Every human life has value.

First, Paul Zummo does a good job taking on a few liberal responses to a statement from Kay Hymowitz lamenting the lack of responsibility among today’s 20-30 year olds. She noted that several years ago most people in their 20s and 30s were busy raising families instead of playing video games and enjoying other mindless entertainment. As you can imagine her comments did not sit well with modern secularists and their perspective on happiness. My favorite part of Paul’s response:

It also never ceases to amuse me when I hear religious conservatives derided as being uptight about sex, the implication being that we’re not getting laid enough. Yet, at the same time, we’re mocked for having such large families. Hey, geniuses – how do you think we got those large families? Biology may not be your strong point, as evidenced by Andy Sullivan’s deranged rants about Sarah Palin and the maternity of Trig, but try to put two and two together.

As Mark Shea put it in his anti-creed, somehow: “We loathe sex while having thousands of children. Read the rest, as Paul explains his own experience as a “swinging single” and how he’s now much happier now being a family man.

His post reminded me of an old one from Jenny Senour Uebbing – a woman in her 20s – in which she relates a conversation she had with a college friend, who she describes as the product of 20+ years of social conditioning to believe that the life of a stay at home wife and mother is “stifling” and that women need to have an education and business career in order to be fulfilled.

“So a woman can only find fulfillment working outside the home?”

“Yeah.”

“So for all of human history preceding the last 50 years, women were deeply unsatisfied?”

“Um, yeah.”

“And now we’re at last fulfilled, finding our own place in the workforce?”

“Yes.”

It didn’t make a great deal of sense to me, and as I pondered his conviction, images of friends came unbidden to my mind, women who struggled to work and raise children, to make ends meet on a single parent salary, to spend adequate amounts of time with their offspring, and who battled omnipresent guilt over not having enough hours in the day… These women are brave, dedicated, hardworking… but one thing they most certainly are not is fulfilled.

I understand that many women are happy in their professional careers and being a housewife is not for everyone, especially when money is tight. But, to claim that women are not fulfilled as stay-at-home wives and mothers is a bit presumptuous, to say the least. In fact, I know more working mothers who say “I would love to not have to work so that I can stay home with my kids all day,” than, “gee, if I could only find a way to work and stay out of the house more often. My job is just soooo fulfilling and my husband and/or kids are really getting in the way of the freedom and happiness I enjoy in the workforce.” Personally, I would love to be someone’s housewife someday…although, sometimes that seems less and less likely as the years go by…*sigh* God’s will be done…

April 7th, 2011 at 6:22 pm
6 Responses to “A Few Good Counter-Culteral Reads”
  1. 1
    bmmg39 Says:

    Chelsea, please allow me to share with you my own response to Kay Hymowitz. I don’t think it was “liberal” or “conservative.” Just angry:

    “I’ve grown tired of these gender stereotypes and hurtful generalizations.

    It seems as though Hymowitz et al paint all unmarried males with a broad brush, as if to suggest that any man/guy/male (choose your term) older than 30 who is still unmarried simply MUST be out ‘playing the field’ or ‘sowing his oats’ or whatever other sickening phrase is used. She seems to think we’re all like the character portrayed on television by [sigh] Charlie Sheen, moving from one ‘hot babe’ to another, free of commitment or marriage and family aspirations. It does not seem to occur to any of you that some of us have just been alone (romance-wise) throughout our lives.

    Many of us have never found a romantic partner, let alone a spouse. I myself have always wanted a very G-rated, non-sexual romantic relationship with someone, but it just hasn’t happened, though I’m now well into my 30s. (I’m not looking for sex of any kind.)
    I hate my birthday and cannot watch films or plays with romantic themes without feeling miserable. I have difficulty sleeping at night. And now, on top of the loneliness and despair, I have people like Hymowitz suggesting, without ever having met me, that I must be some frat-boy lothario or Good-Time Charlie. Such words are hurtful — insult upon injury.”

  2. 2
    Sally Says:

    Great posting Chels. Chin up beautiful, God’s got amazing plans for you. Praying for your vocation … xo

  3. 3
    Chelsea Says:

    Brian – I understand that this is a sensitive subject for you, but, quite frankly, if her words bother you, that’s your problem, not hers. Obviously Hymowitz wasn’t talking about men like you and you should be proud that you’re not one of those men instead of taking these things so personally. I know several men in their 20s and 30s who are unmarried and still act like responsible gentlemen. I’m very grateful for that. Unfortunately, there are also a LOT of men out there who act exactly like Hymowitz says – I know several of them as well – living in a state of perpetual adolescence and it is a problem that should be addressed – however you personally feel about it.

  4. 4
    bmmg39 Says:

    Chelsea, I know I sometimes makes waves here, albeit gently.

    I appreciate that you can tell the difference between the “permanent fratboys” (apologies to actual fraternity brothers who aren’t playahs) and me. You are also correct to point out that KH was not speaking about people like me — but there’s no indication that she KNOWS she isn’t, or, even if so, that she’s acknowledging that.

    And I wouldn’t even have bothered to protest if hers wasn’t such a popular position. Do you know what it’s like to think a total stranger will see you somewhere by yourself and make all these false judgments about you, simply because you don’t have a ring on your finger? After so many people make generalizations, one can’t help taking it personally — especially if it potentially could cause your “perfect match” to steer clear of you.

  5. 5

    I wrote about this on my own blog some time ago. They say army makes men from boys; that is wrong. Marriage makes. It is the responsibility and power which makes boys grow into men

    Now it is always the woman who makes the decision and it is the woman who chooses. And a lot of men just simply don’t pass this selection. They are not good for any woman. Not that they were criminals, alcoholics, substance abusers or otherwise deficient, but because they simply aren’t cool enough. Women can do without them.

    Such discarded single men have absolutely no incentive whatsoever to grow up. No power means no incentive to take any responsibility, and as long as marriage is an enormous economic and social risk for a man, why marry? It is easier to live the continuous bachelor’s life until you are sixty and downshift on career and everything – slack one’s life into something comfortable and oust such things like sex, family and children away altogether.

    And that’s how you get kidults – grown up men who behave like adolescents and who refuse from growing up as they have no interest on it whatsoever.

  6. 6
    bmmg39 Says:

    Your definition of “kidults” requires further definition, Ironmistress. What is your definition of “behave like adolescents”?