I promise I’m not making this crap up. (HT: Vox Day)
It’s a wise child, they say, that knows its own father. Nowadays, however, wisdom is hardly required; DNA tests can do the job with scientific certainty. For the entire course of human history, men have nursed profound, troubling doubts about the fundamental question of whether or not they were fathers to their own children; women, by contrast, usually enjoyed a reasonable level of certainty about the matter.
Now, a cotton-wool swab with a bit of saliva, plus a small fee, less than £200, can settle the matter. At a stroke, the one thing that women had going for them has been taken away, the one respect in which they had the last laugh over their husbands and lovers. DNA tests are an anti-feminist appliance of science, a change in the balance of power between the sexes that we’ve hardly come to terms with. And that holds true even though many women have the economic potential to provide for their children themselves.
The subject has resurfaced lately, courtesy of a story in the Daily Mail, about a married television presenter who for years had been paying for the support of a child conceived, as he thought, as a result of his relationship with a writer. It seems that after meeting the child for the first time, he asked for a DNA test; it duly turned out that he was not, after all, the father. Poor child.
The next Bridget Jones movie may turn this under-discussed issue into a talking point. For those who didn’t follow the columns that took our heroine into the next stage of female angst — about being childless rather than single — the gist is that BJ becomes pregnant, but she is not entirely sure by whom, having been seeing the nice Colin Firth boyfriend, and the bad Hugh Grant one, in pretty short order. The matter could have been fruitfully ambiguous, with Bridget having a choice of fathers, but it was resolved in sordid contemporary fashion, one of the candidates being wrestled to the ground by Bridget’s girlfriends, so as to swab his inside cheek for a DNA sample. And so she found out the paternity of the baby and the most ancient game of humankind, Guess the Daddy, wasn’t played any more.
Now I can see that some men might rather welcome an end to the old-fashioned scenario whereby they find themselves held to account for the paternity of children born to girls with whom they just happen to have had sex. The actor Jude Law recently found himself in just this position, and unhesitatingly and ungallantly demanded a DNA test.
By contrast, the old situation, in which women presented men with a child, and the man either did the decent thing and offered support, or made a run for it, allowed women a certain leeway. The courtesan in Balzac who, on becoming pregnant, unhesitatingly sought, and got, maintenance from two of her men friends, can’t have been the only one. Uncertainty allows mothers to select for their children the father who would be best for them.
The point is that paternity was ambiguous and it was effectively up to the mother to name her child’s father, or not. (That eminently sensible Jewish custom, whereby Jewishness is passed through the mother, was based on the fact that we only really knew who our mothers are.) Many men have, of course, ended up raising children who were not genetically their own, but really, does it matter? You can feel quite as much tenderness for a child you mistakenly think to be yours as for one who is. Piers Paul Read’s interesting new novel, The Misogynist, touches on just this issue.
A.C. Grayling, the philosopher, has written with feeling on this question this week, in an article for the Evening Standard. Noting that 4 per cent of men are, all unknowing, raising children who are not genetically theirs, according to a report in the Journal of Epidemiology and Human Health, he ponders the impact a DNA paternity test can have: ‘The result can be shattering, leading to divorce, marital violence, mental health difficulties for all parties including the children.’ Well, yes. Scientific certainty has produced clarity all right, and relieved any number of men of their moral obligations, but at God knows what cost in misery, recrimination and guilt.
Our generation sets a good deal of store by certain knowledge. And DNA tests have obvious advantages when it comes to identifying less happy elements of our heredity: congenital disease, for instance. But in making paternity conditional on a test rather than the say-so of the mother, it has removed from women a powerful instrument of choice. I’m not sure that many people are much happier for it.
So basically, feministas want the rights to
(a) spread their legs for anyone and everyone
(b) if they conceive in the process, be able to kill the child with no input from the father (even if he’s married)
(c) if they decide not to kill the baby, to force the man of their choosing–irrespective of whether he had anything to do with the child’s conception–to be the father.
I’ll drink Guinness—Foreign Extra Stout–to the death of feminism.
As I’ve often said, if every man in the world decided today to end feminism, it would be over by sundown. And the women would largely enjoy this, once they figured out how enjoyable their nights would become.
And the men would be worn-out by sunrise.
