“And then they turn it around and say: I was attacked, I was surprised, I was dragged into the room.”
Spacey and Weinstein have each been accused of sexual harassment by more than a dozen men and women. The Hollywood heavyweights are scrambling to find supporters as more and more people come to the defense of their alleged victims.
Morrissey, however, is apparently in both men’s corner — calling the claims against Spacey “ridiculous” and blasting the countless women who’ve come forward and publicly named Weinstein as their abuser.
“People know exactly what’s going on,” Morrissey reportedly said after being asked about the movie producer. “And they play along…But if everything went well, and if it had given them a great career, they would not talk about it.”
The former Smiths frontman added, “I hate rape. I hate attacks. I hate sexual situations that are forced on someone. But in many cases one looks at the circumstances and thinks that the person who is considered a victim is merely disappointed.”
The 58-year-old appeared to do most of his victim blaming while discussing the allegations against Spacey.
“As far as I know, he was in a bedroom with a 14-year-old. Kevin Spacey was 26, boy 14. One wonders where the boy’s parents were,” he said. “One wonders if the boy did not know what would happen. I do not know about you, but in my youth I have never been in situations like this. Never. I was always aware of what could happen. When you are in somebody’s bedroom, you have to be aware of where that can lead to. That’s why it does not sound very credible to me. It seems to me that Spacey has been attacked unnecessarily.”
Morrissey, nicknamed Moz, has not responded to media requests for comment.
He was getting eviscerated by social media users over the weekend as word spread about his comments.
“A Morrissey fan for 26 years, I’ve stood by him through bad records, frivolously canceled shows, ignored his dalliances w/ fascism…but sex abuse victim blaming? Defending a pedophile like Kevin Spacey? No. Just no,” another person said. “I’m going to eat a f–king cheeseburger. F–k you @officialmoz.”
On Saturday, The New York Times ran yet another execrable op-ed, this time from Professor Ekow Yankah of the Benjamin N. Cardozo School of Law at Yeshiva University. This op-ed argued that black children should not be friends with white children, and that their parents ought to warn them off of such relationships. This assuredly makes things awkward at Yeshiva University, a Jewish school.
The piece begins with Yankah’s oldest son, who is 4, talking about his friends:
My oldest son, wrestling with a 4-year-old’s happy struggles, is trying to clarify how many people can be his best friend. “My best friends are you and Mama and my brother and …” But even a child’s joy is not immune to this ominous political period. This summer’s images of violence in Charlottesville, Va., prompted an array of questions. “Some people hate others because they are different,” I offer, lamely. A childish but distinct panic enters his voice. “But I’m not different.” It is impossible to convey the mixture of heartbreak and fear I feel for him. Donald Trump’s election has made it clear that I will teach my boys the lesson generations old, one that I for the most part nearly escaped. I will teach them to be cautious, I will teach them suspicion, and I will teach them distrust. Much sooner than I thought I would, I will have to discuss with my boys whether they can truly be friends with white people.
This is insanity. Because Donald Trump was elected, all white people are suspect? Because there were 1,000 evil people marching for an evil cause in Charlottesville, some 200 million white people across America are suspect? This is racism of the highest order. And teaching your children not to be friends with people based on their race is the essence of racism.
But Yankah continues:
Meaningful friendship is not just a feeling. It is not simply being able to share a beer. Real friendship is impossible without the ability to trust others, without knowing that your well-being is important to them. The desire to create, maintain or wield power over others destroys the possibility of friendship. The Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.’s famous dream of black and white children holding hands was a dream precisely because he realized that in Alabama, conditions of dominance made real friendship between white and black people impossible.
Well, no. MLK’s dream was a dream because he wanted to see it fulfilled and believed that it could be. If he didn’t, he would have gone home and joined Malcolm X. But he should have, says Yankah, since “History has provided little reason for people of color to trust white people in this way, and these recent months have put in the starkest relief the contempt with which the country measures the value of racial minorities.”
The piece continues in this vein, citing differential treatment of the opioid epidemic (largely white) vs. the crack cocaine epidemic (largely black), and ignoring the income levels of those affected by the epidemics, which is a serious confound; black underemployment, which Yankah attributes to “robust evidence of continuing racism,” without showing any evidence; policing, which has not been shown to be systemically racist by statistics. Yankah’s conclusion:
As against our gauzy national hopes, I will teach my boys to have profound doubts that friendship with white people is possible. When they ask, I will teach my sons that their beautiful hue is a fault line. Spare me platitudes of how we are all the same on the inside. I first have to keep my boys safe, and so I will teach them before the world shows them this particular brand of rending, violent, often fatal betrayal.
