Monday, March 07, 2022

The game of marriage chicken

Bettina Arndt notes below how feminists have dug a hole for their more normal sisters. Normal women still want marriage and a family but many men prefer to just "play the field" now that feminists have made that a legitimate choice. Men will often hook up with a lady for a while and then ghost her.

And that is complicated by the fact that women greatly dislike marrying a man less educated than they are. But the feminist influence in the educational system has forced many men out of it, leading to a shortage of tertiary-educated men. The men that well-educated normal women want are just not there for many

And it's not just women who are losing out. The feminist-dominated legal system with its incredible rules about "consent" and ferocious divorce laws has made many men opt out of normal relationships altogether. Too risky.

Bettina notes how often women are unrealistically "fussy" about whom they choose. They want more than they are ever likely to get. And that seems to be a lifelong tendency. I have been married four times so I have obviously got "it" but when I became single in my '70s, all of my assets were for nought, given my elderly appearance. As I have a Ph.D., I could not be more educated but even that earned me no kudos. The women in my own age-range whom I might have teamed up with wanted a younger-looking man. Fortunately, a well-presented and well-educated lady eventually emerged who forgave my current looks so I once again have a pleasing companion. And she is pleased too

The rejected visage

China is grappling with the problem of what to do with what they call ‘leftover’ women – unmarried women, often highly educated and urban – who can’t find a mate. The officials are finding their proposed incentives to persuade these women to marry unemployed men are meeting stiff resistance.

Meanwhile, black American leftover women are lining up for a harrowing dose of reality from YouTube sensation, Kevin Samuels. Over 2.5 million viewers have checked out this image consultant’s video, You’re Average at Best, where he demolishes a 36-year-old owner of a pet grooming business who believes she deserves a ‘six-figure guy’.

Samuels attracts ‘people who cannot look away from a train crash’ (claims this blogger) who admits she can’t stop watching him. There’s certainly a mesmerising quality to his endless interviews with delusional women convinced that their PhD and high earnings will attract a ‘high-value man’ – the modern equivalent of a prince in shining armour – despite these women often being overweight and single mothers.

Samuels is arrogant, misogynist, and totally wrong on many fronts. But I suspect the big attraction is seeing a man calling out the ‘because I’m worth it’ mentality afflicting so many successful women today. Watching their sense of entitlement flounder on the rocky shoals of today’s marriage market makes for irresistible viewing.

Black America gives a glimpse of our future. I spent five years living in New York in the mid-1980s and wrote about the growing pool of well-educated black women already having difficulty meeting black men who could match them. They grumbled that unless they were willing to marry down, or broaden their racial preferences, they’d be left on their own.

Their dim dating prospects have darkened further. The current pool of black students with higher education reveals black women being awarded 64.1 per cent of bachelor’s degrees, 71.5 per cent of master’s degrees and 65.9 per cent of doctoral, medical, and dental degrees. No wonder Kevin Samuels tells them to get real.

Meanwhile, here in Australia, we are heading for similar problems. The extraordinary success of the feminist mission to promote girls’ education is adding to the already tight market for thirty-plus educated women keen to settle down. Last week I received an email from a woman long married to her university sweetheart who reports her friends are complaining ‘there aren’t enough men on their socio-economic level to form partnerships’. As she says, our society never acknowledges that in order to help women find meaningful relationships we need to promote men’s education/employment.

Her friends are already up against it. In the 25-34-year age group more than half of females now have a degree compared with about a third of males (50.4 per cent vs 36.6 per cent). And the trend is clear

These successful women show little shift from their traditional hypergamy, still desiring to marry up or at least find a comparable man. A large study of 41,000 dating interactions by QUT economists, Stephen Whyte and Benno Torgler showed women seeking men of similar or superior levels of education right through to their forties. Only when breeding is no longer on the cards do women become less fussy about their choices.

