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February 21, 2006

Comments

djw

Mr. Bad, Coontz is one of the most respected social historians of American family life we've got. I've only just begun to read her most recent book, but from what I've seen it provides extensive documentation for most, if not all, of the specific empirical claims/factoids from the article.

the 'marriage strike' is a euphamism that we men call our increasing hesitancy and refusal re. fatherhood and marriage.

I've asked you this before, so I don't expect it'll do any good to ask again, but I'm sure I'm not the only man out there who'd be just thrilled if you'd refrain from using the word "men" when you really mean "men's right's activist" or "anti-feminists" or "men who view the world the way I do." Also, does referring to a trend as a 'euphamism' (sic) somehow mean you get to assert it's an actual phenomenon without providing non-anecdotal evidence? As you correctly asserted, trends can have any number of causes...

Mr. Bad

ricia said: "The justice system has been and is in fact responsible for that, that is what they do and get paid to do - make laws and legal policies. much moreso than the various politico's elected to sit in office. BOTH of which are primarily and overwhelmingly composed of men ages 45 to 104."

ricia, you obviously don't understand how the U.S. government works. Please research it and learn about it before you make any more uninformed statements.

In fact, it is not the judicial branch that makes law (i.e., legislation), it is the legislative branch, i.e., Congress - the House of Representatives and the Senate. The judicial branch interprets the law; it does not (or at least should not) make the laws. As for the Executive branch, it is my understanding that they are charged with executing the law.

Now, as for the fact that most legislators are men does not in any way mean that they are not feminists nor do men's bidding instead of women's; all it means is that the majority of the voters believe that those men are the most qualified and capable for the job, despite the pressures of political correctness. And in fact, those men are quite deferential to women and feminists, so your argument does not withstand close scrutiny. It's like saying that Ann Coulter promotes feminism simply because she's a woman.

Mr. Bad

djw said: "I've asked you this before, so I don't expect it'll do any good to ask again, but I'm sure I'm not the only man out there who'd be just thrilled if you'd refrain from using the word "men" when you really mean "men's right's activist" or "anti-feminists" or "men who view the world the way I do.""

djw, if you want to ask a question then please do so. However, for the life of me I can't find an interrogative anywhere in the above sentence. That said, I must acknowledge your obvious superior writing talents because you haven't misspelled any words in that impressive single-sentence run-on missive.

Mr. Bad

djw said: "Mr. Bad, Coontz is one of the most respected social historians of American family life we've got."

Ah, respected by you maybe, but "we?"

Now, what were you saying about presuming to speak for others?

ricia_pd

hhmmmm. so firstly you've stated it's because of feminists that the law is interpreted and executed as it is, after arguing that the laws upheld are unfair, and now you're argueing that those who instate and execute laws are indifferent to feminists.

in the end, if i've got this right. it looks to me that we are actually in some kind of agreement here... at least in so far as who to blame for family law injustices. despite your first statement and despite my ignorance surrounding the US legal system.

; )

djw

The question/request is obvious from the admittedly inelegant context.

Second point: Fair cop. I'll rephrase: "She's widely regarded (correctly, in my view) as one of the leading social historians of the American family today."

Rainbow

Of course, woman would be encouraged to have more children if having a child did not mean that the father could control your life, ruin your career and ultimately snatch the child when he decides to dump his wife/mother of the child. Thank you no fault/no alimony divorce. Women might have two or more if Daddy was a cheating, lying, boozing scum.

Rainbow

Sorry, if Daddy was NOT a philandering, lying, drug taking, dead beat, thieving scum than maybe a mother might be interested in having more than one child. For many women, one child is a one-way ticket to lifetime poverty. and of course, most men would not be interested in marrying a poor, single mom so that is another reason to keep to one child.

The Gonzman

Of course, woman would be encouraged to have more children if having a child did not mean that the father could control your life, ruin your career and ultimately snatch the child when he decides to dump his wife/mother of the child. Thank you no fault/no alimony divorce. If Daddy was not a cheating, lying, boozing drug taking, dead beat, thieving,scum than maybe a mother might be interested in having more than one child. For many women, one child is a one-way ticket to lifetime poverty. and of course, most men would not be interested in marrying a poor, single mom so that is another reason to keep to one child.

