With so many options, it's no surprise women love the single life

Share

What has happened to the fairer sex? Long famed for our subservient demeanour and desperation to hook a man to facilitate that stagger up the aisle looking like a tearful Christmas cake, it seems that a sea change has come over us. According to an NOP poll this week, instead of hitching themselves to one, for a life of fulfilment washing his Y-fronts and burning his dinner, women are delaying marriage so they can play the field and make the most of the single life.

What has happened to the fairer sex? Long famed for our subservient demeanour and desperation to hook a man to facilitate that stagger up the aisle looking like a tearful Christmas cake, it seems that a sea change has come over us. According to an NOP poll this week, instead of hitching themselves to one, for a life of fulfilment washing his Y-fronts and burning his dinner, women are delaying marriage so they can play the field and make the most of the single life.

In order to unearth these shocking revelations, NOP interviewed 295 women and 176 men. I don't know why there were 119 more women than men in the survey, but I do know my O-level maths has paid off. And, of course, letting women go to school in the last century is what set us all on the road to the lamentable situation today.

It seems that half the women questioned in the survey favour the hedonistic lifestyle of that media-invented club the Ladette. I find this puerile category of womanhood distressing and the fact that anyone takes it seriously enough to bother mentioning it in a survey is extremely worrying. Added to that, a representative of the organisation which commissioned the survey, Dating-Direct.Com, was quoted as saying that these results are down to that other appalling concept, "girl power". The problem I have with girl power is that it is so shallow you could use it as a paddling pool for your dachshund, while the only historical proponent of girl power that the Spice Girls ever mentioned was Margaret Thatcher, the biggest female enemy of feminism this century.

Still, I'm straying from the question of marriage and why young women don't want to do it.

I suppose men like to be looked after, and so do women. How many times do you hear businesswomen saying, "I'd like a wife", when largely what they mean is, "I'd like a servant". Many men these days appear to be hoping to go straight from home-cooked to wife-cooked. But hark! What is that squeaking noise? It's the sound of another young woman popping a meal in the microwave, because women can't cook these days either. Men might see what their dads had and want it, but women see what their mothers had and don't.

Women in the survey said that monogamy was "old-fashioned" and that, unlike their mothers, they wanted to enjoy themselves for as long as possible with "no strings". And, fair enough, why should men have all the fun? However, it'll be a long time before women are allowed to be promiscuous without being judged, as demonstrated by Melanie Sykes recently, who has been forced to rehash the tired, old "You he-man, me slapper" arguments about her sexual history. Young women are different today, because in the sex war a lot of them have gone over to the other side. I saw a letter in Loaded magazine once from a young woman the gist of whose words were: "Yeh, I love your magazine and I don't think it's horrible to women who aren't beautiful, because I can't stand ugly birds either."

But magazines such as Loaded and its relations represent our increasing adherence to acquisition above all else, so why is it a surprise that women want to put a family life on hold rather than rely on a bloke to support them? Maybe women have finally wised up to the fact that "having it all" means that you are so bloody knackered doing a full-time job and looking after the family that you can hardly crawl to the fridge for a beer at the end of the day, let alone shake your chest at someone in a club.

It seems to me that all of the traditional reasons for marriage are now obsolete:

1) Not being a social outcast. There are now so many divorced, separated and single people, the married ones are the outcasts.

2) Companionship. There are so many options that are far superior to the moody lump who sits in front of the telly and speaks in monosyllables. Try a dog, a parrot, or the internet.

3) Children. Women can defer childbirth these days until their late thirties or even wait until they're 60 if they really want to - when you need less sleep, you get less.

4) Financial support. As we know, women can work and support themselves; and, if they are single, they don't have to spend it all on beer for their husband.

5) Security. You don't need a husband to be safe. In fact, lots of women's husbands are positively unsafe. Get a dog, a burglar alarm or move to America where you're allowed to shoot people.

6) You want to be in love with someone. There are so many Mariah Carey-type songs around these days encouraging you to love yourself or find the hero inside of you, that you don't need another person to love.

7) You want to give your children a name so they aren't bastards. Most kids I meet are little bastards, whether they've got fathers or not.

On the other hand, if you aren't a totally horrible old cynic, you can probably think of lots of good reasons for marriage.

