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The sexes

Life in the brave new world

Surveys are a crude measure of personal lives, but they do provide something of a reality check. So it’s worth noting that a large-scale study shows that Britons are increasingly depressed, unhappy in their relationships, and alienated from civic society despite higher incomes, better health and much greater opportunity for women. Some notable statistics:

  • Roughly twice as many of those born in 1970 as in 1958 admited to depression and anxiety at age 23.
  • Of those born in 1946, 97% of fathers and 94% of mothers were living with their own children when in their 30s. That was the case for just 63% of fathers and 59% of mothers born in 1970.
  • Some 60% of men born in 1946 were members of community and voluntary organizations when in their 30s, but only 15% of those born in 1958 and 8% of those born in 1970.

It’s difficult to know how to reverse “progress” of the sort we as well as the British have been experiencing in recent decades. Still, it does seem that it can’t go on forever, and if it’s built into fundamental aspects of the world we live in the logical conclusion is that at some point the world will see quite radical changes.

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Sex ed in the demi-paradise

Here’s an update to our previous discussion of the technological approach to sex education, the one that simply trains children in techniques, that displays its consequences rather nicely: U.K. Government urges under-16s to experiment with oral sex. It avoids pregnancy, after all, and isn’t that the rational goal to be concerned with?

What the incident shows, of course, is the extraordinary radicalism of a regime that disposes of close to half the national income, that has custody of the nation’s children at least from age 4 or 5 to the late teen years, and that claims a comprehensive right and duty to remake the life of the people in line with its understanding of things like equality and efficiency. The point’s so obvious, both in theory and practice, that it’s hard to see how it could be missed. It is, though. Public discussion is dominated by media bureaucracies and bureacracies of expertise whose power and common interests make them constituents of the regime. And if those people, who know better, tell us everything is normal—as indeed it is from their point of view—who are we to disagree?

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Women voters and the nanny state

Soccer moms, or their grandmothers, have always been the root of all evil. At least that’s what John Lott seems to be saying in his paper How Dramatically Did Women’s Suffrage Change the Size and Scope of Government? Give women the vote, it appears, and very soon you’ll have the nanny state.

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G.I. Jane goes to war

How many things are wrong with this picture? More U.S. military women edging closer to combat positions in preparations for Iraq war . The young woman grabs her M-16 and leaves her husband and 2-year-old son to go off to war. It’s played rather as a human interest story, because it’s not the sort of thing that inspires patriotism or confidence in anyone.

The article mentions three arguments for doing this to the military, and to social understandings about men, women, children and war:

  • The equal civic participation argument: “There is no distinction between men and women. We feel the same way about wanting to go over there and serve.” That argument makes sense if adding women to the military is otherwise beneficial on the homefront and in the field. If it’s not beneficial then it’s not a service for them to go.
  • The equal-opportunity bureaucratic-rationality argument: “It’s a level playing field because now any service officer can do the same job, can compete … Whoever is best will rise to the top, be promoted and do well.” This argument might make sense in peacetime to people who like tidy systems that ignore issues they don’t know what to do with. In time of war, though, it’s good to deal with realities before they kill you.
  • Which brings us to the it’s-here-and-we-have-to-deal-with-it argument, the one used to silence discussion in wartime: “[W]omen are embedded in the functioning of the entire military. You can’t just pull people out on the basis of gender anymore. It’s a different way of thinking about war.” And that’s the usual strategy in social engineering: first you ignore, deny or obfuscate the issues, and then you say it’s the new reality that can’t be changed.
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How to avoid issues

A correspondent translated the short introductory essay to my Anti-Feminism Page and tried to get it published in a large Finnish newspaper. Not surprisingly, they rejected it. Their objections were that it didn’t explain what feminism is and it set forth a conspiracy theory. I was impressed that they hit on two of the three universal neutral reasons for never responding to the substance of objections to feminism:

  1. What you call “feminism” is really some special thing that only applies to a few people, so we don’t have to deal with what you say.
  2. Your characterization of feminism (in this case, “opposition to gender as a principle of social order—to what is called ‘sexism’ ”) is too abstract and doesn’t have enough content to explain what feminism is, so we don’t have to deal with what you say.
  3. To the extent you do say what feminism is you make it something concrete that involves the cooperation of many people. You are thus presenting a conspiracy theory, so we don’t have to deal with what you say.

The same sort of response applies to anyone who raises any unwelcome issue. What he says is too concrete, in which case it’s a special situation and not of general interest, or it’s too abstract, in which case he’s not saying anything definite, or it’s concrete and he claims it applies broadly, in which case it’s a conspiracy theory. Keep these arguments at your fingertips!

Incidentally, I’ll be out of town again for the next week and won’t be posting. Mr. Auster may or may not be able to take up the slack.

