Monday, January 18, 2010

T is for This requires comment...

One thing that is true about humans is that they do something, and then make up the reasons for it later.

In this case we have what I am sure is a lovely woman (Hannah Seligson), explaining why she isn't getting married.

Apparently there are 'un-travelled continents and four more career paths to explore'.

And there are. Career paths and continents, which can't be explored if:

1) no one has a very high-paying career to pay for them, and
2) no one has been roped into a divorce settlement to pay for them.

Now I do think Hannah is probably a decent partner, as she tracks her purchases with an eye to dividing it up based on who paid for what, and tries to avoid the messy divorces of the previous generation, but I wonder...

I wonder if she really would, after a 12-year non-married relationship, walk away with just the things she personally bought - or if she would walk across the street to the lawyers office, and discover that palimony is just as good as marriage, and take her ex 'partner' for everything she could get. I can hear her muttering about how 'that bastard took the best years of my life', and feeling all justified as she turns him into a slave for the rest of his.

Unfair? Unrealistic? Not if you look at the statistics. No, unfortunately, financially enslaving your ex is big business, and if Hannah resists the temptation, she is the exception, not the rule.

The delay in marriage might have something to do with unexplored contients and careers, but it is, in my opinion, mostly about men avoiding slavery.

Why did this particular essay tweak me enough to post? Because it reeked so strongly of sour grapes. Rare is the man who doesn't want to find a good woman, and raise children with her. Even more rare is the PERSON (no sexism in this post) who can resist enslaving their ex and ensuring their future casual explorations of careers an continents when the state hands it to them on a silver platter, courtesy of the partner whom they now dislike.

-And the tightness of the marriage market is all about this. With a judiciary/legal system that thinks that men were built to support women, no matter WHAT they do (no fault, remember?) marriage is going to become more and more rare.

It's not about 'adulthood', or the length of 'careers' - marriages and kids were more common when we were mostly working on farms and in sweatshops, and when 'success' was something that never happened. And it isn't about exploration, although the exploration is in there, but mostly by the women, and at the man's expense.

My Best To You In Your Struggles

-M

3 comments:

A feminist open to criticism said...

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Divorce Advice for Men said...

Makes me so angry just reading this. Our laws need to change, especially to embrace a new century. It's time to drop stereotypes and adapt to a new world of equality.

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Mia Carmel West said...

Sadly, this is the current state of relationship affairs in our society. There's too much doubt going on in marriage such as divorce, shaping professional careers, etc. Let's face it, life has gotten more complicated than ever and it is difficult to form a relationship that won't end with a cheap divorce. At the same time, I also have to agree with you that this model of a relationship is so one-sided because it puts men on a leash and the women are in control.