SWF ISO justification. Or some s*!#.

For what?  For my ridiculous life choices.

The good ol’ HuffPo published this gem by Tracy McMillan today: Why You’re Not Married.

I won’t comment on the fact that this is by a woman who is thrice divorced.  I’m not actually sure it matters.

But for those unwilling to click through, the facts are laid out thus:

I’m a woman.  I want to get married.  I’m not.  And this is because…

  1. I’m a bitch.
  2. I’m shallow.
  3. I’m a slut.
  4. I’m a liar.
  5. I’m selfish.
  6. I’m not good enough.

Basically, “if whatever you’re doing right now was going to get you married, you’d already have a ring on it.”


I’m not arguing that these traits won’t keep a woman from ensnaring a proper mate.  I firmly believe that there are many women who just kind of suck.  That doesn’t make them undeserving of love, it just means they’re maybe not the best candidates for marriage at the time they think they should have it.  I also think there’s a lot to be said for the idea that some women feel so entitled to a custom-tailored Man that they forget they’re looking to marry a human who will inevitably have flaws and needs.  It’s a give-and-take.  It’s not always happy, and quite often the most difficult undertaking in the world.  I’m a child of divorce, and I observe a lot of relationships.  I get it.

But…surely women who are very interested in getting married don’t need to exhibit one of the above qualities to explain their current singleness, right?  Take, for example….me.

First, I’m not a slut, you pervs.  I’m the biggest prude I know (outside my Mo friends, of course.  And even then….I may still win against a few of them.).

Second, while certain lurkers who would never admit they read anything I write may argue to the contrary, I’m really not a bitch.  Nor am I shallow.  That’s directed at you, certain lurker.

Anyway.  I worked full-time while going to law school.  I graduated with good grades from a good school (suck it, Kullervo), and I got myself a kick ass job.  Add to that the fact that growing up and through college, guys just weren’t that into me.  And I don’t blame them for that…I was a repellent combination of nerd, angst, awkward, and (in college) weight gain that made me even more insecure.  So….I just haven’t dated much.  The three people I’ve dated since college were a dreamy Mormon hippie (read: expiration date), a business student attending school in Europe (read: automatic expiration date) and a dreamy Mormon heart-breaker (read: automatic expiration date).

So….I’d like to think that even though I’m looking to get married in the next few years, I haven’t done so for pretty good, legitimate reasons.  At best, my choices could probably fall in the “selfish” category, but I’d like to think that pursuing a career in my early-mid twenties isn’t so much selfish as normal and good for society.  And the US trade enforcement regime, as it were.

So.  Now that I have selfishly sucked up your time by reassuring myself that I’m so awesome, we come to the question.  How full of shit is this article?  It’s not entirely wrong, but isn’t it grossly overstating its point?  There are definite problems in how some women have grown to view men and relationships with men, but….all of them?  Is this article purely for single women in their thirties, and I’m just projecting my own panic at being 28 years old and unmarried despite coming from a town where I was one of two single women attending my ten year reunion?  (That’s not a joke.)  And regardless of who the target audience is…how long are women supposed to be “single and looking” before they’re “single and looking and obviously flawed in some way”?

Also, I’m aware that dating boys with expiration dates is counterproductive.  I’ve stopped doing that.  So, you know, focus on the bigger and more interesting issue rather than making fun of my lack of game.

This entry was posted in Feminism, Shameless Plugs, Spinster. Bookmark the permalink.

13 Responses to SWF ISO justification. Or some s*!#.

  1. This article is EXTREMELY full of shit. For one thing, it leaves out one very important reason for why some women are not married: it is not legal for them to do so. Lesbians want to get married, too. Another unstated point is that many MEN are ALSO selfish slutty shallow lying assholes.

    Silly me, I was kind of hoping that at some point these types of articles would cease being written. There’s only a billion or so of them…how many more do we need? Just wretched. Is that article supposed to be “edgy” or something?

  2. Whitney says:

    You raise an interesting question–I was really hoping that the article was satire. But…I don’t think it’s clever enough to count as satire. So instead it’s just crap…by a writer for Mad Men, of all shows.

    But you’re absolutely right. Lesbians can’t get married. And the male species is totally crawling with its own share of jerk slutbags. And, based on my friend’s experience of finding her eHarmony mate in Alaska (we’re both in DC), sometimes two sane, competent, compatible people just have a hard time finding each other. (He has since moved here to be with her.)

