January 16, 2011

"Is marriage responsible for turning the beastly male into a well-behaved husband?"

"Or are the upstanding men the ones who marry in the first place?"

An old mystery. The linked article is about a study that shows there's combined causality: Marriage tends to make men more upstanding citizens and more upstanding male citizens are more likely to find and commit to a mate.

Related mysteries: Should we incentivize marriage and pressure men into marriage in order to make society better for all of us? Must men marry women to get this social improvement or will gay marriage work too? Should women be enthusiastic about performing the function of improving men? Is the restriction of marriage to opposite-sex couples a way to enlist unwilling women in the social enterprise of improving men?

CORRECTION: I'd originally written "same-sex" in that last question.

78 comments:

TWM said...

I don't know if it's this post or last night's tequila shots that are making my head throb right now.

Inquiring minds want to know though . . . is Meade less beastly now?

mesquito said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
campy said...

Or we could just exterminate all the males and create a world of perfect, saintly women.

mesquito said...

She hates my mama,
She hates my daddy too.
She likes to tell me how much
She hates the things I do.

She lies beside me
almost every night.
She's no lady; she's my wife.


-Lyle Lovett [?]

shoutingthomas said...

Shit! The frickin' New York Times on marriage!

And, they've done a study...

Education (especially the type provided in contemporary liberal arts colleges) can make a person hopelessly stupid.

And Althouse wants to yak about gay marriage! Here we go again with her self-interest. He son's gay so we have to reform the military, even though there's no evidence he'd actually like to join the military.

Hasn't been a military posting on this site since DADT was repealed. Althouse lost interest.

Hey, Althouse, any idea what the military actually does? Any interest in the killing people and blowing things up bit?

Oligonicella said...

Marriages are also responsible for rehabilitating slutty women. Or is it that less slutty women tend to be the ones who want to marry?

Fred4Pres said...

Did you miss that theme when you read Beauty and the Beast as a kid?

ricpic said...

As marriage is set up now a married man damn well better behave himself or a giant hammer will come out of the sky and smash him to smithereens.

TWM said...

"Or is it that less slutty women tend to be the ones who want to marry?"

Much to the disappointment of men everywhere I fear this is the case.

peter hoh said...

Wait a second, an article about marriage in the NYT and there's no quote from Stephanie Coontz?

Has the world turned upside down?

ricpic said...

A slut is the gift that keeps on giving -- to all mankind.

Kirby Olson said...

Obama said some good things about the men who protected their wives during the shooting in Tucson. First sentient thing he's done.

Perhaps he's beginning to open his eyes after his long coma.

edutcher said...

I don't think marriage rehabilitates a truly bad man, although I've seen examples of it putting a guy who was on the borderline firmly on the straight and narrow.

It takes a pretty good woman, virtuous and otherwise.

The idea that "more upstanding male citizens are more likely to find and commit to a mate" is probably the crux of the issue - someone inclined to be upstanding will do the upstanding thing.

Forcing men to marry sounds like a bad idea on the face of it and the results of women trying to "change" a man are the stuff of divorce and other courts.

As to same sex, 1% of the population won't make that big a dent. Given that homosexuals tend to be more promiscuous in their relationships than heterosexuals, the odds would seem to be against it.

The Crack Emcee said...

"Is marriage responsible for turning the beastly male into a well-behaved husband?"

"Or are the upstanding men the ones who marry in the first place?"


Man, you loooove giving women credit just for existing, don't you? I mean, who's passing the judgments on these men that makes them either "beastly" or "upstanding"? And what are women in men's eyes?

And what does it mean when a woman decides to divorce that formally "well-behaved" and "upstanding" man? Maybe that the bitch wasn't so smart to begin with? That there's something wrong with her - or her judgment of these things?

And - considering that 70% of all divorces are started by "dissatisfied" women, is there any point in a man becoming "well-behaved" and "upstanding" when those aren't the qualities that got him the girl in the first place?

I could probably go on like this for eternity,...

rhhardin said...

Pretty quickly she'll be wanting to invite people over, to show off what a good deal she made for herself to her friends.

This involves endless complexity, starting with cleaning up, and ending with spending the family fortune on redecorating.

A guy likes furniture to stay where it is.

The Crack Emcee said...

TWM,

Inquiring minds want to know though . . . is Meade less beastly now?

