Thursday, 18 September 2008

Abolition of the Family - a Communist Goal

Excerpt from Manifesto of the Communist Party (1848):

Abolition of the family! Even the most radical flare up at this infamous proposal of the Communists.

On what foundation is the present family, the bourgeois family, based? On capital, on private gain. In its completely developed form this family exists only among the bourgeoisie. But this state of things find its complement in the practical absence of the family among the proletarians, and in public prostitution.

The bourgeois family will vanish as a matter of course when its complement vanishes, and both will vanish with the vanishing of capital.

Do you charge us with wanting to stop the exploitation of children by their
parents? To this crime we plead guilty.

But, you say, we destroy the most hallowed of relations, when we replace home
education by social.

And your education! Is not that also social, and determined by the social conditions under which you educate, by intervention of society, direct or indirect, by means of schools etc? The Communists have not intended the intervention of society in education; they do but seek to alter the character of that intervention, and to rescue education from the influence of the ruling class. [What is the ruling class but a group of powerful families, families who stay together?]

The bourgeois claptrap about the family and education, about the hallowed correlation of parent and child, becomes all the more disgusting, the more, by the action of modern industry, all the family ties among the proletarians are torn asunder, and their children transformed into simple articles of commerce and instruments of labour.

But you Communists would introduce community of women [gender equality, I presume], screams the whole bourgeoisie in chorus.

The bourgeois sees in his wife a mere instrument of production. He hears that the instruments of production are to be exploited in common, and, naturally, can come to no other conclusion than that the lot of being common to all will likewise fall to women.

He has not even a suspicion that the real point aimed at is to do away with the status of women as mere instruments of production.

For the rest, nothing is more ridiculous than the virtuous indignation of our bourgeois at the community of women which, they pretend, is to be openly and officially established by the Communists. The Communists have no need to be introduce community of women; it has existed from time immemorial. [I take this to mean that women have always been the equal of men.]

Our bourgeois, not content with having the wives and daughters of the proletarians at their disposal, not to speak of common prostitutes, take the greatest pleasure in seducing each other's wives.

Bourgeois marriage is in reality a system of wives in common [not sure what this means] and thus, at the most, what the Communists might possibly be reproached with is that they desire to introduce, in substitution for a hypocritically concealed, an openly legalised community of women [gender equality]. For the rest, it is still self-evident, that the abolition of the present system of production must bring with it the abolition of the community of women springing from that system, ie of prostitution both public [when it is practised as a trade] and private [ie marriage].

I will confess that not all the terminology is clear to me, but the intention to break up the family is certainly there!

Why Free Speech Protects Us

extracted from Kathleen Parker's Save the Males:

Between weak families, absent fathers, a culture that signalizes the
innocent, and government bureaucracies that are designed to grow themselves, one doesn't have to be paranoid to envision a time when freedom as we have known it will be compromised beyond recognition. Already free speech has suffered as those who mis-speak - who challenge the orthodoxy of the prevailing ism - are silenced. When former Harvard University president Lawrence H Summers dared to suggest that women's lesser accomplishments in math and science might be explained in part by innate differences in the sexes, he was effectively shown the door.

When Dr Miriam Grossman's book Unprotected came out in 2006, she published as "Anonymous" because she feared professional repercussions for reporting that political correctness had so intimidated psychiatric practitioners that their patients - college men and women - were being harmed. Public acclaim gave her the courage she needed to identify herself in the paperback version a year later.

Once free speech goes, all freedoms are in jeopardy. If you can't
even suggest without fear of condemnation that women don't belong in battle - or that men aren't defective if they prefer to play golf with guys, then we're on our way to an irrational and uncertain future.

SAVE THE MALES by Kathleen Parker

From The Sunday Times

August 3, 2008
Where have all the real men gone?
Top American columnist Kathleen Parker is causing a furore with her new book Save the Males, in which she argues that feminism has neutered men and deprived them of their noble, protective role in society

I know. Saving the males is an unlikely vocation for a 21st-century woman. Most men don’t know they need saving; most women consider the idea absurd. When I tell my women friends that I want to save the males, they look at me as if noticing for the first time that I am insane. Then they say something like: “Are you out of your mind? This is still a male-dominated world. It’s women who need saving. Screw the men!”

