The future of Men and Families
We should try to turn back the clock
10.4% (8)
10.4% (8)
We should not turn back the clock
63.6% (49)
63.6% (49)
Other
26% (20)
26% (20)
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Poll: The Manosphere and the future of Men and Families

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Armadox:
Stay out of your children's personal choices on relationships and let them experiment with their own sexuality. That's really the only thing that could be said on this in my opinion. What YOU want for their lives is not important as long as they are content and happy with the choices they've made.

This is pretty much all that needs to be said, no? I mean, yes, you raise and you take care of your kids but at some point they are going to start making their own choices and your job shouldn't be to make those choices for them but rather give them the tools and wisdom to make ones that are productive for themselves.

And honestly, the best way to get a child to do the opposite of what you want them to is to push them too hard in certain directions. Par exemple: I was raised JW. Forced to go to the Kingdom Hall when when I was a newborn until I was about fourteen or so. Around that time, I wasn't actively against them but I no longer had any interest in going and so I stopped, much to the chagrin of my (at the time) rather devout father. He couldn't force me to go, just punish me when I refused to so I ended up martyring myself for my own perceived freedom. Eventually he accepted it and my parents became surprisingly progressive the older I got. This is a somewhat a reoccurring story with many other former JW kids I've met over the years.

Additionally, whenever I was in a long term relationship in university, all my brothers and extended family would always give me the third degree about getting married, despite all of them being divorced or else never having bothered to get married to begin with. Guess which traditional institution I have little respect or use for now? I have been in a relationship for a couple years now and I can feel the pressure to get married but the better half/society has nothing me putting up with annoying "When Are you two going to get married?" quips most of my adult life. Hows about never since it didn't work out too well for y'all? Strangely enough, my folks have been married for the better part of forty years. Maybe it skips a generation or something.

Just let your kid do his own thing. Trying to pull them in any direction too hard and you're liable to snap the rope.

To be blunt, marriage is incredibly creepy.

"Hey you! Do you really like this person? Would you like to sign a totally meaningless contract saying that you own them when really you don't? Would you like to promise them that you're going to want to be with them until you die when you can't possibly know whether that's true or not?"

Ick..

Who on earth was ever surprised that didn't work?

Nickolai77:
One point that I don't feel has been touched on quite yet is the economy. The Millennial generation has had the misfortune of coming of age just as the world's greatest recession since the 1930's hit. It's delayed, hindered or put a full stop to the start of millions of young people's careers. If young adults don't feel they've got stable and decently paid jobs they're not going to feel inclined to settle down, get a mortgage on a house and raise a family. On top of that (in the UK at least) you have some outrageously expensive housing and for graduates, student debt, which all adds to the cost of starting a family.

I live in Montana, and that makes perfect sense to me.

Only it's to the point that I'd likely save money by having a mortgage instead of rent, but in order to get a mortgage, I need a big pile of cash or credit just laying around to sink in as a start up cost. So that's just not happening.

evilthecat:
To be blunt, marriage is incredibly creepy.

"Hey you! Do you really like this person? Would you like to sign a totally meaningless contract saying that you own them when really you don't? Would you like to promise them that you're going to want to be with them until you die when you can't possibly know whether that's true or not?"

Ick..

Who on earth was ever surprised that didn't work?

I already posted something like this once, and the site ate it, much to my chagrin, but that is a rather bleak and ruinous concept of what marriage is. Marriage is absolutely not, and I will repeat this because it is important, marriage is NOT about owning someone. It's a declaration that you wish to support someone financially and emotionally, but it does not at all require the two parties to hold a monogamous lifestyle. I know plenty of people who are married in the BDSM culture that are in beneficial polyamorous relationships, or are into cuckolding, or free dating. Or many other stable relationship set-ups that work for them as people.

Marriage is about being honest with your partner, and living a life that sates both of your needs. It's about finding love, and listening to each other. About joining yourselves to a household and being able to watch each other's back. It's about knowing you have someone who'll be there, and not everyone needs that "piece of paper" to have the same satiation of company, but it does help file taxes.

The point is finding what you need, and then finding someone who is willing to share your needs. As long as you are willing to listen to them and share theirs. That is what makes things so hard for the youth, the idea that you can only live your life one way, and only are able to love one way. Explore yourself, experiment with what you need. Stop pushing for a normalcy that doesn't work for you. Stop kink-shaming yourself (or fuck, others. God damn I will be glad when cuck stops being used as an insult. Doing that sets back sex culture, and uses someone's kink as a means to berate someone else negatively. It's a shit way of thinking. It's punching down on a group of people who already have a hard time accepting or explaining themselves.) and learn about what you actually need in life. As long as what you need isn't hazardous to yours or others health and well being, it's ok to figure out the person you want to be.

Don't think negatively on marriage because it doesn't work for some. Usually it's because they was fighting for a lifestyle that does not fit them on an emotional level. And people, people change. Needs change. You'll never be tomorrow what you are today, and sometimes that makes marriage tough. Discuss your needs to your partner, be reasonable. Understanding. Listen. It's ok. It just takes work.

