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Jennifer Roback Morse debates on marriage at Columbia University

Cloning her would solve the marriage problem
Dr. J makes marriage interesting and fun

Dr. Jennifer Roback Morse defends marriage at Columbia University in this short hour-long exchange. This is your chance to hear how anti-child advocates of same-sex marriage really are. And Dr. J links SSM to unilateral divorce at the end of the Q&A, too. Awesome! This debate really needed to go for twice the time, and I look forward to hearing MORE debates from Dr. J.

Details:

Columbia University’s Federalist Society hosts a debate between Dr J and Professor Katherine Franke based on the question “Is Marriage Equality Possible?”  About an hour of audio includes opening position (Dr J), arguments (Prof. Franke), and rebuttal (Dr J), as well as a brief question-and-answer period.

The MP3 file is here.

Dr. J’s opening speech (15 min.)

Two basic contentions:

  • 1) same-sex marriage is not the equivalent of traditional marriage
  • 2) if we legislate that they are equal, then we are really redefining marriage by changing the essential purpose of marriage

A case study from Ireland:

  • a known sperm donor for a lesbian couple was excluded from having a relationship with the child he conceived
  • after the child was born, the sperm donor wanted regular contact with the child, but the women opposed giving him access
  • same-sex marriage requires that courts are able to assign parental rights instead of having rights assigned biologically, as with traditional marriage
  • That is why SSM is different from TM

What is the purpose of marriage?

  • Marriage is about attaching mothers and fathers to children, and mothers and fathers to one another
  • Children are born helpless from two opposite-sex parents and they need parental guidance and care during development
  • In TM, there is no third party needed in order to have a child
  • In TM, the biological parents have rights and responsibilities for the child
  • TM is about providing the child with justice
  • Every child is entitled a relationship to both biological parents, and is entitled to care, protection and nourishment from both parents, and every child is entitled to a stable family environment
  • the problem is that children don’t have standing to sue for these rights in court
  • so the purpose of marriage is that we have a social construct to provide these rights to children naturally, without the state having to intervene

The purpose of marriage according to SSM?

  • In SSM, the essential child-centered  purpose marriage is replaced with new purposes like pooling resources and having same-sex couples recognized by society

SSM redefines marriage in four ways:

  • it diminishes the entitlement of children to a relationship with both biological parents
  • it diminishes the identification of parental roles with biology
  • it requires the state to determine parental relationships, instead of recognizing biological parents
  • it enshrines the idea that mothers and fathers are interchangeable, that children don’t really need mothers AND fathers

Dr. Franke’s opening speech (20 min.)

Hard cases make bad law 1: the presumption of paternity

  • consider the case where a mother is married and has an affair resulting in a child
  • the Supreme Court has ruled that the father of the child has no right of contact
  • this is a case where marriage gets in the way of biological parents having a relationship with the child
  • so it can be the case where marriage is in conflict with the relationships to biological parents

Hard cases make bad law 2: the purpose of marriage can be changed

  • marriages was used to keep peace between families and communities
  • marriage used to be about trading and trafficking of women
  • so the concern for offspring was not always the greatest concern

TM and SSM are both equally able to create stability for children:

  • same-sex unions are just as stable for children as TM marriages

Same-sex unions do provide justice for the child:

  • giving the adults in same-sex couples the social recognition that opposite sex married couples have is good for children

Children can sue in court

  • children can use guardians to sue their parents in court to get their rights

Opposing SSM is racism

  • opposing same-sex marriage is equivalent to racism
  • we could abolish marriage completely and let individuals form private contracts, then the state would really be neutral on marriage

Dr. J’s rebuttal speech (5 min.)

The state cannot be neutral on marriage

  • what the deinstutionalization of marriage means is that the private contracts are made by adults and children will have no consideration in those contracts

Regarding the adultery case

  • the presumption of paternity is there to protect the marriage
  • such borderline cases almost never happen with TM, whereas in SSM these third party problems occur in 100% of the cases

Children are not happy being separated from their biological parents

  • adults do not have a right to exclude a child’s biological parents from having a relationship with them, and children are often not happy being excluded from their biological parents

Jennifer Roback Morse on the injustice of the American family court system

Here is an article by marriage-defender Jennifer Roback Morse about one of the biggest challenges to life-long married love.

