Skip to comments.Magazine waits 20 years to apologize
Posted on 06/21/2006 7:34:57 AM PDT by qam1
Nothing like getting an apology 20 years after the fact.
Better late than never, I suppose. But have you ever gotten a heartfelt apology from someone when you were way, way over it? Imagine if your old boyfriend wanted you back, or a snobby classmate apologized at your 20th high school reunion.
In this case I'm talking about something far more serious. I'm talking about an event that traumatized an entire generation of single women.
I'm talking about the Newsweek article "The Marriage Crunch," published in June 1984. In a line that seemed wildly insensitive even then, the magazine predicted that a 40-year-old woman was "more likely to be killed by a terrorist" than to marry in her lifetime. The odds for thirty-somethings were declared to be only slightly better: One in five for a 30-year-old woman; one in 20 for a 35-year-old.
It was the shot heard round the world, at least among my circle of young, single women. Even then, we suspected the article based on the slimmest of research by a pair of Yale University grad students to be more backlash than foresight.
The magazine talked obsessively about a woman's "chances" of marrying, but we understood, theoretically at least, it was more about choices. The study relied on demographic trends from past generations that showed only a small percentage of women hadn't married by the age of 30. It failed to acknowledge that our generation felt far less social and financial pressure to marry in our 20s, or before the right person came along.
Not until the Newsweek article, at any rate. It felt like an elaborate taunt: "Maybe you have all this new independence, and unheard-of career opportunities, but you'll end up loveless and alone." The message struck some deep, insecure place in our psyches. We had not been raised by a generation of '50s-era mothers for nothing women branded "long in the tooth" at the tender age of 25, spinsters at 30.
Were we really choosing career over love, as the article alleged?
Were we really being "too picky," as the magazine gleefully asserted? (There was no mention of domestic abuse or abandoned wives, or any of the dangers of not being "picky" enough.)
To mark the anniversary, Newsweek published a cover story this month on "Why We Were Wrong." The authors noted that the study's statistics turned out to be too pessimistic, and that 90 percent of baby-boomer men and women either have married or will marry. "And the days when half of all women would marry by 20, as they did in 1960, only look more anachronistic," they wrote.
Forgive us if we don't breathe a collective sigh of relief. My formerly single friends many of whom married in their 30s found ourselves too busy ferrying our children to soccer practice or gymnastics. In the midst of our harried schedules we might be forgiven for wishing, at times, that the magazine's predictions had come true.
But they didn't, of course, and I couldn't be more grateful for the unprecedented choices facing women of my generation.
And now, even Newsweek has recanted the story that caused us all so much angst.
Next thing you know, I'll be getting a call from the grade school bully, offering to fix my glasses.
Ping list for the discussion of the politics and social (and sometimes nostalgic) aspects that directly effects Generation Reagan / Generation-X (Those born from 1965-1981) including all the spending previous generations (i.e. The Baby Boomers) are doing that Gen-X and Y will end up paying for.
Freep mail me to be added or dropped. See my home page for details and previous articles.
It was a typo.
It should have read "this" woman is more likely to be killed by a terrorist than to marry in her lifetime.
I suggest that anyone who was traumatized by some wacky magazine piece , such as the "Newsweek" article, probably has bigger problems at work.
I remember that damn article. Feh.
That's one heck of a bit faster than either the NYSimes or WaPo.
If so, and with all due respect, that's what you get for reading Newspeak Magazine ... and taking it seriously. That rag is useless. It's not even suitable material for birdcage liner.
now if only Teddy Kennedy would get the hint...
I was 15 when it came out, so I wasn't particularly traumatized, but I do recall thinking the odds seemed skewed.
I suggest anyone who reads Newsweak has bigger problems.
Newsweak is still around? I probably quit reading that rag 20 years ago.
I would expect a reasonably intelligent and well educated 15 year old to at least suspect that the MSM are not necessarily telling the truth.
"Newsweek? Not in this house."
Well, at that age I had a certain low cunning, but I was anything but smart. Just ask Bacon! ;)
Shoot, I just turned 33 and have no intention of ever marrying a woman over 30. My dating experiences have pretty much influenced me to believe that almost all women over 30 who are childless and haven't been married are that way for a reason. I'll just target the 24-28 year olds.
Desperation is an ugly spectacle to watch. :^)
Oh, the horror ...
Wow. Newsweek was making up stories as early as 1984. I'm underwhelmed.
Disclaimer: Opinions posted on Free Republic are those of the individual posters and do not necessarily represent the opinion of Free Republic or its management. All materials posted herein are protected by copyright law and the exemption for fair use of copyrighted works.