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

  11:56:04 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

  3:16:58 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

  3:01:41 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

  4:50:53 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

  4:02:30 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

  3:39:01 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

  12:09:49 PM


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

  10:09:47 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

Making the case for a new Olympics model
5 Aug 2016
The burden is just too much for a single city to bear

A vote’s consequences and a voter’s conscience
5 Aug 2016
Thoughtful Americans are caught between a rock and a hard place in the upcoming election

How the West failed in the war on terror in the Middle East
4 Aug 2016
An Australian counter-insurgency expert admits that there is no simple solution

Why the LGBT community should embrace its inner Donald
3 Aug 2016
They have far more in common than you might think

Sitting out this hand
2 Aug 2016
A philosopher argues that it is not possible for him to vote for either candidate for president in the US…

dating, infanticide, Silicon Valley, Whole Foods, population aging, digital communications, Catholic social teaching, Magna Carta, European values, quality of life, Mark Zuckerberg, moral complicity, international, The Wolverine, Iraq, Islam, Common Core, war correspondents, prisons, Nobel peace prize, disaster preparedness, sexual behaviour, Nancy Wake, responsible parenthood, Orthodox Church, Battle of the Somme, abuse crisis, warming hiatus, Jewish medical ethics, solidarity, Taliban, WHO, Dark Ages, history of ideas, education standards, emerging adults, faith, bureaucracy, PGD, Grit, minimum wage, LARC, transsexuality, European Court of Human Rights, novels, therapy, head transplants, fairy tales, Star Trek, graphic images, Nigeria, John Paul II, genetic screening, gender stereotypes, morality and law, New Horizons, obituaries, neuroscience, US v. Windsor, boys, fertility rates, ANZAC Day, marxism, relativism, prison, Christmas, Middle America, celebrities, Paris Climate Agreement, Roman banquets, neurolaw, formation, Latinos, corporate social responsibility, saviour siblings, Italy, weapons, psychiatry, rampage shooting, Christian churches, Tasmania, Benedict Option, abortion-breast cancer link, teenage pregnancy, public heath, polio eradication, John Kerry, Devil, Renaissance, publishing, argument, disasters, Elena Kagan, Thailand, harm minimisation, John Maynard Keynes, cosmology, terrorism, remittances, John Mackey, engineering, purity, hospitals, social media, vilification, racial prejudice, Millennium Development Goals, girls, confectionery, corporal punishment, corruption, Marriage, linguistics, homophobia, Julian Savulescu, politicians, spyware, fertility industry, mothers, Nazi, Little Sisters of the Poor, Pope Pius XII, female circumcision, Lord of the Rings, Chick-fil-A, ethics of warfare, entertainment media, natural disasters, Pius XII, yuppies, rights of the child, commercialism, Liu Xiaobo, British Commonwealth, delayed motherhood, selfishness, American history, harm minimization, women, private ownership, DOMA, citizenship, social unrest, Defense of Marriage Act, US history, hyperovulation, crime, rationalism, voting, Anglican Church, SCOTUS, HIV, recycling, neural lace, Nelson Mandela, birth rates, voter enthusiasm, religious roots, FBI, google, job creation, Israel, Sarah Murnaghan, Bible, melancholy, conservatism, franchise, university, Palestine, cleaning, children and technology, ICC, identity, United Kingdom, public schools system, technology use, G8, having it all, Iraq War, minarets, information technology, miscarriage, opening sentences, terrorist, secular humanism, laïcité, human enhancement, libertarianism, George Orwell, Middle East Christians, Latin, consent, digital images, burqa, business, holidays, labour laws, Massachusetts, WW II, status of women, biography, MercatorNet, Notre Dame, Ground Zero, childcare, four