A Wall Street Journal Editorial notes how a federal lawsuit has been filed to invalidate Proposition 8 and other traditional marriage laws. Regardless of the merits of the suit and defense of laws defining marriage as between one man and one woman, it seems clear that the moneyed, Gentry Liberals that Joel Kotkin suggests drives most of the Democratic Party and make up most of the nations wealthiest individuals (being concentrated in finance, Hollywood, Silicon Valley, and uber-financiers like Soros and Buffett) will have their way on this. As they have had, so far, their way on Cap and Trade, the ObamaCare proposals, and the stimulus bill. This is essentially the coastal elites having their way over everyone else, using the Supreme Court to do it. Kotkin warns this will have severe consequences politically, and he's right.
However, that's an issue for another post. When, not if, Gay Marriage comes, what will happen to marriage as it's defined, and what will society look like? I expect the following ills to accompany gay marriage and continue to wash away social bonds:
- Polygamy will be legalized.
- Marriage will be perceived as "gay," for Muslims and other non-mainstream people, or for the very, very rich by most people.
- Increasing amounts of new marriages will be either mostly polygamous or gay, while marriage itself declines.
- Men will increasingly co-habitate instead of marry, with fragile, chaotic, and short-lived relationships characterizing "family" for most Americans.
- "Gay" norms of sexuality, i.e. non-monogamous conduct, will define non-polygamous marriage, driving acceptance of marriage among straight, non-polygamous men to near zero for new marriages
- Women and children will be regarded by most men as something they are at best unconcerned with and at worst, openly hostile to, given the new marriage environment
- Most children in the US will be born to single mothers, and single motherhood will define how children are raised, with the accompanying social pathologies found in that environment
UPDATE! check out these lunatics: here where two people who should NEVER have sex (aging hippies) talk about reprogramming jealousy. Yeah, that will work.
Obviously, not all of these will happen in an instant-on light-switch type of process, but the trends are un-mistakeable. Together, they threaten to remake America within a few generations into a combination of Morocco and Tijuana and Pacific Heights. With most of the nation resembling the first two instead of the latter.
From the Wall Street Journal Article some passages that deserve quoting in full:
If marriage is redefined, its connection to organic bodily union—and thus to procreation—will be undermined. It will increasingly be understood as an emotional union for the sake of adult satisfaction that is served by mutually agreeable sexual play. But there is no reason that primarily emotional unions like friendships should be permanent, exclusive, limited to two, or legally regulated at all. Thus, there will remain no principled basis for upholding marital norms like monogamy.
A veneer of sentiment may prevent these norms from collapsing—but only temporarily. The marriage culture, already wounded by widespread divorce, nonmarital cohabitation and out-of-wedlock childbearing will fare no better than it has in those European societies that were in the vanguard of sexual “enlightenment.” And the primary victims of a weakened marriage culture are always children and those in the poorest, most vulnerable sectors of society.
Candid and clear-thinking advocates of redefining marriage recognize that doing so entails abandoning norms such as monogamy. In a 2006 statement entitled “Beyond Same-Sex Marriage,” over 300 lesbian, gay, and allied activists, educators, lawyers, and community organizers—including Gloria Steinem, Barbara Ehrenreich, and prominent Yale, Columbia and Georgetown professors—call for legally recognizing multiple sex partner (“polyamorous”) relationships. Their logic is unassailable once the historic definition of marriage is overthrown.
Is this a red herring? This week’s Newsweek reports more than 500,000 polyamorous households in the U.S.
Along with the Re-Norming of Marriage, the changes wrought by Gay Marriage will reshape the social landscape of America in profound ways. Intensifying some trends, and obliterating others.
First, Polygamy will be legalized. As seen above, feminists, gay activists, educators, lawyers, and community organizers, what Kotkin describes as "Gentry Liberals" are determined to have their way on this as well as with Gay Marriage. Legally, it seems inexplicable to allow marriage to be gay but not polygamous, and as Mark Steyn points out in jurisdiction where Gay Marriage has been the law of the land for long has polygamy remained outlawed. Polygamy is de-facto recognized in Great Britain and Canada (where Muslim men may claim welfare benefits for their four wives) and in the Netherlands the law of the land. As Steyn points out, there will be many more takers for Polygamy than Gay Marriage.
