Sunday, February 12, 2012

The man shortage, and other urban legends.

Overheard at the bar.
If you went on you would get a TON of hits.  You're an attractive man in the city.  Do you know how hard that is to come by?  My male friend on Match says his inbox is overflowing!  He can't even get back to these women fast enough.  It would be impossible for him to even respond to them all!   There are waaaaay more women here than men.  Waaaaay.  Men can just take their pick.  It's so unfair.

     FACT:Female percentage of the population in NYC in 2010 as per census data- 51.6  One point six percentage points does not a landslide make.  Not even close.  I am 38 years old.  I have been hearing this same story  for the past twenty years in every city that I have ever lived.  You know the one.  The tale of the infamous man shortage.  What is up with that?  Who invented it?

This guy.

     Just kidding.  Not this guy.  I just couldn't resist using this ridiculous picture.  I'm not sure who invented it, but a lot of "reliable" sources certainly are perpetuating it.  Case in point- The New York Times.

     The New York Times.  It is where myself, and all of my Eastern elitist liberal friends go for news.  I consider it a trustworthy source.  So I had to l believe it when I saw the headline, "On college campuses, a shortage of men."   Holy shit, a man shortage?  Thank God I got mine, before they ran out!
                         North Carolina, with a student body that is
                         nearly 60 percent female, is just one of many 
                         large universities that at times feel eerily like 
                         women’s colleges. 

     Nearly 60 percent.  Hmm.  Actually, it's 57 percent.   Okay, that is a fair amount more women than men.  But can we assume that some of these women are married, lesbians, or otherwise committed?  I think so.  So that probably brings the numbers of single, available men and women a little closer, right?  Yes, I can see how this may be fallacious reasoning, but you get my drift.  Do you think a presumably less than let's say, 12 percent difference in the male to female ratio on that campus warrants such a headline?  I'll answer that question for you.  No, it doesn't.   Also, to the writer of this particular article,  I question your use of adverbs.  Eerily?  Really.  Is there something eerie about women's colleges?  What the hell are you trying to say here?

                       Thanks to simple laws of supply and demand, 
                       it is often the women who must assert themselves 
                      romantically or be left alone on Valentine's Day, 
                      staring down a George Clooney movie over a half-empty
                      pizza box.

     Oh, I see.  You're trying to say nothing.  You're writing in stupid cliche's.   All single women have lives that resemble the lonely woman in the first half of a romantic comedy- before she finds a mate, becomes less pathetic, and eats less pizza.  Is that what your saying?  Fear- mongerer.

                    “I was talking to a friend at a bar, and this girl just 
                     came up out of nowhere, grabbed him by the wrist, 
                     spun him around and took him out to the dance floor 
                    and started grinding,” said Kelly Lynch, a junior at North 
                    Carolina, recalling a recent experience. 

     Jesus Christ- hide your sons!  The eerie women are getting desperate and crazy.  They are grinding on everything they can get their hands on.  This man shortage is no joke!  Help!  That's it.  Last straw.  Quote choice- horrific.  You are not a journalist.
     But, whatever.   I didn't write this blog to attack the New York Times.  I wrote it, to point out that this legend, this myth, this story that makes women shudder- is total bullshit.  Yet still,  it's everywhere;  even real news outlets. 
BBC News- Latvian Man Shortage Leaves Women Lost For Love
Huffpost- Shortage of Russian Men Inspires Women to Become Better Lovers
     See?  It's sweeping the globe.  What's a girl to think?

     Listen, I know single  women in their thirties.  The stories they believe are not pretty.  Take my friend- we'll call her Suzy, for anonymity's sake.  Suzy is in her mid thirties.   Suzy is an actress.  Suzy has legs as long as my torso.  Suzy is gorgeous.  But more than that, Suzy is the kind of woman that you can't help but love.  Suzy looks you in the eyes when she speaks, and Suzy knows about all of your problems and genuinely cares about them.  Suzy is a catch.
     This is what Suzy said to me last week.
     Maria, I have been laying awake at night freaking out.  I can't believe I am still alone.  I can't believe I am going to end up the old lady with cats.  I hate cats.

