Monday, 8 December 2008
Saturday, 6 December 2008
- Don't be fooled by the movies and leave falling in love to chance. We take action in other areas of our lives - falling in love should be no different.
- Stop waiting for The One. Searching for an ideal soulmate means you subject partners to impossible standards.
- However, you should identify areas you are not prepared to compromise on, such as wanting children or levels of fidelity.
- There are certain skills that are key to a successful relationship, such as good communication and managing stress, so you are less likely to take things out on those closest to you. By learning these skills, you will give any relationship a better chance.
- Love is about "making yourself vulnerable to another person". People often fall in love in war zones owing to the bonding that takes place in scary situations. But less extreme experiences, such as watching horror films together or going on rollercoaster rides, can work too.
Friday, 5 December 2008
Applications for the vacancy of a Domestic Partner - a cross between a housemate, critical friend and business partner - are invited.
Sex and fidelity are optional, ie neither compulsory nor prohibited. Each "transaction" is deemed to be a one-off so that both parties are kept on their toes. There would be no assumption that either party would be spending, for example, St Valentine's Day with each other as a matter of course.
So few people like this idea that the person, male or female, who says to me "My word, this is just the sort of relationship I have been looking for all my life!" without a hint of irony or sarcasm, would probably be The One.
Domestic Partnership - http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Domestic_partnership
Thursday, 27 November 2008
Instead of addressing the problem of family breakdown in society and the abdication of parental responsibility and moral authority in every sphere of public life, one of my occasional readers and commentators has recommended Princess Bubble, written by two unmarried and retired trolley-dollies. It is a story for women who have ended up single and need a happy ending as they contemplate growing old alone.
With wisdom gleaned from their careers as single, globe-trotting flight attendants, first-time authors Susan Johnston and Kimberly Webb have crafted a modern-day book that celebrates singleness. A contemporary fairy tale for all ages, Princess Bubble was written to reduce the overwhelming sense of failure, self-doubt, and despair that some single women face. Knowing how low self-esteem and depression plague many single females, we wanted to spread the message that happily ever after can occur even before Prince Charming arrives. . . or even if he never does, said Webb. We're definitely not anti-Prince, said Johnston (whose college nickname was Bubbles).
We're not anti-family or anti-marriage, if anything we're anti-Damsel in Distress. Our message the single life can also be a fairy tale. The End!
Princess Bubble stars a princess who is confused by the traditional fairytale messages that say she must find her prince before she can live happily ever after. Princess Bubble dons her thinking crown to research traditional fairy tales, interviews married girlfriends, and even takes counsel from her mother, who advises her to sign up at FindYourPrince.com.
With a little help from her fairy godmother (this is still a fairy tale after
all), Ms. Bubble discovers that living happily ever after is not about finding a prince. True happiness, the book reveals, is found by loving God, being kind to others, and being comfortable with who you are already! We've had countless women all over the nation tell us they wish there had been a book like this when they were young, said Johnston. This is a story women can truly believe in and feel comfortable sharing with their children.
You are strongly advised to think again if you have a daughter and want grandchildren in wedlock.
It is actually quite quite wicked to tell young girls to repeat the mistakes of the women who did not get round to getting married and are now facing the prospect of growing old alone, husbandless and childless, with only the prospect of having a cat or a dog to share their roof or bed.
Unmarried and divorced mothers will buy it for themselves and read it to their daughters to validate their life choices and cause their daughters to perpetuate their mistakes, but married mothers ought to know better.
Those married mothers who would give their daughters this rubbish are -
(a) unfit mothers and/or
(b) hate their daughters and/or
(c) don't want grandchildren and/or
(d) hate their husbands and men in general and want their daughters to share this view and/or
(e) unhappily married
Is there much difference between giving your daughter PRINCESS BUBBLE and telling her to always make a point of accepting sweets from strangers and getting into their cars when invited to do so?
- love your daughter
- love the father of your daughter
- have the good fortune to be glad you married your husband
- in any way enjoyed the family life that your parents provided
then you will not be buying to book for either yourself of your daughter.
Instead, you would be condemning it in the strongest possible terms at every available opportunity.
My advice for women who want children to see to it that they have an eligible man capable of being induced to marry them and father their children by the time they are 25, remains the most practical.
A cartoon of a career woman saying: "Eeek! I forgot to have children!" is telling, funny and sad.
Yet, when one tries to address this issue, one is accused of giving ignorant "mumsy" advice, ie the advice that all women should make a point of finding a decent man who might be induced to marry them by the time they are 25.
No doubt if I had given this advice to these now single women in their late 30s when they were in their 20s they would all have told me to mind my own business!
I doubt if the mothers of these women would have given any such advice anyway. Most mothers have, to my knowledge, not been giving their daughters advice of any sort for several decades.
Why is that, I wonder?
Is it because they think all the rules have changed and that their advice would be considered old-fashioned, irrelevant and be ignored?
I think I can see why. Just pointing out that the existence and ticking of biological clocks, despite feminism and the advances of medical science, and the consequences thereof, has been found to be so incredibly offensive that an angry single woman in her late 30s has called me "vile", "narrow" and "ignorant".
She asked: "Do you want me and all the other numerous women in my/similar position to kaibosh a man into having a child?"
Why, yes, of course! That is what women have been doing since the Fall of Man. Some of us do with greater subtlety than others. The ones who do it best are the ones who let the man think that the idea was all theirs. Sooner or later, our husbands will turn and say that we have changed, and that we tricked them into marriage and that they were fools to marry the shrews, nags and termagants we subsequently became, but that would be their misfortune!
Anyway, it doesn't matter how you do it as long as it is done.
Parenthood is a life-changing and attitude-transforming experience, for with it comes the responsibility of being responsible for another person's life. This is so if you take it seriously, as an investment and as a distillation of all that you might have learnt that could be worth passing on.
It is NOT, as I have been trying to point out, about treating our children as pets, or giving them unconditional love.
What is it about parents these days that most do no such thing and do not even see it as their role to guide their children away from heartache and regret by some act of commission or omission?
How strange it is that moral authority is something the modern parent no longer sees as his or her role. Of course you cannot force anyone to listen to you if they do not wish to, but it is odd that no one even goes so far as to put themselves in a position to be able to say later: "I told you so". There is no need of course to go so far as to tell them that you told them so, but the option should be available.
It is the least we can do to discharge our duty to those we care about, by telling them so, even if they will not listen, when the situation remains capable of being remedied.
This curious phenomenon suggests the following of British society:-
1. Increasing numbers of couples view the having children as similar to having pets. (We expect nothing of our pets except their ability to be obedient, grateful, forever dependent and never leave us. Pets, you see, have no use except to gratify the ego of the pet-owner and to stave off feelings of loneliness and uselessness that we all might have from time to time.)
2. These parents expect very little from their children, because they appear to have the luxury of being able to treat their children as pets.
3. The waste and purposelessness of such an unrewarding venture - that of bringing up a child who will never achieve full independence and who will always be a source of worry, particularly if they do not predecease their parents - is not being questioned enough by parents, because of the cushion of a welfare state.
4. More mothers are having children later and later.
5. The greater willingness of parents now prepared to bring up children with Down's Syndrome is indicative of the unwisdom of indiscriminate compassion that now pervades British society. This may be due to the fact that we now live in a society that is morbidly over-feminised.
6. A society that unquestioningly encourages the unproductive at the expense of the productive in the name of compassion will find itself burdened with the unproductive and unable to compete with societies unburdened by such policies.
7. Insanity is but fundamental error compounded by persistent irrationality.
8. Those whom the gods wish to destroy they first make mad.
"It is like watching a nation busily engaged in heaping up its own funeral pyre.”
Thursday, 20 November 2008
1. Do you regard yourself as an Alpha Male/Female?
· In my dreams
· Never heard that term before.
2. Do you fear rejection?
· Used to it
· Doesn’t everyone?
· I deal with this by making a point of avoiding rejection.
3. Do others regard you as an Alpha Male/Female?
· More the beta kind
· Of course
· A bit of a loser at times really
4. What do you associate most with being an Alpha Male?
· Getting what I want.
· Getting the woman/man I want.
· What other people think I am not.
5. Do women think you are an Alpha Male?
· Only if they see me with my car and possessions
· My wife/girlfriend does
· Probably not
6. Do you feel life is unfair?
· Life’s a bitch and then you die! Didn’t you know that??
· You make your own luck.
· Unfairness has a way of targeting life’s losers.
· You make life fairer by being fair to as many people as you can.