So we are not all the same on the inside. Which is an idea that John C. Calhoun or Richard Spencer might be comfortable with. But Yankah couches his vitriol in the guise of safety preparations for his children:
Of course, the rise of this president has broken bonds on all sides. But for people of color the stakes are different. Imagining we can now be friends across this political line is asking us to ignore our safety and that of our children, to abandon personal regard and self-worth. Only white people can cordon off Mr. Trump’s political meaning, ignore the “unpleasantness” from a position of safety. His election and the year that has followed have fixed the awful thought in my mind too familiar to black Americans: “You can’t trust these people.”…I do not write this with liberal condescension or glee. My heart is unbearably heavy when I assure you we cannot be friends.
The condescension is real, and the glee is palpable. To teach your children not to hope for a day when black and white can be friends – in fact, to teach your children now that such a day isn’t here – is asinine. And to pretend that every Trump voter is replete with hatred is just as asinine. But racism and bigotry are fine so long as they come from the Left, apparently.
Drag queens are being brought into nursery schools for storytelling sessions to teach children from the age of two about issues such as gender fluidity.
Bristol-based organisation Drag Queen Story Time (DQST) runs reading sessions with ‘queer role models’ for young children in schools, libraries and hospitals.
Launched by Bristol University Law graduate Thomas Canham, the project aims to teach children about transgender issues through storytelling, in addition to misogyny, homophobia and racism.
The 26-year-old was inspired to set up the project after learning about a similar scheme in the US named Drag Queen Story Hour.
Nursery bosses said the sessions are needed so that children encounter people “who defy rigid gender restrictions”, according to the Mail on Sunday.
They reportedly want to target two and three-year-olds in order to influence them early against hate crime.
Children this age have not yet developed any discriminatory ‘isms’, it was suggested.
But critics told the Mail that the sessions could “blind impressionable children of two and three to one of the most basic facts of human existence”.
Child psychotherapist Dilys Daws, co-author of the book Finding Your Way With Your Baby, feared the sessions could confuse young children about their own sexual identity.
She said: “There’s this idea that’s sweeping the country that being transgender is an ‘ordinary situation’.
“It’s getting so much publicity that it’s getting children thinking that they might be transgender, when it otherwise wouldn’t have occurred to them.
“But it’s perfectly normal for most young children to think about being the opposite sex. It’s probably because they are identifying with a parent or sibling.”
DQST will hold sessions at seven nurseries run by the London Early Years Foundation (LEYF) over the winter, the newspaper reported.
If successful they are apparently due to be rolled out across the nursery’s 37 sites.
Sessions for the project, which started in May, include drag queens reading books on a wide range of issues, in addition to activities such as face painting or ‘drag discos’.
Drag queens available include Donna La Mode, who is described as “the Fairy Queen of the drag world”.
June O’Sullivan, chief executive of LEYF, told the Mail: “By providing spaces in which children are able to see people who defy rigid gender restrictions, it allows them to imagine the world in which people can present [themselves] as they wish.”
She told BBC London radio it was good to expose very young children to men who dress as women, “because children are very open until about three”.
“At three they begin to absorb all the “isms” that adults have developed very effectively,” she explained.
Is Yale Really Elite If Its English Majors Never Read Shakespeare?
Yale’s English department decided it will no longer require English majors to study literary luminaries such as William Shakespeare and John Donne.
For years, U.S. News and World Report‘s influential college rankings have kept Yale University at the top, often reaching no. 1. For 2018, it’s tied for third. U.S. Newsclaims its top ranking factor is academic excellence, but recent news out of Yale questions that ranking’s legitimacy. A year and a half after students charged it’s racist to require them to study influential British authors because those authors happen to be white, Yale’s English department decided it will no longer require English majors study literary luminaries such as William Shakespeare and John Donne.
Last year, some 160 Yale students signed a petition demanding such curricula changes, based entirely on the color of the authors’ skin and content of their gonads rather than the quality of their literary works.
“A year spent around a seminar table where the literary contributions of women, people of color, and queer folk are absent actively harms all students, regardless of their identity,” students wrote in the petition. “The Major English Poets sequences creates a culture that is especially hostile to students of color. When students are made to feel so alienated that they get up and leave the room, or get up and leave the major, something is wrong.”
