Thursday, February 07, 2008

Finding Mr Right

Nice amusing article in The Times about how hard it is for women to find Mr. Rights these days. Don't miss the comments of the male readers at the end, filled with frothing-at-the-mouth schadenfreude.

My own two cents. First, I think the whole sexual liberation thing has probably increased the net suffering of people in the west, and by people I mean both men and women. You really don't need to be au fait with the Frankfurt School philosophers to realize that the issue of "freedom" becomes very tricky in the context of life in advanced capitalist societies. More than freedom from taboos, it is the freedom from responsibility that people now long for. The only people whose lives have become easier and happier are the advertising guys, who found the laziest short cut to sell everything on the planet by appealing to and exploiting the basest and the most dehumanizing instincts in both men and women. Michel Houellebecq's The Elementary Particles (also translated as Atomised, link to reviews here) is probably the most powerful and certainly the darkest denunciation of this aspect of sexual liberation.

Recently I also caught up with last year's hit comedy Knocked Up. Despite my extreme prejudice against (contemporary) romantic comedies, I actually found it rather interesting and revealing, though not as funny as I had expected it to be. It brings me to the second point. Feminist movement has succeeded in raising the consciousness of women but men really haven't changed much. I am not saying all men are insensitive and chauvinists or a bunch of idiots like in the film but most of them really do find it extremely difficult to live up to the high-expectations of their female partners. The film provides a very interesting commentary about the fears, anxieties and insecurities of men living in the "post-feminist" age and also shows why they are so wary and fearful of domesticity and long-term commitment.

Lastly, I don't know, may be I move in extremely conservative circles because even though all these theories sound very plausible and logical to me, I don't see any of these in my immediate circle. Most of my friends and acquaintances (including a few women) who got married in the last couple of years or so, have never been happier. I know they are not pretending. They are really happy. May be things will change a few years down the line (though I really hope it doesn't, despite my obvious envy) or probably it won't.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

I think the biggest problem in 'unhappy marriages'(or the unending quest) is that people (mostly women) think that their lives will change to something very exciting and enjoyable after they marry.I really don't think that lives change too much after marriages , and this gap between expectations and fulfillments causes troubles.
I think many women have a list of expectations in their desirables , but in the end they wait so much that the person they end up with generally does not possess most of those qualities.And yes some of them do regret on losing some 'better' guys during their hey-days.