Girls Should Just Wanna Have Fun

“Good girls,” a shadchan informed a friend, “Are a dime a dozen.” Good guys, by implication, are a far rarer breed.

Shocking? Not really. It’s  clear enough that the Ultra-Orthodox educational system keeps far tighter rein on its girls than its boys. Just by way of example, my seminary had a 10pm curfew and a 7:30am attendance check. Whereas one of my dates claimed that while in the Mir he spent most of his time on the couch in his friend’s apartment watching movies. Action movies, he hastened to assure me. Boys get the chance to sow their wild oats without anyone really knowing about it. If a girl tries that, it’s on the official record. The attendance record.

And so, girls grow up carefully guarding their reputation, thinking this is an important ideal, not realizing until they’re in their twenties that they’ve been cheated out of their fun. Because by that time it’s too late. They’re in shidduchim and are farther under the microscope than ever before. Well, not farther. More like they’ve gone from a mere optical microscope to an electron scanning microscope. (This seems to last until about 35, at which point many seem to figure that behaving hasn’t done them much good, and they grab some wild oats and start sowing the Upper West Side.)

Of course, many boys straighten out by dating age, too. They had their rumspringa, and now they’re ready to settle down. But depending on how early they started and how careful they were, they may come with a tarnished image. They are no longer “good boys.”  And so, a quick statistical analysis of the dating population shows that the ratio of good girls to good boys is significantly higher than 1. (Okay, maybe I didn’t do a statistical analysis. So what? Everyone says it’s so, so it must be.)

Why is this a problem? It leads to hyper competitiveness among good girls for the smaller population of good boys.  Many girls simply can’t handle it, and have to settle for reformed and less-than-good boys. This is utterly unfair. Why should oat-sowing boys get pure angelic girls? Why should pure angelic girls settle for boys with oat-farming pasts?

To even the odds, I would like to encourage girls to go out and have some fun. Be bad! Be naughty! That’s right! Wear cherry-red lipstick. Smoke a cigarette! Try some marijuana. Spend Saturday night in a lounge with your girls drinking fruity alcoholic beverages and batting your eyelashes at the menfolk across the room! Sneak some jeans into the dressing room at Macys. And do all sorts of other dreadful things I can’t even imagine. Go wild!

But make sure nobody finds out. That would be bad for shidduchim.

…No, wait, typo up there. Make sure everyone finds out. So the rest of us angelic types can get the good ones.

7 thoughts on “Girls Should Just Wanna Have Fun

  1. Boys and girls differ in many ways, and what qualifies them as a “good boy” and a “good girl” is no different.

    Since the dawn of the upper crust, men were permitted to have their year on the Continent, where they would party for a year, then come home to settle, marrying a demure “schoolroom miss” who never partied in her life. But does that automatically make her a “good girl”?

    Guys aren’t mean the way girls are mean. Girls make it an art form. There are enough snide females out there who should even out the ratio, no worries.

  2. (claps slowly)

    I’m a frum female. And while I was never terrible by any means, I watch action movies, and (gasp) drink fruity drinks on occasion. Never got the hang of flirting though.

    It paid off. Now I’m with someone who likes action movies, fruity drinks, and doesn’t know how to flirt either.

    While I’m relatively young, I’ve had older friends (upper 20s) ask how I found someone so responsible, nice and genuine. I always tell them that before I met him, I didn’t care one rat’s hair about getting married, and since I was going to be alone I decided to have fun. I find that people shine so much more when they’re doing something they find fun, and I was going to shine alone.

    While I didn’t say this outright, I looked at their lives when I was younger and decided that their lives were all about pleasing other people and they weren’t having fun, so in a way, they inspired me to, as you said ” Be bad! Be naughty!” even though “bad” and “naughty” here mean having a personality and getting off the couch and doing stuff.

    In essence, the real question is “Am I willing to sacrifice all the fun I could potentially have in order to impress a bunch of males, most who aren’t on the same level as the females here in the Orthodox Jewish world, on the 50/50 chance that one might marry me?”

    From speaking with my SO’s friends, I have gathered that the most important qualities a girl can have to most guys is that they find her attractive and feel they can be themselves with her.

    Most guys aren’t sitting around tallying points to figure out if some girl is frum enough to date. What they kind of do is “Does she keep shabbos and kosher? Is she going to keep taharas hamishpacha?” and once you get past that “score” on the “frum enough to date” scale, it’s all the same. It’s pass/fail.

  3. They covered this in a recent Freakonomics podcast

    Their theory is that a tighter hold is kept on girls because they are responsible for the next generation. “There is a lot less quality control with boys” – Dr. Oz
    Interestingly enough, they also talk about how smart women have a severe disadvantage in the dating market…sigh…

  4. Two different value criteria.
    Boys: “Good”, maybe yeshivish, handsome, smart, rich or has a profession.
    Girls: “Good”, pretty.
    So, this is why there is a “crisis”. It’s much harder to be an eligible boy than a desirable girl. There are more girls looking for fewer boys. Simple. But it wont change until values and attitudes change.

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