Yes, something is definitely wrong when students are so racist that they will not listen to the ideas of someone who had the misfortune to be born with a currently non-politically favored skin color. It’s also prima facie preposterous to assert that someone can be considered well-educated if he has actively shunned reading Shakespeare. Instead of rebuking their students for this shocking display of ignorance, however, Yale administrators and faculty encouraged it and complied with their demands.
I have taught law students for more than thirty years. In recent years I have noticed that many students have little or no familiarity with the political, intellectual and cultural history that shaped the American legal tradition. I’ve encountered students who have never heard of Hobbes and Locke, do not know the causes of the American Revolution, are unfamiliar with the Lincoln-Douglas debates, haven’t a clue about Progressivism or the New Deal, don’t know what separates Protestants and Catholics, and have only the vaguest sense what race relations were like before the Civil Rights Act of 1964.
Recently, Camille Paglia, no conservative nor traditionalist, reported the same about her students at the University of the Arts in Philadelphia, noting that this kind of brain rot has trickled down into K-12 schools courtesy of teachers’ university mal-educations:
What has happened is these young people now getting to college have no sense of history of any kind. No sense of history. No world geography. No sense of the violence and the barbarities of history. So, they think that the whole world has always been like this, a kind of nice, comfortable world where you can go to the store and get orange juice and milk, and you can turn on the water and the hot water comes out. They have no sense whatever of destruction, of the great civilizations that rose and fell, and so on, and how arrogant people get when they’re in a comfortable civilization, etc. So they now are being taught to look around them to see defects in America – which is the freest country in the history of the world – and to feel that somehow America is the source of all evil in the universe, and it’s because they’ve never been exposed to the actual evil of the history of humanity. They know nothing!
After chanting students shut down the core humanities class of Reed College assistant professor Lucia Martinez Valdivia this fall because it’s “too white, too male and too Eurocentric,” Martinez Valdivia wrote in a blog post, “I am scared to teach courses on race, gender or sexuality or even texts that bring these issues up in any way…I’m at a loss as to how to begin to address it, especially since many of these students don’t believe in historicity or objective facts (they denounce the latter as being a tool of the white cisheteropatriarchy)” (emphasis added). She finds studying white, heterosexual males refreshing because she’s “female, mixed race, American and Peruvian, gay, atheist and relatively young. I study poetry that is basically the opposite of me: male, white, British, straight, God-fearing, 500 years old. And I love it.”
The fact that a core curriculum of any real substance no longer exists at the United States’ so-called prestige universities, and is neither desired by many so-called elite students nor professors, suggests it’s time we stop venerating and sending our kids and tax dollars to these institutions whose main function seems to be rotting students’ brains and American society from its leadership down. It’s no wonder that Pew Research found a remarkable loss in Republican confidence in U.S. higher education: It ain’t higher, and it ain’t education.
Joy Pullmann is managing editor of The Federalist and author of “The Education Invasion: How Common Core Fights Parents for Control of American Kids,” out from Encounter Books this spring.
Great news out of violence-plagued Chicago’s South Side: A growing number of black women are buying guns, getting trained in their proper use and receiving concealed-carry licenses. So far this year, 1,368 carry licenses have been issued to black women in Cook County, surpassing the total number of 1,358 issued for all of 2016—which was up substantially from the year before.
What is responsible for this rise? The crucial first step was a federal appeals court decision nullifying Illinois’ unconstitutional refusal to issue concealed-carry licenses.
In December 2012, the 7th Circuit Court of Appeals overturned a statewide ban on private citizens legally carrying concealed weapons. At the time, Illinois was the only state in the country to still have such a prohibition. The Illinois State Police, who now issue the licenses and maintain demographic data on licensees, proudly proclaim on their website, “On July 9, 2013, Public Act 98-63, the Firearm Concealed Carry Act, became state law (430 ILCS 66). This law requires an Illinois Concealed Carry License to carry a concealed firearm in Illinois.”
Two years after the ruling, the state began to issue licenses for concealed carry—and black women have taken the new freedom to heart. In 2014, the inaugural year of concealed-carry permit licensing, 800 permits were issued to black women. Since then, the number of CCLs issued to black women has risen dramatically, with more than 4,000 issued in Cook County alone. While licenses to men and women of other races still outpace the number issued to black women, the consistent year-over-year rise for black women is remarkable.