Of course, men would be encouraged to have more commitment to marriage and family if having a child did not mean that the mother could control your life, ruin your career and ultimately snatch the child when she decides to dump her husband/father of the child. Thank you no fault/no alimony divorce. If Mommy was not a cheating, lying, boozing, drug taking, dead beat, thieving, slut than maybe a man might be interested in having more to do with her. For many men, a child is a one-way ticket to lifetime of heartbreak and poverty. and of course, most women aren't be interested in marrying a poor, single father so that is another reason to keep away from marriage.

Hmmm.

Allrighty, ye believers in equality, who would be just as quick to condemn a woman for rubricizing "men" as a group - and who were real quick to object earlier - I'm waiting. Have been for a while.

Or is it a "Free Pass" to a sister in ideology?

Or do you really believe both statements to be inoffensive?

I also didn't miss the "patriarchy" reference earlier, even though it's been a scant few months since someone claimed "*Oh, I don't know ANYONE who still uses terms like that anymore!*"

evil_fizz

Allrighty, ye believers in equality, who would be just as quick to condemn a woman for rubricizing "men" as a group - and who were real quick to object earlier - I'm waiting. Have been for a while.

What are you waiting for? Someone to tell you both to knock it the hell off? This "No, it sucks more for me!" is doing no favors to anyone's argument. It's just making it harder to have a discussion in which we acknowledge that life can suck for everyone and it can be bad in particular ways based on gender.

The real problem with the "ex-wife as manipulative, theiving slut" and "ex-husband as dishonest, philadering abandoner" back and forth is that it detroys the discussion. No one's getting a free pass. It's just too exhausting criticizing everyone constantly for making the same inane points.

The Gonzman

Also, does referring to a trend as a 'euphamism' (sic) somehow mean you get to assert it's an actual phenomenon without providing non-anecdotal evidence?

According to "Why Men Won't Commit: Exploring Young Men's Attitudes About Sex, Dating and Marriage," a study released by researchers Barbara Dafoe Whitehead and David Popenoe of the National Marriage Project at Rutgers University:

Top 10 reasons not to marry

1. Men can get sex without marriage.
2. They can enjoy the benefits of having a wife by cohabiting rather than marrying.
3. They want to avoid divorce and its financial risks.
4. They want to wait until they are older to have children.
5. They fear that marriage will require too many changes and compromises.
6. They are still waiting for the perfect soul mate, and she hasn't appeared yet.
7. They face few social pressures today to marry.
8. They are reluctant to marry a woman who already has children.
9. They want to own a house before they get a wife.
10. They want to enjoy single life for as long as they possibly can.

Awful lot of print and other media wasted on the whole idea of "The Marriage Strike," djw, for it to be dismissed as "merely ancedotal."

Here's my take, djw: I point blank refuse to engage in any romantic relationship which obliges me legally in any way." This includes co-habitation, marriage, joint accounts, parenthood, adoption - you name it. The way things stand now, the only really equal relatonship in which the participants have the same rights and protections is just such a relationship.

Right now, as it stands, in any of the relationships I am in, the only thing a party has to do to end it is to stop calling or stop answering; since I don't so much as leave, or allow to be left, a toothbrush there's not any real necessity for even a "Sorry, buh-bye" email if one doesn't want.

rainbow

Your right, marriage and parenthood is not a safe for either decent men or women. Society will have to rethink rewards and punishments for the faithful, selfless and nurturing as opposed to the sleazy, selfish and thieving in order to see the smiling faces of happy, fed and secure children in its society. It has nothing to do with "choice" and everything to do with "fear."

Mr. Bad

evil fizz said: "The real problem with the "ex-wife as manipulative, theiving slut" and "ex-husband as dishonest, philadering abandoner" back and forth is that it detroys the discussion. No one's getting a free pass. It's just too exhausting criticizing everyone constantly for making the same inane points."

If it wasn't the case that it's only when men says such things that people like you protest I might be convinced that your pleas for civility are sincere. However, since you-all let women say these things without objection, and only when the likes of Gonz or I turn the tables do you find the energy to object, I'd say that you are indeed giving women a "free pass" on these sorts of comments.

rainbow said: "Your right, marriage and parenthood is not a safe for either decent men or women. Society will have to rethink rewards and punishments for the faithful, selfless and nurturing as opposed to the sleazy, selfish and thieving in order to see the smiling faces of happy, fed and secure children in its society."

