Hilary White

Young men giving up on marriage: ‘Women aren’t women anymore’

Hilary White
Hilary White

January 10, 2013 (LifeSiteNews.com) – Fewer young men in the US want to get married than ever, while the desire for marriage is rising among young women, according to the Pew Research Center.

Pew recently found that the number of women 18-34 saying that having a successful marriage is one of the most important things rose from 28 percent to 37 percent since 1997. The number of young adult men saying the same thing dropped from 35 percent to 29 percent in the same time.

Pew’s findings have caught the attention of one US writer who maintains that feminism, deeply entrenched in every segment of the culture, has created an environment in which young men find it more beneficial to simply opt out of couple-dom entirely.

Suzanne Venker’s article, “The War on Men,” which appeared on the website of Fox News in late November, has become a lodestone for feminist writers who have attacked her position that the institution of marriage is threatened, not enhanced, by the supposed gains of the feminist movement over the last 50 years.

“Where have all the good (meaning marriageable) men gone?” is a question much talked about lately in the secular media, Venker says, but her answer, backed up by statistics, is not to the liking of mainstream commentators influenced by feminism.

She points out that for the first time in US history, the number of women in the workforce has surpassed the number of men, while more women than men are acquiring university degrees.

“The problem? This new phenomenon has changed the dance between men and women,” Venker wrote. With feminism pushing them out of their traditional role of breadwinner, protector and provider – and divorce laws increasingly creating a dangerously precarious financial prospect for the men cut loose from marriage – men are simply no longer finding any benefit in it.

As a writer and researcher into the trends of marriage and relationships, Venker said, she has “accidentally stumbled upon a subculture” of men who say “in no uncertain terms, that they’re never getting married.”

“When I ask them why, the answer is always the same: women aren’t women anymore.” Feminism, which teaches women to think of men as the enemy, has made women “angry” and “defensive, though often unknowingly.” 

“Now the men have nowhere to go. It is precisely this dynamic – women good/men bad – that has destroyed the relationship between the sexes. Yet somehow, men are still to blame when love goes awry.”

“Men are tired,” Venker wrote. “Tired of being told there’s something fundamentally wrong with them. Tired of being told that if women aren’t happy, it’s men’s fault.”

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Feminism and the sexual revolution have simply made marriage “obsolete” for women as a social and economic refuge, but this is a situation that should not be celebrated by feminists, Venker says.

“It’s the women who lose. Not only are they saddled with the consequences of sex, by dismissing male nature they’re forever seeking a balanced life. The fact is, women need men’s linear career goals – they need men to pick up the slack at the office – in order to live the balanced life they seek.”

A cross section of research data from the Pew Research Center for the last months of 2012 shows the alarming trends for marriage and child-bearing in the US. One report published in mid-December said that the latest census data showed “barely half” of all adults in the United States are currently married, a “record low”. Since 1960, the number of married adults has decreased from 72 percent to 51 today and the number of new marriages in the U.S. declined by five percent between 2009 and 2010.

Moreover, the median age at first marriage continues to rise with women getting married the first time at 26.5 years and men at 28.7. The declines in marriage are “most dramatic” among young adults. Just 20 percent of those aged 18 to 29 are married, compared with 59 percent in 1960.

“If current trends continue, the share of adults who are currently married will drop to below half within a few years,” the report said.

Moreover, the link between marriage and childrearing has become disconnected in the minds of the so-called Millennial generation, those between 18 and 29. While 52 percent of Millennials say being a good parent is “one of the most important things” in life, just 30 per cent say the same about having a successful marriage, an attitudinal survey found.

The gap, of 22 percentage points, between the value Millennials place on parenthood over marriage, was just 7 points in 1997. The research found that Millennials, many of whom are the children of divorce and single-parenthood themselves, are also less likely than their elders to say that a child needs both a father and mother at home, that single parenthood and unmarried couple parenthood are bad for society.