Excerpt:

Easy divorce opens the door for an unprecedented amount of government intrusion into ordinary people’s lives. This unacknowledged reality is the subject of Taken Into Custody, by Stephen BaskervilleWith penetrating insight, the political scientist exposes the truly breathtaking consequences of no-fault divorce for the expansion of state power and the decline of personal autonomy.

First, no-fault divorce frequently means unilateral divorce: one party wants a divorce against the wishes of the other, who wants to stay married. Kim Basinger dumped Baldwin for no particular reason, unleashed the power of the Los Angeles Family Court system to inflict pain on him and, in the process, inflicted untold damage on their child. Second, the fact that one party wants to remain married means that the divorce has to be enforced. Baldwin wanted to stay married and to continue to be a husband and father. Yet, the coercive and intrusive machinery of the state must be wheeled into action to separate the reluctantly divorced party from the joint assets of the marriage, typically the home and the children.

Third, enforcing the divorce means an unprecedented blurring of the boundaries between public and private life. People under the jurisdiction of family courts can have virtually all of their private lives subject to its scrutiny. If the courts are influenced by feminist ideology, that ideology can extend its reach into every bedroom and kitchen in America. Baldwin ran the gauntlet of divorce industry professionals who have been deeply influenced by the feminist presumptions that the man is always at fault and the woman is always a victim. Thus, the social experiment of no-fault divorce, which most Americans thought was supposed to increase personal liberty, has had the consequence of empowering the state.

Some might think the legacy of no-fault divorce is an example of the law of unintended consequences in operation. That assumes its architects did not intend for unilateral divorce to result in the expansion of the state. But Baskerville makes the case in this book—as well as his 2008 monograph, “The Dangerous Rise of Sexual Politics,” in The Family in America—that at least some of the advocates of changes in family law certainly have intended to expand the power of the state over the private lives of law-abiding citizens.

She explains who is really behind the attempt to destroy marriage, and the answer might shock you.

It’s important for people to understand the real reasons why people are not getting married, so that we can do something to encourage them to marry that really fixes the problem. If you don’t understand the threats that men are seeing with respect to marriage, it might be a good idea to take a look at this essay by Stephen Baskerville, hosted by the Christian Touchstone magazine. It’s a summary of the book that Dr. Morse reviewed. I consider that book “Taken Into Custody” to be a must-read for anyone contemplating marriage.

Gallup polls show that men are more pro-life and more pro-marriage than women

Note: in this post, I will be addressing the views of young, unmarried women, who tend to be more liberal than married women. Married women are not being targeted in this post, because their views tend to be more pro-life and pro-marriage.

First, abortion. The latest Gallup poll shows that men are far more pro-life than women. Men are strongly pro-life by a margin of 8 points, 50-42. Women are more pro-abortion by a margin of 1 point, 47-46.

Second, marriage. Polls show that men are far more pro-marriage than women.

Excerpt:

A new national poll points towards a gender gap over same-sex marriage.

According to new numbers released Monday morning from Gallup, 50% of Americans say same-sex marriages should be legal. But break it down by gender, and 56% of women say same-sex couples should be legally allowed to marry, but only 42% of men feel the same way.

In addition, exit polls from the 2008 and 2012 elections revealed that about 70-80 percent of young, unmarried women voted for Obama, whose views on abortion are somewhere to the left of Kermit Gosnell. And Obama supports gay marriage. Men are more likely to vote conservative than young, unmarried women, especially married men.

Now some of you may find this data about men being good very surprising. According to many people these days, all young men do is look at porn, order in pizza and leave the boxes scattered around, play video games, binge drink, live in their parents’ basement, underperform at school, and fail to find jobs so they can man up and marry these pro-abortion, pro-gay marriage women. None of this bad performance is caused by institutionalized feminism, or the effects of feminism on the family. It’s all just bad, bad men being bad – so were are told. But somehow, despite reports that all men are losers, they seem to have better views on abortion and marriage than women.

What does it mean?

