Marriage & the growing class divide in America

posted at 2:01 pm on July 17, 2012 by Dustin Siggins

On Saturday, The New York Times published a lengthy essay on the differences between the lives of those who get married before having children and those who don’t. It also focused on a marital trend that is steadily becoming reality in the U.S.: the emergence of a divided society, separated along the lines of marriage and education. While college-educated Americans continue the traditional path of first comes marriage followed by the baby, among low-income communities and spreading into “middle America” communities is the norm of unwed births with its myriad of ills.

One angle the article didn’t touch much on was how personal decisions impact the chances of being a single parent. One Times blogger did, however:

Many of us (myself included) don’t miss the days of moral judgments that coincided with a time when fewer children were being raised in single-parent households, but if children raised in unintentional out-of-wedlock households continue to struggle in comparison with children in two-parent homes, we need to find a way to replace the force of those social norms without going backward in social acceptance. Can we distinguish between promoting some kind of “parent preparedness” and condemning its lack?

One of the most striking moments of “Two Classes, Separated by ‘I Do’” comes as Ms. Schairer refuses to complain. “I’m in this position because of decisions I made,” she says. Her willingness to accept where those choices have led is admirable, but it’s the impact of those choices on her three children that we must address. No one benefits from their struggles, and if they fail to succeed at becoming self-supporting adults, we will all pay for that failure, although none so much as the children themselves.

The author’s point is pretty good – constructive criticism and encouragement for the future are often more beneficial than outright condemnation. Of course, I am guessing this particular Times contributor is overstating the “moral judgments” made fifty and more years ago, and I have to ask if she really believes moral judgments are worse than the disaster out-of-wedlock marriage has been on America’s culture.

Abstinence is a major part of the solution here. Despite contraception use by the vast majority of Americans, as well as 1.2 million abortions annually, 41% of births are outside of marriage, and 53% of births to women under 30 are out of wedlock. While both contraception and abortion are immoral, they are usually symptoms of the overall problem of a lack of abstinence until marriage. Which is why Mount St. Mary’s University graduate student Erica Szalkowski and I co-authored a piece this morning offering one possible solution: increased chastity by women in order to help men, who are often weaker when it comes to resisting sexual temptation, rise to the proverbial occasion to “help men reform themselves and become the moral authorities they need to be.”

Erica also published a piece at Daily Caller yesterday in which she laid out the case against pornography, and pointed out the harm it has on relationships, on norms related to thinking about sex and relationships, etc. With prevalence via magazines, the Internet, hotels, and DVD and video rental stores, could a cultural (not legal) stand against pornography help prevent such a high rate of single parenting and corresponding poverty and struggling childhood?

The societal consequences of single parenting are well-known. Even liberals admit their feminist and “free sex, no consequence” viewpoints have failed parents and children alike in areas like education, drugs, employment and poverty. Rather than return to practices that greatly improve marital success, however – such as Catholic teachings related to abstinence and Natural Family Planning, as well as other traditions that encourage personal and familial responsibility – they’d rather foist the financial consequences of out-of-wedlock births and “free” sex on the rest of us via certain welfare programs and the HHS contraception/abortifacient/sterilization mandate. Given what the Times discussed, however, perhaps a focus on improving our education system and lowering the cost of college attendance would be a better use of public dollars than using tax dollars to violate the First Amendment and ineffectively subsidize college loans?

 


Related Posts:

Breaking on Hot Air

Blowback

Note from Hot Air management: This section is for comments from Hot Air's community of registered readers. Please don't assume that Hot Air management agrees with or otherwise endorses any particular comment just because we let it stand. A reminder: Anyone who fails to comply with our terms of use may lose their posting privilege.

Trackbacks/Pings

Trackback URL

Comments

Comment pages: 1 2 3

…but we need to stop subsidizing bad choices so that people naturally suffer the consequences of their bad choices.

That’s usually not sufficient to help young people make the correct decision. When you’re young, you’re immortal/omniscient/lucky/etc.

So if you see that a fair number of people are getting away with a behavior even if some aren’t, then you’re more likely to think that you’ll be one of the folks for whom that behavior won’t be an issue (“Oh, I’ll never become addicted to that, I’m just a recreational user.”)

But if you the behavior you see comes with some sure punishment (social approbation, lower prospects, etc) you get less of that behavior. It doesn’t all go away (single motherhood has always been a human problem), but you get less of it.

So in light of all this, why do we have a marriage penalty in our tax policy? Seems to me we should be jacking up the costs of staying single. After all, Roberts just ruled that not engaging in an activity is taxable.

nerdbert on July 17, 2012 at 3:16 PM

Must be fwapping time for you. You seemed a little to polite and lucid (for you) early in the thread. Your antidepressant drug wearing off?

NotCoach on July 17, 2012 at 3:10 PM

No .. my bullshi* meter is pegged! LOL!!

There’s no problem with Americans – only a problem with the government and the welfare state. Remove the social welfare that rewards out of wedlock births and you’ll see those births decline rapidly.

Ironic thing is … it’s the CATHOLIC CHURCH that played a BIG PART in creating the welfare state – and by extension – all these unwed births.

HondaV65 on July 17, 2012 at 3:17 PM

No one can get 400 million Americans. That’s because there’s only 313,931,000.

Nutstuyu on July 17, 2012 at 3:05 PM

Not according to ACORN voting registration records…

Archivarix on July 17, 2012 at 3:17 PM

Violina23 on July 17, 2012 at 2:59 PM

Sorry man, but you aren’t going to get 400 million Americans to go along with you in some kind of strange episode of a national “Scarlet Letter” campaign.

Good luck with that. Good thing is – it’ll keep guys like you busy enough to stay out of the things that would cause the rest of us big problems! :D

HondaV65 on July 17, 2012 at 3:02 PM

Not sure where you got Scarlet Letter, but I was just trying to point out the difference between acceptance (Recognizing the reality that single parents exist, and using it as a cautionary tale) and glorification (e.g. things like “16 & Pregnant” and the weird shows on ABC Family). To the point of Dustin, there’s a difference between acknowledging responsibility for what happened and acknowledging that it was a mistake and should have been prevented.

People can be as sexually promiscuous as they want to be. I may have personal [morality-based] opinions on it, but it’s their right. I just really wish they weren’t idiots about it when prevention is cheap and accessible. People just don’t seem to get how much having a kid changes your life.

Violina23 on July 17, 2012 at 3:18 PM

nerdbert on July 17, 2012 at 3:16 PM

So you think we can “shame” people into not having sex? How exactly does that work? Do imprison young ‘uns who are caught in coitus?

Stockaide? Or just strongly worded letters?

Maybe banishment?

LOL – is this really a discussion?

HondaV65 on July 17, 2012 at 3:19 PM

People just don’t seem to get how much having a kid changes your life.

Violina23 on July 17, 2012 at 3:18 PM

Because it doesn’t when Uncle Sugar fronts the bill!

HondaV65 on July 17, 2012 at 3:21 PM

burserker on July 17, 2012 at 3:08 PM

There you go bible thumping by paraphrasing a bible verse: “plant a farm, build a house, get a wife and pray for the welfare of the city”

If we truly followed the above there would be fewer social problems for the left to whine about.

chemman on July 17, 2012 at 3:21 PM

A little education in basic economics may help so young people understand the costs associated with a child

Charlemagne on July 17, 2012 at 2:13 PM

This. My parents drilled into both my brother and me how difficult our lives would become and all we’d miss out on if we impregnated someone/got pregnant before we were older and married. They cited real-life examples of people we knew and pointed out the differences. For self-centered teenagers, it was very simple to understand. Moralizing didn’t resonate as much (though they did that too).

