The always interesting and compelling Kay Hymowitz writes about the globalization of the Single Young Female (SYF) phenomenon. Sex and the City’s Carrie Bradshaw is alive and well and living in Eastern Europe, Japan and--increasingly--even in China. Of course, this has all kinds of demographic, social and political implications. How this transformation will be greeted and felt in each country or region will vary--depending upon what preceded it. Hymowitz has some interesting takes on how it all may play out.
She also has a very interesting discussion about why it may be that the "Rome of SYFs"--the United States--has felt the impact of this transformation less vividly or violently than it is being felt in the countries she discusses here. American women, even SYFs of the Carrie Bradshaw sort, still report a strong interest in getting married. It has much less to do with these women, she argues, than it has to do with the quality of the men. American men, apparently, are more worthy of marriage in these new circumstances. In the United States (and Northern Europe), Hymowitz explains, there is a long tradition of companionate marriage which is more open to the interests of both parties. This translates into more flexibility to accommodate these shifting roles within marriage. Much more could be said about all of this but Hymowitz offers much to stimulate that discussion.