Last year, Aly Hindy, a Scarborough imam, told the Toronto Star that he’d performed 30 polygamous marriages just in the last few weeks.
Legalized polygamy and ostentatious displays by gays in gay weddings (what other kind you ask could there be?) will rapidly move marriage in the cultural sphere to "gay" and "Muslim" and for the rich. The rich can afford huge spreads, gigantic parties and ceremonies, and would remain both enamored of class distinctions and able to bear the costs of marriage (i.e. money makes it a bad deal for divorcing). In the otherwise forgettable "Nanny Diaries" the prospective Nanny (Scarlett Johanssen) lunches with the older, married woman thinking of hiring her (Laura Linney). A friend of the Linney character stops by, and the two commiserate on her recent divorce, which put the luxurious life of penthouse apartments in Manhattan and Cape Cod "Summer Homes" out of reach. Hyper-fabulous gay weddings, with the usual distasteful (to straight men) exhibitionist display, will rapidly push weddings and marriage into the "gay" category like Broadway. Lost in time, there was a moment when Broadway was not automatically considered gay and showtunes were popular among straight men. Straight men avoid like the plague any noticeably "gay" institution.
The non-acceptance of marriage as an institution for average, middle class Americans will simply accelerate. Kay Hymnowitz of City-Journal has called the marriage gap will continue to grow, as men find the institution itself defined by polygamous Muslims, gays, and the rich (but not hyper-rich like say, Paul McCartney). Hymnowitz argues that the gap comes educated, middle and upper class women having a "mission" to prepare their kids for college and success, but cites no evidence to back that assertion up. There certainly is a sizeable gap between blue-collar, working class White women and middle/upper class White women in marriage rates. But it's just as likely that rather than "the mission" the relative attractive quality of men (to entice women into marriage) is greater among upper and middle class women than in the working class.
In other words, the "script" that Hymnowitz asserts women follow, is marrying a man who might plausibly be "enough" of an Alpha Male, socially dominant, "cool/hip," and impressive to her friends and social circle, and critically, the supply of those men greater in middle/upper class circles, rather than child-success preparing. Delayed childbirth and marriage ages creeping upward are a factor in middle and upper class marriage, so this might just as well explain the marriage gap.
There is a limited supply of handsome lawyers, doctors, "venture capitalists" (ala the film "the Wedding Crashers") staffers in political offices, NGOs, and the like (think "Mr. Darcy" as a "respectable, but independently wealthy, human rights lawyer" in the film "Bridget Jones Diary.") These are the men "suitable" for marriage, i.e. the bride will not suffer embarrassment or humiliation to be seen marrying the man, and will be willing to be "off the market" for a period of time at a minimum as the wife of her husband. Women already complain about the supply of "good men" (i.e. top-rank Alpha males willing to commit) in upper and middle class circles. Anything that further reduces the supply, and gay marriage with polygamy making marriage irrevocably "gay" and "Muslim" will do it creates far fewer "good men" and pushes even middle and upper class women to co-habitate with Alpha men rather than marry an undesirable "beta male."
Co-habitation, as noted in the link above, and also here and also here and the Heritage Foundation "Map of the Family" here is an unmitigated disaster. Co-habitation (unlike places such as Sweden and Iceland) is generally fragile, with fathers or men bowing out frequently, and much poverty, abuse and unhappiness for children en-meshed in co-habitation:
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Co-habitation was clearly on the rise before the economic melt-down. May 2009 is "National Cohabitation Month" and sites like "Alternatives to Marriage" which extols both Polyamory and Gay Marriage extol cohabitation as well as other arrangements in lieu of traditional marriage. Culturally, there is a great acceptance of co-habitation as "better" than marriage, and idolization of rich celebrities such as Angelina Jolie and Brad Pitt (who can afford it) helps move it along. Of course, co-habitation is still relatively minor, about 10% of all marriages, however from the link here we can see that this effect is not the same across all age cohorts:
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As you can see, the trends in the younger generation are not good. Increasingly, co-habitation seems to be the norm, for the younger generation. The older generation probably sways the national average, as many more older women are married. The graph below is a crude but useful estimation to see how the larger group of older women, who were mostly married at one point (I crudely subtracted the "Never Married" from the total age cohort to arrive at the married figure, others may refine the numbers to a better point, but you can see the large trends) which tends to make the growing acceptance of co-habition among younger women of all races better than it actually is.
