In its cover story last week, Newsweek acknowledged that its original article was a reaction to — or a misreading of — the large-scale social changes at the time: women were staying single longer, rising further in their careers and having children later or even not at all.
"The women's movement wrought enormous change in intimate life," said Suzanna Danuta Walters, who is chairwoman of the gender studies department at Indiana University. "We shouldn't have been surprised women were chastised for creating this situation. The panic was a socially and culturally constructed panic."
For some, the panic hasn't died. Liz Tuccillo, the co-author of the acerbic dating guide, "He's Just Not That Into You," is single and in her 40's.
Ms. Tuccillo said she believed the statistics were an attack on women's independence, but said they still reflected her experience.
But then she was told that Newsweek's 1986 claim — that a 35-year-old single woman had a 5 percent chance of getting married — was drastically wrong. Instead, the latest figures, from 1996, showed that a 40-year-old single woman had better than a 40 percent chance of marrying; today, the magazine said, her chances are probably higher.
Ms. Tuccillo was momentarily silent, then said: "That new statistic needs to have its own parade. There need to be banners and virus e-mailing and a national holiday."
Now the question is: Since 9/11 how much more likely is it for said theoretical woman to become the victim of a terrorist attack? I suppose you can't have everything.
Here's a nice story about a woman who found love after 40.