11 Reasons to NOT get married

don't marry

With Valentine’s Day looming, legions of men are plotting marriage proposals to their girlfriends. But we must stay strong, women, and not be lured in by this “season of romance,” because take it from me: marriage is not all it’s cracked up to be. As a woman who’s been there, done that, and getting a divorce, I implore you to skip the walk down the aisle. Here are 11 reasons to not to make that heterosexual romance legal.

1) Despite the modern PC sheen of “inclusivity” and “equality,” marriage is still that same old patriarchal institution

Same-sex marriage is now legal in the U.S. While this is a huge historical milestone in terms of the fight to end American homophobia, it is important to remember that marriage is not simply an expression of love between two people. It is a legal and social institution engineered within a context of heterosexuality, which exists to benefit men and control women, initiated in order reinforce the notion of women as property. Thus, whenever the institution of marriage is celebrated, it is a celebration of this institution and its history.

It is tragically ironic that the rhetoric of the gay rights movement has fueled the patriarchal narrative positioning marriage as one of the most fundamental human rights and the utmost expression of love. This characterization of marriage ignores the entire history of marriage and its functional significance within male supremacy.

Yet, unfortunately, because of rallying on the left and liberals and progressives alike championing the “right to marry,” a feminist critique of marriage has fallen out of fashion, and today, feels decidedly old-school.

Regardless of the fact that mainstream discourse has moved on to more exciting “social justice” issues, the mundane reality of marriage for the vast majority of women, remains the same. That is:

2) Marriage benefits men and not women

Studies show that men benefit from marriage through an increase to their health, wealth, and happiness. Married women, however, are no better off than unmarried women.

This is because:

3) Being a wife sucks

The social norms of wifedom are bullshit. Husbands are depicted as bumbling oafs who can’t even dress themselves properly without their wives. Wives are expected to treat their husbands like incompetent children in domestic matters — to behave like their mothers, ensuring they are fed, washed, well-dressed, and that their things are organized.

Little is expected of men. They get married, but continue on with their careers as if they are still single. In fact, they’re often able to better focus on their careers once married, as a wife can take care of their domestic responsibilities. Furthermore, when married, men are viewed as more responsible and stable by their employers, and are more likely to be offered a promotion. Women who get married, on the other hand, are likely to be viewed with distrust by management, as it is assumed they will soon start having babies, go on maternity leave, and prioritize children over work.

Because men, in general, are likely to earn more money than women, the careers of husbands are valued over those of their wives. This translates to a broader prioritization of a husband’s time and labour. (“He needs his rest because he works so hard for the family.” “He needs to go out and blow off steam after a hard day at the office.” “Oh, he doesn’t have time for such trivial matters — he’s busy with more important things.”)

As young girls, we’re still taught that if we focus on becoming beautiful, desirable women, we’ll succeed in our supposed goal of landing a good husband to support us, so we can relax. But even if you have the “privilege” of staying home while your husband works, you still have to work… It’s just that your time and labour have no value. You’re expected to do everything you possibly can for your husband, because you don’t contribute to the family like he does. (He doesn’t have time to organize his closet — you should do it for him, house-wifey, despite the fact you both technically worked the same amount of hours today.)

Despite supposed gains in marriage equality, studies show that even when both partners are employed, women still do the bulk of the housework and childcare. Thus, men are freed up to maintain a healthy social life. After work, for example, it’s totally normal for husbands to still go out for drinks with the boys. (They’ve earned it, after all). The social life of women, however, takes a sharp turn after marriage…

4) If you’re getting married thinking you’ll never be lonely again, buckle up, because marriage is totally isolating!

I never felt so lonely as I did when I was married. Sure, I saw my husband every day, and we relished our time together, but things change when you get married.

You’re no longer a single girl who can go out, mingle and meet people, join organizations, or do whatever you please. You’re married. Now your husband is your family, and social norms dictate that family comes first. You are allowed, as a wife, to have some friends, but only when it is convenient. After work, before dinner, maybe you can meet for a coffee. Or maybe you can get lunch with your gal-pals while your husband is hitting a bucket of balls at the driving range. In other words, you can have friends during your free time, so long as that socializing never impinges on the time you’re supposed to be spending on or with your husband.

This is the model of the nuclear family, which is so cruelly isolating – separating us from friends and community. It is still considered improper for a wife to become heavily involved in unpaid community or political activities if it means too much time away from her family.

When you’re not married and just in a relationship, it’s the opposite model. You come first, along with your passions and activities. If a person fits in with your life, and it also works for them, then you can be together. While you both might make sacrifices and not hang out with friends as often as you would if you didn’t have a boyfriend/girlfriend, it is the norm to prioritize yourself, first and foremost.

Now, you might be thinking, “But at least being married means you get to have all the great sex you want with someone you love, right?” Well, actually…

5) The sex stops being good

Ask any woman who’s been married for over a year. I’m not exactly sure why the sex stops being good. Maybe it has something to do with the fact that your husband is legally entitled to you, sexually, in a state-sanctioned “conjugal relationship.” (This is a term that was used in Canadian Immigration documents when I was filling them out, and it skeeved me out every time I read it!) Maybe it’s because you are literally in a legal contract that says you can only have sex with this one person for the rest of your life… But it kind of sucks the romance and adventure out it.

And you’d better believe your husband expects sex. When was the last time you had sex? A week ago? You better do it soon! Suddenly you’re on this weird, obligatory sex schedule that extends before you for eternity, with no end in sight, save your death (or his).

Despite the stress and emotional, political, or psychological discomfort, wives still try to meet the demands of the sex schedule in order to make their husbands happy. The idea of “maintenance sex” is a universally uncontested thing, for example. An entire industry now exists in order to capitalize on this phenomenon and endless books, blogs, and magazine articles are dedicated to teaching women how to “get back in touch” with their sex drives. Women try desperately, through the self-help industry and, now, pharmaceutical prescriptions, to force themselves to find sex with their husbands appealing again and to live up to societally-dictated standards that decide what our “sex lives” should be. The U.S. Food and Drug Administration really did approve flibanserin, aka the “female viagra,” a drug that attempts to chemically alter women’s lack of “desire” for their male partner.

There’s something about just being in a relationship, but not married, that can make sex more appealing. Perhaps it’s because you’re not committed to a lifelong sex schedule and, for all you know, your relationship is just temporary – really, you can leave any time. Which brings me to my next point:

6) When you’re not married, you can leave your dude at any time

This is awesome if you think about it. If you don’t like your dude, you can just… leave. If he turns into a huge jerk, just leave. Or maybe you just aren’t feeling him, anymore. Maybe you have your eye on someone else. Maybe you met him when you were both studying Botany, but you’re not so into that plant science stuff anymore and you two don’t have much to talk about… You can just break up! Sure, it sucks to move out all your junk and find a new place to live (if you even lived together), but there are no complicated legalities like there are in a divorce.

When you can leave your dude at any time, the power dynamics are different. He can’t take you for granted as much as if you were his wife. You’re not his family, you’re not his mom, and you don’t belong to him for life. The two of you are more akin to roommates. You both do your thing, and it may last a really long time, but it might not. It depends on how your separate lives go and if you’re both still enjoying the arrangement.

Breaking up with a dude is great and easy. But when you want a marriage to end, it is another beast, entirely.

7) Getting divorced is difficult and annoying

Getting married is very simple. You both go to the courthouse and sign a piece of a paper. DONE! Getting divorced, however, is 10 times more complicated. It seems like the system is set up so it’s easy to lure women into marriage, but then extremely difficult for them to get out of it… Almost like it was set up in a patriarchy or something! And it is women who usually want out of the marriage, with over two-thirds of divorces in the U.S. initiated by wives.

8) Getting married doesn’t make you an adult.

This is a touchy point, because marriage is held near and dear to so many as an important rite of passage in adult life. There are so few rituals left in our society, it’s no surprise that we are so attached to weddings… We’re desperate. (And it’s no wonder that current zeitgeist is obsessed with personal identity, considering there is little meaning ascribed to anything outside of consumerism and the accumulation of wealth.)

Marriage is one of the last rituals we have. When you get married, everyone in the world recognizes and celebrates you for doing so. You visibly display a symbol of your commitment on your finger. The relationship with the person you marry is legitimized as a serious thing, worthy of your efforts.

And suddenly, you seem like a responsible person… a proper adult! People call you Mrs. or Ma’am, and so they should. You did that thing you’re supposed to do. And look how good you are for not doing it too late in life! That means you’re a desirable, together person, because it didn’t take you too long to “land” a husband, right?


We just live in a shitty patriarchal society wherein a woman’s relationship with her man-owner is validated as the most important thing in her life. As such, all other relationships are devalued as frivolous and inessential — no more important than a hobby. You don’t suddenly become more of an adult when you get married. The world might treat you as if that’s the case, but those social norms are the result of a long history in which marriage was used for the purpose of trading women among men – from father to husband.

9) Weddings are overrated

You’ll probably be ill on your wedding day, anyway. There’s so much planning, you’re so nervous, the entire thing is one big photo-shoot, and it’s supposed to be the most important day of your life. It’s so much pressure. I recommend going to other people’s weddings, instead. It’s way more fun.

