Jul 052002

The charming (and lovely, I’m sure) Susanna Cornett, proprietor of the charming and lovely Cut on the Bias, writes:

Now, what I want you to blog about…What it is about women that you don’t understand, do understand and appreciate, and do understand and don’t appreciate. This is not limited at all to romantic involvements, although you can go there if you wish. Also, how a society run by women would look and act. You can’t crap out in two graphs, either.

Fortunately Susanna forgot to ban doggerel.

Hogamous, higamous,
Men are polygamous.
Higamous, hogamous,
Women are monogamous.
–William James

George Bernard Shaw argued in Man and Superman — Shaw argued a lot in his plays — that because women derive all the benefit from marriage they ought to chase men instead of the other way round.

Shaw has a point. Marriage offers women companionship, economic support, sexual fidelity and child-rearing assistance, including sperm donation. Marriage offers men companionship and a steady sex partner. Of course these benefits are theoretical; your mileage may vary. And while it’s true that economic support isn’t what it used to be, it’s also true that steady sex partners are a lot easier to find out of wedlock these days. (Women used to be able to encourage men to marry by withholding sex. But that was before the sexual revolution. Of all the stupid things the feminists did to damage women, encouraging premarital sex in the name of “liberation” may have been the stupidest.) Marriage was a bad deal for men in Shaw’s day and it may be a worse deal now. So you have to wonder, why do men marry at all?
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