[Click Image to Enlarge]
Along with Co-habitation, comes greater acceptance of "gay norms" for marriage, and indeed relationships in general. From Television shows like Mercy to movies, the media, and social trends, casual sex with others in a relationship is not viewed as wrong, at least insofar as female infidelity is concerned. Male infidelity is viewed as situation-dependent. A John Edwards or Bill Clinton or Tony Villaraigosa or Gavin Newsome or Bobby Pitino , with the "correct" politics and Big Man demeanor, don't face social sanctions and condemnation. Those on the wrong side of politics, or with non-Alpha Big Man demeanor, face social condemnation (Mark Sanford, for one).
Gay norms of marriage, and the growing push in Hollywood to make marriage "gay" as possible, makes co-habitation a better deal for men versus marriage, since they can walk out at any time, and often do. Particularly if there are no children, and in states without "palimony" statutes or court decisions. Some have suggested that beta males will be happy to accept "Kitchen Bitch" status, that is a care-taker, dependent, and often-cheated upon house-husband, but the relative fragility of co-habitation, and the growing number of women in younger age cohorts who form households with another person co-habitating instead of marrying seems to suggest otherwise. Certainly the closest analogue to the US, the United Kingdom, has not seen the growth of "Kitchen Bitches" or Mr. Mom house-husbands who passively accept wives cheating, but rather the huge decline of traditional marriage and chaotic co-habitation.
These changes, marriage as "gay" (or Muslim and polygamous) will leave most men, particularly the backbone of the United States, the beta males who are in skilled professions, engineering, skilled blue collar jobs, and the like with no investment or incentive to become invested in the larger society. Women, and children, will be seen as someone else's concern, or matters for the government. This has been the case in the UK, where the disintegration of traditional marriage at all but the upper levels of society has led to most men becoming profoundly disinterested in the fate of women and children. Indeed, fatherly involvement in co-habitating arrangements, is less than for married fathers, and often non-existent when couples break up as they do far more often than married couples.
This will make all but the wealthy, born into de-facto single motherhood families. Even with the biological father present, there is little to tie him to the mother if relationships are amorphous and ever-changing, as Barbara Ehrenreich once lovingly described her vision of the future. The various social ills, besetting England, particularly youth crime (of all races, not just Pakistani youths) which makes the UK resemble "Clockwork Orange" more than "Goodbye Mr. Chips" is certain to bedevil the US over time.
The most powerful institutions in America are the Media and Hollywood, at least as far as shaping the culture. Religious attendance is down, across the board, for Catholics and Protestants alike. Most people take their values from those depicted in Hollywood and the media, particularly women, since both focus on the female audience and in doing so chase away male viewers. America seems lurching towards a new era of relationships between men and women, one characterized by mistrust, vastly different goals, and vastly different value systems.
Women, and the cultural institutions aimed at them, aided by moneyed elites such as George Soros or David Geffen, seem intent on making marriage and relationships "gay" and the ability of money to trump votes and the interests of most people seems unchallenged. I certainly expect a Supreme Court decision legalizing Gay Marriage across the United States.
But women can't force men to marry them under "gay" norms. Indeed, few of the men willing to be married (the George Sodini desperate for female contact types) under those conditions would be attractive in the first place. Sodini was in fact able to get dates. But no woman was willing to sleep with him, let alone marry him. The few men willing to accept "Kitchen Bitch" status, ironically, will be unwanted by those desiring a house-husband and numerous Alpha lovers.
Where does this leave men and women? For a few lucky Alpha PUA (Pick Up Artist) types, heaven. Women available, in relationships or outside them. Everywhere, all the time. For the rest of men, outside the Sodini types, unable to find women to sleep with them, occasional sex, intermittent co-habitating, chaotic and breakable relationships, with perhaps one or two children by women they never see anymore. Their children, merely distant facts in their lives, like the capital of Mongolia. A lucky few Alpha men who are upper class, or upper class with enough money/status/prestige to be considered Alpha, will marry, and have relatively stable relationships with no divorce and little cheating, given the stakes of the Hamptons Beach House (and cost of splitting a modest fortune in half).