Nordeast on July 17, 2012 at 3:22 PM

Well … let’s all go buy some hookers tonight! Who’s with me!!!

HondaV65 on July 17, 2012 at 2:59 PM

Knock yourself out, just be careful not to come down with that new anti-biotic resistant strain of gonorrhea that’s spreading in the world. You should be okay; they don’t think it’s here yet.

And please don’t give it to your wife if you do. Of course, apparently she doesn’t mind, assuming she knows.

STD’s…one would almost think they are the result of immoral sex, but according to many here, there is no such thing, so I just don’t know what to think about them. /

pannw on July 17, 2012 at 3:22 PM

That’s just someone legislating their own morality. Why can’t we just love who we want to love?

Nutstuyu on July 17, 2012 at 3:03 PM

Are you seriously saying you’re advocating pedophilia and beastiality, or are you just trolling for flamage?

Just curious. I’m an advocate for the death penalty for pedophiles. Cows and dogs can take care of themselves in that cows will trample you if you play with the wrong parts and dogs will bite your bits off. Human children need protecting from the sicko nambla types.

Wolfmoon on July 17, 2012 at 3:22 PM

We need to strongly stigmatize unwed motherhood. But what are the obstacles? One problem is that the pro-life movement would object to this because it would increase the number of abortions.

thuja on July 17, 2012 at 3:23 PM

That’s usually not sufficient to help young people make the correct decision.

nerdbert on July 17, 2012 at 3:16 PM

It doesn’t matter. We will never prefect humanity, but we can certainly attempt to set a good example. If young people see the consequences of bad choices many will avoid bad choices. Not all, but many more then do today.

NotCoach on July 17, 2012 at 3:25 PM

Knock yourself out, just be careful not to come down with that new anti-biotic resistant strain of gonorrhea that’s spreading in the world. You should be okay; they don’t think it’s here yet.

And please don’t give it to your wife if you do. Of course, apparently she doesn’t mind, assuming she knows.

STD’s…one would almost think they are the result of immoral sex, but according to many here, there is no such thing, so I just don’t know what to think about them. /

pannw on July 17, 2012 at 3:22 PM

Do you know anyone with this super-mysterious hyper resistant gono? I don’t.

Second – your chances of catching an STD with a hooker are less thatn they are with an amateur – this because almost all hookers insist on condoms while amateur women are easiliy talked out of them.

You speak of things you do not know. Come hang with me for a spell – I will teach you – you will learn, grasshopper.

HondaV65 on July 17, 2012 at 3:25 PM

We need to strongly stigmatize unwed motherhood. But what are the obstacles? One problem is that the pro-life movement would object to this because it would increase the number of abortions.

thuja on July 17, 2012 at 3:23 PM

Shame is one part of the deterrence. The other is good parenting. You let your kids run wild, let them have their way, try to be “their best friend” all the time and you just cooked the recipe for societal disaster.

Wolfmoon on July 17, 2012 at 3:25 PM

HondaV65 on July 17, 2012 at 3:19 PM

My guess is that you don’t understand what the term shame, and its application, mean.

NotCoach on July 17, 2012 at 3:25 PM

We need to strongly stigmatize unwed motherhood. But what are the obstacles? One problem is that the pro-life movement would object to this because it would increase the number of abortions.

thuja on July 17, 2012 at 3:23 PM

What does “stigmatize” mean – I subit that those who say this don’t even have a clue what kind of “stigma” they want to attach to it.

There’s all kinds of “stigma” from “Scarlett Letters” to “banishment” to “strongly worded letters”. I submit the kind of “stigma” most would be comfortable with won’t accomplish a damn thing so it’s a waste to even talk about it.

HondaV65 on July 17, 2012 at 3:27 PM

We need to strongly stigmatize unwed motherhood. But what are the obstacles? One problem is that the pro-life movement would object to this because it would increase the number of abortions.

thuja on July 17, 2012 at 3:23 PM

Stigmatizing unwed motherhood means letting mothers avoid the whole thing by killing their children? How do you stigmatize something if it has no real-world consequences?

Lots of problems can be solved if killing people is on the table.

gwelf on July 17, 2012 at 3:29 PM

My guess is that you don’t understand what the term shame, and its application, mean.

NotCoach on July 17, 2012 at 3:25 PM

You could be right, then again I consider that an asset not a liability. I’m an honest man and I deal with people very squarely. I’m a nice guy (believe it or not) – I just don’t adheare to your moral codes of sexual behavior and frankly – I don’t even give a damn what your “codes” are – because I plow my own field. :D

So tell me – how do you intend to “shame” a girl into not having sex? Be specific please.

HondaV65 on July 17, 2012 at 3:30 PM

We need to strongly stigmatize unwed motherhood. But what are the obstacles? One problem is that the pro-life movement would object to this because it would increase the number of abortions.

thuja on July 17, 2012 at 3:23 PM

It’s like you swim in ignorance and call it rejuvenating. Most pro-life organizations promote two parent homes. Refusing to accept abortion as a viable alternative to out of wedlock parenting does not mean that a pro-lifer is opposed to stigmatizing single parent homes. I think what is really going on here is that you make up crap inside your own empty head and imagine it is brilliant.

NotCoach on July 17, 2012 at 3:30 PM

My neice was using abstinence because she’s Catholic and was told birth control and the pill were immoral. She got pregnant during a weak moment in her life.

This is the problem with abstinence – it completely forgets about hormones and sexual response.

HondaV65 on July 17, 2012 at 2:54 PM

That’s not a problem with abstinence. That’s a problem with people. You won’t fix that problem by changing what abstinence means. Yes people, it is fully within our ability (with grace) not to live like animals. We can master our appetites.

I find it strange that on a blog where, presumably, most of the posters are in favor of personal responsibility and accepting the consequences of one’s actions, that so many of you pull an about face and take exactly the opposite view point of contraception. I’m guessing most of you using contraception aren’t doing it for any necessary medical reason.

Goldenavatar on July 17, 2012 at 3:30 PM

So a single persons moral judgement is decided by popular opinion? Quite frankly I think you should either argue why you don’t think contraception is immoral, or shut up. You don’t sound intelligent by feigning silly outrage at the idea of contraception being immoral when the largest Christian denomination on the planet says that it is immoral.

NotCoach on July 17, 2012 at 2:52 PM

Dustin and you are free to hold your moral judgments that contraception is immoral, but it is absurd to think that Dustin can baldly state this as a fact requiring no further explanation or argument.

Many religions, many devoutly religious people, and many non-religious, but moral people do not feel that contraception is immoral. The Catholic Church hierarchy currently says that it is immoral, but the vast majority of Catholics disagree. At one time, the Catholic Church insisted that the sun revolves around the earth and put Galileo under house arrest for the rest of his life for saying otherwise.

Various religions think any number of things are immoral: coffee, tea, pork, beef, shellfish, dancing, music, not covering women in burkas, etc. They are free to hold their beliefs, but the rest of us do not have to agree with them. We are also free to think they have a laughably narrow worldview.