I suppose the best way to approach it is as an individual. I have a few friends who used to say things like, "Oh, I really want a husband", as though husbands were something that came from Ikea as self-assembly kits and once you'd married them you were guaranteed a happy-ever-after and nothing would ever change. It's reassuring that women are giving themselves some breathing space and not grabbing the first packet that comes along.

React Now

Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Recruitment Genius: Embedded Linux Engineer - C / C++

£35000 - £45000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: A well funded smart home compan...

Recruitment Genius: Senior Software Engineer - Python / Node / C / Go

£35000 - £45000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: *Flexible working in a relaxed ...

Recruitment Genius: Senior Bookkeeper

£20000 - £25000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This accountancy firm have an e...

Recruitment Genius: Junior Developer / Mobile Apps / Java / C# / HTML 5 / JS

£17000 - £28000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: Junior Mobile Application Devel...

Day In a Page

Read Next
Newspaper stands have been criticised by the Child Eyes campaign  

There were more reader complaints this year – but, then again, there were more readers

Will Gore
 

People drink to shut out pain and stress – arresting them won’t help

Deborah Coughlin
A timely reminder of the bloody anniversary we all forgot

A timely reminder of the bloody anniversary we all forgot

Who remembers that this week we enter the 150th anniversary year of the end of the American Civil War, asks Robert Fisk
Homeless Veterans appeal: Former soldiers pay their respects to a friend who also served

Homeless Veterans appeal

Former soldiers pay their respects to a friend who also served
Downfall of Dustin 'Screech' Diamond, the 'Saved By The Bell' star charged with bar stabbing

Scarred by the bell

The downfall of the TV star charged with bar stabbing
Why 2014 was a year of technological let-downs

Why 2014 was a year of technological let-downs

Security breaches and overhyped start-ups dominated a year in which very little changed (save the size of your phone)
Cuba's golf revolution: But will the revolutionary nation take 'bourgeois' game to its heart?

Will revolutionary Cuba take 'bourgeois' golf to its heart?

Fidel Castro ridiculed the game – but now investment in leisure resort projects is welcome
The Locked Room Mysteries: As a new collection of the genre’s best is published, its editor Otto Penzler explains the rules of engagement

The Locked Room Mysteries

As a new collection of the genre’s best is published, its editor explains the rules of engagement
Amy Adams on playing painter Margaret Keane in Tim Burton's Big Eyes

How I made myself Keane

Amy Adams hadn’t wanted to take the role of artist Margaret Keane, because she’d had enough of playing victims. But then she had a daughter, and saw the painter in a new light
Ed Richards: Parting view of Ofcom chief. . . we hate jokes on the disabled

Parting view of Ofcom chief... we hate jokes on the disabled

Bad language once got TV viewers irate, inciting calls to broadcasting switchboards. But now there is a worse offender, says retiring head of the media watchdog, Ed Richards
A look back at fashion in 2014: Wear in review

Wear in review

A look back at fashion in 2014
Ian Herbert: My 10 hopes for sport in 2015. Might just one of them happen?

Ian Herbert: My 10 hopes for sport in 2015

Might just one of them happen?
War with Isis: The West needs more than a White Knight

The West needs more than a White Knight

Despite billions spent on weapons, the US has not been able to counter Isis's gruesome tactics, says Patrick Cockburn
Return to Helmand: Private Davey Graham recalls the day he was shot by the Taliban

'The day I was shot by the Taliban'

Private Davey Graham was shot five times during an ambush in 2007 - it was the first, controversial photograph to show the dangers our soldiers faced in Helmand province
Revealed: the best and worst airlines for delays

Revealed: the best and worst airlines for delays

Many flyers are failing to claim compensation to which they are entitled, a new survey has found
The stories that defined 2014: From the Scottish independence referendum to the Ice Bucket Challenge, our writers voice their opinions

The stories that defined 2014

From the Scottish independence referendum to the Ice Bucket Challenge, our writers voice their opinions
Stoke-on-Trent becomes first British city to be classified as 'disaster resilient' by the United Nations

Disaster looming? Now you know where to head...

Which British city has become the first to be awarded special 'resilience' status by the UN?