But it’s a leap of illogic to suggest that the answer is for women to settle for humdrum marriages with men you tolerate so you can have a father for your children. How insulting for men: imagine going to a boyfriend’s house and seeing Marry Her: The Case for Settling for Ms. Good Enough on his shelves. And whom does Gottlieb blame? Guess. “I know this is an unpopular thing to say,” she writes, “but feminism has completely f–ked up my love life.” Um, I know why it’s unpopular: because it’s completely unfair. Feminism is a -centuries-old social movement, not a self-help book—we can’t blame it for bad decisions we make about men. The problem, as Gott-lieb sees it, is that women were told they could have it all, which meant not compromising in any aspect of life, including dating (which is odd because people who can’t compromise aren’t feminists, they are just generally unpleasant people). Then women got so fussy that they “empowered them-selves out of a mate.”
This twisted thinking makes my head hurt. First, the only evidence offered to prove that women expect too much is anecdotal. Are some women too picky? Sure. People are shallow, unkind, and judgmental. But I don’t know any women who have checklists. If they do, I imagine it’s something most grow out of. If you will only date someone who looks like Brad Pitt, “earns a gazillion dollars, and makes your knees go weak every time you’re together,” as Gottlieb writes, then you’re probably either 20 or stupid. Most of us just want to love and be loved. The data show that when it comes to money and education, women are in fact lowering their standards. A Pew study released Jan. 19 found that in 1970, 4 percent of wives earned more than their husbands. In 2007, 22 percent did. The percentage of women who had more education than their husbands rose from 20 to 28.