“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...]

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...]

“Love Contract”

That was the original (and better) title of Mike Bartlett's Contractions, a one-act play I saw at the Studio Theater on Wednesday. The play starts when Emma, some kind of saleswoman, is called to a sterile, glowy dystopian boardroom to speak with a corporate apparatchik about a possible contract violation. The apparatchik, also a lady, has her read the section of her contract on "romantic or sexual relationships." The contract requires all employees to notify management when they begin such a … [Read more...]

A Vindication of the Rights of Clip-Joint Girls

Recently watched "Marked Woman," an early Bette Davis/Humphrey Bogart flick in which Davis is a nightclub hostess who tries to go up against the toughest gangster in town after he kills her sister. Bogart is the crusading, by which I mean lecturing, DA. It's actually a startlingly powerful film, largely because it takes everything about the clip-joint girls' lives so seriously: their friendships, their families, their courage, their distinctive personalities. It's about the compromises they made … [Read more...]

From Yumiko Kurahashi, “The Adventures of Sumiyakist Q”

“Everything’s permitted here, you see. I suppose one could say with the theology instructor that if God does not exist then everything is permitted; but here it doesn’t matter if God exists or if he doesn’t, since one is free to do everything. The result of making use of this freedom is that the one freedom one does not have is that of knowing what is going on.” --it's a Japanese surrealist satire of Communism; check out Helen Rittelmeyer's review here … [Read more...]

Let’s play You Should Be Grateful

When Wilde extended a hand, he made no move to take it. "Prayer is the only thing that can console you in this place, prisoner. I trust you understand that. Prayer and a true spirit of repentance." --Robert Reilly, The God of Mirrors (of which more later)There's a way of saying true things so that they become false, and a couple recent posts by Catholic women bloggers have drawn attention to one of those ways. First, here's Calah Alexander sharpening her fangs on a self-righteous article … [Read more...]

“Penelope”–wow, this is intense.

That's just the beginning.... Via AC. … [Read more...]


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