Monthly Archives: September 2016

War on Christianity?

If you only listened to Conservative media outlets, you’d be certain that the government in the US is doing everything it can to expel Christianity from our borders.

So, please explain to me how, in that worldview, a Bojangles in Portsmouth, VA can get away with playing nothing but Christian rock(?) music in their restaurant.

Exactly.

I eat at this particular Bojangles about once a month between September and May because of bowling (since I work and bowl so near each other it is impractical for me to drive all the way home for dinner).

Anyway. I have already told you that I’m a Deist rather than a Christian. I don’t really have an issue with their music choice as being Christian. But to be honest, I think Christian music sucks.

Musically, that is.

The content is fine for the genre. The lyrics themselves aren’t always awful.

But something seems to happen whenever Christians decide to make pop music religious. The singers sound incredibly whiny! I guess it’s the forced “worshipfulness” that does it, like in order to sound reverent, they have to sound a certain way that just nauseates me. Forced strikes me as being a very appropriate word to describe what annoys me about this genre; maybe even more appropriate than whiny.

The easiest way for me to describe it is the beginning lyrics of Hoobastank’s The Reason:

I swear I can identify a Christian rock(?) song even when I can’t understand the lyrics, just by the way the lyrics are sung.

Don’t get me wrong. I have a deep love for some types of religious songs. The traditional gospels songs like “Amazing Grace” and the somber hymns like “Oh Come Emmanuel”. I will listen to Gregorian Chants at work. But Christian rock? No thank you.

I do wonder if there are any Christian rock songs that aren’t forced and whiny. Is it possible to take the same lyrics (which I don’t think are necessarily the problem) and put it towards better musicality? I welcome y’all to share whatever you figure out on this topic!

Presidential material, eh?

 “Trump Revealed: An American Journey of Ambition, Ego, Money, and Power” by Michael Kranish, Marc Fisher –

When New York magazine’s architecture critic Carter Wiseman panned a Trump building, Wiseman got a letter calling him a loser and a poor dresser who wore corduroy suits. Times architecture critic Goldberger found his dress habits critiqued on Page Six after Goldberger wrote negatively about Trump’s Television City plans. Sometimes Trump eschewed the company letterhead and just annotated a copy of the offending piece of journalism and sent it to the author. When Times columnist Gail Collins called Trump a “financially embattled thousandaire,” he sent her column back with her face circled. Next to it, Trump had written, “The Face of a Dog!”

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True for many things in the non-wizarding world too:

 “Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix” by J.K. Rowling –

“Sirius did not hate Kreacher,” said Dumbledore. “He regarded him as a servant unworthy of much interest or notice. Indifference and neglect often do much more damage than outright dislike. . . . The fountain we destroyed tonight told a lie. We wizards have mistreated and abused our fellows for too long, and we are now reaping our reward.”

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Why I am a Deist.

First of all, I need to get this off my chest: I think  people who are “spiritual” rather than “religious” either need to get their head examined or pick up a history book. Preferably the latter because I think their lives would make a lot more sense then.

Okay, now that I’ve insulted whatever “spiritual” readers I have, let me explain. From what I’ve gathered, “spiritualism” is really just Deism with another name and less rules. Which is why I want them to pick up a history book because that’s where I found my faith and a lot more.

My family is Catholic. My mom’s family was Italian Catholic. My dad’s German Catholic. I don’t know much about my mom’s religious upbringing, but I think I’ve seen a picture of her first Communion. It may have been my grandmother’s because at that age, they looked alike. I know she went to public school throughout. My dad went to Catholic school, for the most part, through 8th grade. His dad was Navy, so they moved around a lot and I get a little confused about the timeline.

My dad has more or less gone to church every Sunday for as I’ve been born. When I was a kid he joined the Adult Bible Ed (which was going on at the same time as Sunday School) and then he decided to become a reader. My mom attended church more sporadically  when I was little and today probably goes once or twice a month (she works every other weekend, so there’s not much opportunity for her to go more often).

