- The American Conservative - https://www.theamericanconservative.com -

YouTube Liberated This Woke Heroine

CNN runs Pride Month essay by married mother of two (a former CNN reporter) who watches Saturday Night Live, decides to leave her husband and break her family up to live as a lesbian. [1] No, really, this is a thing that happened:

But there I was, at 36 years old, realizing I didn’t know myself at all.

I had everything I thought made my life perfect. I was married to my best friend and we had two beautiful, healthy and hilarious children, with successful careers and a beautiful home.

My life would change forever after a simple Google search in November 2016. I had just seen Kate McKinnon perform the song “Hallelujah” on SNL and discovered that she’s a lesbian. That shocked me because she didn’t fit the awful stereotype often depicted in the media.

I quickly declared her my “new girl crush.” But it was more than that.

At that moment, I realized that I wanted a relationship with a woman like her — but I felt terrible for even having this thought, as someone who was faithfully married.

It was slowly becoming clear to me that I was not straight.

“I wanted.” So she made it happen. More:

I kept waiting for the moment where I would realize I was no longer gay so I could put a halt to everything. My family was being shattered and I couldn’t stop it. I constantly had to remind myself, “You get one life. This is your life and no one else’s.”

No, Melisa Raney, you’re wrong. When you married and had children, your life was no longer your own exclusively.

One more quote:

I don’t think I would have been able to accept who I am as quickly as I did without the changes in American society in recent years.

I don’t think you would have been able to deny who you were — a wife and a mother, bound in covenant to a family — without the changes in American society in recent years. Your husband did not abuse you. By your own admission, you were in a happy family, a successful family. But you wanted something different — no matter how much it cost your husband and your children.

Here’s the difference: if you had that your happy marriage wasn’t working for you anymore, because you wanted a younger boyfriend, and you walked out on your husband and kids, you would be fairly universally looked down on. Because you destroyed your family for the sake of another woman, you’ve got the major media holding you up as a good example, and the power of American capitalism not only validating, but also valorizing, your choice.

If there were any sense of tragedy here, it might — might — slightly redeem the piece. But there is none. Raney says that everybody’s happy now. What matters was what Raney wanted; everybody else just had to get in line. It was all for the best, you see.

I wonder what her husband and children really think. I know this: if they dissent in any way from the Narrative, they will not be permitted to say so. We know now that many of the children of the divorce revolution in the 1970s came to resent their parents, who convinced themselves (aided by pop culture) that their children would be happier if their parents severed the bond between them, so that they (the parents) could be happier going their own ways.

We never learn. We never, ever learn.

Everything in contemporary American culture — media, consumerism, emerging religion, law, all of it — is designed to smash the traditional family and its natural support, traditional religion. You watch: this ultimate expression of liberalism is going to lead to the destruction of the liberal order.

Today in The Public Discourse, Kevin Stuart explains why. [2] Excerpts:

Every parent knows the ominous feeling of watching one’s child transform a mere mistake into a full-blown disaster.

A similar sense of gloom hovers over Helena Rosenblatt’s recent book, The Lost History of Liberalism [3]. Rosenblatt presents her work as a history of those who have called themselves liberal through the centuries. More accurately described, however, it is her attempt to redefine liberalism’s founding in order to rescue it from the worrisome future toward which it seems to be headed. Liberalism was founded on commitments to duty, patriotism, self-sacrifice, and the other virtues that guide humanity’s use of freedom, she notes. But contemporary liberals are trading their birthright for an untenable pottage of rights talk and anarchic freedom that lacks solid grounding.

Rosenblatt foresees disaster at the end of that path, and her book is a call from within the liberal tradition to turn back. That alone is worth a cheer.

Stuart recounts the history of early liberalism, and how its thinkers recognized that as a political and social project, it depended on a virtuous citizenry to govern itself. More:

Continental liberals believed that republican self-rule required the people to be educated in moral and civic virtue. In fact, at least in the early years, they seem to have agreed on little else. For many years, liberalism in France and Germany was a grab bag of political projects and policies. Still, these liberals always shared a commitment to republican forms of government founded on a civic virtue inculcated in the populace. They distrusted or even opposed pure democracy as little more than mob rule (although they recognized, especially thanks to Tocqueville, the inevitability of democracy’s rise). Only virtuous citizens, they reasoned, could navigate between the extremes of reactionary royalism and radical democratic revolution. A combination of democratic institutions with the more aristocratic emphasis on virtue would ennoble democracy and prevent the return of the exhausted ancien régime.