I do not think contraception is immoral and I am sure that the vast majority of Americans feel the same way. The burden is on Justin and those who think otherwise to argue persuasively that it is. I have never heard such an argument.

cool breeze on July 17, 2012 at 3:31 PM

But, but, “it takes a village to raise a child”.

How’d that work out at Penn State?

Oh, I know, you can’t possibly assign any blame to the absentee fathers or the dingbat single mothers who had no idea that their son was being molested over months and years.

Of course, if my child was being molested over months and years and I was oblivious to it, I would blame myself for not being more engaged with my child’s welfare, but then, I’m a stone age fool.

After all, I can’t sue myself, can I?

NoDonkey on July 17, 2012 at 3:31 PM

That’s not a problem with abstinence. That’s a problem with people.

Goldenavatar on July 17, 2012 at 3:30 PM

Yes now, isn’t it. But then again – you can’t get people and their errors in judgement out of the equation now can you? :D

HondaV65 on July 17, 2012 at 3:33 PM

HondaV65 on July 17, 2012 at 3:25 PM

Thanks for the offer, but no thanks. I love my husband and meant the vows I made, including being faithful. I also don’t want to risk my health (or immortal soul) by taking any chances that could result in catching a nasty bug, from a professional or amateur. Like you argued above about abstinence, condoms aren’t always effective, and just because I don’t know anyone with the bug, doesn’t mean it isn’t out there. Supposedly it’s not in the US yet…So again, knock yourself out if you think it’s worth the risk to you and your wife.

pannw on July 17, 2012 at 3:34 PM

Are you seriously saying you’re advocating [things my firewall doesn't like], or are you just trolling for flamage?

Wolfmoon on July 17, 2012 at 3:22 PM

Not to worry! I’m pretty sure nutstuyu just ran out of /sarc tags.

Here are some extras I had lying around — use them in good health! :-)

/////////////////////////////////////////

Mary in LA on July 17, 2012 at 3:34 PM

There’s all kinds of “stigma” from “Scarlett Letters” to “banishment” to “strongly worded letters”. I submit the kind of “stigma” most would be comfortable with won’t accomplish a damn thing so it’s a waste to even talk about it.

HondaV65 on July 17, 2012 at 3:27 PM

I think most of the people talking about it are referring to moral standards common to a society and the place shame has in a society (which doesn’t necessarily have anything to do with government or even overt community action like banishment or scarlet letters). And they do work. Of course our society has experienced a severe decline in our common moral standards so they are no longer operating.

How to re-introduce sufficiently common morality into society again?
First, as I believe you’ve already pointed out, remove government incentives for engaging in the behavior (or government intervention that removes the consequences). Morals were developed to deal with real world behavioral problems and when government intercedes it undermines morals that existed for a good reason.

Secondly, it comes down to parents instilling them in their children .

gwelf on July 17, 2012 at 3:34 PM

HondaV65 on July 17, 2012 at 3:30 PM

Is it illegal for anyone to say something racist in a public forum? Is anyone ever prosecuted for saying racist things? Despite the fact that it is not illegal to act publicly racist, people still suffer for their comments. Why is that?

When we stop subsidizing bad choices society will find its own way to publicly and privately shame those who make bad choices because those bad choices have such negative effects on our children’s lives.

NotCoach on July 17, 2012 at 3:36 PM

So again, knock yourself out if you think it’s worth the risk to you and your wife.

pannw on July 17, 2012 at 3:34 PM

My wife knows about my activities and she’s perfectly fine with them as long as I take the necessary precautions. I’ve been married for 25 years and dearly lover her more than any other woman – I just have a need for variety which, she is enlightened enough to realize.

Not all women are as smart about men as she is though. ;)

HondaV65 on July 17, 2012 at 3:38 PM

An interesting article that seems to miss the boat entirely.

I don’t think birth control is “wrong” at least not in the right context, but that is clearly a religious difference going on here, I’ve known and dated a catholic who refused to believe that birth control isn’t a “moral wrong” but I can’t help how I was raised. My mom has a heart condition and she risked her life to give birth to me and my twin sister, after which they tied her tubes. If the doctors hadn’t done that she might have gotten pregnant again and then I would be without a mother! Sorry but I don’t think it was “morally wrong” for my mom to do that.

This doesn’t mean I believe that we should allow birth control to be given freely out either. I have been raised to believe that sex should be within in the confines of marriage, I’m also proud to say that at 22 years of age I still have my V-Card and have never been tempted to give it away. (I’m also one of those uncool kids that doesn’t drink, smoke, and I actually study for my classes hehehe). Where has this upbringing brought me? Well I just graduated college with honors, I’m saving up to go to grad school, and my senior thesis has been optioned up for further research. I have no doubt that I could not have gotten this far if I hadn’t been raised by my parents to keep my values in check, to stay away from the temptations of others who are looking for “a good time” because those “good times” lead to “bad things” along the way.

All I have to do is look towards my family to see these examples.

I have cousins who just had a second baby, she isn’t married but at least she knows who the father of her kids is. She isn’t college educated, works at a grocery store and they live in a small home that is partially paid for by HIS parents.

Meanwhile, my older brother is only a couple of years older than her. He went to college, is working towards owning his own store, got married three years ago and just two days ago he announced that his wife are expecting their first child. They have saved money to raise this child right, they are prepared and have a plan for the future. (And yes before this they used birth control because as a newlyweds they simply weren’t ready for a child, they wanted to wait until they could support it properly. Of course if an accident had happened then they would have kept it because that is how we were raised again.)

We’ve never shamed my cousin for not being married and having two kids but the divide between her and my brother is vast indeed. I have no doubt that my brother’s child is going to go a lot further than her two daughters because my brother is going to instill in his child the same values and morals that our parents instilled in his.

In my brother’s case it wasn’t a matter of his wife “guiding him” because he is biologically irresponsible. My brother was raised well and he wanted to wait until he was married. Women shouldn’t bear the burden to guiding men…that falls on the shoulders of the parents who need to teach their kids the values that will guide them furthers along in life.

NerwenAldarion on July 17, 2012 at 3:39 PM

NotCoach on July 17, 2012 at 3:36 PM

I’ve stated that NOT subsidizing the problem is the solution. Get Uncle Sugar out of the social safety net equation and this problem will turn into a trickle.

But you, and others – seem to want to go to go to “other” measures of “stigma” – or, at least that’s what I’m getting from you guys.

Correct me if I’m wrong – what do you want to do?

HondaV65 on July 17, 2012 at 3:41 PM

Dustin and you are free to hold your moral judgments that contraception is immoral, but it is absurd to think that Dustin can baldly state this as a fact requiring no further explanation or argument.

cool breeze on July 17, 2012 at 3:31 PM

I’m not a Catholic. That aside, you continue to be offended by the fact that Dustin states that contraception is immoral. So what? Really, tough titties if you don’t like his assertion. Despite what leftists try to teach us, morality is not a thousand shades of grey. What is immoral for any given person is an absolute truth for that person. So stating that contraception is immoral is a perfectly valid and legitimate position to take. You need to stop being offended that someone is willing to state their morality with conviction, and start making your own case.

NotCoach on July 17, 2012 at 3:41 PM

Correct me if I’m wrong – what do you want to do?

HondaV65 on July 17, 2012 at 3:41 PM

I want to round up everyone named HondaV65 and put them on a deserted island.

NotCoach on July 17, 2012 at 3:42 PM

You won’t fix that problem by changing what abstinence means. [...]