Armadox:

evilthecat:
To be blunt, marriage is incredibly creepy.

"Hey you! Do you really like this person? Would you like to sign a totally meaningless contract saying that you own them when really you don't? Would you like to promise them that you're going to want to be with them until you die when you can't possibly know whether that's true or not?"

Ick..

Who on earth was ever surprised that didn't work?

I already posted something like this once, and the site ate it, much to my chagrin, but that is a rather bleak and ruinous concept of what marriage is. Marriage is absolutely not, and I will repeat this because it is important, marriage is NOT about owning someone. It's a declaration that you wish to support someone financially and emotionally, but it does not at all require the two parties to hold a monogamous lifestyle. I know plenty of people who are married in the BDSM culture that are in beneficial polyamorous relationships, or are into cuckolding, or free dating. Or many other stable relationship set-ups that work for them as people.

Marriage is about being honest with your partner, and living a life that sates both of your needs. It's about finding love, and listening to each other. About joining yourselves to a household and being able to watch each other's back. It's about knowing you have someone who'll be there, and not everyone needs that "piece of paper" to have the same satiation of company, but it does help file taxes.

The point is finding what you need, and then finding someone who is willing to share your needs. As long as you are willing to listen to them and share theirs. That is what makes things so hard for the youth, the idea that you can only live your life one way, and only are able to love one way. Explore yourself, experiment with what you need. Stop pushing for a normalcy that doesn't work for you. Stop kink-shaming yourself (or fuck, others. God damn I will be glad when cuck stops being used as an insult. Doing that sets back sex culture, and uses someone's kink as a means to berate someone else negatively. It's a shit way of thinking. It's punching down on a group of people who already have a hard time accepting or explaining themselves.) and learn about what you actually need in life. As long as what you need isn't hazardous to yours or others health and well being, it's ok to figure out the person you want to be.

Don't think negatively on marriage because it doesn't work for some. Usually it's because they was fighting for a lifestyle that does not fit them on an emotional level. And people, people change. Needs change. You'll never be tomorrow what you are today, and sometimes that makes marriage tough. Discuss your needs to your partner, be reasonable. Understanding. Listen. It's ok. It just takes work.

Its about legal protections and benefits.

Saelune:
Its about legal protections and benefits.

*sighs heavily* Devoid of romance, acceptance of needs, and preserving each other in the other's future. Yes, What you have said is in fact true, though I truly hope that does not end up the bitter reason anyone chooses to get married. It's a hollow thing. I would not wish that on anyone.

Armadox:

Saelune:
Its about legal protections and benefits.

*sighs heavily* Devoid of romance, acceptance of needs, and preserving each other in the other's future. Yes, What you have said is in fact true, though I truly hope that does not end up the bitter reason anyone chooses to get married. It's a hollow thing. I would not wish that on anyone.

I know of people that married because their spouse gives them access to better health insurance or some other essential need. While marrying for love is new, marrying for connections and resources is pretty much why marriage exists to begin with.

NemotheElvenPanda:

Armadox:

Saelune:
Its about legal protections and benefits.

*sighs heavily* Devoid of romance, acceptance of needs, and preserving each other in the other's future. Yes, What you have said is in fact true, though I truly hope that does not end up the bitter reason anyone chooses to get married. It's a hollow thing. I would not wish that on anyone.

I know of people that married because their spouse gives them access to better health insurance or some other essential need. While marrying for love is new, marrying for connections and resources is pretty much why marriage exists to begin with.

And for most of the world we are no longer trading sheep for the hands of 13 year olds, just because that is how it was done, isn't really the way it could be done. I see no benefit to suggest that caste and dowries should play much into the working mechanics of marriage. The fact is, if there is no reason to be together, no chemistry, no love. Then why not make it solely a business transaction, as if we all was merely merging micro-companies trying to broker the tastiest buy-outs.

There's a saying that the one winning a relationship is whoever cares the least, which is... true in a way. If you suffer to be hurt the least you can push your needs over the other. But that is a hard way to live, and I hope we can move beyond that.

Find someone who you desire, who you want to be with, who desires you and who will work with you to make the most of your lives.

Anything less is a waste of your potential to find satiation. The idea of a piece of paper isn't as important as the lives you lead.

Armadox:

Saelune:
Its about legal protections and benefits.

*sighs heavily* Devoid of romance, acceptance of needs, and preserving each other in the other's future. Yes, What you have said is in fact true, though I truly hope that does not end up the bitter reason anyone chooses to get married. It's a hollow thing. I would not wish that on anyone.

Its more me pointing out why fighting for marriage equality is important. I dont think having a pragmatic view of marriage means I cant have a romantic view on it too. I juts think people who say "marriage is just a piece of paper" really neglect the practical part of marriage.

I know I want to get married to the one I love more than anything, but well, I also couldnt get married, even in a place like NY, until 2011.