But how are citizens to be fitted with the virtue that republican government requires? This question brings us to the second important contribution of this book, and its most curious feature. Liberals concluded that the answer to this question was religion—Christianity, to be specific. Not the Christianity of the Catholic Church, which liberals regarded as the problem; and not the Christianity of orthodox Protestants, either: they, too, had often sided against democratic forces during the French Revolution. Early liberals needed a new theology for the new man at the dawn of a new age.

So they invented a form of Christianity that denatured and tamed Christianity. It has now reached its final stage, says Stuart, in Moralistic Therapeutic Deism. Read the whole thing.  [2]

A society based on nothing but atomized individuals asserting nothing but their rights, and ignoring their duties; of people following what they want, heedless of what they owe to others, is not a society that will last. A society that makes a hero of a woman who watches a YouTube performance and decides to blow up her family’s life is morally insane. But hey, #LoveWins, right?

UPDATE: Reader Axxr:

It’s not just a gay thing. I’m middle-aged, but this all sounds like the trajectory of my relationships in life, and ultimately of my failed marriage, which I tend to believe was undermined by social media in the end.

The question becomes “Are you delivering to me what I believe I deserve?” This is increasingly seen to be the purpose of marriage—a mere “win-win” in which everyone is owed what they believe they deserve. Not even “Are you trying your best to do right by me,” no—you must deliver, and you must deliver precisely what your mate believes that they deserve, whatever that is, because such is “their truth.”

There is no question of mutuality or mutual sacrifice or duty. If not everyone gets what they believe they deserve, it is no longer a “win-win” and *of course* the moral thing to do is to split up so that both can go searching for another “win-win” in which everyone *can* get what they believe they deserve.

And as if that wasn’t shaky enough, social media works very hard, day-in and day-out, to ensure that people believe they deserve more and more—much of it irrational or unrealistic or narcissistic, much of it entirely contrary to any possibility of stable relationship or commitment.

And so it is that these days, everyone deserves complete financial security immediately, full freedom to pursue idiosyncratic sexual whims without limits or even comment, an ideal career (no matter how often this changes, and no matter the financial impact of such changes), a partner who “validates” them no matter what choices they make, with zero hint of criticism or even discussion, etc.

The very concept that marriage or family could ever prevent anyone from doing anything, no matter how small, is seen as the fatal, totalitarian flaw in marriage and family. It is seen as nothing more than an anachronistic mechanism to oppress, to prevent people from “being who they are” at every moment, as this ephemeral quantity evolves, and to place limits on peoples’ ability to “get what they deserve.”

Then when people end up alone and unattached with no one to care for them, rather than question their choices and the entire value edifice, they bitterly bemoan all of those people along the way who failed to give them “what they deserve” and they thus cry out for “justice.”

I grew up in the and ’80s in a lower-middle-class, white neighborhood (struggling, but employed and home-owning) and already by then most of my friends had divorced parents. In my grade in school I knew only of two families—mine and that of one other child—who had both parents living at home.

Since that time, the pressures against marriage and family have grown by many orders of magnitude and though I thought I’d married someone that shared values with my own, that someone found Facebook early on in the marriage just as Facebook was really picking up speed. Suddenly she was “Facebooking” and “resharing” day and night, often articles and other content that clearly attacked and demeaned the life that we had.

Soon, what had been a happy relationship was seen instead to be an “unjust” one in which we were both, apparently, keeping each other prisoner and unjustly “limiting us.” Or whatever.

I don’t see how my children will ever be able to marry and in a way, I’d rather they didn’t. The pain and suffering are terrible.

Advertisement
164 Comments (Open | Close)

164 Comments To "YouTube Liberated This Woke Heroine"

#1 Comment By Brendan On June 13, 2019 @ 7:59 am

I’ve never heard a couple at their 70th anniversary talk about sex.

I hear a lot about it from divorced or never married people.

It’s almost as if obsessing over sex is part of the problem…

Sex is like money: it matters a lot less when you have it than it does when you don’t.

#2 Comment By Elijah On June 13, 2019 @ 8:42 am

“What are you, 14? Any man who expects (or wants) sex to be the most important thing about marriage is missing the entire point of marriage.”

And yet an awful lot of marriages fail due to sexual incompatibility and money issues. I’ve heard from many pastors they they are, in fact, the two largest predictors of marital success.

