“Bachelorhood And Its Discontents”

To marry is to halve your rights and double your duties. — Arthur Schopenhauer

“Behind every good man,” the myth goes, “is a good woman.” Ronald Regan, even before he had Alzheimer’s, claimed that “women were responsible for civilizing men, and that were it not for female influence, men might still be living in caves and running around in skin tights carrying clubs.” Dinesh D’Souza, Ronald Reagan: How an Ordinary Man Became an Extraordinary Leader. Perhaps natural-born losers like D’Souza require a woman to guide them. Most successful men, however, consider women a hindrance.

What successful man has not been nagged for “working too hard,” and “not spending enough time at home,” with his wife? A married man doing great work is interrupted at 7 p.m. “Why aren’t you home yet?” Every alpha male will offer his own anecdotes – which statistical analysis confirm:

Some years ago a noted Japanese researcher analyzed the biographical data of some 280 famous mathematicians, physicists, chemists, and biologists and discovered that all peaked professionally in their twenties, at which point their careers spiraled downward. Married scientists suffered the worst decline in productivity. However, those who never married remained highly productive well into their fifties. “Scientists tend to ‘desist’ from scientific research upon marriage,” the researcher told an interviewer, “just like criminals desist from crime upon marriage.” One theory suggests married men lack an evolutionary reason to continue working hard (i.e., to attract females). Though it likely they similarly lack the prerequisite time and solitude.

In “Bachelorhood And Its Discontents,” Christopher Orlet does not state a compelling case against marriage qua marriage. He does not, however, that a list of bachelors is also a Who’s Who of Accomplishment:

Who can argue that a brief catalog of famous bachelors reads like a roll call of the architects of Western Civilization?:

Pierre Bayle
Robert Boyle
Johannes Brahms
Samuel Butler
Robert Burton
Ludwig van Beethoven
Johannes Brahms
Giacomo Casanova
Frederic Chopin

Read the whole thing.

  • http://Www.therulesrevisited.blogspot.com Andrew

    Interesting post. That list of successful bachelors, though, is no more impressive than several lists that could be written of married (and just as accomplished) men.

    • samseau

      I remember reading somewhere that it’s 50-50. Half of the most successful men have been bachelors, the other half married.

      But, considering most men marry, this says more positive things about bachelorhood than it does marriage, does it not?