Latest posts  
  1:10:53 PM


Feminism through the life cycle

tags : Betty Friedan, feminism, work-life balance

In the Introduction to the tenth anniversary edition of The Feminine Mystique, Betty Friedan wrote, “It’s frightening when you’re starting on a new road that no one has been on before. You don’t know how far it’s going to take you until you look back and realize how far, how very far you’ve gone.”

Indeed. Forty years after that statement and 50 years after the publication of The Feminine Mystique, the road that Friedan embarked upon has led women to places they have never been before—entering the workforce and academia in ever-higher numbers, yes, but also historically low fertility rates, no-fault divorce, and abortion on demand. The emotional consequences for women have not been rosy. Stevenson and Wolfers report that, in spite of the fact that all objective measures of women’s happiness have risen, both women’s subjective well-being and their well-being relative to men have fallen since the 1970s. For the first time in the last 35 years, men report higher levels of happiness than do women.

Friedan’s diagnosis of “the problem… click here to read whole article and make comments

  12:25:22 PM


The other problem that has no name

tags : Betty Friedan, feminism, masculinity

In 1963, Betty Friedan named the problem. The opening chapter of her Feminine Mystique is aptly titled, “The Problem That Has No Name.” There Friedan verbalized what countless housewives thought and felt but did not know how to say: the American dream was a disappointment for women. Marriage, children, a house in the suburbs full of modern conveniences—all these trappings of success failed to satisfy the deeply human yearnings of women. The trappings were, she argued, traps; the middle-class home, a “concentration camp” where women were held captive by a culture that expected them to find fulfillment in their families while secluding themselves from the ambitions of the university and the workplace.

With the problem thus named (and the Nazi metaphor apologetically retracted), Friedan volunteered a solution. If the “feminine mystique” reduced a woman’s identity to the categories of wife and mother, then the first step toward liberation would be to envision a woman’s life course as independent from both her husband and her children. Marriage and childbearing would have to… click here to read whole article and make comments

  10:56:04 PM


"Privacy is for paedos"

tags : journalism, Leveson Inquiry, media, privacy

Nearly a hundred recommendations have been made by Lord Leveson to put some ethical backbone in Britain’s brash, sometimes corrupt and often sleazy press. The 1,800 page report is an encyclopaedia of the dark arts of yellow journalism: phone hacking, lurid sensationalism, covert surveillance, blagging, door-stepping, harassment, a reckless disregard for accuracy…  

But the core of his concerns is privacy. The News of the World, the tabloid which Rupert Murdoch closed down as a response to public outrage over revelations that some of its journalists hacked into the phone of the murdered Millie Dowling, was stupendously, incredibly, horrendously expert at invading the privacy of celebrities.

Exhibit A in these abuses was veteran tabloid journalist Paul McMullan (see video above). He was so proud of his craft and so eager to display it to the Inquiry that he was requested to curb his torrent of stories and pictures. Mr McMullen is an extraordinary raconteur, a rogue so colourful that his testimony cries out to heaven for a film to bring him to the picture theatres. (Hugh Grant looks a bit like him and would do an excellent job.)

Lord Leveson quoted McMullan’s musings on privacy… click here to read whole article and make comments

  2:16:58 PM


Shoot first, aim later

tags : abortion, Ireland, media ethics

In trawling for ideas for regulating Britain’s unruly press, the head of the government inquiry, Lord Leveson, pinched a few ideas from Ireland. Its Press Council offered, he thought, a reasonably sophisticated system for maintaining standards of fairness and balance in its media.

But the Press Council hasn’t stopped the Irish press from being incredibly unfair and slanted in its coverage of the death of Savita Halappananvar. Without a minimum of professional integrity no regulatory system will be fool-proof against this kind of abuse.

The Irish Times headline “Woman 'denied a termination' dies in hospital” on November 14 ignited an international firestorm. The story became the best-read article in the newspaper’s history. Media around the world condemned Ireland’s “backward” no-abortion policy.

