Why do you care?

Grerp has a powerful post up titled Thoughts on The Fourth Turning, part 2: Gen X’s childhood where she describes how the social changes ushered in by previous generations impacted Gen X.

The kids in Gen X experienced family breakdown, then, because their parents flaked, because they put themselves first, because the kids in our generation weren’t “worth the parental sacrifice of prolonging an unhappy marriage.”

Wow.  Thanks.  The adults around us preferred to deal with the divorce epidemic by producing after-school specials and writing stuff like It’s Not the End of the World rather than pressure Silent and Boomer parents to stick it out for the kids.

But anyone who has been to even the first day of Feminist Academy a major university knows that whenever one is confronted with negative outcomes from feminism there is only one logical argument:

Why do you care?

When overwhelmed by facts or logic, challenge why the other person even has a right to care about the negative outcomes of feminism.  Ideally, do this in such a way as to suggest they are somehow defective as a person for caring about anything but what women want.  And by women, they of course mean feminists.

Grerp preemptively answers that question:

And you may ask me, “grerp, why are you so angry about this?  Your parents stayed together.  You weren’t a child of divorce.”  And that would be true.  My parents didn’t divorce, and I had a stable, protected childhood.  But my friends had parents who divorced and went through that nightmare in front of me.  What do you say to someone you know and care about when their parents pancake?  “Gee, I’m sorry your family is toast, and you only see your dad every other weekend, and your new stepmother treats you like an interloper?”  “I’m sorry your mom decided having a new boyfriend was more important than seeing you every day?”  One of my friends crashed and burned in college over her parents’ divorce, and she was 20 and not even living at home any more.  What can you say when you watch someone’s family fracture and you see your friend mourn it while being told nothing truly terrible happened?  It happens all the time, after all.

My teachers got divorced.  The guidance counselor at my middle school got divorced and then killed himself.  He had lived in my neighborhood, three doors down.  It says something when the person who is hired to shepherd the youth into making better decisions decides checking out permanently is better than staying around for his young daughter.

Her point is so painfully obvious that it is hard to understand why it needed to be said.  And yet it did.  Who reading this blog of any generation hasn’t watched in horror as kids suffered in unspeakable ways because their parents couldn’t get their act together?

I don’t think the difference between those who care and those who mostly don’t is having witnessed the misery of the children impacted by these changes.  I think instead the difference is who the person primarily identifies with, and therefore where the bulk of their empathy lies.  Many people identify more with flaky adults than innocent children.  I know that is harsh, but when all is said and done, isn’t it true?

I also think the difference is whether one was invested in the changes before witnessing the pain they caused.  If you literally or figuratively marched for the cause, or if you at least liked the idea on paper, I think it makes it much harder to accept what the true results were.  No one wants to feel responsible for causing the suffering of millions of children.

I think this is the real distinction between GenX and previous generations on issues like divorce, to the extent that the divide is in fact generational.  Those who first witnessed men or women staying in visibly bad marriages for the sake of their children must have asked “how much worse would it be if they simply divorced”.  Somewhere along the way for most I suspect this empathy morphed into a sort of pre rationalization for their own potential bad behavior.  What if I’m unhappy in a few years?  What if I find a better deal.  I shouldn’t be forced to suffer, should I? I strongly suspect that men and women each secretly thought that by ushering in the sexual revolution and the divorce revolution that they (and only they) would be able to have their cake and eat it too.

So when the worlds of kids around them started falling apart, they had a psychological choice.  Admit that they were wrong and likely even had less than pure motives, or rationalize it all away as entirely unavoidable and not that big a deal anyway.

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107 Responses to Why do you care?

  1. Eumaios says:

    The effect on children is not limited to those of the destroyed marriage; divorce harms the extended family, too.

    My wife’s sister is divorcing her husband. We get to explain that to our children. They know that people die, but they have no idea that a wife can decide to leave her husband. Children aren’t stupid; they will extrapolate from situation A to situation B. They will consider the possibility of this happening to us.

    A partial answer is social punishment. Wife’s sister is now banned, while the husband has an open invitation to stay with us. Message: women who leave their husbands are our enemies, and will not be tolerated.

  2. sestamibi says:

    Why do you care when your tax dollars have to pay for TANF (which is hardly temporary these days) to support the children of “single moms by choice”?

    Why do you care when you have to keep your mouth shut because your colleague was just terminated at the whim of a bitch who accused him of sexual harassment on the grounds of nothing more than that she felt “uncomfortable” in his presence?

    Why do you care when you’ve been unemployed for an extended period because AA requires employers to hire bitches married to men making $200K?

    Why do you care when you can’t get a date because you’re not an alpha badboy?

    The answer is “I care because all these things affect me!!!”

  3. Doomed Harlot says:

    I don’t buy the idea that divorce is automatically bad for kids. My husband and I are both products of unhappy marriages and we both agree, from the kid’s perspective, that divorce is far preferable to the alternative.

    (The irony: My feminist mother never contemplated divorce and misguidedly stayed all her life in a crap marriage for my sake. My husband’s decidedly unfeminist mother was dumped/abandoned by his father.)

    Whether to divorce is certainly a decision with moral implications. A good wife and mother — or husband and father — has to take into account obligations to the spouse and children to decide what is the best thing to do. Granted, some people make immoral decisions, but I don’t think that’s something we can make black-and-white rules about (“All divorce is bad.”) I am a married woman myself and I would be damn pissed if my husband just left, but ultimately, it is a matter of individual conscience predicated on the circumstances in question.

  4. Days of Broken Arrows says:

    Great post and the original post is very well thought out as well.

    I’d like to add my two cents (to the two cents above). Divorce also hurt the relationships of Gen X. My long-term girlfriend from high school and college had a mother who divorced repeatedly and went through numerous affairs (she would come home from school, find her mom’s and b/f’s clothes strewn on the floor, the nhead to my house).

    Anyway, said mother advised my ex “not to settle down,” “play the field,” “career! career! career!” etc. The mom applied major pressure, so the g/f left me, went through relationship after relationship, finally settled down in her late 30s and never had kids. Neither did I. Neither of us necessarily wound up with better deals. But what did happen is we never found anyone to reproduce with either. When we were together, from 17-23 or so, we did talk about kids.

    I wonder how many Gen Xers didn’t have kids because parental expectations and pressures caused their bio-clocks to time out. Oh well, at least I got a good career, which is more than I can say for her “call center” job, whatever the f*** that is.

  5. John says:

    I read Gerps first effort and then last night the second installment, and as with your comment left there, was speechless.

    I’m a hardened person, flat-out, but damn near broke into tears. What has and continues to happen is unconscionable. The “West” has abandoned their God, and as a result everything is being destroyed. The narcissitic self (if anything that is truly “original sin”) now reigns over a nation of shattered hearts and broken souls.

    “Ladies” and “Gentlemen” – Congratulations.

  6. Dalrock says:

    @John
    I’m a hardened person, flat-out, but damn near broke into tears. What has and continues to happen is unconscionable.

    Reading her post and the comments felt like being kicked in the gut. Yet I still highly recommend reading it to those who haven’t, because it says what needed to be said. There is healing in facing reality. In my first draft of this post I had some examples of my own which fit with what others have shared. But they were too painful. I would write a few lines and then have to delete them. I’m grateful to grerp and her commenters for saying it so I didn’t have to.

  7. Dalrock says:

    @Eumaios
    My wife’s sister is divorcing her husband. We get to explain that to our children. They know that people die, but they have no idea that a wife can decide to leave her husband. Children aren’t stupid; they will extrapolate from situation A to situation B. They will consider the possibility of this happening to us.

    We had a similar experience with our daughter. Last year when she was 4 we went to a friends house for Thanksgiving dinner. For a week or so after that she was acting very strangely. Giving us extra kisses and hugs, losing sleep, and worrying whenever my wife and I weren’t in the same room or had a very minor disagreement. I’m not talking about fights or even actual disagreements, but simply different opinions. She was concerned that I like cheese on my burgers, but my wife doesn’t. Finally my wife got it out of her what was bothering her. The child she met at dinner had explained that his parents were divorced, and “Sometimes mommies and daddies just stop loving each other”. She was doing everything she could think of to make sure that didn’t happen to us.

    Once we understood we both told her that wasn’t true, that his mommy was just a brat (while explaining that she shouldn’t say this to other kids because it would hurt them). It was like flipping a switch. All was right with her world again.

  8. Lovekraft says:

    As a victim of the first wave of divorce in the mid 80s I have put a lot of thought into the matter. For me, I could not live the lie and instead required both parents do one or the either of the following: CONFESS or COMPENSATE.

    Confess means acknowledging the damage their lifechoice did to their children, or compensate the child(ren) for essentially pulling the floor out from under them.

    And BTW, I am part of the current trend of people who are pissed off at the baby boomers. Unbridled gov’t spending and intervention in order to facilitate their selfish indulgence.

  9. MNL says:

    The beauty of divorce is that it’s the gift that keeps on giving. That is, children of divorced parents are themselves more likely to divorce.

    @ Doomed Harlot who says, “I don’t buy the idea that divorce is automatically bad for kids”… I dislike this type of thinking–unless it’s followed up with a list of reasonable, easily pursued conditions that make it true. You say both you and your spouse believe that divorce is preferable to the alternative. But what’s that alternative? Perhaps not in your own case, but this type of statement is often just an ego-preserving or anxiety-reducing rationalization; the “but I’m different” defense. And oftentimes, the so-called horrible “alternative” to divorce that makes divorce the better option is little more than a repression or re-wording of the “gina tingle” motivation into verbal terms that are more socially acceptable. Saying divorce isn’t always bad and that not everyone suffers from divorce, while technically true in a minority of cases, is a slippery rationalization.

    The fact is that very few social causes automatically result in negative (or positive) social outcomes. If we waited for a correlation of 1.0 or -1.0 before drawing the important conclusions about divorce, we’d be waiting forever. Meanwhile, the (mostly) negative consequences would continue unchecked. Think about it this way: I have a college friend who ran across four lanes of freeway to retrieve a hat that inadvertently blew out of his car window. He had to dodge a few speeding trucks but he (and the hat) survived just fine, thanks. Yet I don’t advocate he or others do this as a matter of course. The logic that many employ to rationalize divorce follows similarly.