temperaments, Polish plane crash, child wellbeing, abortion-mental health link, HPV, World War I, Gaza, Women Deliver, French-Canadians, gender, infertility, gender-reassignment surgery, adoption, technology, list, Father's Day, family values, bigotry, Church, Spain, egg donation, Gothic, dating sites, orphans, transsexuals, character education, money, Reformation, Emily Mudd, pornography, hypersexualized culture, war, aspiration abortion, wind power, Jeremy Bentham, anarchy, fetal alcohol syndrome, economics, blasphemy, online shopping, colors, global catastrophes, neurology, Jewish-Christian relations, family policy, teenagers, asylum seekers, art, Mother Teresa, shootings, ideology, materialism, atheism, IPCC, radicalism, Latin America, Nothern Ireland, Sarah Palin, Chilean miners rescue, UN peacekeeping force, demographic decline, birth control, child poverty, Muslim children, genetic disorders, athletics, British values, hung parliament, stress, public debate, character, Border security, Peter Jackson, research ethics, children's rights, La Sagrada Familia, Dignitas, Islamic extremism, bestiality, singularity, Piergiorgio Odifreddi, eternal life, youth, euthansia for children, spying, hashtags, racial equality, clash of civilizations, Falun Gong, future of Europe, living alone, consumerism, Lebanon, right to die, Vietnam, malaria, poverty, violence, iPad, Philadelphia, embryo, immigration reform, child abuse, chemical weapons, brain, Harry Potter, superstition, The Economist, Enviropig, civility, moral values, surrogacy, leadership, health insurance, biological determinism, Mars, God, stem cell research, moral ecology, Scotland, Nazi euthanasia programme, unsafe abortion, massacres, family culture, supermarkets, same-sex parenting, DNA testing, adolescent sexuality, individualism, trolls, Biden, organ transplant, Millennials, New York Times, sex and society, blood donation, social science, Saudi Arabia, encryption, espionage, Greece, British National Party, dinosaurs, Reel Love Challenge, demography, Sweden, date rape, sex-selective abortion, Syria conflict, summer reading, multitasking, UN, no-fault divorce, nuclear power, community organizing, Los Angeles, International Women's Day, assassination, Judeo-Christian ethics, Iran, culture of death, culture of excess, Virginia, hate speech, economic growth, Libya, Herodotus, marketing, Guardian, New Zealand, workforce, dignitarian, Conrad Black, Charlie Hebdo, Finland, food wastage, J.K. Rowling, human cloning, Venezuela, Churchill, environment, Condoleezza Rice, LGBT, theology, carbon emissions, Ngo Dinh Diem, ordination of women, Barack Obama, secular ideology, Islamic State, values, Europe, global warming, Kony 2012, liberal arts, gay health, midwives, book lists, obedience, Doctor Who, State Department, Arizona, Nikola Tesla, boxoffice, non-violence, freedom of speech, Trisomy 18, Brave New World, Arab world, evolution, consciousness, corporate culture, cloning, gender identity, ordinary life, polls, young adult fiction, migration, foreign affairs, prostate cancer, gender dysphoria, Star Wars, nuclear proliferation, yellow journalism, memoirs, twins, definition of marriage, Anthony Trollope, paraolympics, pluralism, RU486, Justin Trudeau, Supreme Court marriage rulings, US State Department, ageing population, Arizona shootings, reconcilation, ethical thinking, lying, Sustainable Development Goals, mifepristone, innovation, Elizabeth II, child labour, Ray Kurzweil, gender roles, development, rights, love, commitment, online education, safe spaces, Person of the Year, World Values Survey, public education, World Youth Day, media criticism, cancer, broken families, HIVAIDS, pollution, elderly, disaster relief, chivalry, medical insurance, The Manners Lady, Wangari Maathai, cults, amoralism, Washington D.C., killing, Google, narcissism, niceness, biometrics, play, homosexuality, miserabilism, public discourse, news, free will, genetic orphans, Rhode Island, sadomasochism, economy, femininity, siblings, health insurance plans, US Presidency, crazes, Berlin Wall, physics, Queen Beatrix, Turkey, Religious Freedom Restoration Act,