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Marriage and Race, Cont.

September 28, 2009

 

New comments have been added to the recent discussion about interracial marriage, with one commenter rejoining the debate to say there were aspects of the phenomenon she was considering for the first time. 

Interracial marriage has increased dramatically since the last anti-miscegenation laws were overturned by the Supreme Court in 1967. These unions represented two percent of all marriages in 1970, as compared to seven percent in 2005, according to a Stanford University study quoted here. The divorce rate among interracial couples is 30 percent higher than average.

Whites tend to see interracial marriage as a benign development. Some members of minority ethnic groups do not view it that way. Marriages between Asians and whites typically involve white men and Asian women, leaving Asian men with fewer potential brides. The disparity is similar among black-white couples, with the majority of these unions formed between black men and white women. This leaves fewer marrying men for black women, who already experience very low marriage rates. Steve Sailer explored the issue ten years ago here. He wrote:

Interracial marriage is growing steadily. From the 1960 to the 1990 Census, white – East Asian married couples increased almost tenfold, while black – white couples quadrupled. The reasons are obvious: greater integration and the decline of white racism. More subtly, interracial marriages are increasingly recognized as epitomizing what our society values most in a marriage: the triumph of true love over convenience and prudence. Nor is it surprising that white – Asian marriages outnumber black – white marriages: the social distance between whites and Asians is now far smaller than the distance between blacks and whites. What’s fascinating, however, is that in recent years a startling number of nonwhites — especially Asian men and black women — have become bitterly opposed to intermarriage.

This is a painful topic to explore honestly, so nobody does. Still, it’s important because interracial marriages are a leading indicator of what life will be like in the even more diverse and integrated twenty-first century. Intermarriages show that integration can churn up unexpected racial conflicts by spotlighting enduring differences between the races.

 

Makow on Bikinis and the Burka

September 26, 2009

 

Jack Burhenne writes:

I recently discovered your website, and I think you might appreciate the article below by Henry Makow. [Laura writes: I am familiar with Makow and agree with much of what he says. See discussion below about the difficulty in comparing the West with Muslim traditions.]

I think the Muslim fear of American feminism and what it would mean for their culture and religion is a key factor in our war with them. I think they understand the dangers in feminism and its effects better than American Christians do.

These “housewife” issues play out on a global stage.

      
Bikini vs. Burka – the debauchery of women

[By Henry Makow]

 

On my wall, I have a picture of a Muslim woman shrouded in a burka.

Beside it is a picture of an American beauty contestant, wearing nothing but a bikini.

One woman is totally hidden from the public; the other is totally exposed. These two extremes say a great deal about the clash of so-called “civilizations.”

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One Model for the Family

September 26, 2009

 

Luke Lea writes:

I’ve just discovered your site and am enjoying it immensely.  You limn a world view — I guess that’s what you’d call it — that I find highly attractive.  Still there is a certain “you can’t get there from here” feeling about it all which, if I were in your shoes, would cause me despair. Not that my shoes are so much better. But I do want to show you something that might appeal to a person of your sensibilities, if only as a “second best” solution to the dilemmas you pose.

 

Lea, a retired lanscape contractor from Chattanooga, sends this recent article about his vision for restoring the American family to a more sane way of life. It involves a shorter workweek and small towns built around local industry.

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A Brilliant Hostess

September 25, 2009

 

Our 16-year-old son, who is homeschooled, is taking an online course called Big Books, Big Papers . He is currently reading one of the most famous big books, Tolstoy’s War and Peace. I was looking over his shoulder this morning and found this brief description which he had written of one of Tolstoy’s immortal characters:

It is through Tolstoy’s minor characters, such as Anna Pavlovna, that he shows his true mastery at capturing the pace of life. Without her presence, the party is simply a collection of aristocrats chatting about “high-society” and the weather. She adds an incredible dynamic to the scene by the way she brings out the true nature of the characters around her. She is a simple and single-minded character, bustling about constantly to please her guests and maintain balance among them. The hostess adjusts dials and knobs to produce a formula for the most proper and refined of social situations. With the arrival of each guest, Anna Palvona closely follows her social equation, factoring in the variables (her guests) and then positioning them in a way that produces a solution that is both entertaining and intellectual, but never too much of either. The others, under her casual ministrations, slowly develop at a pace that reflects all real social gatherings. In the words of Tolstoy, Anna Pavlovna is like “the owner of a spinning mill who, having put his workers in their places,  strolls about the establishment, watching out for the idle spindle or the odd one squealing much too loudly, and hastens to go and slow it down or start it up at the proper speed.”

 

Patriarchy at All Costs?

