Saturday, April 07, 2007

Reading Between the Lines

I saw two interesting items on Channel 4 news this evening.

The first was an interview with a female military officer called Major Judith Webb. She stated that the levels of combat fitness in the British Army had been lowered in order to allow women into the ranks. Speaking of women, she said “We are weaker, and levels of combat fitness have been lowered in order to accommodate the needs of gender equality. A colleague of mine is a PT instructor, and he said to me, ‘You would laugh if you knew what the levels of combat fitness are now’, which I find very sad”. Major Webb is obviously a very intelligent and responsible officer, because she puts military readiness first, and is not blinded by political ideology.

The second item was about the annual Oxford and Cambridge boat-race, which took place today. Non-British readers might not be familiar with this. It is an annual rowing event which takes place on the river Thames in London, between teams of students from the two universities. The story highlighted the fact that one of the teams had a female cox, which isn’t so unusual nowadays. The job of the cox is to steer the boat and motivate the crew. In some ways, a female cox is an advantage, because she will be smaller and lighter than a man, and so less of a dead weight. As I watched the footage of burly young men pulling oars, I wondered why there has never been a woman oarsman on either team. The answer is obviously that they are not strong enough. Rowing is a task which depends primarily on upper-body strength, and women will be at an inherent disadvantage. Any team which fields women in its crew is likely to lose. Despite decades of feminist ideology, the unyielding contours of reality cannot be ignored. If you want to win, you need an all male crew. That’s just the way it is.

Perhaps you’ve guessed my conclusion already.

Reading between the lines, it seems that although women are too puny to row in a boat race, they are not too puny to fight in a battle. But only if we make the battle easy for them. I hope potential enemy nations take this into account if we ever go to war again.

Boyz n the hood

The spate of high profile killings among young people in South London continues. This is mainly black-on-black crime, involving surprisingly young people. Yesterday, a fourteen year old boy was stabbed to death and a fifteen year old boy injured in what police believe was a gang-related incident. Reference

This is just the latest in what seems to be a continuing series of such incidents.

How have we got to the stage in an affluent society like the UK, where teenagers are murdering each other over petty slights?

I just saw a spokeswoman for the black community on the BBC commenting on the case, and there is no doubt that she was a sincere person. She said that these young men have no hope for the future, nothing to look forward to but unemployment, no positive role models in their lives, no chance of a decent education. They do not care for their own lives or the lives of others. All true.

However, the solutions she proposed were complex, expensive and difficult. It requires, she said, a massive co-ordinated effort by many different agencies, including education, housing, youth charities, social services, the government, and above all, lots of extra funding. I would have no objection to that if I thought it was going to work, but I don’t.

Everyone is ignoring the root of the problem. The dog-shit on the living-room carpet that we are not allowed to talk about. Feminism.

Ever since Marx and Engels postulated marriage as a patriarchal structure to secure the legitimacy of children and the safe transfer of property between generations, the left has viewed marriage, along with church and state, as an instrument for social control... Later, radical feminism argued that marriage was merely an arena for the economic and sexual exploitation of women”. Reference

"We can't destroy the inequities between men and women until we destroy marriage". Robin Morgan.

Simone de Beauvoir, in a 1976 interview with Betty Friedan, said that “no woman should be authorized to stay at home to raise her children…because if there is such a choice, too many women will make that one.”

The feminist movement set about destroying marriage and the family - even perfectly happy ones - in order to remake society according to its own agenda. Now, instead of having a few problem families, we have a great many. Far from eliminating the problems caused by dysfunctional families, the feminist movement has massively increased them. If dysfunctional families cause social problems, then the more dysfunctional families there are, the more social problems we can expect. This is hardly rocket science.

Rebecca O'Neill has outlined the terrible consequences in an excellent report for Civitas. I have reproduced the summary here. Click on the link for the full text.

The Experiment
Fewer children live with both their mother and their father

  • Routes into the fatherless family

    • Divorce
    • Births outside marriage
    • Changes in marriage and cohabitation

  • Is the married two-parent family a thing of the past?

    • Most people still believe in the ideal of marriage and do, in fact, get married

The Results: How does the Fatherless Family Affect Adults, Children and Society?