My dad insisted that we go to church and Sunday School when we were little, though I was allowed to read rather than pay attention. He never took away my book (which was never religious, though I would try to read the children’s Bible my brother’s Godparents had given him sometimes) even when I was in my early teens. There were a few times that I went to church and paid attention, but it was always as part of a deal with my dad so that I could get something I really wanted.

I guess his method of encouraging belief is through osmosis. We’ve never really discussed his beliefs in depth, though in passing I’ve told him I’m a Deist and explained what that is. He’s never been one to force his beliefs on anyone, so while he’s obviously disappointed that I’m not a Church Going Catholic, he respects my decisions. I’m not sure if he realizes that I’m not Christian, but I won’t go into that with him.

Anyway, after years of not gaining belief through osmosis (I have no memory of ever believing whatever I was supposed to get out of Church or Sunday School), I was finally old enough to stay home by myself and didn’t have to go to church anymore! Woot, woot, party! Nah, I just did the same thing I’d always done in Church, except my butt wouldn’t fall asleep because my bed is a lot softer than a pew (or the kneeler I’d use as a seat sometimes when I was little).

I can’t say that I was an atheist when I was a kid. I was probably just agnostic: I didn’t care one way or another. Maybe I was “spiritual”, though that still seems silly to me.

Anyway, when I was about 14 or 15, I was in history class (in a public high school) when I had my religious conversion. In the year or so before I’d started wondering about Church. My dad had convinced me to apply to go to the big Catholic High School because it has a reputation as being a good school and lots of kids from it get great scholarships to college, something I knew I’d need. That was in 8th grade. I think that was around the last time I went to church because I remember mentioning to someone in my Sunday School Class that I’d taken the entrance exam. Obviously I didn’t get in.

Anyway, back to that history class. We were studying the Enlightenment and the teacher was telling us how the great thinkers were turning their backs on Christianity and were becoming Deists. Deists, you see, believe that there is a God, but he is like the clockmaker of the Universe, having put all the pieces together and letting it all run itself.

For any spiritualists out there who aren’t quite sure that they’re Deists, there is such a thing as Theism, which is exactly like Deism, but that God, instead of letting the universe run itself entirely on its own, will at times, “rewind the clock” and interfere.

When I heard this, I instantly knew that I was a Deist. It worked to explain everything that I believed. And it still does. Truthfully, I wobble between Deism and Theism and end up falling somewhere in the middle when it comes to miracles. I see no reason why God has to keep himself not involved, but I don’t think he’s got his hand on every little detail.

I am not a Christian. I do not believe that Jesus was divine. Yes, he existed, but I believe that he was just a good man out to change the world.

I do retain some of my Catholic roots.

I like that there is a church hierarchy. I think it is kind of ridiculous that there are churches preaching whatever they want to preach without any oversight.

I also like the idea of Saints. I think it’s arrogant to think that God wants to speak directly to me, so it’s fine to use a mere human to act as intermediary. But, I don’t really pray, so this point is a bit moot. But, I will say a Hail, Mary on occasion because it makes me feel connected to a higher power–I particularly like that it only really asks for her to pray for us. Course, I like the Beatles song “Let It Be” for the very same reason.

By the way, speaking of those “common prayers”, it was kind of awkward at my husband’s father’s funeral when we were asked to say the Lord’s Prayer and as Catholics, my mom and I were literally at a loss for words when the Prayer keeps going for those two more lines. It was kind of sweet to see my husband continue to speak because I know he has Methodist roots even though he’s now a Deist/Theist just like me. It was a glimpse into his childhood to know that he has it memorized.