7. What sort of woman would most suit you?
· One who knows her own mind
· Sweet tempered and mild
· One who loves and needs me
· One who would look good on my arm
· A fertile one
8. Do you mind people disagreeing with you?
· Doesn’t everyone?
· Not if they’re right
· Do I mind ignorant, arrogant, nitpicking fault-finders??
9. Do you mind women disagreeing with you?
· Especially women
· The gender is irrelevant
· There are women whose opinions I value
10. What do you think got you where you are?
· A mis-spent youth
· There is a lot to be said for taking the easy way out.
· Hard work
· Knowing what I want
· My native cunning
· A lucky star
· A large inheritance
· Being firm of purpose
11. What do you think is wrong with this country?
· What’s the point of bothering about things you can’t change?
· The political system
· The education system
· The legal system
· The social system
· The people who vote
· The people who don’t vote
· The irrationality of most people
· Too many foreigners
· Corrupt politicians
12. What do you think should be changed?
· People’s minds
· Human nature
· The party system
· The legal system
· The political system
· The social system
· The education system
· The welfare state
· Nothing. The poor are always with us.
13. What do you believe you are least likely to change?
· My views
· Others’ views
14. What is Conservatism?
. whatever the Conservative Party says it is
. family values, limited government, ie low taxes, light regulation
. not rocking the boat too much, ie keeping with the status quo, whatever it is15. What is Liberalism?
. do-gooding hand-wringing interventionism
. being Politically Correct
. undermining traditional family values and the patriarchy
. pressing the self-destruct button and activing our death wish
. free trade and letting people be what they want to be provided they do not harm others
16. What is socialism?
. a modified form of Communism
. squeezing the rich till the pips squeak
. the poor man's revenge against the class and capitalist system
. a welfare state
. rule by the proletariat on behalf of the proletariat
. a discredited and unworkable ideology that is in the process of being further discredited as it edges close to collapse in the West
17. What is British Nationalism?
. A patriotic desire to act in the National Interest
. Whatever the BNP says it is
. racism, fascism, Islamophobia, xenophobia
18. What happens to us after we die?
. We go to Heaven or Hell.
. We are remembered briefly and then forgotten.
. We will be remembered if we are loved.
. We are remembered for our deeds.
. We live forever.
. We live on most fully in the minds of those whose lives we have touched and whose minds we have changed.
19. Death is:
· The price of being alive
· A welcome break
· Especially dreaded by those who have wasted their lives
· A necessary evil
· Something we will know soon enough
· Something that concentrates the mind
· A subject that I find depressing and pointless, like politics
20. Love is
· Having sex with the object of your desire
· Better than money
· Being happy
· Receiving affection and attention
· Not as transferable as money
· A transformative experience
· Turbo-charges us into either a brick wall or a very good place
· Being genuinely happy to give
21. Wisdom is
· Something people have when they have lost their youth, if they are lucky
· The object of philosophy
· The application of knowledge, compassion and reason
· As rare as gold-dust
Wednesday, 19 November 2008
Should it be a crime to pay for sex? The British government wants to make it illegal to pay for sex with prostitutes who are controlled by pimps or have been trafficked to the UK. Will this move protect vulnerable women? Men who pay for sex could be publicly identified and even charged with rape, if they knowingly have sex with a woman forced into prostitution. Home Secretary Jacqui Smith said it would 'be a good thing' if the measures deterred men from visiting prostitutes. Sex workers have criticised the proposal, saying they could be at greater risk if they have to work alone or in remote neighbourhoods.
Should the sex-trade be subject to tougher laws? Or would decriminalisation be a better move? How should governments prevent trafficking?
"Should an officious woman who indulges in gesture politics be allowed to become and remain Home Secretary?" is a question that also comes to mind.
My advice to seekers and purchasers of sexual services is this.
Apart from going equipped with the wherewithal for safe sex, he should also bring along a form to be filled in by the provider to protect him from criminal proceedings:
I, [name of prostitute], a provider of sexual services, do hereby declare
to [name of client] a purchaser of my sexual services, that I have not been
forced into prostitution.
Tuesday, 11 November 2008
Friday, 7 November 2008
What do you think might be the problem(s) with you/men/women that might prevent you from being in a long-term relationship?
- I can't trust them.
- They don't trust me.
- I don't understand them.
- They don't understand me.
- I don't know what I want.
- They don't know what they want.
- I am easily bored.
- They are easily bored.
- I have no money.
- They have no money.
- I am not conventionally attractive.
- I lack the ability or will to be pleasant, reliable and appreciated as a partner.
- I have a drink/drug/gambling addiction problem.
- They have a drink/drug/gambling addiction problem.
- I am a poor judge of character
- I can't seem to get them to do what I want or be what I want them to be.
- They are OK at the beginning and then start to go wrong.
- I lack self-esteem and tend to take whatever I can find, ie a low-quality partner. In other words, I am a victim of my own low standards.
- It is impossible getting them to love me and my pet(s) as I am neither fabulously wealthy nor unusually generous.
- I have fussy dietary requirements.
- I am possessive.
- I am violent.
- I have a bad temper.
- My children who live with me are brats and I refuse to accept any criticism of them or my parenting ability.
- People are just too fussy.
- I just can't seem to find someone I like, respect and trust enough.
- I just can't seem to find someone I like, respect and trust to contemplate a long-term relationship with me.
- Women think I'm a loser.
- Men think I'm a dog.
- I don't know and don't care.
- Why buy the cow when you can get the milk for free?
- I am carrying a torch for my ex.
- Potential partners are intimidated by my good looks, wealth, talent and charm.
- I am selfish, self-centred, arrogant and domineering.
- I am shy, ie fear rejection so much I do not have the courage to ask any woman I find attractive for a date.
- I have given up really.
- I hate sex.
- I hate people.
- I hate myself.
- Who would want me anyway?
- I am too set in my ways to change for anyone.
- I don't need anyone.
- I don't really like men/women.
- I am happier single. Yes, really.
- I would be better off on my own than settling for a wimp/loser/slag/crazy lady etc.
- OTHER (Please specify by leaving your comments/suggestions/insights. Yes, you, dear Reader!)
Thursday, 23 October 2008
Can anyone not trained in education create a sex and RE syllabus and sell it to the government?
Here is one I have just devised.
THE 15 KEY AREAS OF KNOWLEDGE:
1. what the Abrahamic religions say about extra-marital and recreational sex (integrated with the study of Deuteronomy, Leviticus, Romans, the Koran where it mentions the punishment of adultery and homosexuality)
2. why they say what they say about extra-marital and recreational sex
3. why adultery could be considered qualitatively similar to homosexuality (being recreational and extra-marital sex) because of the way it is treated and punished in the Old Testament - both incur the penalty of death by stoning.
4. why adultery (caused by the deadly sin of lust) was considered injurious to society (It breaks up families and impoverishes the next generation as can be seen in the decline of Britain as a nation. British employers prefer foreign labour disgruntling the indigent indigenous who are less qualified because of the substandard education they received from state schools. State schools are educationally-crippled by the need to deal with the disruptive and unsocialised behavour of the illegitimate CHAVs who are in the majority in state schools. State schools then dumb down, causing a vicious circle of yet faster decline and yet deeper degradation. All this leads inevitably to the rise of the BNP.)
5. why homosexuality was considered a sin (the Kantian categorical imperative would demonstrate that homosexuality, if universalised, would result in the extinction of humanity) Without heterosexuals, there would be no homosexuals.
6. the natural role of men as competitors for female favours
7. the natural role of women as prizes and trophies to choose the man most worthy of her partnership and not to give of herself too freely
8. discussion of Shaw's adage: "The difference between marriage and prostitution is the difference between trade unionism and unorganised casual labour."
9. whether the prostitute who offers sex for money is morally superior to the woman who gives casual sex freely (The former provides an outlet for the release of sexual urges and has a certain societal function, the latter cheapens herself and the value of other women, risks unwanted pregnancy and illegitimate offspring, degrading the next generation.)
10. marriage as a gender-apportioned division of labour for the raising of offspring together (Reference will be made to Adam Smith's economic theories on specialisation and division of labour resulting in greater efficiencies.)
11. the consequences of unplanned pregnancy - man will be chased by Child Support Agency, woman will have her life chances diminished, for no man really wants to share a roof with another man's offspring (especially if they are badly brought up and they tend to be if the father is not around) and would inevitably prefer a woman who is free of biological "baggage"
12. a reminder that the age of consent is 16, ie GCSE age and a discussion of why it was once younger and why it was raised and why subsequently ignored
13. Who should one have sex with? (People we think we love is the minimum requirement, people we think love us is the next requirement, someone whom we love and who loves us is of course the ideal.)