I dont want to steer this into a discussion on marriage equality or anything, I just think alot of people neglect the positives of marriage beyond love or obligation.

Saelune:

I dont want to steer this into a discussion on marriage equality or anything, I just think alot of people neglect the positives of marriage beyond love or obligation.

In Australia if you live with and resource share with a roommate or flatmate for ten years you're considered de facto partners. Basically you don't even need to have a ceremony... naturally doesn't include family and the underaged.

Kind of funny :3 Live with someone long enough and 'separation' could easily become a quagmire.

Give your son time to figure shit out.

I know a lot of people who went through a sort of rejection period of the opposite sex- sure, it seemed a bit overtly aggressive and dramatic, but that's what youth does, right?

Avnger:

Reasonable Atheist:

erttheking:

We were talking about withdrawing from relationships with in general women, not relationships that make you unhappy. Unless the implication is that every woman would make these people unhappy, which, to be fair, is something that I can expect from them. So yes, they are very stupid.

Sending a lot of mixed signals here. You talk about how I'm apparently being unfair for calling it stupid, but then you instantly backtrack and say "I'm not saying it's a good idea." Also it's pretty ironic that, of the two of us, I'm the one who sees myself living the bachelor's life. And I'm ok with it. Mainly because I just like my personal space and not because I like to go on spiteful rants that are filled with tons of sexist under/overtones. That's what I'm criticizing in these people.

I am only recognising a pattern of behavior. Behavior with conveniences to society as a whole. I am not saying everyone exibits said behavior, or that it is the "right" or "wrong" thing to do. It cannot be right or wrong, everyone must make their own choice and forge their own path in persuing happyness.

This view does not prevent me from making observations.

My observations are as follows.

1. Young white women are (in general, not uniformly) unpleasant, spoiled, entitled brats.

2. Young men can't be bothered to put up with it (not even in general, just a significant portion)

3. ??????

4. Less married couples, less children.

I am not even trying to say that it is wrong of them to be spoiled entitled brat, it is of course their right to be so. However that has consequences.

I'm sorry that you seem to have had issues with women in the past. I'm honestly trying not to be mean here, but did you ever stop to think that it might be you that's the issue? Not knowing you or any of the women you've interacted with, one person having unrealistic expectations or other problems is a lot more likely than an entire segment of the population being "unpleasant, spoiled, entitled brats."

Maybe you need to rethink your approach and thought process in regards to women?

Just to reiterate, I'm really not trying to insult you here[1]. Your statements just give off a vibe of "People aren't behaving as I want/expect, so something must be wrong with them."

Thankyou for your concern, yes I have had problems with women in the past, as one does. Right up until I found my current partner who loves, appreciates and supports me, as I do in turn for her. She happens to be Asian and a chunk of years my senior.

4 years and going strong so far. We are very happy.

[1] Please don't report me >_>

Saelune:

Reasonable Atheist:

4. Less married couples, less children.

Number of children my mother has had: 2
Number of marriages my mother has had: 0

Having a marriage license doesnt unlock the ability to breed.

Hell seems alot of the time having kids is what causes plenty of marriages.

Plus we arent having a shortage of people.

I would agree with all of these statements

Armadox:
It's a declaration that you wish to support someone financially and emotionally, but it does not at all require the two parties to hold a monogamous lifestyle.

I mean, sure. You can totally get married and yet choose to ignore the awful societal meaning of marriage. You can get married simply to gain access to the legal benefits. You can get married purely to point out the absurdity the concept of marriage (I have some friends who did that to protest marriage equality). But that doesn't mean the meaning does not exist.

Marriage was not invented to make people happy, it was invented to form alliances between families by exchanging women (property) between them, because in an age when kinship ties were the basis of social organization it was important to know that the Freys wouldn't betray you to the Lannisters. The Romantics reinvented the concept of marriage as based in love by valorizing a woman's right to choose her husband, but she was still socially (and legally) choosing who would own her. The history of marriage as a concept is pretty fundamentally horrible, and while you can simply ignore that and do whatever you want with marriage today, what's the point unless you really need the legal benefits?

Polyamory does not inherently do away with the concept of possessiveness. In an ideal sense it can provide an ethical basis for not being possessive, but allowing your partner to sleep with other people is not an inherent sign that you don't feel some sense of inherent entitlement over them. I've seen (and been in) some great poly relationships and thoroughly horrible ones.

Armadox:
Marriage is about being honest with your partner, and living a life that sates both of your needs.

Does any of this require marriage?

Armadox:
The point is finding what you need, and then finding someone who is willing to share your needs.

Again, does this require marriage?

Does it require you to go to a registrar and promise to be really, really specially committed to each other until you die?

As far as I can see, a happy marriage is like any happy relationship. An unhappy marriage, however, is like an unhappy relationship compounded with the self-deception which comes from people convincing themselves that their happy relationship was going to last forever. If someone is willing to share your needs (for now) then they will be able to whether or not you are married. When the time comes that they can't, that will be the case whether or not you are married.