    And thank you for commenting. I guess we’ve never really “met,” but I like your style. 🙂

  3. O lawd, she does write for Mad Men. Well that gives me sadface. I guess I’m just confused at what these kinds of articles are supposed to accomplish. They aren’t couched in any kind of HELPFUL language, and they aren’t targeted at a particular audience, just “women”.

    I am hoping that this was really intended as satire. It’s getting harder to tell lately, what with the hateful types not bothering to censor themselves as they once did.

  4. Jared C says:

    I think the article is really aimed at women in late 30s +, you aren’t really supposed to be married at your age Whitney.

    Intimacy is tough. and the enforced intimacy of marriage can be a disaster, take it slow.

    My girlfriend’s mom (Mormon, never divorced, in her 60s) postulated that it takes a really really good man to be better than no man.

    Of course men are more chained to sex and may disagree with such a judgment.

    I do think that if you spend 10 years of your life actively wanting to get married and you are reasonably attractive, you are doing something wrong and some of the things on her list make sense.

  5. katyjane says:

    So, Whitney, we’ve met. So I know that you are a beautiful woman with a bangin’ bod (maybe you should try some sluttiness, just for fun?). You’re also incredibly intelligent, and you turned more than one boy’s head at the parties we went to.

    Perhaps another item on the list should be ‘too good’. Now, I’m not saying you’re too good for all boys. But that as a strong, independent, wicked smart, beautiful woman… men are going to be intimidated by you. And, with all the douchy dudes out there, it can be really hard to find a strong, independent, wicked smart, super-hot man.

    I don’t read annoying articles like that (and I didn’t click through to read it because I didn’t want that kind of stuff to get more hits). And you should keep watching BSG and not fill your pretty little head with this nonsense. 😀 (Did you like that? The condescendingness I just did? Did you?)

    A smug, doesn’t-get-it (obviously) married lady

  6. Kullervo says:

    And, with all the douchy dudes out there, it can be really hard to find a strong, independent, wicked smart, super-hot man.

    Seriously, you’re in the DC area, Whitney. That’s capitol-d Doucheville.

  7. Katie L. says:

    Yeah, um. That article didn’t do it for me. I agree with Jared, though, that the article is geared toward women about a decade older than you, Whitney.

    I’m no relationship expert — I’m still not sure how I got married when I did (thank you, Mormon culture, I guess) — but the only helpful thing I took from the article is that a person (why did it have to be about women specifically?) looking for the right kind of partner needs to be the kind of person who would attract that kind of partner. And that boils down to being responsible, loving, and mature, since those kinds of people will naturally gravitate to one another.

    I think you’re all three of those things, Whitney, so I wouldn’t worry too much about it. To the rest of the world outside of Utah and Southern Idaho, 28 makes you just barely in the game. It’s like being 20 or 21 in our culture’s timeline. This is no time to panic. 🙂

  8. Kullervo says:

    Second, while certain lurkers who would never admit they read anything I write may argue to the contrary, I’m really not a bitch. Nor am I shallow. That’s directed at you, certain lurker.

    This is my favorite part.

  9. Katie L says:

    That IS a great part. And I totally wish I knew just WHO this certain lurker is.

  10. Jared C says:

    Hey lurker! I can think of six reasons why you might not reveal yourself.

  11. Whitney says:

    I am re-emerging to comment on my own post!

    a) I’ve continued to think about why these types of articles bug me so much. I’d like to believe it’s not coming from a place of defensiveness…I think it’s the implication that somehow women are always in the position of responsibility. Much like Diana pointed out, sometimes men need just as much coaching on how to be an acceptable mate. I’ve seen at least a few articles advocating for bucking up and getting out of the man-child phase, but I’ve never seen such advice in the context of “do this or you’ll never get a worthy woman to marry you.” I’m bothered that a portion of society continues to hold the mindset that women must strive higher and harder just to “settle.” As has been mentioned by a few of you, there are undoubtedly qualities and attitudes that impede lasting relationships, and if a woman can be aware of those and work through them, so much the better. But I’m disappointed that column writers can’t seem to contextualize that in a way that affirms and challenges both genders rather than laying blame at the feet of the woman. Again.

    b) I’m glad everyone is as entertained by my meangirling as me. And I’ll never tell. (Although it can’t be that hard to guess. Come on.)

    c) My devious purpose in soliciting life-affirming comments has been served. Nicely done, all. I’M WINNING. I’M A TORNADO OF AWESOME.

  12. Kullervo says:

    You have tiger blood. You’re on a drug called Whitney.

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