‘Marriage Changes When You Don’t Just Need A Warm Body and a Paycheck’: A Talk With Rebecca Traister

‘Marriage Changes When You Don’t Just Need A Warm Body and a Paycheck’: A Talk With Rebecca Traister

(Link): ‘Marriage Changes When You Don’t Just Need A Warm Body and a Paycheck’: A Talk With Rebecca Traister  by Jia Tolentino

Excerpts:

  • After two months, my [Jia Tolentino’s] copy of Rebecca Traister’s new book is already dog-eared, wine-stained, and train-battered. All the Single Ladies is essential, careful, bold, and rigorous; it’s a warning and a celebration, and I loved it. Traister and I talked on the phone last week.
  • [Rebecca Traister said]… I always hated it when my heroines [book characters] got married.
  • … but I took in the message that Laura learned, and then taught us: that marriage was the end of fun.
  • …one of the interesting things that’s happened coterminously with the decline in marriage rate is the rise of the wedding industrial complex and the fetishization of marriage as the signal achievement of female life.
  • That’s happened even as women have been marrying less and less, and for a couple of reasons.
  • One, the economic strata of women who still most consistently marry are the wealthiest women: you have a whole industry that’s built up around selling them very expensive weddings, and this industry now crosses classes. There’s a diffuse but very strong pressure to correct women’s move away from marriage by fetishizing it.
  • This, in turn, is possible in part because marriage is no longer the thing that kicks off a woman’s adult life.
  • As sociologists put it, marriage is now a capstone event instead. It’s the thing you do when your life is in shape, when you have the right amount of money —and particularly in middle and lower-income communities, when you know you have the right partner, and in many cases, when you already have a kid. Marriage is popularly a sign that your life is in order, which contributes to this renewed positioning of marriage as aspirational.
  • [Jia Tolentino said] Right. It’s the fairytale narrative run through a late-capitalist filter. You make your money, you formalize your ambitions, and then you still get rewarded with the kiss and the ring.
  • [Rebecca Traister said] Despite all this, women are still not marrying at the same rate they were. You can bombard women with messages that they should be aiming for this; that they should be doing that. But you know what? They’re still not doing it. You might be able to make them feel bad about it—but this mass behavior no longer applies.

Continue reading “‘Marriage Changes When You Don’t Just Need A Warm Body and a Paycheck’: A Talk With Rebecca Traister”

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Scary Single Ladies: Rebecca Traister Explains Why Single Women Frighten The Hell Out Of The GOP

Scary Single Ladies: Rebecca Traister Explains Why Single Women Frighten The  Hell Out Of The GOP

Sometimes some of these reviews of Traister’s book, or interviews with her, bring up how so many Republicans often demonize or criticize single motherhood.

I happen to be a Republican myself, someone who was raised in a traditional Christian home.

One thing I don’t get is how so many other Republicans and Christians do in fact constantly bad-mouth single motherhood, but out of the other side of their mouths, they frequently complain that not enough women are having babies.

It ticks these types of Republicans and Christians off that baby-making rates have declined a bit in the last decade or whatever (see this link for example).

So, on the one hand, my fellow Republicans complain about women having babies (women who happen to be single), but then turn around and complain and gripe about women NOT having babies.

Christians and Republicans are somewhat inconsistent on this point. They might argue that women should marry first, and then make a baby with their spouse, but this is part of the problem: plenty of women WANT to marry, but there are no eligible males for them to marry (see this link or this link for more).

And, of course, there are married women who cannot have babies because they are infertile, or some may choose to forgo motherhood – and their choices should be respected, not condemned.

Another thing that bothers me about this conservative demonizing of single motherhood is that I suspect one view that undergirds it is that they believe that marriage or parenthood supposedly makes adults more mature, responsible or godly, which is simply (Link): not true (and see this link and this link).

(There are a lot of conservative Christians who have taught or said that people only become mature or responsible when they marry or have a kid.)

The Bible does not teach that marriage or parenthood are necessary to make a person more godly, loving, responsible, or mature.

And even every day common sense and observation bears that out: we’ve all known, or heard of, married parents who are immature, greedy, or immoral swine.

