Happy marriages that last this long are something special. I enjoyed this story for that.
Champagne socialists as a subsection of socialists in general. Environmentalists who say no to the oil sands but yes to their brand new Landrover (to take them to the cottage in Muskoka). Environmentalists who believe they are morally superior precisely because they bike everywhere and haven’t used a plastic bag since the early 80s. “Christians” who don’t believe in Christ and write books about it…
Apparently once I get started there’s a whole list of people I don’t have time for. (I should probably get to my point before I stop having time for myself for all the whinging I’m doing.)
Yet another category would be those who claim to want to protest something (in this case, the sexist and patriarchal institution of marriage) but then get married. But then keep on complaining nonetheless.
Read all about this wannabe feminist social activist, lacking in character, chutzpah and anything resembling conviction, here.
Andrea worries about the state of her soul: I have time for all people. It’s some views I have little-to-no time for. (Apparently I posted in haste. But I’m always posting in haste, so I guess you can’t win ’em all.)
It didn’t pass me by that Obama is re-instating American dollars to international groups that support abortion. I just didn’t post about it because it was what he promised, furthermore, the Clintons also supported this. So it’s not surprising.
But here at home on the family front, Obama recognizes that fatherlessness is a problem and that marriage is a benefit:
Strengthen Fatherhood and Families: Barack Obama has re-introduced the Responsible Fatherhood and Healthy Families Act to remove some of the government penalties on married families, crack down on men avoiding child support payments, ensure that support payments go to families instead of state bureaucracies, fund support services for fathers and their families, and support domestic violence prevention efforts. President Obama will sign this bill into law and continue to implement innovative measures to strengthen families.
And there, he is right–and I get the feeling these days that when Obama does something–people listen. So I just thought I’d highlight that.
Rebecca adds: I haven’t read either of his autobiographies, and I don’t plan to. But I gather from those who have, whose judgement I respect, that fatherlessness was a big factor in shaping Obama’s character, values, and to a certain extent even his politics. Also, while the effects of an absent father, a flakey mother and an unreliable stepfather were hugely mitigated by Obama’s grandparents, who provided him with a stable home and an excellent education, he’s well aware that the vast majority of fatherless kids lack this kind of safety net. I look forward to the changes he will make to the American discussion about fatherhood.
Needless to say, the demographic that suffers most acutely from fatherlessness, both numerically and in the malignancy of its effects, are African Americans. Phenomenally high rates of delinquency, petty and serious crime, and dropping out of high school, as well as risk of imprisonment for boys and early pregnancy for girls, are closely connected to rampant fatherlessness in America’s black communities, as Kay Hymowitz and many others have documented.
Californians will be voting on Proposition 8, come election day. This confirms that marriage is between a man and a woman, after California’s courts recently struck down Proposition 22–where 60 per cent of Californians affirmed that marriage is between a man and a woman back in 2000. I highlight this because it’s interesting–California is not a conservative state. And yet not eight years ago, they affirmed opposite sex marriage. (Homophobes, all of them? The whole state? I think not.)
Anyway, people like Jennifer Roback Morse have been working hard on this issue. And my colleague and I (for the day job) wrote this a while back. Marriage–it’s complicated–but in the end, that’s good. (ie. It was never so simplistic as to say “hey–what does someone else’s marriage have to do with me?” which seems pretty consistently to be the argument of those in favour of same sex marriage.)
The marriage debate. Frustrating. If marriage was strictly about love and equality–then of course there was never any reason to deny it to anyone. This article reminds me about the level of emotion associated with the marriage debate. The “equality soundbite” prevailed. I always thought the “children’s right to a mother and a father soundbite” was quite compelling too. But all it ever resulted in was the comment, “ya, but not everyone has children.” And we were back to square one.
To argue against gay marriage on the grounds that children need a mother and a father required proving without doubt that children don’t do well with two or three parents of the same sex. Proving that, meanwhile, was impossible, because no long term studies without significant design shortcomings exist. Back to square one. Frustrating.
The author of the Globe piece doesn’t seem to find the “unintended consequences” of gay marriage very compelling. I on the other hand, do, and this piece by Jennifer Roback Morse, which landed in my inbox today too, highlights some.
Bottom line: Had there been more freedom of speech associated with the whole debate I’m not sure we would have legalized same sex marriage. Marriage as an institution is complex–and we just don’t learn about it anymore, beyond the Hollywood love angle. And the Hollywood understanding of marriage is not, quite frankly, an institution worth keeping.
I’ve been away on vacation for a while (yes, very nice thank you), and did not get a chance to keep an eye on this story, which I had briefly noted as I was fleeing town for the beach.
The annulment of a young Muslim couple’s marriage because the bride was not a virgin has caused anger in France, prompting President Sarkozy’s party to call for a change in the law.
The decision by a court in Lille was condemned by the Government, media, feminists and civil rights organisations after it was reported in a legal journal on Thursday. Patrick Devedjian, leader of the ruling Union for a Popular Movement, said it was unacceptable that the law could be used for religious reasons to repudiate a bride. It must be modified “to put an end to this extremely disturbing situation”, he said.