Think about what it means that a young, unmarried woman is pro-abortion.

Being pro-abortion means that a men and women should be allowed to have recreational sex before marriage, and then if a baby is conceived, then they should be able to terminate that unwanted pregnancy, and send taxpayers the bill. Pro-life doctors and nurses who don’t want to perform the procedure must be forced to do it, lest the selfish grown-ups feel offended. Pro-life organizations who don’t want to offer abortion-inducing drugs as part of their medical insurance must be forced to provide it, lest the selfish grown-ups feel offended. Pro-life taxpayers who don’t want to pay for the recreational sex risks of others must be forced to pay for them, lest the selfish grown-ups feel offended.

Now suppose a man is considering marriage to a young, unmarried woman. It’s likely that she supports abortion, given what polls show and what exit polls show. Now if a woman thinks that it is OK to kill an innocent unborn child in order to avoid being burdened with that child’s needs, even though she consented to the recreational sex that produced that child, then should the man marry her? I think that a man should not marry such a woman. After all, if a woman is willing to kill a baby in order to protect her happiness, then she will certainly divorce her husband to do the same. Husbands are much less innocent than babies.

Now think about what it means that a young, unmarried woman is pro-gay marriage.

Being pro-gay marriage means that two men and two women should be able to adopt children away from one or both of their biological parents and raise them. Churches who don’t want to perform the wedding ceremonies must be forced to perform the wedding ceremonies, lest the selfish grown-ups feel offended. Christian companies that don’t want to treat gay couples as married must be forced to treat gay couples as married, lest the selfish grown-ups feel offended. Christian taxpayers who don’t want to pay for the next generation of children to be indoctrinated to believe that marriage can be between two men or two women must be forced to pay for government to indoctrinate children to believe in redefined marriage, lest the selfish grown-ups feel offended.

Now suppose a man is considering marriage to a young, unmarried woman. It’s likely that she supports gay marriage, given what the polls show and what exit polls show. Now if a woman thinks that it’s OK to deprive a child of a mother or of a father and expose children to a notion of marriage that deprives them of stability, sexual faithfulness and permanence, then should the man marry her? I think that a man should not marry such a woman. After all, if a woman is willing to deprive a child of a mother or a father and of the interaction between a man and a woman cooperating in marriage, then she will certainly be willing to deprive any children she has with him of his presence, since she already believes that fathers are expendable and that the selfishness of adults trumps the needs of children.

The way forward

What can we do to fix young, unmarried women so that they are more pro-life and more pro-marriage, like men already are? Well, men are pro-life and pro-marriage because we read pro-life and pro-marriage books and because we watch debates on abortion and marriage. Men like to focus on things like logical arguments and scientific research. Men like to see pictures of the different development stages of unborn babies and read research papers about how same-sex marriage harms children and how welfare policies encourage women to have babies out of wedlock. Men are not inclined to decide moral views based on feelings, peer opinions and popular culture. In order to make young, unmarried women more pro-life and more pro-marriage, we should try to introduce them to more books and debates and scientific evidence, so that their views will change based on what is true, not based on feelings and peer pressure and cultural trends.

New book by Dr. Helen Reynolds explains men’s changing motivations

Captain Capitalism reviews a new book.

Excerpt:

Dr. Helen of PJ Media fame is in a very small, but elite league.  She is one of the few professionals (PhD in psychology) to address and bring to light the sexual-sociological backlash men and women are having to feminism.  The only other person I’ve known to do this is Dr. Roy Baumeister with his book “Is There Anything Good About Men.”  However, while Dr. Baumeister’s book focuses on society’s current view or opinion of men, Dr. Helen’s new book “Men on Strike” addresses the consequences of having a myopic and solipsistic societal view of the sexes.  And the consequences aren’t good.

As the title would suggest, men are going on strike.  They are striking from their traditional roles as breadwinners, innovators, hard workers, protectors, etc.  But worse they are abandoning their roles as husbands and fathers.  Not out of a lack of desire, but worse – they are being forced out of these roles as society has made both roles too risky to forfeit their precious and finite lives for.

Naturally there is a backlash.

