I am very sorry to have read a review of a book called How to Meet a Man After Forty, but not sorry enough to refrain from foisting my review of this review on yall.
I am sorry that this book even exists. I am sorry that the author of the review wedges chunks of her own post-40 man-hunting autobiography around gushing praise for the author of the book. I am sorry that both of these women (and of course, millions more) have internalized the dominant culture’s urgent message — “Embed yourself in a nuclear family situation in your 20s, have babies, and disappear from public view” — to the extent that retrofitting themselves with a husband in middle age, when they are finally emotionally and financially stable and their lives are, by their own account, effing great, can even seem like a remotely good idea. I am sorry that a single woman over forty should consider herself a hopeless loser upon whom even her friends have “given up.” I am sorry that the message of How to Meet a Man After Forty appears to be this: getting a dude to marry your old hag ass is really, really fucking important.
Hell, it is important, if you consider it the pinnacle of human achievement to perpetuate and participate in a degrading sexist ritual and subsequent domestic arrangement the benefits of which traditionally accrue exclusively to men and their male offspring.
I do not disagree with certain of the precepts advanced in How to Meet a Man After Forty. Who, for example, can argue with the notion that nothing turns off a potential Mr Right faster than a confident, non-conforming “free spirit”? She may be “a breath of fresh air” but “he reads in her vaunted independence an adversarial attitude.”
Independence: Mr Right’s kryptonite!
The review author’s advice to overly self-actualized women?
Standing on your own two feet is great, but make a show of it and you come across as chippy or at the very least untouchable. He’s looking for The One, and seeks a woman who, if not instantly available, is easily accessible.
Be submissive. Suck up. Lower your standards. And for the lovamike quit being so goddamned adversarially independent. The author of the review — a woman with a great job, great friends, and a great “social whirl”– took it down a notch and, like magic, at the hopeless age of 42, instantly reeled in an unemployed sandal-wearing bald guy with 2 young sons, the lucky girl!
Without marriage to normalize femininity and misogyny and unpaid domestic drudgery and all that crap, the dominant culture would crumble.