14. The commodification of sex. Men as consumers are usually not that fussy because they use a scattergun approach to procreation. Women who are the providers of sex ought to be fussier for their own protection, because they are the first sufferers of unwanted pregnancy by a man who does not wish to become a husband and prove to be a good father
15. why ignorance of the 15 points leads to decline and fall when enough generations have been economically, spiritually, intellectually and morally impoverished, and the meaning of res ipsa loquitur
If you are not old enough to write an essay discussing these points sensibly, you are not old enough to have sex.
Sunday, 19 October 2008
Why are intelligent women such fools in love?
By ANNA PASTERNAK
Last updated at 08:09 08 August 2007
Last month, I turned 40. I didn't have a big celebration because, being single, I couldn't face dancing with my friends' well-meaning husbands all night.
I never envisaged that at my 40th, not only would I not have a partner, but I wouldn't even have a date. When I waltzed out of Oxford University nearly 20 years ago, throbbing with a sense of my potential, this wasn't what I had in mind at all.
But now, taking stock, I can see that while my career as a writer has flourished, I have floundered massively in the relationship stakes. My romantic CV makes shockingly depressing reading - I was married at 32, divorced by 34, became pregnant by a new partner at 36 and was left by him as a single mother at 38.
Hardly surprisingly, I've been too scared for the past two years to risk more than the odd date because I am terrified of not getting it right - again.
However, recently it has struck me that I am not alone in my ability to have made the right career choices - but hopelessly wrong choices in love.
I know of at least seven girls in my year at school - I went to St Paul's Girls' School in London, one of the most academic schools in the country - who are single mothers, while my female friends from Oxford, who are also divorced or single mothers, runs into double figures.
The most high-profile casualty of those is Earl Spencer's ex-wife, Caroline Hutton, who was famously left with two children by her first husband, PR guru Matthew Freud, and then left again with two more children by her second husband, Earl Spencer. Not, it seems, the perfect judge of men.
So what does all this mean? Well, I believe that at the root of all this is the fact that many women with a high IQ have a perilously low EQ (that's their emotional intelligence quotient). Put more prosaically, this would explain why bright girls are often fools in love.
Last year, American writer Michael Noer created outrage when he wrote a piece in Forbes Magazine warning men off marrying career girls. He claimed that recent studies had found that clever, professional women were more likely to get divorced, more likely to cheat and less likely to have children.
Simultaneously, the American Journal Of Marriage And Family cited studies that claim the divorce risk rises when women out-earn their husbands. Evidence, everywhere, seems to point to the fact that thousands of bright women can't sustain meaningful relationships for a plethora of reasons: they are too controlling, they can't tolerate less successful men and equally, men resent higher-earning partners.
But perhaps we are missing something more fundamental - and controversial. That the intrinsic emotional make-up of women with an over-developed intellect is flawed, and as a result their ability to choose compatible partners or sustain lasting relationships is impeded?
Dr Robert Holden, author of Success Intelligence, is at the cutting edge of psychological relationship research. He explains: "IQ is all to do with your head and the meeting of minds. You could have two incredibly intellectual sparky people who know how to stimulate each other with a fantastic debate, but this in no way means they have what it takes for a long-term relationship.
"To have a successful relationship, you have to have a developed EQ which is emotional empathy and a respect for each other's feelings."
So why is it that intellectually smart women get derailed when it comes to relationships?
"It happens because the logic of emotions is different to the logic of thoughts," explains Holden.
"With a high IQ, we are often so headstrong that we over-ride what our heart is feeling. We essentially silence our emotions.
"Without the engagement of the head and the heart, relationships are not a safe place to be, but the bright woman is headstrong enough to tell herself that she will be able to make this work."
In other words, we fall at the first hurdle because we override our gut instinct. I ignored to my cost the warning bells pealing daily the week before my wedding eight years ago, only to realise finally on my honeymoon with pulverising clarity that I had married the wrong man.
Equally, I initially resisted a relationship with my daughter's father because he was seven years younger than me, but then allowed myself, again against my better judgment, to acquiesce.
Cambridge graduate and banker Sarah Harries, 42, a divorced mother of two who was married for nine years says: "When I married, I kind of knew in the back of my mind that it wouldn't work out, but I convinced myself that I could make it work.
"I've heard so many divorced women say that at some level they knew, but bright girls override their instinct with intellect and it gets us into trouble."
Harries admits that she puts her intellect before her feelings and has recently realised how much damage this has caused her relationships.
"After my divorce, four years ago, I've had two relationships where the signals I gave were at complete odds to what I was feeling. I would say: "I don't want you to meet my children and I'm seeing other men so I don't want you to get too close".
"I gave off all these signals that I was this financially self-sufficient woman who had her kids and career and basically all I needed a man for was sex.
"That is incredibly emasculating, so when the man responded by being detached, my emotional side kicked in and I thought, "why isn't he falling in love with me?"
"I got very confused when my emotional side came to the fore and I started getting attached.'
Another emotional disability that bright girls, myself included, suffer from is low self-esteem.
Career girls are adept at appearing confident and are often hideously controlling, which is really to disguise our great fear of being out of control. Intimacy means a higher potential for rejection and the risk of being hurt.
"And being hurt means our feelings are forced to the surface and we have to deal with them, which is painful and scary.
"Often, people with a high IQ lack a genuine sense of self-acceptance which leads to a very tortured mental existence and constant mental self-flagellation,' explains Dr Holden (I certainly relate to all counts).
"What we know is that there is no correlation between a high IQ and happiness,' he continues. 'If anything, your IQ might mean you are prone to being more judgmental than normal, and, therefore, you have more fear and anxiety in relationships than the average person.
"In general terms, it means that having a higher IQ doesn't help you make better emotional decisions."
Another alumni of St Paul's Girls' School, Kira Jolliffe, 37, exemplifies this. A renowned style guru and author, she is also a wardrobe consultant to London's fashionistas, who has excelled in her career.
However, she has yet to experience a successful relationship. Married at 28 to a rock musician, she left him after two years for another musician.
"I left because there was no love there and he didn't stimulate me," she says.
Four years ago, she had a daughter with a contemporary art writer and the relationship ended two years later.
"That relationship didn't work because we rushed into it too quickly without knowing each other," she confesses.
"My choice of partners has always been a reaction to the last one, so it has been intellectually based, in the sense that I was calculating in selecting a man to override the memory of the last one.
"The problem with making a decision on an intellectual basis is that it is all at a cerebral level and you don't take in the full person. So when the emotional nature of a deeper relationship comes to the fore, you don't know how to handle it.
"My sense of failure when I split up from my father's child was horrendous because it was the first time I woke up to the fact that I had a more general problem, and that I was getting personal things wrong.
"Recently, I've realised that I had to confront my emotions instead of being scared of them and always trying to detach from them."
So what advice does Dr Holden give to successful career women who are often (secretly) unhappy and unsuccessful in love?
"The IQ is the stuff to watch for," he says. "Where you are too smart for your own good and have a plan of what Mr Right looks like. Women like that try to approach love like they approach their careers - as an academic exercise.
"Sometimes you've got to drop your cast-iron pride and be willing to admit you've got it entirely wrong for Mr Right to show up at all.
"Don't be too quick; too quick to dismiss someone because they don't know who ruled the Byzantine Empire, or too quick to give yourself entirely to someone just because they laughed at your joke.
"Don't be too dominant or competitive because that leads to short-term safety and long-term boredom. Finally, develop your EQ. Learn to have emotional strength which is about yielding, surrender, openness and a willingness to be vulnerable.
"This is absolutely vital, because it determines the quality of your relationships with others. It is unreasonable to expect other people to love you more than you love yourself."
Sarah Harries recently started a new relationship and agrees: "For the first time, I've been trying to engage my emotional side by being honest about what I'm feeling and showing vulnerability. Let's face it, none of us clever girls are very happy, are we?
"Often we are the real victims because we can argue to ourselves that any romantic situation is OK, when in reality it's not.
"I allowed my ex-husband to undermine me because I didn't feel the emotional side of my life was important enough for me to demand more from him.
"For too long, women like me have failed to recognise that the emotional side of life is important. But I think that now, in our 30s and 40s, my generation is waking up to the fact that it's increasingly becoming a lifeline to happiness."
