Although here on The Spearhead we often dwell on the injustices heaped on men and the incentives and benefits women can receive from betraying and abandoning husbands, one thing that ought to be pointed out is that in many – perhaps most – cases divorce is actually a stupid move on the part of a woman. Legions of women divorce their husbands and find themselves harried, working harder, poorer and either alone or with a man who doesn’t live up to her initial expectations.
Certainly, there are some cases where divorce is clearly to a woman’s advantage, such as a homemaker married to a wealthy man who is having an involved affair with another woman and on the brink of leaving his wife. But that’s a small minority. Another case could be a woman married to a man hurtling toward self-destruction with a severe alcohol or drug problem, which may be more common. As for the matter of physically abusive husbands, they do exist, but in most of these cases the wife has plenty of problems herself that likely won’t be entirely solved by divorce.
Usually, the woman is simply leaving her husband on impulse, as often as not out of sexual urges compelling her to seek out a new mate when her mating cycle renews (every four or five years, it seems), and sometimes simply for a power trip. It isn’t usually a rational decision, but rationalization has a way of occurring after the fact, so that’s no matter. But objectively speaking, their lives are usually worse after they take the plunge and wreck their families.
Growing up in the 1980s, during the divorce rampage that swept the US starting in the 1970s, I knew a lot of kids whose mothers made these poor choices. Perhaps they were disappointed with their husbands for not growing up fast enough, or maybe they felt the thrill of women’s lib and wanted to go to war against the men they had married to advance the cause of feminism. Because we were kids at the time, we had no way of understanding why these women did what they did, but we saw how they lived. The typical pattern was ejection of the husband, followed by relationships with other men, sometimes a succession of them, and then a slow, downward slide into the typical aging, middle-class single mother.
One thing I saw happen over and over was the gradual transformation of the children’s fathers from their initial down-and-out state following the divorce to respectable, stable adult men. Some remarried and some didn’t, but most of them gradually improved their station in life as their children became adults. Of course, some never recovered, and fell away from society for one reason or another, but that wasn’t the norm. Most of the women, on the other hand, just got stuck in a rut. They were dependent on court-ordered payments from their ex-husbands for expenses, and when those dried up as the kids graduated, they were left relatively poor and unable to attract a new boyfriend.
The kids were a mixed bag. They all faced problems, but some of them did alright eventually, particularly those whose fathers stayed around and took an interest in their lives. The odd thing is, though, that initially many of us had an impression that there must have been something wrong with these kids’ fathers for having been left by their wives. However, around the time we were high school, as the kids’ fathers came into their own and began to establish themselves, I started looking at a lot of these single mothers’ life choices with some incredulity. Here was one whose ex-husband became a high-ranking Navy officer. And there another whose ex-husband got a job as head engineer at a local sporting goods factory. Another became assistant chief of police, and one is even serving in Obama’s cabinet. And I knew that these men hadn’t divorced while successful — I’d seen the guys struggling when I was a child.
As I grow older the differences are becoming even clearer. The women who stayed with their husbands are typically happier and wealthier than those who didn’t. Even women whose husbands were never particularly successful financially are much better off than your typical working-class divorcée. Those who have middle and upper-middle class husbands are living the American dream. But the mothers who never found a suitable replacement, or married and divorced a second time, are facing late retirement and poverty in old age. And men my age, who saw what they did first-hand, tend not to have a great deal of respect for them.
Interestingly, feminists do not seem concerned at all about these aging women who made terrible choices while young. One might think they are avoiding the subject because it shows feminism for the dumb idea it is for most women, but that probably isn’t it. Feminists could easily take a subject like that and frame it in a way to make men look bad, or use it to come up with some excuse for taxing men even more, but there’s another reason they don’t pay attention: feminism is, above all, concerned with the exercise of female sexuality and maximizing the power it confers. These washed up older women simply don’t have anything to offer in that regard.
I suppose one could look at the legions of young women who make stupid choices offered by feminists as akin to the common footsoldiers in a war. Most of them never get anything out of it but some temporary glory – if that – and many are left permanently damaged. It is only the politicians, the ‘generals’ so to speak, who really make a killing off of their sacrifice. The Gloria Steinems, Gloria Allreds, Joe Bidens and other such characters who pushed so hard to foist this culture of divorce and family destruction on America now stand tall on the wreckage of millions of American families, offering nothing but a bleak future for the women who put their pet policies into action. But perhaps this is how it always has been with humanity: the greatest earthly glory goes to those who have wrought the greatest carnage.