observations on life

“Traditional marriage”

propertyCourtesy of Join The Coffee Party Movement

I can see you all now, condemning this awful treatment of women.  As you should.  But let’s go back to 1769.  This must have been the year that it was affirmed by some court that women were property, because they were considered property long before 1769.

As a woman, you were first the property of your father.  If you married, you became the property of your husband.  Fathers were eager to get their girls married off so that they wouldn’t have to support them anymore.  That’s why the bride’s family traditionally paid for the wedding, as an enticement or reward to the man for taking the daughter off their hands.  “I’ll pay for the wedding if you will rid me of my daughter,” said the father.

While the property of her father, a girl used the father’s name, as of course did boys.  But the boys got to keep their names after they married because they were actually human persons in their own right.  A women, not being a person, but merely a woman, traditionally changed her name to that of her husband because that indicated she was now his property rather than her father’s.  Slaves were also given the last names of their owners, so everyone would know who they belonged to, since they were merely property.

This is why, traditionally, the father “gave away” his daughter at the wedding.  As a piece of property , she was being handed over to the new property owner by the previous one.  Then, as payment to the man for marrying her, the wife was expected to be the house slave and the bearer of (legitimate)children, preferably boys who could inherit the property one day, since the girls weren’t allowed to inherit or own property.  Whether or not this domestic arrangement actually suited the woman was irrelevant.  She would stay home, and she would have children.  Period.

In this light, I suggest is it time for “traditional” marriage to be done away with, which is to say that women ARE people, they can support themselves as adults and don’t need a men to do it for them, they get to have their own names, since they are people in their own right, they don’t have to be given away as property at their weddings, and they don’t expect their parents to pay for a wedding in order to get them off their parents’ hands. Since they support themselves, their fathers no longer have to worry about finding someone else to support them. Also, being something other than, or in addition to, a wife and mother is perfectly OK now, rather than expecting all women to be the same and do the same thing.

And last but not least, the parties getting married no longer have to be of the opposite sex, since both are self-sufficient actual people, rather than one being a person and the other being property.


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