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Women and madness

Feminism necessarily means the abolition of common sense. Common sense presumes the correctness of ordinary human reactions. Feminism can’t live with that, because it can’t live with the sexual differentiation that is basic to human life. Even the most moderate and mainstream feminism turns the radical transformation of human nature into a requirement of basic justice. Here’s a routine example: Body language ‘may cost you a job’. If job interviewers respond differently to men and women—and they do, since they are human beings—everyone agrees that’s a problem that has to be fixed. People might grumble or make jokes among themselves, but no one in public life offers principled opposition to the demand for re-education and thought reform.

The abolition of common sense has nastier results than the comic-totalitarian attempt to turn interviewers into robots. For example, domestic relations law law has been rewritten in accordance with feminine vengefulness. What Happens When 911 Is Dialed in Colorado suggests what has happened. When someone calls the cops and claims domestic violence, machinery is started that accepts the feminist presumptions quite literally: the man is a dangerous aggressor, the woman is always right, and the police and courts won’t protect the woman unless they are forced to do so by stacked presumptions and rules that allow no exceptions. Ordinary concepts of fairness and due process do not protect the man since they have been expropriated by the “rights revolution” and cannot be asserted on behalf of the presumptive oppressor.

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An exchange on sex

A sexual leftist who calls himself a cultural conservative asked someone on an email list

Why don’t we ponder what you consider “perfection” when it comes to sex? What are these “standards” to which you aspire? A sublime feeling of oneness with your beloved? A knockout orgasm? Or does “perfection” lie in knowing what you’re NOT doing?

My response:

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Whitehead on the dating game

Social historian Barbara Dafoe Whitehead has two unmarried daughters in their thirties and has written a book about their problems: Why There Are No Good Men Left. The basic problem, she seems to believe, is a sort of mechanical lack of opportunity. Young women today are raised to find careers rather than husbands. When they eventually become interested in settling down, they’re likely to be trapped in a routine that includes work, working-out and a circle of friends, but not the pool of eligible young men they knew in college. So they don’t get married for lack of prospects.

So what to do? Not question the upbringing, expectations and conduct

that lead women into a dead end. After all, Professor Whitehead points out, waiting brings maturity, good judgement, and financial security, all of which are good for a marriage if one should come about. So for her the answer is to develop new courtship mechanisms tailored to fit the needs of busy professionals. Already, innovations like online introduction services and “SpeedDating” events have emerged. These and other ingenious improvements, she hopes, will “revive [women’s] flagging faith that it is possible to find lasting love and to integrate a loving marriage into a life of individual career achievement.”

All of which seems somewhat unlikely. Can a mechanical failure in markets really be what’s behind a problem like this? To extend the commercial metaphor, deals close faster and the ensuing relationships are more likely to be stable if each party supplies something different that the other needs. It seems likely that something of the sort applies to marriage as well, so that the “strictly equal” marriage will always be something of an anomaly. If the sexes have no pressing practical reason for marriage they’re much less likely to marry and work out marital problems. Marriage may be important for personal emotional fulfillment, but it can’t work when that is its main purpose. And in any case, women—especially women trained to value themselves and therefore others on career success—aren’t likely to marry down no matter what they say in interviews. So it seems unlikely that a technical fix of the sort Dr. Whitehead favors is likely to emerge.

An incidental but characteristic feature of her views is that she is convinced that the problem she sees in the marriage market applies only to women. On the face of it that seems strange: if fewer women get married and have children, then it seems—if you assume men are not declining in number and you ignore the somewhat unlikely possibility of polyandry—that the same would hold for men. The solution seems to be that men don’t mind marrying down, so the men who lose out are those she calls “guys who were not quite so well-educated.” And those are men who, as a professional woman thinking about marriage, Dr. Whitehead could hardly care less about.

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Oddities to be normalized

Some medical bits confirming once again that sexual oddities go together with behavior that is otherwise disordered: Gay, Bisexual Women Take More Risks Than Gay Men, and Drugs, Unsafe Sex Common Among Men Living as Women.

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NY passes 'gay rights' law

They finally did it: New York legislature passes “gay rights” bill. The Republicans had been keeping the bill bottled up in committee, but brought it to the floor as a political pay-off to a homosexual organization that had endorsed the Republican governor for re-election. It passed the Assembly and Senate by solid-to-overwhelming margins.

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Expert reconstruction of reality

The social construction of reality, chapter whatever: American Psychiatric Association issues statement endorsing right of gay and lesbian couples to adopt. According to the APA, “research over the past 30 years has consistently demonstrated that children raised by gay or lesbian parents exhibit the same level of emotional, cognitive, social and sexual functioning as children raised by heterosexual parents.” That’s demonstrated, not just “indicated,” “suggested,” or “been consistent with,” and the demonstrations have been repetitive and unopposed over a 30-year period. So the experts say they know that homosexual “parents” are just as good, and that makes it an indisputable truth upon which rational public policy must be based. Which is exactly the point of the statement.

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Sex ed triumphs in Uganda!