Or better yet, just throw a big party with all of your friends and family! Isn’t that all we ever really wanted, anyway??

10) If you want to get married to “lock down” your dude, don’t worry — you can always find another one

Men are everywhere. Look over there: A dude. Look over here: Another one. Look out your window: A bunch of dudes! Though your current dude may seem totally special and UNLIKE ANY OTHER, this is a delusion.

The dude is a simple creature. His male privilege has created a comfortable bubble, in which he has not been forced to confront the complexities of the world. As a less complex archetype than his female counterpart, he is more easily replaceable. Dudes are everywhere, and they’re always available.

Think of the last time you tried to hang out with your best female friend. You probably had to schedule two weeks in advance… This is partly because women are required to do more in terms of maintaining their health and appearances, but also because women tend to be more involved in various activities, taking care of others, and are constantly maximizing their time.

Dudes are just chillin’. They have time to play video games, for crying out loud. If you call a dude to hang out, surprise surprise, he’s totally free and can meet you later. Give him a chance, and you might find that he’s just as unremarkable as the last one!

11) Why not just be a spinster?

Picture this: There is no man in your life. There are no children in your life (to whom you gave birth). Your life is all about YOU. You selfishly indulge in whatever activities you want. Your home environment is set up to be perfect for your needs. All of your resources and efforts are invested in you.

Is that really such a sad life? Being a spinster does not mean solitude or a life of emptiness. You can find sisterhood, friendship, community, and political solidarity. In fact, when there is no man in your life, there can be so much more of all of these things. You can even have children, if you like. You can be an unmarried mother, or have non-biological children. You can have nieces and nephews, to whom you don’t even need to be related by blood. You can help take care of your friend’s baby and watch them grow. You can mentor a girl in your community. You can teach a class for kids. There is a wealth of possibilities.

We’ve been socialized by the patriarchy to think there is only one path to take: find a man and give him all your love and energy. But this need not be the case. Why not devote your life to yourself, instead of a man?

Seriously, do yourself a favour: Don’t get married.

Susan Cox
Susan Cox

Susan Cox is a feminist writer and academic living in the United States. She teaches in Philosophy.

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  • Polly MacDavid

    If I could redo it, I would have never married. Never hooked up with ANY man at ANY time. But of course, 40 years of angst & drama never would have happened. Maybe something totally GREAT would have instead.

    Totally love this! Tweeting this right now.

    • Susan Cox

      Thanks, Polly!

  • oneclickboedicea

    Did it once, took a year to lever myself out of the trap … never again … would say the same about children! I love my daughter but if I’d known how motherhood sucks your social status down a huge drain with other women as well as men … I’d have thought twice …

    • Dana

      If I had it to do over I’d have spent some time getting myself stable and established by myself and then gone to the sperm bank. Best of both worlds. Hell, I’d have even saved some back from the same guy (you can do this) so I’d have kids who were whole siblings. And I wouldn’t care what other women thought of me, the important thing would be could I support myself. Long as the answer’s “yes”, the rest can go hang. Live in a city… find things to do. Have the kids far enough apart that one’s taking care of themselves when you have the next one. Having them closer together than 2-3 years is bad for your health anyway.

      And I don’t say this out of some misguided notion that it’s my “job” in society to procreate. That is a man-centered definition of female reproduction–but I repeat myself; the woman’s the one actually reproducing, the man just supplies material. Only women who want children should have them, and when we have them, they’re OUR kids. Anything that works against that is antifeminist to the core, far as I’m concerned.

      Adoption is a whole ‘nother matter. That’s not having a kid, that’s taking someone else’s. We need a robust feminist critique of adoption as an institution because right now there isn’t one and too many self-labeled “feminists” are taking the kids of poor women and not batting an eyelash. The same choosy-choice arguments used to support prostitution and porn are used to prop up becoming a “birthmother”. It’s really gross.

  • Ang

    Agreed! Divorcing now, and I will never marry again!

    • Claudia Manion

      Same here Ang. What a timely article. Never again!

  • oh the hue manatee

    I’m a spinster and it fucking rocks.

  • Dana

    I did not find that 5 was true for me. The sex was never bad. The thing is, though, that when there’s nothing else to your marriage you can find yourself depending on the sex to sustain the two of you and that’s just as bad.

  • Virginia Howard

    Your ‘here a dood/ there a dood/ everywhere a dood-dood!’ made me laugh delightedly 😉

  • Mac

    Yesss! Dudes are everywhere. There will always be another one.

  • I married and divorced very young. Glad I figured it out within the first year, but wish I’d never married in the first place. Later I lived with a man and that sucked too but like you said, it was so much easier to…”just leave.” Even though I’ve been married, I lived with a man, I’ve slept with men, I’ve even engaged in prostitution when times were tough, in my heart I’m a spinster and I’m looking forward to the second half of my life remaining childfree and being man-free as well.

  • Natalie

    As an additional to the last point, you could also consider lesbianism 🙂

    • Maria Gatti

      No, that is like telling lesbians and gay men that they can always consider going straight. Some people are a lot or a bit bi, but not everyone, and nobody should be expected to change their sexual orientation. It was very cruel when gay people were expected to “consider” being straights, and I’m glad a lot of that pressure is over. I’m not young, and I have lesbian and gay male friends who were pressured into het marriages as young people. For a lot of grief to all involved.

  • Meghan Murphy

    Oh god, the idea of having to keep some whiny dude in my house with me for the rest of my life seems hellish.

  • Kris

    I like the article, and agree with many things in it, especially the emphasis on marriage’s history as an institution! But as a soon-to-be lawyer, I am very much aware of the *many* legal consequences of marriage – some of which can be very beneficial to women, *especially* those who give up years of possible wage earning time to take care of kids or home, etc. In Quebec, for example, if you never get married, you have a right to hardly any of your partner’s wealth or property if you divorce – *even if* you gave up your whole career (wages, earning potential, pension, etc) to stay home and take care of the kids and home for years. For those women – getting married can be an important “insurance policy” (although no one calls it that) and prevent them falling into poverty when their relationship is over and their ex gives them shit all of everything he was able to accumulate while she did everything else! Even in the rest of Canada where common law couples have rights closer to married couples rights, there are still a lot of things that are different between them, for example in wills & estates law. As a feminist law student, I would say to any woman INFORM YOURSELF about these things in your province/country/state etc before deciding whether marriage really is a good option for you!

  • Asami Yamazaki

    I would add #12 that you are most likely better off on your own financially, especially if you are childfree. This is not entirely the fault of middle class modern men, who find themselves at the mercy of half a century’s worth of wage-gutting by the elite classes, the destruction of unions, and manufacturing being outsourced as slave labor to less-industrialized nations.

    Still, these forces converge to make privileged males even more whiny and baby-like than they ever were in 1970 — now as women, we are expected not only to clean the house but also to make the money and then cook the food we bought. A man these days is just another dependent. There are plenty of overgrown infant millennial men jonesing for their next caretaker, begging to be coddled/financed/cleaned up after, so I don’t see why any woman in her right mind would turn that into a permanent arrangement. The old ones are uglier, fatter, and ten times as desperate.

    At least a housewife in the nineteen-fifties got a HOUSE for her troubles, plus the luxury of staying home with the children. The male of the species still seems to think there is money for nothing hiding around somewhere, making him prey to all sorts of scams, be they the “Get a college degree and you’re GUARANTEED a good job!” or some Nigerian dude assuring them they’ll have access to a great big inheritance just as long as they wire $300 Western Union ASAP. We can’t really blame men for being more emotional than women. It’s just the way they’re wired. Just know that you are probably tethering yourself to an insolvent, juvenile mess before you say yes to a proposal.


  • Sally Hansen

    Totally agree lol

  • Meghan Murphy

    “Fancy weddings are fantastic and everyone knows it, that’s why we keep doing it (“patriarchy” could care less).”

    Naw. They are an enormous waste of money and incredibly narcissistic. They celebrate heteronormativity, patriarchy, and capitalism, nevermind that whole “women are princesses/this is the most important day of HER life” crap).

    Heterosexual sex does not get ‘better and better’ for most women. Most women DGAF after a while, but keep doing it because they feel obligated. That’s why the term ‘maintenance sex’ exists.

    • omphaloskeptic

      I find the “special princess” approach to weddings sickening too. Makes me want to vomit.

      That said, I think there is something wonderful about getting all of your family together to celebrate love together. Weddings I’ve enjoyed tone down the “special day” rhetoric and tone up the fact that it’s wonderful to be among the people one loves.

      And eat and drink, of course. That is key.

  • Maria Gatti

    Absolutely. Never wanted them, unless they have pointy ears and can purr.

  • Susan Cox

    Uhh, a party “consisting mainly of other spinsters” sounds AWESOME! Hello!

