Wednesday, February 22, 2012


Suzanne Venker has an interesting article on National Review titled, "Why Men Are Slackers and Women are Single" which proposes that all the recent brouhaha in the media celebrating the single life has one primary goal: to give the impression that there is something fundamentally wrong with marriage:
Then there are articles that aren’t so well-known — such as last month’s cover story in Boston magazine, entitled “Single by Choice.” The smaller caption reads, “This is Terri. She’s successful, happy, and at 38, just fine with never getting married. Ever.” It’s enough to make the average person think there’s something fundamentally wrong with the married state.

Which, of course, is the point.

Unlike women such as Condoleezza Rice, who quietly lead unconventional lives without a trace of resentment toward their fellow men, feminists are inherently insecure women who demand validation for their unusual choices. They do this by implying the so-called rise of women is a great thing — and proof that marriage is an outdated, patriarchal institution. At an event in Washington D.C., Bolick and Rosin appear together to do just that. Rosin, in her trademark elitist and condescending fashion, had this to say: ”Having reported a lot on Christian conservatives, I can tell you they get married, like, as soon as they fall in love and, you know, it’s probably because they can’t have sex unless they’re married — which is not the case for most of us.” (Envision lots of insulting facial gestures, as well as laughter coming from the audience.) Just imagine if I were to say in a similar forum, “Yeah, you know how those Jews are.”

High-profile feminists such as Bolick, Rosin, and Coontz celebrate the ascension of women as though it were a win-win. But the fact that today more women than men get college degrees and have good jobs is nothing to smile about. ”The good news about women is accompanied by bad news about men, which also turns out to be bad news for women,” writes Wall Street Journal columnist James Taranto.

The “bad news” about men is always couched in the context that men aren’t “manning up,” or doing what’s necessary to be responsible adults. Perhaps they aren’t — they’re certainly retreating from marriage, that’s for sure. The question is, why? And the answer is simple. With premarital sex a foregone conclusion and cohabitation on the rise, men live the good life with no responsibilities. Moreover, women have made it clear they don’t need a man to support them, to be happy, or even to become a mother. The result is that men become slackers.

If we also consider the fact that the percentage of population that is married has declined from 72% in 1970; to 62% in 1990 and to 59% a few years ago. According to this site, the most impacted segment of the population are young people:
(September 2010) Marriage rates have dropped precipitously among young adults ages 25 to 34 during the past decade and the decline has accelerated since the onset of the recession, according to PRB's analysis of new data from the U.S. Census Bureau's 2009 American Community Survey (ACS) and 2010 Current Population Survey (CPS). The data suggest that more young couples are delaying marriage or foregoing matrimony altogether, likely as an adaptive response to the economic downturn and decline in the housing market.

Between 2000 and 2009, the share of young adults ages 25 to 34 who are married dropped 10 percentage points, from 55 percent to 45 percent, according to ACS data.1 During the same period, the percentage who have never been married increased sharply, from 34 percent to 46 percent. In a dramatic reversal, the proportion of young adults in the United States who have never been married now exceeds those who are married.

The New York Times even trumpets that it is now the "new normal" for children in the US is to be born out of wedlock, though they have the grace to add:
What’s most troubling about these figures is that marriage is good for children.
“Researchers have consistently found that children born outside marriage face elevated risks of falling into poverty, failing in school or suffering emotional and behavioral problems,” write Mr. DeParle and Ms. Tavernise. Most births outside of a marriage are to couples who are living together, but marriages last longer than alternative arrangements. Tax-saving economists Betsey Stevenson and Justin Wolfers may be the exception, but statistically, co-habitation arrangements in the United States are more than twice as likely to dissolve than marriages.

So, one wonders WHY there appears to be a concerted push, spearheaded by women, to celebrate this alarming unraveling in the fabric of the family? Why do they appear to be almost desperate to promote the idea that wanting to get married is very uncool?