For Women, most will be able to attract at least for a while, the Alpha men they crave. For women seeking to maximize sexual opportunities, this is heaven. Some Alpha men may live with them for a while, or they may attract some Beta men on the downward slope of their attractiveness to co-habitate. There will be little to fix these relationships in stone, however, and the least pressure will fracture them leaving each partner single and separate. Women will likely get some child support earnings in the face of co-habitating splits, but will face, under large uncertainty of parentage, increased legal challenges and DNA paternity tests, by men uninvested in them or society. Alimony, as women start to out-earn their co-habitating partners, can even break against them, and it's likely that as it does women will press for changes in the system. Most women who are at least moderately attractive, will have no trouble in attracting male attention, but keeping male investment in themselves and their children will become increasingly difficult to impossible with each successive age cohort.
Particularly given the college gap (more women than men attend), and attendant earnings gap, with some professions being profoundly feminized, several factors will negatively affect both men and women. Women, in feminized professions, such as medicine, law, and government, will compete heavily over the few men in such professions that are "Alpha" while the men in the professions who are not, will be regarded as "gay" and treated as sexually invisible. For most women, this means finding partners in a bar or other impromptu social gathering, with the collapse of mediating mate-finding institutions like Churches and neighborhood groups. This means, essentially, selecting on the hottest PUA in the bar, for most college educated women professionals. Which will price most men out, most of the time. Ordinary men who are college educated will increasingly opt out of competition in which they mostly lose in favor of porn and hobbies and "bromances" or seek women abroad by expatriate opportunties. A few will look to PUA gurus to become PUA themselves in the ruthless bar/club competition.
For the increasing majority of men NOT college educated, either a ruthless entrepreneurial path, which produces a few winners and a lot of losers, or chav-style brutality, will be the norm for being successful with women. In other words, Gordon Ramsay or the typical soccer yob. With lots of "mate-ism" (working class bromance) and macho displays.
That PUA in general are part of the popular culture, and can make substantial livings off of teaching men how to approach and romance women, is itself a big red flag. Men don't pay thousands of dollars for classes and guided instruction if they are not desperate. Indeed, there is a huge social shame among men who don't have a girlfriend, or wife, and the stigma of "loserdom" associated with that status, and the desperation, is a sign that the rules of society that many men grew up on, simply don't work. If PUA can make a living on teaching men what most of their fathers did without much thinking, that is approach women and be successful, or keep a relationship with one, that very market is a sign of deep trouble, like armed bodyguards for middle class people in kidnap-crazy Central America.
The blaming of Sodini's massacre in Pittsburgh on PUA has already begun. "Nice guy must die." Well, he must. And he is. Nice guys only exist when society creates them. In the neo-Darwinian struggle for sex and relationships based on "survival of the hottest" in the Bar on Friday night, male investment, protection, and support simply does not exist. Contrary to the article, Sodini got his ideas about women from being unable to form and keep a relationship with them, and observing other men who possessed simply social dominance, be successful.
America's danger is not Sodini or Cho type massacres. Though those are bound to become more frequent as social cohesion fails to leash the lunatic and insane. It is rather a whole class of men becoming Chavs or opting out, going abroad, or watching porn. This may look like a female paradise, but women also lose, since they get no male investment on their downside. Cougars and such may get transient male interest, but won't find in a society where relationships and marriage are "gay" any offers by men even remotely attractive and compatible with themselves.
The only hope, indeed for all of Western Society, is culture and entertainment that push a message of traditional morality, and the advantages to women of fidelity and faithfulness in relationships. Including comfort and companionship as they age, a defender and protector through life, and the willingness if need be, to lay down their lives for them. In the finale of the sadly cancelled "Life," the protagonist (Damien Lewis, "Band of Brothers") risks his life to save his female partner (Sarah Shahi). Because he loves her. It was as simple as that.
What America, and indeed the West, needs is more male-oriented entertainment with that cultural message, that also appeals to women and shows them concretely the advantages of traditional marriage and culture. Not the least of which is that they are both independent and protected within that culture. Hollywood, dominated by near-Apex Alpha males, gays, and oriented towards a mostly female audience, is to sclerotic to accomplish this goal. We in the West who seek reform must pin our hopes (and make sure we guide its development) on new media, created outside of Hollywood, distributed through the internet. Aimed at the broadest audience and encapsulating traditional American and Western values.