Anyway, since becoming a Deist, I’ve become more interested in the Christian faith and how really messed up it can be. One of the earliest theological thoughts I remember having is “I cannot believe in a God that requires me to be mean to another person”. And that still holds true for me today. When faced with Pascal’s Wager, I find comfort in the thought that I will happily walk into the fires of Hell before I act towards another person in a way that I think is barbaric. Of course, this also translates into the real world in that I do not fear whatever harm another person can do to me. I do not carry a gun and if someone were to murder me, I do not want them to suffer the death penalty. Life in Prison is enough punishment for them if anything should happen to me. When it comes to the death penalty, there are two reasons I don’t agree with it: first is the affect on the people involved in actually carrying out the act and the second is those who are sentenced to death but are actually innocent. I feel that both of these reasons align nicely with my “do others no harm” mentality. I have a lot of faith that God will punish anyone who deserves punishment and if there isn’t a God, well, then there isn’t any other form of afterlife either, so it really won’t matter anyway to me. What really matters is how we live this life we have and I choose to be happy and nice and considerate. And I have no patience for people who are extremely negative about everything. I will be polite, but won’t spend much time around them.

A Discussion on Sustainable Food

I was listening to NPR the other day when a discussion of Vegan Ice Cream came up. Apparently this is a growing industry in certain parts of Germany. Which is cool. Except when they started talking about the ingredients and Palm Oil came up.

Here’s the thing: Palm Oil production is generally highly destructive to the habitats of Orangutans and everything else that lives near them. Yes, there is a growing industry of responsibly sourced palm oil, but like everything else, it’s often difficult to know exactly how a particular product is sourced because it’s usually only the expensive brands that advertise their sources and even fewer of those go really the extra mile to be 100% certain that things are being done sustainably.

NPR also did a story recently about fishermen in Hawaii who aren’t US citizens, so they can’t leave the ship and have the potential to be highly mistreated and abused. Upon investigation, your average corporation could only say with certainty that the sources of their fish operate legally, which is absolutely true in the letter of the law. But it’s the principle that really matters.

In college, I had 2 friends who went Vegan. One was studying Environmental Science, the other studied Chinese, but was otherwise a very free spirited hippie. Both took the Vegetarian and Vegan route because of ethical and environmental reasons. UVA is very good about knowing their sources, encouraging sustainable habits, teaching us about the craptastic ways that food is produced across the country and around the world. At UVA, you can be safe in assuming that eating Vegetarian or Vegan is actually the right choice.

But, once you leave a closed environment like college, that’s when things get tricky.

First of all, the labels on food are always misleading. This is because the FDA doesn’t have very strict regulations for certain words and doesn’t have any regulations for others. There are lots of companies hoping to cash in on the growing “sustainable food” industry, so they’ll happily certify anything and never be overly specific about what it means.The food company itself is first and foremost trying to market their product, so of course they’re going to shed the best light on it that they can.

Yes, there are plenty of companies who ARE doing the right thing, but it’s easy to drown them out if a consumer doesn’t do their homework.

My main point is that when it comes to the environment, you really don’t have to go Vegetarian or Vegan to help the planet. This is because it is possible that you’re sourcing your all vegetable diet from producers who really don’t care about the effects they’re having on the planet while the carnivore next door gets all his meat from ranchers who do everything in their power to protect the environment and make it better for future generations.

It’s all about actually knowing your food and what it’s doing, not just following the hype.

And if you’re Vegetarian or Vegan because you don’t like the idea of hurting animals for food, I think it’s even more imperative that you know your sources because you don’t want to be killing animals through other harmful ways.

And, before anyone starts shouting for me to get off my pretentious high horse and that some people can’t afford (literally: money-wise) to purchase free range chicken and carrots, please understand that I can’t either. I go to my local grocery store and buy whatever is on sale as I cringe at the environmental impacts of these purchases. But that’s life.

I do, however, need to get my butt to the farmer’s market some Saturday so that I cry over paying $4/lb for free range antibiotic free chicken (or whatever it is) because I’m very concerned about the itching my husband endures after eating most of the common brands.

Happens more often than people think

 “Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix” by J.K. Rowling –

“How’re you feeling?” asked Hermione. 

