Hail to You - Sexual Sexual Suicide vs Family Formation

Posted On: Monday - December 18th 2023 11:47PM MST
In Topics: 
  Feminism  Pundits  Big-Biz Stupidity

Sexual Suicide is the name of a 50 y/o book by one George Gilder, written less than a decade into the modern wave of feminism. Its cover blurb says "Can we survive the rising tide of feminism? Or are we doomed to a life without family and marriage"* At 50 years later to the month, pundit and frequent Peak Stupidity commenter E.H. Hail presented the long New York Times essay that preceded the full book, in its entirety, (well, sure you can) and thoroughly discussed it a couple of months back. His post is George Gilder’s essay “Sexual Suicide” (1973), a landmark attack on feminism and warning for the future, revisited and reappraised at its 50-year mark.

Starting off from the words of one comment of a naysayer under his Sexual Suicide post, Mr. Hail has a new long essay up on his Hail to You blog titled Who is responsible for the decline in family-formation in the U.S. and the rest of the West?. I'd first thought that the comment instigated this essay and that is was a just a follow-up to the essay on the George Gilder book (due to its cover being displayed early in the post). However, there's a whole lot to this one, and I'll enjoy reading it tomorrow, with comments to follow.

Mr. Hail presents a number of important questions relating to family formation:
* Why did family-formation (stable relationship-formation on a “family” trajectory) decline so precipitously?

* What went “wrong”? Who or what is responsible?
Is the decline in family-formation a problem at all? Can it be said to have “gone wrong”? Or is it really better now after all?

* On the other hand, if the drop in family-formation is a problem, how could it be solved? Who has the power to change it?

* What ideological- or personality-driven forces are at play in keeping up the low-family-formation norm of our time?

* Can family-formation happen in a healthy and sustainable way if women are direct competitors in the “job-market” and social-status market, with “their” men?

* How many social and political problems emanate from the weakness of White family-formation, including (e.g.) the much-commented-upon rise of a political class of educated, single women? And such things as the opioid epidemic?
Since I haven't read it yet, I cannot say whether Mr. Hail answers or attempts to answer, all of the questions. That 3rd question of the first item, whether any of this is a problem, goes along with the slow-moving Peak Stupidity series on the "Depopulocalypse"**.

Starting from the commenter's argument, the question of equal pay for equal work between the sexes comes up, but not in the usual apples-to-oranges complaint form out of the modern Feminist ctrl-left. Nope, this goes the other way, in a manner that is older in fashion - OK, more old-fashioned - than we've heard discussed seriously in public since, well before I've heard ANYTHING discussed, because I wasn't around. This goes back to real Conservatism, with the point that the role of men should require more pay for employment as to enable that family formation.

Even asking that question would be unheard of in any modern day discussion. As a Libertarian, I say government mandates would be anathema to me, but that's not necessary. Then there's also the economic argument that has been applied to the modern version of the equal pay for equal work question. If an employer really were paying more to the men, in a truly apples-to-apples situation, i.e., there were no effects of different dedication and working hours for salaried employees, no differences in long-term employment (as with maternity leaves coming at any time for highly-paid doctors), etc., wouldn't another employer come out ahead hiring ONLY women to save costs and outperform the former in the market?

Conservatives say it's NOT all about money in the long run, but then Big Biz is no longer the Big Biz of yester-half-century with non-diverse Conservative White men who might actually understand the value of family formation. It took not just understanding, but a concern for the long-term health of society. That doesn't seem to be a factor now for Big Biz. If anything, they are not just uncaring but working hard to destroy themselves, along with any healthy society, via Wokeness.

I didn't mean to get into that discussion at all. I will leave more for comments under Mr. Hail's post.

* Oh, and the image of the book cover says $1.95. We'll leave that be ...

** Term coined by blogger John Carter in his Postcards from Barsoom site, from which came a series of essays from which we, yes still, intend to discuss depopulation.

Dieter Kief
Wednesday - December 20th 2023 1:31AM MST
Speaking of taboos Mr. Hail: - The Japanese and Koreans are strolling towards population reduction - but my impression is: This is in itself a taboo - to see population reduction happen and - let it slip.
For one: It is a sign that your tribe is at its limits. - Who wants to admit that? - The usual urge is to dominate = to be bigger than others = to be more!
So - Mod. - - - our wish to do away with lots of future co-species-fellows is as simple as it is - out of reach, somehow. Thing is though: Equal pay is a huge driver of this very tendency playing out unforced in real life in Japan and Korea. Because women who get decent wages can't be forced into child-bearing - and an impressive number of them in Japan and Korea prefer to stay childless - - - .
Cozy supersmall dogs are a thing for Korean women living in 1-room-appartment high-rises now. - Btw.: In the good old days of great Harper's or The Nedw Yorker Journalism, soembody wqould have workesd on this subject for soem months and come up with an eye-opening piece, I could have referred to. Now we have to make this stuff up in our phantasies, - but, mind you: Based on the fact that these little dogs are selling by the tens of thousands in Seoul.
Peak Stupidity Book Club
Tuesday - December 19th 2023 10:42PM MST
PS: Greetings, Mr. Hail and friends!