Again, I'm still not seeing how it isn't an outmoded romantic concept which is, at best, merely harmless and at worst is really, really not harmless to those people who take it seriously.

Armadox:
Stop kink-shaming yourself

I'm not. Marriage isn't a kink. It's not really a kink-friendly concept, in fact. It's like TPE for people who hate fun.

the December King:
Give your son time to figure shit out.

I know a lot of people who went through a sort of rejection period of the opposite sex- sure, it seemed a bit overtly aggressive and dramatic, but that's what youth does, right?

A good point about aggression and drama.

And I'm not about to be able to do anything more than afford him the time to figure it out. I parent him. I don't own him.

Doesn't stop a parent from worrying.

Saw some comments earlier about why marriage has ever existed. Mutual support and a recognized division of labor, particularly as it concerns kids.

Another thing read in this thread: there's no "people" shortage. You wouldn't know that listening to Jeb! He says we need immigration in the USA to deal with our "demographics" problem.

Gorfias:
Saw some comments earlier about why marriage has ever existed. Mutual support and a recognized division of labor, particularly as it concerns kids.

Not really.

For most of history, people of the aristocratic class would be married in their early teens to people they'd never met. There was no guarantee of mutual support because there was no guarantee the people involved would even like each other. They were selected on the basis of the political interests of their families, not personal compatibility. There was no recognized division of childrearing labour because even then 13 year old kids weren't really capable of taking care of their own children, so it would usually fall to their extended families or to servants, depending on how important they were. The marriage was an investment to the family, not a service to the individual.

Again, marriage was not invented to make people happy. It was invented to link families together with the only kinds of social bonds which have mattered for most of human history, bonds of blood and heredity.

Armadox:

Marriage is about being honest with your partner, and living a life that sates both of your needs. It's about finding love, and listening to each other. It's about knowing you have someone who'll be there, and not everyone needs that "piece of paper" to have the same satiation of company, but it does help file taxes.

It's also about giving cultural power to organized religion. It's about an institution that has its roots in the idea of women as the property of powerful men. It's about giving privilege to people who are more easily able to get and stay married, since society generally has negative views of single adults, that is, privilege to people who are wealthy, conventionally attractive, heterosexual, religious, and white. It's about encouraging people to reproduce in a world that is direly overpopulated. It's about assuming that everyone wants a very specific lifestyle and many people punishing themselves and feeling like failures when it inevitably doesn't work. It's about the idea that just because you went to church and had the government say that your relationship is now for realzies, that person will never leave you, which is an odd belief in a world where the divorce rate hoves between 30% and 50% and where between 25% to 40% of married people cheat. And it's about society giving a handout to the many industries that benefit from people being married and who spend billions pushing the narrative that everyone must marry or you're a loser who deserves nothing.

Sure, maybe some of it's good, but if we're going to have a real conversation about the place of marriage in society then we also need to acknowledge the bad stuff.

Don't think negatively on marriage because it doesn't work for some.

My negative view of marriage isn't a result of the fact that it doesn't work for some, it's a result of the fact that it doesn't work for some but is expected for all.

Gorfias:

Saw some comments earlier about why marriage has ever existed. Mutual support and a recognized division of labor, particularly as it concerns kids.

I guess you're right on that one, marriage certainly does help promote a specific division of labor.

One note on the lack of marriages, one of my teachers said he wasn't marrying his partner because he viewed marriage as a religious ceremony and didn't feel comfortable doing it as non-religious person, so he is still doing all the relationship stuff, he just doesn't want the ceremony. I think a lot of people have similar situation

As for myself, i was rather short, akward and cowardly in middle school, and all the girls were either disinterested, too nervous or more keen on "bad boys". I found the whole courtship thing futile. Then we had sex-ed and i realized i was asexual. At this point i thought: "I don't want sex with anyone and none of the girls i know want romance with me. Why am i even doing this?" In the end i found i couldn't answer that, and so i more or less quit dating

evilthecat:

Marriage was not invented to make people happy, it was invented to form alliances between families by exchanging women (property) between them, because in an age when kinship ties were the basis of social organization it was important to know that the Freys wouldn't betray you to the Lannisters.

I feel this interpretation of marriage is influenced a bit too much by the perspectives of the nobility, who are understandably over represented in historical literature. So whilst marriage as a tool for alliance making was certainly a thing for the monarchs and nobles, I've not read anything that says medieval peasants, blacksmiths and millers behaved in quite the same way and had the need for marry for Machiavellian reasons.

In my view, marriage for most people was a means of raising children so that they may inherit your property and care for you in old age. People either fell in love or had a romp that resulted in pregnancy- and it becomes necessary to raise children to adulthood, preferably in the confines of marriage. It made sense at the time to keep sex within marriage, as bastard children would have been a burden on the community in an era before state welfare. Crucially, children that were 'legitimate heirs' will inherit the father's property as well as care for both the mother and farther when they are too old to work themselves. I think medieval peasants would have been more concerned in having a son or daughter they could trust as their own child to inherit their plot of land and care for the parents in sickness and old age in an era before pensions, welfare and modern medicine. I I think marriage was a) a social mechanism for managing the outcome of sex/ a loving relationship between man and woman and b)a form of 'insurance' so that one has children to look after them in old age and c) to secure inheritance on property. I wouldn't reduce marriage to just exchanging women between families for political gain.

