Tracy McMillan tells women why they aren’t married

I have not the faintest clue actually who Tracy McMillan is, but I ended up following a link-trail that ended up at her recent article at HuffPo. While reading that epic pile of excrement, I had an answer-commentary running in my head. And now I feel like sharing parts of it, so you can get equally pissy.

Before I begin, a disclaimer. You see, I’m seven years too young to be allowed a rebuttal. Once I find myself on the other side of 35, I’m sooooo totally going to agree with her, and won’t that make me feel stupid for having posted this. Or something. Anyway, here it is (my comments in red):

You want to get married.[I do?] It’s taken a while to admit it. Saying it out loud — even in your mind — feels kind of desperate, kind of unfeminist, kind of definitely not you, or at least not any you that you recognize.[actually, what it sounds like is like I’ve just changed my mind. Is changing one’s mind unfeminist?] Because you’re hardly like those girls on TLC saying yes to the dress and you would never compete for a man like those poor actress-wannabes on The Bachelor. [might that be because I think men are people, not trophies?]

You’ve never dreamt of an aqua-blue ring box.[of course I haven’t. “aqua-blue” isn’t a color, it’s a restaurant]

I’ve been married three times. Yes, three. To a very nice MBA at 19; a very nice minister’s son at 32 (and pregnant); and at 40, to a very nice liar and cheater who was just like my dad, if my dad had gone to Harvard instead of doing multiple stints in federal prison. [then maybe you’re not the right person to be giving advice on marriage. Oh… wait… I forgot. This isn’t about marriage, it’s about getting married, which is completely different and so much more important. Right then, carry on]

But I won’t lie. The problem is not men, it’s you. Sure, there are lame men out there, but they’re not really standing in your way. Because the fact is — if whatever you’re doing right now was going to get you married, you’d already have a ring on it.[well, she’s got that one right, anyway. Insisting I don’t want to be married tends to result in not getting married. What that has to do with the lameness of men I don’t know] So without further ado, let’s look at the top six reasons why you’re not married.

1. You’re a Bitch.
Here’s what I mean by bitch. I mean you’re angry. You probably don’t think you’re angry. You think you’re super smart, or if you’ve been to a lot of therapy, that you’re setting boundaries. But the truth is you’re pissed. At your mom. At the military-industrial complex. At Sarah Palin. And it’s scaring men off.

The deal is: most men just want to marry someone who is nice to them. [how is being angry at my mom/the military-industrial complex/Sarah Palin preventing me from being nice to a guy? I’m fairly certain any guy I’m interested in is neither my mom nor Sarah Palin, and not in the MIC either] I am the mother of a 13-year-old boy, which is like living with the single-cell protozoa version of a husband. Here’s what my son wants out of life: macaroni and cheese, a video game, and Kim Kardashian.[you’re taking your clues as to what men want from a 13-year-old?] Have you ever seen Kim Kardashian angry? I didn’t think so. You’ve seen Kim Kardashian smile, wiggle, and make a sex tape. Female anger terrifies men.[didn’t you say earlier the problem is not with men?] I know it seems unfair that you have to work around a man’s fear and insecurity in order to get married — but actually, it’s perfect, since working around a man’s fear and insecurity is big part of what you’ll be doing as a wife[worlds best argument for not ever getting married].

2. You’re Shallow.[I thought I was angry at the military-industrial complex? besides, aren’t I supposed to be more like Kim Kardashian?]
When it comes to choosing a husband, only one thing really, truly matters: character. So it stands to reason that a man’s character should be at the top of the list of things you are looking for, right? But if you’re not married, I already know it isn’t. Because if you were looking for a man of character, you would have found one by now.[wait. I thought this article was about why I’m not married, not about not finding a man with character] Men of character are, by definition, willing to commit. [isn’t this article predicated on the hypothetical me only just realizing I want to get married? What does men’s willingness to commit have to do with it, if I wasn’t, until now?]


3. You’re a Slut.
Hooking up with some guy in a hot tub on a rooftop is fine for the ladies of Jersey Shore — but they’re not trying to get married. You are. Which means, unfortunately, that if you’re having sex outside committed relationships, you will have to stop. Why? Because past a certain age, casual sex is like recreational heroin — it doesn’t stay recreational for long. [[what the fuck does that even mean? that casual sex is addicting? and if it is, why would I want to get married? or at least, married to someone who isn’t poly or a swinger?]

That’s due in part to this thing called oxytocin [oh, I know where this one is going. fundagelical chemistry FTL. I spare you the rest of that pseudoscience]


5. You’re Selfish.
If you’re not married, chances are you think a lot about you. You think about your thighs, your outfits, your naso-labial folds. You think about your career, or if you don’t have one, you think about doing yoga teacher training. Sometimes you think about how marrying a wealthy guy — or at least a guy with a really, really good job — would solve all your problems.

