Tuesday, November 07, 2006

Maybe not so tradtional, after all

Stephanie Coontz has an editorial in todays New York Times about how our fixation on marriage as a deep and overriding emotional bond may be misplaced. She makes the argument that it is not the historical view of marriage, and that it may be costing us other relationships, traditionally viewed as more important than one with a spouse:

Until 100 years ago, most societies agreed that it was dangerously antisocial, even pathologically self-absorbed, to elevate marital affection and nuclear-family ties above commitments to neighbors, extended kin, civic duty and religion.

Weirdly, the change in our view of marriage that began in the 1950s may actually be detrimental to society as a whole:

By the early 20th century, though, the sea change in the culture wrought by the industrial economy had loosened social obligations to neighbors and kin, giving rise to the idea that individuals could meet their deepest needs only through romantic love, culminating in marriage. Under the influence of Freudianism, society began to view intense same-sex ties with suspicion and people were urged to reject the emotional claims of friends and relatives who might compete with a spouse for time and affection.

The right-wings fetishization of "traditional" marriage isn't about returning to some historically accurate version of a bond that has been changed by the homosexual activists. If that were the case, they'd be arguing in favor of arranged marriages, which were the standard in the Western world for thousands of years, and exist in more traditional cultures to this day. Rather, it's about being holier-than-thou.

1 comment:

Vogue said...

Exactly. It's not about making marriage "traditional", it's about making it what they've been told is 'God's will".

Stupid people.