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Some Things Said… (Feb 07) (2)

A new study reports that 42 percent of Internet users between the ages of 10 and 17 have viewed online porn.

Another day. Another blip. America shrugs.

Porn has gone so mainstream that we hardly flinch at its mention anymore. No longer the dirty purview of the sleazy fringe, it’s everywhere — in hotel rooms, on the Internet, in America’s video cabinet.

But 10-year-olds? –excerpted from an article by Kathleen Parker as found at Townhall 2.09.07

51% of Women Are Now Living Without Spouse

For what experts say is probably the first time, more American women are living without a husband than with one, according to a New York Times analysis of census results.

In 2005, 51 percent of women said they were living without a spouse, up from 35 percent in 1950 and 49 percent in 2000.

Coupled with the fact that in 2005 married couples became a minority of all American households for the first time, the trend could ultimately shape social and workplace policies, including the ways government and employers distribute benefits.

Several factors are driving the statistical shift. At one end of the age spectrum, women are marrying later or living with unmarried partners more often and for longer periods. At the other end, women are living longer as widows and, after a divorce, are more likely than men to delay remarriage, sometimes delighting in their newfound freedom.

In addition, marriage rates among black women remain low. Only about 30 percent of black women are living with a spouse, according to the Census Bureau, compared with about 49 percent of Hispanic women, 55 percent of non-Hispanic white women and more than 60 percent of Asian women… –excerpted from an article by Sam Roberts as found in the New York Times 1.16.07

The Homosexual Assault on Traditional Marriage

There are those who do not believe that the institution of marriage is under assault. There are those who do not believe that same-sex marriage is a knowing attempt to undermine the nature of marriage. There are those who do not believe that many homosexuals bear a particular animus for heterosexual marriage, and have designs beyond mere tolerance.

Then there are those of us who live in the real world.

In Washington, proponents of same-sex marriage, under the banner of the falsely named Defense of Marriage Alliance, have proposed a state ballot initiative that would require straight married couples to have children within three years or face annulment. “For many years, social conservatives have claimed that marriage exists solely for the purpose of procreation,” explained DOMA organizer Gregory Gadow. “The time has come for these conservatives to be dosed with their own medicine.

If same-sex couples should be barred from marriage because they cannot have children together, it follows that all couples who cannot or will not have children together should equally be barred from marriage.” —excerpted from an article by Ben Shapiro as found at Townhall, 2.07.07

Love and the Good Life

A review of Get to Work: A Manifesto for Women of the World by Linda R. Hirshman

Feminists have long preached that sex differences must be eradicated because they are merely cultural-no matter how universal, deep-seated, or persistent they may be. Given enough “choice,” they believe, women will choose the androgynous life. But this agenda has stalled in recent years, as young mothers have become increasingly willing to embrace traditional gender roles. In an effort to reverse this trend, retired law professor Linda Hirschman ignited a firestorm last year with an article in the American Prospect, which asserted that educated women who leave their professions to raise children are “leading lesser lives.” She has expanded her argument into a new book, Get to Work: A Manifesto for the Women of the World.

Hirshman goes beyond “choice” to promote a substantive theory of the good life for women. She quite correctly notes that invoking choice “does not remove decisions to a special realm where they can not be judged.” Surely relativism is at an end when it is discarded even by feminists who did so much to popularize it.

Get to Work begins by considering the Greek philosophical tradition and its emphasis on the Good Life. But Hirshman presents a curiously truncated view, omitting anything that does not support her simple equation of “exercising of rational capacities” with “engaging in market work.” She fails to mention Aristotle’s reflections on friendship, including the friendship between husbands and wives. She overlooks the pursuit of Beauty, and of Truth. And she evidently forgets that the Greek concept of the good life required ample leisure time, unavailable to the vast majority of men and women alike in modern times. No doubt the generations of philosopher-gentlemen who regarded work as beneath their dignity would be surprised by this celebration of the marketplace as the only setting fit for any self-respecting person.

Hirshman’s nod toward Greek philosophy turns out to be pseudo-scholarly dressing for all the old tired feminist claims. Motherhood is for ninnies. Paid employment is the sole source of dignity for women. Monetary income is important not only for what it buys outside the home but for the power it creates inside the home.

Children are the most important barrier to the equal participation of men and women in the labor market, because children affect men and women differently. The particular focus of Get to Work is that men should share childcare equally, so that women can participate equally in the labor market. Like many feminist policies, this is a demand that the impact of children be neutralized.

So, why are so many well-educated young women rejecting the feminist program? The truth is that the younger generation has seen the results of feminism and they don’t like it. They’ve seen kids raised in too much day care. They’ve watched women wait too long to get married and have kids. These women end up either alone or infertile or both. Becoming a gray-haired adoptive mommy or a single In Vitro Fertilization mommy are second-best, back-up plans, not anybody’s conception of the Good Life… –excerpted from an article and book review by Jennifer Roback Morse, found at the Claremont Institute’s website 2.08.07

What the Master said…

“Have you not read that He who made them at the beginning ‘made them male and female,’ and said, ‘For this reason a man shall leave his father and mother and be joined to his wife, and the two shall become one flesh?’ So then, they are no longer two but one flesh. Therefore what God has joined together, let not man separate.”

They said to Him, “Why then did Moses command to give a certificate of divorce, and to put her away?” He said to them, “Moses, because of the hardness of your hearts, permitted you to divorce your wives, but from the beginning it was not so.” And I say to you, whoever divorces his wife, except for sexual immorality, and marries commits adultery; and whoever marries her who is divorced commits adultery.” (Matthew 19:4 – 9)

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