April 06, 2007

"Civilizing" marriage among Indians

Lyons:  No bliss in feds' marriage initiativeAnyone who isn't convinced that the president in office has an effect on your life at home ought to take a gander at the latest federal grant to come down the pike.

The Native American Healthy Marriages Initiative, managed by the Administration for Native Americans, is funding “projects that include approaches to improve child well-being by removing barriers associated with forming healthy marriages [including traditional Native American marriages].” If you weren't aware of any particular “barriers” between you and marital bliss, or how “traditional Native American marriages” might differ from other marriages, join the club.
What's the real point of this initiative?“Marriage seems to be particularly important in civilizing men, turning their attention away from dangerous, antisocial, or self-centered activities and towards the needs of a family.”

Excuse me, but did you just suggest that men of color are uncivilized? Indeed they did, on top of “dangerous,” “antisocial” and “self-centered.” The report's fourth theme elaborates these ideas in a manner I can only describe as bizarre: “Marriage influences the biological functioning of adults and children in ways that can have important social consequences. For instance, marriage appears to drive down testosterone levels in men, with clear consequences for their propensity to aggression.”

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