Actually, that’s a direct quote. The reality is that men already have been screwed – and not in the way they prefer. For the past 30 years or so, males have been under siege by a culture that too often embraces the notion that men are to blame for all of life’s ills. Males as a group – not random men – are bad by virtue of their DNA.

While women have been cast as victims, martyrs, mystics or saints, men have quietly retreated into their caves, the better to muffle emotions that fluctuate between hilarity (are these bitches crazy or what?) and rage (yes, they are and they’ve got our kids).

In the process of fashioning a more female-friendly world, we have created a culture that is hostile towards males, contemptuous of masculinity and cynical about the delightful differences that make men irresistible, especially when something goes bump in the night.

In popular culture, rare is the man portrayed as wise, strong and noble. In film and music, men are variously portrayed as dolts, bullies, brutes, deadbeats, rapists, sexual predators and wife-beaters. Even otherwise easy-going family men in sitcoms are invariably cast as, at best, bumbling, dim-witted fools. One would assume from most depictions that the smart, decent man who cares about his family and pats the neighbour’s dog is the exception rather than the rule.

I am frankly an unlikely champion of males and that most hackneyed cliché of our times – “traditional family values”. Or rather, I’m an expert on family in the same way that the captain of the Titanic was an expert on maritime navigation.

Looking back affectionately, I like to think of home as our own little Baghdad. The bunker-buster was my mother’s death when she was 31 and I was three, whereupon my father became a serial husband, launching into the holy state of matrimony four more times throughout my childhood and early adulthood. We were dysfunctional before dysfunctional was cool.
Going against trends of the day, I was mostly an only child raised by a single father through all but one of my teen years, with mother figures in various cameo roles. I got a close-up glimpse of how the sexes trouble and fail each other and in the process developed great em-pathy for both, but especially for men.

Although my father could be difficult – I wasn’t blinded by his considerable charms – I also could see his struggle and the sorrows he suffered, especially after mother No 2 left with his youngest daughter, my little sister.

From this broad, experiential education in the ways of men and women, I reached a helpful conclusion that seems to have escaped notice by some of my fellow sisters: men are human beings, too.

Lest anyone infer that my defence of men is driven by antipathy towards women, let me take a moment to point out that I liked and/or loved all my mothers. In fact, I’m still close to all my father’s wives except the last, who is just a few years older than me and who is apparently afraid that if we make eye contact, I’ll want the silver. (I do.)

My further education in matters male transpired in the course of raising three boys, my own and two stepsons. As a result of my total immersion in male-dom, I’ve been cursed with guy vision – and it’s not looking so good out there.

At the same time that men have been ridiculed, the importance of fatherhood has been diminished, along with other traditionally male roles of father, protector and provider, which are increasingly viewed as regressive manifestations of an outmoded patriarchy.

The exemplar of the modern male is the hairless, metrosexualised man and decorator boys who turn heter-osexual slobs into perfumed ponies. All of which is fine as long as we can dwell happily in the Kingdom of Starbucks, munching our biscotti and debating whether nature or nurture determines gender identity. But in the dangerous world in which we really live, it might be nice to have a few guys around who aren’t trying to juggle pedicures and highlights.

Men have been domesticated to within an inch of their lives, attending Lamaze classes, counting contractions, bottling expressed breast milk for midnight feedings – I expect men to start lactating before I finish this sentence – yet they are treated most unfairly in the areas of reproduction and parenting.

Legally, women hold the cards. If a woman gets pregnant, she can abort – even without her husband’s consent. If she chooses to have the child, she gets a baby and the man gets an invoice. Unarguably, a man should support his offspring, but by that same logic shouldn’t he have a say in whether his child is born or aborted?

Granted, many men are all too grateful for women to handle the collateral damage of poorly planned romantic interludes, but that doesn’t negate the fact that many men are hurt by the presumption that their vote is irrelevant in childbearing decisions.

NOTHING quite says “Men need not apply” like a phial of mail-order sperm Continued on page 2 Continued from page 1 and a turkey-baster. In the high-tech nursery of sperm donation and self-insemination – and in the absence of shame attached to unwed motherhood – babies can now be custom-ordered without the muss and fuss of human intimacy.

