Skip to comments.Magazine waits 20 years to apologize
Posted on 06/21/2006 7:34:57 AM PDT by qam1
Nothing like getting an apology 20 years after the fact.
Better late than never, I suppose. But have you ever gotten a heartfelt apology from someone when you were way, way over it? Imagine if your old boyfriend wanted you back, or a snobby classmate apologized at your 20th high school reunion.
In this case I'm talking about something far more serious. I'm talking about an event that traumatized an entire generation of single women.
I'm talking about the Newsweek article "The Marriage Crunch," published in June 1984. In a line that seemed wildly insensitive even then, the magazine predicted that a 40-year-old woman was "more likely to be killed by a terrorist" than to marry in her lifetime. The odds for thirty-somethings were declared to be only slightly better: One in five for a 30-year-old woman; one in 20 for a 35-year-old.
It was the shot heard round the world, at least among my circle of young, single women. Even then, we suspected the article based on the slimmest of research by a pair of Yale University grad students to be more backlash than foresight.
The magazine talked obsessively about a woman's "chances" of marrying, but we understood, theoretically at least, it was more about choices. The study relied on demographic trends from past generations that showed only a small percentage of women hadn't married by the age of 30. It failed to acknowledge that our generation felt far less social and financial pressure to marry in our 20s, or before the right person came along.
Not until the Newsweek article, at any rate. It felt like an elaborate taunt: "Maybe you have all this new independence, and unheard-of career opportunities, but you'll end up loveless and alone." The message struck some deep, insecure place in our psyches. We had not been raised by a generation of '50s-era mothers for nothing women branded "long in the tooth" at the tender age of 25, spinsters at 30.
Were we really choosing career over love, as the article alleged?
Were we really being "too picky," as the magazine gleefully asserted? (There was no mention of domestic abuse or abandoned wives, or any of the dangers of not being "picky" enough.)
To mark the anniversary, Newsweek published a cover story this month on "Why We Were Wrong." The authors noted that the study's statistics turned out to be too pessimistic, and that 90 percent of baby-boomer men and women either have married or will marry. "And the days when half of all women would marry by 20, as they did in 1960, only look more anachronistic," they wrote.
Forgive us if we don't breathe a collective sigh of relief. My formerly single friends many of whom married in their 30s found ourselves too busy ferrying our children to soccer practice or gymnastics. In the midst of our harried schedules we might be forgiven for wishing, at times, that the magazine's predictions had come true.
But they didn't, of course, and I couldn't be more grateful for the unprecedented choices facing women of my generation.
And now, even Newsweek has recanted the story that caused us all so much angst.
Next thing you know, I'll be getting a call from the grade school bully, offering to fix my glasses.
Hehe. My wife and I have joked about that line for the past 20 years.
Yeah, and some 27 year old is going to say that there's no way that she'll marry a guy who's 35 because if he's lucky the second child will be born by the time he's 40 and she's still in her early 30's.
Women in the mid-twenties today are, on the whole, fairly immature and self centered. 28-30 is a pretty good age for them.
I don't remember that particular article, but I remember a lot of articles saying the same thing in the 80's. I say those articles were right on the mark, and nothing new: Of course, as someone grows older, and other people marry off, the pickings get slimmer.
Apology my butt. Simply creating a news article from a news article by pulling info out of thin air, twice, is not news.
"How can we fool them today".
OK, there was my FR laugh for the day. I should probably get to work now.
How's that old Dilbert joke go? "And what percentage of them marry terrorists?" "30" "Gosh..."
Must be a lot of Democrites getting married, then...
And I did end up going to London, snagging said gorgeous English guy with great hair, and then dumping him four months later. Many years later, I ended up getting hitched at the ripe old age of 33 to an even more gorgeous American guy with even greater hair. To boot, on our wedding day, my hubby was still in his twenties--A YOUNGER MAN! So... fooey on Newsweek, the goofy t*rds.
That article did upset my older sister, though. But... she's a 400 lb cat lady, so a lot of things tend to upset her.
Since Newsweek means as much to me as a dead mosquito, I don't expect an apology.
Typical bitter feminist, for obvious reasons.
You really don't want me answering that one. :)
Gee, isn't she cute!
"It failed to acknowledge that our generation felt far less social and financial pressure to marry in our 20s, or before the right person came along."
It also probably fails to note how many MEN of said ages were still unmarried.
Or was their point that no matter what, 40yo men still get the pick of 20yo girls?
The reason possibly being they aren't satisfied with the males they're experiencing.
I totally agree.
I won't be taking out subscriptions to Newsweak waiting for them to do a mea culpa over man made global warming...
OK, not to inject any icky ol' logic into the situation, but ... ;-)
Would you agree with the following statement? "Almost all men over 30 who are childless and haven't been married are that way for a reason."
If not, why not?
Yes, due to almost all women over 30 who are childless and haven't been married are that way for a reason.
Disclaimer: Opinions posted on Free Republic are those of the individual posters and do not necessarily represent the opinion of Free Republic or its management. All materials posted herein are protected by copyright law and the exemption for fair use of copyrighted works.