    Divorce hurts far more children than it benefits–and children of divorce, even after controlling for other factors, tend to show higher rates of divorce. We can ignore this. We can pretend that “we are all unique and different” and that these statistics apply to some other majority of whom we’re not a part. Or we can learn from it.

  10. Robert the Wise says:

    Hey Dumb Harlot,
    Why don’t you give your hamster a rest? He looks pretty tired.
    You look pretty worn out, too. It must be tiring rationalizing your selfish actions all the time.

  11. sdaedalus says:

    Finally my wife got it out of her what was bothering her. The child she met at dinner had explained that his parents were divorced, and “Sometimes mommies and daddies just stop loving each other”. She was doing everything she could think of to make sure that didn’t happen to us.

    Once we understood we both told her that wasn’t true, that his mommy was just a brat (while explaining that she shouldn’t say this to other kids because it would hurt them). It was like flipping a switch. All was right with her world again.

    Leaving aside the question of whether a woman initiating divorce is ever justified, how do you know that the other child’s mother, and not his father, initiated the divorce? I appreciate that statistically more women than men initiate divorce, but isn’t it a little bit sweeping to shun all divorced women on the basis that they’ve dumped their husbands. Men do initiate divorce, too.

  12. Dalrock says:

    @Sdaedalus
    Leaving aside the question of whether a woman initiating divorce is ever justified, how do you know that the other child’s mother, and not his father, initiated the divorce? I appreciate that statistically more women than men initiate divorce, but isn’t it a little bit sweeping to shun all divorced women on the basis that they’ve dumped their husbands. Men do initiate divorce, too.

    I don’t recall the specifics (maybe my wife does), but does it really matter? This isn’t about feminist honor, it is about a little girl who couldn’t sleep at night because she feared the same awful thing would suddenly happen to her. All our daughter needed to know was that what the kid’s mom (and probably his dad) told him wasn’t true. Kid’s lives don’t really get turned upside down like that with no one to blame. The boy she was talking to had an older stepsister and the stepmother treated her like dirt. I’m sure her mother and father gave her the same BS story of sometimes mommies and daddies just stop loving each other too.

  13. Omnipitron says:

    “Once we understood we both told her that wasn’t true, that his mommy was just a brat (while explaining that she shouldn’t say this to other kids because it would hurt them). It was like flipping a switch. All was right with her world again.”

    And that’s just it, we are our children’s worlds and to be honest, the world could virtually be going to h-e-double hockey sticks all around them but so long as Daddy and Mommy are alright, then things are much better for them. No lie, I’m not a Dad, just a step, but years ago I couldn’t sleep and didn’t want to wake my wife. I slept on the couch downstairs to make it easier. Half an hour later, my step daughter came downstairs, stared at me sleeping on the couch for a good few minutes and then slowly went upstairs after she got something to drink.

    Just before he was kicked out for justified reasons I won’t get into here, her father didn’t sleep with her mother for quite a while. Seeing me there really disturbed her and it took me months to figure out why she acted like she had for what I took to be innocuous at the time.

    “We can ignore this. We can pretend that “we are all unique and different” and that these statistics apply to some other majority of whom we’re not a part. Or we can learn from it.”

    WORD!!!

    Just like I had posted earlier on this blog about my friend with appendicitis, attempting to use exceptions to alleviate the rule is simply a foolish endeavor and very transparent BTW. What happens 30% of the time may not be wise to duplicate in our own lives for fairly obvious reasons, whether we like them or not!! Like I have said before, statistics don’t have an agenda, they don’t have feelings, they simply have a story to tell and the best course of action one can take is to learn from it and not rationalize or make excuses for it.

    Men may initiate divorce too, this is true, but the overwhelming majority of women do, and D already posted a case where a woman did so frivolously, (no matter how many women may want to spin it otherwise). While some men may need a reprimand for the issues they cause to children, if we could lower the amount of ‘empowered’ women who think that they can trade up, that could indeed make a huge impact on this growing issue.

  14. Eumaios says:

    Dalrock: “explaining that she shouldn’t say this to other kids because it would hurt them”

    Or it could solve a problem for the other kids.

    Q: Why are my parents divorcing?
    A: At least one of them is a very bad person.

    Totally bypass that whole “it’s my fault they hate each other” stage.

  15. Eumaios says:

    sdaedalus: “isn’t it a little bit sweeping to shun all divorced women on the basis that they’ve dumped their husbands?”

    Yes, sweeping out the garbage. A woman who “dumps” her husband is an enemy of civilization (to those who equate civilization with patriarchy).

  16. Dalrock says:

    Omnipitron and Eumaios both of your comments really get to the core of the issue, which is we can either focus on making the innocent kids feel less bad and more secure, or we can focus on making the flaky adult(s) not feel bad. I think grerp and others on her site have made a strong case that boomers as a generation chose the latter.

    Many would frame it as an issue of passing judgment and hurting someone’s feelings or avoiding judgment and avoiding hurting someone. It only works that way if you ignore the kids, or if you pretend that it really doesn’t hurt them after all.

  17. Eric says:

    The only marriage demographic that is going up in the US are marriages between American men and foreign-born women. That’s pretty solid evidence that men aren’t the ones with ‘commitment issues'; especially when you consider our in astronomical divorce rates, the overwhelming majority of cases are initiated by women.

    American women do not have the education or the culture to be either wives or mothers. They are taught that they must be superior to men; that men are unnecessary except as sperm donors; that abortion is a right; and that they have monopolies on sex. Is it any wonder that a man who marries one has a mathematical probability of getting fleeced in a divorce?

    The best thing to do is avoid them; both the man’s sake and the sake of any future children. Traditional women offer a stable family structure; American women don’t.

  18. Eric says:

    Doomed Harlot:

    What conscience are you talking about? I doubt seriously if the typical divorced woman had either the slightest remorse about it, or gave any thought whatsoever to the ‘moral consequences’ involved. Our culture teaches women that men are expendable and children are expedient. There is no more conscience involved for most women than there is for changing a light-bulb.

  19. grerp says:

    I’m glad the post meant something to you, Dalrock (and John). I didn’t/don’t want to write a “What about the children?” piece, but, seriously, what about the children? I can appreciate that life is complex, but I think there have to be expectations of adults, especially adults with children, and that adolescence should not be overly prolonged. I also believe damage done in childhood often persists throughout a whole life.

    I was reflecting on The Fourth Turning, but I think this piece was also a response to my mother who noted the other day that I “seem angry and have for awhile.” My parents are great people. I truly love and respect them, but I do not think they know what is going down in society around them. They are confused at the inter-generational anger and they are still applying many of the old rules and regs (such as chivalry) to the newer situations. There’s a disconnect. My mom thinks the younger generations are just whiny. But she also thinks feminists are just whiny and always have been. My mom is very down on whining. Her childhood was not ideal and her way of dealing with it has been to accentuate the positive and repress the heck out of all the rest.

  20. Anonymous Reader says:

    …it’s not just a river in Egypt…

  21. Chris says:

    Re grerp:
    I agree about the children, because the children are bleeding.

    I am no saint: I’m a solo Dad… three kids. The oldest was taken to another country when she was a year old — after I bought them out to be with me. I have had to explain to her that I COULD NOT get custody given the state of the divorce — custody laws in her native land…

    Currently I’m raising two teenage boys. Whose mother chose not to move towns, left them at home while she worked… or in cars while she worked… and then tried to get them both labelled as disabled.

    They are now with me. Cost? 100 000 in legal fees, and three years of living hell for the kids.

    I accept that I was at fault in part for the ending of these relationships — even though, in both cases, I was not the one who walked out. But I am not the person who has suffered the most. My children are. I was too late to do much with my daughter, but with the sons, I’m trying to fix that.

  22. Xanadoo says:

    Crikey, Doomed Harlot, what is the point that are you trying to make, exactly?

    Your first paragraph is textbook Boomer rationalisation (I love how you and your husband just know what’s better for the kids. Did you ask them?).

    Your second paragraph would fit comfortably in the standard Feminist Special Snowflake playbook, namely, “Your-Statistics-And-Consequent-Inferences-Must-Be-Invalid-Because-My-Own-Unique-Story-Is-Something-Else”. File this under statistical idiocy.

    Finally, your third paragraph is arrant gobbledygook.

  23. Tarl says:

    I don’t buy the idea that divorce is automatically bad for kids. My husband and I are both products of unhappy marriages and we both agree, from the kid’s perspective, that divorce is far preferable to the alternative.

    I am the product of an unhappy marriage, and my view is that my parents divorce was extremely bad for me and my sister – painful, traumatizing, and with lifelong emotionally devastating consequences – even though my father was an abusive narcissist. On an abstract intellectual level, you may say that my mom was right to divorce the guy, but the facts on the ground were that the divorce was bad for two small children who were in no position to understand things in abstract intellectual terms. You can argue it would have been worse if he’d stayed, and yet, my father remarried and had two more kids whom he raised to adulthood, and those kids are better adjusted emotionally as adults (yes, I know them) for all that they were raised by an abusive narcissist.

    In any event, citing relatively rare cases of abuse is not valid support for widespread no-fault divorce. In the vast majority of cases, the divorce is not happening because the children are being physically abused, the divorce is happening because the woman wants a better deal.

  24. Doomed Harlot says:

    A couple of people above asked me what I mean by individual conscience or how the alternative could be worse than divorce. Obviously, the ideal is for a child to be raised by two parents who love each other and love the child. But when that’s not possible, you have unhappy parents in a horrible marriage. I don’t see that as being particularly great for a kid, and depending on the circumstances, divorce may be better for the kid than the horrible marriage. In some cases, one of the parents is a straight-up bad person who is literally ruining the child’s life, and the child is better off being away from that parent.