The story which generated this frenzy is now beginning to unravel – but there have been no mea culpas from Ireland’s blinkered press.

Kitty Holland, the journalist who broke the news, has admitted at least twice that her narrative was misleading and that she had papered over the ambiguity and uncertainty about the facts of Savita’s illness and death.

Not that she has been shy about admitting it. Only three days… click here to read whole article and make comments

  2:01:41 PM


Leveson is all about politics

tags : British press, David Cameron, Leveson Inquiry

leveson puppets

Photo: EPA/Andy Rain

The good Lord Leveson has certainly set the cat among both the press and political pigeons. His elegantly crafted proposal for establishing a self-regulatory regime for the press, backed by statutory under-pinning (which could have satisfied both sides of the statutory/self regulation divide) has come up against the harsh realities of Westminster’s realpolitik.

After eight months of hearings, Lord Leveson and his team have produced a 2,000-page report containing a wide range of recommendations; but the main issue is what form of regulation, if any, is appropriate for the British press for its “take no prisoners” approach to newsgathering.

All sides agree that the practices of some newspapers – phone hacking, harassment and intrusions of privacy – were totally unacceptable and need to be controlled. However, the newspapers, and their allies, claim that these offences are all unlawful and should be dealt with by the police and courts, without the need for any government-imposed regulator. “Leave us to regulate ourselves with the police as back-up” cry the press proprietors.

Those on the other side of the argument point to the fact that five times since World… click here to read whole article and make comments

  3:50:53 PM


How Obama won -- and what it means for America

tags : 2012 elections, Barack Obama

Headlines everywhere the day after the 2012 election claimed that the single issue motivating voters was the economy. But if that were the case, Barack Obama would not have won.

The past four years have been an economic disaster, with unprecedented government spending on stimulus efforts that failed miserably, chronic unemployment bedeviled by more people dropping off the rolls when they gave up looking for work, higher numbers of people without homes and relying on food stamps, small businesses unable to grow or hire because banks wouldn’t lend and government wouldn’t get off their backs with regulations, gas prices doubling and food prices rising.

Those headlines were wrong. President Obama won re-election because of an astounding, slick, savvy and highly successful ground game and campaign geniuses who ran that machine like General Patton and his divisions ran a military campaign. Credit is due where it is earned, and the Obama team blew away even the top pundits who never saw it coming, through Election Day itself. It was Obama’s shock and awe.

It wasn’t the economy that delivered. It was demographics. Sheer, simple, brilliantly executed machine politics crafted to get out the vote… click here to read whole article and make comments

  3:02:30 PM


Wisdom from Massachusetts

tags : 2016 elections, assisted suicide, Harvard, Massachusetts

One positive lesson from Tuesday night is that assisted suicide should be struck from the progressive agenda. While voters re-elected Barack Obama, added two Democrat senators, elected an openly-lesbian senator in Wisconsin, supported or legalised same-sex marriage in four states, and legalised recreational cannabis in Colorado and Washington, in the playground of progressive politics, Massachusetts, they rejected physician-assisted suicide.

Question 2 on the ballot asked whether a doctor should be allowed to prescribe a lethal drug to end the life of a terminally ill person. This is already legal in Oregon and Washington on the West Coast. If assisted suicide had gained a beachhead on the East Coast, it would have been taken up quickly throughout New England.

But voters rejected it by 51 percent to 49 percent.

The narrow margin does not convey the success of the No campaign. As late as mid-September, a Suffolk University poll found that 64 percent of voters favoured legalising assisted suicide. The cause seemed lost.

What turned voters around? Four factors seem to have been at work.

