- The Washington Times - Wednesday, March 17, 2004

His name, her name

“It was an interesting moment in the history of nomenclature when Hillary’s ‘Rodham’ slipped into the position of a middle name after her husband lost his bid for re-election as governor in 1980. … By shunting their old names into a prominent middle-name status, aspiring first ladies can signal to red states that they defer to their husbands while winking at the blue states that they still have their own names. (Or in Teresa Heinz Kerry’s case, their other husband’s name.) …

“[U]ntil the feminism of the 1970s … almost all women, including highly educated career women, changed their names to their husband’s when they married. Of course, the majority of these women were married before they were 23. Now that women marry later, and live more of their adult life with their maiden names, it can feel unnatural to assume another name, even for women who do not consider themselves feminists. Once you have ‘made a name for yourself’ in the world it becomes more complicated, and even professionally damaging, to change it.”

Katie Roiphe, writing on “The Maiden Name Debate,” Tuesday in Slate at www.slate.com

Boys to men

“[M]ost boys tend towards either wimpiness or barbarianism, whereas true manliness is found as a happy medium between these two extremes. Since most boys won’t find this happy medium on their own, however, they need fathers to guide the course and correct them where needed.

“Unfortunately, because divorce is rampant in today’s society and fatherhood has been greatly devalued, we’re seeing a generation of boys grow into either barbarians or wimps. …

“Men don’t engage in certain behavior and our fathers let us know where we crossed the line. I’ve heard a lot of similar stories from other guys. In one case, with a friend who grew up without a father in the inner cities … it was the drill sergeant in the Marine Corps who administered the correction. With another friend … it was his football coach. …

“Boys will be boys. Which is why they need fathers (backed up by coaches and drill sergeants) to turn them into men.”

Pete Vere, writing on “Homosexuality and Fatherhood,” March 3 in Catholic Light at catholiclight.stblogs.org

The Pill’s ills

“Opponents of legalized same-sex marriage say they’re trying to protect a beleaguered institution, but they’re a little late. The walls of traditional marriage were breached 40 years ago; what we are witnessing now is the storming of the last bastion. …

“Since the invention of the Pill some 40 years ago, human beings have for the first time been able to control reproduction with a very high degree of assurance. … The causal relationships between sex, pregnancy and marriage were severed in a fundamental way. …

“Nationwide, the marriage rate has plunged 43 percent since 1960. …

“Sex, childbearing and marriage now have no necessary connection to one another, because the biological connection between sex and childbearing is controllable. The fundamental basis for marriage has thus been technologically obviated. Pair that development with rampant, easy divorce without social stigma, and talk in 2004 of ‘saving marriage’ is pretty specious. There’s little there left to save.”

The Rev. Donald Sensing, of Franklin, Tenn., writing on “Save Marriage? It’s Too Late,” Monday in the Wall Street Journal

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