    In my case, I certainly wish my mother had asked, “What is best for my child?” and really examined that question carefully. Instead, she fell back on mindless cliches like, “Divorce is bad for children,” and “Any father is better than no father,” without looking at our particular situation. My parents are 70 and have been married for decades now. This is not a success story.

  25. sdaedalus says:

    @Dalrock
    I don’t recall the specifics (maybe my wife does), but does it really matter? This isn’t about feminist honor, it is about a little girl who couldn’t sleep at night because she feared the same awful thing would suddenly happen to her. All our daughter needed to know was that what the kid’s mom (and probably his dad) told him wasn’t true. Kid’s lives don’t really get turned upside down like that with no one to blame. The boy she was talking to had an older stepsister and the stepmother treated her like dirt. I’m sure her mother and father gave her the same BS story of sometimes mommies and daddies just stop loving each other too.

    I’m not sure what you mean by ‘feminist honor’, the two words wouldn’t necessarily go together for me. I’m not a particular fan of the feminist belief of excusing bad behaviour on the part of women because they are women, I feel everyone should be accountable for their actions.

    However what struck me about your original comment, and the point I was trying to make in my reply, was that you told your daughter that the other child’s mother was or must have been a brat.

    I can see some reason to this if you were dealing with a situation like that outlined by Eumaios, where the mother had initiated the divorce, it would be logically consistent with your thinking on this issue, which is that female-initiated divorce is a bad and selfish thing.

    But in a situation where it wasn’t clear which parent had initiated the divorce, wouldn’t it have been more appropriate just to say one or both parents must have been brats, rather than automatically assuming that the mother was the initiator. I appreciate that too many excuses are made for women these days in a lot of ways, but it’s important not to go to the other extreme and blame women for everything that goes wrong, like militant feminism with the genders reversed.

    For the record, I don’t necessarily agree or disagree with your thinking on the wickedness of female-initiated divorce, I haven’t made my mind up on this issue, and it is a difficult one to decide, particularly when there are kids involved.

    Though I do think that the real damage from divorce is caused to kids whose parents actually divorce or come close to it, rather than those who merely worry, without any good reason, about their parents divorcing – kids do worry about a lot of things, which have no basis in reality, it is part of the growing up process, and you can’t cushion them from everything. We had no divorce in Ireland when I was a child, but I worried an awful lot about my parents getting sick and dying, for instance. I don’t think it caused me any lasting damage though.

  26. grerp says:

    I don’t understand how anyone can challenge the idea that divorce is bad for kids. Divorce is bad for kids. How bad, given the alternative and depending on the situation, is disputable, but not that it isn’t bad. There are situations, obviously, where children are better off being separated from abusive parents. But the idea that parents breaking up in general is a good or even neutral thing? No.

    It’s impossible to prove something that didn’t happen is worse that something that did. But having even an uninvolved father in the home is a form of protection from both poverty and predatory adults who would prey on kids (and women) who are more vulnerable. Even a less stellar father means there’s no rotating door on Mom’s bedroom, no stream of men who might someday decide – before or after having a few – that the daughter looks cuter than the mother. A man in the house, even asleep, is a form of protection because he’s one more thing that could prove to be a problem to anyone thinking about messing with the house. Easier to look elsewhere.

    In my piece I used the example of Art Alexakis. His dad wasn’t ideal, but after he left, everything went to pieces. People may very well have said, looking at his parents’ marriage, “Maybe it would be better for everyone if they just got divorced.” Looking at the drug abuse, suicide attempts, poverty, early sexual experience, jail time, early death, and many failed marriages that followed that one “Maybe it would be better since they’re so unhappy” divorce, I would say they would have been wrong in that assumption.

  27. sdaedalus says:

    I agree that the media & people generally tend to underestimate the negative impact of divorce on the children of divorced partners, grossly so in fact.

    I also think you’re right that some men set up relationships with divorced women to get to the kids. This is correct, and you’re right to point it out, most people won’t admit this.

    I would certainly say that no one should bring children into a marriage that isn’t rock-solid. I would also agree that couples with kids, in deciding whether or not to divorce, have an obligation to at least try to put the kids first.

    But if one parent (mother or father) is abusive, or even uninvolved (having a parent around, to whom they are an irrelevance, can be very damaging to children) then this needs to be taken into account as well. Most divorces do not come into this category, but some do.

    I agree however that it’s important for the parent considering divorce to look objectively and not invent abuse or neglect on the part of the other parent simply to justify a wish to divorce. That’s where the danger lies in my opinion, and it is doubly damaging to the child because not only are the parents divorced, but one parent is vilifying the other to justify themselves.

    I’m coming from a different background here, however, because it’s still quite difficult and slow to get a divorce in Ireland. I think it’s a very serious step, particularly when there are children involved, and should not be taken lightly. The quickie divorce is dangerously easy.

  28. Doomed Harlot says:

    Divorce may be bad for kids, but the alternatives are often worse. Seeing their mother smacked around by their angry father strikes me as something that was pretty bad for the Alexakis kids. (I am actually horrified at Grerp’s implication that the mother should have stayed in the relationship.) Kids, you know, care deeply about their parent’s well-being. It’s not as if the well-being of the parents is some separate issue from that of the kids. Seeing your mother get slapped around is incredibly traumatic. And watching your mother tolerate it without leaving or fighting back outrages a child’s sense of justice. It teaches children to tolerate violence, or perhaps even perpetrate it.

    As for the risks of divorce, well, yes. As I said, it’s an individual decision. A parent of good conscience has to look at all the risks. How will I support my kid? What will my kid’s life be like? Not every divorced mother is headed for poverty, or a relationship with a pedophile. This is why it depends on the circumstances and the person best able to judge those circumstance is the individual involved.

  29. Badger Nation says:

    Somewhere in my thirdhand exposure to the concept of divorce and subsequent personal study, I came across someone’s justification for divorce as “the kids will be happy that Mom’s happy.”

    Apparently this rationalization was big in the 70’s. I can hardly think of a bigger pile of bullshit in such a small box.

  30. Badger Nation says:

    “and not invent abuse or neglect on the part of the other parent simply to justify a wish to divorce.”

    If we started punishing people for false accusation on the order of the punishment for the crime accused, this would not be a problem. The lack of prosecution for false accusations is horrific in the United States.

  31. Doomed Harlot says:

    I was horrified at the Art Alexakis example. According to Grerp’s post, his father “took his anger out on his mother physically.” Under those circumstances, I am 100% in support of a wife removing herself and her children from that situation, not only for her own safety but for the wellbeing of her kids. Teaching children that domestic violence is okay is a good way to raise a new generation of victims and perpetrators. The fact that things went poorly for a the Alexakis family after the divorce just shows that the mother had to choose between too bad options — and she had the self-respect and respect for her children to not allow herself to be used as a punching bag.

    I think that it’s a mistake to view the parents’ happiness as completely separate from that of the children. Sure, Badger Nation is right that you can’t just blithely assume that the kids will want whatever mom (or dad) want. But if the parents are utterly miserable in a poisonous marriage, the kids might be better off without the marriage. Again, in my case, I definitely wanted from a very young age that my mother be happy and independent even if it meant scraping by in a small apartment on a secretary’s salary.

    I am not suggesting there are any easy answers. In fact, my point is that there is no easy answer when a marriage is unhappy and there are kids involved. Do some single, divorced mothers wind up in poverty and hooked with men who turn out to be pedophiles? Yes, but that is not a risk factor in every situation. These questions depend on individual circumstances. I don’t believe in bright line rules when it comes to divorce.

  32. But Doomed Harlot,

    Surely you agree that abuse notwithstanding, the standard must be that marriage is for keeps. I can only speak for my own relationship when I say this, but in our marriage, the absence of an easy exit has made the rough patches significantly shorter and farther apart than they would be if either of us had harbored fantasies of how much easier it would be if we threw in the towel.

    It’s amazing how quickly you can see the good in your mate and understand that happiness comes from within when you know that the mate you have today is the one you’ll have tomorrow, barring the unexpected tragedy of death. If there is no absolute standard, Doomed Harlot, what’s the point?

    I think it bears pointing out as well that the vast majority of divorces are not put into motion because of adultery or abuse, but “irreconcileable differences,” whatever that means. There will always be differences between two thinking adults that cannot be fully reconciled. It’s no reason to break up a family and destroy a child’s life.

    Besides, the definition of abuse has been extended to mean just about any and everything a wife doesn’t like, according to the piece at The Spearhead that I read this morning.

  33. Doomed Harlot says:

    What is the point, indeed? I am a pro-marriage feminist. The point of marriage is that both parties have someone they can rely on to always be there for each other and for the children, through ups and downs, thick and thin. If you have made that promise, you need to stick to it; I certainly intend to do so and I fully expect my husband to do so.

    But I don’t think this should be an absolute standard, and I do not believe it should be up to the State to determine when the standard should be waived. Part of the problem, as you point out, is the concept of “abuse.” Bad people can make each other’s lives intolerable in a number of ways not susceptible to a clear-cut definition.
    Personally, I would never want to marry if society did not give me a way out. I would not trust the State (or the church either) to determine for me when I am morally justified in leaving.

  34. Dalrock says:

    @sdaedalus
    However what struck me about your original comment, and the point I was trying to make in my reply, was that you told your daughter that the other child’s mother was or must have been a brat.

    Like I said, does it matter which one? We needed to help her understand that it wasn’t something she needed to worry about. If the issue is one or both of us could just “fall out of love”, then she had to worry. She knows we aren’t brats, so once we explained it she could sleep at night again. After talking about this some more with my wife, I think it was actually Thanksgiving 2 years ago and not last year. So that would have made our daughter 3 1/2 instead of 4 1/2. But either way, the point was helping a little girl feel secure. We don’t know these folks and fortunately haven’t seen them since. And having sat across the table from the woman in question, neither of us had any qualms about telling our daughter she was a brat.