First, disability activists were strongly opposed. They feared that legalised assisted suicide would put pressure on them to take an early… click here to read whole article and make comments

  2:39:01 PM


The coming social Frankenstorm

tags : 2012 elections, Barack Obama, same-sex marriage


Cartoon by MeAndFolly

As the destructive roar of Hurricane Sandy dwindled and died last week, leaving Americans along the Atlantic coast facing colossal damage, the climate change alarm bells could be heard in all their urgency. Warming oceans and melting ice caps could have played a decisive role in creating the “Frankenstorm” that claimed 100 lives, left hundreds homeless and will cost $60 billion to repair. “Now will they listen?” the global warming pundits demanded of the sceptics.

This week the alarms are sounding again for many Americans, but it’s nothing to do with continuing stormy weather. The cause does, however, have a lot to do with ecology: human ecology -- the integrity of the human being who is both matter and spirit and the conditions under which he or she may thrive and contribute to genuine social progress.

On Tuesday just over half of US voters put Barack Obama back in the White House. This is a president who supports abortion and free contraception as women’s rights, who has declared support for same-sex “marriage”; whose last campaign ad propositioned the youth vote with the sultry line, “If… click here to read whole article and make comments

  11:09:49 AM


The role model

tags : 2012 elections, Barack Obama, China, same-sex marriage

In the lead up to the US presidential election most Chinese didn’t see a substantial difference between Barack Obama and Mitt Romney. In both rhetoric and substance they were seen as much of a muchness. Sure, Mitt Romney had spooked Chinese punters when he promised to label China a “currency manipulator” on his first day in office. And Obama trumped that when he stopped a Chinese wind turbine manufacturer from establishing a wind farm in Oregon because of national security concerns over its proximity to a naval base.

But few Chinese paid too much attention to this anti-Chinese posturing. A common refrain here was “China is just a scapegoat of the US election. To win the election the candidates need an enemy to blame and attack for all that’s wrong in America; but once the election is over it will be back to business as usual.”

In a business sense Romney, despite his currency manipulator charge, was seen as more positively disposed to China. Obama’s claim that the Republican contender had exported American jobs to China was seen as a commitment to globalization and open markets.

Nonetheless,… click here to read whole article and make comments

  9:09:47 AM


More caution in foreign policy

tags : 2012 elections, foreign policy, Stratfor

The United States held elections last night, and nothing changed. Barack Obama remains president. The Democrats remain in control of the Senate with a non-filibuster-proof majority. The Republicans remain in control of the House of Representatives.

The national political dynamic has resulted in an extended immobilization of the government. With the House -- a body where party discipline is the norm -- under Republican control, passing legislation will be difficult and require compromise. Since the Senate is in Democratic hands, the probability of it overriding any unilateral administrative actions is small. Nevertheless, Obama does not have enough congressional support for dramatic new initiatives, and getting appointments through the Senate that Republicans oppose will be difficult.

There is a quote often attributed to Thomas Jefferson: "That government is best which governs the least because its people discipline themselves." I am not sure that the current political climate is what was meant by the people disciplining themselves, but it is clear that the people have imposed profound limits on this government. Its ability to continue what is already being done has not been curbed, but its ability to do much that is new has been… click here to read whole article and make comments


Page 1 of 10 :  1 2 3 >  Last ›

about this blog | Bookmark and Share

Search this blog

 Recent Posts

 MercatorNet blogs
Book Reviews: Reading Matters
Population issues: Demography is Destiny
Style and culture: Tiger Print
Family social policy: Family Edge
US political scene: Sheila Liaugminas
Just B16 : Just B16
News about bioethics: BioEdge
From the editors : Conniptions

 From MercatorNet's home page

A defence of the classic virtues
30 Jul 2015
Will virtue outlive the habits of religion?

What makes a violent extremist?
29 Jul 2015
ISIS videos and hate preachers. Anything else?

Quantum geopolitics
29 Jul 2015
Can the lessons of modern physics help forecast our geopolitical future?

Stop killer robots before they are built
28 Jul 2015
We need to stop an arms race in a lethal technology before it is too late.

