Society, Church, Sex & Being Single…

On Monday there was a story doing the rounds of the Australian Media outlets. It featured on Channel 9 news in Melbourne. There is a link to the Courier Mail article at the end for the full context.. Overall it was not a well researched article, and was full of quotes from people designed to get a response and polarize opinion. Well it got me, hook line and sinker… or should I say stinker.

The premise of the story was this; Grab a man if you are a single girl or miss out. (Subtext you are to blame for being single, It is your fault for wanting it all) In fact what really frustrated me was Catholic Church Priest Father Tony Kerin episcopal vicar for justice and social service in the Archdiocese of Melbourne, and his gems (*cough*) of wisdom, that went a little something like this;

“Today’s women wanted the best of both worlds.” “Are women getting too choosy? I’d say yes,” Fr Kerin, speaking on behalf of the archdiocese, said.

“I think many are setting aside their aspirations for later, but by the time they get around to it, they’ve missed their chance. In trying to have it all, they end up missing out.”

WOW – thanks Father; We want the best of both worlds – Really – Too Choosy you say! Can’t we just aspire to have the best life we possibly can? Of course relationships are about compromise, working together, learning to live with differences and  live together.  But we no longer live in a world where as women we are reliant on a marriage to make sure we are “looked after”. I want a partner that is an intellectual, emotional, and sexual equal and treats me like one. No I am not willing to settle for less than that.

I didn’t happen to meet anyone in my 20’s for a bunch of reasons; “Never mind” says the Catholic Church, “that’s your lot in life, you’ve missed your chance Lin now live with it”. Or in Cartoon like fashion I imagine it a little like  this “Haha ha you tried to have it all woman!!! Now take that (slap)”.

There’s an expletive I want to scream at this priest it goes something like; “F#&K OFF!!

Honestly I wasn’t trying to have it all, I was just trying to live my life… My 20’s were hard work and a huge learning curve… I am kind of glad I didn’t get married then, I was a mess; physically and emotionally.

The very statement of women “trying to have it all that they end up missing out” is so misogynistic; And then there is the push to get married, like that doesn’t have anything to do with Christian views on sex.

But hey, don’t worry girls, the  Church doesn’t seem to be such lovers of women unless you are the virgin mother! After all it was a female that ate the apple and lead Adam astray, Women who are depicted as adulterers, and then the bibles love of highlighting the female role of seductress who will lead men astray…Yeah the church has a really healthy view of  relationships and sex… They don’t place any guilt around sex at all right?

But wait there’s more! The article also explains that there are substantially fewer available women than men out there … I also have an issue with the way this was stated in the article, and here is a quote from the article in relation to the work of Demographer Bernard Salt (who is promoting his new book that talks about this topic);

“Demographer Bernard Salt calculated that for single women aged 25 to 34, there is substantially less heterosexual, well-off, young men available after excluding those who were already married, in a de facto relationship, were gay, a single parent or earning less than $60,000 a year.”

The article here makes the assumption that single women aren’t interested in any men that are single parents or earning less than $60,0000 a year. The subtext of this to menfolk; If you have kids, well then women are not interested, if you earn less that $60,000 in the last financial year, sorry mate you’re not a viable option. How bloody insulting to men and women. So as a woman, I must only be interested if you are single, no kids and earn over $60,000. What are you smoking Bernie??

I have dated guys with kids, it is not a deal breaker. I have also dated men that earn less money than me… I can earn my own money thanks. But the figure in the article is also arbitrary given I have dated tradies that earn less than me on paper for tax reasons, but more in real life in their business.

This article does confirm that dating out there is hard. There does seem to be less viable men out there than women. However my single male friends tell me they aren’t finding it any easier either, and that finding a female partner is hard too.

This whole article screams of fear mongering to me; it screams of 1960’s expectations of the lives we need to lead. Hey ladies if you’re not in a relationship of some description there is something wrong with you..can anyone hear the word “Spinster”sitting on the cusp of this article… (Now where are my cats and balls of yarn!)

