This was Diane's last-ditch effort to meet a man in San Francisco.She clutched a cocktail and surveyed the candlelit bar in the city's formerly gritty Mission District. There were a lot of polo shirts, button-downs, and what appeared to be Dockers.One man even carried a laptop bag over his shoulder—this was the land of aspirational Mark Zuckerbergs, after all."If nothing happens tonight," said the 34-year-old, "I'm gonna sell my shit and move to Jersey." Ironically, the focus of the event was women who already lived on the East Coast."In 1850, the governor of Massachusetts proposed the transport of 30,000 surplus women in his state to Oregon and California, where women were in short supply," Traister says, describing the research cited in her book."Twelve years later, in 1862, a conservative British commentator proposed shipping England's excess single women to the United States or to Australia." The only issue with this plan, he noted, was "chiefly mechanical; to transport the half million from where they are redundant"—yes, "redundant"—"to where they are wanted would require 10,000 vessels." You see, there weren't enough boats to address the glut of single women!More than a century later, spinster hysteria persisted.
And, see, the two cities are only separated by a bunch of crappy airports, flight delays, and cheap round-trip flights."But Diane hadn't found the Bay Area to be a mecca of eligible bachelors. There are lots of guys, but they're guys you don't want to go out with," she said.The matchmaking start-up Dating Ring had launched a successful crowd-funding campaign to fly out a planeload of single women from New York for a long weekend.The assumption behind the outrageous stunt was that the Bay Area is overrun with lonely tech guys, while the Northeast corridor is plagued by an abundance of dateless women.Plus, the notion of moving or jetting across the country to find a husband seems terribly out of step with our times: The median age of first marriage has been rising in the United States for more than five decades—it's currently 26.5 for women and 28.7 for men—and many are skipping out on the institution altogether; the percentage of adults in the U. who are married has declined 22 percent since 1960.But it is precisely in times of change like these that dread about single women arises, argues Rebecca Traister, author of a book about single women to be published in 2015 by Simon and Schuster."The fact of men and women not marrying at the start of adulthood makes [social conservatives] panic," Traister says.The 31-year-old Brooklynite says he laughed out loud when he read Florida's piece—and set to work creating his own map.