The Problem With Marriage

The Problem With Marriage

My name is Rebekah. I am 24 years old and I am married. I love my husband.

But there is a problem with marriage: People hate it. And are SO VOCAL about it.

Here are their unsolicited comments (and why I ignored them):

“The marriage ceremony is sexist”

Um. I got to wear a gorgeous dress, be surrounded by friends and family, and party because I love some guy. Bye.

“Why would I participate in such a patriarchal institution?”

There are definitely patriarchal overtones, undertones, and undercurrents. Let’s take a look:

  • “Politically, I am against it because it has been oppressive for women, and through heterosexuality, oppressive for lesbians and gay men.” – Virginia Braun #preach
  • Singleness is traditionally seen as a temporary phase before the goal and purpose of life meaning marriage. Spoiler: It’s not. Pierre Bourdieu describes this symbolic thought as symbolic violence. It occurs when, through social pressures, an individual feels herself/himself to be inferior or worthless.
  • “For all that has been said about the privacy that marriage protects, what astonishes me is how much privacy one gives up in marrying.” – Claudia Card
  • When I was researching marriage, women, and why people hate it, one of the first things that popped up was, “101 Ways to Make Your Wife Submit.”

Marriage is and has been a traditionally patriarchal institution. I would not disagree. However, “Janet Gornick, author of “Against Marriage and Motherhood,” argues that truly feminist marriages must involve an egalitarian division of household and caring labour, and suggests state action to enable and encourage both partners to work fewer hours outside the home than is currently normal, devoting their remaining time to domestic labour” (Feminism, Liberalism, and Marriage by Clare Chambers)

The above critiques depend on the force of each party agreeing to the marriage terms (my husband and I), social norms (which we can rely on less), and the state laws of marriage (blech). My husband and I are committed to an egalitarian division of the household. Yes, there is a lot of unfairness on one party or the other, and yes, we suck at “domestic labour,” and yes, we fight about it. But the cool thing about marriage is that you get another person to help you figure shit out.

“I don’t want to involve church or state in my relationship.”

That is fair and I totally understand.

My husband and I are religious and so me in my gorgeous dress and surrounded by friends and family, had our wedding in a church. Our marriage is not just about my husband and I. It’s about our commitment to God and each other, as witnessed by our friends and family.

“Marriage is isolating.”

As an introvert, I feel isolated in normal life. For example, I felt isolated when I was single, when I was dating, when I was engaged, and when I’m married. You get the point

My husband is an extrovert. Yes, it causes conflict. But I get this one person to hang out with for forever. That means I get an automatic plus one that happens to love being the center of attention and talking with everyone….meaning that I don’t have to. Thank Jesus.

In fact, here are the Top Ten Reasons To Marry An Extrovert.

“I’m not big on tradition.”

Same. I have no rebuttal.

“Sex with just one person for the rest of my life? Nah.”

Is this real life? I don’t ever want to have to do it with someone else! I don’t want to have to teach another human being what works with me and what doesn’t.

Ali Wong says it best: “Do you know how long it took me to train my husband to eat my pussy correctly? I’m not going back out into the world, find somebody new to coach all over again. It’s too much work. All of that knowledge that my husband has now, all that time I invested, all of that muscle memory lives and dies with him” (Hard Knock Wife around minute 55 (I would have put a video but I’m pretty sure it’s illegal so).

“I like my spinster lifestyle. And so do my cats.”

This honestly sounds like the best. My husband likes cats, so we are planning on being spinsters together.

Anyways. I like marriage. It’s cool. Why do you hate – or not hate – marriage?

 

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