Aug. 18th, 2012

velvetpage: (Default)
I stumbled across this on my brother's facebook.

Let's see, where to begin?

Or, in simpler terms, a stable marriage is a clear route to a better life, but society has steadily chipped away at respect for that very institution.

Actually, the truth is exactly the opposite. When people are able to get out of marriages that aren't working, the strength of the ones that ARE is increased. How is it "respecting the institution of marriage" to force abused women to stay with their abusers, for example? On the other side of the coin, how is it disrespecting that institution to allow anyone who wants to, to enter into it?

So, educated women get married, pick more reliable partners, and enjoy much better outcomes. That would seem to contradict the feminist notion that men are largely unnecessary appendages, required as sperm-providers but otherwise expendable once that duty has been performed. It would also run counter to the view of family courts that fathers are largely unnecessary in upbringing children, other than to provide financial support.

First, the "feminist notion" he's talking about is not the bulk of feminists, and it's been oversimplified here. Certainly some women are better off without their sperm donors, because the sperm donors were beating them and the kids, or otherwise causing more problems than they solved. Why not discuss the fact that college-educated women have more access to privileged men, including the privilege that raised them to see being an involved husband and father as a good thing? As for the family courts, did the National Post miss the fact that in Ontario, joint custody is the default, precisely because fathers are seen as valuable and having rights to their children? This is a Canadian newspaper and should be aware of things like that.

I'm certainly not denying that two-parent (or three-parent, but I don't think the NP is ready to acknowledge families like mine, more's the pity) families generally manage better by their kids. That's a simple fact borne out by numerous statistics. What I'm denying is that this is a simple choice on anyone's part. The state of marriage as a middle-class institution is both an effect and a cause of privilege.

The pot shot at abortion at the end is priceless. The middle-class women who do not have babies out of wedlock had more access to abortion and contraceptives when they were younger than did the poor women who had babies. They didn't have fewer abortions - in fact they probably had more.

Pouring money into social programs is not meant to pull people out of poverty (though perhaps it should be, if we focused more on supporting people to work.) It's meant to close some of the gaps between rich and poor so that they can pull themselves the rest of the way. As usual, the NP has misrepresented the goals of social justice movements.

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