  • Tired feminist

    Are you kidding me? Spinsters are some of the funniest, brightest women I’ve ever met. It’s much more fun to hang out with them than with parents, for example. Parents won’t help but do parenting talk sooner or later…

  • I just googled and found divorce rates of 41% for Canada and 42% for the UK, with similar rates for other Northern European countries. Pretty high, but not 50%. (Also, much lower in the Maritimes, for some reason, and higher in the North.)

    I’m skeptical about the “female choice” thing since human history is full of polygamy and harems, and not much in the way of female choice, and that’s plenty of time for selective breeding. Also, clothes may cover genitals, but they don’t seem to cover testosterone much. 🙁 I’m also skeptical about comparing us to other species. I would say most likely that we simply don’t know. Human culture is changing so much that a century from now, this period may look like a transition period, rather than typical. (I’m not going to guess what the future would look like, other than later age at first marriage – because people want to take more time to grow up first – which could drive the divorce rate down by eliminating starter marriages.)

    Also, 20% offspring from another male? I think the rate is a lot lower. See https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Paternity_fraud#Occurrence

    I’m 51, and have seen a lot of what I would call successful marriages, but then I don’t consider happiness to be something marriages are for. Having your children turn out reasonably well is higher on my checklist. Also treating each other reasonably well. To a certain extent, happiness is something you cultivate within yourself, rather than something granted to you by things outside you.

    • northernTNT

      You’re only looking at sedentary humans. You’ve got to look deeper to see biology and paleontology. When biologists remove the veneer of society and patriarchy, we are left with naked humans where females effected choice. Of course, if you only look at our patriarchal history, you will see lots of harems…
      Different sources quote different numbers… we’re not going to get into a citation ramble…
      Marriage is an institution created by patriarchy in order to insure that all females are breeding. So that you assess marriage success by offspring… well, kinda proves the point.

  • Tired feminist

    It totally is a trap! Easier said than done, I know, but try to be open with him about your discomfort with the idea of marriage… idk, if he’s such a great guy I’d expect him to understand, right?

  • Melanie

    I’m sure the parties full of other smug married’s are just riveting.

    • tinfoil hattie

      I’ve actually never seen a “smug married.” The wives are usually complaining about their husbands.

  • calabasa

    I am in a real relationship again for the first time in a long time–maybe ever, who knows–and it just makes me realize how many more dudes are out there too. And do I want to stay with anyone. And what is it to love someone forever, and what is love anyway, and why is it so scary, and why does sex matter so much, and does it really, and is it better if you’re just best friends, and what about your other friends, and, and, and…I’m scared of losing my sense of identity. But I’m also scared of being alone. And maybe I’ll be with many more people in my life, why stick to one? But I hate hurting people, and I hate being hurt. The whole human condition sucks. At least the way we’ve set it up with all this nuclear-family separateness-and-competition-with-others bullshit. Let’s all be bonobos and live in forests boning each other and having lots of relationships and friendships involving sex or not and not have hang-ups or expectations about it, and raise kids communally and not care so much whose they are anyway. But if someone says “polyamory” to me I’ll scream, because that’s an invention of the patriarchy (we don’t live in the kind of world where we can be bonobos yet) so liberal dudes can bone as many women as they want and call it progressive and call it spiritual. It’s the common-law version of polygamy, which we all know is about men owning women. We just need matriarchal clans that police the dudes, I guess. Funny how a river is what separates the chimps from the bonobos (pygmy chimpanzees)…what happened with us, anyway? Why does it have to be so hard? (Why do we have to think so much?). Maybe we should just all take relationships as they come, in the moment. Happy Valentine’s Day.

    • northernTNT

      Sadly, patriarchy has been with us for several thousand years. My view is the most powerful way to fight patriarchy is to not reproduce it. Let it die a slow death, and start CIV over again on different parameters, … no man over nature … no churches … no extension of life beyond health … humans in comparable numbers of other large mammals on Earth.
      Yes, patriarchy is a fucked up concept.
      Some people were born with the “wrong genitalia”, I was born in the wrong era. I feel I should have lived in a pre-agricultural humanity, among nature.

  • Kris

    I’m sorry, but that simply isn’t true (see the recent decision of the Supreme Court in 2013 in A v B, or the appropriate articles of the Civil Code of Quebec. Although I’m sure you know which laws and jurisprudence to refer to, as you seem quite confident about your legal knowledge). However, I need to correct you since this exact kind of misinformation has caused many women to be left out in the cold after the end of a common law relationship in QC, and I don’t want to risk more people being misinformed by your comment. You may be thinking of civil unions – Quebec was the first province to legislate civil unions, which allowed same-sex couples to enter into a very marriage-like legal relationship recognized and formalized by the state. Quebec did this pre-2004, when same-sex couples were still excluded from legal marriage by federal laws, and the QC civil union allowed same sex couples to have access to a marriage-like legal regime before it became legal across Canada in 2004. However, “common law” relationships (“de facto” unions in QC) are not the same thing – a common law relationship, where two people simply live together in a conjugal relationship without any formal recognition by the state, does not bring about, in Quebec, any of the rights upon separation that a person divorcing from a legal marriage or civil union would get.

    • omphaloskeptic

      Yes, this is exactly right. Well said. I really wish more Canadian provinces would modernize their family law to account for the fact that more and more people are cohabiting rather than getting married. It is pretty awful for a woman who sacrificed her entire career to stay at home and take care of kids to be left with nothing if she decides she wants to leave her husband. That is yet one more barrier that makes it harder for women to leave abusive partners, for instance. Access to family law remedies is really critical to gender equality.

    • northernTNT

      Things have changed in recent years for the « unions de fait », I left Quebec in the early millennium for travels. It is the “married” life that is similar, but yes, there are some differences upon separation, but frankly, I agree with the distinction. But even upon separation, belongings purchased jointly must be separated fairly. But within the marriage, the finances look the same.
      The point is, women should NOT be sacrificing their lives to males, and I am happy that the legal structure keeps this clear. I have no logical comprehension of people who would “make sacrifices” without getting guarantees in exchange. Canadians are way too reliant on governments to take care of everything for us.

  • andeväsen

    I second being open about seeing marriage as an outdated institution. And if you do go for it….separate bank accounts.

    • calabasa

      Absolutely. For the sake of both parties.

  • rosearan

    This is cruel of me to say, but I once thought I was in a happy marriage, one that had lasted a very long time. When the axe fell (due to financial problems and my husband’s bankruptcy), I was forced to face up to how much I had compromised by emotional and financial independence. Marriage and motherhood had left very vulnerable. Due to my age, I had little opportunity to start again. My advice to younger women is to never, EVER sacrifice your independence on the basis of a happy relationship with a man. If there was ever a time when women could do so, those times are gone.

    • Cassandra

      A thousand times YES to this comment. Never EVER sacrifice your independence to a man. Never EVER become financially dependent on one.

    • Tired feminist

      This is very true. I’ve never been married and never will, but I’ve been in relationships that drained SO MUCH of my time, energy and general level of happiness but, nevertheless, at the time I thought I was in a great relationship with a great person!!! It’s only a few months (or years) after it ends that you realize how much you had to give up for the sake of mantaining a relationship, and it’s usually WAY more than what your dude had to give up.

  • Meghan Murphy

    What a ridiculous thing to say. I don’t buy it, even for a moment. Tell the truth, now: Do you have any friends at all?

  • Meghan Murphy

    Possibly? You’re kind of missing my point though, which was not to attack the character of every individual who chooses to marry.

  • Meghan Murphy


  • Meghan Murphy

    All comments are moderated. In the end, though, I decided not to post your though because it was dumb. xx

  • Meghan Murphy

    I have a ton of single friends and we party together all the time. They are the best, funniest, most interesting, awesome women ever. You need to get out more. And, frankly, you sound rather embittered and unpleasant yourself.

  • rosearan

    This sounds suspiciously like the patriarchal view of marriage. Like wow! Marriage gives women unrestricted access to great sex, financial security and a lifelong best friend. Tell that to the women who are crippled by the loneliness of motherhood and financial dependence on a man. Tell that to the women who have lost their libido due to the grinding stress of motherhood’s zero social self-worth. Tell that to the women who once wanted a life that they could control. I’m assuming you’re a dude who hasn’t a clue, but if not, whatever bubble you are living in, I hope it doesn’t burst any time soon.

    • Mellie

      Everything you stated happens in cohabitation. The issue is heterosexual relationships, not marriage which gives people inheritance, alimony, child support, medical rights with their spouse.

      • omphaloskeptic

        I think in most jurisdictions you can get child support from the other biological parent regardless of your marital status. But I agree regarding the rest of that (with the caveat that some jurisdictions now give these rights to common-law relationships as well).

      • northernTNT

        The problem is the patriarchal standard of monogamy. Hetero is simply the meeting of gametes to create offspring. We should be encouraging society to just “step away” from obligatory monogamy, and let people love freely and encourage child-free persons rather than everyone shacked up in twos reproducing this ridiculous patriarchy.

        • Mellie

          Marriage is not mandatory and nothing in marriage says you have to be monogamous (although I guess there are some archaic laws in some jurisdictions).

