|Sunday Herald Sun|
10 August 2003
Older women urged to become lesbians
[The article was originally accessible at http://www.news.com.au/common/printpage/0,6093,6908932,00.html but appears to have been removed.]
By Nikki Voss and Nicole Cox
Australia's leading relationship counselling body is urging lonely older single women to become lesbians.
Relationships Australia spokesman Jack Carney said men's shorter life spans, and their pursuit of much younger women, meant women in their twilight years were often forced to turn to other women for love and companionship.
Mr Carney said the government-funded support group encouraged older women to explore lesbian relationships, which were seen as more nurturing and emotionally supportive.
Older women were even pooling their resources to buy property and making pacts to form couples if they did not find a male partner by a certain age, he said.
"As they get over 60, opportunities to get a man diminish substantially. Men marry younger women and they die about eight years younger, so there is a real male shortage," Mr Carney said.
"And as women get even older it gets much worse, so we ask them to entertain the idea of lesbian relationships."
Australian Pensioner and Superannuants League secretary Yvonne Zardini said she was aware of more women moving in together in old age.
"You notice it more where women are sharing houses, but I never ask exactly what the nature of their arrangements are, but it wouldn't surprise me (if they were in same-sex relationships). Loneliness can be a terrible thing when you are older," she said.
Myra Flynn, from support group Older Dykes, said some older women "defaulted" to lesbian relationships because of a lack of men.
Others had struck up relationships with men in the 1950s and 60s only because they could not be open about their sexuality, or they wanted a child.
"It's becoming more common and I've noticed a growing trend in bisexuality," she said.
The Matrix Guild, a Victorian support group for lesbian women aged over 40, refused to comment on the Relationships Australia advice.
Census 2001 statistics show older members of society are adopting the divorce trend and are leaving life-long partners, some even in their 80s.
Mr Carney said that despite the encouragement for women to "explore other options", married and miserable was still better than alone and free, unless there was abuse.
"The best thing you can do is stay married if you want to live longer," Mr Carney said.
"When I talk to other counsellors, they are seeing many more older people coming in, but we try to tell them to stick with it. Divorce is like amputation."
Founded in 1948 as the Marriage Guidance Council, Relationships Australia is a non-profit counselling organisation funded by both the Federal and State Governments.
In response to the pensioner stampede to the divorce courts, Relationships Australia has launched two courses on how to start again in relationships in old age.
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The website of Relationships Australia is at
Interestingly, it offers advice on: "Managing Separation for Couples and Families", but apparently little on what to do to have better families, other than with respect to "Family/work balance". WHS
What does the promotion of Lesbianism have to do with equal rights for women? To me it looks as if it destroys one of the last equal rights feminism left to women, the right to the complementarity of the sexes, thereby to become part of a system that is better than the sum of its parts.
When I was a kid in the process of learning how to dance (for those who may wonder, that was in the late 1940s and early '50s), it was an odd sight to see two women on the dance floor dancing with one another. That was only rarely done by women and usually a sign that the men were a bit tired which, given that men routinely worked 48 hours or more per week (not including time for commuting to work) was not all that surprising. Moreover, there was then a serious shortage of men, but more about that farther down.
Lesbianism was something my dad had told me about and related to what he called "man-women", the kind that were during the Nazi regime in charge of political positions or high positions in the German Red Cross or in the BDM (Federation of German Girls - the female half of the Hitler Youth), the kind who loved to wear high boots, to smoke cigars in public and were given to tightly tie back their hair. The kind whom I later, when I began working, met as business owners or managers to fill the positions that the millions of men who would never return from fighting for home and country would never be able to reclaim. They were the kind who molested my two youngest sisters when those had been send from their home town to a rural girl's camp in South Germany, to keep them safe there from the dangers of the frequent air raids in the Ruhr Valley. (Instead of being kept safe in their camp, my two sisters were forced to perform unmentionable sexual acts on older girls who were their leaders.)
Those were the kind of women whom many women and even a good number of men feared, because those working for them thought that those "man-women" were fire-breathers, dragons. I could never figure out what would *attract* any good woman to such "man-women", what it would be that would compel a good woman to chose them over loving, caring, polite and considerate men that had been raised to respect women and to treat them with civility. The conclusion I drew then was that it was because there must be women who love to be abused, so as to choose women who made no secret of their tendency to treat others, and even women, with contempt.
Of course, given that I am approaching the time when I no longer can learn much or anything, I now know that not all women and not even all "man-women" are abusive. However, I did learn that, unlike men who are being taught and indoctrinated from the time they begin to walk to treat all women with respect, even the terrible ones women were never taught to be chivalrous to men (the exception being to some extent the social practices of the Victorian age).
So, why would I be surprised at what is being proposed by the "man-women" and their fellow-travellers in Relationships Australia, that men are inferior choices for husbands because men make so many sacrifices for women and society that they become so damaged in the process that their expected life-spans are many years shorter than those of women?
Why, even the Nazis knew that, which motivated Himmler, the head of the infamous SS, to make it socially acceptable for men to live with and eventually marry in addition to their regular wives other fallen men's wives, so that they could breed in sufficient numbers to ascertain that there would be no shortage of "Aryans" to guard and govern the conquered territories.
Well, as the article from Australia's Sunday Herald Sun shows, Australia's man-women and their camp-followers take their contempt and disdain for men and women to new heights: men are good for being sperm donors and dildoes, but they make poor life-time partners for women. Dildoes are so much more durable.
We sure came a long way, baby, since the time when I learned how to dance, but it seems that we are about there now where we were 60 years ago or more, except that men are no longer heroes. They are most definitely the losers now in many more ways than they were then. However, as it turns out, women lost far more during all of those years than they ever dreamed they would.
How is Mortality Affected by Money, Marriage and
By Jonathan Gardner, Watson Wyatt, LLP, and Andrew Oswaldi,
Department of Economics, Warwick University, March 2004
Marriage is found to be associated with substantially lower rates
of mortality, for both men and women. Married men are predicted to
be some -7.2 percent less likely to die over the period [1993 to
2000] than unmarried men. For women, the effect is smaller.
Women married in 1991 are approximately -4.1 percent less likely to
die over the period 1993 to 2000 than otherwise similar unmarried
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