Six trends to leave behind in 2018

Rape is so over.

1) Sexual Assault

Rape is so 2017! In recent months, society has suddenly realized that sexual harassment and assault are bad things, and men are running scared. Surely this means that in 2018, no woman will be raped, masturbated in front of, groped, or sent unwanted dick pics (Are dick pics ever truly “wanted”? I think it’s safe to say we all know what penises look like and don’t need visual reminders lobbed at us while trying to watch animal rescue videos on Instagram), right? Right?!

2) Trans activism

2017 was host to an endless stream of anti-feminist backlash in the form of trans activism. Narcissistic men everywhere determined that feminists who didn’t believe their blue lipstick transformed them into females deserved to be silenced, fired, harassed, verbally abused, punched, and murdered. Having outed themselves as nothing more than a misogynist parade of entitled, violent, nitwits, I predict 2018 will be the year we all tell the emperor we can see his penis.

Cartoon: New Yorker

3) Good Men

Turns out there are none. Feminists have been making the point for some time that Your Man is not special, and neither are you, Matt Damon. Let the record show that 2017 proved us right.

To be fair, there are some individual men who are not currently raping women and who genuinely believe women are human beings, not simply A Pair Of Breasts To Jizz On Until I Impregnate Her, After Which The Breasts Must Be Shared With Another Child, Leaving Me With No Choice But To Sexually Harass Her Daily Or Procure Another Breast-Thing To Jizz On. But the reality is that all men participate in and benefit from this culture, and even the men who oh-so-generously do not abandon their children or beat their wives objectify women, consume porn, continue to be very bad at sex, talk over us, go to strip clubs, and, let’s be honest, have probably sexually assaulted or harassed a woman at some point. In 2018, let’s forget about Good Men, and instead focus on all women.

4) Marriage

Women: why are you still doing this? It is 2017 and you are not chattel. Also, has it not been made clear to you that relationships with men are bad for your life? There is no reason you should do domestic and emotional labour for two. Have kids? Great. Surely their father can contribute while not living in the same house as you, sucking up your time and energy, while contributing statistically and historically very little. Woudn’t it be more practical not to spend tens of thousands of dollars on a wedding, only to have to spend thousands more on a lawyer when you inevitably divorce? Surely, if a relationship with a man is truly good, beneficial, and desirable, you can simply stay in that relationship for as long as you like, without taking on his name or buying into a bunch of other patriarchal traditions.

Wouldn’t you be happier without a sweaty, stinky, whiny man in your bed for the next fifty years? A man who you will inevitably have to compromise your integrity for and who still won’t give up his porn habit because you won’t put out on demand so what choice does he have?

In 2018, I challenge all women to divorce their husbands and let them fend for themselves. Instead of weddings, let’s have unweddings, and toast to independence and to nurturing our relationships with friends who don’t accuse us of being bitches and nags mere moments before announcing a boner.

5) Men lecturing women about “cis privilege”

Supposedly, “cisgender” means a person’s “gender identity” matches their biological sex. But seeing as literally no one identifies with the set of stereotypes imposed on them under patriarchy (also known as “gender”), none of us are “cis.” Indeed, I have never identified as nurturing, passive, crazy, or fuckable.

Women are oppressed, not due to a feeling or identity, but on account of having been born female. There is no “privilege” in that reality. It is not a “privilege” to live in fear of rape, sexual harassment, or abuse. It is not a “privilege” to have been socialized into a subordinate class of people. I mean, it’s a real wonder the suffragists didn’t recognize the ample privilege heaped on them when they were told women were too irrational, emotional, and not-persony enough to vote.

This novel game, wherein plucky young men explain to women what it feels like to be treated as lesser beings and suggest they “check their privilege” is good fodder for jokes (and we are all grateful for that), but you are an MRA and you should apologize to your mother.

6) Telling me to be nice

I do not want to and I will not.

Meghan Murphy
Meghan Murphy

Founder & Editor

Meghan Murphy is a freelance writer and journalist. She has been podcasting and writing about feminism since 2010 and has published work in numerous national and international publications, including New Statesman, Vice, Al Jazeera, The Globe and Mail, I-D, Truthdig, and more. Meghan completed a Masters degree in the department of Gender, Sexuality and Women’s Studies at Simon Fraser University in 2012 and lives in Vancouver, B.C. with her dog.

