Marriage, patriarchy and all that stuff

July 2024 Forums General discussion Marriage, patriarchy and all that stuff

Viewing 15 posts - 1 through 15 (of 29 total)
  • Author
    Posts
  • #81894
    J Surman
    Participant

    As someone who regards marriage as an unnecessary, outdated and patriarchal institution I began to read the following article thinking it would probably be a waste of my time;

    http://www.truth-out.org/opinion/item/15406-take-the-oath-a-critic-of-marriage-gets-teary

    however, it was not so. Laura Flanders (like me not married to her long-time 'partner') writing in The Nation gives a thoughtful and convincing argument (not for marriage as such) for commitment to 'one's neighbours' in the sense of sharing communities and communal responsibilities.

    (I personally was not at all tearful, just to make that clear). Anybody any comment to make?

    #92692
    Anonymous
    Inactive

    Interesting post and one that touches at a dark place for me regarding socialism.In many respects I am conservative with a small c and in others revolutionary with a small r.To me socialism is essentially an economic question or solution and insomuch as the economy is the basis of our current society, I can see the logic of challenging and this also challenges everything connected with it to a degree.But I do feel socialists/socialism of all strands including our own, do tend to have an attitude which suggests that a socialist world change would have a massive element of throwing the baby out with the bath water.Personally I am for the change to a money free, class free society but I don't want a society free of laws, norms and rules – I'd like the choice over what they are though. Reading so much of socialist literature which uses the language typically expressed above about marriage being patriarchial seems to me wrong somehow.Perhaps hundreds of years ago this may have been a correct description, but seriously, is marriage today about possession and ownership? I am very happily married and certainly don't feel I own my wife anymore than she owns me as her husband. We married to make a public and private comittment to each other, nothing more or less.Similarly I question many of the suggested post socialist society ideas of communal upbringing of children –  I wouldn't want to have my children brought up communally by other people more so than they are now. In fact, I'd rather go the other way and use the advancements of free time to allow me to educate my own child and not have schools at all!I think the wholesale changes of normality especially in regards to established social traditions is one of things that really frightens off potential socialists. I wonder how many people are like me and can see the need to do away with money and its ills, but are less keen to ditch at the same time all the normalities of life including marriage, child rearing, laws, prisons and the like.

    #92693
    alanjjohnstone
    Keymaster

    We will take many of the current practices and norms into socialism with us. But once we have socialism, how relationships, personal and social, pan out is I think anybody's question. Similarly with the structure of the family. We know from history and anthropology that the world is very variable depending on conditions and circumstances. Who knows what will transpire for future generation of those born and brought up in a socialist society.We should however leave the speculation up to the sci-fi writers.In present society marriage still remains primarily a legal contract. What has changed substantially is what is classed as a marriage which has in many ways widened. But the purpose still basically the same, property rights, that requires a court to amend when separation arises.BTW, try bringing in a foreign partner through immigration without marriage papers.  It is now hard enough even with the documentation. Certain aspects may be relaxed but others are most definitely aren't.

    #92694
    J Surman
    Participant
    SussexSocialist wrote:
    Perhaps hundreds of years ago this may have been a correct description, but seriously, is marriage today about possession and ownership? I am very happily married and certainly don't feel I own my wife anymore than she owns me as her husband. We married to make a public and private comittment to each other, nothing more or less.

    I have no problem agreeing that many couples are happily married – and will likely stay that way throughout their lives. What I don't accept is the current structure of marriage tied up in capitalist norms and laws wherein most of it is related to money one way or another and nothing at all to do with two individuals' commitment to each other. Capitalism makes the laws we have to abide by as couples (married, co-habiting or gay) and different countries have different rules. The UK is still hardly an egalitarian society as far as gender is concerned but in some parts of the world conditions are even harsher where husbands, in effect, do own their wife/wives. You only have to look at inheritance law to see that men are factored in as 'worth' more than women; male children more than female in many countries.So really my beef is about who gets to decide how we choose to live our lives and why 'society' should look down and frown on those who step outside the parameters. Socialism, surely, will give us those freedoms – to choose for ourselves, not to be confined within strict boundaries when it's absolutely doing no harm to anyone else?I haven't tried to find any statistics but I imagine a large % of UK population co-habit rather than marry, plus divorce rates are higher than at any previous time so that doesn't say an awful lot that's positive for the institution of marriage either.

    #92695
    J Surman
    Participant
    alanjjohnstone wrote:
    In present society marriage still remains primarily a legal contract. What has changed substantially is what is classed as a marriage which has in many ways widened. But the purpose still basically the same, property rights, that requires a court to amend when separation arises.BTW, try bringing in a foreign partner through immigration without marriage papers.  It is now hard enough even with the documentation. Certain aspects may be relaxed but others are most definitely aren't.