    Though I do think that the real damage from divorce is caused to kids whose parents actually divorce or come close to it, rather than those who merely worry, without any good reason, about their parents divorcing – kids do worry about a lot of things, which have no basis in reality, it is part of the growing up process, and you can’t cushion them from everything. We had no divorce in Ireland when I was a child, but I worried an awful lot about my parents getting sick and dying, for instance. I don’t think it caused me any lasting damage though.

    Would you feel differently if many of your classmates had parents who one day got sick and died? What about suicide? Would it not harm the kids in the home if one of the parents periodically threatened suicide, but never actually went through with it? What if the child knew several other kids who’s parents had committed suicide, and his or her own parents justified those suicides as perfectly understandable acts and not really a big deal?

  35. grerp says:

    I love how abuse and adultery got worked so quickly into divorce apologetics. 1 smack = get-out-of-marriage free card because children can’t grow up in an atmosphere of fear, and philandering, well, that is intolerable unless you are planning to, say, make a bid for the presidency, then it’s “a private matter.”

  36. sdaedalus says:

    I was actually thinking more in terms of abuse of children.

  37. sdaedalus says:

    And I mean quite serious abuse, not the occasional smack (though I’m not a fan of smacking kids).

    Those of you who are lucky enough not to have experienced it may not realise that beating kids around the place is not uncommon, particularly where drink is involved. Mothers do it as well as fathers, by the way.

  38. Hope says:

    My parents divorced when I was very young, not in elementary school yet. It definitely affected me, although I wasn’t living with either of them and was being taken care of by my maternal grandparents.

    It was definitely a harsh experience, because it was before the divorce explosion in China and all of my classmates parents were together. I also heard that my father wanted a son and left my mother because she only gave him a daughter. A lot of these childhood memories stay with us for a long, long time. I still get very insecure and think that any man I’m with might abandon me.

    Another side-effect is that almost all the men I was with were from divorced families, and there was just no good role models for healthy relationships. In my husband’s case, his mother stayed for 20 years with his stepfather, and they are still together, so I think he is the closest to a man from a good family that I’ve been with. Divorce definitely has a huge ripple effect, and I would do everything in my power to not let it affect our child.

  39. Doomed Harlot says:

    I wonder how much smacking it takes before it qualifies as “real” abuse. This idea that people will use a smack as a get-out-of-jail-free card is precisely why I believe in no-fault divorce. If I am getting smacked around, I don’t want to have some guy in a robe deciding that this isn’t “real” abuse. Have you ever been smacked by a crazy, violent person, Grerp? I have, and it is not something to be dismissed lightly.

  40. Thag Jones says:

    My husband and I are both products of unhappy marriages and we both agree, from the kid’s perspective, that divorce is far preferable to the alternative.

    This conclusion doesn’t follow – how do you know you and your husband would have been better off if your parents had divorced? You don’t.

    Obviously, the ideal is for a child to be raised by two parents who love each other and love the child. But when that’s not possible, you have unhappy parents in a horrible marriage. I don’t see that as being particularly great for a kid, and depending on the circumstances, divorce may be better for the kid than the horrible marriage.

    Again, this is just rationalizing parents who want to chase their illusory ideas of “happiness”, but the child isn’t concerned with your happiness so much as their whole world. This is unbelievably shallow and the average divorce doesn’t involve circumstances so heinous that staying together and working on the problems (that’s the crucial part really, isn’t it?) would be more harmful to a child than divorce. There are all sorts of justifications made in favour of divorce, but mostly they’re pretty spurious and transparent.

    I could say quite a bit on this, but it would get too personal and emotional and some of it is probably best saved for confession or the shrink or whatever, suffice to say I’ve thought quite a bit about this too and this resonates with me.

  41. Dalrock says:

    @Doomed Harlot
    This idea that people will use a smack as a get-out-of-jail-free card is precisely why I believe in no-fault divorce. If I am getting smacked around, I don’t want to have some guy in a robe deciding that this isn’t “real” abuse.

    Some guy in a robe. Is this some stranger on the corner? Or do you mean the guy who you are asking to take your husband’s kids and money away from him?

    For the record, I do see real abuse as just grounds for divorce. Your example of being smacked around by a crazy, violent person would sound to me like real abuse. But feminists have stretched the definition of abuse beyond all recognition. Now abuse is pretty much anything people don’t like. I don’t know if you saw the post about the woman who whored around town and left her kids with sitters while she freebased coke for the weekend. When her husband got angry with her and yelled at her, that was considered abuse. There were even threats to have him arrested.

  42. MNL says:

    “I am a pro-marriage feminist”

    Please, tell us you’re trolling.

  43. Doomed Harlot says:

    Thag, I believe people are able to judge their own situations and alternatives. Trust me, struggling on my mother’s secretary’s salary would have been vastly preferable to the daily humiliations we both had to put up with as the dependents of a narcissist. And my husband would tell you that he heaved a huge sigh of relief when his scary, alcoholic father walked out — despite the very serious question of how his mother would pay the bills. (I note that the negative ramifications of divorce in both instances would have been greatly reduced if our mothers had a competitive earning capacity.) My father (who served as his father’s personal punching bag for years) is another one who wished his mother had the option to leave the marriage.

    Now I suppose you could say, well, my father and I and my husband are outliers, irrelevant to the discussion. And I imagine there is data tending to show that children of divorce suffer negative effects. But: (1) There is no way of knowing what effects those children would have suffered if their parents stayed married; (2) Comparing the children of divorce to the children of stable marriages proves nothing because presumably many, perhaps most, of those stable marriages are happy ones; and (3) It should be up to the parents involved to decide what is best for their children because they know the situation better than the church or the state. Sure, parents are bound to rationalize the results they want — but that’s true of every parenting decision, and we don’t go poking our nose into those, do we?

  44. Doomed Harlot says:

    Hey MNL —

    You are quite right that I do not favor marriage as it has traditionally been understood, with traditional gender roles. But I am pro-marriage in that I love have freely chosen a modern, egalitarian, life-time commitment with a man — even though it’s not all hearts and flowers all day long. And, for the record, I earn the money and do the yard work.

    And yes, I am trolling if by trolling you mean provoking a discussion with individuals who disagree with me as a means to pass the time as I procrastinate on a major project that is about to eat up my weekend. But I am arguing in good faith.

  45. Thag Jones says:

    DH, I don’t completely disagree – there are certainly cases where it’s fairly likely that the kids did better without a particularly destructive parent around and true narcissists are pretty awful to grow up with. It’s just that statistically speaking, it’s pretty conclusive that barring truly awful situations, kids do better with both parents present. Also there’s the factor that someone who chooses an abusive partner may have some stability issues as well, unless they were artfully deceived, which would help to explain why people like the example of Art Alexakis exist. That’s not to say his mother should have taken the abuse with a smile, but that people who get deeply involved with socio-paths and psychopaths might just have a screw loose themselves.

    And I say that as someone who has fairly consistently chosen people with sociopathic and narcissistic qualities, which I find disturbing and which makes me think it’s best if I just get on with raising my kids rather than risk exposing them to any more crap than they’ve already been exposed to. Which is also why I’m rather hard on single moms who grumble about having a “right” to a sex life or what have you. I’m not just talking out of my ass, is what I’m trying to say, and I left my own marriage after putting up with months of daily tirades and insults that left me with severe back pain from the stress and I still wish things could have turned out differently, but since there was an out, he decided he didn’t want to work on things and said he wanted to be free and single, then deliberately knocked up the first tart he could get his hands on after I left.

    So yeah, I do think we’re better off without him but that’s partly because I’m trying to create some stability for my kids in spite of whatever loose screws I have, though I often fail and I can feel the lack of having a dad around for them a good bit. It’s not exactly a winning situation and although it’s been almost 5 years now, I am only just letting go of second guessing myself, wondering if I did the right thing, wondering how the hell I’m going to deal with dating and things like that and how that would be a lot easier if dad and his baseball bat were around (I just don’t cut a very intimidating figure, lol)….

  46. Thag Jones says:

    And of course, single moms who grumble about their supposed “rights” show how selfish they are in the first place, that their right to some fleeting physical pleasure is more important than protecting their own kids. THAT pisses me off, and it’s just another symptom of this whole “I’m unhappy so I’ll tear my kids’ lives apart and they’ll be better off because I’ll be happier” mentality.

  47. grerp says:

    And I imagine there is data tending to show that children of divorce suffer negative effects.

    Yeah, I imagine there is if you look at 1970s and 80s rates of child abuse and homicide, teen suicide, illegitimacy, poverty and how they increased exponentially after divorce started destroying families in record numbers.

    There were plenty of unhappy married people and less than ideal families prior to that. However, the outcomes for kids coming from unhappy families were still better than those coming from those who’d experienced divorce if you judge by the numbers of young people killing themselves, getting into drugs, sex, or crime or those being abused or killed by their parents.

    Have you ever been smacked by a crazy, violent person, Grerp?

    Does it matter? No, I have not. But for the record, I’d take a few bruises now and again over my kid killing herself or having a baby at 15. I had the choice to get married; kids do not have the choice about which families they are born into. We don’t arrange or coerce marriages in this country, and women can be and often are economically independent. So my advice to women would be: choose better men. Most violent and unstable men put up red flags fairly early on. Don’t reproduce with them.

    And yet, Thug Love continues to be on the rise.

  48. Lavazza says:

    I guess some resourceful parents can arrange their future lives in a way to compensate. But fully compensating is most likely harder work than staying with somebody you’re convinced you want to divorce.

  49. Doomed Harlot says:

    Thag, it sounds like you’ve been through the wringer and that you have done your best for your kids under exceptionally difficult circumstances.

    I actually agree that single mothers bear moral responsibility to protect their children from new men who may come into their lives. I used to prosecute criminal cases so I have personally interacted with women who have sided with their pedophile boyfriends over their own victimized daughters. It’s not a phenomenon I can pretend to understand. I attribute it to (1) denial based on fear of being without a man and (2) internalized misogyny and the resulting ambivalent feelings about their own daughters. But it is heartbreaking to see girls sold out by their own mothers.

