I caught this quick report from PRI yesterday on the pressures Moroccan men face when it comes to affording marriage (and a partner). It basically supports my own thoughts about marriage. it is more and more out of reach. The Moroccan story is an example of the hurdles American men face (although for Americans it is a different form of essentially the same problem).
This all raises the question for me - why should men even bother getting married? There is really nothing in it for a man. And the rat race that is required is outrageous. Men, especially American men, spend their 20's... and some have to waste their 30's, building themselves up to meet a certain financial standard in order to have a life partner. (I guess that means reaching some sort of middle class...upper middle class status). If you are working class, or lower middle class, you are considered shit by women....at least in American culture you are.
Women, on the other hand, face no such pressure. Their only job in the dreaded world of dating is to have a halfway decent job....maybe a little college...and to look pretty. That's it for them. All the pressure to meet certain financial standards falls on men.
Women and marriage have literally been commodified in American culture....and in many other cultures. But in the case of American culture, women seem to be active participants in the process.... they market themselves as such .. as products (not all... but a large portion). What do men get out of the deal?
Why should a man get married in this kind of cultural climate? A man gets the short end of the stick on everything... from the first encounter, to the divorce if things don't work out. The Court system, the laws, parental rights, financial expectations, etc... everything is skewed towards women. Women enjoy all of the advantages and benefits of marriage, while men have to deal with the pressure of constantly living up to standards of financial viability.
Men are almost exclusively defined (by women) by what they do for a living and how much they earn. Even in the age of a much greater level of gender equality, women face no such pressure.
As much as I would embrace the idea of dating, having a partner, and marriage (if I could afford them) the fact is... there is not much in it, at least not when it comes to marriage. If men approached marriage like a business deal.... it would be a losing proposition. Marriage, when you strip away all of the emotional BS, makes absolutely no sense for a man. And it is no longer clear what the motivations of women are. You can't be sure if the woman you build a relationship with actually loves you. Women, in a manner of speaking, are going to the highest bidder today.... those men with the most cash who they can tolerate.... not men who they actually love. Women love success... women love financial security... Women love material comforts... but they don't necessarily love with the men who represent these things. This is why money is a leading cause of divorce, and the reason why divorce rates are so high. Women fall in love with what men represent to them (ATM machines) as opposed to the men themselves. (again...not in all cases... but many more than we want to admit).
I guess stories like these are pushing me more towards maintaining my status as a single guy.
American Dream Harder Than Ever to Attain