The Marriageable Man

The topic of this article is marriageable men. It a phrase that not everyone is familiar with. A lot of experts and researchers posit that one of the reasons that we have seen a big decline in marriage, particularly among low-income folks, is that men are out of work and are thus not marriageable. They are not going to be decent husbands. You may be surprised to hear that in this case, some of the experts may be right. There is something to this theory, and that is what I am going to expound on. On a related note, singer Katy Perry told Rolling Stone when she was asked whether she was planning to have children, “I don’t need a dude. It’s 2014!”[1] By the end of this article, I think that will have more resonance for you.  Some of you might be old enough to remember when we were very big on girl power in this country. There were backpacks sporting the term “Girl Power,” and there were lunch boxes and T-shirts and hats and public service announcements and all kinds of government programs to try to promote self-esteem and ambition and motivation among girls who were said to be suffering from a lack of those things. There was something to worry about for sure with girls in those days. There still is, I suppose. Those who worked with the poor, especially, had very good reason to be concerned, because the teen pregnancy rates were high. Many teenagers were giving birth to children to whom they were unable to offer a very promising future, and all too often they had daughters who went on to become teen mothers themselves. There really was an issue worth dealing with. A mere decade after Girl Power was all the rage, however, I began to notice something else that was going on in the popular culture. It made me wonder about whether we were talking about the wrong problem.  In the show Sex and the City, the four young women who were the protagonists were the toast of the town and were among the most highly educated and highly accomplished women on T
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