Howevs, a good wife, even a halfway decent one, does not spend most of her day thinking about herself. She has too much s**t to do, especially after having kids. [wait. I thought this was about how to get married. No one said anything about spawning]This is why you see a lot of celebrity women getting husbands after they adopt. The kids put the woman on notice: Bitch, hello! It’s not all about you anymore! After a year or two of thinking about someone other than herself, suddenly, Brad Pitt or Harrison Ford comes along and decides to significantly other her. Which is also to say — if what you really want is a baby, go get you one. Your husband will be along shortly. Motherhood has a way of weeding out the lotharios. [soo…. I have to spawn or adopt before finding a husband? This is the best reason not to ever marry]

6. You’re Not Good Enough.
Oh, I don’t think that. You do. I can tell because you’re not looking for a partner who is your equal. No, you want someone better than you are: better looking, better family, better job.[I guess that explains my redneck boyfriend. wait, no, it doesn’t]

Here is what you need to know: You are enough right this minute. Period. Not understanding this is a major obstacle to getting married, since women who don’t know their own worth make terrible wives.[looking to hook up with someone better is a sign of thinking yourself not good enough for an equal? You might want to rethink that piece of pretzel logic] Why? You can fake it for a while, but ultimately you won’t love your spouse any better than you love yourself. Smart men know this.


Alright, so that’s the bad news. The good news is that I believe every woman who wants to can find a great partner. You’re just going to need to get rid of the idea that marriage will make you happy. It won’t. Once the initial high wears off, you’ll just be you, except with twice as much laundry. [wait… if it’s not going to make me happy, why am I wanting to get married, again? why would anyone?] Because ultimately, marriage is not about getting something — it’s about giving it. Strangely, men understand this more than we do. Probably because for them marriage involves sacrificing their most treasured possession — a free-agent penis[but what about my free-agent vagina?] — and for us, it’s the culmination of a princess fantasy so universal, it built Disneyland.

The bottom line is that marriage is just a long-term opportunity to practice loving someone even when they don’t deserve it. Because most of the time, your messy, farting, macaroni-and-cheese eating man will not be doing what you want him to[then what use is he? and why am I supposed to be nice, and cook and do his laundry, if he doesn’t return any of those favors?]. But as you give him love anyway — because you have made up your mind to transform yourself into a person who is practicing being kind, deep, virtuous, truthful, giving, and most of all, accepting of your own dear self — you will find that you will experience the very thing you wanted all along:

Love.[for the third time, I thought this was about getting married? I already have love. and without pretty much having to turn myself into a hybrid of Rosie from the Jetsons and Roxxxie the sexbot]


5 comments on “Tracy McMillan tells women why they aren’t married

  1. Blueelm says:

    I love this. I hope you don’t mind but when I saw this article I had to write a response of my own as well. It’s just such utter crap. Also, since it’s all in the second person, I feel perfectly within my rights to reply to the person who assumes they know me.

  2. vanitas says:

    OMFO!! what a bunch of claptrap. Thanks for the dissection. I would add more but I´m still sputtering.

  3. Mattir says:

    Yeah, and what makes this advice so extra horrible is that it’s targeted especially to African American women. She (or at least her advice and the religious tradition from which it comes) should FOADIAF.

    As DaughterSpawn said just now, it’s pathetic when a 15 year old girl can tell that you’re advice sucks.

    Also, I live with a 15 year old male human. He seems unfazed by the idea that female humans get angry, sad, and tired, just like male humans do. He even grasps that much of the anger/sadness/fatigue has its origins in actual events. He likes macaroni and cheese, but only the kind made with an actual roux and cheddar cheese, not the cheese powder faux stuff. AFAIK, he’s not sure who KK is, other than another in the parade of faux women that the non-reality-based universe produces. Kid does love his video games, though…

    I’m really tired of women telling each other that if only they were different, men would like them better. For that matter, I’m tired of women allowing their sons to grow up thinking that they have a right to a woman who’s never angry, who makes good mac and cheese, and who is hot in bed without having to practice sex skills at all.

    I’d rather have a giant fuchsia dildo than such a man.

    (Jadehawk, I love you.)

  4. David Marjanović says:

    Wow. What a tortured attempt to say “because God/nature wants you to” without stating it outright. I wonder if the author is even aware of it; she doesn’t give the impression of having thought anything through.

    I love PZ’s style of on-the-fly commenting…

    Female anger terrifies men.

    That’s probably true for men who are deep enough in the patriarchy that they don’t know women are even capable of such a thing.

    looking to hook up with someone better is a sign of thinking yourself not good enough for an equal? You might want to rethink that piece of pretzel logic

    I’m not sure, but perhaps it’s supposed to be like this:

    1) You’re not married yet, so you’re still looking for someone.
    2) If you’re looking for someone better than you, you think you’re worse than most, but in fact you aren’t, because if you were, you’d already have found someone better than you.
    3) While we are at it… If you’re looking for someone worse than you, you’re an arrogant bitch because you think you’re better than all men you know; with that attitude you’ll never find “a man of character”.

    Now excuse me while I visit the toilet for having tried for too long to think like a… *barf*

    (Jadehawk, I love you.)

    Who doesn’t.

  5. drbunsen says:

    Wow, that was awful even by HuffPo’s standards

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