#3 Comment By ElJimador On June 13, 2019 @ 10:06 am

kgasmart: “…all we need to do is look at the data on how the children of divorce fair compared to those from intact homes…”

Except that we’re talking specifically about homes where the love between the parents is already gone. So believing those stats tell us anything about that would be like having a clinical trial for a new cancer drug where group A included patients who received the drug while the placebo group B included not only patients but perfectly healthy people too. Of course the placebo group is going to come out healthier but that doesn’t tell us anything about the effectiveness of the drug.

I’m not saying that an immediate separation is always the best course in these situations, particularly when young kids are involved. But I think a lot of people here are not really comprehending what it does to you to be trapped in a relationship with someone who can’t love you anymore. Yeah you miss the sex but that’s just a small part of it. Wait till all the other intimate moments fall away and your partner doesn’t even want to hug you anymore. Imagine how much you have to shut yourself off emotionally to deal with that denial of love and the vicious circle it creates when you start withdrawing just as much. You each wind up like Monty Python’s black knight: missing big pieces of yourself while you go on pretending everything is fine. Maybe some people can figure out how to live that way but I sure couldn’t, and I definitely wouldn’t want a child growing up in it.

#4 Comment By craig On June 13, 2019 @ 10:27 am

Erdrick says: “Your analysis basically sees sex as the compensation a man gets for being married, which I think is a flawed way of looking at it. The idea of getting married just for sex- or seeing sex as being the most important thing about the relationship and your compensation for being married- is ridiculous to me. When you have a good relationship, the sex isn’t transactional.”

Interpersonal relationships aren’t necessarily transactional, but marriage is. It is so by definition, and that transaction is the substance defined in traditional wedding vows. Everybody used to understand this. I’m in my mid-fifties, old enough to remember when it was only the radicals saying relationships are all about the feelz and marriage is just a piece of paper.

But today we see self-described ‘conservatives’ (and you may or may not fall into that group, I don’t know you) arguing as you do that a good marriage is “about the relationship, about building a new life together, about building a team”: anything else but transactional. What they don’t understand is that the radicals took and fortified that ground decades ago, and ‘conservatives’ marched straight into their ambush.

Because what your argument does is to unwittingly make the argument for open marriage. If a wife doesn’t owe her husband sexual access (or vice versa), and exclusivity, then logic dictates that she commits no offense against the marriage if she decides to go outside the marriage for sex, even to the point of letting other men father children for him to raise. Aren’t they still a team, building a new life? Aren’t the other men’s spawn still part of the family, as modern feelz would have it? For that matter, why shouldn’t the husband enjoy friends with benefits too?

What you have done is accept the paradigm of family and marriage as defined by sentiment, instead of as defined by man and woman uniting to produce their own offspring (as every prior generation understood it). If you aren’t repulsed by IVF creating deliberately fatherless (or motherless) children, or by the nothing-but-feelz foundation underpinning same-sex “marriage”, you’re already for open marriage; you just don’t know it yet.

I’ll recapitulate my original point to end: the obligations that a young man assumes in wedlock are numerous, concrete, and legally enforced. The benefits he receives in return are conditional and ephemeral, rarely if ever upheld via social pressure or law. He has a strong self-interest in vetting would-be brides for potential risk. That risk is not just about the blatant kinds of fraudulent misrepresentation, it’s also about all the future divorce indicators that “she’s just not that into you” but is settling for her beta bucks. One easy indicator of the latter is if, prior to marriage, she’s already gauging your tolerance for the idea that regular sex in marriage is no big deal. Ampersand is merely noting how all these things contribute to a generation of young men asking what’s in it for them?

#5 Comment By Badger On June 13, 2019 @ 12:56 pm

This is the myth of the one change. The truth is that divorce often doesn’t result in the person becoming happy or giving up some self destructive behavior. It often just changes the landscape. Sure, some people will change for the better, but the divorce often isn’t the inducing event. What often happens is the child just ends up spending unsupervised time with the troubled former spouse whereas in intact homes, the stable parent is able to shield the child.

#6 Comment By kgasmart On June 13, 2019 @ 3:05 pm

Except that we’re talking specifically about homes where the love between the parents is already gone.

And what percentage of divorces fall into this category, where neither spouse can stand the other? More often, it’s one spouse comes to loathe the other, or resent the other, or feel he/she isn’t getting what he/she “deserves,” or feels constrained, or falls in love with another, or… on and on and on.

I’ll grant you that where there are situations where the kids know mom and dad don’t even like each other, separation makes sense for all involved. But of the people I’ve known who’ve been divorced, or whose parents have gotten divorced, the overwhelming. majority of those splits have involved one half of the marriage deciding – that’s it, I’m leaving.

