Relationship Status: It’s Complicated?

I’ve recently added this review by Rebecca Golossanov to the Salvo online archive. The book is Manning Up: How the Rise of Women Has Turned Men into Boys by Kay S. Hymowitz. It’s from a few years back but still a very relevant and thought-provoking book on men and women, how we relate to and interact with each other, and the effects on society at large. From the article:

It has been almost universally true throughout history and across cultures that boys become men once they are able to support and protect a wife and family. In Western countries, however, this expectation has drastically diminished. Gone are the days when boys underwent rigorous trials and rites of passage to establish their status as men and their ability to undertake familial responsibilities and cultural leadership. Today’s boys are often left aimless, without being given a clear picture as to what makes a man. Largely free from societal expectations, they waste away much of their 20s and 30s playing video games, watching ESPN and Adam Sandler movies, drinking, and enjoying casual sex.

The author calls this historically new life-stage pre-adulthood. As these pre-adult men falter through life, their female counterparts increasingly excel in both school and career, often outperforming the men. But in order to pursue their dreams, many young women delay starting a family. Then, as they approach their mid-thirties, with biological clocks ticking, they discover that there is no suitable life-partner to be found.

Some, determined to have children anyway, resort to sperm banks. Single motherhood is on the rise, but this exacerbates the problem, for again, it leaves men out of the picture. This is clearly not good for the children—as many studies show—but it is not good for men or women, either.

The problem is clear, the solution less so. But Hymowitz finds encouragement in studies indicating that most pre-adult men and women still desire a family, even if they don’t know how to go about achieving it. Her advice: Women need to be more aware of their biological limitations (i.e., try to marry and have children sooner), and men, well, they need to grow up.

Being an unmarried man myself, I’m somewhat put off by the command to “man up” (naturally) but there really is a problem all around and I think this book hits the right notes.

Another book I’d recommend is Subverted: How I Helped the Sexual Revolution Hijack the Women’s Movement by Sue Ellen Browder.


Here are some endorsements from authors, activists, and educators that regular Salvo readers will recognize.

Subverted offers a window into our uniquely disturbed historical era. Generations of readers will turn to Subverted when they want to know what turned the tide.”
— Jennifer Roback Morse, Ph.D., Founder and President, the Ruth Institute

“Browder combines a compelling personal narrative with piercing observations from her work in women’s media, resulting in a book you can’t put down.”
— Jennifer Fulwiler, Author, Something Other Than God

Subverted is a game changer for our culture, and in particular, for women.”
— Abby Johnson, Author, Unplanned

“Here are two books, two stories in one. The first opens your heart, the second opens your eyes.”
— Peter Kreeft, Ph.D., Professor of Philosophy, Boston College

AND of course Salvo has many articles on this topic. See below. But also, you should subscribe to Salvo! This topic will always be with us, and you can be sure that Salvo will be there to help us all think these things through.

Cashed Out
The War Against Sexual Order Has Young Men in Full Retreat
by Terrell Clemmons

Girl Watching
Raising Daughters in Troubled Times by Marcia Segelstein

Fem. Fatale
An interview with post-feminist author Carrie Lukas
by Bernard Chapin


Room_Movie_PosterSalvo contributing editor Terrell Clemmons puts this movie on our radar. She’s good at keeping tabs on such things, her being the person who puts together the “Blips” section of Salvo— Found in each issue, the blips are comprised of one full length review plus shorter blurbs of books and movies worth knowing about. Subscribe already! I’ll give you a deal even…

The review below, however, comes from author and director Brian Godawa. Mr. Godawa has been interviewed in Salvo before as well. You can find the link after this excerpt from his review.

OSCAR WATCH • Room: The Most Powerful Pro-Life Movie Since the Planned Parenthood Exposé

The story of a young girl imprisoned in a small room by her abductor, who escapes with the help of her five year old son, born in that captivity, and what happens after.

This is an emotionally brutal story to watch. It’s not that it’s a horror film, it’s not a thriller or even explicit. It’s because it is so revelatory of human nature in both its evil and its grandeur. It’s more about the power of imagination to overcome the psychological effects of such abuse. And as recent current news events have shown, this kind of thing is quite real.

Whereas most thrillers would end with the girl escaping, this movie’s second half is about the difficulty of both mother and son to overcome the trauma that will haunt them for the rest of their lives. It deals with the aftermath and damage that man’s inhumanity to man wreaks upon victim’s lives as well as their families.

Don’t get me wrong, the movie is quite understated in its realism. We see the strength of this young woman in dealing with her and her son’s issues in the best way she knows how, with her limited yet loving resources. It wrestles with the existential questions: How would a young child born in captivity cope with the smallness of their existence? And how would they see the huge vast world, once released? How frightening would it be to try to enter? And yet, how it is loved ones and friends who help us to fit into that very world. We need each other.

continue reading . . .

See also:

Heart of the Story
An Interview with Brian Godawa
by Marcia Segelstein

On the Emancipation of Frederick Douglass


Today’s Google doodle is of Frederick Douglass commemorating his birth in February, 1818.

The makers of the movie Runaway Slave posted this on their Facebook.

Frederick Douglass was a Radical Republican – Not a Libertarian as Google says! (But, if you watched Runaway Slave, you’d already know that) Order your copy of the film at

Curious, I looked up the movie and recommend it to you. See the trailer below:

Frederick Douglass has been written about in Salvo before:

Sabbath School
On the Emancipation of Frederick Douglass by Means of Liberal Education
by Thomas Jodziewicz

Related Salvo articles below:

Up from Racism
The Case for Reason About Reparations for Slavery
by Terrell Clemmons

Pride & Prejudice
Discussing Black America with Gloria Jackson, Founder of The Booker T. Washington Inspirational Network
by Robert Maddex

Consent Carnival of Errors

First they aim to remove all taboo from even the raunchiest and most dangerous ways to have sex (see Sex On the Syllabus), then they try take out all of the fun out of even just kissing (see College students given five-step checklist on how to kiss without committing sexual assault). Sigh. Who put these lunatics in charge?!

