On Saturday the Sexodus finally reached the pages of The Times magazine.
It was a rather sobering story of why one woman froze her eggs, “Jillian Dunham explains why, at 37 and single, she’s ditched the men who won’t commit – and handed over £6,000 to a fertility clinic…”Ms Dunham was not always faced with men who would not commit. When she was 32, her boyfriend proposed but following the death of her mother she refused and split up.
She tells us: “But what I realised in the wake of my mother’s death was that my sense of what the right relationship for me was – or wasn’t – lacked the normal range of experience. My sense of who I was lacked the normal range of experience. We broke up, when I was 32, because of what I didn’t know as much as what I did.” I have read this part again and again but for the life of me I still cannot figure out what any of it means.
Anyway, unfortunately for this New Yorker, the right man has not come along. We are told: “I did everything the hard way: moving in too soon, dating a colleague, getting involved with a cheater. The mistakes I made were obvious and absurd. The bulls*** that some of the guys pulled was ridiculous.”
Her career was not the problem. “I suspected that, for many, careers were a socially acceptable excuse; if you froze your eggs because you simply hadn’t found a partner to have kids with, well, that was embarrassing. But that was the truth of the matter.”
Many of her friends were struggling with commitment phobes, but “none of us was responsible for the fact that so many men see relationships as a giant albatross.”
When visiting her fertility doctor, he tells her this: He leaned forward and paused. “There’s something wrong with the men in your generation,” he said. “It isn’t you,” he said. “All day long, I see patients like you. You’re smart, beautiful, accomplished, nice. It makes no sense. I go home to my wife and I say, ‘There’s something wrong with the men in this generation. They won’t grow up.’ ”
We have been here before, have we not Dear Reader? It is with great caution I dare to go there again. It is a war zone out there and everyone is blaming the men. But I am not too sure it is their fault.
We can blame the men for not committing. Or we could, we could, ask why these men are commitment phobes/won’t grow up/ view relationships as giant albatrosses? Perhaps they do not like the deal offered (marriage) compared to the one they can easily secure (cohabitation)? Perhaps the risk of divorce is too great, or they have not seen healthy marriages around them. Hell, I don’t know – but it might be worth finding out instead of just condemning a whole generation of men on the nod.
For the writer, post freezing nothing much changed, “The men were still, so often, cagey. The fact that I had frozen my eggs came up in one relationship. To him, it was unsurprising and unscandalous, just another fact to consider in our prospects for the future.” They split up.
I would like to say it all ended well. That she found a nice guy, got married and had no need for the frozen eggs, but sadly Jane Austen is dead. Ms Dunham is now thinking of going it alone.