 

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Thaddeus Baklinski Thaddeus Baklinski Follow Thaddeus

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French birth rate will plunge after nation reverses pro-family policies, critics say

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By Thaddeus Baklinski

Family organizations, French media, and women's groups are blasting the French government's plans to reduce family benefits, saying the cuts will negatively affect the country's just-barely replacement level birth rate and discourage women from having more children.

France's birth rate dropped from 2.03 children per woman in 2010 to 1.99 children last year, according to the country's national statistics agency INSEE. Yet it still has a relatively high fertility rate compared to Germany's 1.38 children per woman and Portugal with 1.28 – something seen as competitive economic advantage in the EU.

The country's high birth rate has been attributed to longstanding pro-family policies that offered incentives such as free post-natal care, subsidized daycare, allowances for each child born (prime de naissance), discounts on a range of services for large families, and generous paid parental leave.

Mothers are currently allowed to take two and half years’ parental leave, being paid 530 euros a month by the state. Fathers are then eligible to take a further six months, paid at the same rate, to bring the total length of parental leave up to three years.

On Monday, France's social affairs minister Marisol Touraine announced that the government plans to reduce the length of parental leave for mothers by half, and to cut the one-off bonus paid for the birth of second and subsequent children.

Claire Serre-Combe, spokeswoman for the women's right group Osez le Féminisme (Feminism dares), told The Local, "This is extremely negative for women. The government reduced parental leave not to ensure equality between men and women but to save money on the backs of the most vulnerable women."

Thierry Vidor, of the organization Familles de France, said, “This government is taking us back to the nineteenth century. Of course these measures will affect the birth rate. If the state doesn't offer help it's clear that poorer families won’t be able to afford childcare, which will put them off having children.”

Vidor noted that the 'primes de naissance' are paid out depending on income, "meaning it is the poorer families that receive the most, so of course they will be the ones to lose out if they are cut."

The president of the National Confederation of Catholic Family Associations, Jean-Maris Andes, told Le Figaro newspaper, “I do not see how these policies are coherent in a France where families are now having less than two children." François Fondard of the National Union of Family Associations said, “Young families risk losing confidence and will not fulfill their wish to have a child.”

Media critics have also weighed in on the cuts, saying that while the government should try to save money, doing so to the detriment of families is irresponsible.

Gaëtan de Capèle of the right-leaning Le Figaro wrote, “Common sense would suggest we protect the family benefits (politique familiale) that are proven to work and which ease the burden... of paying for the ageing population.

“But unfortunately the government is doing exactly the opposite. The result is that having children in France will soon become a luxury,” he stated.

Bruno Dive, writing in Sud-Ouest newspaper, said, “One of the things Germany envies about France is our policy towards families. It is true that the French demography is a real strength, when compared to the ageing population of Germany which represents a real Achilles heel for them. The government is attacking one of the few policies that work in our country.”

The organizers of the Sunday, October 5 Manif Pour Tous demonstration on the anti-human trafficking theme "the human being is not a commodity" told The Local that they hope "angry mums" will join their marches in Paris and Bordeaux to protest the government's planned cuts to families.

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Ben Johnson

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Street preacher says he faces death threats after authorities encourage people to monitor his sermons

Ben Johnson
Ben Johnson

In June this year, police in a small town in Somerset advised local shop keepers and the general public to use their mobile phones to record evidence against a local Christian street preacher “if they think he is making offensive remarks,” including remarks against homosexual activity. According to the preacher, Michael Overd, the result has been not only charges being pressed against him by the Crown Prosecution Service for his preaching, but an increase of violent assaults and verbal abuse against him and his friends.

“I’d advise people that if they’re offended to record any incident on their mobile phone and send it to us,” the head of Taunton police told local media, including in a local BBC news program. Police told the Somerset County Gazette that Mr. Overd has made “offensive and derogatory” comments about homosexuals.

Mr. Overd told LifeSiteNews.com that the CPS is alleging that he is guilty of a “religiously aggravated” offense after he compared the Islamic prophet Mohammed with Christ. Although he is still awaiting the actual charges and court summons, he has been informed that there are no charges related to homosexuality.

