Charming, but single

A journal in dates and drinks

David Brooks can bite me

I just came across this column by David Brooks in the Jan. 15 New York Times. (Rather, I came across this takedown of the column and decided to go read the real thing in all of its wonderfulness.) Mr. Brooks leans on a Gallup poll that says 70 percent of women older than 40 who don't have children regret that decision. As I can't find the poll online, I wonder if they asked how many women aged 18 to 24 who do have kids if they regret having them so early? It isn't surprising that childless women older than 40 would say they regret this decision or circumstance. It is pretty much impossible to say that you don't want kids without sending people into a state of shock and panic. First they are shocked -- "How can you not want to experience the wonderful gift of life?" Then, they get huffy and question your femininity -- "Most women want to experience motherhood." Finally, they condescend you in an effort to reassure themselves -- "You will change your mind when you meet the right man and get married and see how wonderful family life is." Of course women who don't have kids are going to express regret about it. Our society places such a premium on child-bearing and rearing, continually telling women that they should want children and that their lives aren't complete without them. After 40 or more years of being bombarded with the message of "PROCREATE OR YOU ARE LETTING DOWN GOD, GEORGE BUSH AND YOUR FAMILY," I imagine more than a few women told Gallup they regretted not having kids just because that's the socially acceptable thing to say. According to Mr. Brooks, who does not possess a uterus, it would make more sense for women to leave high school, possibly go to college and find a man, get knocked up a few times and stay home until the kids are raised. THEN, after laboring for years to raise the little anklebiters while hubby's out earning the money and playing with the adults, the mom can go back to school or into the workforce, when she's in her late 30s or early 40s. (The sad thing, in Brooks' twisted mind, he's a visionary.) Also, he wants to give stay-at-home moms a tax credit. (Side note: I'm not against acknowledging the hard work put in by stay-at-home parents. I just think this all should be a choice, rather than something women and men are pressured in to doing.) Nevermind that many families need both incomes to make ends meet. Nevermind that many of the very families where the mother stays at home with the kids do it only because they can afford to, which in many cases makes Mr. Brooks' tax credit more help for upper-middle-class-to-already-rich families, who theoretically have more means to pay for future educational opportunities. I'm wondering exactly what kind of a job a 37-year-old woman with no work experience would be offered, even after graduate school? Say a woman starts popping out kids at 22. Many of her male counterparts, say, go to Law School (which works well for him, considering his wife is at home with the kids and the cooking and the laundry. Sweet deal.) at age 22 and finish by age 25. In this scenario, our mother would finish Law School at 40 and attempt to enter the workforce, where she'll compete with her contemporaries who have 15 years of experience in the legal field to her years of diaper changing and nose wiping. You tell me who a law firm's going to hire. (Because, oh yeah, the majority of the firms partners are men, who didn't quite get the memo about the David Brooks motherhood-to-work program.) Attitudes like these are what make being single a real pain in the ass, no matter how charming you are. You're constantly fending off dumbasses who think you should be barefoot and pregnant for (at least) the second time by the age of 25. It's tough enough to find someone to settle down with, provided that's what you want to do, without the Bobos of the world shaming us for not being baby machines. Shorter: I've got my own biological clock tick-tick-ticking the background and I certainly don't need David Brooks running my life.

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Charming, but single is 25 26 27(!), lives in the Southern part of the U.S.A. and likes both her drinks and her boys tall. E-mail (listed below) her and she may respond. You can also IM her in AIM/AOL. (If she ever remembers to sign on.)
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Former taglines of this blog: "A Journal in Dates and Drinks" and "A Dateless Journal of Drinking."

Those Particulars
Some Backstory
Memories of the Way We Were
Updates and Towel Snapping
One Year Wrap-Up
Just As She Is
An Open Letter to Myself
After 26 years, she HAS learned something
An Open Letter to the Men Who Message Me Through Match
Sharing a smoke

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