What a shame it's taken so many years for all these high-flying and brilliant women to work out that a big brain does not guarantee lasting love - in fact, quite the opposite.
Often intelligent, career women are brain-washed into thinking that they can always get a man later if they put off marriage and children until after their careers take off. But the reality is that the available best men have already been snapped up, and all the career woman is left to pick from in her 30s are a bunch of losers, commitment-phobic men, and other womens' discarded disasters!
- Mary, Manchester , England, UK, 07/8/2007 01:51
"Recent studies had found that clever, professional women were more likely to get divorced, more likely to cheat and less likely to have children." Don't believe it, not true! I was a great mother, not a career woman, fairly clever but not professional. I didn't cheat and I had two beautiful children. My ex husband still divorced me!
- Smileyrose, UK, 07/8/2007 01:47
Well, this theory certainly does not apply to all intelligent women. I have a high IQ (Mensa level) but if anything, my EQ is higher, because I was raised in a warm, caring, loving family. And I've been happily married for many years, even though for a number of those years I earned more than my husband. The IQ bit is easy - you're born with it. Work on the EQ, it's far more important in relationships, and it opens far more doors in life generally than a high IQ.
- Tanya, Lincoln, 07/8/2007 01:42
Tuesday, 14 October 2008
Canadian Bar Association recommendations can be found at
Thursday, 18 September 2008
Abolition of the family! Even the most radical flare up at this infamous proposal of the Communists.
On what foundation is the present family, the bourgeois family, based? On capital, on private gain. In its completely developed form this family exists only among the bourgeoisie. But this state of things find its complement in the practical absence of the family among the proletarians, and in public prostitution.
The bourgeois family will vanish as a matter of course when its complement vanishes, and both will vanish with the vanishing of capital.
Do you charge us with wanting to stop the exploitation of children by their
parents? To this crime we plead guilty.
But, you say, we destroy the most hallowed of relations, when we replace home
education by social.
And your education! Is not that also social, and determined by the social conditions under which you educate, by intervention of society, direct or indirect, by means of schools etc? The Communists have not intended the intervention of society in education; they do but seek to alter the character of that intervention, and to rescue education from the influence of the ruling class. [What is the ruling class but a group of powerful families, families who stay together?]
The bourgeois claptrap about the family and education, about the hallowed correlation of parent and child, becomes all the more disgusting, the more, by the action of modern industry, all the family ties among the proletarians are torn asunder, and their children transformed into simple articles of commerce and instruments of labour.
But you Communists would introduce community of women [gender equality, I presume], screams the whole bourgeoisie in chorus.
The bourgeois sees in his wife a mere instrument of production. He hears that the instruments of production are to be exploited in common, and, naturally, can come to no other conclusion than that the lot of being common to all will likewise fall to women.
He has not even a suspicion that the real point aimed at is to do away with the status of women as mere instruments of production.
For the rest, nothing is more ridiculous than the virtuous indignation of our bourgeois at the community of women which, they pretend, is to be openly and officially established by the Communists. The Communists have no need to be introduce community of women; it has existed from time immemorial. [I take this to mean that women have always been the equal of men.]
Our bourgeois, not content with having the wives and daughters of the proletarians at their disposal, not to speak of common prostitutes, take the greatest pleasure in seducing each other's wives.
Bourgeois marriage is in reality a system of wives in common [not sure what this means] and thus, at the most, what the Communists might possibly be reproached with is that they desire to introduce, in substitution for a hypocritically concealed, an openly legalised community of women [gender equality]. For the rest, it is still self-evident, that the abolition of the present system of production must bring with it the abolition of the community of women springing from that system, ie of prostitution both public [when it is practised as a trade] and private [ie marriage].
I will confess that not all the terminology is clear to me, but the intention to break up the family is certainly there!
Between weak families, absent fathers, a culture that signalizes the
innocent, and government bureaucracies that are designed to grow themselves, one doesn't have to be paranoid to envision a time when freedom as we have known it will be compromised beyond recognition. Already free speech has suffered as those who mis-speak - who challenge the orthodoxy of the prevailing ism - are silenced. When former Harvard University president Lawrence H Summers dared to suggest that women's lesser accomplishments in math and science might be explained in part by innate differences in the sexes, he was effectively shown the door.
When Dr Miriam Grossman's book Unprotected http://www.amazon.com/Unprotected-Miriam-Grossman/dp/1595230459/ref=dp_return_2?ie=UTF8&n=283155&s=books came out in 2006, she published as "Anonymous" because she feared professional repercussions for reporting that political correctness had so intimidated psychiatric practitioners that their patients - college men and women - were being harmed. Public acclaim gave her the courage she needed to identify herself in the paperback version a year later.
Once free speech goes, all freedoms are in jeopardy. If you can't
even suggest without fear of condemnation that women don't belong in battle - or that men aren't defective if they prefer to play golf with guys, then we're on our way to an irrational and uncertain future.
August 3, 2008
Where have all the real men gone?
Top American columnist Kathleen Parker is causing a furore with her new book Save the Males, in which she argues that feminism has neutered men and deprived them of their noble, protective role in society
I know. Saving the males is an unlikely vocation for a 21st-century woman. Most men don’t know they need saving; most women consider the idea absurd. When I tell my women friends that I want to save the males, they look at me as if noticing for the first time that I am insane. Then they say something like: “Are you out of your mind? This is still a male-dominated world. It’s women who need saving. Screw the men!”
Actually, that’s a direct quote. The reality is that men already have been screwed – and not in the way they prefer. For the past 30 years or so, males have been under siege by a culture that too often embraces the notion that men are to blame for all of life’s ills. Males as a group – not random men – are bad by virtue of their DNA.
While women have been cast as victims, martyrs, mystics or saints, men have quietly retreated into their caves, the better to muffle emotions that fluctuate between hilarity (are these bitches crazy or what?) and rage (yes, they are and they’ve got our kids).
In the process of fashioning a more female-friendly world, we have created a culture that is hostile towards males, contemptuous of masculinity and cynical about the delightful differences that make men irresistible, especially when something goes bump in the night.
In popular culture, rare is the man portrayed as wise, strong and noble. In film and music, men are variously portrayed as dolts, bullies, brutes, deadbeats, rapists, sexual predators and wife-beaters. Even otherwise easy-going family men in sitcoms are invariably cast as, at best, bumbling, dim-witted fools. One would assume from most depictions that the smart, decent man who cares about his family and pats the neighbour’s dog is the exception rather than the rule.
I am frankly an unlikely champion of males and that most hackneyed cliché of our times – “traditional family values”. Or rather, I’m an expert on family in the same way that the captain of the Titanic was an expert on maritime navigation.
Looking back affectionately, I like to think of home as our own little Baghdad. The bunker-buster was my mother’s death when she was 31 and I was three, whereupon my father became a serial husband, launching into the holy state of matrimony four more times throughout my childhood and early adulthood. We were dysfunctional before dysfunctional was cool.
Going against trends of the day, I was mostly an only child raised by a single father through all but one of my teen years, with mother figures in various cameo roles. I got a close-up glimpse of how the sexes trouble and fail each other and in the process developed great em-pathy for both, but especially for men.
Although my father could be difficult – I wasn’t blinded by his considerable charms – I also could see his struggle and the sorrows he suffered, especially after mother No 2 left with his youngest daughter, my little sister.
From this broad, experiential education in the ways of men and women, I reached a helpful conclusion that seems to have escaped notice by some of my fellow sisters: men are human beings, too.
Lest anyone infer that my defence of men is driven by antipathy towards women, let me take a moment to point out that I liked and/or loved all my mothers. In fact, I’m still close to all my father’s wives except the last, who is just a few years older than me and who is apparently afraid that if we make eye contact, I’ll want the silver. (I do.)
My further education in matters male transpired in the course of raising three boys, my own and two stepsons. As a result of my total immersion in male-dom, I’ve been cursed with guy vision – and it’s not looking so good out there.
At the same time that men have been ridiculed, the importance of fatherhood has been diminished, along with other traditionally male roles of father, protector and provider, which are increasingly viewed as regressive manifestations of an outmoded patriarchy.
The exemplar of the modern male is the hairless, metrosexualised man and decorator boys who turn heter-osexual slobs into perfumed ponies. All of which is fine as long as we can dwell happily in the Kingdom of Starbucks, munching our biscotti and debating whether nature or nurture determines gender identity. But in the dangerous world in which we really live, it might be nice to have a few guys around who aren’t trying to juggle pedicures and highlights.