    Lone mothers

    • Are poorer
    • Are more likely to suffer from stress, depression, and other emotional and psychological problems
    • Have more health problems
    • May have more problems interacting with their children

    Children living without their biological fathers

    • Are more likely to live in poverty and deprivation
    • Have more trouble in school
    • Tend to have more trouble getting along with others
    • Have higher risk of health problems
    • Are at greater risk of suffering physical, emotional, or sexual abuse.
    • Are more likely to run away from home

    Teenagers living without their biological fathers

    • Are more likely to experience problems with sexual health
    • Are more likely to become teenage parents
    • Are more likely to offend
    • Are more likely to smoke
    • Are more likely to drink alcohol
    • Are more likely to take drugs
    • Are more likely to play truant from school
    • Are more likely to be excluded from school
    • Are more likely to leave school at 16
    • Are more likely to have adjustment problems

    Young adults who grew up not living with their biological fathers

    • Are less likely to attain qualifications
    • Are more likely to experience unemployment
    • Are more likely to have low incomes
    • Are more likely be on income support
    • Are more likely to experience homelessness
    • Are more likely to be caught offending and go to jail
    • Are more likely to suffer from long term emotional and psychological problems
    • Are more likely to develop health problems
    • Tend to enter partnerships earlier and more often as a cohabitation
    • Are more likely to divorce or dissolve their cohabiting unions
    • Are more likely to have children outside marriage or outside any partnership

    Effects on the Social Fabric

    • Increased crime and violence
    • Decreased community ties
    • A growing ‘divorce culture’
    • Cycle of fatherlessness
    • Dependence on state welfare

  • Evaluating the Results
    The weight of evidence indicates that the traditional family based upon a married father and mother is still the best environment for raising children, and it forms the soundest basis for the wider society.

We must also consider the Left-inspired decline in educational standards. The authority of teachers has been seriously eroded, compromising both the socialisation of children and their educational outcomes. The syllabus has been feminised to the point where boys completely lose interest. Men have been driven out of the teaching profession due to its low status, low pay, and the constant risk of false accusations of child abuse, thus depriving boys of important role models. The result is educational failure among the poor, especially boys.

This is particularly ironic, when you consider that education was traditionally one of the best ways to escape from poverty. Indeed, that is why the Left a century ago was demanding free education for all. By gradually undermining this system in the last four decades, the academic Left and the feminist movement have consigned a generation of poor to the economic scrapheap. To make it even worse, a lot of the people responsible for this were, like me, beneficiaries of that very system. Having got an education themselves, they then kicked the ladder away behind them.

The resultant social problems then need to be tackled by government agencies, involving the kind of complex, expensive and ineffectual solutions that were being proposed today. As the family, community and civil society are eroded, the State must take over what were traditionally informal regulatory structures.

In a recent case, the police were called to deal with a playground bully. Reference. This seems like an inappropriately heavy-handed, expensive and ineffectual response to something which can be dealt with by parental and teacher discipline. However, parental and teacher discipline are things of the past, undermined by the feminist-inspired child abuse industry. Money is spent, police time is wasted, police resources stretched, genuine crime is more difficult to combat, a child is criminalised, and all for what?

When boys in London are asked why they carry knives, they say they do it in order to defend themselves, that they fear for their own safety. Who do they fear? Their own peers; other boys with knives. They find themselves living in a hostile environment without structure, rules or authority, facing a real risk of violence. So they arm themselves. They band together for mutual support and protection.

It is not only in Physics that nature abhors a vacuum; it's true in politics as well. If you destroy the existing power structures in a community, new ones will emerge in their place. The armed gang is probably the first and most primitive of human political structures.

It should come as no surprise that in a sub-culture where everyone carries knives, people get stabbed. If you carry a knife in order to settle disputes, then as soon as a dispute happens - which, in a climate of emotional trauma, poverty, fear and educational failure, won’t be long - out will come the knife.

The kind of crime we are seeing now wasn’t much of a problem fifty years ago, because the family and community formed the building block of human society. Whenever young people were tempted to get out of line, there were plenty of informal controls in place to rein them in. They were less likely to get out of line in the first place, because they had structure in their lives, a sense of belonging, positive role models, and hope for the future. All of these things have been seriously undermined by the feminist movement. The family is not some arbitrary social construct, some institution of an oppressive regime, which can simply be disbanded. It is the building block of human society. If you destroy the family, you destroy society.

Those on the Left cannot see that they themselves are the cause of all of this. They encourage State meddling in the family. When negative consequences appear, they attempt to solve them with even more State meddling. People want to get married and live in families, care for their spouse and children, build a future for themselves, and be left alone to get on with their lives. Radical feminists do not want this to happen.

The Left-wing experiment of the 1960s has been running for four decades. The evidence is now in. We can say that it has been a dismal failure. Teenagers bleeding to death on the street are simply the most visible and dramatic of a wide swathe of negative consequences.