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  • Macarons & Sakura Tea

    Another terrific and trenchant commentary. Thanks for all that you do, Meghan. I highly admire your tenacity, smarts, and passion.

    • Meghan Murphy

      Aw thanks so much!

  • northernTNT

    OMY you’re on fire! 2018 is going to be awesome!

  • northernTNT

    I’ll post this one to my Facebook at Winter Solstice, for extra effect 🙂

  • Gundog

    Ha. Good article. You really need to write an article describing your ideal society/future. It would be most interesting and beneficial.

  • peopleareweird

    Kate Harding blocked me for saying that women are female human beings and not men’s feelings in a conversation she wasn’t even involved. So, I don’t care much about her.

    • Kate Harding Doesn’t block you! You block her. Does she know who you are?

  • Meghan Murphy

    Happy Holidays, sister!

  • Meghan Murphy

    Thanks Karla!

  • Great list! Best feminist site on the web.

    • Meghan Murphy

      Thanks Hearth <3

  • martindufresne

    YOU’RE COOKING WITH GAS, TODAY!

  • Lierre Keith

    Word.

    • Meghan Murphy

      <3

  • susannunes

    I am 62 and never married, but the ONLY reason I would EVER consider marriage now is for the legal benefits, especially pensions, which are not available to people who merely shack up. However, I would not live with the man if I did it. More women, if they want marriage, should ask themselves the real question and that is not whether a couple should live together before (or instead of) marriage but AFTER it. Living apart is the only way to do it. You avoid all the bullshit that can happen from living together yet still get the legal benefits.

    • Hanakai

      If you live in the USA, one of the reasons to marry is access to greater Social Security benefits. In the USA, women outlive men by about 8 years and men earn significantly more than women. Because of the sexual wage gap, the average annual Social Security income received by women 65 years and older is $13,150, compared to $17,106 for men. A married woman who husband dies is allowed to collect the higher of their two Social Security benefits; and an extra $4,000 – $10,000 a year can make a big difference to a retired woman. There is no living together requirement.

      • Can’tUnseeIt

        I would rather be poor and alone than marry some turd for a bump up in my social security check. The best years of my life have been those that were man-free. I can’t think of a single valid reason for a woman to marry. The 11 years I was married, long, long ago were the loneliest years of my life. I enjoy my own company. Great list Meghan and I am looking forward to your future posts!

        • Wren

          This is the first time in my life where I feel no pressing need to couple off. I do miss companionship and sex, but I fear the mind-control tactics and emotional suckling that men always demand much more. If I met someone really amazing by my standards, then I would be in a relationship, but marriage?? I feel like I would only do if for legal and financial reasons, and only after I dated him for maybe ten years so I could be certain he would never ever try to control my thinking. And even if we were married, I don’t think I could live with him. Sure, we’d spend many days of the week together, but I need to know that I can leave when something goes wrong and I can’t be financially dependent on a man ever again. Nope, nope, nope.

  • Maeve

    Wow, really enjoyed #5 about “cis women.” It’s such a joke to have a new wave of loud people telling women what kind of gender they are when we’ve historically been dismantling the very ideologies of gender. How clueless these guys are. I also applaud your challenge of marriage because so many people get married with the pretense that because they aren’t having a “traditional” wedding (ie: keeping last name) that somehow they are bypassing the oppressive contents of marriage. And yes, I’m tired of hearing about the “good men.” I think women especially like to reinforce that there are “good men” as an example to be followed by shitty men. I think it’s important for other men to see true male feminist allies who are humble and doing the real work of unlearning sexism, dismantling patriarchy while also recognizing their inherent privilege. But those are one in a million and are not the focus of feminists, end of story. Lovely solstice to FC.

  • shy virago

    This was great to read and made me laugh!

  • Meghan Murphy

    Congratulations!

  • Lily Jasmine Denyer

    I would argue that even having kids without a man living with you is still oppressive given that social role is imposed on women since birth, and that women are expected to dedicating their entire lives to children instead of personal development, political activism etc.

