It’s hard for people to get together in this day and age; I think we can all admit that. Despite the plethora of online match-making services, the ease of social media to connect with others, and the sheer amount of people alive, relationships are still a struggle.
You can argue over the reasons for this, but I have a few theories. Largest on the horizon are the warped views and expectations of people in relationships. Once upon a time it was simple. Men and women understood their roles in a relationship (and subsequent marriage). There was greater opportunity for success, because they knew what was expected of them.
Sure, you can claim that traditional gender roles of the man being the “head” of the relationship and the woman being the devoted wife are outdated. They could even be manipulated to oppress or abuse a person. But in that very broad framework, men and women thrived.
Not so much anymore. With the “liberation” of women came new obstacles, ones largely inflicted on themselves. Instead of letting women choose what kind of path they should take, feminists demand their fellow women reject traditional gender roles. Today if a young woman is not pursuing a career at a Fortune 500 company, or running for public office, while staying attractive and keeping a few men on the hook, they’re a complete failure.
Women who opt to marry a man they love and raise a family are the worst of the worst.
It’s just as bad for men. We are told being masculine—the very essence of our gender—is “toxic.” Manly men are hated by feminists, liberals, and pop culture. Everything from television to books to movies portray the classic, strong, confident man as some kind of abuser and tyrant. Even when one of them is elected as President, he is not given the benefit of the doubt, but is called sexist and bigoted.
Men are told our headstrong, confident nature is oppressive. We are all just a few steps away from being sexual predators. Taking the lead in a relationship is akin to slavery, according to some feminists. Even the sacred bonds of marriage are a kind of evil, that must be destroyed.
Then at the same time men are expected to shoulder all this hate and continue building society, take charge, win over a woman, and carry on like normal men.
It’s a muddled and confusing situation that makes cultivating a healthy and successful relationship seemingly impossible.
But, wait, there’s more! The traditional ideals of sex have been skewed. Why settle for a loving, committed marriage, when you can just hook up with someone for one night? Why pledge to honor, cherish and support another person, when you can just swipe right? Why believe in things like selflessness, fidelity, and trust, when you can just get off and move on?
Since I was a child the ideas of monogamy, waiting to have sex until marriage, and commitment were laughed at. Those ideas today are so foreign, some people can’t even believe they were once the norm. Young people today have so very little grasp on what a healthy relationship is—thanks to our society’s moral bankruptcy—that the relationships they do pursue often end up twisted and toxic.
At the very worst, they come to dark ends.
We don’t have to look far to see how our warped views on relationships have had terrible ramifications. Unthinkable things happen on a regular basis. We are reaching new thresholds of horror; we are even setting legal precedence, because we are raising children who’d rather kill one another, than help and support.
Such was the dark and twisted case of Michelle Carter and Conrad Roy. Their story belongs in one of those long-forgotten 80’s revenge movies. Something more appropriate in Heathers, than in real life. Yet this is what we’ve come to today, thanks to a perfect storm of warped gender roles, toxic relationships, and reckless abuse of technology.
In a case that hinged largely on a teenage couple's intimate text messages, Michelle Carter was found guilty of involuntary manslaughter Friday in the 2014 death of her boyfriend, who poisoned himself by inhaling carbon monoxide in his pickup truck, a Massachusetts judge ruled.
Carter's own words -- preserved in hundreds of text messages presented as evidence over six days of testimony -- helped seal her conviction in the death of 18-year-old Conrad Roy III, Bristol County Juvenile Court Judge Lawrence Moniz said during a 15-minute explanation of his rationale. (CNN)
Carter’s case is being debated by many. Some agree she is guilty of wrongdoing, but claim the verdict is too harsh. Others are weighing the legal precedent this case will set and if it will affect free speech (ahem, if you’re telling someone to kill themselves, that’s not free speech).
Just looking at the facts, you’ll agree that Carter is responsible for her boyfriend’s death. The young man was in a dark place, contemplating suicide. Instead of appealing to him to get help, going to their school or his family, she egged him on, even telling him to get back into the car.
Roy took his own life after a series of unsettling text messages between him and Carter wherein she encouraged him to kill himself; when he tried to asphyxiate himself in his car, got scared, and got out, she told him to get back in the car, and he died. (Cosmo)
According to the ruling of the judge, "She admits in ... texts that she did nothing: She did not call the police or Mr. Roy's family" after hearing his last breaths during a phone call. "And, finally, she did not issue a simple additional instruction: Get out of the truck."
It’s a dark story to be sure. And it sets a legal precedent, to a certain extent, of what a person is guilty of through text messages. Carter being found guilty of manslaughter, through text messages, will now set the bar for what people will be responsible for, through this modern form of communication.