“Fine,” said Harry stiffly. 

“Oh, don’t lie, Harry,” she said impatiently. “Ron and Ginny say you’ve been hiding from everyone since you got back from St. Mungo’s.” 

“They do, do they?” said Harry, glaring at Ron and Ginny. 

Ron looked down at his feet but Ginny seemed quite unabashed. 

“Well, you have!” she said. “And you won’t look at any of us!”

 “It’s you lot who won’t look at me!” said Harry angrily. 

“Maybe you’re taking it in turns to look and keep missing each other,” suggested Hermione, the corners of her mouth twitching.

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When the words sound good…until the action is heinous.

 “Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix” by J.K. Rowling –

““No, no, but believe me, they thought Voldemort had the right idea, they were all for the purification of the Wizarding race, getting rid of Muggle-borns and having purebloods in charge. They weren’t alone either, there were quite a few people, before Voldemort showed his true colors, who thought he had the right idea about things. . . . They got cold feet when they saw what he was prepared to do to get power, though. But I bet my parents thought Regulus was a right little hero for joining up at first.””

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The destructive effects of birth control on marriage…part deux

You know it sucks trying to be a well-rounded, well-researched pain in the ass when you have to write a part two of a post that was never intended because you forgot what your initial complaint was…

So…that sentence above got a little lost. What had happened is that when I first saw Mrs. Anderson’s blog post I got so pissed about her graph and how incomplete it was, I quit reading it and started thinking about everything it implies, but is so wrong about. It took me a few days to actually have time to right my response (because I don’t usually do much of anything after work except veg on the couch with the hubby). When I did finally take some time to write my response Friday night (as we vegged on the couch) because I knew I could stay up as long as needed, of course the historian part of me said that I couldn’t respond to something I wasn’t entirely sure of the context of, which meant I had to go back and read her post and you can see the rant that was the result of that. I’d gotten so caught up in the sexism of her post that I’d completely forgotten about the scientific and historical arguments I’d thought up at work. It wasn’t until this morning when my husband added another theoretical point on my “he only comes to bed in the morning when I use the bathroom” chart that I laughed about “correlation doesn’t necessarily mean causation” and had a literal “oh shit” moment.

Because yeah–I think it’s important for women who are confused enough to seek out the marriage advice of folks like Mrs. Anderson have someone like me writing about everything she wouldn’t dare mention. Like the fact that her chart needs to be read with the understanding that “correlation doesn’t necessarily mean causation”.

Here is the offending chart:

50eab-divorcepill

In my previous post I hinted at my offense at this chart because you’ll notice that the blue “Pill” line seems to be tapering off even which some may cheer for, but it doesn’t mean less people are using birth control, just that they’re switching to non-pill methods.

Now, I’m going to analyze this chart a hell of a lot better. The first thing to notice is that the divorce rate is staying relatively consistent now. It’s naive to think that it’s on another upward swing because anything can cause a divorce and in my opinion, divorce is highly preventable (don’t get your panties in a knot quite yet, I’ll get to that in a little while–if I forget, drop me a message and I’ll update this post).

Disclaimer: I have no talent or desire to to an actual statistical analysis of this data. I literally should have failed college statistics (thank you TA for not destroying my poor GPA, I wasn’t stupid enough to continue down that path, so you saved me and I learned my lesson!). The one thing I did eventually learn (via the Environmental Science department, where the statistics calculations we used, while I also failed at them, had more specific meaning to me, so therefore made slightly more sense) is that to be “statistically significant”, the alpha (result of statistical calculations) must be above 0.05. In other words, based on the calculations, it has at least a 95% chance of occurrence to get this FANCY TITLE. That is all that “statistical significance” is–a fancy title. So take it with a grain of salt because something may not be “statistically significant” because it has a 94.99% chance of occurrence. The same is true about a “100 year flood”. The media portrays this like it means “a flood like this only occurs every 100 years”, but in reality the way of calculating this is to take the top 100 floods, put them in order by size with the biggest as #1 and that flood is a “100 year flood” because it has a 1 in 100 probability of occurring IN ANY GIVEN YEAR. A “99 year flood” is the second worse flood and it could be a mere centimeter smaller than the one above it. So in a world with more bigger floods, a “50 year flood” could be less than a foot smaller than a “100 year flood”.