He added that it is clear the complaints are “frivolous” and that when questioned, complainants were unable to repeat what they had heard.

The Gazette notes that Mr. Overd was “cleared of harassment following a trial at Taunton Deane Magistrates’ Courts in February 2012.” They conclude by adding the contact details for “anyone who feels offended by the street preacher” to call police, “or e-mail any video evidence they obtain.”

Sgt. Neil Kimmins, the head of the Taunton police, told the Somerset County Gazette, “People shouldn’t have abuse like that thrown at them. The street preacher likes to engage with individuals.” Sgt. Kimmins confirmed that “homophobia is definitely an issue” in the complaints.

“We’re conscious of the right to free speech but it’s about getting the right balance so people can come to our town,” said Sgt. Kimmins. He mentioned that Mr. Overd carried his own camera to “protect himself from abuse and gathers evidence of people being hostile towards him,” but added, “He’s being hostile towards them and they are responding.”

In a statement through his legal counsel, Mr. Overd said, “I find it extraordinary that the police are trying to make it illegal to preach the Gospel in the streets of our country, simply because the Gospel at times confronts the sinner.”

“It is also wrong for a police sergeant to incite local traders to seek out video evidence that my preaching causes offense and to go on TV and speak to the Press to encourage people to film me for evidence of potentially offensive preaching.”

Mr. Overd, who is being represented by the Christian Legal Centre (CLC), said the decision to request videos from the public was taken by a single local officer. “It’s clear that this officer is determined to stop me preaching the Gospel which is a terrible attack on freedom of speech,” he said.

CLC have said that the decision to single out Mr. Overd amounts to state harassment based not on the law but on ideological grounds.

The CLC told LifeSiteNews.com today that Mr. Overd, a former paratrooper, was asked by police in June to answer questions with regards to six complaints from the public about his activities as a street preacher.

In his interviews with the press, Sgt. Kimmins said, “This is about ordinary people being able to go about their daily activities without the fear of receiving abuse or harassment based on their perceived marital status or sexual bias.”

Garry Selfridge, a spokesman for the CLC pointed to the irony of the statement, however, saying that police are harassing Mr. Overd, who is also going about his perfectly lawful business. Selfridge said that the fact Sgt. Kimmins had to ask the public to make videos meant that police had no evidence whatever that Mr. Overd has acted unlawfully.

The previous six complaints were dismissed by the courts.

At the same time Mr. Overd has gathered his own video evidence to show he is acting fully within the law that does not outlaw Christian preaching. In the previous case in 2012, he provided two DVDs with video recordings of the incidents in question.

Selfridge explained to LifeSiteNews.com, “Under the Public Order Act, you are still entitled to preach. Obviously, what you can’t do is preach ‘hate’ which means that you can say what the bible says on certain issues, but you can’t say that all homosexual people should be put in prison or be attacked or whatever. But it doesn’t stop you from preaching biblical sexual morality.”

Selfridge continued, saying it is “almost beyond belief” that in an allegedly free and democratic society, police should be monitoring anyone for what amount to thought crimes, still less calling for the public to do so. He said it certainly resembled the kind of action taken against citizens by the authorities of Soviet states.

LifeSiteNews.com contacted Somerset County Police who confirmed that it is normal for police to encourage citizens to come forward with evidence of any “anti-social behaviour” and make complaints. Police spokesman Niamh Byrne said that in such cases it is usual that a complaint has already been made. She could not, however, confirm whether there was any suspicion of illegal or “anti-social” behavior in Mr. Overd’s case. Sgt. Kimmins himself did not respond to LifeSiteNews.com’s request for an interview.

Selfridge said that the case is not a matter of street thugs threatening bystanders and asking the public to monitor a law-abiding man is in fact heightening tensions. “In a sense,” he said, “it’s trying to provoke a reaction, one which may not be a natural reaction of people who hear this man preaching.”\

“If you encourage people to look for fault they’ll find it,” he said.

