Posted By LAF Editor on December 21, 2013
Definitely not marriage material: Photo credit, Clinton Steeds
Editor’s note: Good men will do what is right inspite of the current cultural climate. Bad women do make a man’s life miserable be he good or other wise. Be good.
Permanent and chaste marriages along with the legitimate children they produce are a social feature that traditionally cultivated masculine ambition by rewarding it and channeling it towards benevolent ends. Men tend to love their wives and children, take satisfaction in working on their behalf, and used to gain commensurate social respect for doing so.
And yet, this kind of marriage is precisely what has been taken away from men in our society. Instead, our elites have sought to structure the family around child support instead of marriage. The mother has custody of the children, but she receives much of the necessary resources from elsewhere. This could be from her husband, but it could just as easily be from her ex-husband, her boyfriend, or the taxpayer. Where it comes from doesn’t matter so long as the child has resources and the woman is freed from any moral or social obligation towards these men.
This rickety new system has sort-of worked so far, but only on inertia. While it may not matter whether the resources come from a husband, ex-husband, boyfriend, or taxpayer, the system does hinge on there being husbands, ex-husbands, boyfriends, and taxpayers who are producing more than they consume for themselves. Men have done this so far because that’s what’s been expected of them, but more and more are realizing that they have no incentive to do so. Sure, they could try to marry and start a family, but half of marriages end in divorce, a supermajority of divorces are unilaterally inflicted by wives on their husbands, and the wife is all but guaranteed custody of the family along with most of its property and a large chunk of the husband’s future earnings. This is a pretty big hurdle to jump, and a man can hardly be considered irrational for declining the risk. The more that men are alienated from their families, the less stake they have in society or future.
Mr. Taranto concludes his article: “Boys and young men are no less rational, or capable of adapting to incentives, than girls and young women are. They are, in fact, adapting very well to the incentives for female power and independence–which inevitably also serve as disincentives to male reliability and self-sacrifice.” In a way, he is entirely correct. Strong independent women in control of their own lives need no men and offer men no incentive to an ambition that benefits society. However, if that independence were as real as people pretend, there would be no alarm over men giving up those ambitions. Truly independent women would not need all the welfare, alimony, child support, paid maternity leave, government sponsored daycare, and so forth that other people (men) are supposed to provide for them. But if society truly does need such things from men, perhaps society should also honor and reward men for their contribution instead of pretending they are unnecessary. Perhaps they should make their ambition rational again.
Reintroducing permanent and chaste marriage would be a good start.
Read the rest here.
Start Your Family: Inspiration for Having Babies
Building a God-Centered Family, A Father’s Manual
Marrying Well: Practical Wisdom on Courtship for Parents & Children
She Shall Be Called Woman: Victoria Botkin’s Study of Practical Wisdom From Scripture for the 21st Century Woman