          Once again the reason gay people fought for gay marriage was because they were left out of the major next to kin decisions like inheritance, hospital visitation rights, and much more. Not necessarily because of sexual monogamy. You don’t even have to live with each other. You don’t have to sleep in the same bedroom. You don’t have to have a tacky and expensive wedding.

          You can have many relationships and be child free but still want a partner you respect to marry. And it is sexist to tell a woman she should or shouldn’t have children.

          I think it is arrogant to assume monogamy is a hetero thing or even man made when monogamy(to varing degrees) already exist in some animals and believe it or not, does exist among gay men.

  • Tired feminist

    So you don’t party at all, yet you go to spinster parties with the sole purpose of observing them? Lol interesting.

    • Meghan Murphy

      “I don’t go to parties and one ever invites me to parties but all the parties I’ve seen on TV have been terribly dull.”

  • Tired feminist

    It totally is a dude. I agree with Susan, the dude is a very predictable creature.

  • Melissa Cutler

    When someone protests this much and this illogically, that’s almost always because they have a huge emotional and financial investment in maintaining the lie they’ve bought into. Think of everything married people stand to lose if they think too critically of the institution. We feminists know all about the steep price that comes with our disillusionment about our patriarchal culture. But… (and please forgive me for using a Christian metaphor) if I’m offered the choice between taking a bite from the apple of the tree of knowledge and suffering the disillusionment and discontent that comes with it, or remaining a blissfully ignorant and obedient companion to my husband, I’m eating the fucking apple.

    p.s. The sex gets better and better? I’m giving that nugget of wisdom the stamp of patriarchal approval.

  • Kathleen

    This is a pretty sad view of marriage. I can understand that, though, because for I’d say the majority of women, marriage IS a bad idea. But it depends on someone’s situation, and it also depends on the two people getting married. For me marriage made sense. Partly because I am with an excellent man, and partly because I am not a high-energy person. I don’t like going out to ‘mingle’. I don’t like casual sex. I enjoy giving my love and energy to just one person. The partnership with my husband has been an incredible support for me. Firstly, when I had a miscarriage, he was the only other person who seemed to understand (surprisingly, I did not get much understanding from other women). We had lost the same child. We were equally devastated. When I suspiciously got made part-time at work just days later, we were angry together. He was still at uni and I was supporting him off my part-time income. I liked supporting him because he got a taste of how it feels for if and when the tables turn. Having children is incredibly important to both of us, so whether married or not, an unavoidable part of being a woman in the world as it currently is, is that your career suffers. That does upset me, I worked hard at uni and in my job to get where I am. I have recently left my job as we are expecting another baby. I was treated pretty unfairly by work, due to my pregnancy, but of course it’s too hard to prove. But as I have more experience in the professional work force than my husband -now a recent graduate- does, we are both very open to the fact that after some months, it could very well be him staying at home with the baby, and me going back to work. So marriage does not necessarily trap the woman at home with a baby. It doesn’t necessarily make the woman financially dependent on the man. I feel lucky, and free, to think that I can have a baby and have someone to look after it if I want or need to go back to work. I guess in some marriages, women can get the same things out of it as a man can, so long as the man is a fair and logical person.

    • rosearan

      ‘So marriage does not necessarily trap the woman at home with a baby. It doesn’t necessarily make the woman financially dependent on the man. I feel lucky, and free, to think that I can have a baby and have someone to look after it if I want or need to go back to work.’

      Aaaah! Stop right there. And wait for the dull thud of experience to catch up. (To be fair though, I thought that once too.) From my observation of scores of marriages to date, I have only encountered two marriages where this applied – one husband had clinical anxiety disorder, which made it hard for him to hold down a job; the other was an artist, who found it expedient to have his wife support his very low and patchy income.

      Until proven otherwise, NO husband will opt to sacrifice his professional development to be the stay-at-home carer, unless it suits his personal agenda.

      This is not necessarily because men are selfish or narcissistic (although a lot are). It’s just that they have thousands of years of back-up support in maintaining their jobs and careers at all costs. Even in these feminist times, there is almost NO scope for this to change.

      • Kathleen

        I never said it wasn’t a rarity. I have experienced the cold hard reality of being a female in the workforce, and a pregnant one at that. I am a feminist and am under no illusions about the huge inequality in the workforce. But I chose my husband very carefully so hopefully I will not have the problems many other women do. You might think you sound scientific saying ‘until proven otherwise, NO husband will…’ but you could state the opposite hypothesis and it would be equally as valid. I am hoping in the case of my family, both of us will have a chance at a career, and that’s important to my husband too.
        All this said, chances are it will turn out to be my husband who ends up working more than me, once he actually gets a job. But only if we both decide this is the right thing for us. I want to have a career, but I am also fiercely maternal and while some ‘feminists’ I have encountered try to make me feel bad about caring about being home with my children more than I do about my career, I can’t help that I feel that way and do not apologise for it.

      • Kathleen

        I have just seen some of your previous posts, and I am sorry your marriage did not work out. But please don’t presume to know other people’s husbands or situations and make judgements. I do not judge other people’s experiences or decisions, I was simply giving my perspective based on my situation. In my case I feel I can retain my independence to a fair degree while being married. Part of this involves being educated about issues that may lead to losing independence and actively ensuring you have safeguards in place etc

    • northernTNT

      As usual, the PRO marriage posts never say how far into the marriage they are. OF COURSE things seem good, they fail. It’s the one thing that is notable on this board, the divorced people are clear to say it was good, til it was bad, and how many years it took.
      It’s like the idiot saying ” always finding a lost object in the last place you look “… of course it’s the last place you looked, it’s when it was found!

      • Kathleen

        I’m not necessarily pro-marriage in general. But I’m pro-marriage for me. I have not been married long, but I have been with my husband for many years, and have known him since I was about 12.
        I have noticed a lot of anti-marriage posts attacking people who are happy in their marriage.

      • Kathleen

        I just wanted to add, they don’t always fail. Both sets of my Grandparents were extremely in love until the very end, they all felt they’d had wonderful lives together. Yes, the female vs male roles were far more inbuilt back then. But my parents have been happily married for many decades (as have my husband’s parents). My Mum and Dad both went to uni and started their careers before they had children. Then while my Mum went on to have 4 children (and 5 full-term pregnancies) she mostly stayed home to look after us as Dad was (surprise, surprise) in the higher paying job. But Mum continued to do various bits of work from home in her field such as tutoring, and also piano teaching, etc. She says how much she enjoyed these years, which were very social for her (we were lucky enough to live in a small town in the outback with a large proportion of young families and fantastic support- it was quite unlike other small towns). My Father retired quite early, partly due to ill health, but mostly due to the fact we moved somewhere with fewer job prospects for him, but plenty of opportunities for Mum. She is now the one who works (he does occasional work), and has gone on a slightly different career path which she absolutely loves. From what I have heard from my parents- and I have a very open and honest relationship with them- they both feel that they have so far gotten a lot of what they wanted out of life, and could not have done so without their strong marriage, where they could both rely on each other to be fair and do whatever was right for their situation. Again, a marriage where both parties feel fulfilled is a rarity, but it’s the example I grew up with and am hoping to replicate in my own way (which may mean that I am the one working more, depending on what’s right for our situation).

    • Nat G

      Sorry to read that about your miscarriage. I hope everything is better for you now.

      • Kathleen

        Thank you so much for your kind words, Nat.

  • tinfoil hattie

    I can’t claim anything other than sheer luck in my marriage. I really don’t know how/why Mr Hattie is so decent. But I don’t give him any cookies for it, either.

    If he died or left me, I would never BOTHER to get married again.

    • northernTNT

      How many years now?

      • tinfoil hattie


      • tinfoil hattie

        Going on 31. Maybe waiting 8 years to actually “get married” had something to do with it. Who knows. I think it’s a crapshoot.

  • tinfoil hattie

    Your comment got me wondering, so I trotted off to Google.

    Adultery is illegal in 16 U.S. states!

    • omphaloskeptic

      There are adultery laws on the books in some states, but my understanding is that at least some of them have been found unconstitutional (but no one bothered to clean up the statute). But I am not intricately familiar with US criminal law.

  • Meghan Murphy


  • Meghan Murphy

    I wonder if your single friends find you sad and boring?

  • Melissa Cutler

    To clarify, you’re saying that your view doesn’t exemplify the patriarchal view of marriage because men don’t go around talking about how great marriage is? Care to elaborate?

  • omphaloskeptic

    The notion that all unmarried women are bored, discontented, and sad is absolutely ridiculous. As is the notion that married women are always better off married.

    The truth is the common-sense answer: Some single people are fulfilled and thrilled to be single, and some are not; some married people thrive in their marriages, and some do not.

  • Meghan Murphy

    Can you really not differentiate between a critique of an institution, of common practice, or of behaviour, and “hate?”

  • Meghan Murphy

    In my personal experience, men are much more needy than women — they need your time, attention, comfort, affection, reassurance, etc.

  • Meghan Murphy

    You literally said your single friends were sad and bored.