    You're right – it's all about the legal contract, the property laws. Pre-nuptual contracts making money for the lawyers. What kind of commitment is it to another person to think of such things when you're supposedly considering spending a lifetime with, dare I say, someone you love!!Re. crossing borders with a foreign partner etc, we certainly have to laugh (when we're not gritting our teeth) at some of the situations we've been in – hotels in small places where documents are required, having to purchase half the car to get my name on the insurance, having a clerk half my age suggest we get married to reduce the cost of our individual state health insurance. It's big bureaucracy gone mad.But back to the original article – the idea of committing to a community, now that I see as worthwhile.

    #92696
    Anonymous
    Inactive

    That's what I am saying though, throwing babies out with bath water.I know there ARE laws attached to marriage and property, perhaps more so in other countries, and these are tied up within the capitalist system. I get that. Similarly there are laws regards ownership and use of medicines. But we don't propose ditching of the use of medicines, so why generally do we propose or suggest that marriage (for example) should be ditched because of the way it is run now?The great catch all argument is the one offered almost immediately above, in that as socialist we cannot predict what a socialist society will choose to do. I get that too, but to have no idea of the type of society your aiming for must be a hinderance to progress. Absolutely nothing 'just happened' without someone, somewhere having an idea and working towards making that idea happen. If all we stand on is merely doing away with capitalism, then something more concrete than vague ideas needs to be in place to replace it.

    #92697
    Ed
    Participant

    What possible function could the institution of marriage serve in a propertyless society?

    #92698
    Anonymous
    Inactive

    As a personal and public commitment to one another…….as explained in the posts above. Nothing to do with property, but with comitment.

    #92699
    Ed
    Participant

    Then that's not really the institution of marriage. Especially if it has also lost it's religious signifigance as well.

    #92700
    Anonymous
    Inactive

    What is it then? A civil ceremony is non-religious/secular, but it is still accepted as marriage.I think we need to be clear on these points. I think as socialists we oppose the connections between marriage (seen as the comittment of two people) and the property and legal rights attached to that under capitalism, rather than we oppose marriage as an institution itself, no?

    #92701
    Ed
    Participant

    Even a civil ceremony is a legal contract between two people giving certain assurances over their shared property in the event that one side does not fulfil their part of the contract.Just to make myself clear I think it would be ridiculous to oppose an event where two people express love for one another with friends and family. I also don't think there's anything wrong with committed monogomous relationships but neither do I think that such relationships are inherently better than any other form of relationship.

    #92702
    Ed
    Participant

    retracted

    #92703
    steve colborn
    Participant

    I am a married man, married within a Capitalist society which tells me, this is the right way to "go". I did not need to go through a marriage ceremony, to avow my commitment and want, to be with my wife! or more properly put, the female I felt, most emotionally close to. But that is accepted practice, nothing more, nothing less. Accepted religious and Capitalist practice!In a sane society, one would not even have these, "rites", or ceremonies. What fucking business, personal or, "socially acceptable", has it to do with anyone else, apart from the two people involved?In Capitalism, or any other propertied society, it is, and this is a given, a means and instrument to, social control! Rather than two people "just" wanting to be together, it is economic.As a "bloke", I can fully empathise with comrade Surman, moreover, realise it stretches further than the "marriage ethic". Steve.

    #92704
    J Surman
    Participant
    SussexSocialist wrote:
    , so why generally do we propose or suggest that marriage (for example) should be ditched because of the way it is run now? 

    'marriage' – from the oxford dictionary: The formal union of a man and a woman, typically as recognised by law, by which they become husband and wife.As the world is ordered now this is one of the laws I have had  particular objection to for decades, long before I discovered the socialist party. Quite how the laws of marriage affect women in the UK now I don't know, having been out of the country for 15 years, however 'typically as recognised by law' I have always found a total irritation and an attack on my freedom. I, and many others like me – men too – want simply to be free to choose, without any ceremony, formal or informal, to live with their chosen partner. Within capitalism, of course, we are obliged to register this or that so that all authorities are aware of our joint habitation so they can take their pound of flesh.The difference I see in a socialist system would be that we would have that freedom. And I don't see why others shouldn't have their freedom to commit – formally or informally – if that's what they choose.  So, it's freedom of choice, freedom of action, not to be regulated and expected to conform especially in areas that don't affect third parties. I don't see this as throwing out the babies with the bath water but I do see it as ditching an awful lot of bureaucracy.I also expect for us all to have much more active involvement in the organisation of our new society, not to have 'leaders who know best' to decide what we all must do in any and all situations. As a collection of individuals I believe we do have many thoughts and ideas as to how the way ahead can be. The reason it's not 'concrete' is simply that we're not at that stage yet.

    #92705
    J Surman
    Participant
    steve colborn wrote:
    !In a sane society, one would not even have these, "rites", or ceremonies. What fucking business, personal or, "socially acceptable", has it to do with anyone else, apart from the two people involved?ISteve.

    Just replied to SS and then saw your post Steve.Thanks for that. I would probably have voiced it more as you have done if I were face to face! However, the message is similar.

Viewing 15 posts - 1 through 15 (of 29 total)
  • You must be logged in to reply to this topic.