The Backlash! - What Everyone Should Know about Feminist Issues - A Shortage of Good Men?
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A Shortage of Good Men?
By Rod Van Mechelen
Philosophers of science have repeatedly demonstrated that more than one theoretical construction can always be placed upon a given collection of data. -- Thomas S. Kuhn, The Structure of Scientific Revolutions
A man shortage, or an abundance of shallow women?
1991 Bellevue, Wash. - America is running out of men. A shortage of men is forcing women to become mistresses or risk being alone. It's the great American man shortage, and it's a myth designed to rationalize women's fear of commitment.

In every group before age 35, there are more men than women. (Statistical Abstract of the United States, 1989, National Data Book and Guide to Sources, p 13, table 13) Yet, women lament that all the good men are married or gay. This is because they tend to marry older men. That they prefer virile, wealthy, powerful and, if possible, famous men, does not help. Statistically, such men are few.

Hence, the "man shortage" has little to do with the number of men, or men's attitudes and preferences, but much to do with the female perceptual filters that render most men sexually invisible:

In some age groups, the enormous variation in men's abilities to provide resources makes marriagable men scarce. As a result, there are fewer males than females, and women are competing for mates more intensely than men. -- Sexual Strategies: How Females Choose Their Mates, by Mary Batten, p 196
This is highlighted by the kind of men whose masculinity women acknowledge. Every year, for example, the March of Dimes organization in Seattle hosts a March of Dimes Bid for Bachelors, where dates with bachelors are auctioned to the women who submit the highest bids. For the October 18, 1990, event, the chairwoman described the volunteer bachelors as "everyday kinds of guys." What kind of man does she consider an "everyday kind of guy"? "(A)n artist, a stock broker, a doctor, a former hydroplane racer, businessmen and even a retired diplomat." (The Journal American, October 18, 1990, page B1)

If these are what women consider "everyday kinds of guys," then the vast majority of men, whose incomes and professions do not compare, must not even qualify as men. Clearly, therefore, there is no "man shortage." Only an abundance of shallow women.


Rod Van Mechelen

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