I read an interesting article over at The Atlantic that echoed a lot of my thoughts on “the end of men” and “the rise of women” two ideas which have recently been creating a lot of tension and a lot of stupid things said in the media. First of all, I don’t believe in marriage. Let me be clear I am talking about marriage, not relationships. I am talking about the “contract” between two people. I don’t understand why love should be a contract commissioned by “God” or the government.
I especially don’t like it because it has been a tool used to systematically exclude and disenfranchise people like same-sex couples, interfaith and interracial ones. I don’t like that marriage’s origins are founded in the belief that women are property who get sold to men. I don’t like its political origins either: countries selling their daughters as political strategy. I don’t like how it’s used to reproduce a male patriarchy by enforcing gender roles on women and on men. I don’t like that in some parts of this country, which is supposed to be “civilized,” my friends cannot get married. I don’t like that if I had been born in another country I could have been sold to some stranger at age twelve. Don’t get me started on the virgin until marriage thing.
I don’t like that if you’re an unmarried woman of a certain age, people will perceive you as a failure. I don’t like that women are conditioned to believe marriage is a goal and that men are to believe it is something they have to tolerate but will hate. I don’t like that I am expected by society to only ever “really love” one person. I don’t like that being married somehow qualifies you for certain privileges and that those who are excluded from the right to marriage do not have those privileges. It is all bullshit. All of what marriage is and how it is defined is by bullshit.
In my opinion the institution of marriage is an inherently oppressive institution because it is tied up with government, organized religion, archaic views of gender and prejudice. In The Atlantic piece Amanda Steinberg discusses how some whiney old dudes are pissed about women rising in the workplace because they can’t fathom seeing women leave the kitchen for two seconds.
“David Granger [of Esquire] agonizes that the definition of ‘what a man is…will become smaller and more restrictive.’ He’s terrified that for men, the ubiquity of patriarchal privilege can only be replaced with a kind of flaccid subservience that has been familiar to women for centuries. Female empowerment is met with castration anxiety.”
Oh no, being a man won’t mean being the boss, bringing home the bread and ignoring your children anymore. Sorry that a woman who makes a lot of money and has succes seems more like a punishment than an opportunity to build a better life with more fun vacations and better sandwiches. I am so sorry. Why is there so much shame in child bearing and housework? Why is that “women’s work” and not “shit that needs to get done or our children will grow up to be psychopaths and we’ll live in squalor?”
The point of the “rise of women” is to eliminate gendered expectations of people and the preconceived notions about one’s competence or ability that come along with that. We want men and women to be EQUAL not for women to become evil, privileged entitled men.
These moronic people say, “marriages are failing” because women have jobs. No, you stupid motherfuckers, marriages are failing because dumb asses like you don’t know how to adjust. Women today are allowed to be professional, despite making 77 cents to the dollar of every man, even less if you are a woman of color. The problem is that the burden of child bearing and household duties are still on women. The problem is not that some women’s roles in marriages are changing it’s that some men are refusing to change.
This is why marriage is bullshit because after thousands of years it convinced people to believe that men are THIS and women must be THAT or the entire world will explode because men can’t possibly do the dishes and women can’t possibly make educated decisions about finance.
If you want to get married and announce your love to your significant other go right ahead, I am sure you are doing it for the right reasons and a lot of feminist and progressive people do. I get it: you want to express your love and make if official in some way. I just wish it didn’t have to be within the confines of something that has an awful legacy.