Not to me, he ain't. It seems that manliness - or even a male point of view - brings out the worst in him. One of my readers even told him so. Discovering his hypocrisy, regarding his own sex, through self-reflection (without drumming and/or passing around a sacred phallus) seems beyond him. Give him time, though:

Ann's example of toughness - in the face of (OMG!) words - might rub off eventually.

dbp said...

"Is the restriction of marriage to same-sex couples a way to enlist unwilling women in the social enterprise of improving men?"

It is possible but unlikely. Are women so into marriage that they marry men when what they would really like to do is marry other women?

bagoh20 said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
peter hoh said...

Althouse, I suspect that Meade didn't win your heart by showing up all beastly.

I think you'll have to pen the contrary response piece: Is marriage responsible for turning the scholarly woman into an outdoor adventure seeker?

bagoh20 said...

Now that they are liberated, who will improve the women? Liberation, or something at the same time, has obviously unimproved them. Young women today are no better behaved than young men.

campy said...

Liberation, or something at the same time, has obviously unimproved them. Young women today are no better behaved than young men.

Heretic. Women are all perfect and saintly by nature. Any time a woman behaves badly, you can trace it back to some male abusing her.

Dust Bunny Queen said...

Marriages are also responsible for rehabilitating slutty women. Or is it that less slutty women tend to be the ones who want to marry?

Good point.

Why is it that they (whoever they are) don't ever look at the situation from this angle? As if there is nothing that could be wrong with women: it is always about 'fixing' the men.

Joe said...

Marriage takes well-behaved husbands and turns them into beasts.

Dark Eden said...

The problem is there's virtually no incentive for men to marry anymore. Get married for a high likelihood to lose half of everything you own, become an indentured servant for up to 18 years, and father children you'll never get to see again.

Go marriage!

Dark Eden said...

The problem is there's virtually no incentive for men to marry anymore. Get married for a high likelihood to lose half of everything you own, become an indentured servant for up to 18 years, and father children you'll never get to see again.

Go marriage!

deborah said...

"Pretty quickly she'll be wanting to invite people over, to show off what a good deal she made for herself to her friends.

This involves endless complexity, starting with cleaning up, and ending with spending the family fortune on redecorating.

A guy likes furniture to stay where it is."

Beast.

mariner said...

Althouse,
Should we incentivize marriage and pressure men into marriage in order to make society better for all of us?

Why don't we pressure WOMEN into marriage?

Why don't we insist that WOMEN, once they've made promises before God, their families and their communities, STAY MARRIED and thus actually KEEP THE PROMISES they made?

peter hoh said...

Dark Eden, I would agree that there are fewer incentives to marry.

I'm not sure that the threat of loss of income factors in for the majority of men, however. Are ordinary people getting significant spousal support these days? I'm told that few Minnesota judges make such awards.

As for child support, family courts do not make a significant distinction between married and unmarried fathers.

peter hoh said...

Mariner, I take it Carol McCain was not available for comment?

chickelit said...

Early in marriage, the role of man is easy! He influences his wife so easily! But he must hurry!

~Roger Martin du Gard

Ann Althouse said...

"One of my readers even told him so."

Well, then!

Ann Althouse said...

BTW, I just copied some questions that are in the NYT and generated some related questions. I didn't assert any beliefs here.

Florida said...

"Or we could just exterminate all the males and create a world of perfect, saintly women."

Yes, this post is full of thinly disguised anti-male hatred. Just look at the assumptions:

1) Men are beastly and need to be controlled.

2) If we can control men, society will be better.

3) Men require improvement

4) Women need to enlist in the social enterprise of improving men.

Hey, I have suggestion.

Nevertheless, let's assume Althouse is merely being provocative.

We have a perfectly good social experiment going on in the black community. Because of the rules regarding welfare that Democrats wrote, the black community is largely unwed and fatherless (as that is the only way to get checks).

Question: Is the black community - in its totality - a community that any other part of society attempts to mimic?

Meade said...

"[I]s there any point in a man becoming "well-behaved" and "upstanding" when those aren't the qualities that got him the girl in the first place?"

Well, yes, there are plenty of points.

Those points aside, what kind of man would choose to be with a woman who does not appreciate in the man the qualities of being well-behaved and upstanding? Shouldn't those be immediate premarital deal-breakers for the man?

campy said...

We have a perfectly good social experiment going on in the black community. Because of the rules regarding welfare that Democrats wrote, the black community is largely unwed and fatherless

Yes, but the males are still around. Get rid of them, and all would be hunky-dory.

