Since I’ve started blogging, I’ve heard lots of rumblings from young women that guys today are just…different. Dates have become “hangouts at the apartment with a hope of a hook up,” less men willing to wine and dine, and more men avoiding marriage. And at least one author, Janice Shaw Crouse, author of Marriage Matters, is pointing the direct cause to the unintended consequences of modern feminism. She states that men between the ages of 20 and 34 are unmarried, which isn’t great news, considering this is the exact age that women are at the peak of their fertility.
“Far too many young men have failed to make a normal progression into adult roles of responsibility and self-sufficiency, roles generally associated with marriage and fatherhood,” Crouse, the former executive director of the Beverly LaHaye Institute, wrote in a recent Washington Times oped.
The high percentage of bachelors means bleak prospects for millions of young women who dream about a wedding day that may never come. “It’s very, very depressing,” Crouse told CNSNews.com. “They’re not understanding how important it is for the culture, for society, for the strength of the nation to have strong families.” [SOURCE]
My husband, who is 42, agrees. “You can pretty much get everything out of marriage without actually being married. Women have removed all the value of marriage. For the guys, what’s the incentive? Marriage is more advantageous to women. Women are no longer holding it as a value and it reflects what guys are allowed to get away with. They don’t demand marriage before kids, and living together instead of building a life after marriage. For my daughters, I’m going to make sure they know the value of marriage. They won’t be living with people all over the place and having babies with men they’re not married to.” By the way, we got married when I was 28 and he was 29.
It’s always hard to have these discussions, because inevitably they’ll be legions of feminists coming in to deny that there’s any link AT ALL between the gender shift and the more radical subsets of feminist philosophy. But…it’s hard to deny what you can see with your own eyes, isn’t it? However, I’m not prepared to link modern feminism to low marriage in the black community and the 72% out-of-wedlock rate. State-sanctioned displacement from fathers away from mothers and children more than likely originated with Lyndon Johnson’s “War on Poverty.” It’s been 50 years since the state-sanctioned displacement, and there’s a direct link between the rise of unmarried black mothers and that ill-fated program.
However, there seems to be more credence to the link between the notion that “women need men like fish need bicycles” and the lag in marriage with white men and women. But I’m not ready to point the entire blame on feminism…and while Crouse denies a direct link between the Great Recession and low marriage rates, there’s no real link to the results of feminism and the rise of white-male-weeniehood. More than likely, what we’re witnessing is a perfect storm of a variety of causes that is bringing us to this point.
However, based on the summary, Marriage Matters might be worth the read…
In Marriage Matters, Janice Shaw Crouse argues that marriage is a critical element in a free society and that society’s most vulnerable communities, especially minorities and the poor, suffer the most from the nation’s retreat from marriage. Crouse writes that marriage advances the public interest and we should create laws and policies that support rather than undermine it. She demonstrates both the public and private importance of marriage, and organizes her argument in a thoughtful and logical manner.
Compared to other household arrangements, Crouse observes, marriage is by far the best for raising children and offers financial advantages as well. Writing about bullying, Crouse shows how the trend away from marriage has lead to poor child-rearing and to some of the nation’s worst contemporary problems. In household arrangements with an absence of traditional fathers, the government has in some ways overtaken this role by creating social programs such as food stamps, Social Security, and Medicare. Social programs are but a small part of an effective solution.
The groundwork for strong marriages and lasting relationships is examined in detail. Crouse then discusses the role of sex in marriages and the harmful influence of casual sex. The second half of the work shows how marriage matters to individuals (specifically to women and children) and depicts same-sex marriage as a threat to the institution. Other public policy issues affecting marriage are also explored.
So what’s your take? I especially want to hear from the younger, single segment of our community.