a lot like waiting for the chupacabra some days.
Will the men ever step up their game? Will men actually ever work hard to find a woman and woo her again? I'm guessing no. We've progressed too far. Maybe it will happen in an other generation, but it won't happen for my generation. Men have no need to step up their game, when there is always another woman to meet around the corner.
Porn Killed the Common Date
Another way the sexual revolution ruined things- porn. The sexual revolution told us that suddenly sex is good, sex is available, and its not so taboo to say sex. Sex, sex, sex. Porn used to be a terrible, seedy thing. Something to be ashamed of. Now? Not so much. Now porn is a joke. Now people talk about it in commonplace conversation. Now it is easily accessible, and it is killing my social life.
Men don't have to woo, bring flowers, get a good job, and impress a girl for sexual gratification. Nope, instead he can get it on his computer, at a bookstore, or pretty much anywhere he decides to look for it. Gone are the days when a man actual had to CONVINCE a woman that he was worth something in order to be sexually gratified, now he can just download it at home! Why bother spending $50 on dinner and a movie, with no guarantee of any action at the end of the night, when you can get it for free at home?
And we wonder why so many great, talented, attractive, accomplished women are sitting at home alone on a Friday night?!
I Blame the Men
When the odds in your average singles ward, or at a singles activity is 4:1 women to men, the problem isn't with the women.
If men wanted to be in relationships, they would be in them! There are more than enough women to go around. Men, STEP UP! You have no room to complain. If you are single, it is your own fault, plain and simple. I can hear you now, “I just haven't met the right one yet!” Yeah, well, that is because you aren't looking. And you certainly aren't trying very hard.
So women, what should we do? Do we compromise what we want? After all, isn't that what our mothers keep telling us to do- stop being so picky? NO! Maybe that was the problem back in their day when men were actually wooing them, and they were rejecting good men. But in today's world, that just isn't practical.
We live in a conflicted world. We, the women of today, believe and know we can be leaders in business, in the world, and anywhere we want to be. But we were also taught and raised to believe that a man is the head of the home. We are waiting for a priesthood LEADER to come and sweep us off our feet (or at the very least, open the door for us). We want to be the head of the class, director of the boardroom, and world leaders, but we choose to want a man to be the head of our homes.
Are there any men left who want to be the head of the home? Or are they all too busy at home watching porn and playing video games?
So how do we get a good man when the odds are stacked against us? Is holding out for a good one going to work? Should you pick up the phone and call? As a marketing professional, I want to tell you, YES! Do what you have to do to stand out in the crowd! Get noticed! Be proactive. But that's the sexual revolution talking again, and isn't that what got us here in the first place? I can't answer that one for you. How you get a date is up to you, but keep being great. Stand out and attract a man because you are great. Don't compromise or settle just so you can have a man. You are better than that.
And men, I'll only say this one more time. When the odds are 4:1 stacked in your favor, and you still can't find a woman- you have some thinking to do.
So tell me what you are thinking. Tell me I'm wrong, tell me I'm right. I know you have an opinion out there! Leave them below in the comments section!
Erin Ann McBride is a writer, dreamer, blogger, and a social media addict. Equal parts Mary Poppins, Carrie Bradshaw, and Mother Theresa, she goes where the wind blows, writes about relationships and dating, and is devoted to serving others. You can get more of her at the Story of a Nice Mormon Girl and on Twitter as @erinannie. She says that if you aren't friends with Meridian Magazine on Facebook, you are missing out.