Black women aren’t unique in wanting to feel safe outside the home. Getting properly trained to handle firearms and then carrying concealed is an excellent way to do that. Being prepared can promote confidence and even be exhilarating!
One source of carry permit applicants is JMD Defense and Investigations and its Ladies of Steel Gun Club. While the business opened just this year, members report seeking out safety through gun ownership because of an increase in crime in their neighborhoods. Upon receiving their permits, women in the club reported feeling a new sense of confidence as they go about their daily commitments.
Black women in Chicago are getting carry licenses to defend themselves in a violence-plagued city
The Chicago Tribune interviewed the owner of JMD Defense, Javondlynn Dunagan, and her enthusiasm is contagious. She started the venture out of a desire to see more women trained to use guns for self-defense. Dunagan, who was previously married to a police officer, said that after her divorce she “felt kind of naked in a house without a firearm.” In her desire to acquire a gun and get the training to use it safely, she created an environment in her community for others to do the same.
Dunagan saw a need, as there is little firearm training available on the South Side of Chicago. Her story of desiring a greater sense of public safety for herself and her community—then doing something substantial to provide it—isn’t unique, but it is worth celebrating.
At a time when the media deceptively portray gun ownership as a sign of racial animus, seeing more black women getting licensed to carry concealed firearms, practicing regularly and joining gun clubs provides a dose of reality to the narrative and shows what’s really going on in the gun community. What will the media say if crime in Chicago begins to decline? They surely won’t give any credit to the presence of more legally armed women, or to the change in the demeanor of potential victims from a state of fear to one of empowerment.
No, it will likely go unnoticed by them. But at this point, what difference does it make? More firearms freedom is great, regardless of the media’s interpretation. To the women of Chicago who now carry concealed firearms, we say: “Welcome to our tribe. We salute you.”
Hollywood has a “rampant” and “pervasive” problem of men sexually abusing boys, according to actors and lawyers who are speaking up about misconduct and harassment in the wake of an allegation against actor Kevin Spacey.
“It’s a very taboo subject,” said Alex Winter, an actor and director who said he was sexually abused as a pre-teen child actor. “I don’t know of any boys in any pocket of the entertainment industry that do not encounter some form of predatory behavior. … It’s really not a safe environment.”
Spacey has been accused of making an unwanted sexual advance toward Star Trek actor Anthony Rapp, who says he was 14 years old at the time of the alleged incident in 1986. According to Rapp, Spacey, who was 26 at the time, lay on top of him and tried to “seduce” him.
Spacey, star of Netflix show House of Cards and former artistic director of London’s Old Vic theatre, apologized after BuzzFeed published Rapp’s allegations, saying he did not remember the “encounter”. If he did what Rapp described, it “would have been deeply inappropriate drunken behavior”, he added.
Spacey also formally came out as gay in the same statement on Sunday night – a move that outraged LGBT activists and actors, who said it was a cruel deflection that caused harm by linking his sexuality to an allegation of child abuse, fueling the homophobic myth that gay men are predators.
To some, the Spacey controversy has been a painful reminder that young gay actors can be particularly vulnerable to mistreatment – and that influential men wield their power to abuse both men and women.
“It’s a pervasive problem in Hollywood,” said Los Angeles attorney Toni Jaramilla, who has represented men in the entertainment industry in sexual harassment cases. She said that men can be coerced into sex or assaulted in professional contexts and are often afraid to speak out: “The common challenge is the fear of not being believed and the fear of having the situation turned around against them, to suggest that they are instigating it, or they are finding opportunities to sleep their way into a role.”
Gloria Allred, the feminist attorney who has taken on Donald Trump and Bill Cosby, said in an interview on Monday night that she had fielded numerous calls from potential clients following the Spacey allegations. Sexual harassment of gay men in the industry is “rampant”, she said, adding, “It’s as serious a problem as it is with women.”
Rapp’s story has sparked debate about whether sexual harassment and even childhood abuse of men are also open secrets in Hollywood.
Wilson Cruz, a gay actor who plays Rapp’s love interest in Star Trek, recently spoke about sexual harassment at a Gay, Lesbian and Straight Education Network (GLSEN) awards event, saying “older gentlemen” made offers when he was young, adding, “I did not take them up on it, but it was uncomfortable. I was in my 20s, and I thought: ‘Is this what one does?’ And also: ‘Am I going to ruin my career by not doing it?’ … I think it’s been quietly accepted as the norm in a lot of ways.”
