“The Paradox of Declining Female Happiness”: For when you’re done reading about the new pope

I'm at Acculturated. Don't worry, it's not an endorsement of "happiness research": The title of this article is also the title of a 2009 study by economists Betsey Stevenson and Justin Wolfers. The study looked at data from the United States and Europe, focusing on the period from the 1970s to the mid-2000s: a time of medical advances, the second wave of feminism, the rise of no-fault divorce and the personal computer. And also a period in which women got less happy—both absolutely, and re … [Read more...]

“I would love to be told”

yes, yes, yes: What I find so attractive, therefore, about Catholicism is the fact that many–though certainly not all–of the practices within the church are grounded in something beyond fad and the opinion of a single pastor or leader. Put another way, I think a huge part of me would actually like it if my pastor said, “For the next 40 days, you’re fasting.” I wouldn’t like it if he was just making a power-play, trying to bind my conscience and create a new means through which to shame me. But i … [Read more...]

Unnatural Women and Natural-Law Feminism

One cheap but useful definition of natural law is that it's the belief that there is a universal human nature which is knowable by reason (and here we fight about what we mean by "reason," but ignore that for now), and so our desires can be rightly ordered based on what would express and support this nature, even though we have never seen this nature instantiated anywhere in our lives or history, ever. You can see why this is both a tempting place to ground your ethics, and a tough sell to … [Read more...]

But it’s self-absorbed when Elizabeth Wurtzel says it!

I included this as a link in my previous Wurtzel post but I think it's worth reprinting an old blog post. I liked Andrew Cherlin's book quite a bit, but he did this several times: As other lifestyles become more acceptable, you must choose whether to get married and whether to have children. You develop your own sense of self by continually examining your situation, reflecting on it, and deciding whether to alter your behavior as a result. People pay attention to their experiences and make … [Read more...]

The gold is a lie!!!–and other lies we tell ourselves

Everybody's beating up on this Elizabeth Wurtzel column, in which she says: ...It had all gone wrong. At long last, I had found myself vulnerable to the worst of New York City, because at 44 my life was not so different from the way it was at 24. Stubbornly and proudly, emphatically and pathetically, I had refused to grow up, and so I was becoming one of those people who refuses to grow up—one of the city’s Lost Boys. I was still subletting in Greenwich Village, instead of owning in Brooklyn Hei … [Read more...]

A gnomic utterance

One of the current liberal projects is the replacement of an old legal and cultural model, in which the paradigmatic public "person" is male, with a new legal and cultural model in which the paradigmatic public person is unisex. Both of these models are damaging because the underlying vision of human nature is false.This is a gnomic utterance, rather than a real post, because I'm unsure what law and culture based on a sexed, sexually-differentiated, public person would look like. But I do … [Read more...]

From the vows of a Benedictine community

We give up the temptation to move from place to place in search of an ideal situation. Ultimately there is no escape from oneself, and the idea that things would be better someplace else is usually an illusion. And when interpersonal conflicts arise, we have a great incentive to work things out and restore peace. This means learning the practices of love: acknowledging one’s own offensive behavior, giving up one’s preferences, forgiving.--via the Archdiocese of Washington blog … [Read more...]


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