Amanda Marcotte, a feminist writer infamous for describing Hallmark movies as “fascist propaganda,” penned an article in the Salon on Tuesday warning young women not to marry young. Using the Lauren Boebert “Beetlejuice” theater scandal as a hook, Marcotte argued that, “Marrying someone off before they’ve grown up doesn’t confer maturity and happiness.”
One could say that about just about anything. Nothing in this life, not even blissful feminist singlehood and child-free eternities, always “confer maturity and happiness.”
Take it from a 23-year-old woman a little over a year into married life: getting married young is a beautiful thing with real benefits. Here are five of them.
1. Better Finances
Marriage makes financial sense, especially when you’re young. Newly married couples usually have double incomes. This means more savings and therefore the ability to save up a downpayment on a home and other investments.
Couples with different employers can choose the better of two health insurance plans. Car insurance and home insurance are cheaper, and couples are sometimes put in a lower tax bracket than the higher-earning spouse would pay as an individual.
Marriage also reorients people’s financial and social priorities in a positive way, meaning, contrary to Marcotte’s assertion, it does make people more mature. Studies show that men who get married work harder, smarter, and make more money than their single counterparts.
Marriage naturally encourages people to spend their money more carefully because they have another person (or people) to look out for. And whether Marcotte agrees or not, people’s money and time are better spent on family rather than Jell-O shots and girls’ trips to Nashville or guys’ trips to Vegas.
2. It’s Easier To Have Children
As The Federalist’s Peachy Keenan says, “Strike while the ovaries are hot.” Getting married and having children in your prime reproductive years leads to easier pregnancies and healthier babies.
It also means less demand for assisted reproductive technologies, such as intrauterine insemination and in vitro fertilization, which are unreliable and unethical. “The use of reproductive technologies sidelines the rights of children by prioritizing the desires of adults, regardless of the consequences,” explains The Federalist’s Jordan Boyd. “That leads to the unregulated buying and selling of biological matter, embryos, and wombs to make babies, transactions which make human existence seem dispensable.”
For young couples who do struggle with infertility, marrying young also gives them more time to naturally conceive without pressure from the biological clock.
3. More Fish In The Sea
A 2018 study found that a career and financial independence are top priorities for single women, while getting married and having children are decidedly not. For this, we can thank the feminist movement, which has instructed young women to spend their 20s and early 30s focusing on their professions, not their love lives.
The result is that Americans are tying the knot a decade older now than they did in 1950. The problem with waiting until you’re in your late 30s and older to get married is that the dating pool is limited when you’re older. Women have to look for a spouse in their age range who hasn’t already gotten married. But every year the pool of eligible bachelors gets smaller and lower in quality. Not to mention these older women have to compete with women in their 20s for the older, available men.
Ironically, this forces many women to do more of exactly what Marcotte fears: settle. Those who don’t are left with the lonesome prospect of never having a family. This also fuels the unreliable, morally bankrupt, multibillion-dollar assisted reproductive technologies businesses, which allows women to freeze their eggs and use sperm donors instead of husbands to generate a child.
4. Fewer (Or No) Past Sexual Partners
The longer you wait to get married, the more likely you and your spouse are to have more past sexual partners. According to Marcotte, this is a good thing. “One of the best parts about putting off marriage for a time is that you get to make mistakes and have your adventures in your youth, when the stakes are low,” she wrote, adding that women need to “sow wild oats,” just like men.
In reality, colorful sexual histories hurt people and marriages. Research consistently shows that having multiple sex partners prior to marriage increases the odds of divorce, and, in the case of women, significantly reduces their sense of marital quality.
Marcotte argues that opting out of STD-charged hookup culture in exchange for a loving, committed spouse will “breed a desire to make up for lost time.” But what exactly is Marcotte so worried women like myself are missing out on — getting trashed on the weekends? Having a series of sexual rendezvous with men who won’t remember my name the next day? Those “adventures” aren’t fun at all. In fact, they’re usually traumatic.
“Hoeing around” may be a hallmark of modern young adulthood, but rarely do people report feeling happy and fulfilled after a one-night stand. Getting married young avoids all that. It means fewer exes, less insecurities, and less emotional baggage.
5. Growing Together
As people get older, they become more stuck in their ways. Getting married young and starting a life together early on means couples can learn to compromise and live cohesively while their habits are more malleable. Couples who marry young also experience milestones, like buying a house or getting a promotion, together, allowing them to share their youths and memories.
Marcotte claims young people are too immature to get married. She paints all young husbands as substandard, assuming their rash young brides only married them due to pressure from people like Bari Weiss and Nicholas Kristof.
No one is arguing for marrying young for the sake of marrying young. Who you marry is the most important decision you will ever make, and must be done wisely with careful consideration of your potential spouse’s character and values.
What people open to marrying young are saying is that once you find someone you love, are attracted to physically and emotionally, and who shares your values, you should take the plunge and get married. You don’t need to “sow wild oats” or take your future spouse for a test drive before you make your vows. In fact, studies suggest that couples who do not cohabitate before marrying in their 20s have the lowest odds of divorce in America.
There’s no need to engage in the most depressing and debased aspects of modern culture. It’s not a rite of passage to get crossed and hook up with a guy you met at the bar. What is a rite of passage that stretches back centuries in human history is marriage, particularly marrying young.
Young women should ignore Marcotte’s “advice.” If you find a good person, don’t wait. Choose wisely, have faith, and take the leap.