It’s not fashionable to question women’s decisions, especially when it comes to childbearing, but the shame attached to unwed motherhood did serve a useful purpose once upon a time. While we have happily retired the word “bastard” and the attendant emotional pain for mother and child, acceptance of childbearing outside marriage represents not just a huge shift in attitudes but, potentially, a restructuring of the future human family.

By elevating single motherhood from an unfortunate consequence of poor planning to a sophisticated act of self-fulfilment, we have helped to fashion a world in which fathers are not just scarce but in which men are also superfluous.

Lots of women can, do and always will raise children without fathers, whether out of necessity, tragedy or other circumstance. But that fact can’t logically be construed to mean that children don’t need a father. The fact that some children manage with just one parent is no more an endorsement of single parenthood than driving with a flat tyre is an argument for three-wheeled cars.

For most of recorded history, human society has regarded the family, consisting of a child’s biological mother and father, to be the best arrangement for the child’s wellbeing and the loss of a parent to be the single greatest threat to that wellbeing. There’s bound to be a reason for this beyond the need for man to drag his woman around by her chignon.

Sperm-donor children are a relatively new addition to the human community and they bring new stories to the campfire. I interviewed several adults who are the products of sperm donation. Some were born to married but infertile couples. Others were born to single mothers. Some reported well-adjusted childhoods; some reported conflicting feelings of love and loss.

Overall, a common thread emerged that should put to rest any notion that fathers are not needed: even the happiest donor children expressed a profound need to know who their father is, to know that other part of themselves.

Tom Ellis, a mathematics doctoral student at Cambridge University, learnt at 21 that he and his brother were both donor-conceived. Their parents told them on the advice of a family therapist as their marriage unravelled.

At first Tom did not react, but months later he hit a wall of emotional devastation. He says he became numb, anxious and scared. He began a search for his biological father, a search that has become a crusade for identity common among sperm-donor children.

“It’s absolutely necessary that I find out who he is to have a normal existence as a human being. That’s not negotiable in any way,” Tom said. “It would be nice if he wanted to meet me, but that would be something I want rather than something needed.”

Tom is convinced that the need to know one’s biological father is profound and that it is also every child’s right. What is clear from conversations with donor-conceived children is that a father is neither an abstract idea nor is he interchangeable with a mother.

As Tom put it: “There’s a mystery about oneself.” Knowing one’s father is apparently crucial to that mystery.

Something that’s hard for many women to admit or understand is that after about the age of seven, boys prefer the company of men. A woman could know the secret code to Aladdin’s cave and it would be less interesting to a boy than a man talking about dirt. That is because a woman is perceived as just another mother, while a man is Man.

From their mothers, boys basically want to hear variations on two phrases: “I love you” and “Do you want those fried or scrambled?” I learnt this in no uncertain terms when I was a Cub Scout leader, which mysteriously seems to have prompted my son’s decision to abandon Scouting for ever.

My co-Akela (Cub Scout for wolf leader) was Dr Judy Sullivan – friend, fellow mother and clinical psychologist. Imagine the boys’ excitement when they learnt who would be leading them in guy pursuits: a reporter and a shrink – two intense, overachieving, helicopter mothers of only boys. Shouldn’t there be a law against this?

We had our boys’ best interests at heart, of course, and did our utmost to be good den mothers. But seven-year-old boys are not interested in making lanterns from coffee tins. They want to shoot bows and arrows, preferably at one another, chop wood with stone-hewn axes and sink canoes, preferably while in them.

At the end of a school day, during which they have been steeped in oestrogen by women teachers and told how many “bad choices” they’ve made, boys are ready to make some really bad choices. They do not want to sit quietly and listen to yet more women speak soothingly of important things.

Here’s how one memorable meeting began. “Boys, thank you for taking your seats and being quiet while we explain our women’s history month project,” said Akela Sullivan in her calmest psychotherapist voice. The response to Akela Sullivan’s entreaty sounded something like the Zulu nation psyching up for the Brits.

I tried a different, somewhat more masculine approach: “Boys, get in here, sit down and shut up. Now!” And lo, they did get in there. And they did sit. And they did shut up. One boy stargazed into my face and stage-whispered: “I wish you were my mother.”

Akela Sullivan and I put our heads together, epiphanised in unison and decided that we would recruit transients from the homeless shelter if necessary to give these boys what they wanted and needed – men.

