Amid the fight for gay marriage and soaring divorce rates comes the question
Does anyone even know what marriage was for as they are touting a return to family values?
Marriage was an institution developed to create stable economic support for women to raise children (read hunter/farmer), this devolved into males owning the women that they married and the children produced out of that marriage. It stratified society further by stigmatizing those individuals born out of wedlock (bastards) and the women that born them (pick a name and there are many for "loose" women)
Marriages were an economic force. Marriage was arranged for the benefit of the micro-society. It was not just the upper classes that arranged unions - what do you think all that traditional asking for the daughter's hand in marriage is all about. Villages conferred about what was a good match - girls were sold off, apprentices and other desirable additions to the community were paid for through dowery tradition. Dowery could pay to a male to take a wife or be paid by the groom to his future wife's family. Either way young people were viewed as asserts to be negotiated for to the family or communities over all fiscal well being.
People married "forever" because:
- People didn't live as long especially women (40 anyone - over that hill meant at death door)
- Marriage wasn't based on compatibility, love or happiness - it was a union based on economics
- Marriages were the basis of your clans wellbeing, it was about the groups survival, leaving your marriage was a social excommunication.
So fast forward a century, because we aren't that far removed from arranged marriages and economics driving the pairing of breeding couples. Now marriage is supposed to be about love and romance...which is a social myth perpetuated by Hollywood and entertainment.
Love and Marriage
That will be addressed next time as I have to get back to work.