Goldenavatar on July 17, 2012 at 3:30 PM

Great point!!! One of the things the proggies do to stifle reasoned debate is to change the definitions of words, in Humpty Dumpty fashion. Look at what’s happened to words like, oh, racism. Or rape, or justice, or slavery. All those terms have been distorted and watered down to the point of meaninglessness. That guy, “Rhymes With” Lakoff, said, advocated changing word meanings as a deliberate tactic, advising fellow proggies to refuse to agree on the meaning of terms when talking to conservatives, precisely so that no argument on the issues can ever take place.

And as someone upthread said, if you are practicing abstinence and you have s*x, you aren’t abstinent any more.

Mary in LA on July 17, 2012 at 3:43 PM

That aside, you continue to be offended by the fact that Dustin states that contraception is immoral. So what?

NotCoach on July 17, 2012 at 3:41 PM

I’m not “offended” by it and neither is Cool Breeze really. We just think he’s incredibly idiotic in stating that it’s “immoral” not to mention the fact that, in his own church – most of the followers don’t agree because they USE birth control!

HondaV65 on July 17, 2012 at 3:45 PM

I want to round up everyone named HondaV65 and put them on a deserted island.

NotCoach on July 17, 2012 at 3:42 PM

LOL … FUNNY!

But … it still doesn’t describe exactly what you want to do about unwated babies!

HondaV65 on July 17, 2012 at 3:46 PM

I think most of the people talking about it are referring to moral standards common to a society and the place shame has in a society (which doesn’t necessarily have anything to do with government or even overt community action like banishment or scarlet letters). And they do work. Of course our society has experienced a severe decline in our common moral standards so they are no longer operating.

gwelf on July 17, 2012 at 3:34 PM

The morality has just changed. The shaming continues. The list of things that can’t be said or done, the laughable opinions, and so on, are just different now.

People can’t construct societies without an overarching understanding (a morality).

Axe on July 17, 2012 at 3:47 PM

I’m not “offended” by it and neither is Cool Breeze really. We just think he’s incredibly idiotic in stating that it’s “immoral” not to mention the fact that, in his own church – most of the followers don’t agree because they USE birth control!

HondaV65 on July 17, 2012 at 3:45 PM

First, it is “idiotic” to hold a religious or moral belief different from yours? What an incredibly enlightened view.

Second, the statistics regarding Catholics and their use of birth control are highly skewed, on purpose, to try and make the Church look out of touch on the issue. There are several articles, some of them published right here on Hot Gas, that explained how they are skewed around the time the HHS mandate came down.

And, finally, it doesn’t matter if 99.9% of Catholics disobey Church teaching on the issue. I seem to recall that Christ Himself taught quite a few things that weren’t popular with the masses at the time. That didn’t stop them from being true.

Shump on July 17, 2012 at 3:48 PM

Mary in LA on July 17, 2012 at 3:43 PM

Spot on!

Liberals have created their own dictionary, redefining terms commonly accepted for centuries instead of using what Daniel Webster compiled. It’s the only way they can keep their consciences clear.

Liam on July 17, 2012 at 3:49 PM

Mary in LA on July 17, 2012 at 3:43 PM

Ah … but abstinence is a “process” and there are millions of kids out there who’ve been trained to use it.

And THOUSANDS of those kids will become pregnant – and that’s a failure of the rationale behind abstinence.

You can’t ignore that in the equation.

You know what’s 100 percent? Sterilization – even a moment of weakness won’t result in pregnancy!

But a kid armed only with abstinence will often falter.

HondaV65 on July 17, 2012 at 3:50 PM

HondaV65 on July 17, 2012 at 3:38 PM

You keep telling yourself that, but I’ve never met a woman yet who was perfectly fine knowing her husband was having sex with another woman. I know women who have put up with it, so as not to rock the boat, but they weren’t happy about it. Of course, just like the super bug, just because I don’t know anyone with the attitude, doesn’t mean they don’t exist, I guess. I wish you the best, and hope you stay married and disease free. Good luck.

pannw on July 17, 2012 at 3:50 PM

But … it still doesn’t describe exactly what you want to do about unwated babies!

HondaV65 on July 17, 2012 at 3:46 PM

Quite the limiting term you use: ‘unwanted’.

There is another kind of baby: unplanned.

What would you suggest about them?

Liam on July 17, 2012 at 3:52 PM

First, it is “idiotic” to hold a religious or moral belief different from yours? What an incredibly enlightened view.

Shump on July 17, 2012 at 3:48 PM

Please … your outrageous outrage is outrageous! I get “judged” all the damn time around here by busy bodies like you – and if I want to call your views idiotic I have a damn right to!

I’d give you a crying towel but I can’t fit it through the computer screen.

HondaV65 on July 17, 2012 at 3:53 PM

And THOUSANDS of those kids will become pregnant – and that’s a failure of the rationale behind abstinence.

HondaV65 on July 17, 2012 at 3:50 PM

The rationale doesn’t fail and, if you were honest, you would know that.

The kids involved fail because of the pressure put on the liberal left who really hate the idea of abstinence being part of many curricula, and those free love types fight tooth and nail to keep it from what is offered.

Liam on July 17, 2012 at 3:56 PM

I’m really not interested in getting into a back-and-forth discussion on the issue of morality, but if Hot Air decides to publish idiotic statements like “contraception is immoral” without any sort of qualifier, I will cease reading this website. As it is, I will no longer read any posts by this Dustin Siggins person.

Moreover, just to add my two cents, contraception is not “immoral” in many faiths, including Judaism.

So, my suggestion to Mr. Siggins is to Christian side-hug himself to a Catholic publication, where the above-referenced statements are accepted at face value.

JoeShmoe99 on July 17, 2012 at 3:56 PM

JoeShmoe

Well, bye!

avgjo on July 17, 2012 at 3:58 PM

The morality has just changed. The shaming continues. The list of things that can’t be said or done, the laughable opinions, and so on, are just different now.

People can’t construct societies without an overarching understanding (a morality).

Axe on July 17, 2012 at 3:47 PM

Good point. Current society shames people for not supporting big government schemes to fix humanity.

gwelf on July 17, 2012 at 3:58 PM

avgjo on July 17, 2012 at 3:58 PM

Mine was more of a message to Ed and AP, but I can honestly say you won’t be missed. Toodles.

JoeShmoe99 on July 17, 2012 at 4:02 PM

HondaV65 on July 17, 2012 at 3:50 PM

I repeat: So your saying free will has no power (over peer pressure in this case)?

nobar on July 17, 2012 at 4:04 PM

I’m really not interested in getting into a back-and-forth discussion on the issue of morality, but if Hot Air decides to publish idiotic statements like “contraception is immoral” without any sort of qualifier, I will cease reading this website. As it is, I will no longer read any posts by this Dustin Siggins person.

Moreover, just to add my two cents, contraception is not “immoral” in many faiths, including Judaism.

So, my suggestion to Mr. Siggins is to Christian side-hug himself to a Catholic publication, where the above-referenced statements are accepted at face value.

JoeShmoe99 on July 17, 2012 at 3:56 PM

Every post made on Hot Air is expressing the opinion of the author. No one qualifies any of the statements with “now this is only my opinion, and if you disagree that’s fine” because this is a site all about giving opinions. Your apparent contention that no one should be allowed to write for Hot Air who openly expresses a particular religious viewpoint is somewhat confusing.

