In the vidchat of November 10, 2023, Dr. Farrell @vardas3 remarked that he’d be interested to hear Giza members’ opinions on the following questions:
Why is finding a spouse so difficult these days?
Why are so many marriages unhappy?
Why is there such a high divorce rate?
Why is there a falling birthrate?
I’ll take a stab at it. I don’t know much about traditional relationships, but I’ve definitely noticed and thought a lot about changes in how people meet, treat each other, and approach dating, relationships, and marriage. So, in no particular order:
Reason #1: Decline of religion and everything traditional
This is the obvious one. I’m observing it from the outside, yet it’s clear to me. Looking at the state of the Western world, I’m more and more persuaded that some traditional values are indispensable to a well-ordered society.
I’d say traditional values about respecting commitments need to be restored: respect of one’s commitments in general, but especially commitments to one’s relationship, spouse, and children. When it comes to sexual matters and marriage between adults, I believe deviation from the norm should be tolerated and not persecuted. However, a functional society has to be organized around the norm, or the majority. That’s consistent with the principle of majority rule with reasonable protection of minorities’ rights – the cornerstone of the American form of government, or so I thought. Today’s woke nutjobs, and the politicians who pander to them, are trying to make small minorities the main focus of society and the overriding basis for public policy. That just doesn’t work.
I’m not best placed to comment on the decline of religion. Clearly, though, adherence to religious beliefs did create a respect for marriage, which has declined dramatically.
Reason #2: Demonization of (heterosexual) men
I wasn’t around when the feminist movement first got going strong, and I never thought much about it. I won’t let that stop me from speculating: I suspect there is/was a radical type of feminism that’s little more than the politicization of some people’s personal animus toward men. The time when feminism came into vogue may be when the demonization of men started. I’d have thought “equality” meant equal treatment of – and mutual respect between – men and women, not hatred of one for the other . . .
More recently, the notions of “toxic masculinity” and (allegedly rampant) “rape culture” somehow became fashionable. Of course, there are abusive men and rapes, but I’ve never had the impression these had reached epidemic levels or become the norm. Yet it seems an inordinate number of women now live in fear that every heterosexual man is a likely predator. In some cases, a man merely looking at a woman or initiating a conversation with her is seen as aggression. That atmosphere is hardly conducive to finding spouses.
Now, imagine boys and young men growing up surrounded by the message that, if they’re heterosexual, they’re basically monsters. Where that’s happening, a lot of men are going to end up feeling awful about themselves, about masculinity, and about being and acting male. They’re going to have a severe lack of self-confidence, which is neither attractive nor conducive to taking the initiative to ask a woman out on a date.
Reason #3: Technology
I’ll put birth-control pills, other forms of contraception, and abortion in this category. Regardless of one’s opinion on these things, they’re an obvious cause of declining birth rates.
Now, a perhaps less obvious issue: the internet and smartphones. There are cases where people have met the love of their life online. However, these technologies have also had a negative effect on dating and relationships.
Online communication has drastically diminished face-to-face interaction. This has had several deleterious effects, too numerous to rehearse here. But, for one thing, it’s now common for people to initially “meet” online, via a website or smartphone app. These mediums have transformed dating into the equivalent of an online shopping session, wherein any individual is but one product among hundreds of others you can scroll through. In the same way you might expect to go online and find the perfect new piece of furniture – one that’s exactly the right color, size, material, and price for you – many people have the unrealistic expectation of finding their ideal companion online. They are then unwilling to make overtures to anyone who appears less than absolutely perfect.
Massive amounts of easily available online porn have also gotten men used to effortlessly obtaining their every fantasy. They now expect reality to conform to fantasy. I’m hardly a puritan, but once again, even I can see this leads to unrealistic expectations and dissatisfaction with the reality of dating and marriage.
Reason #4: Economic incentives
Nowadays, you’re lucky if two jobs can support two people. In a family, both parents usually have to work. Extended families don’t stick together like they used to, so it’s not expected that Grandma or Aunt So-and-So will watch the kids while the parents are at work. Aunt So-and-So is probably away at work all day herself. Feminism went from freeing women from the home to chaining them to their job – whether they want it or not. Daycare costs a fortune. All this adds up to a strong economic disincentive to having children.
Another economic disincentive to getting married and having children is the legal system. I think a lot of men see marriage and children as a risk not worth taking: they fear that, in case of divorce, the court will automatically side with the woman, and the man will end up economically worse off. That’s not to mention the other complications involved in a divorce, such as child custody issues.
Reason #5: An unhealthy, unhappy society
American society is unhealthy, mentally and physically. Drug abuse is widespread. The medical system often keeps people sick. Many are stressed by economic problems or by their (one or more) jobs. We’re blasted with negative messages from the propatainment media on a daily basis. For these and other reasons, many people are unhappy and unhealthy; unhappy, unhealthy people don’t form happy marriages. Also, sperm counts are declining for some reason, and this must be having an effect on birthrates.
Reason #6: The Malthusian cult
More and more indoctrinated kids and limousine liberals are buying into the narrative that humans are a cancer on the planet. The anti-humanity cult, so beloved of our Malthusian elites, has progressed so far that people are guilt-tripped into thinking it’s immoral to bring children into the world. There’s another contributor to the falling birthrate.