Wednesday, July 11, 2012

Clutch Magazine Piece on Marriage Puts Emphasis on The Superficial

A new Clutch magazine piece on marriage by Danielle Belton (who we also know as The Black Snob) only reinforces the notion (my belief) that it often has more to do with money than love. In the article, partly based on a Time magazine report, Belton emphasizes that marriage is more attainable and enduring for those with college educations and well paying jobs. I have seen this information before from previous articles. Although, I know of plenty of divorces where either both or one of the parties had a great job... so that may not provide the whole story. But statistically the argument offered in the article is probably correct.

This just supports the argument that I have made in the past that marriages today are more about money and less about any sort of genuine love bond between two people. Some of the best marriages that I have seen have been between two people who didn't have very much in terms of material possessions. Unfortunately most marriages don't consist of these kinds of relationships... but such marriages do exist (mostly see it with older generations... bonds that were made during eras when the focus tended to be something different).

It begs the question again... what are the women in these relationships actually marrying.... the man.... or the job title? The man or the earnings potential? The man or his fancy law degree? The person...or the lifestyle and the material things that they can provide? More often than not... women are seeking resources.... not men.

This reinforces the notion that this is a society awash in phony relationships and phony marriages.

And "getting a degree and a job" oversimplifies things. There are plenty of men with degrees who are employed. That doesn't necessarily lead to marriage....or even easy dating (I can attest to this). Whether marriage is attainable has more to do with what type of job you have. If you are an under-employed man.... having all of the degrees in the world won't help you. And in this economy, there are tons of educated men who are under-employed...and (largely as a result of their job/income status) are living single. So the title of the piece should probably read.... "a degree and a great paying career".

(See the Time magazine report)

You hardly ever hear the word "love" when the topic is marriage. It seems as if these are simply convenient living contracts between two people.

This also supports the idea that there really is no incentive for a man to get married.... if this is all marriage really is. There is nothing in it for a man. If these are just arrangements about the use of resources (ie money and material possessions) mostly for the benefit of women, then it makes no sense for a man to enter into such a situation. If these arrangements are as phony and loveless as they (by all indications) appear to be... then there is almost nothing that a man can get out of it within the legal bond that he can't get outside of it as a single guy.

Am I missing something here? If I am, please explain it to me.

If I ever get married, I hope it's the old fashioned kind.


Anonymous said...

I think you misread Danielle's take on the Time v. Wall St. Journal pieces. Her article was mostly a response to what she read from these news sources. What they are saying is that divorce rates are going down for people who are well educated and race doesn't matter.

Education in any part of the world gives women more choices. Being financially secure means women can take care of themselves. A financially secure couple with a good education and good jobs will undoubtedly fight less about money than couples who are less educated and have less money.

Education is the key to marital bliss, not just love. As an older woman, I know that love is nice, but it doesn't put food on the table or a roof over my head. I have a Ph.D., so I don't need to be married. That is empowering for me. I am married because my husband respects me, my intelligence, and ability to rely on myself. He doesn't want a traditional marriage with a woman who leans on him for everything. That's why we work.

If you have to ask why women are marrying men (for the man, job title, or money), you should also be asking why men marry women. Men get a lot of added benefits and more free time when they marry, because they get someone who takes care of them--cooks, cleans, does laundry, etc. I wish I had a wife!! And if their wife works, she has a double shift t work when she comes home from her paying job to her unpaying job.

If you want a traditional old-fashioned marriage, then marry someone who only has a high school degree. That is what this research is saying basically. People who are more highly educated enter relationships with a different set of expectations.

If you marry someone less educated, then she'll love you because she NEEDS you. Yes, there are still plenty of women without degrees who would love to have a man take care of them, and there is nothing wrong with that. But women with an education have a choice now and are refusing to settle for falling into gender roles in traditional marriages, because we don't have to do that anymore. We, too, have a choice to remain single if we want.

Anonymous said...

Well, these are the origins of marriage ( support, alliances etc) . The whole "love" notion is just a sell job. Marriages started out as being arranged, you may remember. We are then hypnotized into believing certain myths but most people just take an imprint that this is a natural outgrowth of "love" and don't give any thought whatsoever to the institution or its actual function.
Many men want to possess and dominate ("Own") women and marriage is a way ( to them) of staking their claim and warning others off. They marry out of fear ( if I don't do this she will find someone better)even though they know that marriage is no guarantee that they will be able to sustain all this .
Assuming that there is equal bargaining power,there are reasons to get married beyond love, such as tax advantages in certain circumstances in the US. Absent these, there would be fewer marriages I think.
This does not mean that individual cases may not vary. I have known people in love who live together ( or in separate houses) who never think of marrying and I know people who think that once they have found the "magic person" that is what one must do ( marry) and all types in between ,including those who "settle" and those who marry without thinking whether it is right for them. And we are all socialized to believe this ( a song lyric in an old pop song contained the words "every man must marry"- really? - boy we know that's not true now- and if every man doesn't have to marry, what then? -interesting to ponder)