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Coming Apart
New Evidence in the Marriage Debate
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  • Gubbler Chechenova

    It’s the culture.

  • Gubbler Chechenova

    Marriage rates are way down in Europe and advanced East Asian nations too.

    It is the culture. As society grows more narcissistic, people look for the dream match that isn’t easy to find.
    Also, there is so much fun to be had via entertainment and all sorts of social network gadgets, people feel less bored and lonely. In the past, people got married cuz they were lonely and bored. They needed company. Now, there are so much technology, fun, and sub-cultural groups.
    Also, pop culture infantilizes people. They remain forever in teenager mentality without growing up. We see 30 yr olds who still dress like they’re in high school. They still see life as non-stop rock concerts and videogames and parties.

    Since many women work, they have the option of not working. So, even if there are employed men, the fact that so many women are employed make them independent of men. These women may eventually want to get married but they look for Mr. Right, the kind of fantasy they see in movies and TV shows. In Japan, Taiwan, and South Korea, women are hooked to soap opera that are all about idealized mates that have nothing to do with reality.

    The overly sexed culture also works against marriage. Those in the hookup/dating game wanna look for new partners to have sex with. They know marriage will mean the end of that, and they don’t want it to end. So, they reject marriage or keep putting it off.
    The more conservative men and women may want to marry, but they know that a lot of men and women they meet already slept around, indeed a lot. That is a turn-off for them. Some men don’t like women who’ve been with lots of men, and some women can’t stand guys who’ve been banging everything in sight.

    The humanist idea of man and woman struggling together through life is dead and gone. Poor women can just rely on welfare, so why marry some guy and struggle with him to make ends meet? And more affluent women see themselves as prizes to be won by the ‘best kind of men’. And men don’t look for women with whom to struggle with. Men look for trophies to show off their success.

    Also, there is no family pressure and social pressure. There was a time when it was routine for Jewish mothers or Polish mothers to push their sons and daughters to marry. Parents don’t apply such pressure anymore. Also, there is the decline in nationalist and cultural communal feeling. In the modern west and east, individualism or self-centrism dominates, so people think of marriage only as self-fulfillment. They don’t see it as a continuation of the national tribe and community, an obligation to history and heritage. Orthodox Jews get married and have more kids than secular Jews do cuz the former have a historical and cultural sense of Jewishness. They see family as a vehicle for preserving Jewishness whereas secular Jews see it as more a matter of self-fulfillment.
    If you care about the larger community, you might settle for a good decent Jewish woman even if she isn’t particularly special. But if you are into self-fulfillment, you may keep looking for that very special person since you only think in terms of me, me, me.

    Also, premarital sex is the norm. When women were more chaste, it was understood that they would have to marry before they could have sex. So, men married the women to finally get some good loving, like in the ‘Wouldn’t it be nice’ Beach Boys song. And as there less porny stuff in the past, men needed some sex real bad cuz they couldn’t find nudie pictures easy on the internet as is possible today. So, they got married and their wives got knocked up and they had kids.

    Nowadays, premartial sex is the norm. So, men and women meet and they just have sex. There’s no need to marry. Also, since men know that women they’re with slept with other men and since women know that men they’re with slept with other women, there is no special bond when men and women meet, even when they marry.
    In the past, people got married to enjoy the pleasure of sex for the first time.
    Now, people get married because they’ve screwed around a lot and grown tired and finally wanna settle down.
    In the past, marriage was about “the thrill is on!!”
    Nowadays, marriage is about “thrill is gone cuz I’ve had so much sex, so I just find someone to settle down with”. So, there’s less real commitment and passion.

    Rise of individualism undermines confidence among many men and women. When society used to be more communal — consider how church attendance and family gatherings were much higher in the past — , there was less need for men and women to show off their sexuality to find someone. They might just meet someone at a church meeting or some communal gathering. Now, there is less of that, so, individual men and woman have to play the game to attract mates. Some men and women do this very well cuz they got the looks and personality, but the less expressive and confident men and women totally fail at this. So, they decide to just withdraw from sexuality. As for those with the looks and skills to pick up dates or hookups, they’d rather just enjoy the action than settle down. Men went from sturdy morality to stud mobility, and women are now essentially hookers(hookup and hooker sure sound similar) who do it for pleasure than money.

    Also, smaller family sizes may have led to decline in marriage. When families used to be larger, kids grew up with uncles, aunts, and cousins. And that boosted a sense of family and community. And through such family members, they might meet other peoples, especially at family gatherings. Also, in a larger family, as each kid gets less attention, he or she comes to realize the need for social mindfulness. But in small families with just one or two kids, kids have more time and space for themselves, and this boosts narcissism. They see themselves as center of the world, and their main emphasis in life is me, me, and me. Marriage is where one has to love the spouse more than oneself, but that is hard to come by for narcissists.

    There is also PC. As feminism fills women’s minds with ideology, they are picky about the kind of men choose on the basis of political attitudes. So, if a guy isn’t into ‘gay marriage’, he’s off the menu with 90% of urban women or elite college women.
    Or a guy may be more into SJW lifestyle than devoting his energies into family. He sees himself as ‘man of the world’ and ‘man for justice’ than a ‘man for his family and wife and kids’. PC comes between men and women. Feminism trains women to see every disagreement with a man as an assault on her womanly empowerment. A lot of women can no longer stand ‘sexist’ and ‘racist’ conservative men. So, are ‘progressive’ men better off? Sometimes, but their effete manner makes them less attractive to women. After all, for all the feminist rhetoric, women want Real Men. The problem is Real Men turn off a lot of women who are into PC and feminism. But ‘progressive’ men turn off a lot of women cuz they are wussy goosie. It’s damned if you do, damned if you don’t.

