Thursday, September 25, 2008

Marriage is Sexist, Outdated, and Unconstitutional

by Nico Raj Rahm

You should see the look on the faces of people who had just been told that my girlfriend and I, who are both young working professionals, have been together for more than a decade. Of course, you can guess the next string of questions;

"You guys are not married yet?"
"Why not?"
"Don't you want any kids?"

Here we are in the 21st century and marriage is still a multi-billion dollar industry. Why? Because society says that a man and a woman wanting to live together and have children, and save on taxes, must enter into a marriage contract.

Am I the only one here that thinks living with a person based on a contract constitutes slavery, for both parties?

Why do women continue to long for the perfect marriage as they fight for their equal rights? Don't women know that marriage was born as a way of protecting them in ancient times, so that a man may not impregnate a poor girl and leave her to tend to her child? This suggests that women do not want children, and thus, if they do bare any it must have been the sole decision of the man.

If my girlfriend and I never marry are we immoral and unethical people? If we have children out of wedlock will they be genetically different, subpar even?

Isn't it unconstitutional to give married couple a tax break, but not other members of society? At a time when overpopulation is rampant, and quality of life is declining throughout the world, do we really need to further motivate people to procreate by essentially paying them to marry and bare children?

If I have children out of wedlock shouldn't I receive the same tax benefits as those that are marriied in order to ensure my kids reach their full potential in life, to better contribute to society?

Why does the gay community long for marriage rights? They are supposed to be at the forefront of social evolution. They need to make the case against marriage, live together and demand equal rights bestowed upon those that are married.

Am I the only one with these questions?


  1. Marriage in the modern era shows, as far as I am concerned, a public commitment to each other. Whilst you and your partner, and of course many others, don't find that necessary it is certainly not a bad thing and can often help couples through bad periods. What it meant in ancient times is irrelevant.

    I take your point about equal tax rights but a marriage certificate shows some official commitment - otherwise we only have your word that this is not just a coupling for tax purposes. I know some people marry for convenience but this is a greater step than just living with someone.

    So I am in favour of marriage where appropriate but it seems that it has become more of an excuse for a very expensive party to show how rich/popular/tasteful you are rather than a commitment to a partner for life.

    By the way I am from the UK and I don't think kids married out of wedlock have any disadvantage here so sorry to hear if thats the case where you live - its totally wrong of course. And we don't really have a problem with unmarried couples either. In fact I don't think there are any tax advantages either any more. Maybe thats why I'm a bit more relaxed about it than you...

  2. Hi.
    As always, enjoying your posts.
    I'm not so sure If I share your opinion about how the institution of marriage came to be, specially the conclusion that it would suggest the girl not really wanting any children and it being solely the decision of men. I do, however, share the idea that marriage was invented in some way to protect women, but also women must have had much influence on the subject, after all, and we see this on primates, females are very much social regulators to the "inside" of society, while males are more usually social regulators to the outside. Anyway, marriage, as I see it, would have been born also as a means for males to ensure, as much as possible, their descendants where actually theirs, and to some degree, turning women to properties along with the rest of the male's possessions.
    I think marriage is only sexist on societies where being married puts the wife on an inferior position -which regretfully still happens here in Mexico-. In other, maybe utopic circumstances, marriage can be just a contract between equals to denote legal or social commitment, besides the intimate one the couple already has.
    As far a outdated, I do think society's concept, or at least western society's concept of marriage could undergo a few changes, such as making it less of a religious event and more of a purely civil one, where the stigma of divorce could be erased.
    But above anything else, marriage should be a personal issue, between the people deciding whether to get married or not, and no one should do it because of society's pressure or because "it's the right thing to do".
    In the case of homosexuals claiming for their right to get married, I too think sometimes "Why should they want to get into all that trouble?" Now, the thing is, marriage it's a symbol, a symbol of the things society denies to homosexuals, a symbol of the discrimination they've been suffering. I guess It could be compared to an illegal immigrant in the US, wanting to eventually being able to pay taxes ¿why would he want to pay taxes?, well, maybe because that would mean he's being finally accepted as part of the society, with all it's freedoms and responsibilities.