Thanks Church again for telling me (and other women) that we should follow your prescribed playbook for our lives. Hang on I know what to do; Let me find a man who I don’t get along with, marry him,, quit my job, have a couple of kids and bake all day…    Not that there is anything wrong with being married, having kids and baking all day …     But God forbid you are gay, bisexual or having sex outside of marriage… No, because according to the church that is forbidden, God doesn’t approve, there can be no love for you, no grace… You don’t fit the marriage mould, or aren’t allowed into the “club”.

Now I know plenty of Christians that wouldn’t agree with what the priest said about single women being picky, but I know plenty that would as well.

I know Christians and churches that love and accept straight, gay, bi, tri – well anyone really. But there are also plenty that don’t and actively promote hatred towards people who don’t fit their mould.

What I am sick of is this… Faith groups (of any description, denomination or religion) bullying groups of people and making “holy” unhelpful statements about how people should live their lives. Women in particular have been bashed enough by faiths across the globe. For crying out loud, most women (and men) I know are just trying to navigate their lives the best they can, with what they have, and get through each day. Leave us alone Priests and demographer’s… We got enough on our plates…

Rant over (for now)

Till next time; Lin xox

Grab a man or miss out, girls warned | The Courier-Mail.

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~ Relationships; Old & New

Marilyn Monroe

“I’m selfish, impatient and a little insecure. I make mistakes, I am out of control and at times hard to handle. But if you can’t handle me at my worst, then you sure as hell don’t deserve me at my best.”Marilyn Monroe

I have thought a lot about relationships this week. What they are based on, what people expect of us, what we expect and want of ourselves. What I been pondering is two-fold, Old & New, Beginnings and Ends;  Like what happens to relationships (either platonic or romantic) when a divide grows and there seems to be nothing left in common? Or the parties involved aren’t being real anymore? In some respects it is easier when the relationship is romantic, often you kind of know when it’s over or not going to work; this somehow seems to be more difficult with platonic friendships… Can you “break up” with a friend in a nice way… How do you say in a platonic relationship “Look I like you but just not like that anymore, let’s be friends; oh i mean… Um let’s not be friends” Awkward right?

I adore the words of Marilyn Monroe when it comes to relationships; either friendship or romantic… And let’s be honest; relationships aren’t easy; personally I have a habit of just blurting out stuff, being too open and honest – perhaps it is a style of guerilla honesty to see if you can handle me 🙂

For some reason the idea of not being friends with someone anymore doesn’t sit well with us. We all want to be liked, we are social creatures. Redefining relationships may mean that you need to draw in new boundary lines; or it may mean the line is a separation line – fold along the dotted line and cut. ———————————————-

While closing doors on relationships that need to be shut can be hard, Starting Relationships – Well that is hard work too!

I am beginning to learn that Dating is a Minefield, a Minefield people! And, as I am learning, somehow even harder in your 30’s. You see I am now pretty happy with my life, yep sure it would be nice to be in a relationship (with a great guy obviously) but single-dom is pretty attractive most of the time, and is a hell of a lot better than being in a bad relationship. As Marilyn’s quote at the top says, I am impatient, a little insecure (after years of being obese and ridiculed who wouldn’t be right) and like us all, I can definitely be selfish… but I do have a best side too 😉 and Dating is about finding that person that can handle your best and worst, that doesn’t happen overnight. Being in a relationship requires building a friendship, and trying along the way to get to know the real person not who you want them to be, or comparing them to your other friends.

Ultimately Dating is a bit of a process; in your 30’s a lot of your friends are married, you have your social circles set and meeting new people can be tough. Meeting new single guys even harder. There is the first date, the text messages, the second date, the phone calls. It is a process, it takes time and while dating is hard work, it is fun as well. Your 30’s presents the problem to that you have developed your personality over a longer period of time, and are more set in your ways. I have some pretty funny stories about some of the people I have met, I’ve learnt more about myself, what I want and don’t want, learnt that the best thing to do when someone won’t stop texting you and you have been clear that you are not interested in pursuing things further, is to ignore the texts (they do stop and nothing you can say will make you look better in their eyes, trust me on that one).  I am not entirely sure dating is time well spent…but hey maybe the next date will prove me wrong, and that’s the point right!

Till next time, Lin xox