Men have been domesticated to within an inch of their lives, attending Lamaze classes, counting contractions, bottling expressed breast milk for midnight feedings – I expect men to start lactating before I finish this sentence – yet they are treated most unfairly in the areas of reproduction and parenting.
Legally, women hold the cards. If a woman gets pregnant, she can abort – even without her husband’s consent. If she chooses to have the child, she gets a baby and the man gets an invoice. Unarguably, a man should support his offspring, but by that same logic shouldn’t he have a say in whether his child is born or aborted?
Granted, many men are all too grateful for women to handle the collateral damage of poorly planned romantic interludes, but that doesn’t negate the fact that many men are hurt by the presumption that their vote is irrelevant in childbearing decisions.
NOTHING quite says “Men need not apply” like a phial of mail-order sperm Continued on page 2 Continued from page 1 and a turkey-baster. In the high-tech nursery of sperm donation and self-insemination – and in the absence of shame attached to unwed motherhood – babies can now be custom-ordered without the muss and fuss of human intimacy.
It’s not fashionable to question women’s decisions, especially when it comes to childbearing, but the shame attached to unwed motherhood did serve a useful purpose once upon a time. While we have happily retired the word “bastard” and the attendant emotional pain for mother and child, acceptance of childbearing outside marriage represents not just a huge shift in attitudes but, potentially, a restructuring of the future human family.
By elevating single motherhood from an unfortunate consequence of poor planning to a sophisticated act of self-fulfilment, we have helped to fashion a world in which fathers are not just scarce but in which men are also superfluous.
Lots of women can, do and always will raise children without fathers, whether out of necessity, tragedy or other circumstance. But that fact can’t logically be construed to mean that children don’t need a father. The fact that some children manage with just one parent is no more an endorsement of single parenthood than driving with a flat tyre is an argument for three-wheeled cars.
For most of recorded history, human society has regarded the family, consisting of a child’s biological mother and father, to be the best arrangement for the child’s wellbeing and the loss of a parent to be the single greatest threat to that wellbeing. There’s bound to be a reason for this beyond the need for man to drag his woman around by her chignon.
Sperm-donor children are a relatively new addition to the human community and they bring new stories to the campfire. I interviewed several adults who are the products of sperm donation. Some were born to married but infertile couples. Others were born to single mothers. Some reported well-adjusted childhoods; some reported conflicting feelings of love and loss.
Overall, a common thread emerged that should put to rest any notion that fathers are not needed: even the happiest donor children expressed a profound need to know who their father is, to know that other part of themselves.
Tom Ellis, a mathematics doctoral student at Cambridge University, learnt at 21 that he and his brother were both donor-conceived. Their parents told them on the advice of a family therapist as their marriage unravelled.
At first Tom did not react, but months later he hit a wall of emotional devastation. He says he became numb, anxious and scared. He began a search for his biological father, a search that has become a crusade for identity common among sperm-donor children.
“It’s absolutely necessary that I find out who he is to have a normal existence as a human being. That’s not negotiable in any way,” Tom said. “It would be nice if he wanted to meet me, but that would be something I want rather than something needed.”
Tom is convinced that the need to know one’s biological father is profound and that it is also every child’s right. What is clear from conversations with donor-conceived children is that a father is neither an abstract idea nor is he interchangeable with a mother.
As Tom put it: “There’s a mystery about oneself.” Knowing one’s father is apparently crucial to that mystery.
Something that’s hard for many women to admit or understand is that after about the age of seven, boys prefer the company of men. A woman could know the secret code to Aladdin’s cave and it would be less interesting to a boy than a man talking about dirt. That is because a woman is perceived as just another mother, while a man is Man.
From their mothers, boys basically want to hear variations on two phrases: “I love you” and “Do you want those fried or scrambled?” I learnt this in no uncertain terms when I was a Cub Scout leader, which mysteriously seems to have prompted my son’s decision to abandon Scouting for ever.
My co-Akela (Cub Scout for wolf leader) was Dr Judy Sullivan – friend, fellow mother and clinical psychologist. Imagine the boys’ excitement when they learnt who would be leading them in guy pursuits: a reporter and a shrink – two intense, overachieving, helicopter mothers of only boys. Shouldn’t there be a law against this?
We had our boys’ best interests at heart, of course, and did our utmost to be good den mothers. But seven-year-old boys are not interested in making lanterns from coffee tins. They want to shoot bows and arrows, preferably at one another, chop wood with stone-hewn axes and sink canoes, preferably while in them.
At the end of a school day, during which they have been steeped in oestrogen by women teachers and told how many “bad choices” they’ve made, boys are ready to make some really bad choices. They do not want to sit quietly and listen to yet more women speak soothingly of important things.
Here’s how one memorable meeting began. “Boys, thank you for taking your seats and being quiet while we explain our women’s history month project,” said Akela Sullivan in her calmest psychotherapist voice. The response to Akela Sullivan’s entreaty sounded something like the Zulu nation psyching up for the Brits.
I tried a different, somewhat more masculine approach: “Boys, get in here, sit down and shut up. Now!” And lo, they did get in there. And they did sit. And they did shut up. One boy stargazed into my face and stage-whispered: “I wish you were my mother.”
Akela Sullivan and I put our heads together, epiphanised in unison and decided that we would recruit transients from the homeless shelter if necessary to give these boys what they wanted and needed – men.
As luck would have it, a Cub Scout’s father was semi-retired or between jobs or something – we didn’t ask – and could attend the meetings. He didn’t have to do a thing. He just had to be there and respire testosterone vapours into the atmosphere.
His presence shifted the tectonic plates and changed the angle of the Earth on its axis. Our boys were at his command, ready to disarm landmines, to sink enemy ships – or even to sit quietly for the sake of the unit if he of the gravelly voice and sandpaper face wished it so. I suspect they would have found coffee tins brilliantly useful as lanterns if he had suggested as much.
But, of course, boys don’t stay Cub Scouts for long. We’ve managed over the past 20 years or so to create a new generation of child-men, perpetual adolescents who see no point in growing up. By indulging every appetite instead of recognising the importance of self-control and commitment, we’ve ratified the id.
Our society’s young men encounter little resistance against continuing to celebrate juvenile pursuits, losing themselves in video games and mindless, “guy-oriented” TV fare – and casual sex.
The casual sex culture prevalent on university campuses – and even in schools – has produced fresh vocabulary to accommodate new ways of relating: “friends with benefits” and “booty call”.
FWB I get, but “booty call”? I had to ask a young friend, who explained: “Oh, that’s when a guy calls you up and just needs you to come over and have sex with him and then go home.”
Why, I asked, would a girl do such a thing? Why would she service a man for nothing – no relationship, no affection, no emotional intimacy?
She pointed out that, well, they are friends. With benefits! But no obligations! Cool. When I persisted in demanding an answer to “why”, she finally shrugged and said: “I have no idea. It’s dumb.”
Guys also have no idea why a girl would do that, but they’re not complaining – even if they’re not enjoying themselves that much, either.
Miriam Grossman, a university psychiatrist, wrote Unprotected, a book about the consequences of casual sex among students. She has treated thousands of young men and women suffering a range of physical and emotional problems related to sex, which she blames on sex education of recent years that treats sex as though it were divorced from emotional attachment and as if men and women were the same. Grossman asserts that there are a lot more victims of the hookup (casual sex) culture than of date rape.
Casual sex, besides being emotionally unrewarding, can become physically boring. Once sex is stripped of meaning, it becomes merely a mechanical exercise. Since the hookup generation is also the porn generation, many have taken their performance cues from porn flicks that are anything but sensual or caring.
Boys today are marinating in pornography and they’ll soon be having casual sex with our daughters. According to a study by the National Foundation for Educational Research issued in 2005, 12% of British males aged 13-18 avail themselves of “adult-only” websites; and American research findings are similar. The actual numbers are likely to be much higher, given the amount of porn spam that finds its way into electronic mailboxes. If the rising generation of young men have trouble viewing the opposite sex as anything but an object for sexual gratification, we can’t pretend not to understand why.
The biggest problem for both sexes – beyond the epidemic of sexually transmitted disease – is that casual sex is essentially an adversarial enterprise that pits men and women against each other. Some young women, now fully as sexually aggressive as men, have taken “liberation” to another level by acting as badly as the worst guy.
Carol Platt Liebau, the author of Prude, another book on the havoc that pervasive sex has on young people, says that when girls begin behaving more coarsely so, too, do boys.
