Friday, March 16, 2012
The American Shengnu
Advances in reproductive technology eroded the custom of shotgun marriage in another way. Before the sexual revolution, women had less freedom, but men were expected to assume responsibility for their welfare. Today women are more free to choose, but men have afforded themselves the comparable option. "If she is not willing to have an abortion or use contraception," the man can reason, "why should I sacrifice myself to get married?" By making the birth of the child the physical choice of the mother, the sexual revolution has made marriage and child support a social choice of the father.
Lake explains the root of this phenomenon as follows:In China, there's a deep-seated tradition of marriage hypergamy which mandates that a woman must marry up. This generally works out, as it allows the Chinese man to feel superior, and the woman to jump a social class or two, but it gets messy for highly accomplished females. Their educations and salaries make them hard to compete with, and so their Chinese male counterparts shy away in favor of younger, more "manageable" beauties.
If the first sentence of this passage sounds familiar (in addition to being doubly redundant), it is probably because you remember our Valentine's Day column, in which we quoted feminist Stephanie Coontz's reflections on "the cultural ideal of hypergamy--that women must marry up."
Uncanny, isn't it? Coontz was referring to Western, not Chinese, culture. What are the odds that two so different cultures would somehow develop a "tradition" or "ideal" that is so similar? About 100% when you consider that hypergamy--more broadly defined as the female tendency to mate with dominant or high-status males or to be selective about one's choice of mate--is also widely observed in other species.
When you think about it that way, 21st-century feminism starts to look uncannily like the old Victorian double standard. And even more so when you consider the behavior of feminist men, who sound like caricatures of white knights dashing in to defend damsels in distress. "The Mitt and Rick rebukes to Rush were timidly tepid," the lefty film criticRoger Ebert blustered in a tweet the other day. "Now that Rush has apologized, maybe they can man up."ABC News notes that yesterday President Obama "said that thinking about his own two daughters compelled him" to call Fluke last week "to offer his personal support." Some are cynical about Obama's motives, including NBC's Savannah Guthrie, who, asNewsBusters.org notes, describes Obama's call to Fluke as "an overreach" that "seemed a little nakedly political." If you take it at face value, though, the gesture was chivalrous--or, to put it another way, it was patronizing.
"Men get the advantage of free, easy access sex with young women of child-bearing age." It's a false analogy: Whereas the ObamaCare mandate creates an entitlement to birth control, no man is entitled to "easy access sex." That requires consent.It is true, however, that contemporary feminism is a sweet deal for hedonistic men who have the social skills to persuade "young women of child-bearing age" to consent to "easy access sex." When you look at it that way, you can understand why feminism's grandes dames are so keen to turn back the clock. [Emphasis added.]