As luck would have it, a Cub Scout’s father was semi-retired or between jobs or something – we didn’t ask – and could attend the meetings. He didn’t have to do a thing. He just had to be there and respire testosterone vapours into the atmosphere.

His presence shifted the tectonic plates and changed the angle of the Earth on its axis. Our boys were at his command, ready to disarm landmines, to sink enemy ships – or even to sit quietly for the sake of the unit if he of the gravelly voice and sandpaper face wished it so. I suspect they would have found coffee tins brilliantly useful as lanterns if he had suggested as much.

But, of course, boys don’t stay Cub Scouts for long. We’ve managed over the past 20 years or so to create a new generation of child-men, perpetual adolescents who see no point in growing up. By indulging every appetite instead of recognising the importance of self-control and commitment, we’ve ratified the id.

Our society’s young men encounter little resistance against continuing to celebrate juvenile pursuits, losing themselves in video games and mindless, “guy-oriented” TV fare – and casual sex.

The casual sex culture prevalent on university campuses – and even in schools – has produced fresh vocabulary to accommodate new ways of relating: “friends with benefits” and “booty call”.

FWB I get, but “booty call”? I had to ask a young friend, who explained: “Oh, that’s when a guy calls you up and just needs you to come over and have sex with him and then go home.”
Why, I asked, would a girl do such a thing? Why would she service a man for nothing – no relationship, no affection, no emotional intimacy?

She pointed out that, well, they are friends. With benefits! But no obligations! Cool. When I persisted in demanding an answer to “why”, she finally shrugged and said: “I have no idea. It’s dumb.”

Guys also have no idea why a girl would do that, but they’re not complaining – even if they’re not enjoying themselves that much, either.

Miriam Grossman, a university psychiatrist, wrote Unprotected, a book about the consequences of casual sex among students. She has treated thousands of young men and women suffering a range of physical and emotional problems related to sex, which she blames on sex education of recent years that treats sex as though it were divorced from emotional attachment and as if men and women were the same. Grossman asserts that there are a lot more victims of the hookup (casual sex) culture than of date rape.

Casual sex, besides being emotionally unrewarding, can become physically boring. Once sex is stripped of meaning, it becomes merely a mechanical exercise. Since the hookup generation is also the porn generation, many have taken their performance cues from porn flicks that are anything but sensual or caring.

Boys today are marinating in pornography and they’ll soon be having casual sex with our daughters. According to a study by the National Foundation for Educational Research issued in 2005, 12% of British males aged 13-18 avail themselves of “adult-only” websites; and American research findings are similar. The actual numbers are likely to be much higher, given the amount of porn spam that finds its way into electronic mailboxes. If the rising generation of young men have trouble viewing the opposite sex as anything but an object for sexual gratification, we can’t pretend not to understand why.

The biggest problem for both sexes – beyond the epidemic of sexually transmitted disease – is that casual sex is essentially an adversarial enterprise that pits men and women against each other. Some young women, now fully as sexually aggressive as men, have taken “liberation” to another level by acting as badly as the worst guy.

Carol Platt Liebau, the author of Prude, another book on the havoc that pervasive sex has on young people, says that when girls begin behaving more coarsely so, too, do boys.

“And now, because so many young girls have been told that it’s ‘empowering’ to pursue boys aggressively, there’s no longer any need for boys to ‘woo’ girls – or even to commit to a date,” she told me. “The girls are available [in every sense of the word] and the boys know it.”
Men, meanwhile, have feelings. Although they’re uncomfortable sorting through them – and generally won’t if no one insists – I’ve listened to enough of them to know that our hypersexualised world has left many feeling limp and vacant.

Our cultural assumption that men only want sex has been as damaging to them as to the women they target. Here is how a recent graduate summed it up to me: “Hooking up is great, but at some point you get tired of everything meaning nothing.”

Ultimately, what our oversexualised, pornified culture reveals is that we think very little of our male family members. Undergirding the culture that feminism has helped to craft is a presumption that men are without honour and integrity. What we offer men is cheap, dirty, sleazy, manipulative sensation. What we expect from them is boorish, simian behaviour that ratifies the antimale sentiment that runs through the culture.

Surely our boys – and our girls – deserve better.