I have a friend who has lived the really hard life as a wife, standing by her husband through horrible times when 99.9% of wives would have bailed out. The road to ‘healing’ is slow and fraught with difficulty, but she’s staying the course. I have been vividly honest with her about the realities of divorce. I have encouraged her in her journey while also protecting her. I don’t want to see another couple go through divorce, but I especially don’t want to watch another innocent little boy go through his parents’ divorce.
She and her husband are in an amazing and truly miraculous place right now. Knowing there is always more to life than what we share, I sent her these words yesterday to encourage her:
i know it’s not all roses without thorns … and sometimes it’s probably more the promise of roses not yet budded with thorns … but being divorced would be mostly thorns and a few dead roses. you’re making the best choices. unless he becomes abusive, being married is the best choice. i know being married is a continuous sacrifice, a continuous laying-down-your-life … but being divorced is a continuous death that never ends. my husband and i would trade everything if we could have our first marriages back, but those choices were not ours to make. keep in the fight … stay the course … don’t give up. ‘hard’ is a given … how and where you live ‘hard’ is your choice.
Beelzebub has allowed her hatred of all things Vox Day–as well as too much alcohol consumption–to motivate her to create a blog against him. I honestly found this amusing. In her latest piece, she calls on Spacebunny (Vox’s wife):
It’s after 2 here and I’ve already set in on my usual two liters of Merlot, so I now must tread cautiously, especially when the topic of Vox’s wife arises, as it probably will more than once or twice. One should not blog and drink. But… I have to admit, I find the role of the traditional Christian wife something of an enigma wrapped in a paradox hidden in a Budweiser 12 pack box. First off, if you actually believe the Biblical admonitions, you must submit yourself to husbandly authority, that is to say, male authority. For modern women that has to be a pretty bitter pill to swallow. I don’t care if you’re living on the prairie and wearing a bonnet, forty years after a man walked on the moon, you have to doubt whether you should be submitting to the whim of some bozo just because he has a penis.
Is this what passes for critical thought?
I can just imagine my wife, greeting me as I meet her at the gym tonight.
“Honey, I decided that from now on I will submit to you, JUST BECAUSE YOU HAVE A PENIS!”
Thanks for the humor, Beezle!
Provides this discussion about the “marriage strike” movement.
Like EW, I’m a “true believer” in marriage, but I definitely understand the method to the marriage strike madness.
I haven’t blogged a whole lot about “foreclosuregate”. This is because I wanted to take some time and see for myself whether this is mostly overblown–as the folks at Calculated Risk contend–or whether this is going to be an impending Charlie Foxtrot that will bring down the U.S. economy (as Vox Day and Karl Denninger contend).
I’m not sure that this is going to end well, at all. For the following reasons:
(1) While Calculated Risk–producing a prior blog post from Doris Dungey (aka “Tanta”)–contends that paperwork errors are nothing new, there is enough of a prima facie case that this is not merely about “errors” or “screwups”.
Securitization of loans is not a new practice. It has been around for decades. Banks, mortgage houses, and investment banks had to know the applicable property laws, some of which even predate our Constitution. If they didn’t, then they were negligent on a mass criminal level. This is why states are taking a far more aggressive interest in this matter than our federal government: property laws are a VERY big deal.
Screwups are one thing–banks and trusts correct errors from time to time–but laying waste to counties and localities through the subversion of property laws, that’s HUGE!
(2) Ultimately, the investment in various markets–which provides the available capital for economic growth–depends on investor confidence. Banks have been trying to hide bad assets for the last two years.
Once investors lose confidence in the quality of the assets held by the banks, the defecation will hit the circulation at a very high velocity. This is because of the magnitude of the asset base that is compromised: we’re talking trillions, not billions, of dollars.
(3) That loss in confidence is almost inevitable, even though the Justice Department is not aggressively going after the culprits. This is because such information cannot be hidden from investors forever. Even in the absence of criminal investigations, the market can punish the bad guys in ways that no federal judge can.
And the market will eventually act.
(4) There is no way, due to the magnitude of the problem, to contain this debacle solely to the mortgage market. No honest observer of the last 3 years can conclude otherwise.
When we get a collapse of the big banks–which will happen with or without the justice process–it will profoundly impact business activity. Commercial paper and other short-term credit will dry up. Car loans will dry up. Almost all short-term loans will dry up. Interest rates will skyrocket because investors will demand returns commensurate with perceived risks. Unemployment will easily exceed Great Depression levels, and no federal “stimulus” program will change that fact.