  • Meghan Murphy

    Thanks Robert!

  • Wren

    “Yeah, single motherhood in the U.S. has always been my worst nightmare, which is one reason why I don’t have kids.”
    SAME.

  • Wren

    PREACH.

  • Marla

    Great list. Not much to add except maybe the normalization of porn, faux-homosexuality, MRA activist and misogynist shitbags like Milo, too many white males in the White House (that may fall under #3) awareness for females with severe mental illness who are sexually victimized

    “In New York, 20 females with a mean age of 31 hospitalized with schizophrenia were interviewed when they were no longer psychotic. Of the 20, 10 ”reported having been raped at least once, with half of these claiming to have been raped more than once” as an adult.”

    https://mentalillnesspolicy.org/consequences/victimization.html

    What else? The fashion industry targeting pre-teen girls in attempts to make them look at least 25, sexual harassment is not some bullshit “PC movement” and…calling men who stand up against sexual harassment “pussies” or “pussified.”

    Yeah, I have nothing other than 2017 was a shit year for me. Not at all sad to see it go.

  • Gundog

    It’s such a silly word. I cook, sew, clean, launder, and garden. I’m not a woman, nor can I be.

  • Michelle

    I’m not going to go into too much detail on a public space like a comment board. But, your blog has been life changing for me. I mean literally life changing. 3 weeks ago I knew nothing about feminism. I was the epitome of an objectified doormat for men. For the past few weeks I’ve read nothing but your blog, reading as many articles I can. I ordered some books I seen you recommended to someone else, Being and Being Bought was one of them. I just want to thank you for creating this blog, for all the time and energy you put into sharing your thoughts, opinions and knowledge. I wish I had friends like you or like the woman on here who comment. What I’ve learned from your blog has changed me, it’s changed my way of thinking. I’m really thankful for you, and I hope this comment doesn’t sound crazy. Hope you have a wonderful holidays and look forward to your blog in 2018.

    • Meghan Murphy

      Oh, sister! I’m humbled. Thank you for reading and for your kind words. I’m so glad you found us <3

  • This is kind of hilarious. You, a man, are presuming to judge Meghan’s feminism?? What, you used to rate her a 5, but now you’re giving her, like, a 9? Would you say she’s got further to go yet?? Please, do tell, as you seem to feel qualified to judge all women in terms of their “feminist consciousness”. Do men actually lack functioning brains?

  • Marian

    Re marriage. It’s the number one oppressor of women. Marriage cloaks itself in the fantasy of providing women with a provider for their children, a best friend for life, unlimited sexual satisfaction, freedom from the stigma of spinsterhood (the unwanted woman), and being part of a world dominated by other married people.

    But it also traps women in a lifestyle dominated by the man’s career needs, domestic servitude to the household and the endless fear of sexual abandonment through getting old and too familiar. The annals of divorced women are full of stories of the love of their life turning into just another man on the make.

    Yes, some women are lucky and end their lives with a devoted partner of 60+ years, but far too many don’t. Even the lucky ones have to honestly admit that they compromised their hopes and dreams for the sake of an enduring marriage.

    My advice to younger women is to never, ever compromise your financial security or personal integrity to a man who has grown up in a patriarchal environment that conditions him to believe that women were put on this earth to be his playthings and domestic servants.

    • Meghan Murphy

      WORD.

    • susannunes

      Don’t forget the huge increase in the standard of living by getting married and remaining in the labor force. Of course it is not a fantasy but reality for the great majority of women. Marriage is still the primary means of upward mobility for women. That is a huge motivator to get married because women are denigrated financially in the labor force, all blather about “glamorous” “careers” notwithstanding. Few women have those, most of them not really good jobs anyway in terms of being fulfilling even if they pay more. I personally never had the “glamorous career” but wanted to work in a field that was more fulfilling to me, education, than a high-powered job that I would have hated. As somebody who knows too well, I can tell you being never-married and not living with a man is truly difficult to do and almost always winds up in a much-poorer old age. I for one will never be able to retire, and I am 62. I can, however, say I never went from husband to husband to husband or man to man to man because of financial pressures. Millions of women do this in order to survive thanks to an economy that is heavy rigged against independent women.