Since I’m on the topic, here’s more sex news: unreported triumph fighting AIDS in Uganda because of superior sex education. HIV prevalence there was 15 percent in 1991 but 5 percent by 2001, a dramatic decline that is unique worldwide.

Oddly, the superior education was the kind Human Rights Watch doesn’t like because it violates the rights of children, the kind that promotes abstinence and sexual restraint generally. Which no doubt is why the AIDS community hasn’t been much interested in it, and why you very likely haven’t heard about it. Because the AIDS community, quite reasonably, is concerned not only with how people die but also with how they should live. And, as is obvious to anyone familiar with the efforts of activists in this country, sexual restraint doesn’t figure into their view of that more important issue.

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ALI proposes abolition of marriage

The American Law Institute has urged states to update their family law by abolishing the family. Basically, what they propose is to abolish marriage by treating all “living together” arrangements the same, and to redistribute wealth by treating the breakup of such arrangements as an occasion for equalizing the wealth of the parties.

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Sex and human rights

In the course of writing an article on the “human rights” movement I ran into this report from the good folks at Human Rights Watch, a prominent “watchdog” organization: Ignorance Only: HIV/AIDS, Human Rights and Federally Funded Abstinence-Only Programs in the United States.

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News Flash! Women believe love, marriage connected

This has to be one of the least surprising news stories ever: Women Enjoy Best Sex Within Marriage.

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“Family policy” in practice

The author pours a huge amount of material into The Politics of Family Destruction, an account of what he calls “the divorce industry.” Even though I include links to a lot of men’s rights groups (which are largely concerned with the treatment of men by family courts) in my anti-feminist page, I don’t know how to evaluate it all. The basic theme seems plausible, though: administering family wreckage is a big business for the managerial state, so in various ways they do things that have the effect of making the business grow and increasing its profitability, mainly at the expense of ex-husbands. Nobody pays much attention because it’s mostly not successful and influential men who lose, feminists have the upper hand, and in any event men don’t habitually politicize the personal.

For another complaint about the effects of giving the state bureaucracy power over something that by nature it doesn’t like—the family—here’s an Englishwoman on the scandal of children denied homes with adoptive parents. It seems that social workers (like other people) don’t like giving up control, and in adoption they give up control, so they naturally put sand in the gears. And in a perhaps somewhat related development, here’s an example of U.S. export of P.C. victimology to the eager Canadian market: New Brunswick honours women murdered by partners with ‘blood plaques’. The article doesn’t say whether they mention that such things happen far more often among unmarried couples, or for that matter whether there will also be blood plaques honoring the many babies abused and murdered by single moms.

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Sisterhood lives!

A bit of an oddity: “Women Exploiting Women”. The name of the article is uninformative, but the details are fascinating and I wish there were more of them. It seems that several successful professional women in Northern California took it into their heads to set up a pyramid scheme based on big payoffs, birthday parties, and a feminist solidarity pitch. The scheme took in $12,000,000 from 10,000 women, most of whom, it appears, should have known better.

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Everything’s normal

Happy-talk about homosexuality from those madcap Canadians: Children’s Aid Society seeks gay foster parents: Move reflects changing face of Canadian family. It’s easy for anyone to churn this stuff out. Just take it as obvious truth that sexual diversity is not diverse in any way that matters, that you can do anything at all to something altogether fundamental to human life and nothing will happen, and everything else follows.

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Sex, creation and revelation

The modern view of sex and “gender” is decisively anti-Christian. That’s not simply because the modern view is opposed to tradition, Christian tradition like all other tradition, but because it reflects a habit of thought that trivializes Creation and makes the Incarnation impossible and senseless. The problem is that modern sexual views deny intrinsic meaning to the physical world. In particular, they deny intrinsic meaning to the part of the physical world closest to us, our bodies, and especially to an aspect of our bodily life that, as they say, “makes the world go round.” Sex and the difference between the sexes have only the significance and function one chooses individually to give to them. And if that’s true of

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It’s all for the children

As usual, the wingnuts were right: the Convention on the Rights of the Child, the most widely accepted international agreement ever (the U.S. and Somalia are the only two non-parties), does in fact guarantee children the right, regardless of local law or custom, to be sexually active and get an abortion without parental involvement. At least that’s what a new brochure from the International Planned Parenthood Federation says, and at the UN they’re influential and very well-connected.

According to the brochure, a child’s rights include being able to decide whether to be sexually active or not, and to visit a doctor or nurse to receive “the full range of sexual and reproductive health services that are available and legal,” including contraceptives and abortion services, without parental permission or knowledge. The requirement that the service be “legal” doesn’t seem to amount to much, since the child has a right to life under the convention that trumps local legal enactments. As the brochure points out, “unsafe abortion can lead to illness and death,” but “with information, skills and services that help you to make informed choices, you can protect yourself and others from unwanted pregnancy.”

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