So I wrote about opening to love. I wrote about deciding that my partner-type love would be with a straight man. Now on to a question that would be reasonable at any time in a society’s development, but which grows in importance as realizations about how thoroughly equivalent the two genders are come to light.
You may have already guessed that I think marriage is irrelevant to society as whole. Western civilization would not crumble if marriage ceased to bond people into a different tax, and demographic status.
I don’t even think there is anything unassailably right or necessary about raising children with two parents, or one, or six; and I sure don’t give a damn about gender.
We all crave some of the emotional safety and comfort that a marriage is supposed to offer, but when you look at the number of people who are not married, or have neither safety nor comfort in their marriage it seems like marriage isn’t really pulling its weight there either.
So I don’t think marriage is making the world a better place.
At the level of individual humans, marriage looks like an option: something one could do. To decide to get married and participate in that rite of passage seems like the easiest part of love and commitment, and is thus a little suspect. Plenty of people it, seems to me, get married without any of the meaningful stuff in place.
Marriage starts to look like the rule men will follow for (supposedly) guaranteed sex, and women will follow fora (supposedly) guaranteed ‘father’ of, and/or for, my children.
And yet for all my ‘looks so boring,’ and snide disdain, I’m pretty sure I want to get married. Which is to say I would like to have a witnessed ceremony in which I committed to someone. And I would like the little nudge of that promise to keep me practicing and growing toward living out unconditional love with another person.
I don’t think marriage is important to our societal structure, but I absolutely understand it has enormous cultural power. And I think if some other type of commitment was ‘the norm,’ I would want that instead. I march to the beat of my own drum in many aspects of life and frankly it is sometimes isolating and exhausting. I would welcome checking one box in the same way as ‘everyone else.’ I also think that actually living the union that marriage is idealized to be, is hard enough without constantly having to explain to other people, ‘Actually, we are in a mutually pledged love bond, without a legal contract,’ or whatever.
Yep, I’d like to get married, take that risk. Learn how to do the hard part.