Editorial by John Ziegler

Maybe Men Aren't As Dumb As They Look

7/28/2002

Maybe Men Aren't As Dumb As They Look

A few days ago, the National Marriage Project out of Rutgers University shocked the world with the stunning revelation that men, if they were given a choice, would prefer not to get married.

Unconfirmed reports indicate that, for their next study, the academic involved plan to prove that rich men tend to date better looking women than poor men.

I had to laugh as I went through the '10 Reasons Men won't Commit' which headlines the ground-breaking work. The list reads like something you may have received while viewing that prehistoric 'grooming' film strip your school showed you in the 5th grade.

Here is a quick review of those findings:

1. Men can get sex without marriage more easily than in times past. (Yeah, like the dating laws of supply and demand are SO stacked in the favor of men! If 'getting sex' is so 'easy' NOW, I am really glad I wasn't born any sooner.)
2. Men can enjoy the benefits of marriage by cohabitating rather than marrying. (Hey, the guy here still has to make sure the toilet seat is down and bringing someone else home at night is rarely an option.)
3. Men want to avoid divorce and its financial costs. (Gee, I can't understand why some people never get used to buying someone an expensive ring for the right to have them be able to take half their stuff at a later date.)
4. Men want to wait until they are older to have children. (Yes, women get the raw deal on this one, but they also get the joys of motherhood that, at least most men, will never experience.)
5. Men fear that marriage will require too many changes and compromises. (Why wouldn't a guy WANT to have someone feel they have the unalienable right to nag him about every little thing she thinks he does wrong?)
6. Men are waiting for the perfect 'soul mate' and she hasn't yet appeared. (Clearly there is a misunderstanding here. When the guys in this study said 'soul mate,' what they REALLY meant was that were sure that Jennifer Anniston was going to realize the error of her ways any day now.)
7. Men face few social pressures to marry. (Evidently very few of the men in this focus group had Catholic grandparents.)
8. Men are reluctant to marry women who already have children. (Because every guy's dream is be with a woman whose body has already been ravaged by a couple of kids and then be responsible for some other loser's offspring.)
9. Men want to own a house before they get a wife. (No, men have no need to live in anything much more than a cardboard box UNTIL they get a wife.)
10. Men want to enjoy the single life as long as they can. (They say that married men live longer, but it could be that it just SEEMS longer.)

Regardless of the comically simplistic nature of this latest study about the state of marriage, there are a couple of important points here that have seemingly been lost.

First of all, have we become a society so prone to male bashing that we can no longer even see the inherent prejudice that is imbedded in the foundation of an allegedly academic study which tries to understand why men won't 'commit'? After all, the premise here is clearly that there is something WRONG with men who don't 'commit.'

In fact, I would suggest that, in many cases, men who delay marriage for the reasons stated above are doing so based on sound logic and are probably doing both themselves and prospective partners a huge favor. Exactly what is irrational about a man being hesitant to make a solemn promise upon which he is not sure he can deliver? Would we rather men enter into the marriage contract with little or no intention of really taking its implications seriously?

It seems to me that men who decide to not make a commitment that they feel is either unrealistic (how can we know at 25 who we want to spend the next 50-60 years with?) or undesirable should at least be understood, if not applauded.

I don't even think that the issue with most men truly is 'commitment.' Instead, I believe it is the LENGTH of the contract that is the real issue. Wouldn't it be great if we could live in a world where men and women remained together because they actually WANTED to and didn't stop working on their relationship as soon as the honeymoon ends?

Why don't we make the marriage pact the same as every other legal agreement and have it be renewable at incremental time periods? What could be more romantic than to have a husband ask his wife (or vice versa) on their fifth anniversary if she would agree to be with him for another five years?

Women, of course, are too 'smart' to ever go for this because they think that they will be dumped for a newer model once they get older (like that doesn't happen now?!). So I guess they are stuck with the present system in which it is difficult to understand why a man would ever want to get married.

In love, like in life, you often reap what you sow.

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