(5) With or without the enforcement of the rule of law, there is no pretty endgame to this mess. While Denninger and Vox rightly suggest that many will walk away with their homes, there really is no such thing as a “free” house.
Those walking away with their homes, will probably do so only after filing Chapter 7 Bankruptcy. Such a mass scale of bankruptcies would be catastrophic to credit availability of all types.
With the proper application of the justice process–which I support–the results will be ugly. Without it, the results will also be ugly. Either way, there will be a lot of pain.
Right now, government is keeping interest rates low in hopes of restarting the economy. But this “easy money” approach is what created the crisis in the first place. Any talk of recovery is rubbish. considering the marginal effect on economic growth that (a) the bailouts, (b) “quantitative easing”, (c) all federal stimuli, and (d) the talk of more “quantitative easing” have had.
Government is totally out of ammunition.
That the fraud is now surfacing, is proof that the whole house of cards is starting to come down. If banks and investors were able to get their bad assets sold off, it would have already happened.
Well, not really. But we do need to change the way we think about “fighting” this war. Seriously, we are no closer to winning it since Nixon declared it.
For nearly 40 years, we have succeeded in empowering a federal governmental apparatus that spans multiple agencies, to include the Department of Defense, ICE, FBI, CIA, and the DEA.
We have succeeded in creating jobs for police officers. State and local governments now depend on federal money for their “anti-drug” efforts.
We have succeeded in filling jails with non-violent “criminals”, many of whose “crimes” consist of having a drug habit.
As for the economics: we have only made the industry more profitable to those manufacturing and dealing the product.
Mexico has lost 30,000 people in the last 4 years. In Afghanistan, the number one economic product–which goes a long way toward financing terrorist operations–is opium.
And yet the the United States is the top market for these drugs, providing the lion’s share of the demand.
The quasi-military approach to this “war” has been a total disaster, as it has done nothing to remove the profitability from the drug trade. This article in Newsweek provides a portrait of what is happening in Mexico, and what is in store for our cities unless we do something about the economic dynamics.
We can win this “war”, but only by slashing the profit margin. Our hard-force approach has failed to accomplish this.
If we allowed people to grow marijuana here, it would jack up the supply and cut into the profit margins by creating more competition.
If we decriminalized other drugs–cocaine, heroin, even meth–and started slapping taxes on the products (at the local and state levels) and using those proceeds to fund rehab for those who wanted it–we would also create more competition that would cut profit margins.
This would hit the Mexican cartels–and the terrorists–right in the pocketbook.
We might actually start winning against these bastards.
Besides, I don’t know about you guys, but I’d rather have our cops chasing after real criminals, like murderers, child molesters, and other predatory derelicts.
It’s the Fifth Inning, Game 6, NLCS, Rangers vs. Yankees, at The Ballpark at Arlington. Colby Lewis pitches to Nick Swisher, and the ball clearly bounced and hit Swisher in the shin. But the Umpires miss the call, and Alex Rodriguez scores. I’ve tried to find a pic or video of the play but have not been successful. I did watch it live, though, and it was very clear. The ball hit Swisher. A-Rod scored.
Molina, the Rangers Catcher, went crazy wild. Ron Washington, the Rangers Manager, ran out of the dugout and held Molina back while arguing the call. The camera focused in on Swisher during the drama at home plate, watching.
Here’s my question: What if Swisher had told the truth? It’s not like he didn’t know the ball hit his shin. He knew the truth, but he didn’t tell.
At the time, the score tied the game 1-1. It was a big deal. I doubt it would have changed the outcome of the game, though, as the Rangers were invincible this series. They won the game decisively.
So would it matter if he did or did not tell the truth? Would it have even changed the mind of the Umpires? Should his choice to tell the truth be dependent on whether or not the Umpires would listen to him … or whether or not they won the game … or anything else for that matter?
I think Swisher’s face, staring at the drama on the field, will stay in my memory for a long time. I think many live life like that. Why tell if you don’t have to?
Can you imagine the commentary if Swisher had turned to the Ump and said, “Yeah, it hit my shin, right here.”
“He told the truth! Can you believe it? Swisher just told the Umpire the ball hit his shin, and it could cost them A-Rod’s run and possibly the game!”
What strikes me most, though, are the words that will never be spoken: “That was my son that told the truth.” … or, “That was my Uncle that told the truth.” or, better yet, “That was MY dad who told the truth!”
Just do like this lady did, and marry yourself.