      • Sashimi73

        Thank you for writing this. I think not enough people realise this.

      • lk

        I remember reading an interview with Helen Mirren where she said she and her husband primarily got married for economic reasons as they got older (I think she got married when she was in her 50’s). They were together for a very long time and loved each other but she was pretty blunt in stating that their decision to get married had to do with legal and economic benefits.

        If marriage did not come with economic benefits, I really wonder how many people would do it.

  • Kelan Fox

    “Wouldn’t you be happier without a sweaty, stinky, whiny man in your bed for the next fifty years?

    The answer is yes”

    Such an obvious conclusion, yet so many struggle to reach it. Congrats on seven man-free years.

  • Dear Prudence

    The left is telling me I have to forgive a man who gropes women at feminist conferences because only a former snl cast member can ask questions about things he’s read in newspapers with his harvard man brain. Kamala Harris can only read about lady things with her lady brain so obviously she can’t handle these russian man problems. Plus she’s a corporate shill. The former snl cast member isn’t a corporate shill because some reason.

  • marv

    “Instead of weddings, let’s have unweddings, and toast to independence and to nurturing our relationships with friends who don’t accuse us of being bitches and nags mere moments before announcing a boner.”

    Lol! my favourite, but luckily I don’t have to select one over another.

  • Meghan Murphy

    Sounds like a good arrangement!

  • Meghan Murphy

    <3

  • Meghan Murphy

    Thank you!

  • susannunes

    Marriage ain’t any cure for being “lonely.” You can be married and be a feminist, but getting married is NOT a feminist act.

    • lk

      Not to mention the fact that many women report feeling lonely in their marriages.

      • Meghan Murphy

        Yes totally.

  • Meghan Murphy

    No one is saying that women who marry ‘lose all credentials as a feminist or radical feminist.’ But marriage is not a feminist choice. We continue to live under patriarchy, and therefore marriage must be discussed and analyzed within that context.

    I am not opposed to pair bonding or to relationships. Certainly I am not opposed to love. But I do think we have to question why women continue to ‘choose’ to marry and look at what women really experience in marriages to men, under patriarchy. Hetero marriages, in general, continue not to be egalitarian. Most women I know (but not all — NAMALT, right??) do far more in terms of domestic work, child-rearing, and emotional labour. Many women, as we know, suffer abuse in marriages.

    If marriage truly is a choice, why do it? Why participate in a patriarchal institution if you don’t have to? Why participate in patriarchal traditions like taking on a man’s name?

    There are reasons women get married that make sense — they have to lest they be ostracized, for immigration or green card-type reasons, financial, etc. — but plenty of middle class, educated white women marry simply for the social status or ‘romance’, it seems.

    Too many men continue to act like selfish children in marriages — many more are abusive. What even is the purpose of marriage? In Canada, common law is hardly any different. I think this practice of romanticizing what has historically been a completely patriarchal tradition is unnecessary and harmful.

    • Alienigena

      I come back to how much time women spend centring men – a lot. Even in feminist organizations they seem to centre men. The feminist film festival ((t was literally a feminist, in name, film festival) I volunteered for received criticism
      – in the media for its content (lesbian films),
      – from volunteers 1. for being female centric in terms of programming (programming committees were community-based and were women only) and 2. for not screening a film by a gay man that had female actors (work needed to have women in 3 prominent roles (e.g. director, editor, writer, producer, animator) to be accepted for review), and
      – from its own board members for retaining the feminist label (which was seen to discourage men from attending the festival) and adhering to its principles.

      Marriage does centre men but women’s and girl’s brains are colonized early in life by the idea that their time needs to taken up with men and male concerns or they have somehow failed at life. Even certain subgroups of lesbians take up the cause of gay and trans identified males over that of other women. Specifically lesbians who promote S&M in the lesbian community) according to Sheila Jeffreys in “Unpacking Queer Politics”.