A good friend who was in my wedding, a college, professor, fell in love with a student and told his wife (and kids) “seeya.” One of my best friends growing up, dad was an airline pilot and has his pick of the stewardesses and, meh, mom at home just couldn’t cut it anymore.

Another couple, guy I used to coach with, and his wife split up amicably – better for all involved, but still, and he admits this, very hard on the kids, especially their oldest son, who changed profoundly after the split (before the split – cocky; after the split – withdrawn and far quieter).

And on and on it goes. Yes, kids want their parents to be happy. But what most really want is their parents to be happy together, for them to be a happy family – and when that possibility gets dashed, it really does affect so many of them.

#7 Comment By JohnInCA On June 13, 2019 @ 3:08 pm

@Brendan

The odd thing about this is that she says she was never attracted to women before. That is odd.

Odd, but not unheard of.

Also, sure, she doesn’t talk about what her sex-life was with her husband (good or bad), or whether she’s even had sex with women. Are we really complaining that a lesbian isn’t talking about her sex-life more?

@RichardP

We should behave in ways that the Bible lays out – not because gay or bisexual sex is “not normal” but because, if we don’t behave, society that survives for generations on end will not be possible.

Cool. So, which of your daughters are you offering to me, knowing fully well her marital bed will always be cold, that the best she can hope for is a friendly partnership in parenting, and your grandchildren will never see parents who love each other modeled for them?

@craig
As always… if you’re the sort of person who hears “why buy the cow when you can get the milk for free” and nod along, then you, like Ampersand, shouldn’t get married.

That said, if you really want to argue that marriage is transactional, how do you argue against prostitution?

#8 Comment By Ampersand III On June 13, 2019 @ 4:13 pm

“Outlier, while certainly true, doesn’t really capture the spirit of what you described. It sounds as though you have some deep-seated emotional problems / an emotional disorder.”

Or maybe I’m just not a people person, outside of annoying biological urges.

“I’m not trying to call you names here, I’m just saying that your view of human relationships is neither normal nor healthy.”

That’s been said to many groups, so I’m in good company, for the most part. If I understand the Social Marxist schedule correctly, people like me will get our views mainstreamed after the poly folks and before the robo-sexual crowd. By the time VR porn gets here, people like me will be the least of your worries.

“In all honesty you should get some help.”

It feels strange saying this, as a modern/secular person, but…do we really need therapy for everything? There are a whole lot of problems that won’t be solved by talking. Granted, in my case, I think it’s less a “problem” and more a “personality type.”

#9 Comment By Erdrick On June 13, 2019 @ 4:19 pm

Craig,

Your screed is nonsense, mostly because you don’t seem to understand what “transactional” means. You seem to think that a good marriage means “I earned $x dollars this week, so I earned y amount of sex” and the wife begrudgingly obliges to that because a deal’s a deal. That’s transactional, and it sounds much more like some caricature of marriage a feminist would create to argue against it. You’re describing a prostitute, not a wife.

My description of marriage- which boils down to a mutual obligation and sharing of economic, logistical, and emotional burdens with a spouse who you have sex with a make a family with- is much more traditional than whatever you’re describing. Sex is important, but not the most important consideration at all times. Pretending otherwise is much more in line with the radicals you pretend to oppose, who focus only on sex. Besides, you seem to think that women don’t want sex, which absolutely is not true- at least in my experience. But while my wife and I both enjoy sex with each other, we would both also agree that (1) it’s not the absolute most important thing about our relationship and (2) it’s not my compensation for staying around and being a husband and father. Rather, it’s something that we do to bond with each other (and to make children).

What does a good marriage offer men of the younger generation? Pretty simple- it offers many of the things it always has- family, companionship, and, yes, sex. Keep in mind that I’m younger than both you and Ampersand, apparently. But I find MRAs/Incels/etc. utterly alien. My impression is that they are mostly emotionally stunted losers who are repugnant in such a way that drives away decent women. I’m married, my friends are married, my colleagues of my age are married, dozens of marriages between Millenials, and none of them have these horror stories on which the MRAs/incels focus. Maybe it’s a class thing, as most of my friends are upper-middle / professional class. I know that the lower class has problems with stable family formation, but that’s a different question than this stupid man vs. woman paradigm the MRAs and incels constantly push.

#10 Comment By Rick On June 13, 2019 @ 5:32 pm

“A society based on nothing but atomized individuals asserting nothing but their rights, and ignoring their duties; of people following what they want, heedless of what they owe to others, is not a society that will last.”