  • Meghan Murphy

    But you weren’t just talking about yourself… You made a sweeping generalization about marriage, as a whole, and about how wonderful it is, because of what you claim your own personal experience is…

  • Ang

    Thank you! I am happily divorcing. I will need all the strength I can muster. My soon to be ex became an addict after I became pregnant. After finding out of the addiction. We stared marriage therapy and he went to individual treatment for the addiction. No help at all. Worst now then ever and his parents have millions. He now lives in a apartment they pay for, they bought him a car, gave him a job at their company when he lost his, and paid for a high cost attorney. They have threatened to sue me for my son, business, and home. All which my attorney laughs at. I don’t care about the house, the business can always be rebuild. My son, my precious son, I will fight with every dime I have and with every part of me. I just want him to stay safe. I want him to have a relationship with his dad only in a safe environment. We will make it and I will love again but marraige, never again. I will never be trapped in an unsafe situation because the goverment tells me I have to jump through hoops first. If I make another bad judgement in another relationship. I want to be able to pack him up and ship his looser butt out the door!!

    • Rachel

      So sorry to hear about everything you’re going through! You’re clearly such a strong person, and as you said you will get through it, even if sometimes it feels you won’t. I can completely understand why you’d never want to get married after this has all blown over. These are the types of stories I listen to, as opposed to the smug married “be careful, you don’t want to be alone” stories. Your story, obviously at varying degrees, is at more common than the happily ever after marriage. The story of the addict going to therapy, or abuser going to therapy and not working is all too common too. They don’t change if they don’t want to, no matter how much money and therapy is thrown at them.

  • Tired feminist

    And here’s the moment we were all waiting for, the moment when the MRA can’t help but out himself. 😀

    • Melissa Cutler


  • bevtoastily

    ^ Obvious man.

  • bevtoastily

    You’re just making things up.

    • 2+2=4andalwayswill

      I find that a strange response. You might make some argument like, “obviously you and your friends are older, but younger women aren’t like that any more” or “what is your sample?” But you simply deny my experience and observations. What does that gain you? It seems almost like you can’t cope with any information that contradicts your opinions.

      • Meghan Murphy

        But you are… Just making things up…

  • omphaloskeptic

    I don’t think that. Don’t put words in my mouth.

  • Meghan Murphy

    Well, I have a dog and a very active social life… Plus I work at home and tend to get very involved in work/writing when I’m at home. So I don’t spend much time thinking about being kissed or whatever. Don’t get me wrong, my boyfriend contributes a lot to our relationship (more than I do, that’s for sure! Ha.) and is very helpful and lovely, I just really don’t feel like I “need” attention or affection from men. Like, I don’t sit around thinking about it all day. Men seem to often feel like they aren’t getting enough attention and affection from me — often because I’m quite distracted by my work and am, generally, quite a busy person. My relationship simply isn’t my top priority.

  • Meghan Murphy

    I’m sorry that happened to you, Melissa. But yeah, threatening male power/the male ego often leads to violence… Even the “good guys” have fragile egos.

    • Melissa Cutler

      Thank you, Meghan.

  • omphaloskeptic

    Sure, if you want to have to prove all sorts of sordid details in court, at a very expensive and rancorous hearing, possibly while having to wait months anyway in order to get court time. Probably it’s much easier to wait a year, for most people, which is why almost nobody gets a “for fault” divorce.

  • Meghan Murphy

    Exactly. And thank you for bringing us back to this point. Whether or not one “likes” their own marriage or weddings or whatever does not mean the institution is “good” for women or that it isn’t a patriarchal one. Happiness vs unhappiness is such a silly way to frame this conversation, anyway — as though people are either or… Marriage doesn’t “make women happy” — even if those women happen to be in what you might call a “happy marriage.” Similarly, being single doesn’t “make women unhappy.” I think it’s rather silly to think that “unhappiness” (I really don’t like this conversation around “happy” or “unhappy” as I don’t think it accurately depicts a state of being) would be resolved by a wedding.

    • marv

      Zing! zing!

  • northernTNT

    How many years in?

  • northernTNT

    In humanities classes, we need to ensure that we teach girls that marriage was invented by patriarchy to purchase women and our wombs.
    This act of purchasing a female generally means that upon separation, the male will feel like his property is being stolen from him.
    If girls knew this and understood this, shacking up with males exclusively would be much less frequent.

  • northernTNT

    Unfortunately, the purpose of marriage is to reproduce patriarchy, and it has been very successful at that, creating 7 billion new lives (at a snapshot, not looking at ancestors). Without patriarchy, Homo sapiens would likely still be around a half billion, that would be a good thing. Before patriarchy, women were not 100% entrapped in reproductive roles, only a few females reproduced, as with other mammals.

  • Morag999

    Gah, how stupid they look when they assume that women are stupid!

    But I’m amused by this term, “de-gender.” Sounds like something that gets done, not by drugs or surgery, or by meanie feminists, but with the help of a wrench or a pair of wire-cutters. Doesn’t it? Like, an inorganic, dead, cold mechanical thing. Which, of course, it pretty much is.

  • Melissa Cutler

    Reason not to get married number 13? 14? (I lost count) “Husbands create 7 hours of extra housework a week: study”. Actually, this probably falls under #3: Being a wife sucks

  • No Comment

    Marriage def is not for everyone. I’m one of the aforementioned “dudes”. Been married for 15 years now, with a couple rugrats running around as well. I’ve seen friends go thru bad divorces, seen other couples still married but all they do is nag and complain. The wife and I are the happiest couple we know, and maybe it’s because you’re right – maybe marriage IS best suited as a patriarchal institution. We follow tradition as best we can – I am the breadwinner, the leader, and the head of the household. My wife happily takes on the role of housewife, stay at home mom, and is happy to submit to her husband and obey him in all things. I make the money, she makes the babies.

    She thanks me every day from the bottom of her heart for all I do for her and our family. She makes sure the domestic chores are done and that I feel respected as the man of the house, always. In turn, I make sure she always feels loved, appreciated, supported, protected, and beautiful. And after 15 years, when it comes to sex…well, let’s just say we’re still on our honeymoon.

    She’s tried encouraging her girlfriends to adopt a similar traditional marriage, but most are resistant. (Yet they’re not happy! , she exclaims to me). So anyway, I really think we hit on the formula for marriage success. However, I wonder how many young ladies out there are willing to go into marriage with this mindset? Anyone here, for example?

    • Brandy Mundy

      That’s because if you read what you wrote your wife is your possession. You feel entitled to her. She has to be stow praise upon you. For you are the main objective in this marriage and that’s self centered. Have you thanked her taken her out spent time and money that you so greatly accumulated to show her you honor her as much?

      • Unreal

        Of course he hasn’t.

        I’d love to talk with her and find out if she’s sees her marriage as idyllic as he does.

  • tinfoil hattie

    It’s just ridiculous that they are even still on the books.

    • Mellie

      Not really. Most legislators don’t bother to spend time and money getting rid of laws they know they won’t enforce. But I always thought cities, states, and such should have a special session just to clear them.

  • Meghan Murphy

    If you don’t like feminism, you don’t like feminism. That’s unfortunate, but our ‘tone’ is unlikely to change that…

  • No Comment

    Don’t be a hater. I’m just finishing a business trip and will be coming back tomorrow to my home, as a bastion of peace, order, cleanliness, and tranquility. There will be my favorite foods on the table, favorite beers in the fridge, and beautiful scented candles lit. My loving and devoted wife will be waiting to receive me with joy, gratitude, and respect, and my children will come running up to put their little arms around me and kiss me and tell me how they’ve missed me.

    This is what it’s like every time I come from a business trip (I travel often for work). I can’t imagine it any other way. This is what marriage and family should be – a little bubble of love and tranquility, separate from the rest of the world. I wish everyone could experience how beautiful it can be…even the OP who bad mouthed marriage so bad in the article.

    Peace. (Btw, you might do better in life if you dropped the sarcasm)

    • Meghan Murphy

      Just puked. Bye bye, buddy.

      • Morag999

        Maybe this supposedly surrendered wife is happy BECAUSE of his long business trips? And, maybe, each time she throws her arms around his thick man-neck when he returns, she’s actually plugging her nose and dreaming of the day — praise the Lord! — when he finally goes on that big, looong business trip in the sky …

    • Nat G

      I don’t think it’s hate. It’s just a funny way to say that what is good for you and your wife is not necessarly good for other couples.

      • No Comment

        Yeah, ok I guess. Just wanted to give another view on what marriage and family life can be, versus the take on it that was given in the article. Peace.

        • Leena

          But the marriage you described was the same as in the article? Good for you, but you don’t seem to care about what it’s like for her.

    • marv

      You are the hater oh benevolent master sitting on your throne, high and lofty, kindly treating your wife as a slave. I fear for her if she disobeyed you. Sarcasm is the least of what you deserve. Peace and tranquility built on inequality is contempt and oppression.

  • Nat G

    Love your answer!! 😀

  • Nat G

    You made me google it! It’s true! I didn’t know that before. Interesting! And it seems like we still have few weird obsolete laws in Canada 🙂 Anyway, if I ever meet the Queen i’ll remember to not “alarming” her lol

  • Susan Cox

    Marriage as an institution is steeped in a religious history. It would be unreasonable to say this has no bearing on its current form.

