COLLEGE PARK, MD—According to a report published Monday in The Journal Of Gender Studies, many American women are bucking centuries of traditional gender roles by placing stunted, emotionally unfulfilling relationships on hold in order to pursue mind-numbing careers devoid of any upward mobility.
The study, which surveyed a cross-section of 477 female recent college graduates, found that young women were 23 percent more likely than any previous generation to seek dissatisfaction in the professional world rather than in empty romantic partnerships. Dr. Gillian Detweiller, a professor of women's studies at the University of Maryland and coauthor of the report, said that the data suggests a cultural sea change in how women choose to experience lifelong disappointment.
"Avoiding dying alone at all costs is no longer the primary goal for many of today's women," Detweiller said. "Every year, millions of educated females discover that they can be just as underappreciated and ignored in the workplace as they can while doting on loutish and inattentive boyfriends."
In addition to an overall increase in those settling for absolutely futureless secretarial or librarian positions, the study showed that more women are now choosing dead-end occupations conventionally dominated by men, such as accounting and data entry.
"Technical and repair professions with zero prospects for advancement are no longer viewed solely as the realm of males," Detweiller said. "Women have proved that they are just as adept as men at frittering their lives away in soul-crushing vocations."
While the number of women entering moribund, male-dominated careers continues to approach parity, the longtime wage gap between men and women has been slower to catch up.
"Women still average a 7 percent more abysmal salary than the already pathetic income of their male counterparts," Detweiller said.
According to the report, increased college enrollment over the past 20 years has led to the recent surge in women choosing to abandon their aspirations outside the home, as many more females are afforded the opportunity to enter the monotonous suffocation of professional life.
Lillian Taylor, a recent graduate of SUNY- Purchase in New York, said that without her undergraduate business administration degree, she would never have been able to entrap herself in a go-nowhere human resources position instead of a love-bereft relationship.
"So many of my friends ended up centering their lives around uncaring deadbeats," Taylor said. "I'm not saying that I won't date a series of emotionally distant men in the future, but for right now, I prefer to focus on carving out a solid career rut for myself."
"No one is going to hold me back except for me," Taylor added.
Though many women have echoed Taylor's sentiments, others feel that modern women need not be forced to choose. A growing number of pitiful-career-oriented females are finding ways to juggle the minimal demands of a low-profile job with the embittering drain of a futile relationship.
"There is nothing that says women can't experience the manifold of crippling defeats life has to offer," said Elizabeth Mooney, a 46-year-old career counselor. "A woman shouldn't feel as though she has to forfeit her chances of raising three disappointing children with a man she doesn't love simply because she chose to squander the best years of her life working as a career counselor."
Though a greater number of women have decided to waste their fleeting youth toiling away in unrewarding jobs, other statistics have shown that a growing faction are embracing the more traditional alternative of slipping quietly into a painless death with a handful of sleeping pills and a bottle of Gordon's gin.