      “It is instructive to try to imagine the ways in which lesbians have helped construct gay male sex, politics or life-style. Not much comes to mind. Indeed, Jewelle Gomez, the lesbian poet, says, in some discussion with Rubin and Amber Hollibaugh, that she has learned much from gay men, but does not think that this works the other way round, partly because gay men have a much higher ‘ick’ factor – i.e. find lesbians disgusting … Hollibaugh shows no awareness of the insights of feminist writers over thirty years that suggest that it is men’s desires and ideologies, particularly complete obsession with the penis as the fulcrum of sex that have structured how women are to do sex … The lesbians in this conversation seem to feel no humiliation in being an admiration society for gay men. They function as the lesbian auxiliary, like the women who make sandwiches for straight men in their churches and sports” (p. 107-108)

      • susannunes

        That is why one can argue men are parasitical. Thank God I rejected that marriage and babies crap when I was young. I simply didn’t center men like almost all other women do. The women’s movement of the original second wave literally saved my life.

    • Sashimi73

      There are matriarchal societies in which the woman headed family is paramount and she has many lovers and is never lonely. It works. Much better than patriarchy. The Mosuo for example.

    • acommentator

      “What even is the purpose of marriage?”

      You know this. Marriage is a legal relationship intended to provide a legal structure around the pair bonding characteristic that Hanikai mentioned. In order to create the most socially stable arrangement between the pair, both for bringing up children, and for mutual support (emotional, physical and financial).

      The many problems with marriage do not change the fact that marriage works well for millions of people. The marriages that do not work do not take anything away from the ones that do. Maybe alternatives are developing that will work as well or better, and maybe some of those alternatives will be more feminist. But at least at present, marriage serves very real needs at least as well as any alternatives.

      “but plenty of middle class, educated white women marry simply for the social status or ‘romance’, it seems.”

      “Social status” in this case means a stable, two person unit to raise children and face the uncertainties that the future will bring. Does it always work out that way? No. But that is what everybody who gets married has in mind, IMO, and for millions it works very well.

      • Meghan Murphy

        “The many problems with marriage do not change the fact that marriage works well for millions of people.”

        Define “well.” Marriages to men are not universally ‘stable’. Not for women, not for children.

        • Wren

          Marriage works well for millions of men.

        • acommentator

          “Well” (to me) means they provide a stable and economically viable family environment and everyone is reasonably happy.

          Of course marriages are not universally stable. Nothing works universally. Lots of marriages don’t work. But the question is, does marriage still serve a beneficial purpose in 2017.

          I am a guy. I can’t step inside any woman’s shoes. But I know what I see and hear. Most of the women I know are professional middle class white women like you mention. Almost all of them married. A few of them got divorced or separated, usually after their kids grew up. But of those, several re-married. I know of three or four who never married, and only one of those had children.

          These women are not idiots, nor are they without choices. They get married because they think it will lead to better lives. Sometimes they are wrong. But they are right more than wrong. Take all social arrangements we have, it is generally stable two adult families who do best in our society. Families consisting of single mothers with children do not do as well, in general.

          My wife and I lived together for three years before we got married. She made more money as I did for the first six or seven years. She still makes about as much. She kept her name. She did not have to marry me or anyone else. She wanted to get married when we decided to have children. I think that is what most middle class women do. Its not because of romanticism or wanting a fancy wedding. I wonder, even on Feminist Current, how many women would choose to have children without getting married. It makes a huge difference to have both parents in the same household for raising kids, IMO.

          None of this challenges your criticism of marriage from a feminist perspective. I am not arguing getting married is a feminist act. But people in pair bonds, particularly people who want to have kids, are usually going to choose to work with the social institutions we have, rather then trying to create new ones.

          • Meghan Murphy

            But most women are not happy in marriages. Sure, they tolerate them/men, but that is not the same as being happy.

      • Leo

        Millions? Blimey, the sample I’ve seen must be heavily biased, then. They all look like a trainwreck to me. The men in them, would be more like to say it works well, if only the woman would stop doing difficult things like having reasonable expectations of his behaviour. Stable for bringing up kids? That kind of atmosphere is NOT stable.

        I’m anti-marriage from observation, not just ideology.

        • Meghan Murphy

          “I’m anti-marriage from observation, not just ideology.”

          SAME.

  • susannunes

    Being alone is not lonely. You confuse the two. Plenty of us are perfectly happy being alone. I have done it all my life. I don’t need another person to feel complete or happy. Those statistics have been disputed and debunked about how “horrible” it is to live alone.