  50. Thag Jones says:

    I attribute it to (1) denial based on fear of being without a man and (2) internalized misogyny and the resulting ambivalent feelings about their own daughters.

    DH, I’d posit that the explanation is far simpler than that: they are blinded by lust.

  51. Doomed Harlot says:

    Grerp,

    But every smack you might willingly take is likely to perpetuate itself down the generations. Your children will either identify with the abuser or the victim. If they identify with the abuser, they are at risk for perpetrating assaults on others in the future. If they identify with the victim, they are at risk for tolerating assault on themselves and their children when they marry. And even if the kids break that cycle of violence, they are likely to suffer — really suffer — from seeing their mother brutalized.

    You blame women for failing to screen out thuggish men. But a girl’s ability to weed out thugs is severely impaired if she grew up watching her mother tolerate getting smacked around. She is more likely to assume that’s just how relationships are and that that’s just how men are.

  52. Thag Jones says:

    Your children will either identify with the abuser or the victim. If they identify with the abuser, they are at risk for perpetrating assaults on others in the future. If they identify with the victim, they are at risk for tolerating assault on themselves and their children when they marry. And even if the kids break that cycle of violence, they are likely to suffer — really suffer — from seeing their mother brutalized.

    I agree. I couldn’t advocate staying in a violent situation, that’s pretty ridiculous. No one knows the end result; some will turn out better, some worse, either through staying or leaving. Chronic violence is not a frivolous reason for leaving a marriage.

  53. Keoni Galt says:

    I’d like to point something out here regarding Doomed Harlots defense of what she laughingly calls “egalitarian” marriage.

    The first thing I’d say is when one parent is abusive and destructive, sometimes divorce would be better for the kids.

    But why is that some kind of support for the most destructive legal construct to civilization today…NO FAULT divorce?

    Prior to NO FAULT, it was AT FAULT.

    And the person at fault, man or woman, did not often come out of the divorce proceedings with financial rewards because it was recognized that it was there own behavior that resulted in the dissolution of the marriage.

    Prior to NO FAULT, an abusive father or a cheating mother would be rightfully divorced, because they created the situation where sometimes it is better to get divorced than stick it out – AND THEY PAID A PRICE FOR IT…rather than the current paradigm in which the abusive/disloyal spouse can and often does receive financial REWARDS for ending the marriage.

    None of your arguments, Doomed Harlot, offer any real support to the family and society destroying legal paradigm of NO FAULT divorce.

    Especially since the way it is adjudicated, what it really means is ‘HIS FAULT’ Divorce, because whether the man was abusive or disloyal or NOT, the divorce settlement still treats him as if he were at fault anyways.

  54. grerp says:

    The abuse argument is a red herring, anyway – much like people immediately bring up rape/incest when talking about abortion. No one wants to kids or adults to stay in situations of chronic abuse. But chronic abuse is not why most families got divorced during Gen X’s childhood. They got divorced because at that time society’s pendulum was swinging toward individual rights over the needs of the community and adults therefore had free reign to do what they wanted to and completely rationalize it.

    FWIW, as regards what is best for the children I’d trust the opinion of the council of robes over that of any one individual in a highly emotional state.

  55. The abuse argument is a red herring, anyway – much like people immediately bring up rape/incest when talking about abortion. No one wants to kids or adults to stay in situations of chronic abuse. But chronic abuse is not why most families got divorced during Gen X’s childhood. They got divorced because at that time society’s pendulum was swinging toward individual rights over the needs of the community and adults therefore had free reign to do what they wanted to and completely rationalize it.

    Yes, yes, and yes! Excellent comment, Grerp. I get so tired of the red herrings when these issues are discussed.

  56. Keoni Galt says:

    If you look at the actual statistics, Divorce did not become the widespread cultural phenomenon until it became “NO FAULT” divorce in all 50 States.

    The At Fault system was more than adequate to deal with the uncommon, isolated cases of real abuse, neglect and/or infidelity.

  57. The Deuce says:

    Doomed Harlot:

    This idea that people will use a smack as a get-out-of-jail-free card is precisely why I believe in no-fault divorce. If I am getting smacked around, I don’t want to have some guy in a robe deciding that this isn’t “real” abuse.

    That’s some sterling logic there. “Because some judges might not allow divorce for violent behavior 100% of the time, we should allow people to walk out for absolutely nothing whenever they want to, consequences to the children be damned.”

    It could just as easily be turned around: Because no-fault divorce might, on occasion, end up hurting kids and leading them to depression and suicide for nothing other than their parents whims, we shouldn’t allow any divorce at all.

    Or we could apply it to other things: Because judges might, on occasion, fail to award sufficient damages to a victim of medical malpractice, we should just err on the safe side and automatically award anybody who says their doctor wronged them a million dollars.

  58. The Deuce says:

    grerp:

    Yeah, I imagine there is if you look at 1970s and 80s rates of child abuse and homicide, teen suicide, illegitimacy, poverty and how they increased exponentially after divorce started destroying families in record numbers.

    Eeeeeexactly. This is what puts the real lie to Doomed Harlots’ boilerplate rationalizations about how having unhappy parents could be worse than having divorced parents, or about how no-fault divorce is preferable to any woman anywhere staying with her husband after getting hit even one time, because it’s better for the kids that way.

    The fact is, if unhappy families were worse than divorced families, or if a significant number of divorces were due to violence that was bad enough to outweigh the effects that divorce has on kids, then the increase in divorce should have caused an decrease in child abuse, homicide, teen suicide, illegitimacy, and poverty. I mean, all those children escaping “unhappy”, “violent” families should’ve made things better for them!

    There’s no way around this. The facts are what they are. Dalrock was right. This is just a case of people sympathizing more with individualistic adults who just couldn’t dream of serious self-sacrifice for the sake of others more than with the children who get caught in the crossfire.

  59. The Deuce says:

    Some guy in a robe. Is this some stranger on the corner? Or do you mean the guy who you are asking to take your husband’s kids and money away from him?

    Yeah, hilarious, isn’t it? Apparently the courts are good enough for determining that a man shouldn’t be allowed to see his children, or that he should have to pay his wife’s living expenses even though she walked out just to follow her gina tingles. Oh, and they’re good enough for determining whether someone is a murderer, or a thief, or a rapist, or an embezzler. But determining that a woman has been beaten? Nah, they’re totally incompetent when it comes to that. We’d better let the ladies walk out for no reason at all, with no consideration for the harm done to other family members, just to be totally certain that nothing that would offend feminists happens even one time.

  60. P.T. Barnum says:

    I’d just like to say that I think going back to At-Fault divorce is a swell idea.

  61. Eric says:

    Doomed Harlot;
    You’re wrong on two points:
    1. I recently heard the author of the ‘Men are from Mars’ series (a thesis I don’t agree with much) admit that 90% of divorces are from “female dissatisfaction”. This idea that male spousal abuse is rampant is completely wrong. Marriages fail in America because the women cannot tolerate a situation that involves ANY sense of female obligation or responsibility.

    2. “A girl’s ability to weed out thuggish men is severely impaired if she sees her mother smacked around.” On the contrary, most women never saw anything like that; and most go for thuggish men and openly scorn relationships with decent ones. They are drawn to thuggish men because our culture impresses on them a belief both in the inherent worthlessness of men and female superiority over males.

  62. Eric says:

    Thag:

    I would disagree that lust plays any factor in women staying with abusive men. I’ve seen cases where a thuggish male actually changed his life to something respectable; the wives promptly left them for other thugs.

    The reason goes into depth psychology. Women, in our culture, are taught that they must be superior to men. How difficult is it to feel superior to a lowlife male? Instead, these women are showered with praises about how ‘giving’ and ‘loving’ they are (notice that none of them ever give love to any man worth giving it to, though); told repeatedly how they are ‘too good’ for the bums they’re with; and— this is the clincher— they can give the illusion of commitment without ever doing it. No one will blame them for leaving the abusive thug; and they get all the sympathy and get to play the victim besides.

    Like most other gender issues, this one is no different: feminine egomania and entitlement are at the root of the problem.

  63. Thag Jones says:

    I would disagree that lust plays any factor in women staying with abusive men. I’ve seen cases where a thuggish male actually changed his life to something respectable; the wives promptly left them for other thugs.

    Because they lust after thugs. You really think lust plays no factor in this? You have to be kidding – why is anyone with anyone? Most people don’t choose a partner rationally and logically, and if they do, they’re in for a really boring time.

    Women, in our culture, are taught that they must be superior to men. How difficult is it to feel superior to a lowlife male?

    There might be a grain of truth in this, but you’re using it to pretend a woman isn’t lusting after thugs, which is wrong. What is “taught” in a culture is not the “depths of psychology,” as you say; the depths of psychology is that women like to be ruled at least to some extent, which is why if a thug does change his ways (unlikely but I’ll play along), she leaves for another thug. She craves the drama and the project and all roughness of the thug. She leaves if he changes because he no longer gives her the tingle that attracted her to him in the first place.

  64. Doomed Harlot says:

    No fault divorce only guarantees a woman her right to leave and remarry. (Or a man for that matter. Don’t forget men are initiating about 1/3 of the divorces.) No fault divorce only gives her her freedom. She doesn’t have to persuade the Judge Grerps of the world who are inclined to say, “It was only one smack. Suck it up, bitch.” On the other hand, if she wants more than her share of the marital estate or she wants to deprive the father of custody based on abuse than she still has to prove it. No-fault divorce only relates to the woman’s ability to leave.

    Now, Grerp is quite right that women have more options today than before. Many of us are economically independent. If I were getting smacked around, I could still survive without a divorce. I could simply walk out the door, support myself very comfortably, and if I found another man, I would’t need a divorce from my first husband because my new man and I could just shack up. The only risk would be that later on my husband would seek a divorce based on my abandonment and would try to take half my savings.

    But what about a woman like my mother who has been a housewife (with occasional bouts of secretarial work) for 40 years? Or younger women who go the traditional homemaker route? They get smacked around and under a fault scenario, they are stuck unless they can convince some judge that it’s really happening and that it is worth divorcing for. What a degrading (not to mention dangerous) position to be in!