And, BTW, opposition to contraception is not just a Catholic viewpoint. First off, every single Protestant denomination was officially opposed to contraception until at least 1930. They bowed to societal pressure, but everyone was united until then. Second, your statement about Judaism is misleading at best. Orthodox Jews generally oppose contraception except in specific circumstances. Conservative Jews accept it, but rather grudingly. Reform Jews take a more liberal approach. So Judaism’s position on contraception runs the gamut.

Shump on July 17, 2012 at 4:07 PM

I repeat: So your saying free will has no power (over peer pressure in this case)?

nobar on July 17, 2012 at 4:04 PM

I’m saying exactly the oppostite – that it foolish to think that you can “stigmatize” or apply “peer pressure” to solve this problem. Free will always wins out and you’d have to go back to a time before the age of reason to demonstrate otherwise. There are over 300 MILLION people in this nation and a huge chunk of them agree with me (not with the “judgers” and the “stigmatizers”) so that solution is a “no-go”.

Good luck trying it though – but you’ll find this nation is a lot bigger than you think it is.

HondaV65 on July 17, 2012 at 4:08 PM

So stating that contraception is immoral is a perfectly valid and legitimate position to take. You need to stop being offended that someone is willing to state their morality with conviction, and start making your own case.

NotCoach on July 17, 2012 at 3:41 PM

I don’t have to make my case that contraception is not immoral anymore than I have to make my case that it is OK to drink coffee, eat a bacon cheeseburger or not cover women in burkas. Dustin is the one who is way out of the mainstream on the issue of contraception.

It would be one thing for Justin to make such an unsupported assertion if Hot Air was a blog for devout Catholics, but that is not the case. I wouldn’t bother to follow Hot Air if it was primarily a Catholic (or Islamic or Mormon) blog. If Hot Air intends to go in that direction by hiring backwards, bible-thumping writers like Dustin, I’ll simply go elsewhere, just as I wouldn’t waste my time on an Islamic blog arguing that burkas are stupid.

cool breeze on July 17, 2012 at 4:10 PM

And, BTW, opposition to contraception is not just a Catholic viewpoint. First off, every single Protestant denomination was officially opposed to contraception until at least 1930. They bowed to societal pressure, but everyone was united until then. Second, your statement about Judaism is misleading at best. Orthodox Jews generally oppose contraception except in specific circumstances. Conservative Jews accept it, but rather grudingly. Reform Jews take a more liberal approach. So Judaism’s position on contraception runs the gamut.

Shump on July 17, 2012 at 4:07 PM

The US bowed to societal (international) pressure when it got rid of slavery – does that mean that it’s still, at it’s core, a nation that believes in slavery?

Fact – Catholics and Mormons and few other small denominations don’t believe in birth control – for the vast majority of religions – birth control is perfectly acceptable.

HondaV65 on July 17, 2012 at 4:11 PM

I’m saying exactly the oppostite – that it foolish to think that you can “stigmatize” or apply “peer pressure” to solve this problem. Free will always wins out and you’d have to go back to a time before the age of reason to demonstrate otherwise. There are over 300 MILLION people in this nation and a huge chunk of them agree with me (not with the “judgers” and the “stigmatizers”) so that solution is a “no-go”.

Good luck trying it though – but you’ll find this nation is a lot bigger than you think it is.

HondaV65 on July 17, 2012 at 4:08 PM

So then, using your presumed ‘reasoning’, stigmatizing, peer pressure, and even parental influence don’t stop people from making a living as bank robbers, becoming random killers, being pathological liars, choosing religion vs atheism? In other words, you’re trying to say that only the free will of a given individual is the precise and only influence?

Liam on July 17, 2012 at 4:13 PM

The US bowed to societal (international) pressure when it got rid of slavery – does that mean that it’s still, at it’s core, a nation that believes in slavery?

HondaV65 on July 17, 2012 at 4:11 PM

What history books are you reading?

NotCoach on July 17, 2012 at 4:15 PM

Huh, looks I’m late to the anti-SoCon hate-fest.

In any case, Dustin, welcome to Hot Gas. You and I seem to think alike in many ways… so I doubt you’ll be endearing yourself to our libertarian friends, but I for one am happy to have you here.

Mr. Prodigy on July 17, 2012 at 4:17 PM

Fact – Catholics and Mormons and few other small denominations don’t believe in birth control – for the vast majority of religions – birth control is perfectly acceptable.

HondaV65 on July 17, 2012 at 4:11 PM

Mormons don’t have a problem with birth control.

gwelf on July 17, 2012 at 4:18 PM

Fact – Catholics and Mormons and few other small denominations don’t believe in birth control – for the vast majority of religions – birth control is perfectly acceptable.

HondaV65 on July 17, 2012 at 4:11 PM

That’s totally bunk. In each of the major religions, there are opposing schools of thought on that.

Liam on July 17, 2012 at 4:24 PM

Another innovative solution is installing the trunk monkey . . . http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ol6poJ6M7MA

Imrahil on July 17, 2012 at 4:29 PM

Ah … but abstinence is a “process” and there are millions of kids out there who’ve been trained to use it.

Please describe the process involved in not doing something.

And THOUSANDS of those kids will become pregnant – and that’s a failure of the rationale behind abstinence.

No one who practices abstinence becomes pregnant.

You can’t ignore that in the equation.

I have yet to see an equation. Howsabout a syllogism attempting to prove your nonsensical statements above?

You know what’s 100 percent? Sterilization – even a moment of weakness won’t result in pregnancy!

Hilarious.

But a kid armed only with abstinence will often falter. HondaV65 on July 17, 2012 at 3:50 PM

Abstinence never fails.

Akzed on July 17, 2012 at 4:33 PM

Many of us (myself included) don’t miss the days of moral judgments that coincided with a time when fewer children were being raised in single-parent households, but if children raised in unintentional out-of-wedlock households continue to struggle in comparison with children in two-parent homes, we need to find a way to replace the force of those social norms without going backward in social acceptance. Can we distinguish between promoting some kind of “parent preparedness” and condemning its lack?

Oh I see. You made your bed but now you don’t want to lie in it?

Maybe there’s a way we can repeal the laws of nature while we’re at it.

What part of “you reap what you have sown” don’t you understand?

Cleombrotus on July 17, 2012 at 4:35 PM

We need to strongly stigmatize unwed motherhood. But what are the obstacles? One problem is that the pro-life movement would object to this because it would increase the number of abortions.

thuja on July 17, 2012 at 3:23 PM

That’s an impressive stretch even for you, to try to blame the pro-life movement for sexual promiscuity.

tom on July 17, 2012 at 4:35 PM

You know what’s 100 percent? Sterilization – even a moment of weakness won’t result in pregnancy!

From the short story, The Warm and Witty Side of Heinrich Himmler. (April 21, 1945, Berlin Press GMbH)

Liam on July 17, 2012 at 4:38 PM

Maybe there’s a way we can repeal the laws of nature while we’re at it.

What part of “you reap what you have sown” don’t you understand?

Cleombrotus on July 17, 2012 at 4:35 PM

Any of it! Thank you for making the point. I think it’s the point.

Axe on July 17, 2012 at 4:42 PM

And, BTW, opposition to contraception is not just a Catholic viewpoint. First off, every single Protestant denomination was officially opposed to contraception until at least 1930. They bowed to societal pressure, but everyone was united until then. Second, your statement about Judaism is misleading at best. Orthodox Jews generally oppose contraception except in specific circumstances. Conservative Jews accept it, but rather grudingly. Reform Jews take a more liberal approach. So Judaism’s position on contraception runs the gamut.