The Romantics reinvented the concept of marriage as based in love by valorizing a woman's right to choose her husband, but she was still socially (and legally) choosing who would own her. The history of marriage as a concept is pretty fundamentally horrible, and while you can simply ignore that and do whatever you want with marriage today, what's the point unless you really need the legal benefits?

I'm fairly convinced that people did marry for love before the Romantics came along- not all of them obviously but many did. Arranged marriages were more the norm for the nobility yes, but again we shouldn't let the fact that the nobility are over represented in the historical record mean that marriage was the same for Dukes as it was for shoemakers. Broadside Ballads, sonnets and Shakespeare's plays all portray love, sex, marriage and relationships in ways that we can relate to today- the ideal then as of now is still man woos woman, they court eachother, and ideally become happily married. The terminology was different then but by and large its a process we see today. I think one main difference would be that parents had a greater say and influence on who their child married- but they didn't have the final say.

What has also changed though is that marriage became an increasingly formalised affair. In the first half of the middle ages, for ordinary people, it was a 'handfasting' ceremony were the couple would publicly declare that they were married. Gratian, an Italian monk writing in 1140, said that the two requirements for marriage were "marital love" and the act of sex itself, so he recognised love and sex as the two principle reasons for marriage. In the later middle ages and early modern periods, the Church gradually took over marriage as an institution so that for marriages had to be conducted in Church to be considered legal, and then it was incorporated into civil law when once it was more private affair.

I agree that this isn't necessary or desirable- but again this is probably why marriage itself is on a downward trend as people don't feel the need to formalise their relationship by signing a document and doing a very expensive ceremony in Church. Times are changing. Yet equally for many people, especially women, the act and traditions around marriage is something they aspire too and if that makes them happy I wouldn't wish to deny them that. Similarly, if people want to go for polygamous relationships all the power to them. It's too early to tell though if such a way of conducting relationships will gain popular appeal- it's not something for me but again like traditional marriage if it makes them happy good for them!

Nickolai77:
I feel this interpretation of marriage is influenced a bit too much by the perspectives of the nobility, who are understandably over represented in historical literature. So whilst marriage as a tool for alliance making was certainly a thing for the monarchs and nobles, I've not read anything that says medieval peasants, blacksmiths and millers behaved in quite the same way and had the need for marry for Machiavellian reasons.

The problem with the peasantry is that they are in some ways a historical absence into which you can read whatever you want. For example, the romantics kind of did a number on them too, by transforming them into carefree symbols of prelapsarian bliss.

Medieval peasants didn't care about property because they didn't own property, often they didn't even own themselves. They had no social or legal protections whatsoever from those more powerful than them. The flipside is that noone really cared what they did. They didn't have to worry about the legitimacy of their children because their children would only ever be disposable workers anyway. They didn't have to worry about sin or the afterlife because as long as they went to church on Sunday and received the last rites when they died any question of their souls was above their pay grade. Thus, naturally, they fucked pretty indiscriminately. Marriage among peasants was just an imitation or aping of its function for their superiors, where it had real stakes and importance. For them, though, it was trivial. It couldn't be sacred because nothing could be sacred to peasants. They had nothing to keep sacred.

renegade7:

My negative view of marriage isn't a result of the fact that it doesn't work for some, it's a result of the fact that it doesn't work for some but is expected for all.

Not really. It's very much expected of people the society wants to breed. My disabled relatives were not expected to marry and in fact it used to be illegal for them. Luckily they all avoided forced sterilization. (Also I'm lesbian but have definitely been pressured to settle down with a guy, the kind of marriage I wanted wasn't even possible until very recently though.)

evilthecat:

Medieval peasants didn't care about property because they didn't own property, often they didn't even own themselves. They had no social or legal protections whatsoever from those more powerful than them. The flipside is that noone really cared what they did.

That is utterly untrue. Every kind of peasentry had property. And also rights, not only obligations.

Medieval societies were pretty complx and just because someone "owned" someone else that doesn't mean that he could do everything he liked.

They didn't have to worry about the legitimacy of their children because their children would only ever be disposable workers anyway. They didn't have to worry about sin or the afterlife because as long as they went to church on Sunday and received the last rites when they died any question of their souls was above their pay grade. Thus, naturally, they fucked pretty indiscriminately.

Utterly wrong. Legitimacy was important in all social classes. Illegitimate children and their mothers were at risk for being outcasts in the lower classes too.

Marriage among peasants was just an imitation or aping of its function for their superiors, where it had real stakes and importance. For them, though, it was trivial. It couldn't be sacred because nothing could be sacred to peasants. They had nothing to keep sacred.