    Now if you want more than your share of the marital estate or you want to deprive your spouse of custody or access to the kids, then you still have to prove abuse (or some other grounds). So no-fault only applies to the spouse’s ability to leave.

    I also AGREE with Grerp that this isn’t just about abuse. There are all sorts of nasty things that a husband or wife can do to make marriage intolerable for the other person. These are not susceptible to legal proof or definition. That’s a major part of my point.

  65. Doomed Harlot says:

    I also will register my disagreement with the notion that women like to be ruled (sorry, Thag) and the notion Eric put forward that “most” women prefer “thuggish” guys. First, if women were so fond of being ruled, we would not have an enormously successful feminist movement in the first place.

    Second, I don’t know what you mean by thuggish guys, Eric, but I am assuming you are referring to men who commit violence on women. If it were true that “most” women prefer violent guys, then most hetero relationships would involve violence. That’s far from the case. Besides, women can and are violent towards their partners to0. Do you think those men are in those relationships because they like thuggish women and like the drama of being beaten with, say, a metal chain? (The latter being an example of case I personally know about.)

  66. Thag Jones says:

    I don’t think you need to assume “thuggish” means outright violence, just someone who is a bit rough around the edges, a “bad boy” if you will. It’s hard to deny the sexual appeal of the bad boy image unless you’re really not paying attention or you have a vested interest in denying it. That’s what I meant by it anyway, so I assumed that’s what Eric was talking about.

    I stand by my statement that most women like to have a man who can take care of them and who will wear the pants in the family, which is what I meant, not ruled with daily whippings. The attraction to bad boys might be a bit disordered, but I think that’s the root of it, not some fancy sociological theory dreamt up by academics. Feminists can try to fight nature all they want, but look at the mess that has made! The proof of the pudding is in the eating.

  67. grerp says:

    She doesn’t have to persuade the Judge Grerps of the world who are inclined to say, “It was only one smack. Suck it up, bitch.”

    I am so tired of women calling me a hardened bitch because I think women should live up to the commitments that they made, even in difficult circumstances. Women have no problem expecting the same of men. I mean, I wonder how many women have sashayed on down to family court to renegotiate predetermined child support amounts for their now unemployed exes since the Mancession hit? Those men are in situations beyond their control and now have the full force of the law trying to squeeze out blood from stone. And yet most of the news reports I’ve read have been about women trying to scrape by.

    For better or worse. For richer or poorer. In sickness and in health. I’m betting at least 95% of the divorces then and now have been for reasons that did not involve the safety of mother or children.

  68. Lovekraft says:

    Doomed Harlot: “I am a pro-marriage feminist”

    Ha. I got a good facepalm out of that one. You really think any self-aware man worth his salt would do see a modern entitled feminist as anything other than someone to either avoid, mock or pumpanddump?

  69. Reinholt says:

    In short:

    DH seems like she is very strongly trying to rationalize here. Her arguments, as illuminated above, are nonsensical and fly in the face of facts.

    Grerp, being a hardened bitch in this context is code for having morals (and people being ashamed they can’t live up to them); more Orwellian doublespeak, in essence. Don’t take it too hard. It’s like being insulted that someone called you intelligent.

  70. Octavia says:

    Doomed Harlot: “Personally, I would never want to marry if society did not give me a way out. I would not trust the State (or the church either) to determine for me when I am morally justified in leaving.”

    You make a great point. If an entity has the authority to decide how long you can stay in a marriage, that entity can just as well start deciding how you must raise your children.

    Grerp: “For better or worse. For richer or poorer. In sickness and in health. I’m betting at least 95% of the divorces then and now have been for reasons that did not involve the safety of mother or children.”

    Those might be your marriage vows. Others could just as easily have written different ones for themselves. Or, even if the words were the same, the understanding between the two people are different than what you and your husband have.

    In general: What kind of standard do we want to use? Hmmm, how about my parents? They’ve been married for several decades, raised three well-adjusted children, obtained their formal education, all while both serving in the military, sometimes being stationed apart for at least a year. By that standard, most people are abject failures.

    Of course, when I step back and look at each person’s situation, I realize I don’t get to decide how much someone else must handle. I can choose to interact with those who I feel have made positive choices. However, I would not try to apply my standards to all of society. It might just be possible that I don’t always know what’s best for millions of other people.

  71. Thag Jones says:

    Reinholt, exactly – consider the source.

    Those might be your marriage vows. Others could just as easily have written different ones for themselves. Or, even if the words were the same, the understanding between the two people are different than what you and your husband have.

    LOL How can you have a “different understanding” of the meaning of “for better or for worse”? It’s like making a promise with your fingers crossed behind your back – HA HA! DIDN’T COUNT! Grow up. It’s not much of a vow if it’s only “for now” or has a bunch of caveats. It’s like saying “I’m taking a vow of celibacy for a while or until a really hot guy comes along.” It’s ridiculous and pointless and delusional. Why bother getting married at all?

  72. Retrenched says:

    @ grerp

    “I am so tired of women calling me a hardened bitch because I think women should live up to the commitments that they made, even in difficult circumstances. Women have no problem expecting the same of men.”

    Home run.

  73. P.T. Barnum says:

    Isn’t it interesting?

    What here truly makes no sense?

    What experience do any of you have with the American legal system have?

    Think about it now. Who here has WAY more experience than you?

    Who here has said she wouldn’t trust judges to make any kind of decision she thinks is important?

    Isn’t that…. informative.

    Doomed Harlot, the fact that you “can’t get it” is, well, not surprising. You have had powerful shocks delivered to you in order to train you out of the “liking bad boys” thing:

    I used to prosecute criminal cases so I have personally interacted with women who have sided with their pedophile boyfriends over their own victimized daughters. It’s not a phenomenon I can pretend to understand. I attribute it to (1) denial based on fear of being without a man and (2) internalized misogyny and the resulting ambivalent feelings about their own daughters. But it is heartbreaking to see girls sold out by their own mothers.

    With a cattle prod. OUCH!

  74. P.T. Barnum says:

    Doomed Harlot married someone who had been through what she had been through because she quite correctly believed no one else would accept what had happened to her.

    She may be an outlier, but that doesn’t mean it never happens. Her fears and concerns are based on her personal experiences and it is going to be basically impossible to talk her out of those. No matter how many times you tell her it couldn’t have happened to her.

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  76. Eric says:

    Thag:
    I don’t see lust playing any factor in most women’s relationship choices. How could it? Look at the kind of scum you see women dating and there’s no way there could be any actual sexual attraction on her part: idiots with baggy clown-pants hanging down under their butts; bozos who look like they never go anywhere near a bathtub (except when they have to while in jail); smelly slobs covered with gross tattoos and piercings; what’s sexually attractive about any of that?

    Women in our culture are anything BUT willing to be dominated, sexually or otherwise, by a male. That’s why relationships are so dysfunctional; women’s nature actually does want a strong, supportive male: our culture teaches them to behave exactly the opposite: that they must be superior to men. Look at most women’s relationship histories as proof: either they are destroying a decent man’s life (to prove their superiority over him); or they’re chasing after some scumbag (to prove their superiority over him). It centres on this superiority complex and hatred of men: the first case in its active form and the second in its passive one.

  77. Eric says:

    Doomed Harlot:

    I’m not strictly limiting my definition to men who are violent; plenty of these jerks are outright cowards. I mean that women prefer weakness and stupidity in men; the more violent and emotionally immature a man is, the more she wants him.

    It has nothing to do with ‘drama’ or female’s supposed desire to ‘fix’ a man. Most women could care less about any male’s welfare.

    A relationship with a strong, intelligent man, though, would require actual effort on a woman’s part; it would mean that she would have to treat him as an equal and (this will send shivers down most women’s spines), actually RESPECT and (gasp) ADMIRE him! That goes against her entire education and upbringing, which has taught her that all men are expendable. No, instead, she will immediately fly into bed with the nearest bum: who actually fits her image of a ‘man’.

  78. grerp says:

    @Chris – I got distracted arguing above, but I wanted to say that I think you are doing the right thing. Obviously it’s cost you, and obviously your kids will have some things to work through, but they will know that you fought for them, loved them, and sacrificed for them. And that’s so important.

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  80. Chris says:

    @Grerp

    Thanks.

    The problem is that we have infected our culture with a meme that it is OK to just walk out. Three experiences last week.

    1. Had to travel to a conference. One of the inflight movies was “Eat, Pray, Love”. Mentioned this when returned to work. Just out of college colleague said “I can’t stand that. All she does is whine!”

    2. At conference talking over coffee. Fellow academic gave me the ‘look’ and said “What goes on at conferences stays at conferences”. I mumbled something about having to go to the motel and feed the kids.

    3. Youngest is leaving intermediate (Junior high: he is year 8 (Grade 7). Get call from one of his friends’ parents about the school dance. He does not want to go. Older boy states that he just ensures that the notices do not get to home — he’s year 10 (Grade 9). Both are confident. Both are terrified of relationships with girls | women.

    Experience one gives me hope — younger women are seeing through the self deceptions of the “second generation” feminists. Experience two WAS a second generation feminist, and Experience three was the consequence of these experiences on my sons.

    The younger one is going to the school dance tomorrow, by the way.

  81. vasaphonia says:

    I agree that marriage should be taken more seriously, but the “it must be the women’s fault” meme is a little tiring. Mostly because to be frank I haven’t seen that many women in my life who seem to be the root of the problem. The two major divorces my friends went through.

    1. Involved the father deciding he wanted to advance his career and didn’t want the burden of his marriage and children so he moved to kazichstan to do research. this sounds like a classic male eat pray love to me. His son is now fatherless.