The imbalance in numbers of well-educated men and women is simply deepening the mighty hole women created in their marriage prospects decades ago. Where it all really went astray was the strategic decision by women back in the 1970s to delay settling down. They embraced feminist rhetoric telling them they could have it all – spend the first decade of their adult lives getting educated, establishing their careers, having fun playing the field and only then get serious about finding the right mate. And that’s what they did. Over the past half-century, the average age of first marriage has shifted from the early twenties to around thirty.

For years, male bloggers have been gleefully boasting about how well that decade of dating worked out for men. Dalrock, who was one of the first to spot the trend, put it this way: ‘Today’s unmarried 20-something women have given men an ultimatum: “I’ll marry when I’m ready, take it or leave it.” This is of course their right. But ultimatums are a risky thing, because there is always a possibility the other side will decide to leave it. In the next decade we will witness the end result of this game of marriage chicken.’

Boy, did those chickens come home to roost… The new social order worked predominantly in men’s favour. Suddenly they didn’t have to marry to get sex – for many, particularly handsome, successful males, that became freely available. They could afford to sit back and wait while their own market value steadily increased. Even nerdy blokes who spent their early dating years being constantly rejected were able to acquire assets, career success, and confidence so that by the time women decided to get serious, many of these men found themselves much in demand.

Allowing most men, particularly educated men, to remain fancy-free for that critical decade means that by the time women hit thirty, the pool of eligible prospects is already depleted. Desirable successful thirty-something males have all the choices, with many fishing outside their pond, some choosing younger women and others seeking partners who offer something other than career success. Almost one in three degree-educated 35-year-old men marry or live with women aged 30 or under.

For the leftovers – successful women in their thirties facing their rapidly closing reproductive window – the prospects are grim. The solution is easy, many say – they should just get real and marry down. But the reality is most men in their twenties aren’t interested in dealing with the hassle of the older woman’s fertility time clock, when a younger woman means less pressure, more time for making good decisions. And as an online dating coach I found many younger men happy to meet up with my older clients, but sex was usually the only thing on their agenda.

We have to understand women’s choices. I was once involved in a market research project asking successful single women what they were looking for in a mate. Most expressed a desire to meet men of equivalent income because they didn’t want to be robbed of the choice of staying out of the workforce to care for their young children through being dependent on her higher income to pay the mortgage. Women’s preferences are governed by more than just status.

I should point out that current trends show most people do still get married or will do so over their lifetime. Many of these successful professional women will ultimately find a mate, but may end up missing out on children if they partner in their 40s or later, often with someone who has been married before. And in case you are wondering why I am talking about finding marriage partners rather than just cohabiting, well-educated women pretty consistently prefer to delay breeding until they are married, unlike less advantaged women who increasingly now have children out of wedlock.

Currently what we are seeing in this top-end thirties dating market is a lot of desperate women and elusive men. Here’s my correspondent talking about the trouble her friends are having: ‘The guys are willing to have sex with them but won’t commit to a relationship – let alone marriage. Again, I don’t really blame the men for acting this way, it’s because of the sexual culture the feminists have implemented. A guy will have sex with a girl giving her the impression that a relationship could eventuate then once they’ve had the hookup, they ghost her. Is it any wonder that these women today are terribly bitter and angry? After a while these women feel so furious that they think to themselves they’re going to make out he assaulted them because he led them on.’

Furious and dangerous. In this Brittany Higgins era, it is extraordinary men still take the risk of playing with that fire. Surely we must expect to see more men opting out of the whole business, now that women have shown themselves at their most venal and vindictive. The sight of baying groups of females out for blood at the Brett Kavanagh hearing, or at the Higgins’ talk at the National Press Club talk should have sensible men running for cover.

Clearly some are doing so. Last year the media was agog at this graph, published using data from the Washington Post, showing a third of men under thirty were virgins.

Part of the story here relates to boys’ education. Young men, with lower levels of education, are dropping out of the labour force, many living with their parents, with no income, no prospects, no women.