The case, which had previously gone unreported, involved an engineer in his 30s, named as Mr X, who married Ms Y, a student nurse in her 20s, in 2006. The wedding night party was still under way at the family’s home in Roubaix when the groom came down from the bedroom complaining that his bride was not a virgin. He could not display the blood-stained sheet that is traditionally exhibited as proof of the bride’s “purity”.
Mr X went to court the following morning and was granted a annulment on the grounds that his bride had deceived him on “one of the essential elements” of the marriage. In disgrace with both families, she acknowledged that she had led her groom to believe that she was a virgin when she had already had sexual intercourse. She did not oppose the annulment.
It appears, as you’ll see if you read the rest of the story as well as this one, that in France at least feminists and others are properly outraged and prepared to fight this “dangerous aberration”. I’m no expert on French marriage laws, but I never thought being in a position to “prove” one’s virginity by bleeding on the bedsheet was an “essential element” of marriage – or that it ought to be.
So my question to Canadian women’s rights groups and assorted feminists is: If you’re able and willing, more or less at the drop of a hat, to dig up decades-old cases of women being prosecuted in the United States for ending the lives of their unborn children as one of the main arguments against Bill C-484, can you say a little something against a small but tenacious portion of a religious culture that promotes and enforces such barbaric and retrograde views of women that failure to bleed on the wedding night is some kind of dishonour?
Further evidence of a “life” outside this blog?
Tanya adds: I’m happy to report from personal experience that there is still a negative stigma attached to unmarried couples having children. Though no one dare ask a single mother what her ‘problem’ is, unmarried couples (especially with children) unabashedly have that question thrust at them.
When I’m asked, I graciously heed the floor to my very own live-in boyfriend and father of my daughter. He loves it!
Divorce and family breakdown is your business. Economically speaking, anyway.
We keep hearing this from state legislators, ‘Explain to me why this is any of my business? Aren’t these private matters?'” Blankenhorn said. “Take a look at these numbers and tell us if you still have any doubt…
Reminds me of a line from one of my favourite movies (the Alastair Sim’s version) of A Christmas Carol. Jacob Marley’s lines are rendered more effective when delivered looking plaintively into the distance, holding heavy chains (which you must rattle periodically) and in a desperate and shrieking tone. Just a tip.
But you were always a good man of business, Jacob,” faltered Scrooge… “Business!” cried the Ghost, wringing its hands again. “Mankind was my business. The common welfare was my business; charity, mercy, forbearance, and benevolence, were, all, my business. The dealings of my trade were but a drop of water in the comprehensive ocean of my business!”
(I’m at least partially aware that the correlation between family breakdown, economic prosperity and A Christmas Carol is weak. But an opportunity to link to the scene itself cannot be missed.)
Economically speaking AND environmentally speaking… Dr. Jianguo Liu says this in “Demographic Winter“:
What we find is that globally, actually, the number of households has been increasing much faster than the number of people. In order to create more households, you will use more resources. And in the meantime you will create more greenhouse gases. If the efficiency of resources used in divorced households is the same as married households, then, in 2005 alone, the US could have saved 73 billion kilowatt hours of electricity and also conserved 600 billion gallons of water.
(Funny how a large, intact family gets the evil eye from environmentalists.)
The results of the full study were released in December, 2007 http://www.theglobeandmail.com/servlet/story/RTGAM.20071204.wldivorce04/BNStory/lifeFamily/home
The Moment of Truth. Instead of trying to solve problems–this show creates them. They find the most dishonest, shallow and superficial married couples in all the land and then poke and prod them into divorce.
This is why I don’t have cable. And could this be why so many more North Americans are staying single, getting pregnant out of wedlock and just generally not holding marriage in high esteem? Well done, Fox!
Obama’s recent speech discussed race and poverty: Here’s what he did not discuss. Marriage is an anti-poverty campaign in itself. The article is from a non-so-con source (very important-because so-cons are born with a pro-marriage, pro-life gene, as we all know).
Researchers estimate that the entire rise in poverty in America since the late 1970s can be attributed to “changes in family formation,” a euphemism for the decline of families headed by two married parents. … Given that a significant body of research now shows that children raised in two-parent, married families do better in school, are less likely to wind up in jail, and are less likely to end up on welfare, the startling racial divide in marriage tells us that a new generation of children, especially blacks, are growing up destined to struggle academically, in the job market, and in forming their own families. And policy prescriptions like a higher minimum wage or tax credits are unlikely to help many of these kids. What they mostly need is another parent-usually a father.
And lest you think the Republicans are doing any better on this issue…
Even Republican presidential nominee John McCain-whose economic agenda focuses on pro-growth policies, like corporate tax cuts-has little to say about the family, though the children of many fractured poor families will be in no position to take advantage of such tax cuts. … Comparing the rhetoric of the presidential candidates with the latest stark data on families is a reminder that, until we can at least begin to discuss in the political sphere one of the major causes of economic woes in America today, we can’t begin to take the necessary steps to reduce long-term poverty.