Anyway, so now you know why I’m just going to eyeball this graph to give my analysis. Besides, for what I care about, an eyeball is all I need.

So…what are some of the causes of divorce? This seems like a good place to start. There’s cheating; abuse (mental, physical, sexual, spiritual, etc); one spouse being gay, transgender, bisexual, etc; umm…”irreconcilable differences” (which covers a lot of things); this is depressing, so you get the picture. The point is that this graph is trying to narrow all these causes into one root cause: “The Pill”.

Which now begs the question: why did the divorce rate jump (it did) after The Pill became mainstream? I’m VERY glad you asked!!

WOMEN’S LIBERATION!

Cool. Thank you very much ladies of the past for making it almost socially acceptable for my husband and I to both hyphenate our names because we’re both important parts of this marriage! Considering where things once were, there was no sarcasm intended in that sentence above. I really am grateful for these ladies and it’s a condemnation for where we still need to go that I snark at.

Women’s history is a slow, but forward moving entity. I don’t really want to go all into it, but my studies generally started with what women did during the US Civil War (the abolitionists, the spys), though there is SO much that they did before that. I just haven’t studied it as in depth, so there’s only a few names that pop out at me–Anne Huchinson is one if you want to start a little bit further back, though PLEASE, don’t think it that ever really has a beginning! Women’s history is important, even as it’s usually ignored with the rest of minority history.

To simplify, let’s look at this list of “women’s issues” (issues that women were actively involved in) starting with the US Civil War: Abolition. Rights for freed slaves. Rights for immigrants. Rights for children. Rights for women. All through this there was Temperance, weaving in and out as social ills were blamed on alcohol. Then there was the Women’s Right to Vote, which there were probably as many women for this as there were against. Remember that also during all of the above, these women activists were attacked not only for what they were fighting for, but also because they were acting outside of the realm of women–women were supposed to be under the control of their husbands and fathers or other male relative. To speak out against anything not condoned by their protector made them that much less of a woman, though even when they did have the support of their husband, both sorts of husband was still often accused of being less than a man for not controlling his wife.

Imagine the situation a woman wanting to speak out would be in if she lived in a society where her husband is expected to control her. She’d be terrified to disagree with him because back then it was perfectly acceptable for a husband to hit his wife to keep her submissive. It was legally very difficult for a woman to go after a divorce while very easy for a man to ruin his wife with one–imagine the stigma of being a divorced woman–she can’t find work because she’s no longer “proper”. Gah–there are plenty of books written about this; if you need more information to be able to imagine this Hell, feel free to find one. Or there are lots of good documentaries. Let’s just leave it that there was this “Utopian Ideal” much like the one described by “modern” women who preach about a “Good Christian Wife who is Submissive to her Husband” and then there is REALITY when there are actual laws that prevent women from being independent AND a society that finds it morally acceptable to snub (meaning allow to suffer) women who are divorced, have a child out of wedlock, and, to some extent, who are beaten (there was a line, but it was still a grey area–“rule of thumb” and all that).

Anyway, This is pre-1920, a good place to pause and acknowledge the role of the rest of the world because at this point WWI has just ended, leaving many families without a male head of household. Wars had always left many women in such a state for thousands of years, but never on this kind of scale. This is because there’d been a change in how families earned their living. Before, the work of her husband may not have been socially acceptable for a woman, but she was probably lucky enough to live in a place where since she’d been honorably widowed (and enough of her neighbors were in a similar state) that it was okay for her to take over her husband’s shop or push his plow in the fields. She could game the system in whatever way was necessary and people would overlook it.

