The idea of marriage is appealing to some, but to others it is very unappealing. I think this has something to do with how we have viewed other married couples in our lives and also how we think of marriage as an institution. I can see how someone coming from a broken family would see marriage as a negative thing and how someone who comes from a family with both parents in the same household would see marriage as a positive thing. Marriage as an institution includes the legal aspects that come along with getting married and tying yourself to another person. Emma Goldman discusses how marriage negatively affects a woman in her article Marriage and Love. She thinks that when a woman gets married she becomes completely dependent on her husband and takes on the responsibility of taking care of the household and her husband. This can be better explained using the term “Second Shift”. The second shift refers to a woman’s responsibility to come home and take on the household chores after working her job all day. Not discussed in this article, but relevant to this discussion, would be the concept of the third shift. This refers to a woman’s responsibility to tend to the families emotional needs after already working her job and taking care of the household. While some of this may still be true and relevant in some cases, the idea of marriage is changing and evolving. I found an article online that discusses some aspects of what marriage is and how it has changed over time.
Some points that this article points out that I think are good things to think about include: 1) Married women in the past were seen as a possession with very limited rights, 2) Many people did not have the choice of who they would marry, 3) Women didn’t have the choice to leave their husband, and 4) There was no notion of marriage based on love or romance.
These are very important things to consider when thinking about how marriage is today. Today women have the same freedoms as do men in regards to jobs, divorce, and the choice of who to marry. Many people today also do not believe that only women should partake in household chores and more men are sharing these duties. Many women today also have jobs and are able to provide for themselves making them perfectly fine to live on their own. With these things being true more marriages today are based on love, romance, and the emotional support you receive from a long term partner. Whether these things are true or not, everyone will still have their own opinions and thoughts about the institution of marriage.
Julie Stanley 007