Monday, April 15, 2013
I follow the debate about marriage. I have not heard a presentation of the issue as I see it. I believe that many are romanticizing what is said to be "traditional marriage". In many cultures, for centuries, marriage, for the woman, has been simply an exchange of owners. A woman went from being her father's possession to being her husband's. In some cultures, marriage, for the woman, was an exchange with the expectation, by others, of better trading relations or less war. In all cultures, women bore children as they were conceived - hardly always the loving commitment glorified in the so-call "tradition". In even so called civilized cultures women had few rights and many responsibilities. Men have always been free to pursue pleasure outside of marriage. Women have not. The 20th century saw great improvements for women in choice and opportunity - in some countries. Many conventional marriages between a man and a woman followed a course of love and mutual commitment that was uplifting to both partners. I do not begrudge that relationship to any who share it. I also do not think it characterized "traditional" marriage.