October 6, 2023

An Anti-Marriage Society

“Easy” has become far more of a worthy pursuit than the work of investing time and intention into other humans.

Several weeks ago, Matt Walsh brought attention to a well-known TikTok influencer who openly advocates for the childfree lifestyle. He posted one of her videos in which she spent 90 seconds detailing the activities she had planned for her Saturday as a single 29-year-old woman. She told her audience that she was grateful for the opportunity to sleep in until after 10 a.m., that she was excited to learn to make shakshuka, and that she had a long list of reality TV shows to catch up on, adding up to what she described as a “stacked day.”

Her video was met with a large amount of criticism. Why? Viewers didn’t take issue with a young adult woman deciding to make a video about how she intended to spend her weekend. They objected to the fact that after every activity she had already done or had planned for later, she felt the need to emphasize how much easier these things were because she didn’t have children. They didn’t wake her up early, she didn’t have to call a babysitter to leave the house, and she could watch her favorite shows uninterrupted by little ones demanding her time and attention.

Viewers felt that it was entirely unnecessary to take jabs at parents, and the sacrifices that come with raising children, in order to elevate her personal experiences as someone who isn’t in a committed relationship and has no one to be responsible for other than herself. After all, we would be hard pressed to find married parents with kids who go out of their way to create content about the joys of the things they do as a family while pointing out that their joy is enhanced because they are no longer alone.

The bigger issue, however, is that this young woman represents a generation of people who have normalized the idea of perpetual singlehood. They truly believe — or are trying to convince themselves — that serving their own desires and goals is really all they need in life. In this worldview, there is no value in pursuing a family life and engaging in this institution because “easy” has become far more of a worthy pursuit than the work of investing time and intention into other humans.

This mindset embraces the overall belief system that anything challenging isn’t worth the effort, and that where we’re most comfortable is where we should stay.

It’s also easy to blame those who align more with the left side of the political aisle for this shift in values from outward to inward. Leftists have led the charge in rejecting traditional roles and painted anything associated with a Christian belief system as oppressive and antiquated. The result has been an increase in young people who choose not to date to marry, or choose not to marry to have children, or choose not to have children to build a stable and committed home.

However, the idea of staying single forever has slowly bled across party lines, and now appears to be an issue on which both sides are increasingly united.

Of all things.

Recently, a debate has broken out between members of The Daily Wire like Walsh and those who align with the “red pill” movement, namely Pearl Davis as the ringleader.

Pearl is the host of a YouTube channel called “Just Pearly Things,” where she primarily focuses on men’s rights and speaking against laws that discriminate against them. For example, no-fault divorce laws, child custody laws that overwhelmingly favor women, and harassment situations where it seems that there is no way for men to have their side of the story heard, much less believed. And she makes many valid points regarding these issues, of which more discussion and solutions are needed.

Yet on the issue of marriage, Pearl mainly points to the harm that comes to men if the marriage ends in divorce, and uses those points to insist that there’s no benefit to marriage at all.

In this back-and-forth conversation, Ben Shapiro has, correctly, said that Pearl’s main focus is the laws that tend to favor women and leave men on the hook for things like child support and alimony, should they go separate ways. But by using the consequences of divorce as the central discussion point of the conversation around marriage as a whole, there is reason to be concerned that men will leave her videos with the idea that it’s not worth the risk, even with a good and decent partner.

Of course, there are the divorce statistics that often serve as the cherry on top to these discussions. In cautioning their audiences across the political spectrum, they say that around 50% of marriages don’t survive — a point that both red-pilled Pearl and Ms. Feminist Tik-Tok influencer repeatedly mention in their content.

Both Walsh and Shapiro’s responses to Pearl’s commentary on this issue have been to remind everyone that, though there may be a 50% divorce rate across the board, that does not mean that there is automatically a 50% chance of divorce within every single relationship.

If there were a statistic that said 50% of drivers end up in car accident, would that mean that we’re each equally at a 50% risk of crashing, simply because we made the choice to drive? Or does it make more sense to factor your personal choices as a driver? If you’re someone who goes the speed limit, avoids distractions, and stays in your lane — your chances of getting into an accident are significantly lower than the person who speeds past you, swerving in and out of traffic, and completely disregarding the wellbeing of others on the road.

It’s almost unheard of for people to use the potential of having to pay thousands of dollars in medical expenses and car repairs as a reason never to travel.

Thankfully, unlike driving, the decisions made between other married couples has virtually no impact on the relationship we enter into via our own vows.

We need to shift the conversation back to what is gained as human beings when we choose to be selfless. We should acknowledge that any narrative that shifts us away from a lifelong union with a loving partner is going to rob us of one of the greatest opportunities for us to grow, to learn, and to become a version of ourselves that is beyond what we can imagine, if we were to stay in a space that we occupy by ourselves.

As with most things in life that will bring us the greatest levels of joy, fulfillment, and growth, there will be challenges. There will be many paths laid out as alternatives, with road signs that lead toward something that is “good enough,” tempting us to exchange the frustration that can come from driving over bumps and rocky terrain in order to reach a higher destination, for the smooth course that takes us in the kind of circles that come from consistently choosing to serve no one.

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