Tag: traditional marriage

Divorcing ourselves from traditional marriage

My latest column in the Guardian is about the latest move from a group of conservatives to call a truce on gay marriage and get back to blaming single moms and poor people for destroying marriage itself. They say that poor and middle-class people aren’t getting married, and that’s hurting them financially and socially, keeping them poor. I say that working-class and middle-class people are marrying less often precisely because of economic insecurity: Outdated views of men as breadwinners mean that men who aren’t making enough to support a family may be less enthusiastic about marriage; increases in gender equality mean that working women no longer need to get married for social status and may not want to take on a husband who doesn’t pull his own weight inside the home and out; and with divorce being financially ruinous for women in particular, it’s probably a good idea to avoid marriage if you aren’t reasonably sure you’re hitching yourself to a good horse. If conservatives actually care about the things they say are the purpose of marriage — a good environment for children, family stability, accumulation of personal wealth — then they should support policies that directly promote those things instead of claiming marriage is the one and only solution, because it’s clearly not. A taste:

Really good pieces about weddings and love

Not joking, the wedding section of the Times this week is actually good. This Modern Love, about love and marriage between two older folks, is about the sweetest thing you will read this month, and if you don’t cry by the end you have no soul. This marriage announcement contains the line, “The bride, 97, is keeping her name,” which is about the best thing I’ve ever read. And this look back at a 40-year marriage defined by a commitment to social justice and a son’s well-being is also just lovely. And yes I’m a cranky feminist who will probably never get married, but a good marriage story still gets me. Maybe I’ll finally consent to the betrothal thing when I’m 80.

Groom tries to take wife’s last name, is grounded by Florida DMV

If a woman changes her name after marriage, it’s a sign of her love and enduring commitment. (Aw…) If a man does it, he’s a fraud who’s trying to get one over on the state, and such offenses will not stand!

After Lazaro Sopena and Hanh Dinh got married, Sopena decided to change his name to Lazaro Dinh to honor his wife’s Vietnamese family surname.

More than a year later, he received a letter from Florida’s DMV accusing him of “obtaining a driver’s license by fraud,” and letting him know that his license would soon be suspended.

Your wedding is the most special, important, valuable day of your entire existence, but you are a crazy bitch if you plan it too much.

That’s basically my summary of this New York Times article, which covers a small number of women who planned their weddings (or are still planning their weddings) before they even had a boyfriend. And yes, I actually agree that spending large chunks of your free time planning your own wedding when you aren’t actually engaged to be married is… a tad bizarre, and kind of sad. There are so many other things you could be doing with your spare time! And while I think many of us have had the experience of seeing a pretty dress or a nice piece of jewelry online and going, “Oh I like that” and maybe even posting it on Pinterest (hell, even I pinned a wedding dress one time), it’s a whole other level to plan out a venue, monogrammed cocktail napkins and what you’re serving for dinner before you’ve even met the person who you’re planning to wed:

Bride Price

The wonderful Chloe Angyal is writing in New York Magazine about engagement rings, and the conspicuous showing-off of said rings on Facebook. I admit: I am a sucker for jewelry, so I actually don’t hate the engagement ring shots. That said, I don’t like engagement rings very much — or at least not the giant sparkly diamond kind. My objections are both political and aesthetic. You have to be living in a cave to not know just how evil the diamond industry is, and while conflict-free diamonds do exist, the cultural tying of “diamond” and “engagement” is a huge part of what drives the diamond market. And maybe it came from working at a law firm for so many years, but the look of all of those giant engagement rings was just… boring. They all look the same to me. But then I don’t think the tradition of exchanging wedding rings is a bad one. A token or symbol of commitment tied to a ritual is great. And a cool piece of jewelry? Sign me up — especially for some of the absolutely beautiful heirloom, antique or non-diamond rings that a few pals have procured. But the engagement, with only the woman wearing a ring and the attendant sense that she has accomplished something by getting a guy to ask her to marry him feels a bit weird. Not to mention the ownership/investment symbolism.

Defending Traditional Marriage

For all the traditional marriage defenders, consider this: Traditionally, marriage was an economic transaction. In many places in the world, it still is. And the most valuable female partners are often going to be extremely young, so that they have…

Mary Cheney Hates Black People

Every week I feel like I read something that I want to christen “dumbest column ever.” It’s only Tuesday and already we have a winner. Star Parker tells us how Mary Cheney is a fool for wanting to get married,…

Why Not Gender-Neutral Marriage?

I think it was Amp who I first heard the term “gender-neutral marriage” from, and it makes a lot of sense — particularly when put in the framework that Amanda presents in this fantastic post. After reading Dan Savage’s latest…

But I Thought We Hated Europe

Sure, but we hate native brown people more. Before you dare praise any culture without European roots, heed the ladylike racism of IWF’s Charlotte Allen. Responding to an archeologist quoted in the New Yorker as saying of pre-Columbian Brazil, “All…