September 25, 2009

 

Elsi writes:

I just read your essay of several weeks ago about the Orthodox Jewish neighborhood in Montreal.  Lakewood, New Jersey has another large Haredi settlement, and I have so much wished I could live with that kind of community, neighborliness, support, and abundance of generations.  Ethnicity and religion make for those bonds.  Ethnic Catholics used to be like that, but before my time and I am a deracinated suburbanite.

You ask, “How can they afford such large families?”   In many cases, public assistance – food stamps, section 8, Medicaid, as well as some charity from wealthy Jewish benefactors.  There is a huge Haredi mutual support network for emergencies, but non-emergency reliance on welfare is accepted, in part because the gentiles are seen as the other, alien.  When I walked through Lakewood, only the teenage girls would look at me and greet me.  I understand the prohibitions against men looking at women, but the grown women and the young children looked past me as if I were not there, and I am a middle-aged, unthreatening, modestly dressed woman.

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The Scents of Summer

September 22, 2009

 

During the warm days of Indian summer, the garden sends forth its heady scents with a pungency they never possessed in the height of the season. We walk through our fading botanica and the fragrances rise from the earth as from an oven. Fawning slaves press us with aromatic oils. Perfumes labeled ‘Ecstacy’ and ‘Opium’ pervade the air. The smells are inebriating and reassuring. Those dread fears of spring were foolish and vain. This summer was as beautiful as every other. 

The hot peppers and lantana, the parsley and basil, the scented geranium and lemon verbena, they produce scent shadows and scent currents, scent mists and scent fog. The boxwood sends its ancient mustiness in invisible clouds. The privet hedge has long lost its blooms and yet recalls spring. Oak leaves decay at our feet for the first time in a year; their drying parchment smells of books and bark.

This summer was as beautiful as the others. Don’t go. Stay.

 

 

A Woman Drill Sergeant

September 22, 2009

 

As reported in today’s New York Times, a woman has been appointed for the first time to head the training of drill sergeants for the Army. All over America, there are women drill sergeants. They’re in schools and homes, bossing men and barking orders. So is it any surprise the Army would acknowledge reality?

The problem is a woman drill sergeant just ain’t the same as a man. She’s not as big. She’s not as scary. Her voice is not as booming. That doesn’t mean a woman can’t do it and be pretty good at it too, as is proved by Sergeant Maj. Teresa King.

When women start barking orders at grown men, the delicate balance of power between the sexes is disturbed. Women are mothers and wives, lovers and friends to men. These roles are damaged by domineering bossiness. Male psychology is radically different from female psychology. After all, mothers are women. There is no more significant fact than that.

Interestingly, King has not been able to establish a normal personal life. As the Times reports:

For a time in her 30s, she was married to another soldier. She got pregnant but lost the baby, and eventually divorced. The failure of her marriage, she said, brought on a period of soul-searching that led her to study the Bible. She was planning to retire and join the ministry when her appointment to the drill sergeant school was announced over the summer.

“On the other side, the military life, I was doing so good,” she said. “But my personal life just stunk.” Since her divorce, she added, “I just pour my heart into these soldiers.”

Most women tend to “pour their hearts” into their work. But to pour one’s heart into soldiers?

Woman Ascends to Top Drill Sergeant Spot

Photo by Nicole Bengiveno, The New York Times

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Fame vs. Greatness

September 21, 2009

 

Are fame and greatness the same thing? Most people would agree they are not. Michael S. and I discuss the issue here in regard to my previous entry on Lev and Sofya Tolstoy. Tolstoy was both famous and great. His failings as a husband, father and religious sage do not diminish his immeasurable artistic achievement.

 

 

Marriage and Race

September 20, 2009

 

IN THE previous entry  on Jon and Kate Gosselin, commenter Karen argued that race was a likely factor in the dissolution of their marriage. Kate is white and Jon is half-Asian.

Mark, who began the discussion on the popular TV show, disagrees: 

I wonder if Karen has actually watched the show, or at least some of the earlier episodes on YouTube? I agree that it’s not the best use of one’s time, but given the sweeping generalizations in her comment, maybe a closer look wouldn’t hurt – if only to help her understand that in the modern world, the race element may not be as material as she thinks it is. I grant her point that in many cases it is, and I’m usually far from enthused about interracial dating and marriage, but one has to make distinctions.  

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A Housewife Looks Back

September 18, 2009

    

Kathy S. writes:

I’m delighted to have come across your website.  What a blessing to find such an articulate writer who is on my side!  I’m 62, had my 2 children late in life (that’s when the Good Lord sent them), homeschooled them.  I’ve been a full-time homemaker for 30 of the 32 years of being married.
 
I had the great joy of raising our children, of being with them day in and day out.