    • Meghan Murphy

      Agree! I never feel lonely… I have a number of friends and friend groups and a fairly active social life, but even when I’m alone I don’t feel lonely… I like being alone…

    • Missy

      I completely agree, and I’ve realized that the older I get, the more I want to be alone. I’m perfectly fine with being a loner who doesn’t get lonely.

  • Meghan Murphy

    There is this real insidious idea that men/marriage completes us.

  • Meghan Murphy

    Oh my god I talk about this aallllll the time. It makes me so mad that the only time in your life you get to have these big celebrations (I generally love weddings because I love to party with all my friends! It’s just a nice excuse to be with everyone) is when you get married!! Why can’t we celebrate singlehood! Or, really, ANYTHING else in this way? It definitely presents marriage as the most important thing a person can do.

  • lk

    I do this too!!!…I actually cut and paste comments I love into a word document…that document keeps growing longer and longer, but I like having them together in one place that I can go back to.

    • Wren

      I do too!

  • Any male who thinks of himself as a feminist, or feminist ally (and apparently you do) needs to follow the first rule of thumb for male allies. The first rule of thumb states: when a woman criticizes your behaviour, take it seriously. Figure out what you did wrong and apologize. Under no circumstances send out a quick denial. When you can follow the first rule of thumb, come back to this site, and maybe someone will fill you in on rule of thumb number two.

  • Meghan Murphy

    “I am not arguing in favor of marriage, nor do I think it necessary, despite its practical benefits in many cases. My point is that about 80% of women marry and you are not going to be able to bring them into the ranks of radical feminism and enlist their energies and efforts in dismantling the patriarchal order if you demean and castigate them for their choices.”

    I think it is unreasonable to expect feminists to avoid critiquing marriage because it might alienate some women. Critiquing body hair removal, cosmetic surgery, makeup, and high heels also risks alienating women.

    • Wren

      I’m miffed by her argument. How can women pursue education and a career if they are wedded with children?? Only the most privileged or exceptionally lucky women can do both at a young age. Even my most educated and “happily married” friends are clearly drained by the emotional needs of their husbands and somewhat financially dependent on them. And this is only what I see on the surface.

      I mean, if a young woman says she wants a long and happy life, the first thing I will say as a feminist is DON’T GET MARRIED. We cannot reform marriage until patriarchy is abolished, and patriarchy will not die until women say no to marriage. But this certainly doesn’t mean I’m JUDGING women for making the best choices they can in any society. I completely understand the motivation. Truly, I’m miffed.

      • susannunes

        There has to be a recognition that our economic system is completely rigged against women in order to force them into marriage. It really is all about men and their so-called sex right. I look at my sisters, who get bigger Social Security checks, solely because they married, than I do, having worked all my life. How fair is that they be rewarded, while I am forced to work until I die? Why should women be forced into marriage just to survive? It is sick.

    • susannunes

      The statement is completely off the wall by Hanakai. She acts like this is anything new, when in fact radical feminists–real ones–have always been critical of marriage along with all of the other institutions of patriarchy.

  • Americus91

    I don’t know much about anthropology. I have read that this how elephants are. I’ve always loved elephants and started collecting them. I have them all over my house. I don’t know if that explanation would go over well at the annual block party – which all the women plan and implement – the men cook the meat and bring alcohol. It’s a very traditional neighborhood. With the exception of one woman who works part-time and one who works full-time – the rest of the women are stay at home moms and the men work. We are the only couple on our entire street that has separated. One couple split, and promptly sold their home and moved.

    I’m the only mother on the street who wasn’t super involved with the PTA. I helped in little ways with class parties, field trips. But I started school when my daughter did and that took up a lot of my time. PTA mom’s get very cliquey and I never fit in.

    So that’s why I say we likely stand out as odd, but that’s okay. It’s working for us for now, and our daughter is fine with it too. I realize how fortunate I am too to have married a man who would wasn’t vindictive and punishing during my – I don’t know -“awakening” “breakdown” “wake up call”?? He’s far from perfect but I know he could be much, much worse. I’d like to move as soon as she’s done with school. I’ve never felt I live where I belong or have been happy here. So we’ll see.