As long as men feel marginalised by the women whose favours and approval they seek; as long as they are alienated from their children and treated as criminals by family courts; as long as they are disrespected by a culture that no longer values masculinity tied to honour; and as long as boys are bereft of strong fathers and our young men and women wage sexual war, then we risk cultural suicide.

In the coming years we will need men who are not confused about their responsibilities. We need boys who have acquired the virtues of honour, courage, valour and loyalty. We need women willing to let men be men – and boys be boys. And we need young men and women who will commit and marry and raise children in stable homes.

Unprogressive though it sounds, the world in which we live requires no less.

Saving the males – engaging their nobility and recognising their unique strengths – will ultimately benefit women and children, too. Fewer will live in poverty; fewer boys will fail in schools and wind up in jail; fewer girls will get pregnant or suffer emotional damage from too early sex with uncaring boys. Fewer young men and women will suffer loneliness and loss because they’ve grown up in a climate of sexual hostility that casts the opposite sex as either villain or victim.

Then again, maybe I’m completely wrong. Maybe males don’t need saving and women are never happier or more liberated than when dancing with a stripper pole. Maybe women should man the barricades and men should warm the milk. Maybe men are not necessary and women can manage just fine without them. Maybe human nature has been nurtured into submission and males and females are completely interchangeable.

But I don’t think so. When women say, “No, honey, you stay in bed. I’ll go see what that noise is” – I’ll reconsider.

© Kathleen Parker 2008
Extracted from Save the Males: Why Men Matter, Why Women Should Care by Kathleen Parker, published by Random House New York

Why Political Correctness is Evil

In an online interview with FrontPage magazine, Dalrymple (whose writings can be found at explained:

In my study of communist societies, I came to the conclusion that the
purpose of communist propaganda was not to persuade or convince, nor to inform, but to humiliate; and therefore, the less it corresponded to reality the better. When people are forced to remain silent when they are being told the most obvious lies, or even worse when they are forced to repeat the lies themselves, they lose once and for all their sense of probity. To assent to obvious lies* is to co-operate with evil, and in some small way to become evil oneself. One's standing to resist anything is thus eroded, and even destroyed. A society of emasculated liars is easy to control. I think if you examine political correctness, it has the same effect and is intended to.

* for example,

The Family - an anarchist institution against the totalitarian state?

In 1920 GK Chesterton explained why the family is, in essence, an anarchist institution against the totalitarian state:

The ideal for which [marriage] stands in the state is liberty. It stands for liberty for the very simple reason ... [that] it is the only ... [institution] that is at once necessary and voluntary. It is the only check on the state that is bound to renew itself as eternally as the state, and more naturally than the state ... This is the only way in which truth can ever find refuge from public persecution, and the good man survive bad government.

Tuesday, 16 September 2008

The Patriotic Benefits of the Arranged Marriage

Arranged Marriages in the cause of patriotism? How to do Britain a favour? A helpful suggestion by an Asian Briton which should be of interest to British Nationalists up and down the country:

To those who scoff at arranged marriages I only have this to say: look at your own dilemmas of family breakdowns, divorce, human despair and what your children are up to. And if you want to secure ongoing continuity of love, comfort and support in your old age, go for an arranged marriage. You could save yourself and do Britain a favour at the same time......

First person
Arranged marriages fascinate people in the UK 'like watching horror films'. Don't scoff, says Ziauddin Sardar, British society could learn a lot from the Asian experience

I have always been married. My mother harboured a specific plan for my marriage before I was even born. I was married generations before my birth, just as my wife, Saliha, was destined to be my companion before we ever met. We met but briefly and never alone before we were married. As it was, so it is and ever will be, because it works.

Arranged marriage fascinates people in Britain. Rather like watching horror films, you are attracted for shock value. Or maybe it's just because you like to sniff and turn up your noses at something considered so irredeemably backward it makes you feel superior. But given the state of family life in Britain today, with binge-drinking adolescents, gangs and teenage violence, the time is ripe not to scoff.

The Asian family is not a nuclear unit of parents and 2.4 children. It is an extended social unit that includes grandparents, in-laws, aunts and uncles and a long list of relatives, each with a specific title in relation to everyone else in the family. And Asian family values are focused on keeping the unit together - in one physical place if possible - and providing mutual support. The corollary is that you have to accept them on the same terms. It can be onerous, inconvenient, not to say downright demanding.

