"Men are like eggs: They must hatch or go bad." So began a story by writer Laura Nolan in the Times of London earlier this month, titled "Where Have All The Men Gone?" "We have an overload of man-boys — which leaves a generation of single, thirtysomething women who are their natural mates bewildered," Nolan noted, adding that she has to constantly read stories by scientists urging women not to wait to have kids and not to get caught up in their careers: "I want to point out that I work to eat, and that earning a salary funds the social life needed to meet new people." By the time a woman's thirties roll around, she went on, the good men are taken and the ones who are left are neurotic commitment-phobes with weird issues. No doubt many women would agree with her, but not many men! In fact, today, William Leith responds to Nolan's article thusly: "How can you blame men for doing what they are genetically programmed to do? I would never go around blaming women for following their specific biological imperatives."
Mr. Leith believes that men and women simply want different things — not just in their 30s but all the time. "Just ask any man to remember what it was like being a teenager," he writes. A regular, 17-year-old boy may have a crush on a 17-year-old girl in his class, but she may not even notice him. Because she can choose from "not only the coolest 17-year-olds but some of the coolest 18, 19, and 20-year-olds, too. And guys in their early twenties, with cars and motorbikes, and money to buy tickets for concerts and festivals." Leith says this continues for years: "Who dates the attractive 23-year-old woman as she settles into her first job? The 35-year-old who runs the company, that's who. Not the 23-year-old guy who met her at the interview and blushes every time she passes him in the corridor." But, he says, single guys in their thirties are just ordinary blokes:
The guys who were nothing special, the dorks who were passed over in favor of the cool, attractive guys when they were younger. And now, possibly for the first time in history, they find themselves in an unreal bubble. Women are no longer being cautious and picky - they are competing for their attentions. This is a genuine turning point in the history of gender relations. For the first time ever, geeks and bozos have pulling power. Can you blame them, after thousands of years of competing for female attention, for letting it go to their heads?
In summary, Leith writes, "It's nobody's fault. It's a demographic quirk. It's that we're living longer. It's the economy. It's our genes. It's all of these things. Just don't blame men."
So what are thirty-something single women to do if the good ones are taken and the ordinary ones are too busy fucking around (with younger women) and buying video games with their hard-earned loot to think about settling down? "Settle" themselves? Because if Leith's logic is correct, 17-year-old boys appear to be the answer, and that can't be right.