Three 20-something women trying to figure out what it means to be lay, Catholic, and modern all at once.

March 15, 2011

Clearing the Desk Linkfest

Sorry for my extreme silence on the blog. Life has been busy. But I've piled up a big list of links to share with you all, and am finally together enough to post them. I am so glad Julian brought up the Kay Hymowitz article, and will write my thoughts about it shortly. But I wanted to clear the decks first of all these piled up links. The final 3 have something to do with the Hymowitz article, too.

NOBODY GETS MARRIED ANYMORE by Gerry Garibaldi, City Journal:
Here’s my prediction: the money, the reforms, the gleaming porcelain, the hopeful rhetoric about saving our children—all of it will have a limited impact, at best, on most city schoolchildren. Urban teachers face an intractable problem, one that we cannot spend or even teach our way out of: teen pregnancy. This year, all of my favorite girls are pregnant, four in all, future unwed mothers every one. There will be no innovation in this quarter, no race to the top. Personal moral accountability is the electrified rail that no politician wants to touch.

ZIONIST SECT MARRIES GAY MEN TO LESBIAN WOMAN, by Yair Ettinger, Haaretz via First Things:
Rabbis from the religious Zionist community have launched an initiative to marry gay men to lesbian women - with some surprising successes.

...Etti and Roni, both religious, were married five years ago. Though they were honest with each other about their sexual orientations from their first meeting, to the outside world, they portray themselves as a normal heterosexual couple. Today, they have two children, and are thrilled with the results.

"It's incredible," they wrote. "Six years ago, we didn't think we would ever be this happy. We thought everything was black, that we'd lost our chance of a normal life. But today, things are good for us. There are gaps, but that's true in every case. And we fill them with the great love we give to and receive from our children, and also enjoy the simple human love we give each other, such as any two people can give and receive."

SLACKING AS SELF DISCOVERY by Rita Koganzon in The New Atlantis:
Extrapolating primarily from the statistics on the increasing age of marriage and childbearing in the United States and refusing to lament them, Arnett argues forcefully that emerging adulthood is a positive development. Free from external constraints (and often supported financially by their parents), twentysomethings have the opportunity to try an array of temporary jobs, relationships, educational paths, and residences to find which of these are most to their preference. In winnowing down the options, they are also able to “find themselves,” a discovery that will serve them well as adults, assuming they ever decide to become adults. Armed with the self-knowledge gained from a decade of working at Starbucks, joining the Peace Corps, and sharing a basement studio in Brooklyn with four other emerging adults, those at the end of emerging adulthood will better make the family and career decisions they had been putting off, resulting in a future of greater life satisfaction and stability.

...If this all sounds a bit confused, fluffy, and New Agey, Robin Marantz Henig, the author of the Times Magazine piece, has Arnett’s studies and vague neuroscientific speculation about brain maturation to back it up. Emerging adulthood, she argues, isn’t merely a description of the way a narrow sliver of affluent and well-educated people are choosing to spend their twenties, but a seismic shift that will have political consequences.

THE POWERLESSNESS OF THE SINGLE WOMAN by Drs. J.R. Bruns and R.A. Richards II, in Psycology Today:
These same forbidden themes of women's desire for marriage and their frustrations with men and dating have been box office magic in recent "Chick Lit" movies like "Bridget Jones Diary " and "Sex In The City". Feelings of fear, powerlessness and alienation are safely released as long as it is in fiction or pictured on the silver screen.

It turns out that today's liberated women want to marry. The problem, as Whitehead points out, is that the social infrastructure that was designed to help young women meet marriageable men no longer exists. Once upon a time the American courtship rituals of the Senior Prom and sorority formals accomplished their task of getting young men and women paired off. That era disappeared along with platform shows, bell bottom pants and mood rings.

Since many women are pursuing marriage after they have left high school and college with their pool of available men, these single women must take on this chore by themselves. Instead of dating and mating with men they grew up with or at least shared classes with, many are now dating and mating with strangers.

This new system is tailor-made for the mirage man. He doesn't even have to promise young single women to go steady to achieve his short term goals. He either "hooks up" or is "joined at the hip." The "hook up" is friends with benefits, meaning sex without commitment. The other option is "joined at the hip", where a couple that doesn't know each other very well commits to a sexual relationship and spends all their time together. Neither hooking up or being joined at the hip leads to many strong relationships that can weather the storms of life...

SEX IS CHEAP by Mark Regnerus in Slate:
We keep hearing that young men are failing to adapt to contemporary life. Their financial prospects are impaired—earnings for 25- to 34-year-old men have fallen by 20 percent since 1971. Their college enrollment numbers trail women's: Only 43 percent of American undergraduates today are men. Last year, women made up the majority of the work force for the first time. And yet there is one area in which men are very much in charge: premarital heterosexual relationships.

When attractive women will still bed you, life for young men, even those who are floundering, just isn't so bad.

ON DATING NICE CATHOLIC GIRLS by Max Lindeman on Patheos:
I was approaching carved-wood status, though not quietly, when I met—really met—my first nice Catholic girl. It was at a vocational discernment retreat. I was standing on the monastery porch, peering through the French doors toward the living room, wondering whether I should bolt now and apologize later, or vice-versa. I heard tires on gravel. Turning, I saw a girl step out of a Honda wearing a tight pair of jeans. They were not, I hasten to add, skinny jeans; they were cut '80s-style, high at the waist.
When the girl faced me, I saw that her glasses, too, were cut in the style of the Reagan Revolution: square, in every sense. But her legs—timeless. Perhaps her ensemble seems to spell out a mixed message? Not for me. I read: I am beautiful, but either don't know, or don't care.

Why, you could be my vocation, I thought, as she skipped past me, smiling.

It's moments like this when I love the Church. The world condemns bolts of magical thinking as lunacy. The Church dignifies them as the beginning of discernment. In I went.

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