And why is it that the only situation where marriage seems to be celebrated and encouraged--even culturally and politically demanded-- is in the area of Gay Marriage?

If the institution of marriage is in decline and the statistics, if they continue to proceed at the current rate of decline of 10-15% every 20 years or so; it would suggest that marriage among heterosexuals will all but disappear in the next 60 years or so, and along with it, any semblance of normal family life.

Yet, people and groups who express dismay at this decay of family life and the many social and economic consequences which directly result from it are vilified and regarded as extreme.

But, much as the political left refuses to acknowledge the destructiveness of their policies on marriage and family (policies which date back to the 60's and 70's sexual revolution), the rest of America is beginning to wake up to the fact that there are consequences of those policies that are destructive to individuals and which promote poverty and societal decline.

James Taranto thinks that America is becoming more socially conservative as a result of all this, not less. In a piece subtitled, "Why the Left Can't Handle the Truth About Social Conservatism", Taranto hits the nail on the head:
Social liberals have two basic approaches to social conservatism: mystification and triumphalism. Both reflect a failure of understanding--but more than that, an incapacity to understand, a will to ignorance that is best understood as a psychological defense.
In other words, less affluent Americans are socially conservative because they bear the brunt of the social policies and cultural attitudes that prevail among affluent liberal elites. You can see why it would be difficult for Krugman and Alter, who doubtless pride themselves on their compassion and moral rectitude, to acknowledge or even consider this explanation. They need to be obtuse as a psychological defense.

Their age may have something to do with it, too. Krugman and Alter were both born in the 1950s, which is to say that they are both baby boomers. Both were too young to be protesting on campus in 1968, but both are old enough that the triumph of contemporary feminism and the sexual revolution coincided with their formative years. That is to say, both presumably cast their lot with the cultural left in its moment of triumph and in the belief that by doing so, they were putting themselves on the side of progress.

One thing that unites the social liberals is their belief that social conservatives are "fools" and "religious nuts."

To paraphrase Obama Himself: "'s not surprising then that the left get bitter, they cling to their birth control and their leftist theology or antipathy to people who aren't like them or anti-religious sentiment or anti-conservative sentiment as a way to explain their frustrations."

And they are very frustrated, even if sexually free, morality-free, and conscience-free. They must wonder anxiously, Why can't everyone just agree with us and appreciate the impending utopia we are ushering in with our beautiful liberal policies?

The problem is that their policies are ushering in a nightmare instead: destroying the importance of committment, marriage and family; all of which have been critical to the rise of civilization against the tide of barbarism. They accuse conservatives of being "anti-woman, but their policies are both anti-man AND anti-woman.

Yesterday, Glenn Reynolds reminded us of an appropriate Heinlein quote:
Throughout history, poverty is the normal condition of man. Advances which permit this norm to be exceeded — here and there, now and then — are the work of an extremely small minority, frequently despised, often condemned, and almost always opposed by all right-thinking people. Whenever this tiny minority is kept from creating, or (as sometimes happens) is driven out of a society, the people then slip back into abject poverty.

This is known as “bad luck.”

When marriage as an institution is dead; when most children are born into poverty because they have biological fathers who won't commit to raising or supporting them; when most women find that men no longer see any benefit of the married state, then I'm sure that the right-thinking progressives will attribute it all to "bad luck" and encourage even more government and state interference into people's lives to counteract it.

The nicest thing I can say is that the left is very, very heavily invested in their psychological denial.

As long as they portray those of us who are shouting "STOP" to their agenda as "religious nuts looking to snatch your prophylactics," they can contiue to be oblivious to the damage they are doing to society, and to individual freedom AND individual responsibility.

Amazingly, you can be opposed to their policies AND still believe that people have the right to make their own choices in life (even bad ones)--as long as they understand that, along with those rights they have to be sufficiently grown-up enough to accept the consequences of their choices.

No wonder they are in such profound denial--if they could handle the truth (or reality) the demise of social liberalism--or, freedom without an iota of responsibility-- would be a done deal.

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