Women want men to “man up” and marry them.  Women want men give them children.  But, particularly ironic, while women SAY they want men to be effeminate, sensitive, caring, listeners, their behaviors show their preferences for strong, thuggish bad boys have never changed.  This confusion (and risk) to men has sent them fleeing, and blinded by feminism, modern day women can’t figure out why.  They are stumped as to why they’re 42, single, with some other man’s child, a masters degree in creative writing and NOT getting approached every day.  They simply cannot connect the dots.

Dr. Helen explores this reaction of men and tries to connect the dots for women.  Her language is polite, diplomatic and correct. but this is a herculean task to ask of her because she is trying to undo the brainwashing women (and men) have received for 40 years.  It is a harsh pill to swallow, too harsh for the progressively deteriorating and childish men and women who populate America today, and her blog receives more criticism than inquiry and acceptance.  Regardless she tries and has a professional psychological background to back it up lending the book authority.

Here’s the description from Amazon:

American society has become anti-male. Men are sensing the backlash and are consciously and unconsciously going “on strike.” They are dropping out of college, leaving the workforce and avoiding marriage and fatherhood at alarming rates. The trend is so pronounced that a number of books have been written about this “man-child” phenomenon, concluding that men have taken a vacation from responsibility simply because they can. But why should men participate in a system that seems to be increasingly stacked against them?

As Men on Strike demonstrates, men aren’t dropping out because they are stuck in arrested development. They are instead acting rationally in response to the lack of incentives society offers them to be responsible fathers, husbands and providers. In addition, men are going on strike, either consciously or unconsciously, because they do not want to be injured by the myriad of laws, attitudes and hostility against them for the crime of happening to be male in the twenty-first century. Men are starting to fight back against the backlash. Men on Strike explains their battle cry.

I took a quick look at the book, because I was concerned that it might not be good coming from a libertarian perspective. But it’s been endorsed by fusionist conservatives like myself.

John Hawkins of Right Wing News:

This review is from: Men on Strike: Why Men Are Boycotting Marriage, Fatherhood, and the American Dream – and Why It Matters (Hardcover)

I can’t say enough good things about Helen Smith’s extraordinary new book. In our over-feminized society where at times, it can seem like traditional, heterosexual men are under attack from all sides, Dr. Helen’s book presents a very different perspective. In fact, it reminds me a bit of Warren Farrell’s “Why Men Are the Way They Are,” but it’s more aggressively pro-male while Farrell’s book is more a straight-up antidote to male bashing feminism. Whether you’re a man looking for a book that covers men’s rights or a woman who wants to get a better idea of how most men react to the angry, left-wing feminist view of the world, this book comes highly recommended.

The paperback is available now, the Kindle book will be out later in June. I usually buy the Kindle book for books like this, but I’ll be getting the other book that the Captain linked in hardcover, because it is Oxford University Press and will be a good conversation starter in my office.

I think that one of the most troubling things about the contemporary church is that pastors don’t dare to read books like this to really find out what men are thinking. When you look at what pastors say about men – conservative pastors who claim to be pro-marriage – you will find there views that are hastening the demise of marriage and encouraging the sorts of conditions in which unborn children will be killed and born children will be raised fatherless. It is almost a guarantee that if you meet a pastor, then you are meeting someone who is working against social conservatism even as they praise it, because they have completely discounted how feminism and socialism have impacted men in every area. What is needed is an appraisal of the incentives facing men, and that’s exactly what pastors are unwilling to do. But this book sounds like it would be the antidote to that.

Do women believe that marriage imposes wife-obligations on them regarding sex?

Dennis Prager features a lot of discussions about male-female relationships on his show, particularly during the male-female hour.

He did a two part series a while back on 1) male sexuality and 2) what women should do about it within a marriage. Basically, he makes the case that in general, if a woman is married to a good man – a good man whom she freely chose – then she should be willing to say yes to his sexual advances more than she says no.

Part 1 is here.

Excerpt:

It is an axiom of contemporary marital life that if a wife is not in the mood, she need not have sex with her husband. Here are some arguments why a woman who loves her husband might want to rethink this axiom.