Gay actor Charlie Carver, known for The Leftovers and Teen Wolf, alluded to his own experiences at the same event, saying, “I’m not a stranger to it. This will hopefully open up a discussion about men and power dynamics in general – maybe it has to do with exerting masculinity.”
Eliza Byard, GLSEN’s executive director, said she was grateful to hear them speak out: “In our culture … there is an extra cone of shame and silence around boys and men who experience sexual harassment that can prevent them from getting help.”
Tyler Grasham, a Hollywood agent, has also faced formal accusations that he assaulted and harassed young male actors in recent days. (Grasham has not addressed the claims in any public statement yet and could not be reached for comment.)
Allred said it can be especially difficult for gay actors in Hollywood to come forward with harassment claims if they are not open about their sexuality.
“Many of the victims are still in the closet. That makes them extra vulnerable,” she said, adding, “It’s fear that keeps them silent … They feel they just won’t be believed against the denial of a rich powerful famous celebrity.”
Male models have also shared stories of harassment or abuse by photographers, stylists, art directors and agents, said Sara Ziff, founder of the Model Alliance, a nonprofit group. She cited stories from men about a range of inappropriate sexual conduct on set, such as unexpected demands for them to get naked or photographers following models into the bathroom and then assaulting them.
“Sometimes, they say that when they’ve complained to their agencies about abusive working conditions, their agents have actually encouraged them to give into their harassers’ demands.”
Winter, known for Bill & Ted’s Excellent Adventure and The Lost Boys, said abused boys can suffer long-term trauma and that it can feel like an uphill battle to go public many years later.
“There’s nothing more terrifying to someone who is holding on to that history and that PTSD than to finally come forward and make those claims only to not be accepted,” he said, declining to identify his alleged abuser. “My perpetrator was never caught … I had to live with that.”
by Sam Levin
Hollywood Full of ‘Organized’ Child Sex Abuse
For years I have talked about the epidemic of child sex crimes in Hollywood. When does the U.S. Department of Justice and the AG listen to the victims and indite male and female perpetrators of child rape?
Actor Elijah Wood claims that Hollywood’s entertainment industry is rife with sexual abuse of young boys and girls — and that senior figures within it have been protecting pedophiles for decades.
In an interview with the Sunday Times, the Lord of the Rings star — who began acting in Hollywood at age nine — claimed that “organized” sexual abuse of children has taken place in the entertainment industry and compared the situation to that of notorious British pedophile Jimmy Savile.
“You all grew up with Savile — Jesus, it must have been devastating,” Wood, 35, told theTimes, referring to the late BBC DJ who allegedly sexually abused more than 50 young boys and girls in the 1970s and 80s.
“There are a lot of vipers in this industry, people who only have their own interests in mind,” Wood added. “There is a darkness in the underbelly — if you can imagine it, it’s probably happened.”
Wood got his start at a young age in Hollywood with a breakout role as little Michael Kaye in the Barry Levinson-directed 1990 film Avalon. He went on to act throughout his childhood with roles in 90s movies Paradise, Radio Flyer and Flipper.
But Wood said he was spared the abuse that many other young actors his age were subjected to because his mother did not allow him to go to industry parties, where Hollywood power players regularly “preyed upon” children.
“If you’re innocent you have very little knowledge of the world and you want to succeed,” the actor told the Times. “People with parasitic interests will see you as their prey.”
The subject of rampant child sex abuse in Hollywood gained new attention last year following the release of the documentary An Open Secret. The film — directed by Oscar-nominated documentary filmmaker Amy Berg — features interview with former child star sex abuse victims including Corey Feldman and Todd Bridges.
The film was, perhaps unsurprisingly, not without controversy — it reportedly had to be re-cut after a man’s sexual assault accusations against X-Men director Bryan Singer were subsequently dropped in court. However, the film also examines allegations made against other high-level Hollywood executives including Marty Weiss, Michael Harrah and child talent manager Bob Villard, who represented a young Leonardo DiCaprio before pleading no contest to felony charges of committing a lewd act on a child in 2005.
In his interview with the Times, Wood said that young actors and actresses who are victims of sex abuse are often stifled, because they “can’t speak as loudly as people in power.”
“That’s the tragedy of attempting to reveal what is happening to innocent people,” he said. “They can be squashed but their lives have been irreparably damaged.”
