[October 24, 2022] U.S. Census data recently released tells us that for the first time, more than one-half of all women are childless. Now that is a startling data point, assuming it is true. And even if not true, I’m sure the trend is in this direction. Part of the reason is that we have told young women three lies that drive this increasingly childless phenomenon.
- There is nothing more important than your career.
- There will be nothing more important in your life than your career.
- There should be nothing more important in your life than your career.
Implicit in this idea is children are a burden and that the idea that women should have children is part of the “oppressive patriarchy” and should be resisted. Anyway, “Why should men tell me what to do with my body?”
Admittedly, I’ve worked in a male-dominated, highly structured organization (the U.S. Army) all my life. But, as we all know, society has at least since the early 1980s, pushed the idea that women can succeed just as well as men in the military or in any occupation. I have worked with women in the Army for decades and had a good deal of time to observe how well they function during their military careers at every level.
I observed that as women approach the age of 30, there is a notable change in their attitudes. What happens is they place less emphasis on their careers and far more emphasis on having a child.
Most telling, at least for me, is my work with highly-successful female Army Captains, soon to be promoted to Major (their first mid-level leadership position). Many were intelligent, hard working, extremely conscientious, vastly successful in sports and academics in school, and mentally stable. And they have been so, at least since they were in High School.
Yet, the Army couldn’t keep them. They have left the military in droves. I was very interested in this phenomenon because that was when I transitioned from the Infantry (all male) to the Engineer career path (allowing both men and women). I wanted more qualified Army Engineers, and we were not getting them. By having women in the Engineer mix, we had a chance to put out great Engineers and contribute to any fight our nation might get into.
These women wanted to have 8 to 5 jobs so they could have a life, especially if they wanted to have a child. And at the Captain rank, things get hyper-competitive, and it is common for Captains to work 80-90 hours per week. They work nonstop. And these two goals (family and career) were not compatible.
A very small number of highly competitive Soldiers (I was one of them) worked hard, diligently, and a massive number of hours to outperform others in the rank of Captain (and Major). Those men and women who did this were offered the best jobs and the first shot at being selected for Battalion Command. Battalion Command is the level that separates those who will continue to full Colonel and ultimately to Flag Rank.
Most of those successful women I worked with quit the Army around the age of 30. The few who stayed decided they would no longer work long hours, and were therefore less competitive. And it’s not like the Army leadership didn’t try to keep them. Many accommodations (like childcare, more days off, and an active mentor program) were provided for free and with no impact on their career progression. The Army’s effort did NOT work.
Many women outside the military distorted what was happening and still do. Outsiders claim that it is “toxic masculinity” was preventing women from advancing when women want to advance in the Army. I found it precisely the opposite. Everyone in the Army did their best to encourage women officers to stay. The women wanted out.
Please read my books:
I can tell you firsthand this is true. Gen. Satterfield is right that women around their late child-bearing age re-focus their lives and family becomes much more important. We have a ticking time limit on child bearing. Past 30, our chances to conceive declines rapidly. I know many of my friends in their late 20s were not able to have children. It was a terrible shock. I spent 10 years as a Marine. I got out to have children and spend time with them. As a senior Captain, that would not have been possible.
Excellent, excellent article Gen. S. ✔
Right, a great article with some common sense. Too bad women are trapped in a liberal, leftist ideology and cannot see outside it.
Gen. Satterfield you really nailed it with this article. Most women in the West are sad, depressed, suicidal, and terribly resentful of the world. Yet, their solution to make them happy is right in front of them.
WOW, just wow!
Sad, isn’t it that women are told lies from the time they are little children that a job or career is everything and that a positive relationship with a man and having children is off the table as an option. Many women figure out the lie early and life happy lives, the rest are Leftists who are always unhappy and bitter and resentful.
Note that this blog post applies to “American women” and may or may not apply to others but I do think it does.
Thank you, Gen. Satterfield for another top notch blog post. I never gave this much thought, but after reading your article, it now makes more sense.
Of course, and the crazy Progressive, leftist women (who will never find a husband) will complain and whine about it. Just don’t let them on this website or things will go the hell.
It is, indeed, interesting that women outside the US army looked in and only saw “discrimination” by “toxic masculinity” for the reason women did not advance in the army when it was those women themselves who made the conscious choice to quit or take a path that offered more time with the family and a path in the army that did not lead to higher rank.
Yep, feminism failed us.
— and continues to fail women. Feminism is dead. it was never designed to help us women but to put a dividing line between us and men, thus able to destroy traditions.
Liz, you just reinforced the point made by Gen. Satterfield and altho I think there is merit to both sides of the argument, I like the way this article lays out an excellent point, not to be overlooked.
Let’s all not overlook this important paragraph. It is telling what helps separate the good from the great Soldiers.
“A very small number of highly competitive Soldiers (I was one of them) worked hard, diligently, and a massive number of hours to outperform others in that rank. Those men and women who did this were offered the best jobs and the first shot at obtaining a Battalion Command. Battalion Command is the level that separates those who will continue to full Colonel and ultimately to Flag Rank.”
Gen. Satterfield, thank you for another excellent article. I have a suggestion, please write another article to give us an update on what you believe are the lessons from the Ukraine War with Russia being crushed. Will they use nukes? Will they win? Will Russia’s Putin do something unexpected and stupid? Your thoughts are welcome.
Frank, good recommendation. I too would like to read Gen. Satterfield’s thoughts on the war.
Me too. 😀
Just loving this leadership website. I submitted it to get an award, let’s see how that works out.
I hope for the best. I know that Gen. Satterfield does not charge for reading his blog so why not support him (and by extension his blog) by submitting it for review to get some award. Thanks Northeast. Well done!
“Outsiders claim that it is toxic masculinity was preventing women from advancing when women want to advance in the Army. I found it precisely the opposite. Everyone in the Army did their best to encourage women officers to stay. The women wanted out.” — GEN Satterfield. Right on target with this comment.
Another excellent article from Gen. Satterfield and one that I will be sending to my friends. Oh, got Gen. Satterfield’s book and loving every chapter. The take away is buy his book, “55 Rules for a Good Life.”
Right Ken. Here is the link for those interested. And, leave a review on Amazon.
Right Army Capt, but also don’t forget his book on Iraq, “Our Longest Year in Iraq.”
Interesting take on what it means to be successful but I think this article by Gen. Satterfield is spot-on but only if taken in with his other articles about success in general. Yes, women can be “successful” but career only will not lead to happiness or satisfaction in their lives. It takes more, much more and that means having a family with a husband and children. Now I know that not all “want” a family but I believe, deep down, those women are lying to themselves. Pity.
We have always been told lies and not by men but by women.
Except maybe men tell lies when they are dating you. They have “jobs” that are super great. They have “money” that is great. They are “wonderful” … just have sex with me. Ha ha ha ha ha. There are exceptions of course. Emma, you go girl.
Thank you Janna. We see things alike. 😎
Lots of great comments here and especially by our ladies.