Mawwage is what bwings us togevver… today.
With the media surrounding the protection of marriage act or whatever it’s called [Update: moving this post up from July 10th because DOMA, the "defense of marriage act", is NO MORE. YAYYYYYYY!!!!!], several feminist bloggers have been making the argument that marriage as an institution should be thrown out.
They argue it has a bad history in the patriarchy of oppression. It treats women as chattel, etc. etc. etc.
They say we should get rid of it (but while we still have it, everybody should have the opportunity to use it).
Some, but not all, of them argue that monogamy itself is flawed and marriage prevents polygamous and polyandrous and other types of multiple love arrangements. Some, but not all, argue that marriage is a way that some women feel superior to others.
We at grumpy rumblings are pro-marriage for those who want it.
Marriage as defined today is a mostly standardized contract that is defined by law, case law, and culture. For the most part, if you enter this contract in the US, you know what you’re getting into, at least in the state where you’re getting married.
If the patriarchy is overthrown, marriage can still exist. We can get rid of marriage and the patriarchy will still be there. It might be a step, but then again, it might be a better step to transform marriage from within. Maybe.
People who want to experiment with different types of [ex. non-monogamous] relationships can (in the US anyway). They just have to enter into different contracts, contracts that aren’t called marriage. That argument doesn’t work as an argument against homosexual marriage– allowing gays and lesbians to get married does not at all change a heterosexual marriage contract (meaning there is no reason for a “civil union” if they can just get married), whereas allowing polygamous marriage under the same license does.
Without marriage, we would need more contracts. And there’s nothing stopping us from having all those more complicated contracts now, but most people are happy with the standard cheap one.
I strongly believe in the monogamous marriage contract and I want mine protected. I don’t really care what other people do with their lives in the privacy of their bedrooms (or lawyers’ offices), but I like the protection of my contract.
As for, “marriage is a way that some women feel superior to others” as an argument, all we can say is Thank God (and women’s rights activists) that (while there is still sexism) women can have education and jobs now and can feel pity for any woman whose only claim to superiority is having a husband. Because that’s really seriously sad. Seriously sad.
New research shows that debating, and especially banning, gay marriage makes LGBTQ people less healthy.
We’re also fine with, “Civil unions for everyone, marriage can then be only a religious thing, all couples get civil unions for legal purposes and may then choose to have a wedding ceremony for religious reasons if they wish, all regardless of gender.” But that’s some ways off. Separating the legal and the religious is always a good thing. You could still have a ceremony to socially mark the legal joining, but that would be a civil union. Civil unions for all! But again, that’s not today. For today, marriage for all!