07 April 2008

Tact and Mystery

I don't have a good picture to illustrate this one.

Last night I went to a party.  There I got into a conversation with a woman who, when I answered her query about why I'm not happy here by telling her that I didn't believe I would every meet a man here, said to me, "Yes...This town is full of great women.  I know so many great single women here.  But there are just no men."

I hate the phrase "great single women."  It never comes as part of an optimistic sentence, or a positive remark about those great single women; without fail, it comes in a sentence like the one above, or a sentence such as, "I know all these great single women, and I can never figure out why there aren't men for them" - that remark itself without fail made by an attached woman.  It's patronizing and, I always feel, faintly self-satisfied.

Contemplating this woman's presumably unknowingly oafish remark on the way home, I wondered if, however, this is a thing men say to men about each other.  Presumably the world is filled with single men, since until relatively recently the birth rate was slightly higher for males (106 males for every 100 women).  Do spliced men say to single men, "I know all these great single men..."?  Or, given that men might not confide to other men their dissatisfaction at being single, do men alone say to themselves, "Wow, I think I'm awesome, so why can't I find someone?"?  I'm not trying to be all angry and feminist-y here, but I do wonder why it is that it's okay for someone (often another woman) to suggest to a woman that it's her lot as a great woman to be left on the shelf (after all, there are so many of us...), but it doesn't seem that this is also okay to do to men.  Or perhaps I'm wrong, in which case I'd love to hear about it.  

I suspect that, in fact, there are a lot of great single men, too.

No comments: