Monday, January 22, 2007

The revival of marriage as one of life's best options

At lunch time yesterday [Mr Bookworm being out "on the hill"] I made a cheese sandwich and went back to my desk to check out the day's offerings at Arts & Letters Daily.

At the top of the Essays and Opinion column, I read, "Sexual self-exposure may seem okay for a media-saturated age and, sure, shock over Britney’s labia majora may be mere prudery. But there is a logic to sexual privacy..."

Ordinarily, the name Britney [or Jade G] would make me hurry away, but A&LD doesn't publish links to rubbish sites.

Clicking on "more" led to an Opinion Journal piece headed "Scenes From the Exhibitionists - The fairer sex shows (and tells) too much" by Kay S Hymowitz. At the end of the piece I copied "Ms. Hymowitz is a contributing editor of City Journal. Her book "Marriage and Caste in America" was published in November", and pasted it into the Library List file kept on my desktop.

Then I went to to check what reviewers there had to say about the book.

One wrote,
"If you don't already read Kay Hymowitz's essays in City Journal, you will after reading this book. She's that rare writer who manages to be bold without being bombastic. Her take on the crumbling institution of marriage is at once sobering and smart. Her thesis: marriage matters. In language that is simple without being simplistic, she reveals how marriage is the ultimate "anti-poverty program," and how so much that ails our nation's youth derives from absentee fathers. She delivers a heavy message with a hopeful conclusion: in the end, many of the challenges our nation's families face aren't all that hard to solve, they just take the moral courage and individual initiative to do so."

Two other comments I copied were –
"The good news from this book is that Gen X young people, having seen and felt the horrific effects of easy divorces by Baby Boomer parents, are becoming more and more committed to staying together in traditional marriages. The bad news, as Hymowitz demonstrates, is that American society is becoming more and more bifurcated. As the time and education required to succeed in a more information-intensive world increases, the gap between success (and yes, personal fulfillment) and failure (and despair) will continue to grow. And such success or failure will be determined more and more by that venerable, but elite-scorned institution--the marriage of one man and one woman. How did we ever come to think otherwise?"
"Her main argument for marriage is that a committed two-person partnership is a minimal requirement for the well-being of children. While other arrangements might work in theory, that's what works in practice."

There's a piece here about Ms Hymowitz [I'm not sure if that is her maiden or married name] with lots of live links to her articles. Also a photo but I notice it's in GIF format with which I've had problems before. So it may have vanished by the time you read this.

Re her articles, don't miss Why Feminism is AWOL on Islam

The piece ends - "As we sink more deeply into what is likely to be a protracted struggle with radical Islam, American feminists have a moral responsibility to give up their resentments and speak up for women who actually need their support. Feminists have the moral authority to say that their call for the rights of women is a universal demand — that the rights of women are the Rights of Man."

The puzzling word in Cronin's The Citadel

Two reliable sources have solved this puzzle. More about that tomorrow.


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