The bigger question is how much of this is also MGTOW – men choosing to go their own way. It makes sense in this anti-male culture for these younger men to be wary of sexual contact which could turn around to bite them, just as the older successful men know that the wrong marriage is a very quick way to lose most of what they have. Good reason to expect elusive men to become ever more common.


Chief Scientist wants more girls to embrace science and maths

This pressure is a bit arrogant. Why should girls not choose what they want?

Dropout rates from high school maths and science subjects have sparked calls from Australia’s chief scientist Cathy Foley for better trained teachers.

Dr Foley said women risk missing out on highly paid jobs unless more girls studied STEM (science, technology, engineering and maths) subjects at school and university. She said boys made up 78 per cent of physics enrolments for the Higher School Certificate in NSW.

Too many students were “dropping out of important subjects at the last minute’’ in years 11 and 12, Dr Foley said. “That’s not the recipe we need for great opportunities for women to have fabulous jobs that are technology-based.’’

Student enrolment data for the two biggest states, NSW and Victoria, reveal high dropout rates from science subjects in senior years. In NSW, one in three of all students who enrolled in physics or chemistry in 2019 had dropped the subject by the end of year 12.

In Victoria, a quarter of students who enrolled in year 11 chemistry in 2020 dropped the subject in year 12, with 3886 students quitting the core science subject last year.

In mathematical methods, necessary to study engineering or medicine, one in four students shed the subject between years 11 and 12.

Nearly 4000 year 12 students completed specialist mathematics in Victoria last year, but boys were twice as likely as girls to have studied the most difficult maths subject. Just 1653 year 12 girls completed physics studies last year compared with 5596 boys – with a 22 per cent dropout rate for the subject in the senior years in Victorian high schools.

In systems engineering, 68 girls finished the subject in year 12, compared with 1045 boys.

Dr Foley said school girls with a talent for science often dreamt of becoming doctors so they could help people.

That meant girls were overlooking lucrative and interesting careers in data science, artificial intelligence and robotics that could help humanity, she said.

“A lot of young girls are brought up with societal expectations to be a carer, a social secretary and to make sure they’re nice to people,’’ she said.

“But there’s a narrow idea of what it means to help people. If they go into STEM-related research, they can develop something used by many people; they can change the world by science.’’

Dr Foley said Australia will need an extra 250,000 workers with digital skills within the next two years. “We’re not graduating anywhere near the number of (qualified workers) we need … to move from a service-based economy built on mineral extraction and services.’’

She said international students were more likely than Australian students to study engineering or physical sciences at university.

Better teaching, rather than a new curriculum, was the key to stopping students dropping out of science and maths in senior high school, Dr Foley said.

“Curriculums don’t inspire children, teachers inspire children. It doesn’t matter how good the content is, you need an inspiring teacher.

“At the moment, teachers often are teaching outside their area of expertise.

“Phys-ed teachers working as maths and science teachers is not a pathway that’s serving us well.’’

Dr Foley praised schools such as St Aiden’s Anglican Girls’ School in Brisbane, where students learn about coding and ­robotics from their first year of primary school.

Girls take part in an annual ­robotics contest, the Australian Space Design Competition and a First Lego League contest.

Principal Toni Riordan said 45 per cent of the class of 2021 year 12 graduates had applied for STEM-related studies at university. This year, 22 per cent of year 12 students are studying physics, 54 per cent chemistry and 56 per cent biology.

“The quality and professionalism of our teachers allow us to deliver our school-wide priority to deliver age-appropriate and diverse opportunities in STEM,’’ Ms Riordan said. “Our students embrace these opportunities with a curious mindset and creative problem-solving, which we know will prepare them for the world they will encounter.’’

Dr Foley, who trained as a school teacher before becoming a scientist, said too few teachers had the “right skills’’ to teach maths and science.

She said children’s engagement with social media and gaming meant “their need to be excited and inspired and engaged is heightened’’.

Scientists, engineers and IT professionals needed financial incentives, such as scholarships, to retrain as teachers, she added.