  • Wren

    If we want to empower women, then we need to encourage women to remain unattached to any man. The likelihood that women will finish their education and become economically independent and move up in social and economic status is much higher if they do not have children or become married. The likelihood that they will live a long life free of abuse is much higher if they don’t get married. This is common sense and a basic feminist principle. Acknowledging this reality is not judging or condemning a woman for marrying. Come on.

    Maybe everything is peachy keen for you and your neighbors because you are upper class, but you are an exception that does not prove a rule.

  • Meghan Murphy

    YES

  • Leo

    ‘My point is that about 80% of women marry and you are not going to be able to bring them into the ranks of radical feminism and enlist their energies and efforts in dismantling the patriarchal order if you demean and castigate them for their choices.’

    Most of the married male-partnered women I know would actually agree with Meghan, so while some might indeed feel put off, I’m not sure that’s as widely the case as all that. It’s one of the better ways to reach them, even – a lot of women are always down for some moaning about their useless husband. Criticising marriage as an institution isn’t castigating them. A lot of women get divorced, they have experience of how marriage can trap women.

    Marriage or single is a false dichotomy – there are other ways to do relationships, and they don’t need to be a romantic/sexual partnership, either.

    I’m vegan, so, I’m not sure you meant anyone to just agree with you, but, I do. we should be analysing, that’s the whole point, and if we don’t change things through our actions, and even go so far as to object to others encouraging such change, how can we expect things to change?

    • susannunes

      I do not know how old Hanakai is, but I can tell you feminists since the 1960s at least have been extremely critical of marriage. And they are absolutely correct to be critical of it as a patriarchal institution which in many ways was the prototype of slavery. They couldn’t have cared less how it came across to the 80 percent–more like 95 percent back during that era–of women who married.

      If people who want to change society for the better worried about what the majority thought because they never questioned their upbringing, NOTHING would ever get done.

  • Emily

    Sex isn’t a need. No adult needs access to other human bodies.

  • Emily

    You know you can have sexual release by yourself, right? No need to have a man throwing you around like a toy.

  • ptittle

    Couldn’t agree more. And I highly recommend Jass Richards’ License to Do That.

  • Meghan Murphy

    Marriage absolutely does not and has not required men grow up. A large part of the reason men marry to to be taken care of by a woman.

  • Meghan Murphy

    I didn’t say marriage wasn’t important to many women. Obviously the opposite is true. Marriage is extremely important in our culture, in general. But it is not generally good for women, historically or currently.

  • Meghan Murphy

    All the best to you, too! Thanks for reading and commenting!

  • susannunes

    Marriage has nothing to do with adulthood. That is right out of the 1950s, an era that was full of shotgun marriages and women being of no use except as wives and mothers.

  • hellkell

    Welp, this why so many of us give men in feminist spaces the side-eye. You may want to sit and think about your reaction here.

  • Wren

    I have never once seen a man ‘grow up’ just because he’s married. Men are mature or not mature, then they may or may not get married, and they are exactly the same men.

  • marv

    Our self-understanding (who am I?) and cherished beliefs emerge out of a political milieu put together by male power. Marriage came into being under this condition.

    To a huge extent aspirations are socially learned. They don’t exist apart from patriarchal society. You have a liberal individualizing outlook that blocks a person from recognizing the social determinants of yearnings.

    Think about colliding parallels with marriage – nationalism, consumerism, god, nuclear family, hetero-dominance – and how these are naturalized by mainstream culture. We are easily fooled, believing illusory thoughts and desires as freely chosen.

  • Meghan Murphy

    Yes, women are socialized to believe marriage is a, if not the, primary goal in their lives. They believe it makes them valuable and have romanticized marriage and weddings. They believe marriage offers them ‘security’. I mean, they are sent these messages from the time they are girls.

  • Wren

    So a woman is only ‘grown up’ if she’s married with children?? Huh.

  • Meghan Murphy

    Why is marriage the best platform for raising children? To teach them to normalize male violence/dominance?

  • Meghan Murphy

    Based on what information? Like, you make these statements as though they are unequivocally/universally true, but without offering any evidence?

  • marv

    Yes but marriage adds official state and/or church sanctioning to gender ideology with its subordination of women and non-sexualized relationships.