This past weekend the Wall Street Journal published what I consider to be the most important op-ed of the 21st century. Due to its sensitive nature, Americans rarely hear about this subject. But they should.
The article, by James Taranto, is entitled “The Politicization of Motherhood,” and it centers on an interview with psychoanalyst Erica Komisar, whose new book “Being There: Why Prioritizing Motherhood in the First Three Years Matters,” makes the oh-so-obvious yet controversial argument that babies need their mothers.
As Komisar says in a video about her book, “Mothers are critically important to children in the first three years of life. [It] impacts their emotional well-being.”
For daring to write such a book, Komisar has received the inevitable backlash. After all, it’s taboo enough to suggest parents should stay home. It’s even more taboo to suggest that parent be Mom. Why? Because popular orthodoxy insists the sexes are interchangeable. That’s what the gender equality crowd believes, and it’s what they want everyone else to believe.
If you don’t agree with it (and you shouldn’t, because it isn’t true), you’ll be treated as a pariah. “I couldn’t get on NPR,” Komisar told Taranto. And, she adds, she was “rejected wholesale—particularly in New York—by the liberal press.”
Komisar did manage to get a spot on “Good Morning America;” but prior to the interview, host Lara Spencer made it clear to Komisar that she didn’t like her book and didn’t “believe in its premise.”
Well, of course she didn’t. Morning television is dominated by female producers and journalists, many of whom are married with kids. And as Bernard Goldberg wrote in “Bias,” “…those gals got a dog in this fight.” He adds, “America’s newsrooms are filled with women who drop their kids off someplace before they go to work or leave them at home with a nanny. These journalists are not just defending working mothers—they’re defending themselves!”
How rich I’d be if I had a dollar for every time I’ve run into this media bias. My first book, which was published 15 years ago (and was coincidentally re-released this year), is similar to Komisar’s in that I make a case for why a mother’s physical and emotional presence are vital to children, to families and to society as a whole. And I too was vilified in the media.
And yet my goal, aside from supporting the work mothers at home do, is no different from Komisar’s: “We don’t want the 50s to come back. What we do want is to be a child-centric society.”
Not the kind of child-centric society we have now, where children are coddled by well-meaning but overprotective parents.
The kind that puts the needs of children above the needs of adults.
Unfortunately, Komisar and I part ways on how to create such a society. As a political liberal, Komisar believes the answer is other people’s money. “All mothers and babies should have the right to be together in the first year,” she says. To do that, America needs maternity leave at full pay “and then flexibility to be together as much as possible for the next two years—meaning mothers should have the ability to work flexibly and part time.”
It is true that flexibility and part-time work become indispensable once children are older and in school all day, but it’s pointless in the first three years. The needs and demands of a baby, let alone a baby and a toddler, are simply too great to be able devote one’s attention to something else without everything falling apart.
Still, there is much Komisar gets right. Her case is particularly compelling because her work has been developed from “three decades’ experience treating families,” writes Taranto. And her conclusions are right on the mark—though admittedly, for some, are hard to hear.
“What I was seeing,” notes Komisar, “was an increase in children being diagnosed with ADHD and an increase in aggression in children, especially in boys, and an increase in depression in little girls.” She saw that the absence of mothers in children’s daily lives was “one of the triggers for these mental disorders.”
Addressing the effects of maternal absence is difficult enough on its own, but it’s impossible when, as Taranto points out, liberals—who, as we all know, dominate mainstream media—“won’t even acknowledge the problem.”
They won’t acknowledge it because they refuse to allow themselves, or anyone else, to feel guilty about the choices they’ve made—as if experiencing this emotion is tantamount to being tortured.
But it isn’t the end of the world to feel guilt. “My best patient is a patient who comes to me feeling guilty,” says Komisar. “Women who feel guilty—it’s a ‘signal’ feeling, that something’s wrong, that they’re in conflict. If they go talk to a therapist or deal with the conflict head-on, they often make different choices and better choices.”
And one of those choices, to prioritize baby care well in advance of its arrival, is a smart one. The only reason women don’t do this today is because we place so little value on motherhood. We don’t understand the significance of what goes on the early years and how indispensable mothers are to their babies. We don’t understand it because we refuse to look.
But the information is there for all who choose to see.
