A Women’s Movement That’s Honest About Men
Promoting women’s happiness and freedom can’t be done without concern for men. Liberal women’s groups attempt to convince the culture and media that women are better off, or at least just fine, without men.
But research and experience tell us that women don’t want to be without men. They desire committed, happy relationships with men. And they desire that the father of their children be committed in marriage to them and to their children. This week’s “What’s Speaking To Us” focuses a bit on men, because addressing women’s happiness, freedom, and the connection of sex, marriage, and children should include addressing the ways men need to be built up or involved in such efforts.
NYPost: “Cheap Sex” is Making Men Give Up on Marriage
For those who wonder why many twenty and thirtysomething women and men are dragging their feet to the altar, the answer is not just “sex outside marriage” but it’s what that non-marital sex is doing to relationships. Sociologist Mark Regnerus discusses this in his new book “Cheap Sex,” reviewed last week by Helen Alvare, WSFT President, at the IFS blog and at the New York Post. “To plenty of women, it appears that men have a fear of commitment. But men, on average, are not afraid of commitment,” Regnerus writes. They just don’t have to commit, since they’re getting what they want–sex. For women this means they more often settle in unsatisfying relationships, hopeful it will end in a marriage they’re longing for.
Regnerus proposes that “men will act as nobly as women collectively demand”–a statement he acknowledges will “aggravate women” who will feel like they are “raising men.” Our experience is that women are in fact aggravated with that messaging, as it puts the onus of fixing the marriage market on women.
Perhaps a more effective approach to inspiring the change the marriage market needs would be empowering women to know and seek, unequivocally, what they deserve and desire, including walking away if a relationship is not going the direction of marriage. At the same time, there needs to be some sort of messaging directed at men, that communicates that the measure of their sincerity as a man is reflected in the nobility with which they treat women and her desires for commitment.
Why Dads’ Matter To Daughters’ Romantic Lives
Kat Talalas, WSFT Communications Director has some insightful news at the WSFT blog this week. “The National Campaign to Prevent Teen and Unplanned Pregnancy (which sometimes and ironically promotes uncommitted sex and risky birth control to teens) has spoken some truths about teen sex: namely, that fathers have tremendous influence over whether their daughters have it or not.” The national poll the Campaign conducted also indicated that fathers’ are unsure of how to talk with their daughters about delicate subjects like love, romance, and sex.
But as Kat writes, “Moms can be supportive of this father/daughter bond, advising dads particularly on how to have these conversations, shedding light on where teen girls’ are developmentally and emotionally and what language to use in these delicate conversations.
Both parents needs to share with young women that current social science shows saving sex for marriage and avoiding cohabitation can help ensure a happy, long-lasting marriage, and help them avoid divorce in the future.”
How Porn impacts Love, Sex, and Romance
We know that porn has a devastating impact on the romantic lives of women and men. Porn usage is not isolated to men, of course. Even for those who don’t use porn, their romantic life could be impacted by it.Relevant Magazine, a Christian publication, has a compelling article on the matter. From the article:
“I’ve had several young women tell me about the vile and violent things boyfriends and husbands, both Christian and non-Christian, have requested or demanded of them. Their preferences mirror what they’ve seen in porn. Junior high girls are asking the question, “can I still be popular if I refuse to have porn-star sex?” One mom, in tears, told us her 14 year-old daughter had been asked by several guys in her class for naked pictures of herself (which then get traded between boys during recess). As porn becomes more violent and degrading, so do the real-life requests of boys and men. These expectations carry into healthy relationships and into marriage, requiring us to unlearn what porn has taught us about intimacy.”
It’s never too early to talk to your adolescents and teens about the dangers of porn, and it’s never too late to break free of porn and reset expectations for the way the mind understands romance, love, and sex.
“In an Aug. 29 statement, Royals general manager Dayton Moore explained that the team’s leadership formation program discusses the problems surrounding drug and alcohol use, and also “pornography and the effects of what that does to the minds of players.”
Moore expressed hope that team formation program might focus on the development of players beyond the early years of their careers, into the “next part of their journey – what type of husbands [and] what types of fathers [the players may become].”
He also linked pornography to the damage it has on family life and other relationships, saying that it can lead to the domestic “abuse of women.””
It’s great to see this sort of leadership on and off the field!
WSFT is trying to create a world that is intellectually honest about women’s freedom, about the good of keeping sex, marriage, and children together, and about how our sexualized culture has immiserated women and their families. Because our goals are so lofty and countercultural, we read the news with a careful eye for signs of hope, and to find the places where our voices are needed. Our weekly update—What’s Speaking To Us—will give you a view into what we’re reading, what we’re thinking, and how we’re speaking for ourselves in the media or in our communities.
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Women, empowered with facts, can change the culture!