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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“Coming Out”; Dating after Weight Loss.

Just a click away??

“Coming Out” is now a term synonymous for telling family and friends that you are gay or same sex attracted. Sorry readers, no gossip today, I’m not about to tell you I am gay, but I am here today to talk about dating.

Once upon a time in a little land called England, “coming out” or “coming of age” was the term used for young lady’s of aristocracy to be presented to society as ready and available to meet eligible gentlemen. These men; of good social standing and breeding – were the hope of securing marriage and a future. This occurred between the ages of 17 to 18, where the young woman would be presented to the courts and come out to society. The young ladies “job” role from this point forward was preparing for the social events of “the season”. Being introduced to interested, eligible and suitable bachelors. Enter the whirlwind of Balls (with gorgeous gowns), picnics, afternoon teas, charity events and concerts galore. It was the world of Jane Austen and Downtown Abbey, where marrying the “right” gentleman” had as many pitfalls and complications as it does today.

“Back in the day” these women’s family members, (usually female matriarchs such as mothers, grandmothers and aunts) would be out on the “social network”, think FB without computers. The rumor mills would run hot, the gossip of London’s “well to do” could make or break a future, a family and lives. Young women’s attributes and beauty would be extolled. Eligible bachelors were considered and evaluated; It was, for all intensive purposes – trade. Often match making occurred for a variety of reasons; to confirm or keep royal titles, money, and land. The idea of love and attraction in these matches was not usually the first priority, but the hidden romantic in me hopes that it wasn’t entirely lost either.

Part of this all sounds like fun right? Being part of a family that was wealthy enough so that you could spend your time shopping and having maids set your hair sounds a little delightful. However for some cases, surely the awful truth, was just that, awful, and that that for many women, and men for that matter, it was a scary, daunting prospect; a little like being a commodity or an object…

In previous blogs I have stated that I am dating. Don’t get me wrong, It is fun, but just like those wealthy English Girls of yesteryear , it feels like hard work, a little scary and a huge learning curve. I have stated previously that it is tough to meet people. In today’s world it feels like one of the few places left to meet other singles is on a dating website. So I have wondered about the dating website world, Is it the 21st Century version of Coming Out? We now create profiles of ourselves, have we become our own matriarchs?

Are we now using new social dating sites to change the way we meet, communicate and interact? Or are we now just spruiking or making a commodity of ourselves? Primping and priming our profiles, rather than our hair?

I am not bashful or embarrassed to be internet dating, honestly where do you meet the single eligible men of today? I haven’t heard from my Mum on this, but, I am pretty sure that she is not organizing my social calendar for picnics, charitable events, or balls…(No mum that is not a hint:)

Meeting people is hard, meeting a nice, funny, real, SINGLE man who your attracted to; even harder. The pub seems like a less attractive version of internet dating sites (beer goggles are not good for anyone) and most of us have exhausted the friend connections.

In today’s world we do everything online, we are connected all the time; So if that is the case, so why shouldn’t we use the tool that can (at some levels) make it easier to assess potential partners…

Saying that you were internet dating 5 – 10 years ago was almost taboo, one of the statements that would often get you a sideward glance, and a snigger from the corner – How times have changed. Now it seems like everyone has a profile..and if you are honest enough to admit it out loud you often find that the single person next to you has an online profile too (or is seriously thinking about it). Whilst we live most of our lives on-line, the hard part of internet dating is translating that into meeting, turning the online reality into a real life date, but more on that another time.

For me, part of this modern-day personal “Coming Out”, this Multi-dating (or meeting guys for coffee to see if they are reasonable human beings) is about learning who I am in this process. I am trying to figure out what I am looking for in an eligible bachelor. Losing weight is not just a physical journey. It is really more than that, it is about becoming healthier across mind, body and spirit; It is also about becoming healthier in connecting my self esteem and sexuality… Honestly it is some scary stuff people; I know, I know, I mentioned the word sex there – even though it was backed up with some “uality” at the end of it 🙂

But back to being fat for a second, when you are obese, and the discussion about partners starts, you hear a lot of “But you have a great personality, someone will see that”…

LETS STOP RIGHT THERE…. Lets cut the crap people, and, to be honest, for me, I don’t think my personality was that healthy. Sure I had friends, I was happy at some levels, but I was also really f*#king miserable as well. I did not like the me I was. I looked awful and didn’t love myself. If I am honest; deep down… gut wrenchingly honest – I did not want to be loved. Especially not by anyone that would have accepted that version of me; Seriously how could I love someone who accepted that me, when I couldn’t accept myself. It would have been settling for someone I didn’t respect…

So now, where to from here; Well I have jumped into the Magic Far Away Tree, and landed smack bang in the middle of “The land of Multi Dating”, where, the healthy me; the happy me; looks for Mr Darcy, whilst weeding out the Mr Duds… Who knows what the magic far away tree has in store next, but I like Multi Dating Land now, and plan to hang around for a while. Why? Well because I am learning, learning about myself, men, and how to navigate relationships. I am also learning that I have plenty of lessons that need to be learnt in this space.

I really look forward to reading your comments on this post 😉 and, as always, I will continue to keep you posted!

Till next time, Lin xox

Please Note; Multi Dating is a term used by some dating sites to explain that you are meeting people for a coffee or first date. A first date, second or third date doesn’t constitute a relationship people! I am not talking about being in multiple relationships. It is a process of getting to know people, developing friendships and seeing if anything more is there.