What causes this terrorist scourge?
27 Jul 2015
Militant Muslim extremists must be confronted intellectually as well as militarily.

media, advertising, human ecology, Devil, historical fiction, USA, Doctor Who, embryonic stem cell research, Millennials, Pussy Riot, health care reform, social cohesion, George R.R. Martin, Pope John Paul II, public debate, formation, NGV, disaster preparedness, Anders Behring Breivik, abuse, bureaucracy, Google, binge drinking, United Kingdom, dictatorships, war, frozen embryos, Down syndrome, generosity, psychiatry, hypersexualized culture, history of abortion, warming hiatus, microcredit, sport, U S Constitution, Woody Allen, RadioShack, violence, Flannery O'Connor, criminal justice, First Amendment, Planned Parenthood, Obamacare, fasting, Queen Elizabeth II, Ground Zero, PVS, Florida, science, dhimmitude, David Cameron, women's issues, human dignity, internet, sexual difference, fertility industry, work-life balance, childlessness, immortality, American founding principles, prison, parenthood, Pius XII, computing, DSM-5, film, Cold War, Guantanamo Bay, apostasy, gun control, scientific research, Royal baby, Steve Jobs, Los Angeles, hospitals, stay-at-home Mom, political science, sti's, Taliban, electronic records, recession, movies. summer, agnosticism, tennis, Digital communications, Al Gore, Robert Mugabe, tyranny, safe sex, archeology, reproductive health, Love and Fidelity Network, Ireland, social psychology, Middle East, Freedom of speech, broken families, moral complicity, sin, end-of-life care, men's liberation, Religious Practice, self-control, Ann Coulter, genderless parenting, jihadi youths, US foreign policy, blasphemy, Muslim-Christian dialogue, European identity, Christians, fashion, dating sites, genetics, right to choose, sportsmanship, Women Deliver, demographic dividend, abortion-breast cancer link, prostitution, family, political theory, mental illness, New Family Structures Study, Australia, biotechnology, gender identity, futurists, Falun Gong, arms race, recreational sex, donor offspring, survival stories, brain research, Palestine, US State Department, show business, Martin Luther King Jr, Roman banquets, physics, 007, Winston Churchill, carbon fast, third party reproduction, Britannia, colors, Conrad Black, DNA profiling, NATO, corporal punishment, women writers, Hollywood, martyrdom, lists, environmentalism, Agassi, technology use, GDP, Catholic, paediatricians, presumption of innocence, scientific method, Rhode Island, cars, Steven Pinker, jazz, rule of law, education of children, Russia, Pakistan, Nobel Peace Prize, horror, Tony Blair, sustainability, propaganda, G.K. Chesterton, criminology, idealism, family law, shootings, investment, same-sex marriage referendum, Confucius, taxation, population control, Catalonia, Philip Nitschke, vaccination, unemployment, Robert Schuman, Border security, singularity, healthcare mandate, biology determinism, health, Robert Edwards, Renaissance, Pike River Mine, Crispr, Catholic Worker, ethnic wars, pollution, Hiroshima, transgenderism, MOOCs, global financial crisis, right to know, community organizing, Anglican Church, romantic fiction, Spain, UK, British press, Hitler, Jimmy Carter, locked-in syndrome, Boy Scouts, Dalai Lama, government, Muslims, human enhancement, Defense of Marriage Act, felon voting rights, syria, Haiti, handwriting, Aboriginal Australia, State of the Union address, Mitt Romney campaign, suicide, Mormons, girls, LGBT activism, drug abuse, human nature, slippery slope, hacking, Laudato si', athletics, Korea, advance directives, Romania, young adult, remittances, organ trafficking, American Medical Association, London riots, Mozart, welfare state, balance of power, Evangelical Christians, Sahel, General Motors, ethics of warfare, Dignitarian of the Year, Richard Dawkins, work, NASA, TV, Vladimir Putin, Flanders