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View Diary: The missing feminist perspective from "traditional marriage" debate (70 comments)

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  •  Traditional marriage? (19+ / 0-)

    Marriage as most of us in the US understand it is "romantic marriage" -- in other words, you get married because you want to.  It dates back to the late 19th century.  It is associated with early feminism, and among other things assumes the women is supposed to be a voluntary participant.

    Marriage was originally a matter of hereditary political power.  (Compared to the rules of tribal warfare, it was an improvement.)  For whatever reason, the men won in this arrangement.  Religion was adapted to the purpose of justifying this arrangement.

    Over time, marriage also became a vehicle for inheritance of property.  And once holding office by dint of marrage started becoming less relevant and the merchant classes became more important, property rights became an issue.

    The concept of sexual fidelity in marriage is relatively new, except insofar as children out of wedlock presented a possible pertubation to the property rules.  Beginning in the 18th century, sexual purity became a method of maintaining social order in urban, industrialized societies -- this was intended to control the population of single young working class men.

    "Modern" views of marriage are controversial among social conservatives.  To be sure, they get a lot of top line attention (do you want to sell Christianism with medieval rules of inheritance or pictures of a happy, consumerist nuclear family?)  But the goal of social conservatives is to reinstate the 13th century.

    Same sex marriage is the direct consequence of romantic marriage (if it's about love, procreation doesn't always matter, and it's pretty much established that being gay is part of the ordinary course of evolution).

    BTW, that 19th century ideal is the major cause of the big jumps in the divorce rate, since couples started evaluating their relationships based on whether it met their expectations, rather than economic and political purposes.

    •  People these days hold out (10+ / 0-)

      expectations for personal happiness in marriage. When these expectations aren't met, they see no reason to be married to that person anymore, and they end the marriage. It isn't about property.

      There are people who want to make it tougher, legally, to get divorced. There is a movement devoted to this. They don't say it outright, but what these people really want, is to make it tougher for WOMEN to get divorced. They don't like women "running around" and making choices about their own happiness. It's of apiece with the move to restrict contraception.

      It's here they got the range/ and the machinery for change/ and it's here they got the spiritual thirst. --Leonard Cohen

      by karmsy on Wed Mar 27, 2013 at 09:38:21 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  They also hate the idea that the divorced woman (5+ / 0-)

        gets property and probably alimony.  They don't want her to "profit" from the marriage.  And yet they also fight against bills that would make it easier for her to be able to earn enough to have property and pay bills on her own because of wage equality, the ability to choose when she has children and the like.

        They really are all about wanting to control women.

        •  All of these movements (4+ / 0-)

          to restrict women are of apiece. They are all about the irrational need of some to create a permanent underclass. The recent strides in lbgt equality make the fulfillment of that need in regard to women, more difficult than ever.

          To my gladness.

          It's here they got the range/ and the machinery for change/ and it's here they got the spiritual thirst. --Leonard Cohen

          by karmsy on Wed Mar 27, 2013 at 11:30:54 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

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