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This is just to say...

Normally, I work very hard to keep certain topics out of my blog. Religion, politics, money and any other traditional powder-keg topic are strictly verboten for a whole host of reasons, but mostly because I'd just really prefer to keep my opinion on such things out of the Internet Archive. But just this once, an article has caused me to want to break my rule a little bit. Call me crazy, but I'm interested in some reactions from other people.

Now, this article (Say Yes. What Are You Waiting For?) was interesting to me on several levels.

Go read it. All of it.
I'll wait...

You back? Good.

Full disclosure: I've been married to my college sweetheart for almost 8 years. We married when I was 22 and he was 23 (if you do the math, you now know how old we are, which gives you some context as to why I find this article interesting, I think). We didn't have a lot of money when we first got married, but we both have college degrees in good fields and are hard workers. We now both work highly-skilled technical jobs and are senior members of our respective teams. We own a 3-year-old house in a nice neighborhood in a beautiful "little suburb" of San Francisco. We have no children and can't really make up our minds whether we want to go down that path or not.

So. The article struck several chords with me as I read through it. The feminist part of me was offended at the idea that the rules are somehow different for men than for women. That there is this double-standard, captured perfectly by this statement:

...women's "market value" declines steadily as they age, while men's tends to rise in step with their growing resources (that is, money and maturation)...

That women are valuable only in terms of their ability to pop out babies, and men are valuable only in terms of their ability to pay for said babies.

The intellectual part of me is interested in the deeper implications of the various statistics:

...men and women were separated by an average of more than four years in 1890 and about 2.5 years in 1960. Now that figure stands at less than two years.
Marriages that begin at age 20, 21 or 22 are not nearly so likely to end in divorce as many presume.

and what they all mean in terms of the supposed perfect equal marriage or even in terms of trophy wives (or avoidance thereof). I mean, that part is interesting purely on an anthropologic level. I sense a bit of research on this topic in my future.

The humanist, compassionate part of me is heartbroken by the number of couples I know battling exactly this problem:

...women's fertility is more or less fixed, yet they largely suppress it during their 20s -- their most fertile years -- only to have to beg, pray, borrow and pay to reclaim it in their 30s and 40s

but wonders at the point of view of the writer of that article that would cause him to phrase the sentence exactly that way.

Maybe it's just the part of me that hates to be pigeonholed that doesn't like the sentiments in this article. Maybe it's not the feminist, the intellectual or the humanist parts of me, but the individualist part. Or maybe I just didn't like his tone.

What say you, Internet?

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