First, women need to recognize how a man understands a wife’s refusal to have sex with him: A husband knows that his wife loves him first and foremost by her willingness to give her body to him. This is rarely the case for women. Few women know their husband loves them because he gives her his body (the idea sounds almost funny). This is, therefore, usually a revelation to a woman. Many women think men’s natures are similar to theirs, and this is so different from a woman’s nature, that few women know this about men unless told about it.

This is a major reason many husbands clam up. A man whose wife frequently denies him sex will first be hurt, then sad, then angry, then quiet. And most men will never tell their wives why they have become quiet and distant. They are afraid to tell their wives. They are often made to feel ashamed of their male sexual nature, and they are humiliated (indeed emasculated) by feeling that they are reduced to having to beg for sex.

When first told this about men, women generally react in one or more of five ways…

It’s important to restate that Prager is assuming that the woman has done a competent job of choosing a man who is serious about holding his end of the marriage up. I take this to mean that she has chosen a man who protects, provides and leads on moral and spiritual issues.

Prager then explains the 5 ways that women respond to his statement.

Here’s one:

1. You have to be kidding. That certainly isn’t my way of knowing if he loves me. There have to be deeper ways than sex for me to show my husband that I love him.

And this is the common mistake that some women (especially Western women who are often influenced by radical feminism) make because they think that men are just hairy women with no feelings and desires of their own that are distinctly theirs. In the past, all women understood how men are different than women, but today almost no younger women do. In fact, many younger women today struggle with the idea that there is anything about men’s natures (and children’s natures) that they need to learn about. Younger women in the West today often think that they only need to be in touch with their own feelings – and that men and children simply have to get used to the idea that they have no right to make any demands on a woman – she has no moral obligations in a marriage.

Here’s another from the list:

4. You have it backwards. If he truly loved me, he wouldn’t expect sex when I’m not in the mood.

Again, this is the common mistake that many younger Western/feminist women today make in thinking that love is a one-way street – flowing from men and children to the woman. If men and children DON’T do what the woman wants, or if they make demands on her, then they don’t “love” her and she is justified in ignoring them. In older generations, women knew that they had moral obligations that existed whether they felt like doing them or not. They especially knew that their free decision to get married to a man would impose obligations on them to supply for the man’s distinct male needs. She might not understand those needs. She might be made happy by fulfilling them. But old-fashioned women knew what men needed, and they felt obliged to perform their role if the man was perform his roles (protector, provider, moral/spiritual leader). She didn’t have to be “happy” to do the roles, just as the man doesn’t have to be “happy” about doing his roles. Marriage is about commitment to roles that impose moral obligations on each partner. Marriage is not about happiness, primarily.

I think this whole problem of Western/feminist women not understanding men, of treating men as objects, and of demeaning male feelings and values, is very serious. In my opinion, there is a whole lot of work that needs to be done by Western/feminist women in order to fix this problem. The best place to learn about this is in Dr. Laura’s book “The Proper Care and Feeding of Husbands”, which is a book that women should have to read and write about in order to begin a relationship with a man, just to prove that they understand the needs of men and the concept of moral obligations. It’s like an application form for a serious relationship. Sex is just one thing in a marriage, but a serious man should insist that a woman take him seriously about it. He should also make sure that she has shown, during the courtship, that she is comfortable doing things to help him that don’t necessarily make her happy.

It is important for a man to test-drive a woman before marrying her by giving her things to do that are good things (e.g. – reading a book on apologetics or economics or intelligent design) so that he can see that she is willing to do good things whether they make her happy or not. Men seem to be very silly these days about marrying women who have only shown that they like having fun all the time, and never want to learn anything hard. Pre-marital sex, having fun, getting drunk, and going out, etc. are not the right foundation for marriage, which requires mutual self-sacrifice. There is no such thing as a “feminist” marriage – marriage is not about selfishness and playing the victim. Men should understand that many women who are willing to have sex before marriage will cut it out after marriage, because they are not used to doing things that don’t make them happy. I think you can even remain chaste and still test a women during courtship for this self-sacrificial quality by asking her to do other things that are still very good for her to do. The important thing is to see if “doing right” is more important to her than “feeling happy”.