KEVIN, A 24-YEAR-OLD recent college graduate from Denver, wants to get married someday and is “almost 100% positive” that he will. But not soon, he says, “because I am not done being stupid yet. I still want to go out and have sex with a million girls.” He believes that he’s figured out how to do that:
“Girls are easier to mislead than guys just by lying or just not really caring. If you know what girls want, then you know you should not give that to them until the proper time. If you do that strategically, then you can really have anything you want…whether it’s a relationship, sex or whatever. You have the control.”
Kevin (not his real name) was one of 100 men and women, from a cross-section of American communities, that my team and I interviewed five years ago as we sought to understand how adults in their 20s and early 30s think about their relationships. He sounds like a jerk. But it’s hard to convince him that his strategy won’t work—because it has, for him and countless other men.
Marriage in the U.S. is in open retreat. As recently as 2000, married 25- to 34-year-olds outnumbered their never-married peers by a margin of 55% to 34%, according to the U.S. Census Bureau. By 2015, the most recent year for which data are available, those estimates had almost reversed, with never-marrieds outnumbering marrieds by 53% to 40%. Young Americans have quickly become wary of marriage.
Many economists and sociologists argue that this flight from marriage is about men’s low wages. If they were higher, the argument goes, young men would have the confidence to marry. But recent research doesn’t support this view. A May 2017 study from the National Bureau of Economic Research, focusing on regions enriched by the fracking boom, found that increased wages in those places did nothing to boost marriage rates. Another hypothesis blames the decline of marriage on men’s fear of commitment.
Maybe they just perceive marriage as a bad deal. But most men, including cads such as Kevin, still expect to marry. They eventually want to fall in love and have children, when their independence becomes less valuable to them. They are waiting longer, however, which is why the median age at marriage for American men has risen steadily and is now approaching 30.
The big changes: birth control and online porn.
My own research points to a more straightforward and primal explanation for the slowed pace toward marriage: For American men, sex has become rather cheap. As compared to the past, many women today expect little in return for sex, in terms of time, attention, commitment or fidelity. Men, in turn, do not feel compelled to supply these goods as they once did. It is the new sexual norm for Americans, men and women alike, of every age. This transformation was driven in part by birth control. Its widespread adoption by women in recent decades not only boosted their educational and economic fortunes but also reduced their dependence on men. As the risk of pregnancy radically declined, sex shed many of the social and personal costs that once encouraged women to wait.
These forces have been at work for more than a half-century, since the birth-control pill was invented in 1960, but it seems that our norms and narratives about sexual relationships have finally caught up with the technology. Data collected in 2014 for the “Relationships in America” project—a national survey of over 15,000 adults, ages 18 to 60, that I oversaw for the Austin Institute for the Study of Family and Culture—asked respondents when they first had sex in their current or most recent relationship. After six months of dating? After two? The most common experience—reported by 32% of men under 40—was having sex with their current partner before the relationship had begun. This is sooner than most women we interviewed would prefer.
The birth-control pill is not the only sexual technology that has altered expectations. Online porn has made sexual experience more widely and easily available too. A laptop never says no, and for many men, virtual women are now genuine competition for real partners. In the same survey, 46% of men (and 16% of women) under 40 reported watching pornography at some point in the past week—and 27% in the past day.
Many young men and women still aspire to marriage as it has long been conventionally understood—faithful, enduring, focused on raising children. But they no longer seem to think that this aspiration requires their discernment, prudence or self-control.
When I asked Kristin, a 29-year-old from Austin, whether men should make sacrifices to get sex, she offered a confusing prescription: “Yes. Sometimes. Not always. I mean, I don’t think it should necessarily be given out by women, but I do think it’s OK if a woman does just give it out. Just not all the time.”
Kristin rightly wants the men whom she dates to treat her well and to respect her interests, but the choices that she and other women have made unwittingly teach the men in their lives that such behavior is noble and nice but not required in order to sleep with them. They are hoping to find good men without supporting the sexual norms that would actually make men better.
For many men, the transition away from a mercenary attitude toward relationships can be difficult. The psychologist and relationship specialist Scott Stanley of the University of Denver sees visible daily sacrifices, such as accepting inconveniences in order to see a woman, as the way that men typically show their developing commitment. It signals the expectation of a future together. Such small instances of self-sacrificing love may sound simple, but they are less likely to develop when past and present relationships are founded on the expectation of cheap sex.
Young people in the U.S. continue to marry, even if later in life, but the number of those who never marry is poised to increase. In a 2015 article in the journal Demography, Steven Ruggles of the University of Minnesota predicted that a third of Americans now in their 20s will never wed, well above the historical norm of just below 10%.
