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Susie Bright Headshot

Are You a Marryin' Fool?

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Did you see the marriage and sex quiz in the NYTimes this weekend?

After you've been pleasantly or unconvincingly surprised, what do you think? I'm sure we all have more to say than the quiz allowed!

"Women are more eager to marry than men."

FALSE says the Times

I knew this wasn't the case-- but if women believed that marriage meant the gift of a spouse who made a home for them, a "helpmate" who nurtured them, who made a social life possible, a mother who took care of their children, and a nurseful listener who was charming in uncharming situations-- if that was the case, then women propose on bended knee faster than you can say "diary-of-a-mad-housewife."

Lesbians are EXTREMELY eager to get married; they're the marrying-est fools on the planet-- and they hold tremendous expectations for each other's support. Who doesn't want a loving wife, after all? Everyone should have one. They're getting rarer every minute.
(Note to self: I am spoiled rotten).

"Men are threatened by smart, accomplished women, yadda yadda, and would prefer a young sheltered blond."

FALSE says the Times

This question was phrased so provocatively that I figured it must be a trap. But the media loves to whip up women with these kind of headlines: "Men hate college educated broads and are leaving them in the dust!"

A more interesting question would be, if plenty of older women had economic clout, would they be more inclined to make fools of themselves over young lovers? I would. I think older women are just as touched by youth and beauty as old men are, we just are supposed to keep it to ourselves.

"Americans have become much more tolerant of all sexual activity."

FALSE, BUT...

This was my favorite surprise.The statistics show that while we are indeed more tolerant of all kinds of adult consensual relations, we are much more united in our disapproval of incest, adultery, and rape.

The sense that those violations "just don't count," or should be kept under the family secret rug, is no longer the consensus.

The sin freaks keep pushing the homosexual/abortion/SMkink alarm buttons, but that's not where mass condemnation lies.

People are fed up with coercion or force, there's no excuse or rationalization that anyone will accept any longer. It seems so obvious to us now, that we don't realize that it wasn't always so.

"Educated married women are opting out of their careers to stay at home with their kids."

FALSE says the Times

Funny this myth should pop up in the Times, because they are one of the main players who made it up. They're the ones who interviewed a bunch of women whose family fortunes run in the millions, and then reported a "trend" that these women are forsaking their Ivy league educations.

I have a feeling that very few women who graduated in my class of '81 from UC Santa Cruz are "making a choice" to stay home and make brownies. Not to mention my classmates from Cal State Long Beach, City College, or any of the other places I spent my student years.

If I could stop working... and I would just love to... I would definitely get out the Susie Homemaker oven and crank it up. I would sew every day. I would have dinner parties every week with themes and costumes. I would take my dog on three hour hikes in the morning. I would plan huge bacchanalian vacations; I'd be the Cruise Director. I would write long letters to old friends and seal them with my own candlewax. (Notice how I haven't mentioned anything about tending small children for hours on end).

"Born Again Christians are just as likely to get divorced as secular Americans"

Oh So TRUE

My favorite detail in the Times' explanation is that Pentecostals are apparently divorcin' fools, with the highest percentage of anyone getting split up. Why them, and not another denomination? My curiosity is piqued!