    There is also vulgarization. If you read the tweets of Emma Sulkowicz, you get a good idea of what sexual culture has become. It’s like what you see in Lena Dunham’s GIRLS. Boys and girls are sexualized faster but utterly fail in emotional maturization. Sulkowicz screwed like a hooker but whined like a 5 yr old girl.

    And judging by how quickly guys adopt tattoos and such nonsense, I think it’s fair to say our society isn’t producing men like they used to. It doesn’t produce real men like Pat Buchanan’s pa in RIGHT FROM THE BEGINNING.

    • vb

      That is a good list. I would also add that feminism has diminished the value of homemaking skills so that women no longer find satisfaction in knowing how to cook for a family and establish family rituals. This, in turn, means that men no longer see marriage and a home as a refuge from the world.

      • James

        Feminism has not diminished the value of homemaking skills, but has made it feasible for women to have a choice between careers and homemaking. Perhaps both men and women could learn to find satisfaction in both careers and homemaking. That would be an improvement.

  • FriendlyGoat

    Fans of Billy Joel will recall his song, “Scenes from an Italian Restaurant” which contained a section which was the ballad of Brenda and Eddie. In it, the young couple “got a divorce as a matter of course”——because——“they started to fight when the money got tight, and they just didn’t count on the tears”.

    Marriage and family is NO FUN when the economics simply do not work for a thrifty-but-stable-and-adequate family income without each parent having two jobs. There is not getting around this, not matter who writes papers.

    • Boritz

      Carol Deene had the answer in “Johnny Get Angry”: “I want a brave man, I want a cave man.”

      • FriendlyGoat

        Yeah, here are the words to that. Too bad they don’t have anything to do with this subject.

        Johnny, I said we were through
        Just to see what you would do
        You stood there and hung your head
        Made me wish that I were dead
        Oh, Johnny get angry, Johnny get mad
        Give me the biggest lecture I ever had
        I want a brave man, I want a cave man
        Johnny, show me that you care, really care for me
        Every time you danced with me
        You let Freddy cut in constantly
        When he’d ask, you’d never speak
        Must you always be so meek?

        Every girl wants someone who
        She can always look up to
        You know I love you, of course
        Let me know that you’re the boss
        Johnny, get angry, Johnny
        Johnny, Johnny, Johnny, Johnny

    • f1b0nacc1

      You forgot the previous verse from “Italian Restaurant”, “…Brenda you know that you’re much too lazy and Eddie could never afford to live that kind of life…” It wasn’t a ‘thrifty-but-stable-and-adequate family income’, it was two immature narcissists (remember, they were ‘the king and the queen of the prom’, etc.) neither of whom were prepared for marriage.
      Actually, “Italian Restaurant” makes Murray’s case almost perfectly….

      • FriendlyGoat

        I should’t bother reading your stuff since you don’t even read your stuff,…..
        Take it slowly


        • Tom

          Said life being…

          “They got an apartment with deep/Pile carpet/And a couple of paintings from Sears…They lived for a while in a/
          Very nice style”

          Perhaps you should take your own advice.

          • FriendlyGoat

            Well, you got me. I have no idea what you’re talking about.

        • f1b0nacc1

          Apparently you didn’t bother to read the entire quote, just the part you wanted to…
          “Brenda you know that you’re much to lazy…” comes before “…and Eddie could never afford to live that kind of life”….clearly the reference is that Eddie cannot afford to lead the sort of life that Brenda imagines that she wants to lead, especially when she (Brenda) is much too lazy…
          Reading comprehension is your friend. Disagree if you wish, but try reading the WHOLE thing next time…

          • FriendlyGoat

            I have heard that song enough to have large parts of it memorized. It’s a great composition on several levels—-not just the ballad of Brenda and Eddie.

            Billy Joel was saying a LOT of things, not just speaking to economics, which I’m sure he wasn’t—-since it was about the 1970’s. In 2015, the meaning fits, though, that marriage (and family, which Brenda and Eddie never started, to our knowledge) is an uphill slog for at least half of all couples. You can consider that not to be “any problem” as you wish. I don’t.

          • f1b0nacc1

            So in other words, you were wrong about the song being written about this problem…

          • FriendlyGoat

            I never said the song was written about this problem. I SAID marriage and family are NO FUN when the economics simply do not work.

          • f1b0nacc1

            So the reference was just a coincidence?…..
            (Quit while you are behind)

  • Anthony

    :…is that marriage rates have declined dramatically among white working class Americans…while remaining constant among the elite/” Here’s another interpretation within context of post:

  • Jacksonian_Libertarian

    Millions of women with children are on welfare and therefore Married to the Government. 55% of female headed families are on welfare, 36% of the population are on some “means tested” assistance program. With the exception of unemployment benefits Single employed men without children get almost no assistance from the government. This means the financial incentives for poor people to get married are all on the side of not getting married, and so they don’t.

  • gabrielsyme

    While certainly working-class America hasn’t advanced very far economically in the last thirty years, historically speaking, they remain vastly better off than they were in any decade until the 1960s, none of which witnessed the massive family dislocation that we see today. The difference is entirely cultural, and that cultural change has been fuelled by liberal political successes. Let’s put it on the line: all the rapacious, dishonest and heartless captains of industry in American history cannot touch liberals for the misery inflicted on the poor and working class.

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