Fields, dystopia, Osama bin Laden, privacy, family values, bioethics, right-wing politics, face veil, free speech, Canada, debt crisis, Tiger Woods, selfie, identity politics, The Wolverine, harm minimisation, Bill Gates, Institute for American Values, J.K. Rowling, personhood, marriage debate, zombies, John Maynard Keynes, Dwight Eisenhower, miscarriage, fraud, date rape, Stanley Fish, frozen berries, Magna Carta, consumerism, enhanced interrogation techniques, public policy debates, gender stereotypes, atomic bomb, targeted assassination, paedophilia, abortion tourism, labour laws, Estrela report, Lord of the Rings, Eurozone, transsexuals, Catholic faith, European Parliament, Stieg Larsson, child abuse, war on drugs, population density, stress, FOCA, surveillance, Gen Y, 20-somethings, abstinence, J D Salinger, perinatal death, pill, ethics of lying, obituaries, virtual reality, post-industrial economy, infanticide, personal testimony, politics, commencement address, newspapers, choice, happiness, Kurdistan, manners, drug legalization, SATs, PTSD, Copenhagen, photojournalists, World War II, freedom of conscience, El Sistema, Dreyfus affair, Piergiorgio Odifreddi, teaching, human exceptionalism, dating app, Napoleon, sex abuse crisis, empathy, Henrietta Lacks, Jewish medical ethics, gamete donation, cross, entertainment, rape, Qur'an, alcohol, Sandy Hook school shootings, social science, economic crisis, market economy, minorities, Boko Haram, Jesuits, 2014, teen movies, gambling, exploitation, Rohingya, World Cup, literacy, euthansia for children, job creation, Rousseau, dating, family planning, Yemen, Nobel Prize for Economics, donor anonymity, Japan, debate, liberal education, social commentary, teenagers, Reel Love Challenge, cheerfulness, social stratification, Arizona, to kill a mockingbird, Jesus, responsible parenthood, Soviet Union, startups, science fiction, blue states, elitism, Chen Guangcheng, Chilean miners rescue, nationalism, assisted reproductive technology, workforce, silence, inter-religious dialogue, John F. Kennedy, Global Financial Crisis, organ transplants, Iraqi Christians, law and morality, Catholic social teaching, patriarchy, gender equality, Washington Post, Time magazine, nationhood, Immigration, child poverty, email, Ferrero, gender violence, Latin America, cycling, Iceland, commercials, online education, women's rights, over-population, female genital mutilation, 1989, social unrest, baseball, orthodoxy, space program, British politics, siblings, Senate, divorce, Nobel Prize, birth control, egg freezing, population decline, stem cell research, character, Christian, infectious diseases, cohabitation, The Piano Guys, unborn child, utilitarianism, Auschwitz, lobbyists, slavery, adoption, genetic determinism, jihadists, incest, civility, moral values, commercialization, sharia, safe schools, war on terror, quality of life, Notre Dame de Paris, oil industry, Anscombe Society, franchise, egoism, media neglect, Lee Kwan Yew, film reviews, death, Cory Aquino, Richard III, sex abuse, counselling, 3-D printing, individualism, sex selection, Church of England, capital punishment, The Hobbit, iPhone, innovation, Syria conflict, Amnesty, marketing, pro-life, contraception, social inclusion, Religious Freedom Restoration Act, turkey, US Presidency, mothers, secularisation, atom bomb, British Commonwealth, malaria, John Stuart Mill, intergenerational equity, healthcare, prostate cancer,
Follow MercatorNet
subscribe to newsletter
Sections and Blogs
Family Edge
Sheila Reports
Reading Matters
Demography Is Destiny
Conniptions (the editorial)
contact us
our ideals
our People
Mercator who?
partner sites
audited accounts
advice for writers
New Media Foundation
Suite 12A, Level 2
5 George Street
North Strathfield NSW 2137
+61 2 8005 8605
skype: mercatornet
© New Media Foundation 2015 | powered by Encyclomedia | designed by Elleston