  • unfashionable

    Liberty doesn’t always come cheap.

  • unfashionable

    Not that I don’t agree it’s unfair; but you could apply what you didn’t spend on your wedding and your sons on creating a retirement account.

  • Emily

    Any physical “need” for sex can be relieved through masturbation. No one needs another person’s body. Every day, I wish I had someone to partner me for ballet, but I don’t and probably never will. it’s not a need just because I want it.

  • marv

    It’s not a question of blaming any person for marriage decisions. We make choices within the constraints of the family, cultural, law and religious institutions enveloping us at birth and throughout life. These patriarchal systems of control are the environment in which we make judgments. Yes, these deliberations are rational in a very narrow sense and “practical options that [we] have in the here and now.” Doesn’t mean the powers that shaped us are socially just or rational even if we think they are. Brainwashing is real. Cults aren’t simply wayward people at the margins of society, they are mainstream formations. Marriage is one of them.

    Conformist, and I would say barren consciousness, can’t be overcome without developing critical feminist intelligence.

  • Claudia Manion

    How very right you are.

  • Meghan Murphy

    <3 <3

  • lk

    Women are basically punished if we get married and punished if we dont.

    In marriage, we risk domestic violence/abuse in its many forms, our independence and must always give our husbands sex on demand.

    Without marriage, we risk poverty (sometimes extreme) and judgement (in some places women are downright ostracized for being unmarried).

    I hate that marriage is always so romanticized as being about love and God and etc and the best day of your life!! I think the reason that Helen Mirren’s comments have stuck with me is that when people talk about marriage, they rarely talk about the legal/economic benefits of it.

  • Meghan Murphy

    You say “brainwashed” but what we are talking about is socialization, which impacts all of us. It’s not the same as saying people are stupid or gullible — it’s saying that we have these messages drilled into us from the time we are young and that shapes our desires and decisions.

  • Meghan Murphy

    I think women are told that marriage is beneficial, yes. We are told throughout our lives that marriage will provide us with ‘security,’ eternal and unconditional love, someone to grow old with, etc etc. But this is not really true. So, no, I don’t think it’s really a matter of women marrying because they ” they weighed their options and rationally find that those benefits outweigh the drawbacks.” Sure, some do. But there are also, many, many people who marry because of, A) Romance, and B) The myths perpetuated around marriage, in our culture. There is also, as I’ve already mentioned, I believe, family pressure and status.

    Also, why would I care if I man said all men should stay single? I mean, go for it. What do I care? Why would I argue that men should marry if I don’t think women should?

  • Meghan Murphy

    Please stop pretending as though I think women are stupid. I do not. I have explained my position clearly. Yes, we disagree, but please be fair in your interpretation of the disagreement.

  • marv

    You inadvertently brought up another aspect of our civilization – economic classes – which function in connection with sex classes and marriage. Middle class aspirations are taught to us as integral to the meaning of life. It is normalized to the point that most people think it’s irrational and extremist to advocate economic equality through liberation from male capitalist hierarchies as a true path to human fulfillment.

    Middle class people are not at fault for pursuing their learned goals. They don’t have the power and control of the capital class above them anyway. The middle group not only reasonably and practically act in their own interests given the circumstances, they usually come to identify with the system. As a result no need is felt to overturn the construct. Reforms are thought to be all that is required to improve living conditions for themselves and those beneath them.

    Married women are in this kind of predicament with men. Perceived benefits outweighing the drawbacks help keep inequitable structures from being faced and replaced. Men are the ones responsible to abolish sexist institutions but both groups must honestly interrogate them through a feminist lens to generate freedom and equality.

  • Meghan Murphy

    Women make lots of choices in this society which are perhaps ‘considered’ choices but are nonetheless not really in their own best interest, truly, or the best interest of women as a whole. This doesn’t necessarily happen because women are ‘irrational’, but because things like socialization, systems of power, advertising, etc., are powerful forces.

  • marv

    The privatization of women in marriage hides violence against them behind closed doors.

    Don’t underestimate the cultural power of old traditions to manipulate people’s minds. See how regular and royal weddings elicit uncritical frenzy in the population.