But, before the War, factories had been invented and while it may be okay for a woman to run her husband’s general goods store after his death, it was more questionable for her to work in a dim, dirty, factory. Factory girls weren’t proper girls. It might have been okay for a teenager to work in one before she got married, but after marriage she was expected to stay home and raise the children. Once she became a married woman, dirty work was just that: dirty. Scandalous. But, a family has to eat, so a woman did what she had to do and again, because she was probably lucky enough to live in a town where there were many women living a similar life, at least the scandal was minimized and ignored. Women would never brag about their day job in polite society.

Manufacturing during WWI wasn’t such a massive scale that women were expected to work in the factories while the men were away. This was merely women taking the jobs of their deceased husbands to be given up at the time that she found a new husband. REMEMBER THIS!

With WWII, we see those wonderful “Rosie the Riveters” and the “All American Girls Baseball League”. This was a time when factories actually were RECRUITING women to fill jobs vacated by men who’d been shipped overseas. Now, lets go back to what society had been. Before, most women only worked outside of the home because they needed the money to survive. Society encouraged this ideal. If a woman seemed to step outside of the idealized role of wife and mother, she was shunned or at least talked about behind her back. I believe even rambunctious and scandalous Anne of Green Gables quit her teaching job when she became pregnant (if not when she married), thus conforming to the ideal. Laura Ingalls also quit teaching upon pregnancy if not upon marriage.

And now, during WWII, we have the US government (feel free to leave a comment if your country had a similar campaign) actively telling women that they’re needed outside of the home. That they’re actually important to the war effort. Imagine what must have gone through these women’s heads: “Wait, I’m worth more than just my ability to have a child? I’m actually smart enough that you want me to build and fly airplanes, bombs, tanks, etc? You aren’t telling me you want me to be just a placeholder, because I personally am needed?” Even if she wasn’t having these revelations, once she was actually put into these roles, she must have enjoyed the mental stimulation, especially if she was one of those amazingly brave women who were flying airplanes near enemy territory without ammunition (because we all know that a woman isn’t in combat if she isn’t properly armed)!

The same “UNCLE SAM NEEDS YOU!” mentality went into recruiting women into the factories as it did getting men into the trenches. Is it any wonder that women reacted so strongly when they were told that they weren’t needed anymore when the boys came back from war? Yes, many happily went back to being a housewife and mother. Few told their children what they’d done (it was only in 2002 that those WASPs (Women Air Force Service pilots) were allowed to be buried in Arlington National Cemetery and then someone had the nerve to revoke those rights in 2015, though it went back into law this past May). But some really liked the work. They liked being useful as something more than making and raising children. So, women started actively entering and staying in the workforce even after they married and had babies.

Let’s say we’re in the 1950s, now. Women have been expanding their role. They’re still talked about behind their backs and their jobs are considered unimportant (because anybody can be a teacher or a secretary). Depending on the demographics of her town, she’ll be more or less accepted. Think deep south vs. NYC. Also at this point we need to acknowledge that demographics have changed. Fewer people know their neighbors and this downward trend is reaching rock bottom today. When you don’t know your neighbors it’s both very easy to vilify them and also to ignore them, which is why there was (is?) a wide gulf between the homemakers and the working women–both assume that the other is someone she probably isn’t. Anyway, at some point, college is suddenly considered a proper place for a woman (because education is necessary for women to be able to teach their sons to be educated and because college educated men make for good husbands), though they weren’t expected to actually complete a degree other than an Mrs. At least if a woman had a husband, her parents couldn’t completely give up hope that she’d turn out “normal”.

Then came the 1960s. The era of the protest. And women whose mother had potentially worked in a factory during WWII (having been told that she was smart and special to get her there), is now in college and maybe she thinks she’s “smart and special”, too. Like, maybe she’s capable of more than just an Mrs. degree. And as other minorities start to fight to get the same basic rights as white folks, white women start to wonder why their choices are still stigmatized. They begin to protest, too.