Shump on July 17, 2012 at 4:07 PM

No, it’s not just a Catholic viewpoint. I’m sure Catholicism and Islam have that in common. Great. The 1930s. I’m glad we’ve progressed since then.

Orthodox Jews do not oppose “contraception.” Orthodox Jews oppose condoms. Birth control pills are perfectly acceptable. Now, that’s an idiotic position to take in my book, but there it is.

JoeShmoe99 on July 17, 2012 at 4:44 PM

HondaV65,

Note the radical SoCon double standard:

When a religion opposes contraception, it comes straight from the mouth of God.

When a religion is OK with contraception, they “bowed to societal pressure”.

It really smacks of being willing to grasp at anything when attempting to defend an untenable position.

cool breeze on July 17, 2012 at 4:52 PM

cool breeze on July 17, 2012 at 4:52 PM

Ah, yes–religion.

But what about individuals? What about the idea that bigoted liberalism is as much a religions as is fervent Islam?

What about the people, no matter their faith, having personal views?

Or are you so out to make a point, no matter how weak, that you spew without having a clue?

Liam on July 17, 2012 at 4:57 PM

It really smacks of being willing to grasp at anything when attempting to defend an untenable position.

cool breeze on July 17, 2012 at 4:52 PM

The truest definition of liberalism.

Liam on July 17, 2012 at 4:59 PM

Many of us (myself included) don’t miss the days of moral judgments….

Why we are in the trouble we’re in.

Don L on July 17, 2012 at 5:11 PM

Ah … but abstinence is a “process” and there are millions of kids out there who’ve been trained to use it.

And THOUSANDS of those kids will become pregnant – and that’s a failure of the rationale behind abstinence.

You can’t ignore that in the equation.

You know what’s 100 percent? Sterilization – even a moment of weakness won’t result in pregnancy!

But a kid armed only with abstinence will often falter.

HondaV65 on July 17, 2012 at 3:50 PM

Actually, and not to split grammatical hairs, but abstinence is a practice (something done over and over again, continually), not a process — in other words, it doesn’t lead linearly from a start point to an end point.

I know a lady who was sober until she started drinking again. Therefore, definitionally, she’s not sober now.

As for unwanted pregnancies, there are still something like 2 million families a year who want to adopt. A year or two ago, I got into a big stupid Internet fight with another HotAir commenter who seems to have gone away since then. The upshot of that fight was that I advocated some way of making it — what’s the opposite of a stigma? A point of pride, I guess? — for a single woman to have given a child up for adoption (i.e., instead of trying to raise the child on her own with Uncle Sugar as the absentee father).

Now Dustin, above, has advocated a return to shame as a disincentive for a girl or woman to get pregnant out of wedlock. I see his point — but I also see the point of another commenter upthread that that shame conduces to having an abortion, which IMHO is a much worse consequence. So if the shame of unwed motherhood could be mitigated by public recognition of having given a child to two parents who couldn’t have any of their own, that would lead to fewer babies being aborted, more prospective parents being able to successfully adopt, and much better outcomes for the kids who can then grow up in a two-parent family.

* IMHO there shouldn’t be any stigma of illegitimacy attached to the child — we don’t get to choose how we come into this world!

Mary in LA on July 17, 2012 at 5:13 PM

Liam,

I agree that liberalism (especially environmentalism) has become a new, radical and dangerous religion. We would probably agree on a lot of other things, including many of the points in Dustin’s post and the comments.

The problem is, as peski noted earlier, “when you’re making a nice reasoned argument it doesn’t really help to pepper it with idiocy” like Dustin’s completely unsupported assertion that contraception is immoral. Its unfortunate that he did that and sidetracked a lot of an otherwise worthwhile discussion.

I hope he quickly finds somewhere else to write with a readership more dogmatically attuned to his narrow minded views.

cool breeze on July 17, 2012 at 5:18 PM

Yes, yes, let’s look down upon the poor knuckle-dragging benighted men:

Which is why Mount St. Mary’s University graduate student Erica Szalkowski and I co-authored a piece this morning offering one possible solution: increased chastity by women in order to help men, who are often weaker when it comes to resisting sexual temptation, rise to the proverbial occasion to “help men reform themselves and become the moral authorities they need to be.”

Call me crazy, but I was under the impression that it takes two to tango. Why are you absolving promiscuous women of responsibility and putting all of the blame on promiscuous men who can’t help dropping trou and putting it to the nearest fragile princess?

Man up,” my foot.

HeckOnWheels on July 17, 2012 at 5:19 PM

Ahem.

In short, men will man up when women woman up. Because women, as the gatekeepers of sex, get the men they deserve. And, more often than not, what they deserve is what they want.

Truth.

HeckOnWheels on July 17, 2012 at 5:22 PM

Amplifying my comment above: Gold Star Mothers (I know two of them) are honored, and quite rightfully so, for their children who gave their lives for their country.

I had the idea of a similar badge for women who have given up a child for adoption. It’s nowhere near the same sacrifice, because at least a birth mother has the consolation of knowing that her child is alive and living a better life. But it is a sacrifice, and an honorable one, to put the interest of your baby ahead of your own self-interest.

So I registered PinkRoseMothers.org with the idea of developing a pink rose badge for bio-mothers who have given up a child for adoption, but here it is a good year or two later and I haven’t developed the idea past the initial stage. Shame on me. [no sarc]

Mary in LA on July 17, 2012 at 5:25 PM

The easiest way to rid ourselves of this class divide is to end the drug war as we know it. Communities can survive drug addiction – just look at all the suburban addicts to painkillers and the like. What communities cannot survive is locking up breadwinners for decades at a time en masse. Stop doing that and you give these communities a chance to function – THEN they can decide whether or not they want to shame unwed mothers. First, they have to be allowed to properly function, and that only happens when you end the drug war.

ernesto on July 17, 2012 at 5:28 PM

Call me crazy, but I was under the impression that it takes two to tango. Why are you absolving promiscuous women of responsibility and putting all of the blame on promiscuous men who can’t help dropping trou and putting it to the nearest fragile princess?

“Man up,” my foot.

HeckOnWheels on July 17, 2012 at 5:19 PM

With all respect, advocating a return to chastity by women is the exact opposite of “absolving promiscuous women of responsibility.” :-) On the contrary, as I read the article, it’s telling women that they need to get their $#!+ together, pronto.

And I agree. Let there never be another woman who, for example, ruins a man’s life with a false accusation of rape because he wanted to do her and she consented, only to regret it later.

Mary in LA on July 17, 2012 at 5:34 PM

You lost me on contraception is immoral. Good luck fighting single parenthood without contraception that’s a little more effective than the rhythm method-or is that immoral, too?

Other than that, mostly valid points. It’s hard pushin for love, marriage, then baby when we get the joys of Teen Moms staring back at us on half the tabloid covers in the supermarket. For a lot of stupid teens it looks like an easy way to fame-Hey, I can get pregnant, too.

talkingpoints on July 17, 2012 at 5:34 PM

cool breeze on July 17, 2012 at 5:18 PM

While it’s true there is a huge lack of reason out there among certain individuals and small groups, the biggest problem I see is that which is packaged and presented as ‘definitive’ of the political Right.