    • Mellie

      Religion is dying all over the western world. And any analysis of marriage would be based on the actual reality of the two people entering it both on a macro and micro analysis. To tell an agnostic or atheist couple religion has anything to do with their marriage is a reach. People today get married for the cultural validation, legal rights, and hospital visitation rights.

      • Susan Cox

        Well, for one example, examine where that “cultural validation” comes from.

  • marv

    We wouldn’t want His Worship to be late for dinner. A cold meal could ignite the Lord into terrifying displays of power over the servant. It may jeopardize salvation for the rest of us. I pray God may be forgiving to us wayward souls for testing His patience.

  • Tired feminist

    “In all these social arrangements we encounter in life, everyone realizes
    you must have someone in a position of authority/command and another to
    submit. Yet in marriage alone, you expect this to be unnecessary?”

    LMAO. This is exactly the reason why marriage must be abolished. Inequality and exploitation are at the very core of marriage. Marriage is one of the pillars of patriarchy, i.e. of men’s power over women. You’re making our own point for us. Thanks for the help.

    • Melissa Cutler

      And it’s funny how men like this guy use gender neutral language of “someone” and “another”, yet make it clear that the position of authority/command is always filled by the man and that women are the ones to submit, and never the other way around. Like you said, LMAO.

  • Tired feminist

    Envy is really a fascinating thing.

  • Alison Aulph

    You are exactly right. That’s why I tell my boyfriend of 8 years I am never marrying you.

  • Tired feminist

    And it seems things aren’t getting better, despite all the fuss about equality: http://www.themarysue.com/millennial-men-not-nearly-as-enlightened-as-we-hope/

  • Tawny

    I find it so strange how so much effort is put into convincing women that marriage and family is all that they need out of life. Why do married men who have their own families care what single women do? Shouldn’t married women be the ones extolling the virtues of being married to single women? And why don’t they? Maybe its because many married women are not truly fulfilled in their marriages. Many of them are planning for divorce. Yet patriarchal men keep trying to convince women that they can find themselves and their identity through being a wife and mother. As if a woman can’t also have a purpose, goals and dreams outside of being a housewife. A lot of the extreme traditionalist men explicitly state that women’s first career should be in the home, and a career outside of the home should either be discouraged or seen as unnecessary. But some women want to explore their gifts and talents. Some women were born geniuses in mathematics, literature, music, science, astronomy, language, art and so on, and they would languish and wither away if forced to conform to patriarchal expectations. We need to respect women’s rights to explore their individuality and creativity.

  • Tawny

    I would like to add that I’m not against marriage but I do think people should be able to choose what path is right for them without being shamed and abused for it.

  • Brandy Mundy

    Ironically enough Paul the apostle said it would be best to not marry unless you needed to. I have been thinking about this marriage stuff because I am in a relationship and my guy wants to marry but I have an issue, in my mind the roles should be equal but my guy says he doesn’t believe in compromise and he believes that a wife should obey her husband and all I see as a future is not having any input in the marriage and being ignored and just giving everything to him while he pick and choose what he gives me. I have four children, and I have never been married. I’m in my thirties and I feel as though I give up so much to take care of them now with a husband I would be asked to sacrifice my desires even more than I have.

  • woman30ish

    I agree. The motherfucker you choose to marry will suck the life out of you. Does not matter how wonderful he seems to be, at the end they are all the same, and you’ll have to put up with his bullshit. My advice, don’t get married, but if you do, know that you’re not alone. We all carry a story only known to us. You’ll discover a strength in you that will surprise you. You’ll get stronger and stronger, but also cynical… so cynical. Don’t give up your support system and community. Surround yourself with other strong woman and listen to their stories, you won’t believe most of them. You’ll wonder, why didn’t I hear this before? It’s the stigma and the idea that you have to somehow endure this shit.
    I totally agree with the patriarcal nature of marriage, everything men do is seen as a favor, how nice of them to do this or that. As women everything seems to be our responsibility, their confortable life style is built at our expense. We have been raised in a society that will never stop telling that the success (or failure) of the marriage is your responsibility. I mean, even the engagement happens when they want, we have to be good and wait for them to decide that they’re ready. When was it ever our decision?
    How long have I been married? not even a year!! He was supposed to be the perfect guy, we were together for over 10 years. We’re both highly educated, I’m telling you, it’s all the same for everybody. Choose wisely if you choose to marry. The asshole better be worth it. It probably won’t, so make sure that at least at some point you think he is.

  • Dn

    Omg threw up in my mouth a little. Obeys you? Fffffffffff that!

  • alex

    Ofcourse, its a dude lol

  • alex


  • anpane

    What a brave and an interesting article! I smiled when I read every point. I appreciate women who decide to get married, but I am not the one who put marriage as a priority in my life ( I am still single until now, not even in a relationship with any guys). I am a teacher of classes full of teenagers so I really understand how I treat them like my own children. If people ask me, “You don’t want to get married? Don’t you want to have children?” I always answer, “I already have hundreds.” 😀

  • Tired feminist

    “Do you honestly think men think ‘wow, she raised 4 kids what a great person […]?”

    No, we don’t expect that much of you guys. This is what the entire article is about, genius.

  • marv

    Both you and the colonel uncritically adopt white patriarchal colonial sexualities and marriage. A link to help you think outside inane conformity:


  • Meghan Murphy

    What “native societies” are you talking about, specifically, re: transgender people? White people seem to be very fond of lumping together all Indigenous tribes into one in order to defend their Western ideas about transgenderism…

    • Rebekah Duran

      I should have been more clear. I should have said SOME native societies that is my fault. I am from new mexico its kind of hard to lump all natives into one group because each and every pueblo and tribe is different. I’m surrounded by 4 different tribes. The Jicarilla Apache are one of the tribes i’m talking about. They are from my area so I’ve talked to people from the tribe and they have told me this did happen. The Navajo also from around here share the idea of two spirit and embracing females and elevating them in society. I don’t refer to this to defend being transgender i refer to it as a sign that even 500 years ago some societies DID respect and revere women and even non masculine males and non feminine females. To lump ALL societies as patriarchies is just as bad as white people lumping together every native tribe. The west is not the only society that accepts transgender people. Thailand is a hotbed in the east for transgender ideas and acceptance. India has the concept of the Hijara. The Maori tribes of New Zealand also recognize transgender people. Its not just the west trying to push the idea of transgenderism. The entire world has dealt with gender variant people since the dawn of man. Some take it bad others accept them. In the end they are people and should be respected. Even if you think trans women just mock biological women by existing they still deserve respect.

      • Meghan Murphy

        Two spirit is not transgender. This is a common/popular misconception/myth repeated by white third wavers/liberals.

      • radwonka

        cut the crap.

        Cultural relativism is not an argument.

        Saying that “X culture do it, so we should do it too”, is not an argument.

        If you think that humans arent a dimorphic specie, then *you* have to demonstrate it

        BTW: just like trans activists wont acknowledge that being a female has nothing to do with stereotypes, I dont see why we should acknowledge their mindset too *shrug*

  • Meghan Murphy

    I don’t actually think you are in any position to speak to what ‘two spirit’ means. Certainly you aren’t in any position to apply the concept to current, post-invasion. The society we live in right now, in the West, is not at all comparable to any pre-invasion Indigenous society, certainly our notions of ‘gender’ are quite different.

    Re: “liberal” — this is a political ideology. The ideology is what we are referring to — not the individual and their particular self-perceived nuances.

  • Unjaded Realist

    LMAO! Great idea Cassandra! I wish I’d had his comment to read the last time I accidentally ate something expired. It would have immediatly come up!

  • Unjaded Realist

    Yep. He brags on and on about his clean, orderly house and all the complements she gives him (which he clearly feels entitled to) for being the provider. He obviously values her purely for what she can DO FOR HIM. Probably knows nothing or cares nothing about her beyond that. It’s parasitic, exploitive and disgusting. I am currently separated and in the process of a divorce and he has this same shocking level of self-serving misogyny (yet has the nerve to try and get me back). It’s unreal what men/patriarchy have gotten us to not only accept as normal but to actually brainwash us to desire our own exploitation under the guise of “love”. They have for centuries made us think this is the only valid way to live our lives, and shamed and demeaned those of us who didn’t buy into this BS trap (labeling them sad “old maids” and encouraging women like the exploited, unloved woman married to this narcissist to feel sorry for them for staying free). Twisted. Also it must be nice to be fawned over like royalty just for going to damn work! What an ENTITLED dip!

  • omphaloskeptic

    Sorry, I meant more difficult to take to trial from the point of view of a well-intentioned prosecutor being handed the case, who actually wants to take it to trial. I didn’t mean to imply that that is the only barrier to justice for victims of domestic abuse — far from it! I agree that there are significant barriers before that stage (barriers to reporting, police inaction, etc.) and also barriers after that (i.e., even if you take it to trial, triers of fact are biased in systematic ways in evaluating the credibility of witnesses). All of which is depressing af.