Meanwhile, by now the Pill has been developed and is LEGALLY sanctioned for use only within marriage. Even before this condoms existed and were stigmatized even when used by married couples. So, it’s not like the US government has always been pro-free-sex, there were laws on the books that said that you had to prove marriage in order to get birth control. For a relatively long time.

Now, while I’m sure all of you are fascinated by women’s history, I’m sure you’re wondering what this has to do with the divorce rate. Well, I’ve shown you the progression of Women’s Liberation. From speaking out on husband-approved topics like slavery  all the way to women burning their bras. During that time, women were always faced with the tales of their mothers and grandmothers. Tales of women who, once married, were forced to stay in that marriage no matter how miserable they were. Tales from them about women who’d been shamed (as precautionary tales). But these women of the 1970s didn’t want to be forced into that life. Women-kind, as a sex, had lived through so many changes, why should they as individuals be forced into a life that wasn’t the one that they wanted. Yes, this kind of independence was still stigmatized, but if a man can run off to Paris to become a starving artist, why can’t a woman? During this time of upheaval, the simple truth that came out was “If a man can do this, why can’t I?” That is Feminism. The belief that I’m not less capable of anything simply because I was born with a vagina instead of a penis. And maybe there was/is a little chauvinism of “well, I can do everything a man can do WHILE bleeding for a few days every month AND I can grow a new person inside of me”.

So. The divorce rate. The first thing that had to change was that it became legally as easy for a woman to be granted a divorce as a man. In reality this was a slow process because there were still male judges who were less likely to grant said divorce. But, with time, this changed (that’d be that slow rise of the red divorce line way up above at the graph).

Because, let’s also head way up above to where I started my analysis: what are the causes of divorce? NONE of these are NEW. None of them. There has always been cheating. There has always been abuse. There have always been revelations that one spouse is not heterosexual or has any other sexual dimorphism (PLEASE do not yell at me for not knowing the correct terms to use here–when it comes to gender issues, I’m very sympathetic, but not a scholar. Feel free to correct me in the comments!). There have ALWAYS been irreconcilable differences.

People have always wanted to end their marriages: the problem was that it was socially and legally unacceptable. With Women’s Liberation, this changed. Yes, I’m blaming Women’s Liberation for the high divorce rate and I’m PROUD that it did! Because you know what? I think we’d live in a shitty society if people were forced to stay in relationships with people they don’t want to be with anymore! That situation cannot be healthy for anyone, but especially for any children that are involved!

Now, at this point I want to mollify those of you who got upset when I said that I believe that divorce is highly preventable. Here’s the thing: My husband was married twice before me to two women who sucked. Yes, he loved them at the time that they got married, but they turned out to be awful. Both cheated on him, though he said to at least one of them that he’d accept an open relationship so long as she was honest with him–she wasn’t honest. The rest of his girlfriends were, for the most part, not great (because, one of the things I love about my husband is that he’s always been honest, but gracious, towards his many exes, so I will not stoop to their level and call them trolls).

I think a lot of what eventually happened with them would have been solved by a few weeks of good PRE-marital counselling. I get the vibe that when he was 22 and married his first wife he was really just looking to be a husband and father and thought that what love they had was enough, though she ended up changing on him. In other words, he didn’t know her well enough before he married her. She’d been looking for a dad for her two girls and he probably liked the idea of an instant family. I think I can honestly say that whatever the cause of the divorce, it’s something that could have been spotted before the marriage occurred just by ensuring that both parties are honest with themselves about what they want and having a 3rd party ensure that both parties are being honest with each other by bringing up the hard questions. I doubt that there could ever be a time when the divorce rate hits zero, but if we begin to fashion a society where people are looking for marriages that are based on the right foundations for success, the divorce rate can get very low.

It seems like I haven’t had a post yet comparing a marriage to a wedding. I need to get on top of this.