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Has marriage become for men only?

(65 Posts)
AcademicJDD Sun 29-Dec-13 17:52:39

With strong, independent women starting to step out of the shadows casts by mysoganistic men, and only seeming to get real praise if doing it while 'looking hot' is marriage a dead duck? Women continually are seen as the lesser of the partnership in a patriarchal bondage.
Why would we want this? Does anyone else think marriage is now left for the gay community and the old fashioned?

joanofarchitrave Sun 29-Dec-13 17:55:00

No to the last question.

I don't think your other questions make sense tbh.

AMumInScotland Sun 29-Dec-13 17:58:45

Well, I'm married and I'm pretty sure nobody thinks of me as the 'lesser of the partnership'. Marriage is certainly still valuable for women, if that's what you're asking, as it sorts out a great deal of financial and legal stuff that would otherwise have to be gone through separately.

I have no interest in 'patriarchal bondage' or any other sort wink

AcademicJDD Sun 29-Dec-13 18:12:20

I just sometimes feel that marriage, in its overall portrayal is outdated and sexist. Obviously individual circumstances mat be wonderful for the odd couple, but on the whole what does it bring? Are not the whole legal advantages just a way of keeping an archaic system that was primarily enslaving women?

LineRunner Sun 29-Dec-13 18:47:34

I have the more to lose by ever getting married again, yes.

scallopsrgreat Sun 29-Dec-13 18:52:52

I think marriage has always been predominantly for men. Women got security, men got access to women's bodies, labour and money.

The happiness scale also bears weight to this in modern day too. Married men at the top, followed by single women, married women and single men. Wonder why hmm?

NiceTabard Sun 29-Dec-13 19:38:38

It would be good if civil partnerships were available to heterosexual couples IMO.

NiceTabard Sun 29-Dec-13 19:40:52

The tax breaks being brought in by the conservatives for married couples actually mean more money for the man, don't they (given how families are often set up in terms of who earns what). There is no compulsion on him to share the additional money with his wife / children.

Same old same old.

MyMILisfromHELL Sun 29-Dec-13 19:42:02

No. I am a married sahm & a feminist. Marriage is for both partners imo & ime.

TheDoctrineOfSanta Sun 29-Dec-13 19:47:11

What's your alternative, JDD? Civil partnerships all round?

perplexedpirate Sun 29-Dec-13 19:51:28

No. DH and I are both feminists. I wouldn't have married him if he wasn't.

WarmFuzzyFuture Sun 29-Dec-13 21:05:31

I think yes, generally marriage is mainly for the benefit of men.

But in reality is the the having and rearing of children where the inequalities arise and are compounded.

rutters1 Sun 29-Dec-13 21:32:08

What do you think men benefit from marriage?

WhosLookingAfterCourtney Mon 30-Dec-13 07:42:44

I was a sahm until recently, now I work very part time, so mostly a sahm.

Before we had dc, I worked full time earning a similar amount to my now dh.

So the dc were both born when we weren't married.. At some point I realised that the dc & I would be up shit creek if dp & I split. I had given up work , moved away from family etc.

So I told dp we were getting married. He initially said no, so I said I'd better find a full time job and put the dc in nursery. He changed his mind and we got married in July.

My point being - as a feminist, I wasn't prepared to have fewer rights following a split because I'd chosen to give up work for a. few years. Everything else is exactly the same, we were together 10 years before getting married.

Ps. I didn't change my name other than to become a Ms.

LadyIsabellasHollyWreath Mon 30-Dec-13 08:25:54

I know a lot of men who dodge marriage like the plague (because of the potential for post-divorce alimony). If it's all been arranged for their benefit then the patriarchy is playing an unusually subtle game of double bluff. Now a certain style of feminist thought could argue that in a post-patriarchal utopia the contribution of SAHPs would always be rewarded and restricting that reward to married women is the bribe to get women into a situation that is otherwise to their detriment.

However, given that men are mostly the gatekeepers of marriage, it is mostly the more advantaged women who end up married. In practice I really don't think married women are oppressed by their partners and society more than single, co-habiting, or "baby mama" women (is there a PC term for that last situation?).

Caveat: this is the UK you're talking about, I'm sure there are places out there where marriage is indeed a systematic tool of repression.

scallopsrgreat Mon 30-Dec-13 09:12:58

"a certain style of feminist" Really? All those courts awarding spousal support must be notorious for being a certain style of feminist? Oh, wait...

You aren't painting men in a good light whichever way you look at it LadyIsabella.

TheDoctrineOfSanta Mon 30-Dec-13 09:46:10

A Certain Style of Feminist?

Excellent, that's the title if my autobiography nailed!

Suelford Mon 30-Dec-13 19:25:45

Marriage, legally speaking, is really "for" the lower-income, primary carer, in the sense that it protects them from being screwed over in a divorce. This is the security people talk about. Historically and currently, lower-income primary carer is practically synonymous with woman, so marriage is "for" women.

blueshoes Mon 30-Dec-13 20:19:54

If a man is going to out earn the woman over the life of the marriage, it is in the interests of the woman and for her (and dcs') protection to be married.

Whatever the patriarchal roots of marriage are, the legal system in the UK has evolved such that it gives women, particularly SAHMs, security in the event of divorce and death. It is not an instrument of oppression.

DadWasHere Mon 30-Dec-13 20:55:05

Marriage, legally speaking, is really "for" the lower-income, primary carer, in the sense that it protects them from being screwed over in a divorce. This is the security people talk about. Historically and currently, lower-income primary carer is practically synonymous with woman, so marriage is "for" women.

Given my wife always earned more money in her career than me, had we divorced years ago and I been granted primary custody of our kids (and given I was the primary carer for our children as they grew that would not be unreasonable to have been granted) then my ex-wife would have been mandated to pay me child support.

In fact the department of welfare here produced an educational video about dependant child payments many years ago where actors in it played out that exact scenario, thus inverting the societal 'classical thinking' female-male roles as part of the education process, which I thought was doubly good.

SolidGoldBrass Mon 30-Dec-13 22:44:01

Marriage was invented by men for their benefit - a way of making sure they were able to own women for domestic, sexual and breeding purposes. Men-as-a-class then made it almost impossible for women to live outside of a marital relationship (forbidding them to work or own property) and then sold marriage to them as being 'to their advantage.'

That's how it was. Yes, of course there are plenty of marriages which are happy and (these days, in the developed world) a genuine partnership of equals, but there are plenty more where a woman is trapped by abuse and financial dependency.

WhosLookingAfterCourtney Mon 30-Dec-13 23:34:39

Blueshoes you put it very eloquently

scallopsrgreat Mon 30-Dec-13 23:35:13

Wot SGB said. Marriage has never been 'for' women. There maybe more parity now within the institution but the whole concept of women as 'chattel' is still played out often enough.

TeiTetua Mon 30-Dec-13 23:54:27

If marriage has always been so bad for women, it's hard to understand why women have always been so eager to do it! And especially eager to see their daughters do it.

A while ago I saw a discussion about whether marriage was bad for women and the consensus was that it was true: but nevertheless, a man who was willing to marry a woman was better than one who wasn't.

HowlingTrap Mon 30-Dec-13 23:56:02


Marriage has just changed,
Childbirth and child raising has cast horrendously abusive values further to one side, Changed massively over time, ...have people stopped having children now because its outdated and pointless? no.

Women just tolerate less crap and expect more equal marriages. I am married and I don't stand for any shit, I haven't stepped into a time warp because I chose to get married.

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