Nobody has come on to me in the last 10 years We live in a time experts call “FREEMALE,” meaning “free women.” This trend could pose a threat to our society and welfare system. Are men afraid of the many talented and well-educated women? Or do women think men are wimps? I have conducted a small study on this topic, which I look forward to share with you. In a few days, I will be celebrating my wedding anniversary—my husband and I have been together for nearly 20 years now. This makes me reflect on the topic of this blog post. Is it the men who choose to do without the women? Or is it the women who choose to do without the men? It is relatively easy for most women in their 20s to find an OK man, and then they can start building their nuclear family relatively easily. If women wait until later—e.g., until they have finished their education—their situation will change. Their chances of finding an OK man will dwindle gradually. Apparently, fewer men will desire them as women approach their 30s and 40s and get more and more education. I was in Berlin a few weeks ago, where I met one of Germany’s most successful female business executives. She is 42 and single, and she is very good at her job. It was recommended that she post her profile on a dating website as she wanted to get in touch with men and eventually find a suitable partner. And as she said, she does not have time to go out for a nightlife to find a man. She meticulously answered all the questions that a dating website asks about age, job, salary level, etc. She is good-looking, and she uploaded a good photo. The days went by, and she only received 2 responses in 4 weeks! She found the situation peculiar and decided to test whether the few responses had anything to do with her job/profile. She decided to change the text of her profile. Instead of presenting herself as an executive of a corporation, she wrote that she was a teacher and dramatically reduced her salary level by up to 1/10 of her actual salary. She did not change her profile image. NOW the reaction was completely different. She received more than 40 responses in one day.
What does this say about women, power, and men? A study shows that many men do not want to spend their life in a competitive relationship. Therefore, you can say that it is a rational and not an emotional decision when men choose not to go for a “strong” woman. Maybe it was her job that scared men off. According to many men, strong women are charismatic, and they love to be around them, but they do not want them to be their wife. Do men prefer quiet girls with big bosom, a pout, and a bird brain? Is it mother-in-law who is working behind the scene, kicking out all the strong candidates? What is the reason for this? Edge, competence, and capital A few months ago, I was fortunate to be invited to a Fortune Most Powerful Women dinner in England. Almost 200 women attended the dinner—women whom you know and read about in the Time and Fortune magazines. An unequalled wealth of knowledge and inspiration. Many of these women have so much edge, competence, and capital that they do not really need a man. I talked with some of these women about their private lives, and they revealed that the advantage of having a husband who could not or did not want to provide for them is that they had to do it themselves, and this gave them strength and energy. It is a little bit like going to war on a harbor and burning down your ships to eliminate the possibility of fleeing. You will have to stay and fight! Do they “marry down”? No, they are just opting out of the competition and trouble and giving themselves the chance to go ahead with their careers at full speed. This ought to be a call to all men who dream of marrying a “rich” woman. The funny thing is that none of these women have ever experienced being seduced. They have to be the ones to take the initiative. Are men afraid of powerful women? The other day, I was in Sweden with one of the very few female top executives of big listed corporations. She is British. Beautiful and very intelligent. Married and a mother of twins. We sat here on this evening with a glass of wine and took a rest after a hectic day. We had, among other things, spent the evening in the company of some of Sweden’s most progressive businesswomen. We were wondering at the fact that most of them are single or divorced, and what they all had in common was that they are intelligent and beautiful. I decided to figure out the reason for this.
During the last 8 weeks, I have gathered material from and conducted short interviews with women from various places in Europe. This morning, I had a meeting with one of the most talented female executives in Denmark’s financial sector. She was the last participant in my round of interviews. Here is the conclusion on my “mini research,” which I hope you will look into or give your opinion on. Eight out of 10 businesswomen say men do not come on to them. Men like to be friends with them but do not see them as potential partners. Four out of 10 think it is because of their looks, charisma, or something else about their personality. The others, on the other hand, believe that the reason is that men scare off when they hear about their job and responsibilities. In other words, men immediately lose their interest when they hear about her job. A study has established that men prefer less successful women as their partner. Only men in Mumbai, India, disagree. Perhaps strong women should move to India?  Most men find strong women attractive but do not see them as a potential partner! For my part, I can reveal that nobody has chosen to/dared to come on to me in the last 10 years. It does not really matter what the reason is, but it is a fact that most men keep their distance. ;-) Maybe I smell bad? Do women choose to do without men? Maybe women do not want to have a man? That might very well be the problem! Women can still get sex, and they have their good friends to take care of their social needs. Why would they need a man if he cannot protect her and provide for her? Take a look at Russia, where this problem is a ticking bomb in their society. Women simply do not want to marry Russian men. Women think that most Russian men are lazy and drink too much. In Europe, 7 times more women than men choose to be single . Is it because they do not want to have a family? Figures show that the more children women have, the lower the status they have in the job market. Maybe this is the reason women choose to do without a family? And what is the consequence for us in Europe not giving birth to so many children (Spain, Portugal, and even Denmark—just to mention some of the countries with very low birthrates)?
One out of 5 women says they have decided to do without a family and children to focus on their career. If we look at Denmark, figures show that Danish women will be taking jobs away from men in the years to come. During the financial crisis, womenâ€™s employment rate has been higher than menâ€™s, and we will see the same scenario in the future. Even though currently major cutbacks and layoffs, in particular, hit women in the public sector, resulting in an increase in the unemployment rate of women, the development will turn around in the future, according to many economists. Today, more girls than boys take further education, while boys study in trade schools. If this development continues, the man in the family will be a carpenter, a plumber, etc., while the woman will hold a managerial position or become a lawyer, doctor, or teacher. And what consequences will that have on our family structures and the future job market? In the olden days, the man provided for his family, while the womanâ€™s role was to stay at home and take care of the kids. Most often, the woman did not take any further education aside from basic school, and therefore, there was no basis for women to enter the job market. Fortunately, this has changed over time. If the current trends continue, the traditional family structure will turn upside down, and the typical family will look quite different from what we are used to seeing. What do you think is the reason for these trends? Do you think that the fact that more and more women have higher education than men will lead to a real problem in your country? Do you have some experiences you would like to share? Are men being weak? Are women foolish for focusing so much on their careers? Or is the reason something completely different? Regardless, this is a real problem that we should have an open debate about.
If you would like to read more on the topic, I highly recommend this article written by New York Times columnist Maureen Dowd: Are Men Necessary? When Sexes Collide.  Debarati S Sen, Times of India  http://ec.europa.eu/eurostat