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Dowd on Women and the 'Baby Bust'

My latest column, "Maureen Dowd on Women and the 'Baby Bust': It's All
Men's Fault," just came out on Cybercast News Service and other major
websites.  It is pasted below and is available at
   Technical problems have finally been resolved and there is new audio
now available on my website.  Newly available radio shows are listed in my
home page and the Radio/TV page, and more will be available soon.
   Best Wishes,
Glenn Sacks
 Thursday, April 18, 2002

Dowd on Women and the 'Baby Bust': It's All Men's Fault
by Glenn J. Sacks

Syndicated New York Times columnist Maureen Dowd sounded the alarm
recently about the "scary" statistics on women, careers, and
childlessness.  "Fifty-five percent of 35-year-old career women are
childless," she writes. "The number of childless women age 40 to 44 has
doubled in the past 20 years," and "among [female] corporate executives
who earn $100,000 or more...49 percent... did not have children."

Dowd observes that "yet have an unfair advantage...the more
women accomplish, the more they have to sacrifice.." And, of course, she
knows exactly where to place the blame.

Men, she explains, "protect their eggshell egos from high-achieving
women."  In the marriage market, female achievement is the "kiss of death
for women" because "men veer away from 'challenging' women." Dowd even
implies that her own childlessness is the result of this "male" problem.
Yet there are many reasons for the "baby bust" besides male perfidy.

Reason #1: Women often do not adjust their preferences in a mate to their
career goals.

High-powered career women need men who will support their careers by
scaling back their careers to become the children's primary caregivers or
even househusbands. Studies have shown that, under the right conditions,
many men would be happy to exchange their long work hours for  the primary
role at home.  Yet, paradoxically,  women rarely choose these men as

Reason #2: Even successful women still usually choose to "marry up."

Obviously the pool of available candidates for women becomes smaller the
more successful they become.

Reason #3: Some men prefer a less career-oriented woman out of legitimate
concern for their future children.

Men believe, with justification, that even successful women still want men
to be the primary breadwinner.  Thus they know that if they marry a
career-oriented woman, both of them will be tied to their careers, to the
possible detriment of their children.

Reason #4: Having kids is not for everyone, and many women have made an
intelligent choice to remain childless.

Feminism has spent 30 years teaching women to rebel against compulsory
motherhood and domesticity and to focus on their careers. Many women have
done it and are content with the choices they have made. For them, there
is no 'crisis.'

Reason #5: Modern women's overreaction to the strict gender roles of the

As dissident feminist Danielle Crittenden points out in What Our Mothers
Didn't Tell Us: Why Happiness Eludes the Modern Woman, the highly educated
modern woman has been taught that any career sacrifice or accommodation
made for men and/or children constitutes a patriarchal limitation on her
freedom.  The result of this understandable yet self-defeating
overreaction is that the accommodations which all people, male or female,
make when they marry and have children are resented. This resentment is
often unfairly deflected onto men.

Reason #6: Educated modern women have been misinformed on men and marriage
by the Women's Studies programs in their universities.

As a new report by the Independent Women's Forum notes, these programs
focus on convincing young women that women are under siege and oppressed
and that men take advantage of women.  While serious researchers and
scholars have generally concluded that these programs promulgate
discredited research, the programs still imbue educated women with
hostility and contempt for men, marriage, and child-rearing.

These programs exaggerate the disadvantages and burdens women face, and
ignore or misrepresent as 'privilege' the disadvantages and burdens men
face. For example, the fact that men earn more money than women, because
they work the longest hours at the most hazardous and demanding jobs, is
dressed up as pro-male "wage discrimination."

The problem with Dowd, and the many modern women who think like her, is
that it never seems to occur to them that they, not men, are the cause of
their own problems. Dowd is a successful career woman who has been
endlessly critical of men. Yet, without a trace of irony, she chastises
men for being afraid of successful women who, she says, may be critical of
them. But how many women want to marry a man who is critical?  Many
domestic violence pamphlets even characterize men who are critical of
their wives as "emotional abusers."

A friend of mine recently explained the break-up of his marriage to a
successful woman along these lines. "My wife said the problem was her
career success," he said.  "But I was happy for her and her success. The
problem wasn't her career.  The problem was her negative, critical view of
men.  In the end I simply got tired of being wrong all the time."

Who wouldn't?

Glenn J. Sacks
Glenn J. Sacks is the only regularly published male columnist in the US
who writes about gender issues from a perspective unapologetically
sympathetic to men. His columns have appeared in the Los Angeles Times,
the Washington Times, the San Diego Union-Tribune, the San Francisco
Chronicle, the Salt Lake City Tribune, the Los Angeles Daily News, and
the Philadelphia Inquirer. He invites readers to visit his website.


(note:  I have not checked each of the sites below and therefore can not verify the content or approve of the sites below.)

[also posted at MND: ]

Copyright 2001 - 2002.  Glenn J. Sacks  All Rights Reserved.
Sacks Home:
Related articles:

Y? DNA! Q.E.D.
[Mo's response: "Men. Listen up. This one's for you."]
by MAUREEN DOWD -- NYTimes, 17 Apr 02

Feminist winners sing the blues
by Suzanne Fields -- Townhall, 15 Apr 02

Who's Afraid of a Smart Woman?  [Letters to the Editor]
by various writers -- NYTimes, 12 Apr 02

Mo Needs a Man
For a fun time, call Miz Dowd -- collect.
by Dave Shiflett -- AmericanProwler, 12 Apr 02

Time-and Fertility-Waits for No Woman
By Heide Seward -- Dot.Commentary, 11 Apr 02

What Women Don't Want / EYE CANDY
Re: Jeff G. Dufour's You Are What You Read  [below]
by Carrie Sue Casey -- AmericanProwler, 11 Apr 02

The Baby Bust
by MAUREEN DOWD -- NYTimes, 10 Apr 02

You Are What You Read
What happened to men's magazines? They've become lad mags.
by Jeff G. Dufour -- AmericanProwler, 08 Apr 02



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