And just because a woman is a virgin and a Christian, it doesn’t make her immune to the danger of feeling justified in withholding sex. I actually had a conversation with a chaste Christian woman once who said that women should not be obligated to do things that they didn’t feel like doing in a marriage. So, I asked her if men were obligated to go to work when they didn’t feel like going. She said yes, and acted as though I were crazy for asking. I just laughed, because she didn’t even see the inconsistency. Men – there is a double standard that many Western/feminist women have, even chaste Christian women can have it. Most young women today just don’t understand men, and they don’t want to understand them. They just want what they want and in the quickest way possible. Understanding the needs of men and children, or how feminist-inspired laws discourage men from committing to marriage and parenting, are of no interest at all many Western/feminist women.

Part 2 is here.

Excerpt:

Here are eight reasons for a woman not to allow not being in the mood for sex to determine whether she denies her husband sex.

He then explains the eight reasons.

Here’s one of them:

7. Many contemporary women have an almost exclusively romantic notion of sex: It should always be mutually desired and equally satisfying or one should not engage in it. Therefore, if a couple engages in sexual relations when he wants it and she does not, the act is “dehumanizing” and “mechanical.” Now, ideally, every time a husband and wife have sex, they would equally desire it and equally enjoy it. But, given the different sexual natures of men and women, this cannot always be the case. If it is romance a woman seeks — and she has every reason to seek it — it would help her to realize how much more romantic her husband and her marriage are likely to be if he is not regularly denied sex, even of the non-romantic variety.

This makes the point that many young women today do not really understand that they are, in a sense, capable of changing their husband’s conduct by the way they act themselves. I think that younger women seem to think that their role in the relationship is to sort of do nothing and wait for the man to serve them. This actually happened to me with another “Biblical Manhood and Womanhood” Calvinist woman. I sat down with her and tried to explain to her what I did for a living, and she got up and left, claiming she did not need to know how the money was made – nor did she need to support me in earning that money. On another occasion, I was explaining a difficult financial problem I had to solve and she screeched back her chair and said “go ahead and solve it then”. This is actually very common. Many, many women can read an entire book on “Biblical Manhood and Womanhood” and come out of it knowing all the obligations and responsibilities of men, and none of the obligations and responsibilities of women. Men, it’s your job to test for this during courtship, if you expect your woman to help you in making a marriage and children for God’s glory.

Let me emphasize the point.  Women in the West who are influenced by radical feminism are really totally unaware that their role in the relationship is not to stand back and refuse to do anything, then respond to the man’s subsequent unwillingness to perform with nagging and complaining and gossiping to their girlfriends. What is interesting is that often many of these women who are very active in fashionable heroic causes are the least capable of self-denial and self-sacrifice when in a relationship with a man. They can march around with signs defending the unborn and promoting marriage, and still be very comfortable ignoring male needs and disrespecting men. Activism can be an expression of narcissism. “Look at me! I’m so great!” The very woman you see on TV being interviewed about abortion, homeschooling and daycare is the same one you need to test during courtship to see if she thinks that YOU are as deserving of concern as an unborn or born child is. One pro-family activist I spoke to about this told me that setting out obligations on her that would make the marriage serve God was “too strict”. She admitted that the things I was asking her to learn were good things, but that they were “too strict” for her, even if they were good things.

At the end of the article, Prager makes a general point about women that I think needs to be emphasized over and over and over:

That solution is for a wife who loves her husband — if she doesn’t love him, mood is not the problem — to be guided by her mind, not her mood, in deciding whether to deny her husband sex.

I think that is an excellent question to ask a woman. What does it mean to love a man? One of my favorite questions to ask women who I am courting is “If we were married for a day, legally, and before God, what are some of the things that you would want to do to me and for me?” Usually the response is to turn the question around and make it about them. Then I dazzle them with a string of activities that addresses their needs in specific ways, based on their feelings and past experiences. Men – you definitely want to ask women what she wants to provide for you if you were to get married. How does she see your feelings and past experiences, and what specific things would she like to do to address them with her own two hands? Does she even see marriage as having anything to do with you at all?