    2. The father was an alcoholic and molested one of my friends. the mother divorced him, and the daughter refuses to enable her father by lending him her car.

    now I’m sure others have horror stories the other way around, but let’s not be so quick to decry women as the ones at fault. and as to your question Dalrock who cares whose fault you tell your daughter it is. Well one, it’s simply a lie, in that case you didn’t know whose fault it was and to assume that it must have been because mommy was being a brat is teaching your kid that when in doubt assume the woman is at fault. this to me doesn’t sound like a good message to be spouting. I’m not saying women shouldn’t be held responsible for mistakes, but it is unfair and toxic to assume fault and reveals bigotry. what if a woman told her daughter that the couple was probably divorcing because the daddy was a brat and cheated on the mommy — with no evidence.

    I think that both parties should be held responsible, but the tendency here — and I think that moment illustrated it perfectly — is to be heavily biased against the women, even when there is no evidence.

    What I’d like to see are some hard statistics and proof that women are the ones iniating all the divorces, and the documented causes for those iniatiations. because in my life to life experience with divorce it seems to me as once kids are involved it becomes a very different story. i do know of much anecdotal evidence of women divorcing their husbands for no reason, when they’re WEREN’T kids involved, but I have seen very little case of it when there were kids involved.

  82. Dalrock says:

    @Vasaphonia
    I agree that marriage should be taken more seriously, but the “it must be the women’s fault” meme is a little tiring.

    Go back and reread the post. I didn’t say it is only women. I said “men and women”, “their parents can’t get their acts together”, etc. However, notice it is only women arguing in favor of divorce for no reason. No men are arguing for the right to divorce if they aren’t happy. That is true in this post, my previous ones, and many others I’ve seen on the web.

    It is also worth pointing out that I’m not scouring the web for only examples of women frivolously divorcing, starting pro divorce blogs, etc. If you find examples of men talking about how they married a woman they never loved and then divorced her, or men’s blogs encouraging other men to divorce, I’d love to see it. For example I wrote a post on the blog which celebrated the coke addict. If you can find a man’s blog celebrating men who cheat on their wives, and dump their kids off with sitters while they freebase, don’t hold back.

    and as to your question Dalrock who cares whose fault you tell your daughter it is. Well one, it’s simply a lie, in that case you didn’t know whose fault it was and to assume that it must have been because mommy was being a brat is teaching your kid that when in doubt assume the woman is at fault. this to me doesn’t sound like a good message to be spouting. I’m not saying women shouldn’t be held responsible for mistakes, but it is unfair and toxic to assume fault and reveals bigotry.

    My wife and I didn’t sit across from the ex husband for an hour during Thanksgiving dinner. The mom was a very nasty person, as I mentioned above. The way she treated her stepdaughter made our skin crawl. And we didn’t tell our daughter to assume it was the mom. We said his mom was a brat and wrong that divorce just happens for no reason.

    You taking up the banner of women’s solidarity on this ridiculous point really makes my point. Faced with scoring a point for the sisterhood vs making sure a little girl isn’t traumatized, you chose the sisterhood. You go girl!

    What I’d like to see are some hard statistics and proof that women are the ones iniating all the divorces, and the documented causes for those iniatiations.

    Funny enough I’m working on just such a post. Hard data is difficult to come by, but I’ll share what I can find (at least what I can find handy). If anyone has any sources on this please share a link.

  83. The Deuce says:

    Doomed Harlot:

    On the other hand, if she wants more than her share of the marital estate or she wants to deprive the father of custody based on abuse than she still has to prove it. No-fault divorce only relates to the woman’s ability to leave.

    You contradict yourself right there in the space of two sentences. By saying “more than her fair share” you are acknowledging that she doesn’t just leave. She leaves with a share. If no-fault divorce were about allowing a woman to leave, and nothing more, then it would entitle her to nothing – no custody of the children, and no share of the family finances – just her own unattached self and nothing mroe. If someone abandons their family unnecessarily, they aren’t fairly entitled to anything whatsoever. You know, the same thing that happens when a man walks out on his family.

  84. The Deuce says:

    vasaphonia:

    now I’m sure others have horror stories the other way around, but let’s not be so quick to decry women as the ones at fault. and as to your question Dalrock who cares whose fault you tell your daughter it is. Well one, it’s simply a lie, in that case you didn’t know whose fault it was and to assume that it must have been because mommy was being a brat is teaching your kid that when in doubt assume the woman is at fault.

    Um, the mommy was the one who told her son that “sometimes mommies and daddies just stop loving each other”. She was the source of the statement that unsettled Dalrock’s daughter’s sense of security, and so she was the one who needed to be debunked. And furthermore, given what this shallow statement reveals about her attitude, it’s highly unlikely that the divorce wasn’t her choice.

  85. Omnipitron says:

    “You taking up the banner of women’s solidarity on this ridiculous point really makes my point. Faced with scoring a point for the sisterhood vs making sure a little girl isn’t traumatized, you chose the sisterhood. You go girl!”

    The interesting thing about this; that every time womyn chose to defend the sisterhood in a situation which clearly doesn’t warrant it, Feminism as a whole loses credibility.

  86. Brendan says:

    Vasophonia —

    There was a study done a few years ago by two Michigan economists titled something like “These Boots Are Made for Walking” which documents that women most often initiate divorce precisely because they most often win custody of the kids. I don’t have the time to google it now, but it’s easily findable on Google. Keep in mind, this is in marriages *with* kids.

    For every male “Eat, Pray, Love”, in 2010 there are 5-10 female versions. Why? Because women win divorce in 2010 America. That’s why. People follow incentives.

  87. Dalrock says:

    @Brendan

    I think I found the study you were referencing. The one I found was titled ‘These Boots are Made for Walking': Why Most Divorce Filers are Women. Here is a summary of it from the NY Times.

    As you said it goes into the incentives created by the uneven custody rules:

    The solution to the mystery, the factor that determined most cases, turned out to be the question of child custody. Women are much more willing to split up because — unlike men — they typically do not fear losing custody of the children. Instead, a divorce often enables them to gain control over the children.

    “The question of custody absolutely swamps all the other variables,” Dr. Brinig said. “Children are the most important asset in a marriage, and the partner who expects to get sole custody is by far the most likely to file for divorce.”

    THE correlation with custody is so strong, Dr. Brinig said, that she has changed her view about the best way to preserve marriages and protect children. She previously advocated an end to quick no-fault divorces, but she now believes that the key is to rewrite custody laws.

    Edit: And here is a link to the full report: http://www.unc.edu/courses/2006fall/econ/586/001/Readings/Brinig.pdf

  88. SDaedalus says:

    @The Deuce

    I don’t see it being said anywhere that it was the mother who said “mommies and daddies just stop loving one another”. I think Vasaphonia has a point.

    I agree that there’s far too much pro-women stuff in the mainstream media, to the extent that being a woman is seen as giving you a free pass, and I can see why people might be inclined to go over the top in the other direction in order to counteract this, but I would prefer a more measured approach, looking at the individual situation and not engaging in pre-judging or jumping to conclusions about someone just because you don’t like their demeanour, sometimes people and their histories can surprise you.

    It may well be that the woman in question was at fault, but that wasn’t made clear either in the original post & the follow up comments were all “what does it matter?” It matters because people shouldn’t be blamed without reason, I don’t like people automatically assuming that the man is at fault in these things but nor do I like people doing the same for the woman.

    Re Amelia Earheart, I agree that feminism tends to exaggerate famous women’s achievements, it does also appear that statistically women tend to bunch towards the middle in terms of ability with more male outliers at either end. However, very few people are outliers, most men are in the middle too, so this doesn’t mean that women can’t do useful work and achieve things either, a woman is not necessarily worse than a man doing the same job, and can still achieve highly. It’s not a case of either genius or nothing.

    Also, re women ageing, which is something that is discussed a lot on this blog, people age, I agree it happens a few years later for men, at least if they’ve looked after themselves, but it still happens. Most of us are not all that beautiful anyway, at best pleasant looking, our ‘peak years’ are more like peak foothills, the decline is not so great when there was not much there to begin with. It is only the great beauties who really suffer with age, for some of us it can actually be a relief, not to be judged according to our looks any longer.

    When I hear women of 30 or so whom I know talking about a decline in their SMV with age, and I often wonder whether or not this is actually a form of vanity, a lot of these women are attributing an SMV to themselves that they never had to begin with, the decline is not as steep as they think because there was not so much there to start with. Bemoaning the ageing process is very bad taste in a lot of ways, if only because it attributes a significance to one’s looks that really was never there to begin with.

  89. grerp says:

    Obviously women file more for divorce. It is impossible to determine who is more at fault (if anyone is more at fault) in a marriage for that marriage’s failure without being on the inside. For instance, and I know this is a dated example, if Rose Kennedy had filed for divorce after all of his cheating, would we have said that because she filed, she was the problematic partner in the marriage?

    When I was growing up, it seemed like it was the men who left, but I don’t know if that was actually true. I know in my teen years there were three men in our small church congregation who left their wives, and the wives fought the divorce. Again, they might have left because the wives were so difficult to live with or were unfaithful or whatever, but from the outside, the men looked most at fault. The most recent divorce stories I’ve heard, however, the wife left and left for pretty frivolous reasons. In one of these stories she got pregnant despite his objections, had the baby, then left and shacked up with some other guy. He’s now divorced, then, and on the hook for child support for a kid he made clear he wanted to avoid conceiving. And he’ll probably only see her every other weekend. Another woman dumped her husband and left him to raise their daughter, then when she was about 8 decided she wanted custody, got it, and promptly moved out her of state. The man wanted to be near his child, so he quit his job, rented his house, and moved to where they were now living. He remarried. Then his ex-moved another thousand miles away. He now sees his daughter about 6 weeks a year. He was a phenomenal father, and the mother is a total grrrrl empowered flakezoid. Revolving door on the bedroom, etc. The daughter is too sexual for her age and has been neglected and shunted aside for her mother’s social life. She also married again, had twins, and divorced her new husband. He sees his sons when he picks them up for daycare and drops them off. She tells her daughter, “We don’t need men anymore.” I’d like to ice pick her through the heart.

    I suppose what I’m saying is that I’ve seen some really egregious female behavior of late that I didn’t see when I was growing up.