I haven't read these yet, but they may be of interest to the discussion at hand...

Sexual Suicide (26.6M .pdf)

Men and Marriage (13.5M .pdf)

I should have chimed in sooner, but.. well, better late than never...

Also, I was kind of busy today...

Anyway... I hope you all have a great evening and an even better tomorrow!

Happy Wednesday Morning, y'all! ☮️
Tuesday - December 19th 2023 7:59PM MST
PS: "I still am curious if the original anonymous commenter may have been a certain notorious female Sailer commenter, but there's no way to know unless she "claims responsibility" in the Sailer venue."

Mr. Hail, I think I got right away (in your recent comment under your Gilder essay) who you mean here - starts with an "A"? I'm just not so sure based on the writing style though. That last bit about "your daughters" does read like the style. I'd say, probably not. The commenter sure had an attitude born of that half-century(per your next comment) of pervasive Feminism.
Tuesday - December 19th 2023 5:36PM MST

I want to respond with a few thoughts to this: "...a 50 y/o book by one George Gilder, written less than a decade into the modern wave of feminism..."

This suggests you would place the origin-point for modern feminism ca. the mid-1960s (if 1973 is "less than a decade" into it).

I have come to think of the early 1970s itself period as the Origin-Point for modern Feminism. In other words, everything about the new "Women's Movement" of that period remained recognizable to us in later eras, the 1980s, 1990s, 2000s, 2010s, and now in the 2020s. It's the default. It was a realignment. Whereas before that point, traditional attitudes basically prevailed no matter what any "women's movement" of the moment was getting up to.

There was a long churn of feminist-like movements from about the mid-19th-century up to the mid-20th-century, and in every era over that century you can find something going on. But whatever the goals or ideologies of the moment, they didn't really galvanize to something that really tilted society into a new direction, a sexual-politics revolution, until the early-mid 1970s.

Obviously nothing starts in a pure vacuum, there are few true "And God said, Let there be Light" moments in politics, so that which we are interested in the early-mid 1970s will draw on forerunners from the 1960s, and even earlier. But nothing that happened up to the end of 1969 truly broke through, and if everything "froze" in 1968/69, there would be no Feminist Socio-Political Behemoth as we now know it, I think. Whereas if everything "froze" in 1973/74, five years later --- as sort of did happen! --- we would have such a Feminist Social-Political Behemoth kind of running the show.

I really became convinced of this in reading old newspaper and magazine material, really over the past few years. By about 1972/73, you'd see a normal churn of material recognizable as pro-women, pro-girl feminist of the kind that is pervasive today. The same "script" got locked in at that time. The ramparts were occupied, the feminists were mopping up modest resistance inside the palace, a handful of people, like this Gilder, were rallying discouraged forces and making plans to keep up a resistance outside the palace itself.

The kind of thing that becomes common during the early 1970s is much rarer even in the late 1960s, just a few years earlier. There is a change in tone reflecting a change in social expectations and a new order of things. It happened fast.
Tuesday - December 19th 2023 5:24PM MST

Thank you for the link, the comments, and for encouraging the writing of that entry. I still am curious if the original anonymous commenter may have been a certain notorious female Sailer commenter, but there's no way to know unless she "claims responsibility" in the Sailer venue.


"Who," or "what," is responsible for the decline in family-formation is an important question to ask.

I don't have all the answers, but I also know that society at large is hardly asking the question, at least in a productive way. Why? There are some strong taboos at work. What I like to think that I, or really that we all "do" (I mean those regulars in the Peak Stupidity world, and others such as the Sailer commentariat-people), is to gracefully sidestep the taboo-guardians (or power through them, if needed) and into the open sunlight beyond, to shout out the questions that need shouting out.
Tuesday - December 19th 2023 11:33AM MST
PS: That's sad for them, Alarmist. "Stupidity doesn't pay" is the lesson. Too many have grown up in the Feminist political environment, that, per E.H. Hail's post is so pervasive we don't even notice it, as a fish doesn't notice the water, while he's on his bicycle(?). One could say it's not their fault at all, but there is some blame for them for not listening to the elders (including Moms) who tried to give them good advice.)

Dieter, that's exactly why I think, without the big long-term problem of Africa, it wouldn't be a bad thing if S. Korea went down to 1/2 the population it is now, or Japan down to 1/4 even, STILL giving it about the same population density as California has now! No more high-rises would be necessary. Spread out and take advantage of nature and the additional room.

Dieter Kief
Tuesday - December 19th 2023 5:13AM MST
South (!) Korea is worse than Japan.
But then - as a man of the rural sceneries: What would be the point of putting more high-rises up in Seoul and stuff them with families? - the high-rise inhabitants (majority of 1 person households) epecially don't seem to much want this.
The Alarmist
Tuesday - December 19th 2023 3:31AM MST

I've known too many women who crossed 40 and started thinking they would like to have children. Most were unsuccessful and will die alone. It's not sexual suicide, but it seems to be a largely White person's problem,
and Japanese only in that they tend to emulate the worst of Europe.
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