Here’s some good reading from the pages of Salvo to help us get to the bottom of this.

The Illusionist
How Herbert Marcuse Convinced a Generation that Censorship Is Tolerance & Other Politically Correct Tricks by Robin Phillips

“Marx argued against the exploitation of labor; Marcuse, against labor itself. Don’t work, have sex. This was the simple message of Eros and Civilization, released in 1955. Its ideas proved to be extraordinarily popular among the fledgling hippie culture of the following decade. It provided a rationale for laziness and transformed degrading personal vices into virtues.”

Wise Man on Campus
An Interview with J. Budziszewski by Marcia Segelstein

. . . My guess is that my students have lived all their young lives in pursuit of pleasure—as the young generally do—but with less restraint from our crumbling conventions than the young who have lived their lives in previous generations. Consequently, even at this tender age, they have begun to experience the hedonistic paradox, which usually kicks in much later. He who makes pleasure the object of his life eventually finds that it evaporates; he who fails to distinguish between good and bad pleasures ends in misery. Although my students don’t formulate the paradox explicitly, they feel it in their bones. . . .

Free Love Is Neither
Liberation Fatigue & the New Sexual Renegades by Terrell Clemmons

. . . Single women wonder, Where have all the good men gone? And when they do find men who make at least remotely favorable candidates for marriage, they lament, Why won’t they commit? Married women grumble, too. “Let’s Call the Whole Thing Off,” Sandra Tsing Loh implored in The Atlantic as she announced the dissolution of her 20-year “domestic construct.” These women’s wiser, pre-revolution grandmothers might discern better than they what’s driving all this carping: the abject disappointment of unmet longings in relationships. . . .

Slutting Their Stuff
Embracing a Crass Word Is No Defense Against a Real Danger by Janice Shaw Crouse

. . . The high-volume indignation of feminists may attract the press and intimidate public officials, but it will have no deterrent effect on the twisted souls of predators watching for an opportunity to strike. No number of women marching in the streets demanding the right to act however they please will ever do away with the risks that arise from the evil of which the human heart is capable. . . .

Aquinas & Darwin

I’ve always liked this article by Logan Gage for Touchstone. Since today is what is known as the Feast Day of St. Thomas Aquinas, I post it here for your consideration.

watermarkDarwin, Design & Thomas Aquinas
The Mythical Conflict Between Thomism & Intelligent Design
by Logan Paul Gage

In a little-recounted episode of the 2005 Kitzmiller v. Dover intelligent design trial, the plaintiffs (objecting to a four-paragraph statement read in biology class) summoned a curious expert witness: John F. Haught, former chair of Georgetown University’s theology department. Asked to identify the antecedents of intelligent design, Professor Haught pointed to Thomas Aquinas’s five arguments for the existence of God, “one of which was to argue from the design and complexity and order and pattern in the universe to the existence of an ultimate intelligent designer.”

Intelligent design (ID) was on trial because it conflicts with Darwin’s theory as taught in the classroom: Modern Darwinian evolution claims that the unguided processes of random mutation and natural selection are sufficient to explain the stunning features of living things, while intelligent design claims there is evidence that some things are better explained by an intelligent cause.

Haught slightly mischaracterized Thomas’s argument, which says nothing about complexity per se. But Thomas certainly made a design argument by appealing to features of the natural world, as do contemporary ID theorists. Despite these similarities, however, some Thomists claim that Thomism is compatible with Darwinian evolution and incompatible with intelligent design.

So which is it? Are Thomas’s writings a precursor to intelligent design, as even design-critics like Haught claim; or is Darwin compatible with and ID irreconcilable with Thomas’s philosophical and theological framework? Or is there some third possibility? These are important questions, especially for Catholics, because St. Thomas is the gold standard of Catholic thought—not infallible, but highly trustworthy.

In a typical discussion of Darwinian evolution, Christian philosophy, and intelligent design, one is likely to hear that St. Thomas had no problem with secondary causes operating in nature and that St. Augustine knew that the Bible is “not a science textbook.” Both of these assertions are true, as far as they go. But unfortunately, such platitudes only obscure deeper sources of tension between Darwinism and Thomistic thought. Here I would like to explore three intimately related sources of tension: the problem of essences, the problem of transformism, and the problem of formal causation.

continue reading . . .

Salvo Links – January 27, 2016

In a Huge Breakthrough, Google’s AI Beats a Top Player at the Game of Go
by Cade Metz, Wired
In a major breakthrough for artificial intelligence, a computing system developed by Google researchers in Great Britain has beaten a top human player at the game of Go, the ancient Eastern contest of strategy and intuition that has bedeviled AI experts for decades. . . .

Sexual Assault Victims Speak Out Against Washington’s Transgender Bathroom Policies
by Kelsey Harkness, Daily Signal
A group of women who say they are former victims of sexual assault are making an emotional plea to Washington state legislators to reverse a bathroom policy that they say leaves them and their young children vulnerable, exposed and unsafe. . . .

Grand jury indicts pro-life investigator behind baby part videos, clears Planned Parenthood
by Ben Johnson, Life Site
The lead investigator behind the undercover Planned Parenthood videos faces up to 20 years in prison after a Houston grand jury decided on Monday not to charge Planned Parenthood with any wrongdoing – and instead indicted him for offering to purchase human organs from the abortion provider. . . .