     What?  Oh Jesus!  I guarantee you there are no men out there thinking like this.  Why should they?  It's raining ladies- hallelujah, it's raining ladies, Amen!
     But you know what-  It's not raining ladies, okay?  There are not way more women than men out there.  If I can do anything for women, it can be to help destroy the myth that they have to panic, because there just isn't a lot out there.  Bullshit.   The only reason your friend's inbox is overflowing is because women are so freaked out by all of these "man shortage" myths, that when they see one that seems like a catch- they bite. Quickly, and maybe- repeatedly.  Who can blame them?

     Frankly, I just think it is a lot harder for women and  men to meet someone they like these days because our social culture is changing- drastically.  But men don't have to contend with the ever present, biological clock- so they don't scare as easily.  Is there a male equivalent to a spinster?
     I don't date.  I don't do anything but work, clean up poop, and sing Twinkle Twinkle Little Star.  But I'm going to give you my advice anyway.  The next time you go to a bar or anywhere else to attempt to meet someone, leave your phone at home.
     Yup, I said it.  Leave your precious, f-ing phone at home.  Then, when you are out, you can actually attempt to make eye contact with someone and strike up an actual, live conversation.
     Seriously, I don't know how anyone gets laid anymore.  We're so busy checking our email, and seeing who liked our facebook post, and playing mother f-ing Internet scrabble- to actually connect with another human being.  It's a vicious cycle.  We take to the Internet because we are lonely- yet we are all lonely because we are online instead of being amongst the living.  And even when we are amongst the living, the living only get, like 40% of our attention- because we are all constantly checking our phones.
     Remember the story about the idiot in Japan that married a computer avatar last year?

     I don't even know what this post is about anymore.
     In summary; there is no man shortage.  Lose your phone.  Get laid.

     You're welcome.


  1. Coming from a college that was 70-30 women-men, I can promise you that anything under that ratio is NOT a shortage. Also, I never found myself staring down a George Clooney movie over a half eaten pizza on Valentine's day... instead, we dressed up the statue of our mascot with a boa and condoms. We were pretty classy.

    1. I know. That cliche makes me angry. Even if I do love me some George Clooney.

    2. I mean, who doesn't? I like to think he'd approve of dressing a bronze lynx up like a drag queen, though.

  2. They forget to add that a lot more college aged males go in the military than females. I had a lot more 18-24 year old males than I did females in my platoon. Maybe that's why there's more females at that university? Or maybe the guys just went somewhere else. Who knows. And OMG! You can't be single of v-day! Oh no, there must be something wrong with you then if you're single. LMAO!
    And you're so correct. Everyone's so into the internet and keeping up to date with people that they don't bother getting out of their comfort zone. Most people stay close to home. Yea, they did that way back when too. But I didn't find my husband until I went to school half-way across the country. And I found him because this was when facebook was JUST starting so I wasn't so into being online 24/7 and got out and did things. I didn't need a website to match me up with him either.

    1. I just realized I wrote this right before Valentines Day- ha- perfect!

  3. Oh good lord. A less than 10% difference is NOTHING. I'm a lesbian- I went to a college with about 800 undergrads (all women), and there were maybe 3 other gay women. Three. Four of us out of 800: that's a shortage. And I still managed to date. Just because there's a shortage of people of whatever gender/sexuality/availability/whatever at a school does NOT mean there's a similar shortage in the surrounding area. I went on a couple dates with a girl from another school in the area and I had a short relationship with someone I met at a summer program. Not to mention the fact that most people I know who are single aren't eating Haagen Dazs and crying over The Notebook- they're out living their lives and if someone comes along, great, if not, they're still happy.

  4. That "Suzy" really does sound like a catch... Oh Maria, this is amazing. This is a balm for so many worried hearts. Thank you. I was literally moved to tears. And laughter and a hugh sigh of relief.

  5. Gee, I wish I lived in a place where there was a man shortage, instead of Alaska where ratio of men:women is 7:1