Liberals, in the MSM, are treated in such a way. They are considered the mainstream, the pulse of America, and anything at variance is condemned.

Realistically, liberals ARE the most dogmatic of people. I don’t need to list all the evidence of that, but only liberals refuse to get the point or even a smidge of understanding.

Liberals draw a conclusion, then condemn, and then attack. Liberals make blanket statements based on their biases (like, all Catholics hate contraception but every other religion is okay with it–all without reading a single word on the entire subject).

And, yes–I’m making a blanket statement about liberals because I have seen them operate in places like this for quite a few years. The evidence about liberals can’t be denied, no matter how much liberals say, “You took me out of context!”

Liberals created the problem they’re now ‘worried’ about. None of their presumed ‘fixes’ will work, most because they’re incapable of feeling culpability. Liberals refused any and every idea going back to 1980 to forestall what we have today.

I simply can’t believe the people who created the problem are possibly able to be the ones able to fix it.

Liam on July 17, 2012 at 5:43 PM

Getting married is as bad as going to jail. No joke.

Correct me if I’m wrong.

MisterElephant on July 17, 2012 at 5:44 PM

We need to strongly stigmatize unwed motherhood. But what are the obstacles? One problem is that the pro-life movement would object to this because it would increase the number of abortions.

thuja on July 17, 2012 at 3:23 PM

So we should shame unwed mothers so that the can be victimized by the abortion system.. Wonderful- shame them so they kill their babies and can live in secret shame for years.

melle1228 on July 17, 2012 at 5:47 PM

Social conservatives like the idea of people having kids, period. They see nothing wrong with having the high side of a half dozen themselves, they see nothing wrong with all the other underclass that do as well, and they think gays or adults who don’t have children and “be fruitful and mulitply, like vermin” are undermining their deity’s “plan”. This goes for all so-cons, weather evangelical christian, muslim, or Congolese animist.

The people the author praises as paragons of christian virtue (college graduates) are hardly more conservative or christian than average. In fact, they are less so.

Furthermore, there are the statistics, which your democrat equivlanets so often and happily trot out: deep “red states” like Mississippi and South Carolina, are the states that have the highest rates of out of wedlock births, teenage births, and poors. (and high violent crime to boot!). In contrast, the safest states and the ones with the lowest rates of teenage pregnancies are places like Vermont, Connecticut, Maryland, Minnesota. Places that are farrrr from being religious so-con hotbeds. LIke Mississippi is.

Daikokuco on July 17, 2012 at 6:31 PM

We need to strongly stigmatize unwed motherhood. But what are the obstacles? One problem is that the pro-life movement would object to this because it would increase the number of abortions.

thuja on July 17, 2012 at 3:23 PM

Shame them when they whore around and get knocked up, and praise them when they give up their children for adoption. Pro-life objections solved.

HeckOnWheels on July 17, 2012 at 6:32 PM

Getting married is as bad as going to jail. No joke.

Correct me if I’m wrong.

MisterElephant on July 17, 2012 at 5:44 PM

You can be innocent of wrongdoing and wind up in jail. Entering into marriage is the ppl’s own faults. That’s not to say they deserve their fates, but they did choose them, willingly.

Daikokuco on July 17, 2012 at 6:34 PM

In contrast, the safest states and the ones with the lowest rates of teenage pregnancies are places like Vermont, Connecticut, Maryland, Minnesota. Places that are farrrr from being religious so-con hotbeds. LIke Mississippi is.

Daikokuco on July 17, 2012 at 6:31 PM

No, they have the lowest rate of teenage births. They have plenty of pregnancies; they simply suck their children into sinks at higher rates.

HeckOnWheels on July 17, 2012 at 6:35 PM

Shame them when they whore around and get knocked up, and praise them when they give up their children for adoption. Pro-life objections solved.

HeckOnWheels on July 17, 2012 at 6:32 PM

Come on, that doesn’t work with cats and dogs and it definitely won’t with humans since dogs and even cats are more endearing than somebody else’s kids. Yeah, there are a few people willing to adopt. Yeah, they pat themselves on the back all the time and may even truly love their adoption. But there just aren’t enough of those people to absorb all the surplus creatures up for adoption. It is actually extremely tragic and perhaps is one area where a government should exercise some authority. You should not be allowed to propagate life you cannot or will not care for. Spaying and neutering regimens would be a wise move for most countries, especially ones with a thriving out of control entitled underclass (USA, UK).

Daikokuco on July 17, 2012 at 6:40 PM

Yeah, lets be accepting–except for those FATTY FAT Fatties drinking POP!!

Somebody mentioned shame, earlier. This used to be pretty well understood in Anthropology: A difference between shame cultures and guilt cultures. Guilt cultures were thought to provide less coercion because the individual internalizes the morals and ethics of the community.

But this doesn’t work, because without a firm standard about what is wrong, you can’t trust that people have internalized the standard you prefer.

The result is shame. In a shame society, it’s only wrong if you get caught and are put to shame. Many of these baby mommas and baby daddies actually are acting according to a standard of ethics: Doing their own thing and not listening to rebukes, because the person rebuking SHOULDN’T be doing that.

But, the liberals don’t reject social shame. That’s why they tell you “You sound like you’re from the 16th century.” The idea is that you shouldn’t sound like you’re from the 16th century, and that you don’t publicly share in the identification with the now and current. (Also, it’s a substitute for them for labels –which they also say they don’t like. Alinsky-ism is all about shame.

What Dell’Antonia is really saying is that he or she wishes there were some way to get the benefit of our social perspective without admitting that we were right and emboldening us to suggesting our own additions to the shame set.

Axeman on July 17, 2012 at 6:46 PM

Getting married is as bad as going to jail. No joke.

Correct me if I’m wrong.

MisterElephant on July 17, 2012 at 5:44 PM

As bad? No, I wouldn’t say so. That said, being married does restrict your freedom (generic “you” here, not meaning you, MisterElephant, specifically).

I love my husband dearly, and he loves me dearly, too. For me, getting married to him was worth the sacrifices.

What did I sacrifice? From smallest to largest:

- Staying up till all hours playing computer games. That made him feel very sad and neglected. So I quit. Don’t miss it at all. :-)

- Spending more than $50 without having to ask him if it’s all right. It’s an agreement we made that applies equally to each of us. Asking him bothers me much more asking me seems to bother him. but he’s much more savvy about money than I am, so having him in charge of the finances works better for both of us in the long run.

- A car. We only have one. When we started out, he was working at home and didn’t need one. Now he works 45 miles away, so he drives to his job, and I carpool with a co-worker. Having my wings clipped like that really irks me — driving, to me, has always meant FRREEEEEDOMMMMM!!! — but I see the sense in it, in our economic situation.

- Children. When we started out, he didn’t want kids, and I was very ambivalent about the idea. By the time we felt safe enough to start a family, I wasn’t able to get pregnant. We’re both sad about that.

My husband sacrificed plenty to be with me, too. I can’t speak for him, but I know one of the things he’s sacrificed is a clean house. I’m an excellent cook, but a crap housekeeper, though I do try my best.

It’s not true that love conquers all. Having a good marriage is a lot like having a beautiful vintage car: Keeping it roadworthy takes continual work and care and attention and adjustment. I still pull myself up short and remind myself that I have to “think for two” about how to use my money, time, and energy. Sometimes I fail at that and overcommit myself, and then I owe my husband a big apology. We’re always forgiving each other, because that’s the kind of marriage we want (some people get off on screaming and throwing dishes, but not us — we both hate to fight!).