  90. sdaedalus says:

    I’ve seen some really egregious female behavior of late that I didn’t see when I was growing up.

    I agree that women behave worse now, however the difference (and I agree there is a difference, things have got worse, may not be as great as it appears. A lot of women in the past were just better at hiding their bad behaviour, now they don’t bother. I agree there are women in the middle, who would not have behaved as badly in the past. I think the thing is, that if you cut one gender a lot of slack, there are people who take advantage of it, who might have done so anyway, but not as obviously, and there are others who just follow the herd.

  91. Dalrock says:

    sdaedalus, you keep missing the context of the story about the woman who divorced. I don’t know and don’t care what happened with them. I didn’t share that as a story to prove that women divorce frivolously. I was talking about how our little girl couldn’t sleep because she was told that parents one day could just stop loving one another and turn her world upside down. She was three. We kept it simple. We don’t see the other kid or his mother and only returned to the friend’s house for Thanksgiving dinner in following years after being assured the woman was out of the country. I’m not sure why you feel so inclined to fight for this unknown woman’s honor.

    Men and women both do awful, selfish things which destroy their kid’s lives. Just because the men who do this don’t go write books, movies, and magazine articles suggesting that other men do the same to their own kids doesn’t mean they don’t exist. I get this. But the message to and from women in our culture celebrating irresponsibility is too blatant to ignore. Keep in mind that women commenting on this very blog argued that it wasn’t tacky for women to want their husbands to go watch a divorce fantasy movie with them.

    As for the rest of your 3:00 PM post, you don’t appear to be arguing with anything I have actually said. All of my posts are available in writing. If you disagree with something feel free to quote it and explain why you think I’m wrong. No need to imply that I’m a bad guy. If we disagree on something then so be it, but as I said to one of the commenters on spearhead all I ask is that we argue about things we actually disagree on.

  92. sdaedalus says:

    Aw Dalrock, if I thought you were a bad guy, would I be commenting on your blog?

    I was a bit confused, as to whether or not women were being automatically presumed to be in the wrong, but I think your comment above clarifies this, thanks.

    I agree with a lot of what you write, we probably have slight areas of disagreement but my views are not set in stone, I like to hear other opinions. I do enjoy reading your blog & comments.

  93. The Deuce says:

    Grerp:

    Here’s another story. There was a couple in my parents church. They were married for a long time and had two grown daughters (the daughters are another disaster, but that’s a different story). The wife was a schoolteacher, and taught at the same school as my mom. The husband was a deacon in the church.

    She suddenly divorced him to shack up with another teacher (a deadbeat Mexican immigrant who never did his work and eventually got fired) to chase the tingle of that exotic Latin machismo (or whatever dim remnant of it was left in this wash-up). She refused to actually marry him, however, because that would have put an end to the alimony payments the court awarded her.

    Throughout the proceedings, she badmouthed her husband to all the other female teachers, telling them how “controlling” and “boring” he was. Of course, being a bunch of liberal feminist union-moochers themselves, they all took her side and encouraged her to keep it up, despite my mom’s attempts to fill them in with the real story and set them straight (Grrlpower was just so much more attractive than the facts).

    She didn’t have the decency to stop sucking his blood even when he was subsequently diagnosed with cancer.

    But, this story has a happy ending. He remarried another woman in the church, a wonderful and sweet lady who everyone in the church likes. He succumbed to the cancer, but they enjoyed three good years together, and he died happy and loved, by his wife and by the rest of the church.

    At the funeral, his ex-wife bawled all over the place, and tried to make a big show of the grieving widow song and dance. Everyone just thought she made an ass of herself. I’m kind of surprised they even invited her.

    Amazingly, the torrid romance with her aging, unemployed Mexican just didn’t pan out in the end. She’s screwed herself royally. I must admit, I derive some perverse glee from the knowledge that the worthless whore will live out the rest of her miserable days desperately alone and unloved by anyone, stuck with the knowledge that her life is a waste and that her attempt to destroy a good man only destroyed her in the end, and that instead of the red-hot Thug Luv she sought, the only burning in her future will be the afterlife.

  94. Badger Nation says:

    Deuce,

    Forgive me as I laugh my tail off at that story. Schadenfreude runs deep with me; I can’t help but enjoy people who destroy others’ lives get theirs. Call me a bad person if you want. In person, it’s usually best to be the bigger man and go on with your life as best you can like the ex-husband did but in the privacy of my own mind I will take great glee.

  95. grerp says:

    Deuce, I think it’s so sad that we all seem to have travesty story right there to hand. The worst part of the story of the state-hopping daughter stealer was that this man remarried and when it became obvious that the daughter was not doing so well, he didn’t fight for primary custody because his new wife wanted their home only for “their” children. She knew what was going on and admitted that not seeking custody was “selfish,” but let herself off the hook because “it’s natural that a woman would want a home for her own family.” She is what most people would call a good woman and certainly would consider herself such.

    I have a very hard time suppressing my predictions for this girl’s future.

    In one of my worst stories, it was the man who went rabid. They were friends of my parents, and my sister and I called them aunt and uncle. The husband suspected he was gay in college, but it was the sixties and he wanted kids, so he married a woman and had two children. The marriage lasted about 15 years, long enough for her rich parents to die and for him to help her run through the entire inheritance. Then he got antsy and started cheating. She found out about it and told him she wanted to stay married for the kids. She would tolerate the cheating if he would be discreet. That proved too onerous for him, and he started bringing young men to the house when his kids were home. She filed, and they had one of the ugliest divorces ever with him badmouthing her up and down to the kids and everyone else. Eventually he moved in with a new guy, and that guy eventually found his 14 year old son to be more sexually compelling than his father. Major, major chaos. The boy blew out his late teens and most of his twenties self destructing. The daughter rarely talks to either of her parents. My parents had a real difficult time explaining to us what our “uncle” was doing to his family.

    I haven’t seen him in 25 years. I’ve heard he’s had some health problems. Unless he’s got ebola, it’s not enough.

  96. vasaphonia says:

    To be honest part of the reason I’m here is I like unpopular view points. The men’s rights movement is nothing but unpopular. However, ironically as I find myself here I find myself rooting for the unpopular viewpoint here — which happens to be feminist one.

    And I didn’t see that you noted that the woman was being mean, sorry I missed that. And now that you clarify it makes a bit more sense.

    Still I’d really be curious to see some hard data, though I understand it can be hard. It’s hard to believe anything anyone says without it, unfortunately. Although I must say that serial monagamy with cheating is perhaps just as dangerous. My grandfather was quite the philanderer, his first wife died in a car crash, but his second committed suicide after their relationship got to be a bit too much for her to handle, and the third well, she was and is completely bat-shit crazy. Admittedly he met her before the second one died, so. My grandmother is the second.

  97. Anonymous Reader says:

    vasaphonia
    To be honest part of the reason I’m here is I like unpopular view points. The men’s rights movement is nothing but unpopular. However, ironically as I find myself here I find myself rooting for the unpopular viewpoint here — which happens to be feminist one.

    Then you are rooting for the “right” of a 20-something woman to ride the cock carousel for ten years, picking up chlamydia, herpes, and a few other disease along the way as she receives special treatment in college and on the job because of her vagina; her “right” to then marry at the age of 30 some man whom she turned her pretty nose up at years before in order to bear a baby or two; her “right” after the first child to decide that she doesn’t want to work for money any more even if it means two jobs for her man-slave; her “right” to decide after 4 or so years of marriage that hubby is boring and she deserves better; her “right” to unilaterally decide that cheating with a thug on the side is what she deserves to “get her groove back”; her “right” to call the police and have hubby arrested for Domestic Violence when he shouts at her and the thug of the week when he catches them in the marriage bed; her “right” to slap hubby with a restraining order barring him from the house he’s paid for and the child he fathered; her “right” to have him barred from ever seeing his children again; her “right” to the house, half of the bank account, half of his IRA/401K/pension, plus child support plus alimony, in order to support her and her latest thug “boyfriend” in the style they wish to be accustomed to plus a little more child support for the latest baby she bore (fathered by a thug).

    That’s what you support. Right?

  98. Octavia says:

    To Thag Jones:
    The general verbiage in the marriage vow is- love, honor, cherish, obey, for better or for worse, in sickness and in health, until death do us part.

    There are grounds for divorce if one person does not meet every single term. That means if someone does not feel loved, honored, cherished, etc., the vow is broken and the person is within his/her rights to leave. Nothing, except the desire of the person who believes he/she has been wronged, requires the person to work on fixing the problem. [This is still the case, even if some deploy their powers of shaming and ridiculing.] So, the vow has only ever been as strong as the love the two people have for each other. That is what I mean when I write about the concept of each couple having a different understanding, even though the words are the same; understanding in terms of an “appreciation,” “comprehension” between the people speaking the vow.

    Love changes. Love dies.

    By the way, apparently, the traditional religious marriage vow has changed over the decades. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Marriage_vows. Maybe the churches that allowed the changes had their fingers crossed behind their backs…

    In general:
    This unabashed valuing of the vow is fascinating to me. For hundreds of years, marriage wasn’t even about love, staying together for the kids, etc. It was primarily a way for people to be [relatively] sure who the father of a child was and to transfer property rights. In some places, that’s still the crux of marriage. So, I find it incredibly ironic that on numerous blogs where women, in general, are constantly chastised for fairy tale ideas and rationalization, this vow is held up as being a completely infallible choice…for perpetuity.

  99. lifeinlonglegs says:

    “I don’t think that’s something we can make black-and-white rules about (“All divorce is bad.”)”

    You’re right – we shouldn’t make black and white rules about it. We shouldn’t make – and do not have the power to make – any rules about it at all. God says divorce is impermissible: correct me if I am wrong however the only Biblical grounds for divorces is infidelity. …and I think in the Old Testament the punishment for adultery is being stoned to death, so from my understanding there wouldn’t be anyone around to divorce at that point.

    John is right – we have abandoned our God. We need to repent; turn from our ways and turn to Him again.

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