Arranged marriages work in this framework of extended family. They are the heartbeat of Asian tradition. Without this pulse coursing through our lives, everything we know and think as British Asians atrophies and starts to die.

A certain amount of debriefing is necessary at this point. Arranged marriages are not forced marriages. That is quite another phenomenon related to tribal customs. Some of these tribal customs are alive and well in places such as Bradford and Manchester. It is for the honour of the tribe that Asian girls are kidnapped, brow-beaten, tortured into marriages. It is due to obnoxious tribal customs that honour killings have come to be part of the British Asian experience. But tribal customs have nothing to do with Asian tradition.

So what is an arranged marriage? How is that man deemed an appropriate life partner for that woman and vice versa? The process involves a lot of to and fro and both parties are free to reject or accept. Once the parties have reached a consensus, then both their families and the principals come to agree a marriage should take place.

So arranged marriage is a social act because it is not personal and individual. It never involves just two people, each alone with their own angst and dreams. Marriage is much too important to be left to so precarious and potentially perverse and headstrong a basis as the dreams and delusions of a would-be bride and groom. Arranged marriage is not just a marriage between two individuals, but two families.

Arranging a marriage is probably the most important social skill. It is also an art form. And its main practitioners are women. The art involves a subtle reading of human character and insight into the needs of those involved - not just at one stage of their lives but as it bears on the entire journey of their lifetime.

Consider the case of two sisters whose lives are thrown into turmoil by political events. The partition of India was mass trauma. The sisters were uprooted from all the normality they had known and had to trek to Pakistan along with their extensive family. But making a new life in a new place sent family members hiving off in all directions to find jobs and opportunity. The bonds of family seemed to be weakening, indeed on the verge of destruction. So the sisters hatched a plan to countermand the forces that were shattering their tradition. If their first-born children were a boy and a girl then they would arrange their marriage to one another. In this way they could preserve the family and pass on to their offspring the solidity and support the sisters had once known.

How could two women conceive of such a scheme for two people they had not yet conceived? And why would they imagine such a premature arrangement could possibly have a chance of succeeding? Well, consider that as sisters they shared a common heritage of values, socialisation, education and all the nurturing that goes into giving people a similar outlook on life and requirement of human behaviour. Who better to trust to pass these most cherished values and grooming on to a new generation than one's own sister?

The force of events sundered the two sisters with a new partition: one emigrated with her husband and settled in Britain, taking with them her first-born son who was destined to become that new creation, a British Asian. The other sister remained in Pakistan, where in time she gave birth to a daughter, as a citizen of the "land of the pure". This new generation was shaped in different nationalities, circumstances and seemingly disparate times. And neither sister had ever mentioned this scheme to the offspring concerned. But the time came when the arrangement had to be put in place.

There was, however, a problem. Having grown to manhood as a British Asian, the young man was far from content to learn of the future so long planned as his destiny. When he was taken on a purposeful visit to Pakistan and confronted with this choice, he rejected the suggestion. But when he saw his potential bride, he was immediately attracted to her. Would he, he asked her directly, make a suitable husband? "Yes," she replied, "but not for me."

So there was a paradox: he rejected the idea of arranged marriage but wanted the person with whom the marriage was arranged. She accepted the idea but rejected the person. When his brother was presented with a similar choice, he rejected everything and simply walked away. But as the eldest son this easy option was not available to him.

Arranged marriages can be a long, drawn-out affair. So, over three years, with letters flying between London and Lahore, endless discussions and much angst, minds were changed. Eventually, both parties were convinced that this was their best option. And that is how I came to be married.

Arranged marriages are not about setting two people adrift together. Those who arranged my marriage did not depart from the scene. My mother still lives with me and has played a vital part in rearing my children. And my extended family is ever present, ever ready to share and ease the burdens, to support and encourage and to provide the safety net that does not permit the married couple to fall through the cracks.

What I learned through my own experience is that marriage begins as commitment - love, sex, mutual respect, affection and friendship are the benefits that accrue over time. Instead of beginning at the pitch of pheromone intensity, arranged marriage gives time and space to appreciate another person without the insecurities of transience.