So why do people get married? Why is it worthwhile? Among my married friends, I can identify several reasons: Mutual love and comfort, companionship, economic support (from the women to the men as well as from the men to the women), desire to have children and raise them in a stable environment, s*xual attraction, a shared taste for wild kinky stuff [as in, riding crops and dog cages! NTTAWWT... :-) ], a sense that it is the morally right way to live life as God ordained, and even just not wanting to live alone and lonely. There are probably as many mixes of reasons to want to get married as there are couples who marry.

Mary in LA on July 17, 2012 at 6:56 PM

- A car. We only have one. When we started out, he was working at home and didn’t need one. Now he works 45 miles away, so he drives to his job, and I carpool with a co-worker. Having my wings clipped like that really irks me — driving, to me, has always meant FRREEEEEDOMMMMM!!! — but I see the sense in it, in our economic situation.

- Children. When we started out, he didn’t want kids, and I was very ambivalent about the idea. By the time we felt safe enough to start a family, I wasn’t able to get pregnant. We’re both sad about that.

It’s not true that love conquers all. Having a good marriage is a lot like having a beautiful vintage car: Keeping it roadworthy takes continual work and care and attention and adjustment….

Mary in LA on July 17, 2012 at 6:56 PM

Mary in LA

Dude, you need to get another car. Really.

Daikokuco on July 17, 2012 at 7:16 PM

Daikokuco on July 17, 2012 at 7:16 PM

I refuse to take seriously anyone who addresses a lady as “dude”. :-)

Mary in LA on July 17, 2012 at 7:19 PM

I refuse to take seriously anyone who addresses a lady as “dude”. :-)

Mary in LA on July 17, 2012 at 7:19 PM

It all lines up. I think you know I’m right. Don’t dismiss the call to truth dude.

Daikokuco on July 17, 2012 at 7:24 PM

‘Sides which, I was attempting to rebut MisterElephant’s statement while taking his concerns seriously.

Marriage is not all rainbows and unicorns. I’ve seen marriages come to grief because each partner cherished illusions about the other before marriage — and not because they were abstaining, either! Anyone who thinks a marriage and a s*xual relationship are the same is IMHO much too naive to get married.

I love my “old car”. It’s beautiful. It’s strong and solid and comfortable. In it, I feel both well-protected and powerful. I’ve gotten used to its quirks so much that they don’t feel like quirks any more. I would never trade it in, because no new, snazzy car could give me what it does.

Mary in LA on July 17, 2012 at 7:25 PM

I love my “old car”. It’s beautiful. It’s strong and solid and comfortable. In it, I feel both well-protected and powerful. I’ve gotten used to its quirks so much that they don’t feel like quirks any more. I would never trade it in, because no new, snazzy car could give me what it does.

Mary in LA on July 17, 2012 at 7:25 PM

Whoa whoa whoa. I never said trade it in. I said get another car. As in, have 2. Mind me asking what you have, anyway?

Daikokuco on July 17, 2012 at 7:29 PM

Whoa whoa whoa. I never said trade it in. I said get another car. As in, have 2. Mind me asking what you have, anyway?

Daikokuco on July 17, 2012 at 7:29 PM

Alas, I don’t have a vintage car. I was using it as a metaphor. That said, I learned to drive in a ’63 Dodge Dart, and in my spinster days I had a ’66 Ford Fairlane. Gosh, I loved those cars! New cars are more fuel-efficient, maybe safer, but the driving experience just doesn’t compare.

Mary in LA on July 17, 2012 at 7:35 PM

Dustin says men can’t control themselves? You know, that is EXACTLY the reason Muslims say women have to wear the burka.

Also, guys, here’s a secret:

Women have high sex drive. OH YES they do. You wouldn’t know anything about that though.

You are stuck in 6th grade.

antisense on July 17, 2012 at 7:38 PM

Let’s just get the government to stop subsidizing self-destructive lifestyles, and let the people take care of the rest.

J.E. Dyer on July 17, 2012 at 7:41 PM

Let’s just get the government to stop subsidizing self-destructive lifestyles, and let the people take care of the rest.

J.E. Dyer on July 17, 2012 at 7:41 PM

No. That is too Libertarian.

/

antisense on July 17, 2012 at 7:47 PM

Let’s just get the government to stop subsidizing self-destructive lifestyles, and let the people take care of the rest.

J.E. Dyer on July 17, 2012 at 7:41 PM

Amen. We also need to get the states to stop screwing men in divorce cases.

OhioCoastie on July 17, 2012 at 7:48 PM

Mary in LA on July 17, 2012 at 6:56 PM

Thanks for your thoughtful response. I think my main “problem” is that I don’t often get lonely–I have a great time on my own and pursue any number of interests (which require time and dedication, in any case, time that I would have to spend outside the relationship).

As far as the “kinky” stuff goes, you’re right. But I’d wager that the ratio of active participants in that lifestyle to the total population is quite low. But yeah, it’s tough to find a “play partner” when you’re not committed to anyone.

MisterElephant on July 17, 2012 at 7:51 PM

Also, guys, here’s a secret:

Women have high sex drive. OH YES they do. You wouldn’t know anything about that though.

You are stuck in 6th grade.

antisense on July 17, 2012 at 7:38 PM

Yeah, it always amuses me when people think men are a lot more promiscuous than women.

Pretty much impossible unless you believe a few women are going 24/7/365 to sleep with all the men.

Dustin is also stuck in the 6th century.

cool breeze on July 17, 2012 at 7:52 PM

MisterElephant on July 17, 2012 at 7:51 PM

Glad you liked it! And I’m very glad you have a life that is full, but not so crowded that it doesn’t leave you with enough space to comment on Hot Air. :-)

Daikokuco on July 17, 2012 at 7:29 PM

It would be cool to have a vintage car thread somewhere on HA. (Maybe in the context of the disaster that was Cars for Cash. Every time I pass a vacant graffitied former car dealership with the signs all broken and grass growing in the parking lot, I curse Obama’s name yet again.)

See you both soon on another thread!

Mary in LA on July 17, 2012 at 8:34 PM

Raising my kids, going thru their schooling and their activities, occasionally there would be some set aside especially for Single Parents.

Socially, I understand that a single parent is one that lives in a house with the children and no spouse/father of the children lives there. So, they have to get a baby sitter a teeny bit more often than married people who both have to go out of the house in the evening.

But the presumption that the single parent doesn’t have as much money as other single income families drives me to distraction. Plenty of intact families survive on one income and nobody goes, awe you have only one income like they do for so called single parents.

What about alimony? What if the dad and the mom both work, are divorced and choose to maintain two homes, i don’t maintain two homes by choice, are they saying they don’t maintain two homes by CHOICE? Even when one person in their family makes the choice and the other one doesn’t want it, they could share expenses better, cut back, both move somewhere cheaper. Or the “Leaving” party should take the cheap digs.

Unmarried parents? That is a choice too, isn’t it? That person is truly SINGLE. Your state tells you what your obligations are, and the other parents obligations are, but it’s shocking how many young women reject that too, thinking they will have all the control if they have sole custody. That’s a choice too. And don’t forget, the government is not your daddy…I don’t think the government should contribute to those who don’t tell who the dad is, and get a contribution there.

Fleuries on July 17, 2012 at 8:49 PM

Comment pages: 1 2 3