No.

Your knowledge of medieval societies seems to be even below hollywood standards.

In most societies marriage was about two things : Establish legitimacy for children and even more important starting a common household. Which is why so many marriage traditions everywhere involve building a home or moving in with someone. The new household as the economic structure where the members support each other and later the common children. Which is why many other marriage traditions are about the man providing proof that he could support a family. (There are even a couple of local laws which forbid marriage until the man provides this kind of proof).

That is still not neccessarily about love. But as even with arranged marriages the families involved have a healthy interest in the marriage being successful, it can be assumed that lovers still married quite often throughout the ages. At least if the arrangement was an acceptable one station wise and at least reasonable.

I see no need to espouse or encourage the Religion of Families in any way. The Earth is vastly overpopulated and a good decline in birth rate will lead to a better quality of life, contrary to what Governments and Economists think.

evilthecat:

I mean, sure. You can totally get married and yet choose to ignore the awful societal meaning of marriage...

Indeed you can - and easily because that societal meaning you suggest is not absolute.

After all, marriage in 2017 AD can be - and indeed is - something other than marriage was in 1400 AD.

evilthecat:

Not really.

For most of history, people of the aristocratic class would be married in their early teens to people they'd never met. There was no guarantee of mutual support because there was no guarantee the people involved would even like each other. They were selected on the basis of the political interests of their families, not personal compatibility. There was no recognized division of childrearing labour because even then 13 year old kids weren't really capable of taking care of their own children, so it would usually fall to their extended families or to servants, depending on how important they were. The marriage was an investment to the family, not a service to the individual.

Again, marriage was not invented to make people happy. It was invented to link families together with the only kinds of social bonds which have mattered for most of human history, bonds of blood and heredity.

See below:

renegade7:

Gorfias:

Saw some comments earlier about why marriage has ever existed. Mutual support and a recognized division of labor, particularly as it concerns kids.

I guess you're right on that one, marriage certainly does help promote a specific division of labor.

I'll have to do some research to see if the old testament refers to what is expected of each person. I suspect if you two were right, and that there are no meaningful expectations of each other in marriage, there never would have been such a thing as a "shot-gun wedding". Nor would we deride "deadbeat dads" as we have no expectations of men. Hope to have updates soon.

Edit

Doesn't specifically state what duties but you can divine that some exist. Even if a freaky near incest sounding like practice.

Satinavian:
That is utterly untrue. Every kind of peasentry had property. And also rights, not only obligations.

You're not one of those people who thinks Magna Carta is some kind of proto-liberal constitution are you?

Read it. It wasn't.

No, i am not one to bring up English specific examples very often. Where did you get this idea ?

And i really have no clue where you pull your strange picture of medieval societies from. Historic novels or something like that? What evidence we do have (which are often based on tax lists or actual legal quarrels in addition to what codified law did exist) does not fit anything you said.

Please, provide some sources for your claims.

Satinavian:
And i really have no clue where you pull your strange picture of medieval societies from. Historic novels or something like that? What evidence we do have (which are often based on tax lists or actual legal quarrels in addition to what codified law did exist) does not fit anything you said.

It is the custom in England, as with other countries, for the nobility to have great power over the common people, who are serfs. This means that they are bound by law and custom to plough the field of their masters, harvest the corn, gather it into barns, and thresh and winnow the grain; they must also mow and carry home the hay, cut and collect wood, and perform all manner of tasks of this kind.
- Jean Froissart, 1395

In short, peasants do not own the land they live on. They do not have property. Their lord owns the land, and they are legally bound to it and obligated to work on it. There are higher classes of peasants (burghers or freeholders) but these are a comparatively small demographic and are the equivalent of the modern middle class (burgher and bourgeoisie have the same root).

On sexual morality, we're really reading into a vacuum, but as a case study..

Grazide Lizier was a peasant woman in southern france in 1313 who had sex with her local priest. She was later interrogated by the inquisition as a suspected Cathar and her case was included in the Fournier Register so we have a fairly strong account of her experience.

The priest came to her house when she was fourteen and fifteen and demanded to have sex with her, and she agreed so they went and fucked in the barn, and afterwards he'd frequently come by to have sex with her with the full knowledge of her mother, who didn't care because he was the priest. Once she was married, her husband also seems to have known about the affair and also didn't care (since the priest in question had arranged their marriage, it's possible he was bribing the husband, which was common). Furthermore, she didn't consider what she was doing to be sinful as long as she found it enjoyable. Once she tired of her lover and no longer enjoyed sex with him, however, she considered it to be a sin and dumped him.

This is one a single case study, but it's also one of the few "uncensored" examples of an peasant's attitude to sex, and it seems to have been socially normal enough that none of this really surprises or bothers her inquisitor. From what we can tell she was simply instructed in church doctrine and sent on her way.