“And now, because so many young girls have been told that it’s ‘empowering’ to pursue boys aggressively, there’s no longer any need for boys to ‘woo’ girls – or even to commit to a date,” she told me. “The girls are available [in every sense of the word] and the boys know it.”
Men, meanwhile, have feelings. Although they’re uncomfortable sorting through them – and generally won’t if no one insists – I’ve listened to enough of them to know that our hypersexualised world has left many feeling limp and vacant.
Our cultural assumption that men only want sex has been as damaging to them as to the women they target. Here is how a recent graduate summed it up to me: “Hooking up is great, but at some point you get tired of everything meaning nothing.”
Ultimately, what our oversexualised, pornified culture reveals is that we think very little of our male family members. Undergirding the culture that feminism has helped to craft is a presumption that men are without honour and integrity. What we offer men is cheap, dirty, sleazy, manipulative sensation. What we expect from them is boorish, simian behaviour that ratifies the antimale sentiment that runs through the culture.
Surely our boys – and our girls – deserve better.
As long as men feel marginalised by the women whose favours and approval they seek; as long as they are alienated from their children and treated as criminals by family courts; as long as they are disrespected by a culture that no longer values masculinity tied to honour; and as long as boys are bereft of strong fathers and our young men and women wage sexual war, then we risk cultural suicide.
In the coming years we will need men who are not confused about their responsibilities. We need boys who have acquired the virtues of honour, courage, valour and loyalty. We need women willing to let men be men – and boys be boys. And we need young men and women who will commit and marry and raise children in stable homes.
Unprogressive though it sounds, the world in which we live requires no less.
Saving the males – engaging their nobility and recognising their unique strengths – will ultimately benefit women and children, too. Fewer will live in poverty; fewer boys will fail in schools and wind up in jail; fewer girls will get pregnant or suffer emotional damage from too early sex with uncaring boys. Fewer young men and women will suffer loneliness and loss because they’ve grown up in a climate of sexual hostility that casts the opposite sex as either villain or victim.
Then again, maybe I’m completely wrong. Maybe males don’t need saving and women are never happier or more liberated than when dancing with a stripper pole. Maybe women should man the barricades and men should warm the milk. Maybe men are not necessary and women can manage just fine without them. Maybe human nature has been nurtured into submission and males and females are completely interchangeable.
But I don’t think so. When women say, “No, honey, you stay in bed. I’ll go see what that noise is” – I’ll reconsider.
© Kathleen Parker 2008
Extracted from Save the Males: Why Men Matter, Why Women Should Care by Kathleen Parker, published by Random House New York
In my study of communist societies, I came to the conclusion that the
purpose of communist propaganda was not to persuade or convince, nor to inform, but to humiliate; and therefore, the less it corresponded to reality the better. When people are forced to remain silent when they are being told the most obvious lies, or even worse when they are forced to repeat the lies themselves, they lose once and for all their sense of probity. To assent to obvious lies* is to co-operate with evil, and in some small way to become evil oneself. One's standing to resist anything is thus eroded, and even destroyed. A society of emasculated liars is easy to control. I think if you examine political correctness, it has the same effect and is intended to.
* for example,
- avoiding the conclusion that women should not serve with men on combat duty because they are unable to avoid being a hindrance and distraction, whose hostage value to the enemy is greater than that of "mere" men http://www.independent.co.uk/opinion/commentators/sarah-sands/sarah-sands-only-the-capture-of-prince-harry-could-have-done-more-damage-442716.html
- causing offence by referring to someone's race is de facto racism that could lose you your position if not your job - Top Tory axed over Army race row - http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/uk_politics/6431005.stm
The ideal for which [marriage] stands in the state is liberty. It stands for liberty for the very simple reason ... [that] it is the only ... [institution] that is at once necessary and voluntary. It is the only check on the state that is bound to renew itself as eternally as the state, and more naturally than the state ... This is the only way in which truth can ever find refuge from public persecution, and the good man survive bad government.
Tuesday, 16 September 2008
Arranged Marriages in the cause of patriotism? How to do Britain a favour? A helpful suggestion by an Asian Briton which should be of interest to British Nationalists up and down the country:
To those who scoff at arranged marriages I only have this to say: look at your own dilemmas of family breakdowns, divorce, human despair and what your children are up to. And if you want to secure ongoing continuity of love, comfort and support in your old age, go for an arranged marriage. You could save yourself and do Britain a favour at the same time......
Arranged marriages fascinate people in the UK 'like watching horror films'. Don't scoff, says Ziauddin Sardar, British society could learn a lot from the Asian experience
I have always been married. My mother harboured a specific plan for my marriage before I was even born. I was married generations before my birth, just as my wife, Saliha, was destined to be my companion before we ever met. We met but briefly and never alone before we were married. As it was, so it is and ever will be, because it works.
Arranged marriage fascinates people in Britain. Rather like watching horror films, you are attracted for shock value. Or maybe it's just because you like to sniff and turn up your noses at something considered so irredeemably backward it makes you feel superior. But given the state of family life in Britain today, with binge-drinking adolescents, gangs and teenage violence, the time is ripe not to scoff.
The Asian family is not a nuclear unit of parents and 2.4 children. It is an extended social unit that includes grandparents, in-laws, aunts and uncles and a long list of relatives, each with a specific title in relation to everyone else in the family. And Asian family values are focused on keeping the unit together - in one physical place if possible - and providing mutual support. The corollary is that you have to accept them on the same terms. It can be onerous, inconvenient, not to say downright demanding.
Arranged marriages work in this framework of extended family. They are the heartbeat of Asian tradition. Without this pulse coursing through our lives, everything we know and think as British Asians atrophies and starts to die.
A certain amount of debriefing is necessary at this point. Arranged marriages are not forced marriages. That is quite another phenomenon related to tribal customs. Some of these tribal customs are alive and well in places such as Bradford and Manchester. It is for the honour of the tribe that Asian girls are kidnapped, brow-beaten, tortured into marriages. It is due to obnoxious tribal customs that honour killings have come to be part of the British Asian experience. But tribal customs have nothing to do with Asian tradition.
So what is an arranged marriage? How is that man deemed an appropriate life partner for that woman and vice versa? The process involves a lot of to and fro and both parties are free to reject or accept. Once the parties have reached a consensus, then both their families and the principals come to agree a marriage should take place.
So arranged marriage is a social act because it is not personal and individual. It never involves just two people, each alone with their own angst and dreams. Marriage is much too important to be left to so precarious and potentially perverse and headstrong a basis as the dreams and delusions of a would-be bride and groom. Arranged marriage is not just a marriage between two individuals, but two families.
Arranging a marriage is probably the most important social skill. It is also an art form. And its main practitioners are women. The art involves a subtle reading of human character and insight into the needs of those involved - not just at one stage of their lives but as it bears on the entire journey of their lifetime.
Consider the case of two sisters whose lives are thrown into turmoil by political events. The partition of India was mass trauma. The sisters were uprooted from all the normality they had known and had to trek to Pakistan along with their extensive family. But making a new life in a new place sent family members hiving off in all directions to find jobs and opportunity. The bonds of family seemed to be weakening, indeed on the verge of destruction. So the sisters hatched a plan to countermand the forces that were shattering their tradition. If their first-born children were a boy and a girl then they would arrange their marriage to one another. In this way they could preserve the family and pass on to their offspring the solidity and support the sisters had once known.
How could two women conceive of such a scheme for two people they had not yet conceived? And why would they imagine such a premature arrangement could possibly have a chance of succeeding? Well, consider that as sisters they shared a common heritage of values, socialisation, education and all the nurturing that goes into giving people a similar outlook on life and requirement of human behaviour. Who better to trust to pass these most cherished values and grooming on to a new generation than one's own sister?
The force of events sundered the two sisters with a new partition: one emigrated with her husband and settled in Britain, taking with them her first-born son who was destined to become that new creation, a British Asian. The other sister remained in Pakistan, where in time she gave birth to a daughter, as a citizen of the "land of the pure". This new generation was shaped in different nationalities, circumstances and seemingly disparate times. And neither sister had ever mentioned this scheme to the offspring concerned. But the time came when the arrangement had to be put in place.
There was, however, a problem. Having grown to manhood as a British Asian, the young man was far from content to learn of the future so long planned as his destiny. When he was taken on a purposeful visit to Pakistan and confronted with this choice, he rejected the suggestion. But when he saw his potential bride, he was immediately attracted to her. Would he, he asked her directly, make a suitable husband? "Yes," she replied, "but not for me."
