Stop Blaming Men for Your Singleness
I've been accused of many things on the web (don't we bloggers subject ourselves to much criticism?), but two weeks ago saw a first: Regular Her.meneutics contributor Sharon Hodde Miller compared my personal blog post "10 Reasons He's Not Calling You," excerpted from the book Have Him at Hello, to a "Cosmo checklist," calling it a prime example of how not to help single women. I generally agree with Miller, that blaming women for their own singleness is not helpful. But I'd also argue that blaming men for being, well, men, is equally unhelpful. I've noticed this trend in Christian circles as of late.
There is no shortage of op-eds complaining about the lack of good men, a new study about men falling behind in the workforce, or another lamenting the marriage crisis because men won't grow up and get a real job. In the most recent Internet skirmish, author Suzanne Venker claimed a war on men is in full-force—and that women are actually to blame for the lack of marriageable men. She asserts that the rise of women has changed the dance between the sexes, and that men apparently do not want to be married because "women aren't women anymore." We allegedly aren't feminine or appealing enough, and are pushing men away with our career achievements.
From the Christian women I see around me, Venker misses the mark entirely. Christian women in general are still exuding feminity and not giving away free sex—but men are still not readily willing to give up their bachelor pads and buy a ring. So what's the problem? Are men to blame?
But Venker is correct about one point: There is, in essence, a war on men in the sense that men are often blamed for the current state of our relationships. It's become acceptable for women, including Christian women, to stand around and toss verbal grenades at men for all our dating woes. "There are no good men anymore"; "All men are jerks"; "Men these days are pathetic"; "If he would man up, I might have a shot at love." Don't get me wrong: There are plenty of jerks out there, and one of my life passions is to help women know how to identify them before it's too late. I've been accused once or twice of being too hard on men, so I'm speaking from experience, not judgment.
When I was in college, I spent the better part of two years hanging out with Christian men in a fraternity. I watched as my friends were asked to date party after date party, formal after formal—and grew more and more resentful. Other guys were asking me out, but the Christian men didn't express interest. I became dismissive, flippant, and frustrated. By the time I was a senior, I was so hurt from being overlooked that in front of a Christian guy friend I announced, "I've never been asked to anything!"
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