  • omphaloskeptic

    My understanding is that an unconsummated marriage is “voidable,” rather than “void” — as in, you can apply to annul a marriage on the basis of a lack of consummation (under circumstances that have narrowed significantly over time — in BC I think you have to demonstrate some kind of incapacity), but it is not automatically annulled for that reason. But this may vary by jurisdiction.

  • omphaloskeptic

    I’m so sorry this happened to you. Good for you for doing the hard work of processing this difficult experience. I get you about brainwashing. It is in some ways easier when people are straight up mean to you than when they undermine you subtly, in a way that you barely notice. That just leaves you disoriented and confused and depressed and not sure what is real. My heart goes out to you.

  • marv

    “I think if a couple love and understand each other, there shouldn’t be too many surprises on the long run.”

    Men and women are sex classes. Men as a social group have made the ruling institutions of society in which women assimilate. Men colonize women’s bodies in porn, prostitution, rape, harassment, battering/murder, unpaid work at home, inequality in the economy, state structure and laws, and more. Marriage hides the reality of male class dominance making the couple appear as equals. It divides women into private households with men, psychologically conditioning women to not see their group oppression. Couples loving and understanding each other further covers over class divisions. The disruptive surprises they need to see are kept unseen.

  • Meghan Murphy

    Marriage, at its root, is a patriarchal institution. It’s not a characterization, it’s a fact.

    • ImperatorMachinarum

      Perhaps, once upon a time. But it most certainly isn’t between many consenting men and women today in the West. And modern marriage affords a lot of latitude in roles and expectations. So no, it is not as simple as you briefly assert.

      I guess we can agree to disagree.

      Lastly, I appreciate your allowing me to comment here. All the best.

  • marv

    “Most of us successful couples don’t obsess over ideology. Feminism vs MGTOW? We’re busy advancing our families. As opposed to identity politics driving our relationships and lives. We socialize and network.”

    There is no such thing as an institution absent of ideology. Religious adherents make the same assertion as you but any critically intelligent person can see dogmas and ideas underpin religiosity. Both marriage and faith are identity politics with their origins in male hegemony. Both drive the hierarchy of affective relationships in societies: marriage on top and revolutionary friendships on the bottom.

    Socializing and networking are based on cultural beliefs and values. So is love. Yet you think you live outside of societal sexual politics. Impossible, unless you live in a bubble beyond culture.

    • ImperatorMachinarum

      One more point. An ideology can easily be used to discriminate and oppress…even when professing to fight against this…especially on narrowly defined identity.

      I was banned from a MGTOW site for stating that men historically have indeed oppressed women. Similarly, I’ve been insulted by feminists for rejecting the assertion that marriage is inherently patriarchal.

      See what I said about my Catholicism. I don’t apply it to discriminate and oppress. I might use my right of free association to socialize with other Catholics on occasion. But I adapt it elastically to any social milleau…as opposed to warning it imperiously on my sleeve.

      Thanks for listening to my frame of reference. Likewise, I respect yours.

      • LRR

        How long have you, oh highly educated one, been married for? How many children have you had? Relationships involve more than analytics, pivot tables, and positive cash flows. You’ll figure that out along this long and winding road. When you do, we’ll be here for you. I agree about not obsessing over theology and philosophy, however, one would be naive and dismissive to neglect the simple and pervasiveness of greed and power that has been the common root of all men’s hearts – even those of character (Hello David, meet Bathsheba — yeah she’s married. David “I can take care of that.”) . Marriage in and of itself was never meant to be as it has been on this earth, even God said so Himself. Man was to “lay his life down for his wife, as Christ did for the church, putting her BEFORE his desires and wants…” (Ephesians 5:25-27) . Men of this world have gravely misinterpreted the scriptures and reduced what was meant to be sacred and protected into nothing more than a patriarchal power stance.

        • ImperatorMachinarum

          You like many responding by to me keep crafting straw men to justify your rigid ideology. I more than explained my views of Catholicism and marriage. None of which in practice are patriarchal not overly ideological.

          No small irony, given the topic.


          I’ve long been married and have children. We’re monogamous. My wife has an advanced degree but stays home to be primary caregiver. Cash flow and balance sheets are significantly positive.

          Our culture is simple: family, education, work, and money management. All good people are welcome to our table…whom we don’t predicate on some ideological test.

          All the best.

  • Meghan Murphy

    “If you want to characterize how I live my relationship with my wife as ideology, knock yourself out.”

    Do you think you’re so special that you live outside cultural and social norms? The fact that you are married you should tell you you don’t, but also no one does.

    People like very much to think that their lives and relationships and personalities and likes and dislikes are special and unique to the extent that they are not shaped by the world around them, but it’s not true — not for anyone.

    Marriage is by no means a personal choice — it is a cultural practice, rooted in heterosexism and patriarchy.

  • Meghan Murphy

    Marriage is an institution, not a personal choice. It’s also a legal contract. Catholicism is, likewise, an institution, not something you invented inside your head/relationship. There is ideology behind all these things. If you don’t understand this, it’s possible you aren’t as smart as you think.

  • Meghan Murphy

    Using words like “liberal” and “neoliberal” are not about identities (or identity politics), it’s just about describing an ideology or worldview. I haven’t said we have nothing in common — I don’t know you, so how would I know what we have or don’t have in common? Either way, that’s not relevant to this conversation. The only argument I’ve made is that your choices are influenced by ideology, socialization, institutions, and the culture that surrounds you. This is true of everyone and I find it strange that anyone would deny this. We are all individuals, yes, who live in a particular society, within a particular period of time, and are influenced by our circumstances and surroundings.

    • ImperatorMachinarum

      I said as much, that nature and nurture influence a person. But that a person can be educated, intelligence, and aware enough to understand these influences. And make a free will choice to live as they will.

      My wife and I do so with our Catholic heritage. We’re influenced. But not deterministically so. More to the ongoing point, our marriage is anything but patriarchal.

      It’s actually an ideological dogma of yours that our marriage is patriarchal. An association to your identity politics as a feminist. Reinforcing my point that being too ideologically rigid distorts reality, as life is more nuanced than such fundamentalism.

      • Meghan Murphy

        Nice try bud. Your derail game is strong, but you’ve lost the plot. Marriage — the INSTITUTION — is patriarchal. Catholicism is also a patriarchal institution. Stop trying to twist this conversation away from this very simple point.

        • ImperatorMachinarum

          You can keep repeating the same false assertions. It’s not the 1st time I’ve encountered this. But, I appreciate the discussion.

          All the best.

          • Meghan Murphy

            You are a very committed dogmatist, I’ll give you that.

          • ImperatorMachinarum

            Again, strictly speaking, you’re the one being dogmatic. I’ve demonstrated adapting a religion in a non-dogmatic way to live a marriage of equality. As I said earlier, we can agree to disagree.

            I commend your being open about your beliefs. Putting a real name behind your articles and posts. I in contrast have the benefit of anonymity. And believe me, I’m listening to your position.

            Thank you.

          • Meghan Murphy

            It is not dogmatic to understand what an institution is. Stop pretending that understanding what words mean and how society works is the same as believing in God.

  • marv

    Parish Churches, schools, and to a lesser extent hospitals teach church doctrine: forbidding contraception, abortion (hospitals), divorce, lesbian love and women priests. God is presented as father, Jesus and their spirit – a male conception. The sacrament of marriage illustrates how other relationships have lesser value (not sacramentalized). Forgiveness of people who harm is central to the biblical and church canon.

    All these moral and theological positions are subordinating to women, and deadly to those living with violent men. Marriage is part of the equation no matter what you imagine it to be. To marry in the church is to sanction the patriarchal church. Detrimental social consequences of personal definitions of relationships are real, notwithstanding naive intentions. I am not asking you to dissolve your union, just to examine the system of marriage honestly.

    You’re way of stating things plainly is absurd. You should move along, to stop offending women and disgracing yourself.

    • ImperatorMachinarum

      To marry in the church is to sanction the patriarchal church.

      To some degree, this is true. But so what? This has no bearing on how a marriage sanctioned by Church and state is lived. As I already explained, Catholic ecclesiastic operational structure and theology may be patriarchal. But the ways many Catholics live isn’t.

      As to dishonesty, you’re the one engaging in this by claiming I’m offending women and disgracing myself. As usual, when you can’t engage a discussion logically and respectfully, out come the ad hominems…and says more about you than me.

      Nevertheless, as I said to Megan, this discussion has run its course. You can have the last word. All the best.

  • Meghan Murphy

    Can you read? Yes or no. What has been said, over and over again, is that marriage is a patriarchal INSTITUTION. We are not talking about your personal opinion on your personal marriage. We get it, you are a very special individual who exists outside culture, society, and patriarchal institutions. Congratulations! You are likely the only person in the entire world who does. Alert the press!