And she questioned the need for university-educated professionals to complete a two-year master’s degree in education to become a teacher.

“If you’ve been on a fair salary, you can’t suddenly dip out for two years (to complete a master’s degree),’’ Dr Foley said.

“Many people who’ve been in the workforce a long time have skills that are transferable.

“They might not need to do all aspects of a two-year master’s (degree).’’


Time to put the Covid pandemic behind us

While we can safely rule out Vladimir Putin as a contender for this year’s Nobel peace prize, he may not yet be out of the running for the Nobel prize in medicine. After all, the invasion of Ukraine has put a stop to Covid-19, or at least the interminable conversations about a waning pandemic.

Omicron may be ripping through Australia and New Zealand somewhat faster than a fleet of Russian tanks but it presents less danger to human life and limb. Putin has presented the world with something far more frightening than a coronavirus mutation: a hostile invasion of a sovereign neighbour that may yet trigger a wider conflict.

The rains saturating the east coast have provided further distraction from the Covid dark opera. And when even The New York Times runs the headline, “Get Out of Your Pyjamas, the Pandemic is Over”, it should be time to call it quits.

International data should give us the confidence to declare that Covid-19 is in its death throes, having accomplished its mission of infecting every community on Earth, even NZ, where daily case numbers per 100,000 people last week were higher than the peaks in either Britain or the US. Thankfully, however, just like everywhere else, almost nobody is dying. The number of active cases across the world has been steadily declining since its Omicron peak in late January. The stockmarket saw it coming. Shares in Moderna and BioNTech are a quarter of the price they were in August and Pfizer has lost around 20 per cent of its value since December.

Last week, the US Senate narrowly passed a resolution to end the state of emergency. Republican senator Ron Marshall from Kansas, who introduced the measure, described it as “a symbolic victory to our citizens that normalcy is around the corner”. Mopping up the executive overreach, however, may be easier said than done.

Few in positions of authority have mustered the courage to declare the pandemic over. The deadly Wuhan virus, which prompted the World Health Organisation to declare a pandemic, is extinct. Omicron is far less deadly. Yet there appears little appetite to review the pandemic status, suggesting there are those who prefer to keep it in place. The people resisting a return to normality are generally in positions of power and influence. They have profited from the pandemic either financially or through a rise in the sense of their importance.

They include many in the mainstream media who, with some honourable exceptions, have kept their fingers on the panic button, even as the risk to public health has declined.

Two weeks ago, former deputy chief health officer Nick Coatsworth told Chris Kenny on Sky News that the Omicron variant was “clearly not” as dangerous to healthy adults and children as influenza. “If you had to give me a choice between which one I would vaccinate (my children) against, every time I would be choosing influenza over a Covid-19 vaccine,” he said. “That’s how I feel about the difference in severity between the two.”

Coatsworth’s advice was based on clinical experience and data. Yet, as Kenny reflected in The Weekend Australian the following Saturday, most of the rest of the media ignored the story. Taking away our liberties came much easier to the elite than handing them back.

Countless rules, regulations and protocols that were put in place when the risk was perceived to be rising remain in place with no prospect of any immediate review. Worse still, many of the measures were put in place without an expiry date, even though the pandemic was bound to pass.

We should have known after 9/11 that rushed measures to deal with a perceived emergency are hard to remove.

The security guards who were put in place to patrol the walkway on the Sydney Harbour Bridge have been strolling pointlessly up and down 24 hours a day for more than 20 years. No one can remember why they were put there, let alone who has the authority to stand them down, but perhaps someone should find out.

Hopefully, the mask “protocol” (not a rule or regulation) in airports and on domestic flights will be scrapped some time before 2040, but you wouldn’t put your money on it. The measure was agreed by national cabinet in January 2021 and updated in October. Transmission of the virus aboard an aircraft is far rarer than most would imagine, thanks to high-back, forward-facing seats and constant fresh air pumped through highly efficient filters. There is no conclusive scientific evidence that a scrappy mask, carelessly worn, is any more capable of stopping the Omicron variant than a hapless security guard could stop a low-flying 737. Yet the rule remains in place, serving as yet another barrier to civilised human interaction and a burden on those required to enforce it.