As well as being an interesting example of cultural attitudes to sex (which were actually very common, medieval literature frequently repeats the sentiment that pleasure cannot be sinful) this exhibits all the textbook examples of why marriage between peasants can't be viewed as sacred. Although the sex in this case was voluntary, the reality is that Lizier had very few options due to her lover's superior social position. Anyone in a position of power could have done this.

evilthecat:
It is the custom in England, as with other countries, for the nobility to have great power over the common people, who are serfs. This means that they are bound by law and custom to plough the field of their masters, harvest the corn, gather it into barns, and thresh and winnow the grain; they must also mow and carry home the hay, cut and collect wood, and perform all manner of tasks of this kind.
- Jean Froissart, 1395

In short, peasants do not own the land they live on. They do not have property. Their lord owns the land, and they are legally bound to it and obligated to work on it. There are higher classes of peasants (burghers or freeholders) but these are a comparatively small demographic and are the equivalent of the modern middle class (burgher and bourgeoisie have the same root).

I was always led to believe that serfs and peasants were distinct and separate groups, and that one being owned by the ruling classes and the other not was (at least nominally) one of the chief differences.

Though, IIRC, the terminology has been applied differently in different times and places, and the period/s involved aren't ones I've studied in any great depth.

evilthecat:
In short, peasants do not own the land they live on. They do not have property. Their lord owns the land, and they are legally bound to it and obligated to work on it.

Depends on where and when and kind of peasent. Not all land is owned by nobility. Even if the proportion of noble owned land rises throughout the time. Also even if the land was noble owned, the right to work the land at certain conditions was often hereditary itself and the lord could not give the land to someone else. And then there are a lot of other possessions that are not land. E.g. animals which were rarely owned by the lord.

This is one a single case study, but it's also one of the few "uncensored" examples of an peasant's attitude to sex, and it seems to have been socially normal enough that none of this really surprises or bothers her inquisitor. From what we can tell she was simply instructed in church doctrine and sent on her way.

Yes, it is a single case.

However, you might notice that she did marry someone else during her relationship with the priest to get the economic security and social status being married provides and to start a household. To be just single and mistress would not have been a valid life choice and probably would have led to immense problems for her if a pregnancy occured.

P.S.

And yes, there are differences between peasant and serfs. But all the different kinds of people and the relations between them are extremely complex. Keep in mind that even nobles who were not free but owned by someone else actually existed (at least in the HRE)

Thaluikhain:
I was always led to believe that serfs and peasants were distinct and separate groups, and that one being owned by the ruling classes and the other not was (at least nominally) one of the chief differences.

Technically, I'm pretty sure the world peasant just means "person from the country". Regardless, it includes serfs and even rural slaves. Some peasants were free and a few even owned their own lands as freeholders. Generally these became more common as time progressed, but serfdom was the norm in Western Europe until the mid-14th century.

Satinavian:
And then there are a lot of other possessions that are not land. E.g. animals which were rarely owned by the lord.

But rarely explicitly not owned by the lord, either.

The problem is that most of the concept of property as applied to peasants who were serfs or indentured labourers is informal. Technically they owned nothing, but in practice they were largely left alone and as such could obtain private property informally. We know that some even became wealthy enough to buy their freedom, but this was rare.

Satinavian:
However, you might notice that she did marry someone else during her relationship with the priest to get the economic security and social status being married provides and to start a household.

She married because her lover arranged a marriage for her, as it was normal for a priest of his social position to arrange marriages for his parishioners.

Interestingly, she talks in her confession about the alternatives. He could have simply kept her as a concubine, for example, or abandoned her to prostitution (she uses this as her excuse why she didn't immediately denounce him during her interrogation). Still, it was actually fairly common for medieval women to never marry. Beyond the obvious religious reasons, the prevalence and social acceptability of prostitution in medieval society meant there was always a constant demand for single women.

Regardless, Lizier's marriage lasted four years until her husband died. The argument about economic and social security doesn't really work when your husband could drink some bad water tomorrow and die of dysentery.

evilthecat:

Thaluikhain:
I was always led to believe that serfs and peasants were distinct and separate groups, and that one being owned by the ruling classes and the other not was (at least nominally) one of the chief differences.

Technically, I'm pretty sure the world peasant just means "person from the country". Regardless, it includes serfs and even rural slaves. Some peasants were free and a few even owned their own lands as freeholders. Generally these became more common as time progressed, but serfdom was the norm in Western Europe until the mid-14th century.

Satinavian:
And then there are a lot of other possessions that are not land. E.g. animals which were rarely owned by the lord.

But rarely explicitly not owned by the lord, either.

The problem is that most of the concept of property as applied to peasants who were serfs or indentured labourers is informal. Technically they owned nothing, but in practice they were largely left alone and as such could obtain private property informally. We know that some even became wealthy enough to buy their freedom, but this was rare.

Satinavian:
However, you might notice that she did marry someone else during her relationship with the priest to get the economic security and social status being married provides and to start a household.

She married because her lover arranged a marriage for her, as it was normal for a priest of his social position to arrange marriages for his parishioners.