It’s worthy of a discussion. Do you really think Carter is guilty of this boy’s death, because of text messages? After all, she wasn’t there; she didn’t force him into the car; she didn’t put a gun to his head, or otherwise inflict physically harm. Couldn’t Roy have just ignored her? Couldn’t he have told her to “f**k off,” break up with her and find a better girl?
Perhaps. But people in toxic relationships don’t understand they’re in one. They believe their situation is normal, or that they somehow deserve the abuse. Add to that a young man that was obviously depressed and not thinking clearly, you have a situation where this woman wielded a lot of power.
You can debate whether or not she should face twenty years of jail time. But the real question I’m left with is how? How could a young woman, with her whole life ahead of her, push someone to do this?
Here is one of the texts:
“You’re ready and prepared. All you have to do is turn the generator on and you bee [sic] free and happy. No more pushing it off, no more waiting.”
Not the kind of thing a loving girlfriend should be telling a guy. If she hated him, why didn’t she break up with him? Was she so determined to see this young man dead? Was it because she was mentally impaired or depressed, that she didn’t realize the evil she was inflicting on him?
Considering that mental illness wasn’t a factor in the case’s ruling, we cannot say she was ill or deranged. From all appearances, this was a normal woman, who did an evil thing.
Is this an indictment on our entire society, though? Are Carter’s actions somehow related to how the rest of us carry our relationships? To a certain extent, yes.
When we live in a society that treats people as disposable, these kinds of stories will happen. When we lack the moral backbone to stand up for people, to put their well-being ahead of our personal advancement, these kinds of stories will happen.
For years we’ve cheapened human life and dignity. We’ve told generations of young people it’s okay to pursue pleasure over commitment. We’ve distorted the roles of men and women in relationships to the point where we don’t even understand, it’s about helping the other person first.
Where were the parents through all of this? Once upon a time, parents were actually concerned with the lives of their children. They knew their friends, who they hung out with and even dated. Dad had a say in whom his daughters were going out with. If parents didn’t like what was going on, they shut it down.
Unthinkable in today’s society, right? I mean, come on, shouldn’t teenagers with zero life experience be allowed to make life-altering experiences without the say of their parents? We’ve removed the role of parents in their own children’s lives so much that they don’t even know if their kids are in trouble… Or depressed enough to take their own lives.
This is not an attack on Roy’s parents specifically, but an indictment of how society expects all parents to behave. Had they taken a greater role in their son’s life—perhaps trying to end a bad relationship with this girl—they would have been branded as controlling and domineering. It’s a lose-lose situation for most families.
I’m not saying we should return to a time where young man bartered with fathers over a daughter’s hand. But, goddammit, a kid’s dead because his girlfriend egged him to sit in a running car. You mean to tell me his parents shouldn’t have had a greater say in his life? You mean to tell me a little more parental involvement in their kid’s relationships wouldn’t have confronted this issue?
We are living in a morally bankrupt time, a time when our culture has pushed our values to the point of breaking. Healthy relationships seem impossible because we’ve sacrificed commitment, trust, and abstinence for cheap thrills. Of course, this was going to be the end result.
The tragedy of the Carter-Roy case is not an isolated incident. More bizarre, twisted events like this will happen. More lives will be lost, because we as a people refuse to commit to even the most basic values.
But there is silver lining in all the darkness. As it turns out, you can have a happy, healthy, and very sexually-fulfilling relationship after all.
You just have to be a conservative!
It turns out that Republicans are having sex more frequently than Democrats, a study published Monday revealed…
Wolfinger based his study on a question from the General Social Survey, asking respondents “about how often did you have sex during the last 12 months?” Wolfinger found that Independents are 22 percent more likely to have weekly sex than Democrats, while Republicans are 11 percent more likely after controlling for age, sex, ethnicity and year the survey was taken. (Daily Caller)
And why are republicans getting more booty than anyone else? As it turns out, they’re more likely to believe in traditional values of marriage and commitment.
The reason that Republicans have more sex than Democrats probably comes from their higher marriage rates, Wolfinger explained.
Wolfinger also found that Republicans are about 23 percent less likely to cheat than Democrats. Independents and Democrats cheat at about the same rate, the study revealed.
So being in a committed marriage, where you don’t cheat, results in more sex. Hmm. Would you like to guess that it also means those marriages are more fulfilling and healthy? I’d say so.
There is a reason clean living works out so well and why long-held traditions and values have been held to for as long as they have. They produce the best results.
But that doesn’t erase the damage our “progression” has caused to our fundamental views on relationships. Damage that might take generations to fix.
All I can say is parents: maybe hold off on those family cell phone plans.