You're correct as far as it goes, however, you're failing to recognize that given the bais of the so-called "family" court in favor of women and against men, in general marriage and parenthood is a lot safer for women than it is for men. And yes, as always, YMMV (i.e., your mileage may vary).

Vacula

Mr. Bad, evil fizz said that after a mirror argument between a man and a woman. Usually people don't pounce on the first few comments and Gonz had brought up his experiences before. You're seeing what you expect.

alexander

So you do benefit, regardless of your status as a breeder or an abstainer. Further, kids ARE members of society all on their own; their parents choices are irrelevant to the fact that they exist here and now. Careful expenditures for children in the here and now (vaccinations, education, poverty initiatives) prevent future societal problems.

If you feel this way then there is nothing to stop you from voluntarily contributing your own money to whatever programs you would think support children.

But you have no right to use the power of the state to force people who do not believe this to contribute. As usual, feminists do not allow for dissent.

And as usual, feminists are not happy unless they have the government come in and use force to make people do things. How does this square with feminist claims to be against violence?

Do you feel it is justifiable for the state to jail tax protestors?

Similarly, if you believe in family leave, then there is nothing to stop you from starting your own business and giving people as much time off as you think is just. Or paying them $100/hour.

I would like feminists to tell me why they believe the primary solution to every social problem is to give all power to the state.

The interesting thing is that for all the talk about liberation, feminists are little more than shills for total state power.

alexander

So you do benefit, regardless of your status as a breeder or an abstainer. Further, kids ARE members of society all on their own; their parents choices are irrelevant to the fact that they exist here and now. Careful expenditures for children in the here and now (vaccinations, education, poverty initiatives) prevent future societal problems.

If you feel this way then there is nothing to stop you from voluntarily contributing your own money to whatever programs you would think support children.

But you have no right to use the power of the state to force people who do not believe this to contribute. As usual, feminists do not allow for dissent.

And as usual, feminists are not happy unless they have the government come in and use force to make people do things. How does this square with feminist claims to be against violence?

Do you feel it is justifiable for the state to jail tax protestors?

Similarly, if you believe in family leave, then there is nothing to stop you from starting your own business and giving people as much time off as you think is just. Or paying them $100/hour.

I would like feminists to tell me why they believe the primary solution to every social problem is to give all power to the state.

The interesting thing is that for all the talk about liberation, feminists are little more than shills for total state power.

alexander

Top 10 reasons not to marry

I know a lot of single people. The number one reason they do not get married is that they have tried and gotten rejected.

Arwen

Alexander, that's silly. Feminism is not the opposite of libertarianism. It's not feminism that motivates the above suggestions. It's governance in the long term. People evolved societies for a reason: much like the ants and the bees, there's a method to our societal madness. One of the things societies do for the long term is attempt to mitigate their own land use and support their specializations - Easter Island is an example of this not done well, and the Greenland Innu is an example of this being successful. (Diamond's Collapse is a great primer of historical societal comparisons with interesting theses.)

That has less than nothing to do with feminism.

Arwen

If you'd like a free market feminist, Linda Hirshman writes somewhat from that perspective. Not all feminists believe in government solutions; not all good-governance advocates are feminists. The left wing doesn't speak for all feminist women. Interesting conflation, though. It hadn't even occurred to me.
I know of at least one libertarian feminist who wants access to guns and abortion to be worldwide, and then she'll do the rest, thank'ee.

Arwen

Just for alexander, I went and found ALF.org - the association for Libertarian Feminists. I'm no libertarian, but there you go.
There are a lot of feminists who are also socialist/social liberals and we'll talk about government social programs - but feminism is not predicated on that exclusively. I'm not going to do a whole long history of movements of the financially disempowered and why social liberalism ends up addressing "minority" needs, but there are a bunch of different stripes of feminism. So what you dislike so strongly regarding governance is social liberalism, or secular humanism, perhaps: there are many non-feminists who are liberals, and some feminists who are non-liberal.

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