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The Fallacy of Universal Love

September 17, 2009

 

Does the New Testament call on believers to love all humanity or embrace all the peoples of the world equally? No. Not only is it not possible to distribute one’s affections equally or indiscriminately. It is wrong. G.K. Chesterton succinctly debunked this widespread heresy:

Here is a statement clearly and philosophically laid down which we can only content ourselves with flatly denying: ‘The fifth rule of our Lord is that we should take special pains to cultivate the same kind of regard for people of foreign countries, and for those generally who do not belong to us, or even have an antipathy to us, which we already entertain towards our own people, and those who are in sympathy with us.’ I should very much like to know where in the whole of the New Testament the author finds this violent, unnatural, and immoral proposition. Christ did not have the same kind of regard for one person as for another. We are specifically told that there were certain persons whom He specially loved. It is most improbable that He thought of other nations as He thought of His own. The sight of His national city moved Him to tears, and the highest compliment He paid was, ‘Behold an Israelite indeed.’ The author has simply confused two entirely distinct things. Christ commanded us to have love for all men, but even if we had equal love for all men, to speak of having the same love for all men is merely bewildering nonsense. If we love a man at all, the impression he produces on us must be vitally different to the impression produced by another man whom we love. To speak of having the same kind of regard for both is about as sensible as asking a man whether he prefers chrysanthemums or billiards. Christ did not love humanity; He never said He loved humanity: He loved men. Neither He nor anyone else can love humanity; it is like loving a gigantic centipede.  

Universal love is chilling and false. It is an enemy of real love with all its stubborn loyalties and distinctions. There is no such thing as love without discrimination.

 

 

The Undefended Annie Le

September 15, 2009

 

Annie Le, the graduate student murdered at Yale last week, was alone in a basement laboratory when she was attacked. This makes no sense in today’s world, even in buildings with secure entry. Young women should not be alone in isolated corridors, offices or rest rooms. Ever.

Should women carry weapons to protect themselves? Lawrence Auster addresses the question at View from the Right.  He says:

 What is needed is two things: (1) for society to protect women (and everyone) by punishing murder (and, I would add, violent rape) with death; and (2) for individual men to be armed or otherwise prepared to protect women. While both of these solutions would represent a big change from our current society, the same is true of all changes in the direction away from liberalism and toward traditionalism.

Most people would agree that if a danger is real and ever-present, the logical thing to do is prepare for it. But, Michael Daly, New York Daily News columnist, uses the opposite argument. If a danger is real and ever-present, the reasonable thing to do is not worry about it. That’s what he told his daughter who is a student at Yale and who called him in tears about the Le murder. Precisely because she lives in a higly sexualized world in which predatory men stalk and kill undefended women, she should not worry at all. A woman’s body was stuffed this summer into a ceiling in a Wall Street office building after she was attacked while cleaning at night. See it could happen to anyone. “I love you, Monkey,” Daly tells his weeping daughter.

Remember the days when fathers thought it their duty to protect their daughters? Now, they simply enfold them in cornball sentiment and leave them to tremble with fear in apartments, dorms and offices. A young woman today is stalked whether she is ever physically attacked or not. She knows predatory men are there and she knows she is unprotected. At the same time, she is encouraged to be recklessly free and to walk alone through hallways and cavernous buildings or work in empty offices. She is living in a maze of contradictions.

Most women lack calm in a crisis and the aggressive instincts to use weapons. They don’t want to carry them and find the very idea repulsive. But, we live in extraordinary times.

Annie Marie Le, 24, with her fiance Jonathan Widawsky. Their wedding was set to be this Sunday in New York City.
                        Annie Le and her fiance Jonathan Widawsky
 
 

A Mind of One’s Own

September 14, 2009

 

In response to last week’s posts on Virginia Woolf, which begin here, Melissa, who is the mother of nine children, writes:

Years ago in college I had to read Woolf’s A Room of One’s Own and also in the same course Elizabeth Spellman’s Inessential Woman. Spellman’s thesis was that since we can speak of expressions of womanhood as being different in different times and places, the modern, Western ideas of what being a woman is are not essential characteristics. According to Spellman, when we say that women lack womanly qualities, and suggest that they then fail to be women, we are making a false argument since these traits are inconsistent over time and space, and therefore accidental. Instinctively I felt it was wrong, but could not suggest that in class. I needed this “Philosophy of Race, Sex, and Gender” course to graduate.

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Amazons or Athletes?

September 14, 2009

 

Karen Wilson writes in response to the post on Serena Williams:

You write: “I find even the normal demeanour and appearance of many women athletes disturbing.”

That’s because most (and probably all) of them are on drugs. Contrast this picture of Virginia Wade with the recent photos of Serena:

 

You can see that the muscles are much smaller and the whole appearance much more feminine. Tennis looks more like an art with Virginia Wade than the physical contest it has become with Serena. Virginia looked natural and un-enhanced chemically. She even looked as though she was enjoying herself.