Mr. Overd said that as soon as the request was made by police for the public to collect evidence against him, he noted an uptick of aggression against his preaching. He said he has been “assaulted” and “spat at.”

He said the situation is not limited to Taunton and noted that with the “current political climate” in England, his fellow Christian street preachers are finding themselves the subject of increasing assaults, particularly in larger cities like Manchester.

Mr. Overd told LifeSiteNews that he and some others have made formal complaints, one against Sgt. Kimmins for issuing the request for public input that, he says, has directly resulted in more violence on the streets, and another to police for failing to act against it.

The singling out of Christian evangelical street preachers by public authorities has not slowed with the recent reform of the Public Order Act, and has been highlighted as a matter of serious concern by Members of the European Parliament. The start of the phenomenon coinciding almost exactly to the passage of the UK’s new “Equalities” legislation, arrests of street preachers for “offending” against the dictates of the homosexual ideology have become a common feature of British news.

In most cases after the arrest has been made and often after being “interviewed” and held for several hours, police release the preacher without pressing charges.

In some cases, after taking legal advice, the preachers have been awarded substantial damages for false arrest and imprisonment. Earlier this year a Manchester man, Mr. John Craven, was awarded £13,000 in restitution from West Midlands police, who paid out a total of nearly £50,000 in damages and legal fees.

Selfridge confirmed that from a legal standpoint, apart from the twist of asking the public to monitor Mr. Overd, “It looks no different from the previous cases which have resulted in the police taking no action.”

He said that he knows Mr. Overd personally and described him as “fearless but not at all aggressive,” and someone “who will not compromise [his beliefs] for political authorities.”

The Christian Legal Centre believes Sgt. Kimmins is “listening only to one side,” and said his action is “outrageous”. “I don’t know why he hasn’t been disciplined,” he added. “It’s clearly beyond his remit as a police officer.”

To express concerns to Taunton police: ssntauntontowncentre@avonandsomerset.police.uk

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Cancer-stricken mother foregoes lifesaving treatment to save her unborn daughter (Video)

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By Ben Johnson
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Ashley Bridges seemed to be living a dream when she met her fiance, Jonathon, and he proposed last fall. The couple soon learned they would be having a baby. Ashley's only complaint was persistent knee pain that got worse as time went on.

Then she got the news that would change her life: At 10 weeks pregnant, she learned she had a three centimeter tumor in her femur that would require surgery and chemotherapy.

The treatment, she was told, would require an abortion.

“There’s no way I could kill a healthy baby because I’m sick,” Bridges, 24, told the Los Angeles CBS affiliate KCAL.

Doctors found the tumor grew to 10 centimeters within two months, yet Bridges refused a full course of treatment to give her baby – whom she learned was a girl – the best chance at survival. She had a knee replacement to take out the tumor, which filled four inches of her femur.

At eight months, her doctors insisted she deliver her girl and begin chemotherapy. “That’s basically when they told me that it was terminal,” she said.

Doctors gave her one year to live, news that crushed her five-year-old son, Braiden.

But her daughter, Paisley, was born safe and healthy.

The whole family helps out in their Wildomar, California, home. Jonathon, who is in the military, works nights so he can be home with the child during the day.

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“The thought that I’m not going to see her grow up is really hard,” Ashley said.

Still, she has no regrets. “Maybe I’m not supposed to be here and she is,” she added.

Ashley began aggressive treatment, lost her hair, but seems to have had some success in stopping the spread of the cancer. She said that on September 27 her doctor told her that her cancer “hasn't spread to my legs like we thought and the [tumors] in my head haven't grown and the one that was causing me to blind seems completely gone. The ones in my hips and lower spine have grown so little there really isn't a difference!!!!”

“I'm crying, I'm so happy,” she wrote. “Thank God.”

The family has a GiveForward account to help cover their expenses. Already, she has raised $32,000 – some $12,000 more than her goal. You may donate here.

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