Disclaimer:

  • I am right wing and have been a Republican for years. However, I don’t always agree with Republicans on everything.
    I do occasionally agree with some of the left wing’s criticism of right wingers, and concerning how dismally right wingers treat singles, I agree with them on that.

The link I give you here is from a left wing site, by Amanda Marcotte, a liberal feminist who is (Link): sometimes hypocritical about women’s sexual issues.

Even though I completely disagree with Marcotte on some topics, I did find myself agreeing with some of the content of this interview she had with this book author:

(Link):  Scary single ladies: Rebecca Traister explains why single women frighten the hell out of the GOP by Amanda Marcotte

Excerpts:

  • Author Rebecca Traister’s new book on single women looks at how this growing population is reshaping America
  • Author Rebecca Traister’s last book, “Big Girls Don’t Cry,” took a comprehensive look at how the 2008 elections changed everything for American women.
  • Now she’s back with a similarly pop music-themed title, “All the Single Ladies: Unmarried Women and the Rise of an Independent Nation,” an examination of the role single women have played in American culture, both in our history and in our current times.
  • (Link): Single women are a potent political force in a way that they never have been before, making up nearly a quarter of the electorate and leaning to the left of both men and their married counterparts.
  • This, along with a whole host of inchoate fears about what happens when women are left to their own devices without male supervision, has led to a rash of conservative pundits and politicians denouncing the ladies who aren’t married. I interviewed Traister about this moral panic over single women and what it means for the culture at large.
  • [Question to the book author]: In your book, you detail how obsessed the conservative media has become with single women, who clearly anger right-wing pundits. The most hilarious quote you pull is Rush Limbaugh whining, “What is it with all these young, single, white women?” What is it with these conservative pundits focusing on single women?
  • It was just a couple of weeks (Link): after his tirade of Sandra Fluke that he made those comments about another woman who had written a book.
  • The fact that he said “white,” well, there are these versions of single womanhood that we are presented and the version that threatens most, is the white, privileged women.
  • Sandra Fluke testifying in front of Congress, women who are writing books, Murphy Brown, and Anita Hill, even though she’s not white, a lawyer appeared for Clarence Thomas.
  • There is a kind of woman who is economically powerful, professionally powerful who threatens a white male grip on power that has a long historic precedent in the country. Independent women living outside of marriage threaten all kinds of things about the way power is supposed to work.
  • What if reproduction is taken outside that version of male control? What if women are competing?

Continue reading “Scary Single Ladies: Rebecca Traister Explains Why Single Women Frighten The Hell Out Of The GOP”

Christian Leader of Pro Family Group Complains About Sexualization of U.S. Culture Makes No Mention Of Supporting Hetero Single Adult Celibates

Christian Leader of Pro Family Group Complains About Sexualization of U.S. Culture Makes No Mention Of Supporting Hetero Single Adult Celibates

From Jan 20, 2015:

(Link): ‘Darkness’ of Sexual Culture ‘Gone Mad’ Threatens America’s Future, Says Evangelical Leader Tony Perkins

This is not a post I intend to spend a lot of time on. I just wanted to shoot off a quick observation or two.

This Tony Perkins guy is a leader of the group FRC (Family Research Council). The FRC is obsessed with the culture wars, and stereotypical evangelical concerns of fighting abortion, homosexuality, and so forth.

First, I will include a few excerpts then discuss them below:

(Link): ‘Darkness’ of Sexual Culture ‘Gone Mad’ Threatens America’s Future, Says Evangelical Leader Tony Perkins

Excerpts

  • WASHINGTON — Family Research Council President Tony Perkins called on Congress to protect the religious freedom of those affected by the “darkness of unrestricted sexual license … gone mad.”
  • While America previously faced the threats of Nazism and Communism, today’s threats emanate from the Sexual Revolution, Perkins said Monday in his “State of the Family” address.

    “The threats America face are not potential — they are clear, present and dangerous,” he said. “And ironically they come most sharply today not from the radical economic doctrines of Karl Marx, nor from the lights of what Winston Churchill called ‘perverted science,’ but from the darkness of unrestricted sexual license — a new Cultural Revolution — gone mad.”

Continue reading “Christian Leader of Pro Family Group Complains About Sexualization of U.S. Culture Makes No Mention Of Supporting Hetero Single Adult Celibates”