SteveR said...

As the old saying goes.. why buy the cow when you can get the milk for free?

Synova said...

Incentivizing men to marry would require making it so their wife can't screw them over at a whim.

And the social benefit of marriage isn't going to be there if marriage is just living together until you don't want to anymore, even if the screwing over part is fixed.

Synova said...

Trying to "change" the person you're married to is beyond stupid. It's probably well into abusive, actually.

Now, trying to build that person up, make him feel powerful and respected... that's likely to do some good for everyone.

Ralph L said...

Is the restriction of marriage to same-sex couples
Does this mean the opposite in the law from what I read in plain English? Did you mean prohibition?

If you made all the women marry each other, men would enjoy the quiet, but they'd still be unhappy. Trade and adultery would flourish.

Leo Ladenson said...

Is the restriction of marriage to same-sex couples a way to enlist unwilling women in the social enterprise of improving men?


Don't you mean "opposite-sex couples," i.e., real, actual marriage?

Quite a slip there. How far we have fallen. O mighty Caesar! dost thou lie so low?

Bruce Hayden said...

1) Men are beastly and need to be controlled.
2) If we can control men, society will be better.
3) Men require improvement
4) Women need to enlist in the social enterprise of improving men
.

I have been arguing for years that a good part of the problems that the Black community face are a direct result of the government subsidizing fatherless families, really starting with LBJ's Great Society and War on Poverty.

There was a study done awhile back on mice or rats where the males were not given breeding opportunities. And the result was that the males ran in adolescent packs terrorizing the community. Which is really what we are talking about here.

I would suggest that it is the diversion of male energy from those adolescent packs into providing for a family that civilizes him. Marriage is just one step to that process, but since it has traditionally been seen as a step in the creation of the nuclear family, marriage is seen as representing the entire process.

Women have always been the bulwark of the local community. While males tend to be hierarchical, females tend to be more relationship oriented, and that lets them more easily cross generational lines. So, in the end, the social position of a couple will often be a combination of the male's position in the male hierarchy and the relationships that the female has built.

Bruce Hayden said...

As for gay males, I just don't know. I do know that (relatively) monogamist gay couples raising kids together seem to be as corrupted as straight males with females in monogamous relationships raising kids together. But, again, we get to the question of whether these gay couples are acting like straights here because they are the type who bond, or because the bonding does this to them.

I would suggest that it is more clear with straight couples that the relationship, combined with raising kids, is what civilizes the males, because women are typically much more relationship oriented than males, and fitting into the woman's relationships is part of what marriage is all about.

But, many gay males I have known have been much more relationship oriented than straight males. So, it is possible that it works backwards for them. Interestingly though, the lesbians I have not been any less relationship oriented than straight women.

traditionalguy said...

Marriage is a mystery because a safe place in which to give more than one receives is nowhere else to be found. The key word is Covenant. The Covenant apparently evolved among humans...or did it come here from another source??

Tyrone Slothrop said...

Speaking as a former beastly male, I can tell you exactly what flipped me, and it wasn't marriage. When we had our first kid I was astonished and a little bit scared at how much I loved him. I wasn't prepared for it, and a lot of things about my relationship to my own parents became clear. Out went the bong, the bottle, and the Marlboros. He was going to need me.

Bruce Hayden said...

Trying to "change" the person you're married to is beyond stupid. It's probably well into abusive, actually.

I would disagree, no matter how unpleasant that may be to the brotherhood. I would suggest that it all depends on how and what is done.

With (straight, since I don't know about gay) guys, I think it depends on whether the change is something that he thinks goes with the relationship, or goes beyond that. And, many women don't know where the limits are, which is why there are so many problems in this area.

So, for me, not actively thwarting a woman in her attempts to have a neat household, and going along with some, if not most, of her socializing, is just something that I think goes with the territory.

But, it is going to take a long time before I am going to let her dress me. My mother could pick out ties and suits for my father. She had good taste, as evidenced by all the times that I have borrowed his ties over the decades. But most women do not comprehend the status symbols, etc. involved in male dress, since they are not as sensitive to male hierarchies as their males usually are. I pass as a senior lawyer among senior lawyers, because I have spent 60 years watching and analyzing what they wear (my father was also a lawyer, so I got a head start). And, I have yet to date a woman who could dress me as well as I do myself, in this area. The ties are wrong, the shoes are wrong, the shirt is wrong... So, no, I am not going to let a woman dress me, esp. in a business situation.