Describes the history of almost every baby boomer alive today except you forgot the words feckless, narcissistic, purile, vapid, myopic, histrionic and facile.

Sexual orientation has got nothin to do with it.

Do you not remember the 70’s and 80’s latch key parenting? The 50% divorce rates? The endless affairs? The abandoning of children with no looking back?

You’re about 4 decades too late on this analysis.

#11 Comment By Erdrick On June 13, 2019 @ 7:08 pm

Ampersand III says:
June 13, 2019 at 4:13 pm

Or maybe I’m just not a people person, outside of annoying biological urges.

Don’t kid yourself. What you described is a personality disorder. It’s far beyond merely not being a people person.

By the time VR porn gets here, people like me will be the least of your worries.

Believe me, I’m not worried about you. I just challenge you because I think you’re a self-admitted outlier, but you feel entitled to make sweeping statements about men our age that I find to be ridiculous and way off base. If you and robosexuals and VR Porn aficionados want to spend your whole lives pleasure yourselves, that’s fine with me. People like me will have children, and the world will soldier on. Natural selection at work.

“In all honesty you should get some help.”

It feels strange saying this, as a modern/secular person, but…do we really need therapy for everything? There are a whole lot of problems that won’t be solved by talking. Granted, in my case, I think it’s less a “problem” and more a “personality type.”

The help I mentioned isn’t for you. I couldn’t care less if you wanted to waste your life being a bitter misanthrope loner. The help is more for other people in case you have urges to become the next Eliot Rodger and inflict your euphemistically described “personality type” onto others.

#12 Comment By Sylvia On June 14, 2019 @ 4:19 pm

Another great article. Spot on! Thank you for saying what others dare not.

#13 Comment By Hound of Ulster On June 14, 2019 @ 7:55 pm

If seeing Kate McKinnon on YouTube makes you queer, you didn’t need much of a push.

The whole Modern understanding of marriage is deranged on so many levels, and at wide variance with Christian Tradition. It is not about sex, money, ‘happiness’, or even children (a happy consequence of a good marriage they may be) but about crucifying the ego and dying to the self in a small way every single day of the married life. No-fault divorce in particular damages this understanding of marriage far more than any queer couple asking for civil marriage license ever could.

No-fault divorce foregrounds a highly materialistic and self-absorbed view of what ‘marriage’ is, and the Social Right gave up the ghost long ago on this issue when it enthusiastically supported Ronald Reagan, signer of the first no-fault divorce law in the country, and the market fundamentalist ethos he brought to power, which has made marriage into a luxury good only really available to the rich, and easily ‘broken’ and ‘replaced’ to boot, as in this case. The LGBT movement just walked right into the moral high ground the Social Right abandoned so fecklessly. And it was a Tory Thatcherite in Andrew Sullivan who first proposed gay marriage as a concept in a serious way.

#14 Comment By Thomas Hobbes On June 15, 2019 @ 1:46 am

Erdrick says:

What does a good marriage offer men of the younger generation? Pretty simple- it offers many of the things it always has- family, companionship, and, yes, sex. Keep in mind that I’m younger than both you and Ampersand, apparently. But I find MRAs/Incels/etc. utterly alien. My impression is that they are mostly emotionally stunted losers who are repugnant in such a way that drives away decent women. I’m married, my friends are married, my colleagues of my age are married, dozens of marriages between Millenials, and none of them have these horror stories on which the MRAs/incels focus. Maybe it’s a class thing, as most of my friends are upper-middle / professional class. I know that the lower class has problems with stable family formation, but that’s a different question than this stupid man vs. woman paradigm the MRAs and incels constantly push.

I’m with you 100% on this one. Also a millennial who is married (with 3 kids). The vast majority of my friends are married (no surprise, married people tend to hang out together), the vast majority of people I knew in elementary school, high school, college, and grad school are married with kids. I too am in a bubble of relative affluence though. I just don’t get this whole treating intimate relationships as a transactional thing that MRAs and such talk about. Maybe a teenager who watched too much Sex in the City
(or whatever a modern equivalent would be) thinks that relationships work that way, but I’ve never really encountered this attitude from men or women outside of people in their 20s or younger. I will say that people do seem to need a model for how to build a long lasting relationship and maintain it – the desire comes naturally to most but the ability does not. Every single person I know that has gone through divorce or seems unable to form lasting relationships is a child of either divorce themself or had one of their parents out of the picture for some reason.