In Britain, arranged marriages are exceptionally popular among young British Asians. But why would someone born and bred in modern Britain go for a traditional arrangement? I asked a young woman called Farzana at a cultural gathering in Bradford. "Because," she replied, "I don't want to humiliate myself by dancing to the tune of the dating game." Everywhere in Britain, Farzana told me, women get the same message: dress, dye your hair, make up your face, buy the right perfume and, most of all, be shapely, diet yourself to misery or starve yourself to death in a land of plenty, and all to get a man. It is inherently demeaning. In contrast, many young Asians think that arranged marriages enhance their personal freedom and dignity.

Instead of learning womanly wiles to please and entrap men, they can become themselves and be introduced to men equally intent and committed to the concept of a life-long relationship. There is many an affront to human dignity that can be avoided by sharing the burden of finding a partner with caring relatives.

Behind every arranged marriage is a story. I discovered many while writing Balti Britain, a book about the British Asian experience. But I also discovered that arranged marriages are not static, immovable objects in the flow of time. Like many other marriages, they are flexible and adept, malleable and serviceable to time and changing circumstances. The principles on which they work, the objectives they seek to fulfil, endure through time. Almost everything else is open to negotiation.

So it is not surprising that the newest generation of British Asians, who are indeed more British than their parents and grandparents, have reinvented the whole concept of arranged marriage. The process now involves finding a partner first and then getting the family to arrange the marriage. And if education, work, membership of societies and clubs or the network of family gatherings does not offer the opportunity to encounter who is out there in need of a wife or a husband, there is always speed dating.

At an Asian speed dating event, where the whole family is welcome, you can check people out without the embarrassment of being lumbered with the greatest bore, most insufferable scoundrel or impossible narcissist for an entire evening or longer. As my daughter, Maha, who ran an Asian speed dating company as a side line, assured me, it fills a vacant niche and gives young British Asians the means to honour the meaning of tradition, with modern modifications.

And so it was that my daughter presented me with an immensely personable and exemplary young man and required me to arrange her marriage. Like the parents of her chosen one, my wife and I were a little at a loss about exactly what arrangement was required. But eventually our children gave us the prompt. What our children wanted was the arrangement of family, the cementing of bonds between two entities that would always be part of their lives because they could not conceive of being alone.

The wedding provided all the nervous tension, angst and drama in the preparation one would expect. But in my in-laws I have acquired new family members, people who share a common outlook on life and on whom I know I can rely to be as interested and concerned as I always will be for the welfare of my child. The wheel turns, the meaning endures.

To those who scoff at arranged marriages I only have this to say: look at your own dilemmas of family breakdowns, divorce, human despair and what your children are up to. And if you want to secure ongoing continuity of love, comfort and support in your old age, go for an arranged marriage. You could save yourself and do Britain a favour at the same time.

Ziauddin Sardar's Balti Britain: A Journey Through the British Asian Experience is published by Granta, £20. To order a copy for £18 with free UK p&p go to or call 0870 836 0875

The Forgotten Rules of Male Courtship

In my time, perfectly masculine men - men who say they will not back down from a fight, for example, have recklessly confessed to me and other romantic prospects a fear of flying. (Jean Paul Getty might get away with admitting this foible, but not, I'm afraid, less-financially well-endowed men.)

A man once said to me that he prefers to leave politics alone because it upset him too much.

For some reason, a woman can confess a fear and loathing of politics to me without sacrificing too much of the affection and regard I might have for her because she is after all "only a girl".

A man making that confession is absolutely damaged goods and will never have my respect again.

Ditto a man wearing a baby sling or carrying his child like a beast of burden using one of those backpacking child-carriers.

Another man who could have been forming romantic intentions towards me recently informed me that all men want to be mothered. This I have no doubt, as all women want to be protected and provided for, ie a meal ticket. (Men of course want an angel in the kitchen and a whore in the bedroom, a nanny, housekeeper, companion, secretary etc etc, preferably all rolled into one for maximum "value". Fair enough.) But educated, intelligent middle class men surely ought to know that the only way get a woman to want to mother you is to pretend that all you want to do is to protect and provide for her? Men these days seem to have absolutely no idea of the great unwritten rules of not showing that you are

(1) stupid
(2) scared
(3) desire and require protection

which remains the prerogative of Woman!