    -If I'm way off on the immigrants and taxes thing, that's because I'm not an immigrant on the US and not really informed about the whole issue, but I hope the metaphor could be understood-

  3. I've got to say man, I agree with you fully.
    I've tohught about the concept before and the questions that came to mind were something along the lines of "If the love between me and another is not a strong enough bond, what fool would think that paper will do the trick?"

  4. I agree in part. The old version of marriage is sexist and unnecessary, as is the meaning. Many of my friends in committed relationships such as your refer to each other as 'mates' rather than 'spouses' or 'husband' or 'wife' and I encourage others to do the same. People seem to assume it's the same thing.
    You can still show affection for one another with rings or necklaces showing endearment to one another. Even though that started out as a sexist practice, it's up to newer generations to re-write that old law.
    I approve of marriage fiscally, however.

  5. Marriage does not have to be traditional, just as it is not necessary for it to be religious.

    The bride can choose to keep her last name, exclude vows of servitude to the groom and reject the idea that her family has to pay for the ceremony.

    If I decide to have a wedding, these are the rules I have set out and intend to hold. I don't want my father to give me away to my husband, as if I were a hand me down object and my husband the beneficiary.

    Some people feel that having a wedding is outdated, and that's just fine. However, the sexism part can be avoided.

    As far as taxes go, sure it's not fair that couples get a break and same sex and unmarried couples can't. Middle class people deserve a break in general, and parents certainly need more money to support their children in these days.

  6. Amen! The very idea that it takes one man and one woman to raise a child is childish at best and downright sexist and stupid at worst. Wouldn't an entire community of people raising the child be better? There would be less possibility for severe abuse, loneliness, and isolation that comes along with the nuclear family model. It's an old and sexist tradition designed to cater to men and rob women of their community building powers.

  7. @Liz - It's nonsense to call bringing up a child by one man and one woman sexist and stupid. It takes one man and one woman to make the child in the first place, it's perfectly logical that they should have the responsibility of bringing it up. You idea of bringing up a child by some sort of community committee is hilarious!

  8. This isn't about having kids dumbass. As in... stop having so many kids, dumbass. We have enough people now.

    Secondly, how is it ridiculous to have children grow up with a multifaceted range of community members?

    I think this guy commenting in front of me is the ridiculous person.

  9. (I can't help but respond to this.. and here is my response...) Certainly not. We all have questions that are similar. Mostly questions from single individuals or unmarried couples. I however, am married. It was not a religious wedding whatsoever, the minister, priest, etc. whatever you would prefer to call him was in fact, athiest. I told my wife that I feel marriage is complete and utter bullshit. Yet, she still wanted to get married. So because of the mere facts that I do love her and it meant something to her, I went through with it. Yes, as you say it is something of a contract to one another, but the way I see it is that this contract between one another is simply for the love, respect, and devotion of one another. At least that is what I had to tell myself in order to go through with it. However, at the same token I could say "why do you need paper to prove that?" Either way, what's done is done. I do believe though, that marriage, deep down, is a way for nearly anyone who has been hurt relationship wise (who hasn't?) to get that extra grasp of security. Most people however wont see it this way and will instead use the excuse of religion or moral high-ground. Though I agree for the most part with your argument, much of it is thrown forward with little to no foundation at all. You don't have to convince me of anything with solidity. However most of modern society barely surpasses the mark of complete and utter stupidity nearly unable to deduct from the world themselves and require much, much, much, solid ground presented right before them before they would ever take an agreeable stance on anything.
    Yes, I'm sure this will be rebuked by nearly everyone because they will feel it is so utterly condescending because no one can take any negative yet constructive criticism this day and age. (nearly everyone, deep down, wants immediate gratification from any situation and even more-so believes that anything in which makes them feel uncomfortable is simply wrong) If you want more people to see things how you do, you should simply add some more detail as to why you believe these things the way you do. It is quite factual that general society is full of blind sheep just waiting for a shepherd with a strong voice of foundation to adjust their perspective. Just take a look at the world today, Everyone waiting on the media to tell them what they should soon expect, or to give an undoubtedly biased opinion on something. Instantly, their entire attitude towards any subject changes. Now, just put politics and the media together.... what kind of an outcome does that bring? This goes out to anyone reading. Don't be a part of the general population. Think on your own accord. Think for yourselves.

  10. Marriage is a sale -- the sale of the woman to the man. It's disgusting and uncivilised. We should be over this sh*t already.