Most young Americans still seek the many personal and social benefits that come from marriage, even as the dynamics of today’s mating market conspire against them. It turns out that a world in which it is possible to satisfy our sexual desires much more immediately carries with it a number of unhappy and unintended consequences.
Dr. Regnerus is an associate professor of sociology at the University of Texas at Austin. This essay is adapted from his new book, “Cheap Sex: The Transformation of Men, Marriage and Monogamy” (Oxford University Press).
The Monday decision means Sameer G. Thakar of Fishers, Ind., will face trial on one felony count of disseminating matter harmful to a minor, a charge originally dismissed last year.
A trial court dismissed the charges in May 2016 on the basis that the state’s dissemination statute was vague because the age of consent to sexual activity in Indiana is 16. The dismissal was upheld by the Indiana Court of Appeals in February and transferred to the Indiana Supreme Court this May.
The high court Monday said the law is not ambiguous.
“The Dissemination Statute clearly protects minors under the age of 18 from the dissemination of matter harmful to them,” Justice Mark S. Massa wrote in the unanimous opinion. “Whether this inconsistent statutory treatment of minors aged 16 and 17 is advisable with respect to sexually-related activity is a matter for the legislature, and whether Thakar’s alleged conduct violated the Dissemination Statute is a matter for the jury.”
Authorities say Thakar sent a nude picture of himself to an Oregon girl who he knew was only 16. The two had been chatting online from Jan. 20 to Feb. 12, 2014.
The FBI notified the Fishers Police Department of the incident.
Thakar admitted to Fishers police that he had a problem chatting online and said he knew why investigators were asking about the girl from Oregon, according to court documents.
In his legal defense, Thakar cited Salter v. State, in which the defendant argued that it was “patently illogical” that a man could legally expose himself to a consenting 16-year-old in person but not via photograph.
The court in that case held that the statute was unconstitutionally vague because the activity wouldn’t be considered “patently offensive to prevailing standards in the adult community as a whole with respect to what is suitable matter for or performance before minors,” which Massa said is a necessary element of the definition “harmful to minors” under state law.
But in the opinion issued Monday, all five Indiana justices agreed that the state’s dissemination statue was clear in its terms.
Massa wrote in his opinion that the dissemination statue and the consent statute can be followed at the same time.
“With respect to a 16-year-old, consensual sexual activity in person is permitted, the dissemination of a sexually-explicit photograph (consensually or otherwise) is not,” he wrote.
Messages left with Thakar’s attorneys Tuesday afternoon were not immediately returned.
USA Today Contributing: Justin Mack, The Indianapolis Star.
An Alabama judge has ruled this week that a state law criminalizing teacher-student sex is unconstitutional — and dismissed charges against a teacher and aide accused of having relations with their students, according to local media.
The law, created in 2010, prohibits school employees from having sex with students under 19 — and violators could be charged with a Class B felony, carrying a punishment of up to 20 years behind bars, the site reported. The law requires those convicted to register as sex offenders — and consent is not a defense.
But defense attorneys have argued that the law violates teachers’ equal protection right under the 14th Amendment, because it treats teachers and other school employees differently than other citizens, the outlet reported. In Alabama, other adults who have consensual sex with 16-year-olds do not face criminal prosecution.
“The Court finds this statute unconstitutional as applied to these defendants,” Thompson wrote in his order, according to AL.com. “In finding so, this court does not endeavor to absolve any wrongdoing or to excuse the defendants. Moreover, the court does not encourage any similarly situated party to engage with impunity in what may very well be criminal behavior.”
Witt, 43, a history, psychology and social studies teacher who also coached girls’ golf and junior varsity cheer, was charged with two counts of a school employee having sex with a student in March of 2016, the outlet reported.
She is accused of having sex with a male student who was 17 when the relationship started and another male student who was 18, authorities said.
Solomon, 26, was fired later that month after his arrest on one count of a school employee having sex with a student.
He is accused of having sex with a 17-year-old female student whom he met on Facebook, police said.
Judges have been asked to dismiss the charges in other similar cases on unconstitutionality grounds, but have neglected to do so, AL.com reported.
“We’ve already been in touch with the [Attorney General’s] Office and they are going to handle the appeal, which is typical when a state statute is attacked on a constitutional basis,” Morgan County District Attorney Scott Anderson told the outlet.