Women of greater and lesser means are getting pushed in different directions when it comes to getting hitched. Affluent women are finding a larger pool of potential mates, while women further down on the economic latter have fewer choices — and often they decide that it is not in their interest to marry at all.
Values — and romances — are shaped by economic circumstances. Until women can count on things like affordable education and childcare, along with decent, stable jobs and a strong social safety net, pragmatism will likely tell them whether, or if, marriage is worth it.
…If you’re a single woman looking for a desirable partner, the odds are in your favor if you happen to be in the top 5 percent of the income distribution. Men at the top are competing for you — and they know they need to commit. If you’re in the middle range, you have fewer good matches. If you’re at the bottom, well, good luck with that.
The decline in marriage is not the big statement against female “economic injustice” Parramore wishes it to be. According to recent Pew findings:
A host of complex factors – economic change, demographics, more women in the labor force and shifting attitudes about the value of marriage – have contributed to what Parker called a “mismatch in the marriage market” and made finding a partner and getting married more complicated. …ambivalence and disinclination to marry held true regardless of whether one had a college education – where marriage rates and marriage stability tend to be high – or a high school education, where marriage rates are lower and marriages more often end in divorce.
Parramore blows past the massive impact of contemporary feminism on attitudes towards marriage in her pursuit to justify increased economic socialization. According to the Pew stats, 78% of women stated that finding a partner with a “steady job” was the most important factor in finding a spouse. In other words, statistically speaking, “economic injustice” does have an impact on your chances of getting married if you’re a man. Factors like the equal pay myth and the socialized “safety net” that Parramore believes are so important don’t make their way into the conversation, most likely because they aren’t realistic ways of ensuring the creation and maintenance of new jobs, which is the key factor in boosting the marriage rate.