Chicago, IL–In the new book Five Conversations You Must Have with Your Daughter, youth culture expert Vicki Courtney advises mothers to tell their daughters that “It”s OK to dream about marriage and motherhood” and says that young women have been “brainwashed” against marriage.
Any reference to marriage in fashion magazines is a stern warning to avoid it like the plague…God forbid that any of our girls say they are looking forward to becoming wives and mothers! They will likely be met with pitying stares that imply they lack the common sense or smarts to make it on their own.
She quotes my co-authored column Men Blamed for Marriage Decline but Women’s Relationship Wounds Often Self-Inflicted (Chicago Tribune, 1/21/07):
The recent census data finding that for the first time the majority of American women are unmarried is being greeted in a largely celebratory tone. One metro daily explains, “Who needs a man? Not most women.” MSNBC warns, “Watch out, men! More women opt to live alone.” CBS says, “More Women Saying ‘I Don’t.'”
One syndicated newspaper cartoon depicts a happily divorced woman remembering her ex-husband bellowing, “Where’s my dinner?! Iron my shirts!! Lose weight!!!” Several others depict women pondering the single life as their fat, lazy husbands drink beer and watch the game. One female blogger summed up the female blogosphere’s reaction–“Hurray for all Single Women! You Go Girls!”
Courtney says “Clearly our young people are buying the message.”
While I don’t share Courtney’s religious/conservative perspective, I also believe that marriage is worth saving. Since women have a large role (arguably greater than men’s) in determining the fate of marriage and whether children will grow up in married families or not, what Courtney has to say on the subject is important.
Courtney’s website is www.virtuousreality.com.