Saturday, 13 September 2008

Wives and Girlfriends, Whores and Sluts - in diminishing order

McCain has chosen as his running mate a woman unable to pass on the traditional values that the Republican Party stands for, which I assume to include marriage. Sarah Palin's daughter is expecting and unmarried, yet this is somehow brushed aside as an irrelevance, even by Obama.

It's OK, Obama, to lay into Palin even though your mother was a much-divorced woman. It is the ones who don't even bother getting married before having babies who should be pelted with rotten vegetables and fruit.

Or perhaps it is those who still think it is OK to have a child outside wedlock who deserve the pillory and stocks. Like you, Obama?

Why is marriage desirable in the context of bringing up children?

If you are a Darwinian, you would understand.

When we have sex, it is for the pleasure of it. Babies are not an erotic goal - in fact the very opposite.

The male has to compete to win the hand of the female most likely to be a good mother and wife, ie the one most beautiful, sexy, clever, kind and fertile that he can hope to win.

It falls to the female to select the male most capable of protecting and providing and assume the role of being the prize of the male most worthy winner. To give of herself cheaply and too freely is to negate the role that is naturally hers. When enough females forget this important duty, the result is decline and disaster for the society they inhabit.

Women are prizes to be won by men. Whores are those who would give themselves to the highest bidder. The more astute reader will have noticed that there is not that much difference between being a whore and how a woman who desires marriage might behave - she would accept the most advantageous terms on offer.

Marriage is but prostitution approved by law but burdened with more onerous terms for both parties.

Prostitution is a series of short-term transactions while a marriage is a long-term relationship only capable of being achieved by a couple who have a minimum of mutual-respect and affection.

It is therefore those females who give of their favours too freely or cheaply and then give birth to children outside wedlock who are the ones who bring about eventual societal collapse, when enough generations have been economically, genetically and intellectually impoverished.

To be a "slut" is therefore for more harmful to society than to be a "whore".

Unplanned pregnancy and casual sex, ie the worship of Sexual Freedom, and the welfare state which protects these sluts from the consequences of failing to play by the rules of partner and natural selection, in the light of the above thesis, is therefore the main cause of Western decline.

Some blame foreigners, some blame the Jews, others the Muslims, but I blame the misuse of our sex organs as a thinking organ and the apathy of men in the face of totalitarian feminism, as well as those who refuse to condemn the perpetuation of illegitimacy as immoral and wicked - people such as Sarah Palin and her supporters and, Obama, who thought he would sit on the fence in case it offended the rank and file of illegitimates supporting him.

Female of the Species by Joanna Murray-Smith

A review of it can be found at of this funny, sharp, relevant and wise satire on feminism as an ideology. Echoing the life voyages of the likes of Germaine Greer and Fay Weldon, the stages of feminist thought can be summarised as follows:

Women must free themselves from the yoke of man-made restrictions - Phase 1

Women must become like men to free themselves, ie have careers and sexual freedom, earn money, and no longer be in the home - Phase 2

Women should therefore abandon their traditional path of fulfilment and empowerment, ie marriage and motherhood - Phase 3

Women must acknowledge their failure to become happier after abandoning marriage and motherhood, or acknowledge that marriage, motherhood and career is the privilege of that rare being, the highly motivated and talented time-manageress - Phase 4

Women should re-embrace their traditional roles and once again become happy and fulfilled feminine beings - Phase 5

Men, those who are protectors and providers, should be treated with respect and tenderness because they too are vulnerable creatures saddled with the additional burden of not being allowed to show their vulnerability - Phase 6

The feminist and post-feminist journey is analogous to going right round the earth and finding the very thing you sought, in your own backyard. It was nevertheless a journey that had to be made.

The moral to be extracted from all this?

Pleasing oneself is an exercise that always remains tantalisingly unfinished. Therefore pleasing others and fulfilling the roles that we naturally find ourselves in is the path most likely to lead to lasting happiness.

The love of others obtained through the sacrifice of our selfish pleasures is a greater measure of our worth than our ability to continue enjoying selfish pleasures.

Duty, though dull, is therefore in our long-term self-interest and most likely to result in self-fulfilment and long-term happiness - a happy paradox!