Read the following article from the Internet. Mark any words you don’t understand. Mark passages you like and others that you disagree with.
Purpose of Marriage
By Judie C. Snelson
quite ancient human history, societies were matrilineal. More recently,
women bore children and guarded the fires while the men were out hunting.
There was a strict division. However, about 10,000 years ago when
agriculture developed, there was a drastic change.
“Women were organized and dominated tribal life. In this phase, womens' collective position was the best at any stage of human cultural development, including modern times. With the development of agriculture, women attached themselves to the soil, while men continued to hunt. Women produced and maintained the staple foods of the tribe. The women owned both the fields and the crops produced. They became highly organized in the kinship groups, dominating them. These matriarchal clans dissolved marriage in its earliest form giving women more freedom, status and authority. The tribe predominates in matriarchy while marriage and family are insignificant. People identify themselves as belonging to their mother's tribe. A husband remains with his own tribe and a wife with hers. He must win her and keep her by ongoing service- hunting or helping clear the fields. The women can decide on forming and ending marriages. The husband will visit his wife's home at times and spend the night with her. The children produced are the wife's, never his.
Examples of matriarchal clans were widespread throughout the world, persisting into modern times. Many of the North American indigenous tribes were matriarchal. Among the Iroquois, the women only tilled the soil (with primitive hoes). They controlled the food supply, cooked the food, tended the children and made the clothing for the tribe. The men helped agriculturally only by clearing new ground. They also hunted, fished, made weapons and went to war. Marriages were generally arranged by the mothers and chief women. The husband only visited his wife's home (lodge or long house) occasionally. He was obligated to bring game or fish, and if he did not, she could divorce him. Married couples had the right to divorce whenever they wished to. Generally, if they had children, this was discouraged by the tribe. The women also dominated the ruling council. The women decided on war and peace and the disposition of prisoners. Inheritances were strictly passed from women to their children.
Other North American indigenous matriarchal tribes included the Wyandots, Narragansetts, Winnebegs, Creeks, Potawattamis and Pueblos. Some South American, Caribbean, East African, Southeast Asian and Pacific Island tribes had matriarchal organization as well" (1).
Of course, this
began about 10,000 years ago. There is ample evidence that matriarchal
societies flourished. So marriage was not always monogamous and it was
not always for life.
However, over time, men began to accumulate wealth and were able to buy a wife instead of serve for one. This gave way to a patriarchal system where the strongest and wealthiest were those in charge.
Marriage rules were definitely developed as a control. Only by requiring women to be monogamous could a man assure that the child she bore was his. This was important because a man did not want to pass his money, land, holdings and title to someone that was not his blood relative. And in the Jewish nation it became important to be able to prove what tribe you belonged to, because kings were descended only from certain tribes.
In a matriarchal society, a woman could have as many men as she chose, so the men could never prove which child was theirs, and the power always resided with the mother, who could pass down her power and possessions to any child she chose, and no man could lay claim to them because he had no proof the child was his. But in the patriarchal system, no matter how many wives he had, he always knew the children were his, and even if his wife was unfaithful, the child could still be considered his.
Today, marriage is still used as an attempt to control those involved in it. In the United States, having more than one wife or husband is illegal. The marriage contract is a legal entity designed to discourage parties from dissolving their unions. It is designed to encourage marriages to stay together, but if we have learned anything in this modern age, it is that a piece of paper has not been successful in keeping marriages together. It has not been a deterrent at all. 50% of marriages still end in divorce. How much easier would it have been if those people involved in those unions had been free to leave whenever they wanted. It would be so much less messy.
Marriage seeks to control people's sexual encounters, intimate relationships, procreative abilities, and much more. Legislatures seek to force society to accept one particular pattern of intimate relationships. Who gave our government the right to legislate our relationships? Today there is a debate going on about whether or not same sex couples should be allowed to marry. Of course they should, because nobody should be allowed to decide for another person who they can marry.
Marriage is unfair,
and marriage laws are unfair. So, I suggest we boycott marriage all
together. Should gays and lesbians desire to get married like the
rest of us? Why would they want to subject themselves to constraints and
limitations of marriage that we have accepted? If I was them, I would
boycott marriage and not seek to be involved in such a limiting, antiquated contract.
Fall in love. Have relationships. But allow yourself the freedom to leave. Don't forever complicate your relationship by entering into a marriage contract. Marriage has outlived it's usefulness.
People like the way marriage feels, in the beginning. It feels like security, it feels like belonging, like finally you have a place in the universe. You feel all warm and cozy. You feel like someone is taking care of you. But it is an ILLUSION. The only one that can take care of you is yourself.
Very quickly, the warm and cozy feeling changes, and it begins to feel very constricting. So people hang on for weeks, months, years, instead of saying, "This isn't working for me" or "I love you, but there are aspects of this relationship that just don't fit with the way I want to live my life." And people sacrifice what they really want out of life because they are made to feel that they are wrong to leave. They are told "You took vows, you can't break your vow." I say, DON'T take vows. And even if you get married, don't make promises. If you DO a marriage ceremony, make it explicit that you are simply announcing your love for each other, that you are NOT promising anything.
A person should never make promises, at ANY time in their lives, because no one can know whether they can keep their promise or not. So don't enter into some kind of legal relationship that is going to make something legally binding upon you. In my opinion, that goes for ANY kind of legal relationship. Don't borrow money you have to pay back, don't sign any legal document you can't get out of, and don't promise to live with someone the rest of your life.
Every person, no matter who they are, man woman or child, needs to feel free to do what is right for them at any moment. If you really love someone, you are going to respect their needs and wishes, and are not going to try to force them into something, and you are not going to judge them or make them feel they are doing something morally wrong if they want to leave a relationship. If those two people are meant to be together, they will come back together at a later time. Every relationship requires testing to determine if it is really right or not. But you don't really know until the testing occurs, so there's not way you can commit to something that is forever.