  • S Robinson

    OMG. I loved this article, especially #11. This is me. A 52-year old spinister who has spent a lifetime of being involved with other people’s children, even raising my dead cousin’s 14 and 4 year old girls until another cousin (younger than me) fell in love with the four year old two years later and took both girls in with me moving to a more appropriate “grandma” type role. I am an educated professional with a law degree and VP job, and I love my independence. The only time I missed having a guy is when there were work events where spouses or significant others were allowed. Until I hit my early 40s, men were plentiful and I had no trouble rounding up a date. But as I got older, it got harder to do, so now I am comfortable attending these events alone and just floating around spending time with the couples engaging in idle chit chat. I go home to my cat and my very comfortable home – a very relaxing and peaceful existence. I haven’t had sex in 12 years and I do not miss it. I love my life and freedom, and my ability to take in other peoples children when they need help without having to talk my husband into it. I can do anything I want. Right now, I am sitting at a resort (here for a work conference) people watching — especially the interaction between the couples — which is why I googled “why get married” and found this article. #11 summed it up for me – I made the right decision for me!!!

  • S Robinson

    Here’s an addendum to my post – I do have an “imaginary” husband when he’s needed. For example when I buy something spur of the moment, especially something really expensive and later change my mind, when I return it, I tell the salesperson –“oh, I am so sorry but my husband won’t let me keep it.” When I want to get away from pushy salespeople, I say – “I have to go home and talk it over with my husband.” And when I’m sitting alone and get approached by men trying to meet me, I say “please go away, my husband is very jealous and he may be watching me”- they immediately oblige. I wear a beautiful left hand diamond that many assume is my wedding ring, but actually, it is a gift to me from me decades ago. I apologize to those of you who think I’m giving men a bad wrap, but my “imaginary” husband is a lot of fun!

  • Meghan Murphy

    Within patriarchy, I am always critical of heteronormativity and of the institution of marriage, as it exists today, within the historical and social context it does. You are individualizing something that has social, cultural, and historical context. You are also making arguments that I’m sure you find very insightful and interesting, but have nothing to do with my arguments against the institution of marriage, and are not based on words that I have actually said. Please don’t. It’s boring and a waste of everyone’s time.

    • Joe

      I think the point most of us are trying to get across to you is marriage, as an institution, is patriarchal, but marriage, as an agreement, is fluid in every direction. The partnership shapes the meaning. Each couple would tell you a slightly different dynamic exists in their relationship.

      Because of this, such an article or argument against marriage is going to get counter arguments that will vary in response. Some vs the institution, some vs the agreement. Anyone could search a similar search about why men shouldn’t get married, and you’d see almost an identical list.

      What does that tell me? Men and women have basically the same complaints, and it truly comes back to emotional understanding, regardless of your preference or status.

      Your dismissive response of my prior inquiry tells me one thing for sure, you care not at all for the agreement, and only wish to attack the institution.

      I point this out, because as most idealist do, you’ll pound your own literature, spouting the “words of truth” yet haven’t considered the people you’re speaking to may not consider the truth you speak to be absolute.

      Beware you do not become those you abhor.

      • Meghan Murphy

        Why on earth do you think I care what point you are trying to get across?? Your point is stupid and irrelevant to me and to the larger feminist analysis of marriage, as a patriarchal institution. And yes! You are right! I don’t care to ‘agree’ with men defending marriage for entirely boring and irrelevant reasons — I care about challenging larger patriarchal systems. Most feminists, including myself, have tried to and considered liberal arguments in favour of these systems, but found feminist analysis more intelligent and compelling. You, Joe, are the one who needs to do further reading. Not us. Good luck!

      • marv

        “I think the point most of us are trying to get across to you is marriage, as an institution, is patriarchal, but marriage, as an agreement, is fluid in every direction.”

        People promoting prostitution, porn and BDSM use premises like yours. Playing around with structures of oppression to suit your individual fancies serves to publicly validate those institutions. Self-involved choosing.

        There is no logic to adopting a political form generated out of patriarchy unless you have no choice but to accept it. Marriage is a fake identity at the cost of systemic violence against women.

  • Meghan Murphy

    We aren’t talking about other unions. We are talking about the institution of marriage. I am not anti-relationships with other people or anti-monogamy, even. Neither is, I would guess, marv. Feminists are specifically opposed to the institution of marriage, which is rooted in patriarchy. We are also critical of things like heterosexuality and heteronormativity, and the way heterosexuality has manifested itself within patriarchy.

  • JayTheWay

    To be fair, that is the definition of a good wife. It is also the definition of a good husband. The opposite of selfish is selfless. Funny how most comments say that the problem is selfishness but how the desire to have someone selflessly care for family is also the problem. Which is it? I think it’s both. A selfish desire for the other person to be selfless and the lack of ability to stop being selfish yourself. The problem in most cases is both people and their dumb expectations

  • Kalistar

    I love this article and could have written it. Married to a dude, should have known better, it has sucked, and I didn’t know why I am not outta here. 24 years of riggin’ it. I have said many times that if I had chosen to have children I would raise a daughter to focus on her, not marriage. Fuck these dudes.

  • ImperatorMachinarum

    Believe what you will. But I suspect Catholicism will outlast alternatives. As long as we humans persist.

    Suffice it to say, the Catholicism of today isn’t even the one of 20 years ago. Never mind that of the Middle Ages. Especially vis-a-via marriage.

    All the best my friend.

  • marv

    The trouble isn’t with living up to or not attaining some silly ideal of marriage. The concept of male sex class dominion is central to any core understanding of marriage. Once a class structure is in place it generates various distorted cultural identities and institutions that suppress class awareness; marriage is one of them. Cultural traditions/customs act as mediators that embed false ideas and beliefs into the heart of the subjugated (women) and the subjugators (men). Marriage becomes the normalizing face of the class colonization process. The ruled are integrated into the existing power dynamics, naturalizing and even celebrating them as women’s own.

    Sexual politics is always at play in cultural production whether seen or unseen by social actors.

  • Sasha T

    All the systems of equality you suggest are as equally upsetting as marraige. Our systems of career, education, justice, relationship and religion need to change. We are all equal in death, and in death you cannot take your pride, insecurities and privileges that allow you to justify the subordination of other living beings.

  • Topazthecat

    Or better yet,have nothing to do with men who are typically strongly socialized from the moment they are born into ”masculinity”,to be nothing like girls and women,and see them as nothing like themselves and to hate them,for no rational reasons,and what is so incomprehensible is that men are born from and nurtured by *women*! In the early 1990’s I spoke with Rhea who was an editor at a Harvard University news paper,and now works at Emerson University’s news paper, at the sadly long gone Women’s Alliance Against Pornography Education project ,and I asked her to send me as much information on the harms of Playboy and pornography in general and she did. She said to me,that most men don’t not see women as being anything like themselves,they see them as the other,and she said most men hate women and then they marry them and that we live in a male dominated society that hates women.She also always said that the gender differences aren’t natural,they have been socially manufactured so men can dominate women.Jewish and black people aren’t expected to and don’t marry Nazis,and Ku klux Klan members,nor give birth to them,but women are the only discriminated against,hated group of people that is expected to and does do this!

    Susan didn’t even mention how women are expected to and often do,take their husband’s last name,and how this all originated from the woman being owned by her husband as property,and how the father giving away the bride also stems from her being owned first by her father who used to give her away for money to be owned by her husband,and then gave her away for free.That is also why until 1993! it was perfectly legal for a husband to rape his wife in America in all states,it was made illegal in some states by 1988,and it also used to be legal for a man to beat his wife,it was called the rule of thumb law,as long as what he beat her with wasn’t bigger than his thumb.

    Here Penn State sociology professor Laurie Scheuble explains in this 2016 podcast interview, that the origins of the wife taking her husband’s last name stems from her being owned as property just like a cow.


    Here British radical feminist Julie Bindle explains all of these things too in this 2016 video,Women Face It:Marriage Can Never Be Feminist


    Here is a great article written about all of this by British feminist Clare Chambers called,Recognizing Marriage As A Symbolic Institution


    A month after John Lennon and Yoko Ono got married, Yoko rightfully said to John who thanks to Yoko changed a 180% for the better into a feminist,and later into a nurturing house husband and father to her and their son Sean, ,why should she have to change her last name to his,that it’s not fair to her identity as a person,and John agreed and said you’re right that is unfair and so in April 1969,John legally changed his name to John Ono Lennon.

  • Topazthecat

    Here is a great feminist analysis of how badly Princess Diana was treated by many men in her life including her cheating husband prince Charles written shortly after she was so tragically killed at only age 36 in the car crash in August 1997.


  • Topazthecat

    Since the ERA,Equal Rights Amendment has never been passed into US law,women aren’t considered equals in the law.!

  • marv

    The problem with marriage is not individual negative experiences. Marriage in an institution that hides the group oppression of women, making it seem as though women are not a social category of people below men. It prioritizes women in private silos with men instead of collective solidarity with other women as primacy of place. So happy and violent marriages keep women down as a class.

    Marriage substantiates the made up genders of masculinity and femininity binding us in harmful behaviors and roles. Eliminating gender and marriage would take us a long way into liberation and joy.

    Your thinking is individualistic against the equal good of a classless society.

  • Vasile Andrei

    so far MGTOWs are uber feminists!
    who knew their number one doctrine “never get married” will be shared by feminists