The right-wingers are all in a panic now concerning marriage and its possible demise as an institution. An article last week reported that fewer than 50% of women are now married. More and more of them are living on their own. The neanderthals really came out of their caves for this one. How could this be--if women are living alone, well, this could signify the rapture. What next?
If you have read the Minneapolis Star-Tribune, you are familiar with konservative kolumnist Katherine Kersten. She was particularly livid about these marriage statistics. One of the most disturbing aspects of Kersten's response was that she focused on the evidence, the data used in the original New York Times article. Now read that last sentence again: konservative kolumnist Kersten questioning the validity of evidence. These are the same people who claimed, several years ago, to have found a link between abortion and breast cancer--even though no fucking evidence ever existed for that connection. But they never really cared about the evidence did they? These are people who still refuse to believe the 99.97% of all scientists who have said that global warming is a serious problem. Any yes, these people also believed Terri Schiavo was alive and kicking because Bill Frist saw some pink in her cheeks on a video recording. It's damned difficult to listen to arguments about weak evidence coming from people who want to take science out of our schools and replace it with intelligent design.
Seriously, here is where konservative kolumnist Kersten really misses the point. She and her fundamentalist brethren are always suggesting that single and poor women are better off economically when they are married. But is that because of marriage itself.....or is it because of the economic disadvantages that the American capitalist system has forced upon poor and single women? I think the latter. Why not a higher minimum wage for some of these women in low-income jobs? How about guaranteed health insurance.....and child care.....more family leave benefits....and some education loans and job training? How about free contraception for teens and young women instead of lectures and hassles? Maybe some of these benefits would allow single women even more independence.
Oh, but then fewer of them would be rushing to the altar. Face it, konservative kolumnist Kersten and her ilk care little about poor women, single women, or women's issues in general. What they care about is forcing some abstract notion of family values upon the rest of society. But it's clear that their values are worn-out, pseudo-Victorian, fundamentalist snake oil. If Kersten and others wish to help single and/or poor women, they will start looking at unfair economic policies and the evils of unfettered capitalism. And they would quit attempting to foist their tired and hypocritical morals on the rest of us.
dew (and I thank L.P. for contributing ideas via our discussions)