The absence of open debate is perhaps the most troubling restriction of all. Coatsworth is not the only person to harbour doubts about booster shots for children or whether universal booster shots, not just for the elderly or others at high risk, is a sensible or proportionate policy.

Questioning whether we really need to ostracise the unvaccinated remains a taboo even as state authorities are considering when dismissed workers could be invited back into their jobs to fill the vacancies for skilled staff in health and education.

Last week, the NZ High Court recognised the new reality by upholding an appeal by unvaccinated police and members of the NZ defence force, declaring their dismissal to be unlawful.

The court found their dismissal was not “a reasonable limit on the applicants’ rights that can be demonstrably justified in a free and democratic society”. The expert advice before the court did not show that the dismissal of unvaccinated workers made “a material difference” to health outcomes in the era of Omicron.

In other words, the only justifiable redundancies are the dispensing of superfluous rules.


Corporate regulator ASIC to roll back financial scam protections

The corporate regulator is pushing ahead with plans to roll back consumer protections against bank transfer scams despite strong opposition from consumer groups who say the move will leave the public more vulnerable to financial losses.

The Australian Securities and Investments Commission said on Monday that it would proceed with narrowing the scope of the ePayments Code in relation to scams following a review of submissions from stakeholders including the banking industry, consumer representatives, industry associations and fintechs.

Consumer groups labelled the move “shocking” and “disappointing”.

Changes to the code, due to be updated in April, include amending the definition of ‘mistaken internet payment’ so it only covers input mistakes in the payment request and not payments made to a scammer.

A second change relates to unauthorised transactions provisions, whereby these will now only apply when a third party has made a transaction on a person’s account without their consent and not where a consumer makes a transaction themselves as a result of misunderstanding or falling victim to a scam.

“Recovery of transactions involving scams under the mistaken internet payments framework is increasingly challenging due to fraudsters quickly moving the funds out of the receiving account,” ASIC said in a statement.

“Clarifying that scams processes are not subject to the mistaken internet payments process in the Code would allow better consumer outcomes to be achieved because scam transactions could be managed sooner (if not required to go through the mistaken internet payments process).”

The mistaken internet payments framework had not been designed to allocate liability between the consumer and subscriber for lost funds, ASIC added.

“Rather, it is a process for the sending and receiving ADIs to assist the consumer, who has made the mistaken payment, in retrieving their funds from the unintended recipient.”

But Consumers Federation of Australia chair Gerard Brody said the move to narrow elements of the code would hurt consumers at a time when scams are on the rise.

“It’s shocking that ASIC is proceeding to roll back application of the ePayments code. This is the sole regulatory instrument we have to provide some level of consumer protection with electronic transactions, and it comes at a time when Australians are losing $2bn a year in scams, according to the ACCC,” Mr Brody said in an interview.

Mr Brody called on the government to step up to fill the gap created by the new code.

“ASIC actually acknowledges that this (update) will leave a gap in regulation relating to scams. So it’s disappointing that they’re not choosing to close that gap.

“They do say that it‘s more of an action for government and I very much hope that government takes that on board and steps in to regulate this area.”

ASIC Commissioner Sean Hughes acknowledged the updated code would not address or resolve every issue raised in the consultation process.

“This interim refresh will target a range of key issues with the code to support its ongoing relevance and effectiveness, pending the Government’s broader consideration of a mandatory code,” he said.

“This includes taking into account significant developments in technological innovation and preserving the intention for the code to be simple to apply and easy to understand.”

The ePayments code is currently voluntary but the government is expected to begin consulting this year on making it mandatory through legislation.

ASIC’s “refresh” of the code is understood to be an interim measure to take into account the technologies that have emerged since the previous review more than a decade ago.

An ASIC spokesperson said the regulator would welcome the code becoming mandatory.




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