December 12, 2013

" No husbands and wives, only baby-mothers and baby-fathers"

In Some to Misery Are Born Theodore Dalrymple in TaKi's Magazine describes the horror of a girl born to a drug addict and abused for years by live-in boyfriends and whose education never equipped her with even basic skills that would enable her to get a job.  He concludes:

These questions would at least reflect the reality of the terrible world in which the woman lived. This is a world which is quite extensive in England, where it is normal for a woman’s grandchildren to be older than her children, where uncles and aunts are often younger than their nieces and nephews, where practically all siblings are half-siblings and have different surnames, where when you try to understand the family relationships of the children it makes you dizzy, and where there are no husbands and wives, only baby-mothers and baby-fathers.

There is no new thing under the sun, and no doubt there are historical precedents for all this. Yet the sheer extent of this world in England is new, if by “new” we mean something that has happened in the last half-century at the most. It has been created with the blessing of intellectuals who saw the destruction of conventions as a blow against hypocrisy and with the encouragement of politicians who saw in social breakdown an opportunity to remain permanently important.
Posted by Jill Fallon at December 12, 2013 12:42 PM | Permalink