Kate sent me a link from the manosphere that was itself linked to a Sydney Morning Herald article so horrible, I can't link to it either. It would ruin your day. It's from April 22, 2012 by Bettina Ardnt, so if you really want your day ruined, you can do the hard work of finding it. I'm not enabling your mood disorders!
Basically it was about 20-something women being more desirable than 30-something women, and 30-something women finding it hard to find quality boyfriends, and it's ALL THE 30-SOMETHING WOMEN'S FAULT for not settling by the age of 29 and 3/4. Incidentally, the red-hot 28 year old they portray sneering at the 30-somethings drooling over her 36 year old boyfriend has been sleeping with him for six years. What, six years and no ring? Dear, dear. Ask not for whom the bell tolls, my dear. It tolls for thee.
The only non-vomitworthy thing about this article was its claim that things are "especially bad" for high-achieving women who are fishing in the small pool of high-achieving men. That I actually agree with, and I think this is where my Polish Pretend Son would take his Young Fogey pipe from his lips and say, "They want to have their cake and eat it too!"
Look, the thing about high-achieving men is that they do not really care what women do for a living. They may want a woman who can keep up with them intellectually, or they may prefer a woman who can't. After all, if he spends his work life competing with men and women whom he fears may have the edge on him, he isn't going to want to compete at home. Either way, men do not care how much social status their wives have apart from the social status of being their wives. Now, don't get me wrong: a supportive husband takes pride in his wife's accomplishments and perhaps brags about them to his friends and is tempted to hand her thriller to Ian Rankin. (I thought he'd better not!) But, really, he couldn't care that much what she did, as long as it didn't make her cranky and hard to live with. I once knew a pretty, friendly, highly intelligent waitress who was whisked away from the restaurant into matrimony by a millionaire.
If, then, women have, through our own efforts, clawed our way up the ladder in one of the Male Dominated Professions, than it strikes me that we should also do as the men do, and stop worrying so much about the professional status of the people we date. After all, if you're at very "top"--running the Bank of England, or whatever--there isn't going to be a man "above you" to date. And your colleagues will already be married to their nursing graduate or ex-waitress or graduate student or plain old housewife wives. So do as the men do (or did) and be open to meeting, liking and marrying people who make less money than you or who are further down the ladder. Go to a comic book store and see what the guy behind the counter looks like.
Sometimes I am staggered by how classist everyone is--not just in the UK, but everywhere. I was brought up to believe that everyone was equal in the eyes of God and the law, and that a dustman was the social equal of a university professor or a CEO. My shock to discover not everyone else believes this. Given a choice between a Catholic dustman and a non-Catholic professor, I would go out with the dustman and find out if he is also a philosopher who reads the work of Cardinal Ratzinger in his spare time.
I once met a housepainter who read a lot and was very interested in university-educated women. He hung out in what I suppose was a very early hipster bar and had conversations about philosophy and art. (Oh, Bauhaus Café, how I miss you!) I'm not sure that he was marriage material at the time, but I know he was open to meeting the right university-educated woman.
This isn't going to sound great, but my last ex-boyfriend Volker told me that German Page 3 girls often claim to be law students or lawyers or future professors or corporate this-or-that because the blue collar German men are bedazzled by their white collar woman glamour. Let's face it: the most intelligent blue collar guys, as much as they enjoy the camaraderie at work, are going to enjoy talking to a woman who is smart as a whip, especially if she is also cute and kind. Obviously, like all other men, they would hate being spoken down to, but having adult conversations on shared interests is something intelligent men like, no matter what they do for a living.
Mind you, I am talking from a hyper-democratic Canadian perspective, and assuming these intelligent blue collar workers are not chippy class warriors. Naturally if one of your core values is BEING MIDDLE-CLASS and one of his core values is BEING WORKING CLASS, then you won't be compatible--you carping at him about his table manners, and he snarling at you about "pretentiousness". But let's face it, many of us so-called Middle Class Types are only one or two generations from Working Class or Peasant Class. My red-headed grand-daddy was a typesetter, so naturally I have a soft spot for typesetters, or would have one if they hadn't all been replaced by computers.