Posted on | January 6, 2016 | 35 Comments
Melissa Braunstein (@slowhoneybee on Twitter) is one of the handful of conservatives — along with Christina Hoff Sommers and Ashe Schow — who work the feminism beat on a full-time basis. She has an excellent article at The Federalist about the A&E series “Married at First Sight”:
Jann Gumbiner, a licensed psychologist and clinical professor at the University of California, Irvine College of Medicine, watched her own parents divorce when she was young. She wrote on Psychology Today’s blog:
Psychological theory of the 70s was heavily influenced by Maslow and self-actualization theory. People believed that it was OK to get divorced for self-growth. It was OK for parents to leave families to pursue a dream of happiness.This is selfish, plain and simple.
It’s now-grown children like Gumbiner that we see on “Married at First Sight.” These 20- and 30-somethings may be professionally successful, but emotionally speaking, they are the walking wounded.
In recent decades, boys have been told that they must not be overtly masculine, let alone chivalrous, because that would be sexist. American girls, meanwhile, have been taught that they must be strong and assertive, and that they don’t need a man.
Now, a woman doesn’t need a man, but she might want one in her life. While assertiveness can be a net positive, there must be room for compromise, because most of us find long-term happiness in complementary, caring relationships. But when young people enact this guidance, it doesn’t always play out happily.
Consider the latest season of “Married at First Sight.” . . . The six current “Married at First Sight” participants — all millennials — were plucked from 2,500 Atlanta-area singles, underscoring the widespread appeal of reality TV participation. . . .
Notably, five of the six singles participating this season saw their parents split by the time they were in high school. Divorce can have a long-lasting impact on children,including on their health.
Dr. Beverly Rodgers, founder of Adult Children of Divorce Parents and counselor for married couples from divorced families, said that many of her clients explain they feel ‘an overwhelming sense of doom’ about their relationships. A major consequence of this, she said, these children often have trouble trusting romantic partners in their adult lives because ‘trust could leave them feeling duped or foolish, in the same way that one or both parents felt in their own divorce.’
Of course, many children of divorce grow up to be emotionally healthy. However, some of the newlyweds here are uneasy with vulnerability and trust. Whether that’s related to the toxicity of their parents’ marriage, fall-out from the divorce, or an X-factor isn’t clarified, but surely that history haunts these new unions.
Read the whole thing. (Hat-tip: Instapundit.) Distrust, hostility, fear of commitment — if you’ve ever encountered one of these “walking wounded” victims of parental divorce, you know exactly what she’s talking about. The first generation of these victims were the so-called “Generation X” kids born in the late 1960s and ’70s. Many of them became parents in the 1990s, and divorced, and so now you have a lot of 20-somethings whose parents and grandparents are divorced. Breaking the cycle of marital failure may be very difficult for such people.
Related: Wednesday, I spent a lot of time researching Professor Sandra Bem, a pioneer of feminist gender theory and author of the widely cited 1993 book The Lenses of Gender: Transforming the Debate on Sexual Inequality. I’ll write more about her later, but what is important to know is that, for decades, she and her husband, Professor Daryl Bem, were leading advocates of “egalitarian marriage” and “gender-neutral parenting.” After hours of researching, I came across a quote from Sandra Bem’s 1998 book An Unconventional Family.
— Robert Stacy McCain (@rsmccain) January 6, 2016
This is significant, I think. What is suggested by the fact that this celebrated feminist “egalitarian marriage” ultimately failed, and that both spouses then entered homosexual relationships? And how do you suppose the experiment in gender-neutral parenting turned out?
— Robert Stacy McCain (@rsmccain) January 7, 2016