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As long as chastity is held in high regard, marriage will always be considered a noble institution. What a damnable lie! It is supremely sexist to expect women, of 'exceptional breeding' to remain chaste. From the beginning of time women have been looked down upon as frailer, weaker and a less intelligent sex, which men controlled and subjugated.
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The idea of marriage was thought up by Christain priests in the eleventh century that believed women should remain chaste. Before marriage became the great institution it is known for today, it had more informal beginnings. Before the eleventh century, it was no more that an informal agreement witnessed and performed by local church officials on the steps of the church. In the eleventh century, marriage was not devised for the sole purpose of procreation. It was instead intended to legitimize fornication within the confines of a marriage and forbidden outside the sacred covenant of the institution by the Church. It a popular and accurate belief at the time by Church officials that abstinence could protect society against lascivious behavior, promiscuity and the proliferation of illegitimate children within society. It was therefore the church and not society, which would set the standard for what was deemed normal behavior. In contrast, because society developed God considered a standard or measure for what normal and by the laws of nature, it could then be used to ostracize those who were deemed inappropriate by exhibiting aberrant behaviors in society. Ironically, this idea imposed upon society hundreds of years ago is where we remain morally routed today. It is fair to admit that marriage can cut down certain social ills.
Segments of our society, such as judges, attorneys, therapists, counselors, arbitrators and other professionals spend years cultivating their careers in college, then leech off societal dysfunction and off the reality that happy marriages are purely myth. Dissolution of marriages occasionally takes years and cost exhorbant amounts of money. It is therefore my contention that church and state have a great incentive to get people to marry and then divorce, again and again. Both Church and State have continually made adversaries out of divorcing couples and I would further argue that both Church and State collaboratively devised the institution of marriage as a means to keep people under their congregational and legislative control and as a way to collaboratively accumulate wealth and stay the flow of illegitimate orphaned children, monetarily draining both Church and State and led to confusion over rightful property heirs.
Extremely high percentage of divorce supports my argument that people enter into marriage too lightly, without fully preparing themselves for the actual realities of what marriage entails. High incidences of divorce in our culture may suggest that people are either not mature enough to marry or have wrong expectations of marriage. The men and women today experiencing multiple marriages are undeniable proof that the institute of marriage is flawed. If marriage must endure then society must change the parameters under which marriage takes place and that requires mandatory marital classes.
Women tend to fall in love too easily and fall in love with the idea of being in love. This could be because many women place too much importance on romance, by idealizing and romanticizing what they believe marriage to be. After women marry, however, the myth is more often than not - shattered. Women in general marry too young and oftentimes do not have the opportunity to explore their own identities before entering marriage, it is no wonder then when they get married they haven not yet formed their own identity. In these cases a wife's identity usually revolves around her husband. Because of this, it is not surprising that so many women seek divorces after years or even decades of marriage.
I dare say in all honesty, there are many mutual benefits of being married for both husband and wife in society. However, it is my strong opinion that the husband enjoys more benefits of being married than the wife. It is my experience that a wife is in a sense in bondage and is held a virtual slave in her own home and master. While the husband is off working, the wife cleans, cooks and looks after the children. While he earns a living at a job that provides a steady paycheck and generally ends at five o'clock, she continues to work up until she goes to bed. Stay at home mothers thirty or forty years ago were revered for staying home to care for their homes and children while women in the nineties are ostracized, under appreciated by society and underpaid for the amount of work that they do. I would even hazard a guess that in most cases the amount of work that is performed is overlooked or taken for granted by the husband. Husband's can call in sick and get paid vacations, as opposed to women who have to get meals made and take care of the kids even when their sick, and her idea of a vacation is simply being in the bathroom for more than five minutes without being interrupted. Because the role of care-giver is placed sometimes unfairly on women, countless mothers are having to put their careers on hold or ending them altogether in order to raise their children themselves. Father's can have children and still be able to pursue their careers and are free to climb the corporate ladder with a clear conscience; they can even traipse the family all over the States to wherever their careers lead them. Married men in general are in better health and are better cared after. Whereas, mother's can hardly find the time in the day to exercise and consequently society deems them as letting themselves go. Taking care of themselves no longer is a priority. Married men can still enjoy leisurely activities such as golfing, business trips, late dinners with friends, associates or prospective clients. Women who stay home are generally left financially dependent on their husbands. Monetary control is many times used against women as a weapon of control, welded by controlling husbands in domineering relationships and squash their wives into subservient positions and or into total submission.
Still, women do experience some important benefits from the institute of marriage. Such advantages include increased financial security such as a home, health insurance, and better schools for their children, greater opportunities for the children and simply having a husband for personal safety. Women find they have more latitude if quitting her job becomes necessary, because the husband single income may enable her to remain in the home to care for their children. Therefore, the institute of marriage does in truth, provide certain advantages, some of which may not otherwise be available.
Since when did the institute of marriage become the epitome of morality? Marriage is just years of stressful, aggravation wrought with conflicts derived from personal, religious and a parenting nature. When things get rough, men and women sometimes seek out adulterous affairs. Men have on average one sexual thought every thirty-seconds. Whereas women may only have two or three for the entire day. How can we be surprised then that reports indicate men are promiscuous by nature and that eighty- percent of married men are having adulterous relations. Infidelity has become a common occurrence in marriages. Such large instances of infidelity prove that marriage cannot work successfully. Other reason that marriage does not work, look at the dissolution process. Why does divorce have to be so complicated and drawn out? Entire households are commonly broken up or absorbed in litigation costs. Why get married at all if you have a fifty-fifty chance of loosing everything?
In the end, marriage is just a crapshoot and the odds of having a successful marriage are stacked more than fifty percent against you. The institution of marriage was designed by men for men. Marriage has also proven through centuries that it can be a positive aspect for. Marriage promotes wealth of the individual family and that of Church and State. Lastly, marriage cultivates the arts and maintains religion. It is also an organized way of historical record keeping. I hope that even with all these factors, it is still proven to be an imperfect system with many flaws, which need serious addressing. Marriage is a fallible human institution that needs drastic improvement