My point being that there are some places where a guy will happily get with the program, some where he grudgingly gets with it, and others where trying to get him to is just going to destroy the relationship. It, of course, depends on the guy, where his limits are (or, if he has them).

Scott M said...

Should we incentivize marriage and pressure men into marriage in order to make society better for all of us?

Yes, probably. At least until we have another frontier to push back. I'm hoping that happens in my lifetime, but I'm not counting on it.

Then again, after the zombie apocalypse, the immediate boundaries of your neighborhood become the demarcation for the new frontier.

In all honesty, given any widespread disaster, progressiveness would not only take a back seat, but would probably not even be invited on board.

XWL said...

If one wife civilizes, then four wives must make a man the mellowist motherfucker on the planet...

(I guess Islam has the right idea on this subject, and the proof of this is the extreme mellowness exhibited by the men in Muslim predominated countires)

The Crack Emcee said...

Ann,

"One of my readers even told him so."

Well, then!


Think what you will, but my readers are pretty up on this kind of thing.

The Crack Emcee said...

Florida,

Question: Is the black community - in its totality - a community that any other part of society attempts to mimic?

Naw, just the backwards-hat-wearing, wannabe hip-hop part, which isn't always the brightest, though it is the best able to defend itself.

Good question. Did you see I put you in my subhead yesterday?

BTW - Instapundit linked to me today!

traditionalguy said...

The truth is that Mothers are responsible for training their son's as men instead of Crazy Beasts. The the wife and the birth of a child can polish the final product. But unless the Mother did her job, it will be like remedial reading courses given in college.

Phil 3:14 said...

This feels like a backdoor way into a discussion of gay marriage.

(PS pun somewhat intended.)

The Crack Emcee said...

Those points aside, what kind of man would choose to be with a woman who does not appreciate in the man the qualities of being well-behaved and upstanding? Shouldn't those be immediate premarital deal-breakers for the man?

Depends on what you mean by "well-behaved and upstanding". Seems to me, nowadays, it means agreeing with whatever she says ("I gotta talk to the boss,..."). That ain't no man. I can be sweet as pie, but the "upstanding" part will definitely get in the way of the "well-behaved" aspect if someone's doing wrong - and that includes (or is especially in regards to) my mate.

deborah said...

Congrats on the Insty link!

Jason (the commenter) said...

Synova: Trying to "change" the person you're married to is beyond stupid. It's probably well into abusive, actually.

But isn't that the basis for a lot of romantic love? Girls want bad boys who will be good for them, and boys want good girls who will be bad for the them.

PaulV said...

Wives want to change and improve thier husbands; husbands want their wives to stay the same and not to change.
Do girls want to marry someone like their father and boys someone like their mother?
Is it true that same sex marriages have more violence?

John said...

Back in the 90's, George Gilder wrote "Men and Marriage" which has the same hypothesis as this story. That is, left on their own, men would roam in packs doing as they please. But when married, they civilize thus affirming the female critical role in society. Times have not changed.

MadisonMan said...

Marry the man today, and change his way
Tomorrow.

MadisonMan said...

Oops, forgot the link. Link.

knox said...

And Althouse wants to yak about gay marriage! Here we go again with her self-interest. He son's gay so we have to reform the military, even though there's no evidence he'd actually like to join the military.

O, STFU.

David said...

So what qualifies as a "beast" today?

And what does it take to be a slut?

The beastliness is in large part the booziness and crass behavior of delayed adolescence. For this I blame moms, dads, schools and television.

Does serial monogamy make a man a beast, or woman a slut? Is a woman who has sex with 5 men before marriage a slut? 10? 20? Does it depend on how old she is? How discreet she is? Whether she choses beasts or civilized males as partners?

It's hard to generalize about this, when there is no agreement anymore on what the core standard of good deportment is.

knox said...

Boy, if I had a nickel for every commenter who has made horrible choices in the female companions they've chosen... and then project their shortcomings onto the entire female population!!

Guys, quit whining and go find yourself a good woman. They are out there... sheesh.

Big Mike said...

@knox, no they're not. I married the last good one 36 years ago.

mariner said...

ScottM,

In all honesty, given any widespread disaster, progressiveness would not only take a back seat, but would probably not even be invited on board.

I hope so.