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The Sound of a Man

September 14, 2009

 

A man’s voice, especially a baritone or a bass, seems to emanate from a barrel. It is deeper and more resonant than a woman’s and represents one of the most striking differences between male and female. Women have favored deep-voiced men over the course of eons, ensuring survival of this sexual trait. There is no question about this: The male voice projects more authority than a woman’s. But, does this vocal difference matter in everyday life?

I say it does. It matters not just in relations between the sexes, but to family life as well. Together with the feminine sound, it creates an aural environment that is complete. Children who grow up without men in their homes miss what Lydia Sherman calls the “sound of reassurance.”  

The male voice also matters in politics and leadership. A woman cannot project the same commanding tone when she speaks. A woman’s voice rarely inspires fear. It is never thunderous. A female platoon commander needs to work hard to keep from sounding shrill. Sound matters.

Lydia, of Home Living, writes:

We are caring for a 95-year-old woman named “Nanny” who is my son-in-law’s grandmother. During this time I noticed something interesting. She becomes quite anxious if her grandson (almost 40) is not sitting beside or talking to her. I wondered if the sound of a man’s voice is very comforting to her. I talk to my own father, and when I hear his voice, it is like the world settles down for me. There is something very, very important in a man’s voice.

It is not good that children are raised only around women, and not around the male voice. I was thinking more and more about that male voice and how important it is.  I felt it while watching the movie, The Bostonians. The main male character was almost the only male voice of any importance, and when he spoke, the words were never trivial.  I know such a man in his 80’s. His conversation is never trite. His words are loaded. He never speaks without imparting a truth. His voice is deep.  My son-in-law’s voice is deep, and almost grave. Yet, he sings in a tenor voice.

President Teddy Roosevelt had a high-pitched voice when speaking, and yet he was “rough and ready,” and very masculine. But generally the man’s voice is so different from a woman’s. There is nothing like a Daddy’s voice, even if he is a distant person (as many of them seemed in the old days). It is a sound of reassurance. 

 

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A Woman for Our Time

September 13, 2009

 

Here’s Serena Williams spouting profanities at the U.S. Open.  This is crude behavior in a man, but in a woman it represents something altogether different. This is what feminism has given us: aggression, testosterone, and iron biceps. Just another pampered athlete? A friend of mine was recently driving on a major highway when a woman rear-ended her. My friend got out of the car. She mentioned she had called the police to file an insurance report. The woman threw her against the door of her vehicle and began strangling her and yelling profanities. My friend was saved by a man who was driving by and stopped to pull the crazed woman off of her.
 
 
There's nothing better than watching millionaires throwing a hissy fit in front of thousands of fans. Here's a collection of some of our all-time favorites. - By Andy Clayton and Matt Marrone with Wayne Coffey<br /><br />Serena Williams becomes the latest athlete to let her emotions get the better of her, losing her U.S. Open semifinal against Kim Clijsters on Sept. 12, 2009 ...

Credits: Brunskill/Getty

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Tie a Green Ribbon

September 6, 2009

 

The town where I live is festooned with green ribbons. They are tied to trees in the shopping district, to streetlights, to parking meters and to signs. What does all this festivity signify? Ovarian cancer. The ribbons are part of a campaign to make us more sensitive to this terrible disease. They are the green counterpart to the familiar pink ribbons of breast cancer campaigns.

Cancer is evil. Everyone should contribute to the worthy battle against it. But, if we are going to express our concern for this grave matter with sentimental displays of ribbons, why not ribbons for all cancer?  If we must select one, let it be a childhood cancer.

These ribbons depress me. They depress me not simply because cancer kills. They are a sickly-sweet reminder of the boastful conceit of women. Power makes women selfish.

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Male and Female, Summarized

September 3, 2009

 

A male reader writes:

I would just like to ask you a very simple question, what do you consider the main masculine attributes and the main feminine attributes to be?

Laura writes:

That’s not a simple question! But, even complicated questions have simple answers.

Two years ago, I took a tour of a prestigious liberal arts college and the co-ed leading the tour mentioned that a specific dormitory was assigned to students who declare themselves to be the opposite sex. That’s how plastic masculinity and femininity have become. The truth is a woman can no more become a man than a dog can become a cat, or an apple tree can swim in a pond. Many people today believe that each person is potentially either masculine or feminine, or both, and that ideally a harmonious balance can be achieved, a state of inner androgyny. 

Let’s start with the premise that masculinity and femininity are engraved in the structure of the person.  They are both physical and psychic, no more interchangeable than our personalities. We are not androgynous at our core, but are born one or the other according to our anatomy and can never transcend our masculine or feminine natures. We arrive at self-realization not by overcoming our inborn nature, but by honoring and understanding it. There’s always some compelling bit of truth to the view of universal androgyny. Every masculine trait can occur in some degree in a woman, and vice versa.

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