The G (rated) spot

Copy­right 2005 Ben S. Pollock

Not tonight, dear, this is a G-rated spot

Fri­day, Novem­ber. 11, 2005. Michael Scherer,’s Wash­ing­ton cor­re­spon­dent, reported today on a hear­ing con­ducted Thurs­day by the Senate’s Sub­com­mit­tee on the Con­sti­tu­tion, Civil Rights and Prop­erty Rights. A writer named Pamela Paul tes­ti­fied, quoted as hav­ing said the fol­low­ing: “‘If they [some mar­ried men] go to their wives, well, just prac­ti­cally speak­ing, they have to make sure they have done all of the chores around the house they were sup­posed to do. They need to have a half-an-hour con­ver­sa­tion about what they did that day,’ said Paul. This courtship could take up to an hour and a half. By con­trast, she said, it takes ‘five min­utes to go online.’”

I’m tak­ing a cue from James Lileks, who avoids cer­tain words and phrases so his Web site can stay G-rated, so her sub­ject will not found here. (Lileks does cre­ate racy com­men­tary clev­erly, but that’s not the plan for this Brick.) Paul has writ­ten a few books, the most recent of which must be the rea­son for her being called to Wash­ing­ton. So, read its write-up on to fill in the context.

The impli­ca­tions for Amer­i­can soci­ety may be vital. I’m not sure how prov­able in a social-science con­text her the­sis is, but it war­rants more debate as well as seri­ous research and study. Or to avoid the labor, we might just say, that is the way it is today, and we’re all man­ag­ing our lives and rela­tion­ships as well as ever — which ain’t say­ing much — so let’s move on.

Post­script. The cur­rent online edi­tion of the Wash­ing­ton Post book sec­tion reviews Paul’s book. So she’s the “it” expert, though the news­pa­per write-up has some prob­lems with her work. –30–

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