Let those idiots freeze in the dark while the rest of us go about rebuilding our society.

mariner said...

traditionalguy,

The truth is that Mothers are responsible for training their son's as men instead of Crazy Beasts.

I vigorously disagree -- Fathers are responsible for teaching boys to be men. Women are simply incapable of that.

jamboree said...

There are always a certain amount of violent and/or troubled men - drinking, physically abusive, gambling, whatever. There is no gender parity in prison - prisoners are 98 percent male.

If you go for the (more-or-less) one-to-one model, what happens to those men unfit for human cohabitation and the women who would be paired with them?

Every society has had to deal with this core issue with varying success- prisons, the service, merchant shippers, nunneries, maiden aunts, abusive, loveless marriages with no divorce allowed, etc.

The muslims basically say that if you have the money, please support four if you can - which is very cynical I think, assuming as it does that three guys out there can't make the societal grade in any way shape or form.

Timon said...

Gay men mimicking marriage will not civilize them, will not make them socially acceptable in anything but a decadent and crude anti-culture, and will be no more helpful than any other campy and despicable fashion trend they ooh and aah over before despoiling it.

Penny said...

"There was a study done awhile back on mice or rats where the males were not given breeding opportunities. And the result was that the males ran in adolescent packs terrorizing the community. Which is really what we are talking about here."

Good they weren't Chinese mice.

The Crack Emcee said...

Knox,

Boy, if I had a nickel for every commenter who has made horrible choices in the female companions they've chosen... and then project their shortcomings onto the entire female population!!

You're forgetting one little thing, Knox, my good man:

We chose those screwy bitches as the best of the female population!

Now all you got is go get another one? What do you think we are, gluttons for punishment? You remind me of when I was in France and, no matter where we went, they said it was the wrong place, the wrong time of year, the wrong this or the wrong that - anything but the obvious:

FRANCE SUCKS!

I swear, you "pussy" guys are as screwy as the feminists. let me tell you something, boy-o:

If need be, I can live my life just fine without another woman in it as a partner, O.K.? I'm a grown-assed man with interests. I can amuse myself without anyone around to tell me how or to help me decide when or if I can or will do anything. If a woman does make an impression on me (or vice-veras) then fine, but if you think for one second that I'll ever need anybody else that I'll never be able to trust again in my life, then Mr., your stupid ass either cannot read or has NOT been paying attention.

Are we clear?

peter hoh said...

Timon, how exactly does one go about despoiling a despicable fashion trend?

Meade said...

Wow!!! Crack really took knox to school that time.

Yessiree - Crack's stupid ass sure can read and sure does pay attention. On that, we are clear.

Think he can also perceive that, on the internet, mrs. knox, you actually are a dog?

Tyrone Slothrop said...

Crack's a self-pitying, bitter bully. It's a mistake to pay any attention to his vile shit-slinging.

Timon said...

peter hoh caught my redundancy, but i'll let it stay

knox said...

Think he can also perceive that, on the internet, mrs. knox, you actually are a dog?

Just getting back to this thread. LOL. I mean, "woof"

Methadras said...

Florida said...

"Or we could just exterminate all the males and create a world of perfect, saintly women."


They are already cunty to each other. Cutting out males would be redundant.

Methadras said...

Florida said...

Question: Is the black community - in its totality - a community that any other part of society attempts to mimic?


In terms of what? High illiteracy rates? High prison rates? High fatherless home rates? High crime rates? High abortion rates? High single mother rates? I'm curious to which ones?

Methadras said...

No, but this entire suggestion is nothing more than couched misandry.

The Crack Emcee said...

This entire suggestion is nothing more than couched misandry.

Meade is a living example of misandry in action.

Tyrone Slothrop,

Crack's a self-pitying, bitter bully.

Yea, I lost everything after my wife gave all our money to a quack/guru and then they murdered three people - now I should just be the epitome of sunshine and gumdrops, surrounded by pussies like Meade who can think of nothing but pumping up feminism in my face every few days.

From where I sit, you're not only inhuman, but insane and cruel to boot.

Some Leftist idiot just got shot in the knee and was railing against conservatives and you gave him leeway, but me - left broke and traumatized - I'm expected to take your woman-worshiping bullshit lying down? Fuck you. Especially Mr. I-Left-My-Family-And-Now-Claim-Another-By-Harrassing-Crack, Meade.

You couldn't be a man to save your life.

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