So there was a paradox: he rejected the idea of arranged marriage but wanted the person with whom the marriage was arranged. She accepted the idea but rejected the person. When his brother was presented with a similar choice, he rejected everything and simply walked away. But as the eldest son this easy option was not available to him.
Arranged marriages can be a long, drawn-out affair. So, over three years, with letters flying between London and Lahore, endless discussions and much angst, minds were changed. Eventually, both parties were convinced that this was their best option. And that is how I came to be married.
Arranged marriages are not about setting two people adrift together. Those who arranged my marriage did not depart from the scene. My mother still lives with me and has played a vital part in rearing my children. And my extended family is ever present, ever ready to share and ease the burdens, to support and encourage and to provide the safety net that does not permit the married couple to fall through the cracks.
What I learned through my own experience is that marriage begins as commitment - love, sex, mutual respect, affection and friendship are the benefits that accrue over time. Instead of beginning at the pitch of pheromone intensity, arranged marriage gives time and space to appreciate another person without the insecurities of transience.
In Britain, arranged marriages are exceptionally popular among young British Asians. But why would someone born and bred in modern Britain go for a traditional arrangement? I asked a young woman called Farzana at a cultural gathering in Bradford. "Because," she replied, "I don't want to humiliate myself by dancing to the tune of the dating game." Everywhere in Britain, Farzana told me, women get the same message: dress, dye your hair, make up your face, buy the right perfume and, most of all, be shapely, diet yourself to misery or starve yourself to death in a land of plenty, and all to get a man. It is inherently demeaning. In contrast, many young Asians think that arranged marriages enhance their personal freedom and dignity.
Instead of learning womanly wiles to please and entrap men, they can become themselves and be introduced to men equally intent and committed to the concept of a life-long relationship. There is many an affront to human dignity that can be avoided by sharing the burden of finding a partner with caring relatives.
Behind every arranged marriage is a story. I discovered many while writing Balti Britain, a book about the British Asian experience. But I also discovered that arranged marriages are not static, immovable objects in the flow of time. Like many other marriages, they are flexible and adept, malleable and serviceable to time and changing circumstances. The principles on which they work, the objectives they seek to fulfil, endure through time. Almost everything else is open to negotiation.
So it is not surprising that the newest generation of British Asians, who are indeed more British than their parents and grandparents, have reinvented the whole concept of arranged marriage. The process now involves finding a partner first and then getting the family to arrange the marriage. And if education, work, membership of societies and clubs or the network of family gatherings does not offer the opportunity to encounter who is out there in need of a wife or a husband, there is always speed dating.
At an Asian speed dating event, where the whole family is welcome, you can check people out without the embarrassment of being lumbered with the greatest bore, most insufferable scoundrel or impossible narcissist for an entire evening or longer. As my daughter, Maha, who ran an Asian speed dating company as a side line, assured me, it fills a vacant niche and gives young British Asians the means to honour the meaning of tradition, with modern modifications.
And so it was that my daughter presented me with an immensely personable and exemplary young man and required me to arrange her marriage. Like the parents of her chosen one, my wife and I were a little at a loss about exactly what arrangement was required. But eventually our children gave us the prompt. What our children wanted was the arrangement of family, the cementing of bonds between two entities that would always be part of their lives because they could not conceive of being alone.
The wedding provided all the nervous tension, angst and drama in the preparation one would expect. But in my in-laws I have acquired new family members, people who share a common outlook on life and on whom I know I can rely to be as interested and concerned as I always will be for the welfare of my child. The wheel turns, the meaning endures.
To those who scoff at arranged marriages I only have this to say: look at your own dilemmas of family breakdowns, divorce, human despair and what your children are up to. And if you want to secure ongoing continuity of love, comfort and support in your old age, go for an arranged marriage. You could save yourself and do Britain a favour at the same time.
Ziauddin Sardar's Balti Britain: A Journey Through the British Asian Experience is published by Granta, £20. To order a copy for £18 with free UK p&p go to guardian.co.uk/bookshop or call 0870 836 0875
A man once said to me that he prefers to leave politics alone because it upset him too much.
For some reason, a woman can confess a fear and loathing of politics to me without sacrificing too much of the affection and regard I might have for her because she is after all "only a girl".
A man making that confession is absolutely damaged goods and will never have my respect again.
Ditto a man wearing a baby sling or carrying his child like a beast of burden using one of those backpacking child-carriers.
Another man who could have been forming romantic intentions towards me recently informed me that all men want to be mothered. This I have no doubt, as all women want to be protected and provided for, ie a meal ticket. (Men of course want an angel in the kitchen and a whore in the bedroom, a nanny, housekeeper, companion, secretary etc etc, preferably all rolled into one for maximum "value". Fair enough.) But educated, intelligent middle class men surely ought to know that the only way get a woman to want to mother you is to pretend that all you want to do is to protect and provide for her? Men these days seem to have absolutely no idea of the great unwritten rules of not showing that you are
(3) desire and require protection
which remains the prerogative of Woman!
Saturday, 13 September 2008
It's OK, Obama, to lay into Palin even though your mother was a much-divorced woman. It is the ones who don't even bother getting married before having babies who should be pelted with rotten vegetables and fruit.
Or perhaps it is those who still think it is OK to have a child outside wedlock who deserve the pillory and stocks. Like you, Obama?
Why is marriage desirable in the context of bringing up children?
If you are a Darwinian, you would understand.
When we have sex, it is for the pleasure of it. Babies are not an erotic goal - in fact the very opposite.
The male has to compete to win the hand of the female most likely to be a good mother and wife, ie the one most beautiful, sexy, clever, kind and fertile that he can hope to win.
It falls to the female to select the male most capable of protecting and providing and assume the role of being the prize of the male most worthy winner. To give of herself cheaply and too freely is to negate the role that is naturally hers. When enough females forget this important duty, the result is decline and disaster for the society they inhabit.
Women are prizes to be won by men. Whores are those who would give themselves to the highest bidder. The more astute reader will have noticed that there is not that much difference between being a whore and how a woman who desires marriage might behave - she would accept the most advantageous terms on offer.
Marriage is but prostitution approved by law but burdened with more onerous terms for both parties.
Prostitution is a series of short-term transactions while a marriage is a long-term relationship only capable of being achieved by a couple who have a minimum of mutual-respect and affection.
It is therefore those females who give of their favours too freely or cheaply and then give birth to children outside wedlock who are the ones who bring about eventual societal collapse, when enough generations have been economically, genetically and intellectually impoverished.
To be a "slut" is therefore for more harmful to society than to be a "whore".
Unplanned pregnancy and casual sex, ie the worship of Sexual Freedom, and the welfare state which protects these sluts from the consequences of failing to play by the rules of partner and natural selection, in the light of the above thesis, is therefore the main cause of Western decline.
Some blame foreigners, some blame the Jews, others the Muslims, but I blame the misuse of our sex organs as a thinking organ and the apathy of men in the face of totalitarian feminism, as well as those who refuse to condemn the perpetuation of illegitimacy as immoral and wicked - people such as Sarah Palin and her supporters and, Obama, who thought he would sit on the fence in case it offended the rank and file of illegitimates supporting him.
Women must free themselves from the yoke of man-made restrictions - Phase 1
Women must become like men to free themselves, ie have careers and sexual freedom, earn money, and no longer be in the home - Phase 2
Women should therefore abandon their traditional path of fulfilment and empowerment, ie marriage and motherhood - Phase 3
Women must acknowledge their failure to become happier after abandoning marriage and motherhood, or acknowledge that marriage, motherhood and career is the privilege of that rare being, the highly motivated and talented time-manageress - Phase 4
Women should re-embrace their traditional roles and once again become happy and fulfilled feminine beings - Phase 5
Men, those who are protectors and providers, should be treated with respect and tenderness because they too are vulnerable creatures saddled with the additional burden of not being allowed to show their vulnerability - Phase 6
The feminist and post-feminist journey is analogous to going right round the earth and finding the very thing you sought, in your own backyard. It was nevertheless a journey that had to be made.
The moral to be extracted from all this?
Pleasing oneself is an exercise that always remains tantalisingly unfinished. Therefore pleasing others and fulfilling the roles that we naturally find ourselves in is the path most likely to lead to lasting happiness.
The love of others obtained through the sacrifice of our selfish pleasures is a greater measure of our worth than our ability to continue enjoying selfish pleasures.
