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Why There Are No Good Men Left: The Romantic Plight of the New Single Woman Hardcover – December 24, 2002

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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 224 pages
  • Publisher: Broadway; 1 edition (December 24, 2002)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 076790639X
  • ISBN-13: 978-0767906395
  • Product Dimensions: 6.3 x 0.8 x 9.5 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 15.2 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 2.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (49 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #3,202,633 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

Despite its cliched title, this absorbing volume goes far beyond a superficial examination of the current dating scene for single women. It delves deeply into how dating and commitment differ from times past and the effects those changes are having on women and our culture. The author, whose previous book, The Divorce Culture, looked at a related social phenomenon, here makes a strong case for a phenomenon she calls the "Girl Project," a social "project" that has succeeded in preparing young women for adult lives of economic self-sufficiency, social independence, and sexual liberation, which began in 1972 when Title IX broke down major sex discrimination barriers and has had great success since then. Whitehead rightly argues that women today are operating in new social circumstances, in which they delay marriage until college-or, sometimes, graduate school-is finished and a career is established. This woman "embodies a new model of success based on educational and professional achievement," but, says Whitehead, the choices she makes in her 20s and 30s sometimes make finding a mate difficult. In exploring recent social changes that have made a strong and lasting impact, Whitehead highlights possible developments, such as online dating, that may replace traditional cultural systems. Her engaging cultural assessment, while not novel, sheds light on a current problem many women now face.
Copyright 2002 Reed Business Information, Inc.

From Booklist

Whitehead, author of The Divorce Culture (1997), tackles a new hot topic: the single woman's search for love. She points out that women are putting off marriage until they have accomplished career goals, which leads to not only a later median age for first marriages but also an entirely new set of rules for dating. Whereas courtship was rather strictly mapped out in previous decades, the 1980s and 1990s have seen dating moving out of the traditional arena, school. Young women are graduating college and pursuing careers before they pursue potential husbands. When they do decide to begin searching for suitable partners, they face questions such as where to meet men and whether living together is a good idea. Whitehead notes the new venues for meeting men, such as the Internet and SpeedDating, and the prevalence of Chick Lit, which chronicles the search for love in comic tones. Single women will recognize their quandary in this study and will benefit from Whitehead's insights about everything from cohabitation to time management. Kristine Huntley
Copyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved

Customer Reviews

What is true is that there are no perfect men, or women for that matter.
Richard A. Starr
I am not saying that all men feel this way or that any man who does may not decide to take a chance with one very special lady.
Matthew Campbell
I would also like to win the lottery, have as much hair as I had when I was twenty, and go golfing five days per week.
Single Guy

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

44 of 48 people found the following review helpful By onlyInSF on January 24, 2005
Format: Hardcover
I am one of those 30something never-been-married women targeted by Whitebread. My parents divorced when I was twelve, and I was a latchkey kid. So I am very familiar with the social conditions that have created the "marriage delay" that's supposed to be so prevalent in my generation.

That said, I have to agree with some of the reviewers that the women interviewed in this book are unrealistic to only want well-to-do men that make - say - at least $100,000 per year. How many men like that really exist, especially these days when it's becoming harder and harder for anyone who's not a CEO of a Halliburton-type corporation to get wealthier each year? I wouldn't be surprised if it's a tiny shrinking percentage.

While I agree that you should only get married if you find the right person and never "settle," when it comes to financial status I have to make an exception.

There are lots of good men out there (I'm seeing one right now, he's not a well-to-do CEO type and I don't care). Most of them are just not going to be Donald Trumps.

Perhaps the real problem is not a lack of good men - or women - but too much emphasis on money and prestige.
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56 of 63 people found the following review helpful By Single Guy on June 23, 2005
Format: Paperback
As a single 30-something man, I bought this book out of a sense of curiosity.

Popular culture scolds men when we become too demanding. A man who will only look at women who are ten years younger, rail-thin, and blonde is quickly dismissed as superficial. However, the women that Ms. Whitehead describes are only interested in tall, handsome, alpha males who make $100,000 per year. And they want to land them at age 35.

I am 35 myself, and I would love to meet a Britney Spears lookalike who is intelligent, makes lots of money, and (very important) is also interested in me. I would also like to win the lottery, have as much hair as I had when I was twenty, and go golfing five days per week. But that's not life on earth.

Perhaps Ms. Whitehead could write a sequel: "There are Plenty of Good Men Left, but You're too Vain to Notice Them."

Most 30ish single men I know have long since realized that no woman "has it all"--and if she does, she's probably married. I suggest that Ms. Whitehead's women take a reality check, lighten up, and go talk to the short bald guy who is smiling at them from the other side of the room.
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39 of 44 people found the following review helpful By Charles M. Strauss on April 8, 2004
Format: Paperback
Just some additional thoughts to add to the (many thoughtful and thought-provoking) previous reviews:
1. Think about the changed role of society, in the person of "interested third-parties" (as Whitehead puts it); back in what my daughter calls "the dark ages of education", just about everyone eventually got married because of what seemed to be a vast conspiracy on the part of the rest of the world (in the person of relatives and friends) to match up unmarried people. Now, the impulse is to "mind your own business!"
2. The easy availability of both automatic household appliances and easy-to-cook prepackaged food together with the unisex education systems in place since the early 1960s have made it far too easy for men and women to live apart. Trust me on this one - a man living alone in the 1950s or earlier, if he couldn't afford a cook and maid, lived a very rough life; how would he have learned to cook, or clean house, or wash and iron clothing, in a time when these were all highly skilled jobs learned by a long apprenticeship from your mother or another older woman? And women, in those days, seldom earned enough to live alone. In these rough ways, society went out of its way to ensure that, by and large, men and women both were a lot more comfortable married than single.
3. Much of what Whitehead discusses is a direct result of the Brahmin effect, so-called because it was originally observed in high-caste Brahmin society in India: many women in this society stayed unmarried their entire lives, because no "suitable" (i.e. "good enough" == "high-enough caste") men were available for them to marry.
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56 of 65 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on January 27, 2003
Format: Hardcover
Personally, I don't buy it.
The women in these book ALWAYS seem to live in New York or LA, big-city life, never in small towns. Lah-de-dah Dahling! There seems to be a whole different mentality in the big city about sex and dating which seems to favor the no-hook-up life. The one woman - she didn't know her fiance didn't do dishes and behaved in an infantile fashion UNTIL she moved in with him? How well did she even know him? Hello!
Statistically, your marriage chances are FAR greater if you don't move in together....so why are all these women jumping to
This line said a lot:
"Women often have sex with their boyfriend before they get to know him well as a human being. Consequently, for them, cohabitation provides a way to observe and learn about their partner by sharing a roof as well as a bed. "
Duh! If you ARE looking for something other than casual s*x, how about getting to know the guy before you MOVE IN WITH HIM! When I was in college, I notice that the ones who had s*x day-one almost never got to know each other as well as the ones who waited - it's as if s*x STOPPED the development of intimacy, or drasticly slowed it down. The talking stopped when the h*mping began.....(makes sense, if you think about it)
And if he was perfect in all other ways - is that reason enough to dump him? Never heard of a dishwasher?? A maid? Paper plates?? Sounds like a bunch of whining by people who think that they're perfect but nobody else is good enough.
Reminds me of 'Seinfield' where the characters would fall in love, only to dump a mate because they slurped their
drinks or they used the wrong toothpaste some other extremely minor infraction. Ditto S*x in the City - it's always something
so petty.
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