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Why Tracy McMillan is Wrong About Telling You Why You’re Not Married

by Tamara Shayne Kagel

February 22, 2011 | 2:46 pm

Tracy McMillan, a writer I really respect, posted an article on the Huffington Post this week that alleges to explain why you’re not married. She suggests that if you want to be married, there are six reasons why you might not be: you’re a bitch, you’re shallow, you’re a slut, you’re a liar, you’re selfish, you’re not good enough.

To me, this article is just a string in a long line of self-help books/mantras/seminars that women buy into because they’re convinced that something is wrong with them. These advice hucksters have no empirical evidence to back up their claims and the sad thing to me is that woman buy into it. I could probably come up with six good reasons why McMillan’s three marriages have failed but it wouldn’t make it true.

I’m going to break down her six reasons why women aren’t married and tell her why picking six adjectives does not a foolproof theory make.

1. You’re a Bitch
McMillan alleges that men don’t want to marry bitches. She’s right that men don’t want to marry someone angry. But how can you blame them? I don’t want to be around people who are angry. Life is fun and exciting and there’s so much of it out there and I can’t stand being around someone who’s negative all the time. So yeah, if you’re angry all the time, you have issues but you also probably know this already. Her allegation that there’s this entire cohort of women out there who are perpetually angry at men is completely antiquated. Modern feminists have shortened their skirts, pulled out their heels, and unabashedly inject botox – the short haired tough women of the 80’s don’t really exist in younger generations. So who are all these angry women? 
The other problem with her theory is that she’s right that there are some women who are mean to their boyfriends. I do see it sometimes – women who are nagging their boyfriends or constantly criticizing them. But these women usually have no problem finding men with low self esteem to marry them – just look at all the bitchy wives out there.

2. You’re Shallow.
First of all, welcome to America – we’re all shallow! Name one girlfriend you have who doesn’t wear make-up, or one man who doesn’t care about the size of his, uhm, well bank account for one. Look at your closet and ask yourself what you splurged on that you couldn’t afford. I don’t care what size you are, how old you are, or how anti-establishment you think you are, almost all of us are shallow to some degree. I’m not proud of it or recommending it, but it’s a fact of life. Stop pretending you’re not and that that is the reason you got a bunch of men to propose to you.
Now that doesn’t mean I’m encouraging women to seek out men based on purely shallow means. I’m just saying, if you’re not in the least bit sexually attracted to the man, are you just supposed to ignore that? I agree just wanting to marry someone who is rich is shallow and not going to get you anywhere, but very few women who really want to get married are being held up by this. Most women are probably just looking for someone who is willing to work hard and wants the same things out of life. Wanting this is not an impediment to their happiness.

3. You’re a Slut
I agree casual sex is not going to put you on a path to marriage but I strongly disagree with the notion that casual sex is going to prevent you from getting there. Casual sex with someone you think is marriage material might complicate things. But just having had casual sex in general, has very little bearing on your ability to find a mate.

4. You’re a Liar
Alright, this one is tough because it sometimes can be true. If you’re in what essentially amounts to a relationship, as in sleeping with someone regularly and yet not in a committed relationship and continually telling the guy you don’t want to get married, yeah I’d recommend you stop lying. So I guess I agree with her to some extent that this might divert a woman from getting married.
However, the point is not to hook a man into becoming a husband by putting out positive feelings. The point is why close yourself off to any experience be repeatedly saying you don’t want something. Who knows what life might offer? Instead of concentrating on what you don’t want, focus on what you have and decide if that’s what you want right now.

5. You’re Selfish
Yes, I’m selfish. So are you. We all are and most people only realize that life is not about us when we have children. But nobody can force themselves to feel the awesome power of becoming a parent just because they want to get married. Nor is this necessarily attractive. Selfish people are in committed relationships everywhere. If you need some examples, I could offer you a very long list.

6. You’re Not Good Enough
If you think you’re not good enough, you don’t need a husband. You just need some therapy. Who knows if this is the reason you’re not in a relationship or not. Who cares? You have issues. Too many for anyone else to psychoanlayze. 

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ABOUT THE AUTHOR

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Tamara Shayne Kagel is a twenty-something fixture on the Los Angeles scene currently living in Santa Monica.  Currently, Tamara is a successful freelance writer (just ask her...

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