Duty, though dull, is therefore in our long-term self-interest and most likely to result in self-fulfilment and long-term happiness - a happy paradox!
Tuesday, 17 June 2008
Male Priests' Civil Partnership Blessed in Church by Rector
This could never happen in a mosque because the Koran specifically states that homosexuality is a sin to be punished, in rather the same manner as adultery.
HOW EXTRA-MARITAL RECREATIONAL SEX IS PUNISHED IN ISLAM
4 witnesses would be required in the case of gay and lesbian lewdness as well as adulterous wives.
The relevant verses in the Koran are:
4:15 (lewd acts between women)
4:16 (lewd acts between men)
24:1 (adultery - punishable by 100 lashes)
Those that defame honourable women and cannot produce 4 witnesses in their defence (who also falsely accused that woman) shall be given 80 lashes.
If a husband accuses his wife but has no witnesses except himself, he must swear 4 times by God that his charge is true, calling down upon himself the curse of God if he is lying. But if his wife swears 4 times by God that his charge is false and calls down His curse upon himself if it be true, she shall receive no punishment.
You can't say fairer than that, can you?
In theory extra-marital recreational sex is all forbidden and punishable horribly. In practice, under a liberal interpretation, acts of homosexuality and adultery are tolerated provided it is not flaunted in front of more than 3 witnesses (making a threesome legally unproblematic and, dare I say it, halal, even if any of the three participants were prone to self-accusation). The same could be said of a threesome (of any combination) with no more than three voyeurs, witnesses or observers, call them what you will.
If we now have sharia-compliant investments, then I see nothing haram in organising sharia-compliant threesomes and mini-orgies, whilst adding to the gaiety of the nation and the umma.
It is a shame the Christians didn't quite got round to articulating this sort of thing in a Word of God Book coming from one source, ie Muhammad. Instead, their moral code comes from the Old and New Testament, written by different people over the ages. No wonder schism is endemic and inevitable when Christian ideology is so messily articulated.
Old Testament: Leviticus
"Thou shalt not lie with mankind, as with womankind: it is abomination."
"If a man also lie with mankind, as he lieth with a woman, both of them have committed an abomination: they shall surely be put to death; their blood shall be upon them."
New Testament: Romans 1:26, 27
It does after all say in the Old Testament that homosexuality is an abomination, but some New Testamenters - such as the gay priests who had their civil partnership blessed in church by another clergyman - seem to think this does not apply to them.
Perhaps it is because New Testamenters like to think that the Old Testament cannot apply to them in any of its literal and illiberal entirety, when so many transgressions we now regard as minor to trifling could lead to the death penalty?
For an impressively long list of sins which Old Testamenters regard as deserving of the death penalty, see http://www.wvinter.net/~haught/Bible.html
In contrast, under a liberal interpretation, the Koran is a model of mercy and clemency.
The Koran restates the Ten Commandments and adds a few more of its own. No rational Muslim would argue that an act specifically stated to be a sin in the Koran could possibly deserve the blessing of any Islamic clergy! The most that could be argued in an Islamic context is the "ask us no questions and we'll tell you no lies" principle, which would be the perfect compromise between puritanical censoriousness and the libertarian ideal.
In these circumstances, homosexuality would be tolerated, provided it is not flaunted. How can anyone reasonable, whether religious or atheist (like me) deny that this is the perfect compromise? Or that the Islam of the Koran is structurally sounder, better-drafted, more coherent and sexually liberated than Judaism or Christianity?
Monday, 9 June 2008
What is the mother's? Filling in the blanks and completing the sentence, the full translation is this: "The problem I am having with you originates from the morals and behaviour of your mother."
For the sake of balance, I quote Shakespeare's apparently sympathetic defence of bastards through the words of the villainous Edmund in King Lear:
Thou, nature, art my goddess; to thy law
My services are bound. Wherefore should I
Stand in the plague of custom, and permit
The curiosity of nations to deprive me,
For that I am some twelve or fourteen moon-shines
Lag of a brother? Why bastard? wherefore base?
When my dimensions are as well compact,
My mind as generous, and my shape as true,
As honest madam's issue? Why brand they us
With base? with baseness? bastardy? base, base?
Who, in the lusty stealth of nature, take
More composition and fierce quality
Than doth, within a dull, stale, tired bed,
Go to the creating a whole tribe of fops,
Got 'tween asleep and wake? Well, then,
Legitimate Edgar, I must have your land:
Our father's love is to the bastard Edmund
As to the legitimate: fine word,--legitimate!
Well, my legitimate, if this letter speed,
And my invention thrive, Edmund the base
Shall top the legitimate. I grow; I prosper:
Now, gods, stand up for bastards!
Wednesday, 4 June 2008
I'm astonished at your blog, or I presume it's your blog, and ask you to remove my name, agency name and url link from it, and any other literature pertaining to my agency, including quote about the imbalance of data-base introductions agencies.
It is quite apparent from further reading this blog, that you, or whoever has written it has absolutely NO idea whatsoever about dating...Perhaps that is why you produced a blog? As for my agency suggesting same sex relationships to my clients..I am fuming that this has been posted on this so called blog!
I have copyright to ALL text on my website and YOU have copied it, if you do not remove it I shall report this matter to the relevant people for copyright in this country.
I must say I was a little taken aback by Jill's conclusion that I must know nothing of dating and romance just because I happen to have a blog, as if bloggers are by definition all date- and charm-deficient. My admirers, both male and female, are legion. I just haven't found the right one yet.
As for copyright about her revealing statistic that the male/female ratio is 30/70 in most introduction agencies, I would point her to the following link:
NON-COMMERCIAL RESEARCH AND PRIVATE STUDY
It is allowed to make single copies or take short extracts of works when used for research that you do not make any money from or from private studying, educational course or even as a hobby.
I will have Jill know that the subject human relationships is precisely what I am studying!
I see no commercial reason why Jill should not turn her introduction/search agency into one that recommends same-sex partnerships for women who don't manage to "pull" a man. After all, if the statistics are so apparently hopeless, then we women must be warned against our profligate practice of mislaying and discarding our male partners, or be faced, on the one hand, with the option of a lonely old age without a loving male partner and, on the other other, the option of embracing another woman just as difficult, critical and demanding as ourselves for the purposes sexual sustenance and companionship.
The Third Way is of course that of paying thousands of pounds to introduction agencies for the privilege of being one of the 70 women competing for the attentions of 30 men or else pay a search fee (which would be extra).
Surely Jill is not wishing to suppress this Ugly and Appalling Truth?
Under 40s women must be prepared for this bleak prospect if they do not appreciate their menfolk - however flawed - properly.
However, if they are that way inclined, they should then be in the fortunate position of anticipating the pleasures of being received into the intimate embrace of another woman ...
We women must, as Baden-Powell exhorted his boy scouts, be prepared!
Tuesday, 3 June 2008
"With data-base introduction agencies, there can be an imbalance of male and female members. A split of 70% women to 30% men, which in reality is not ideal, as both men and women will find that kind of split too diverse to give quality introductions."
This sounds uncomfortably like a hint that women in their 40s should consider a same-sex partnership to see if they like it, if nothing else male presents himself.
After all, many women and men do not really like members of the opposite sex and only regard them as a means to an end: a status symbol, a sex object, a provider, cook, companion, servant, butler, housekeeper, driver, nurse, nanny etc. If left to themselves, men might really prefer the company of other men and women the company of other women when they are not thinking of sex, making do with commercial sex from time to time when the urge arises, supplied by gigolos, toy boys, escort girls and hostesses.
The establishment below has been highly praised by someone known to me. If any of you are disposed to sample the pleasures of commercial sex, please do let us know how you get on.
It is possible then that women would now be subjected to -
(a) a taste of their own medicine when they have to try getting along with someone as critical and demanding as they had been of their mislaid and discarded male partners
(A misogynist joke: QUESTION: What is the difference between a robber and a woman? ANSWER: A robber says "Your money OR your life?" A woman demands: "Your money AND your life!")
(b) be obliged to resort to a same-sex relationship because there are simply no decent men to be found after women reach a certain age. (It seems they are all taken or interested in much younger women.)
Perhaps it would not be too indelicate for Jill Rhodes-Harvey, contactable on 0845 226 3189, to suggest to her 40+ women that they could make a valid lifestyle choice, ie a same-sex partnership with other 40+ women, for those careless enough to have lost their husbands or discarded them?
Then, more of them could become satisfied customers if they manage to get on with each other better than they did with their lost or discarded male partners.
It is just a thought.