Interestingly, she talks in her confession about the alternatives. He could have simply kept her as a concubine, for example, or abandoned her to prostitution (she uses this as her excuse why she didn't immediately denounce him during her interrogation). Still, it was actually fairly common for medieval women to never marry. Beyond the obvious religious reasons, the prevalence and social acceptability of prostitution in medieval society meant there was always a constant demand for single women.

Regardless, Lizier's marriage lasted four years until her husband died. The argument about economic and social security doesn't really work when your husband could drink some bad water tomorrow and die of dysentery.

You have an anecdote. And from a peasant girl no less. Shall we now discuss Victoria and Albert?

Shall we discuss British Military protocol during the Napoleonic wars as regards the wives of soldiers accompanying the army? You make friends in the military, and in that era you also made enemies. Imagine fighting through Flanders, making friends... and watching them fall in the advance into France... Of course you were both nineteen, older but maybe seasoned from brawling, when you enlisted to fight the French, and wound up in Spain. And while Britain liberated Spain from Napoleon your friend liberated his wife from Spain, for she too marched into France, just behind the army. But now your friend, made corporal, is dead. And his wife has two days to pack and get out of camp. From there she can fend for herself among a hostile local population, her being Spanish, her six month old being a mutt - which in that era would have been putting it politely - with no French ancestry at all. And her not speaking more then a few words of English and no French. Or you can marry her, like you swore to your dead friend of two days late you would if anything happened to him... because he couldn't stand the thought of his wife and child left in that condition. Sounds like marriage meant something to those men and women. It's almost like different people in different parts of the world with different life experiences treat marriage with the same nuance as the religious might treat the notion god? Fascinating...

Near as I can tell the word 'peasant' is generally worthless. It's meanings are so varied as to almost be opposite to one another. To this day it is still used as both a valid descriptor and a pejorative. That alone should say all that needs saying about the terminology.

Your picture of history is one dimensional. It is as accurate as medieval paintings where people were painted hovering above the ground with their toes pointing downward.

Namehere:
You have an anecdote.

Not really. I'm not doing this to amuse anyone save myself. As I've said, this is a case study, a single instance which illustrates several points of a broader thesis. As I've said, accounts of medieval peasants and their attitudes to marriage and sex are thin enough on the ground that any given example is going to be of a single instance.

But you've missed the actual important point, of course, which is that attitudes are in some sense dictated by material circumstances. When the priest showed up at Grazide Lizier's house and demanded she have sex with him, her ability to say no was rather limited by her circumstances. In a modern sense she was a victim of a terrible abuse of power, and the full support of her family and the society around her lay with her abuser because she lived in a society where the abuse of power was normal. Even had she been taught the Catholic doctrine on marriage (which she was during her confinement at the hands of the inquisition, and which she repeated during her confession) she could not afford to view marriage as sacred because, as as a peasant, she was always vulnerable to the abuse of power.

So, and not to crap on the romanticism of the Napoleonic wars here, but let's think very hard about the material circumstances.. Where did your friend's wife come from? How did they meet? Under what circumstance did he decide to marry her? Did she want to marry him? How did she express this with her few words of English?

You see where I'm going with this..

"This storm seemed to be a signal of hell for the perpetration of villainy which would have shamed the most ferocious barbarians of antiquity. At Ciudad Rodrigo intoxication and plunder had been the principal object; at Badajoz lust and murder were joined in rapine and drunkenness; but at San Sebastian, the direct, the most revolting cruelty was added to the catalogue of crimes. One atrocity of which a girl of seventeen was the victim, staggers the mind by its enormous, incredible, indescribable barbarity."
- Sir William Napier, describing the fall of San Sebastian

The Napoleonic wars is a poor choice of setting for historical fantasies of romantic heroism.

Gorfias:
My wanting something for him isn't nearly the same thing as forcing anything on him. I wanted him to finish High School and couldn't even force that on him. He did get through it and is better off for it. I think the same thing of marriage for him.

Why? Finishing high school can be looked at as something one is better for having done because it prepares them for higher education, and a HS diploma or GED is required for pretty much any entry level job that will pay the bills, so it can be argued that it's a necessary prereq to entering the workforce. Why do you think of marriage in the same way?

Could be. Doubt it. Do gay men put posters of nearly nude women all over their bedrooms? Other things too.

Could be closeted, but it's not really an issue. He can still get married even if he is gay.

But if he were gay, it would be like, OK, women are not for him. Without being gay, its sort of like, "dude, you're missing out on something important and you and overall society will be poorer for it".

There are plenty of important things in life. Why is marriage more important than the myriad of other things he may want to pursue instead, and why do you feel he and society as a whole would be poorer for it?

30 years ago I was reading that the work place had become the new dating place in society but my son works in a virtuall 100% male environment (construction). Maybe his sister can set him up with something in the future. Had to see the right girl coming along organically in the environments in which he hangs out.

Ok, but that was 30 years ago. We have dating sites and apps now that make pursing dating much more accessible post college outside of the workplace.

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