Thank you, Janice Shaw Crouse, Bush-appointed delegate to the 2003 United Nations Commission on the Status of Women, senior fellow at the Concerned Women for America, and former presidential speech writer, for penning this grave and important treatise on the tragic lives of "Washington's working women":
When I saw her, as she headed to work on the train early one morning, her hair was still damp and she looked slightly worn and only half awake. Nonetheless, she was quite beautiful. Not beautiful in the dewy, fresh-faced way she probably looked when she arrived in Washington a few years earlier, but very attractive all the same. In spite of her still hard-body figure and smart, slightly provocative clothes, there was a hint of vulnerability in her body language—a certain tentativeness. She was obviously "with" the young man she sat beside, but there was something missing. And it was not just the wedding rings that neither of them was wearing. It was something else.
In Washington, like in most places these days, it works something like this. The young women—fresh out of college, where many of them have experimented sexually to one degree or another—arrive full of ambition and energy…
It's the moving out and moving on, time and again, that eventually take their toll. This calls for more aggressive partying. With enough alcohol to dull the senses (as it lowers the inhibitions and eases the memories), the young woman may manage to ignore the slide at first…
But when a girl hits 30-ish, she begins to sense things slipping away from her. If she's not stupid, she sees that not as many men notice her as once did, and she becomes aware that her biological clock is ticking. If she is not blind, she takes stock of the 40-ish women who arrived before her and likely isn't happy at the thought of ending up like so many of them. Oh, these 40-ish women are talented, experienced and respected for the professional way they can get the job done on the Hill, in the government agencies or in corporations or non-governmental organizations. In many instances, they are absolutely indispensable. But. Big "but."
But what, Janice Shaw Crouse? But they are destined to OD on a truckload of morning-after pills? But their barren wombs will eat away at their damned souls, empty shells of womanhood that they are?
But these professional women are never going to have the big romance that girls dream about.
Dammit! My girlhood dreams of marrying Scott Baio in a Strawberry Shortcake and/or My Little Pony-themed beach wedding are doomed. Never mind the, you know, data, which shows that high-earning women are as or more likely to marry than their low-income counterparts. I think we can all agree that math class is tough.
Those women among you who made the mistake of learning to read: check out the whole thing.