Saturday, April 01, 2006

The Week's Recommended Reading

From Ash:

Here are links to a few of the particularly interesting articles we've found on family issues in the past week.

Same Sex Marriage

On March 30, 2006, Associated Press reported that the Massachusetts Supreme Court had ruled that homosexual partners from states that prohibit same-sex marriage cannot come to Massachusetts and get married there, even though it is legal in that state.

African-American Life In the U.S.

Recently, there've been several long pieces that have effectively portrayed how differently African-American families live from those of Whites and other ethnic groups, i.e. significantly fewer marriages, lower educational attainment, higher unemployment for black men, etc. None of these are particularly groundbreaking -- sociologists have been quietly saying versions of this for decades -- but the facts they report have been too often underreported in the mainstream press. So it's nice to see these at the top of the "most popular" article lists. Take a look at:

"Marriage is for White People," Joy Jones' Washington Post article on her personal experiences and larger sociological aspects of the low rate of marriage for African American women.

Eric Eckholm's New York Times feature, "Plight Deepens for Black Men, Studies Warn," an overview of how poorly black men are fairing academically -- and specifically that they are drop-outs who cannot (or won't) find work.

And a subsequent piece in the Times, "A Poverty of the Mind," Orlando Patterson's op-ed about why black men are failing in academics and employment. (This was my favorite of these articles -- but I admit that's because I just happen to agree with him. I've seen too many black kids throw away the rest of their lives to be "gangstas" (because they think that society thinks they're cool) or they spend all their waking hours dribbling balls on a basketball court, waiting for NBA scouts that are never going to come.)

And we just had to include this one . . . .

(And, no, it isn't an April Fools Joke: this is a real news item.)

You thought the Ambien-related sleep-driving was bad. On March 28, 2006, Associated Press reported that, after taking some sleeping pills, a Muslim man in India accidentally sleep-divorced his wife. Apparently the poor man was talking in his sleep, and said "talaq" three times. But that means "I divorce thee," and in the Muslim tradition, that's all it takes for a man to divorce his wife. Word got around that his wife of eleven years was worried about it. The village elders decreed that yes, it was a valid divorce, and that they must live apart for 100 days and remarry. But the husband won't move out, and the couple is now being ostracized by the village for their refusal to recognize their own divorce.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

That is too, too funny. Can you get married in your sleep as well? When I think of the things I have said while ummm sleeping!

11:35 AM  

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