mordicai caeli (mordicai) wrote,
mordicai caeli

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I Like the Idea of Stephanie Brown as "Robin With a Gun."

I was thinking about marriage in the shower this morning for some reason. Not about my marriage-- I quite like it, though!-- but about the institution. You know, while everyone debates about marriage equality-- a total no-brainer-- there are always the voices that pipe up with "state sanctioned marriage shouldn't even exist!" or "everyone should have civil unions! Marriage is a religious institution, separate Church & State!" Now to the latter I can say "I agree, but the cat is out of the bag. Abolishing marriage isn't going to happen, but either way, it isn't hypocritical to support both equality & also civil unions for everyone." The former question-- should the state sanction romantic unions-- is a thornier one. I mean, there is the huge legacy of oppression to take into account-- traditional marriage rituals being an exchange of property from a father to a husband-- but I think that can be put aside. Then there is the hetero-normative aspect of it, but I think the movement toward marriage equality is taking care of that angle. There is also a serious question of institutionalizing monogamy-- & the problems that polygamy brings into it-- but I think that is almost a whole separate lobe of the argument. So I started thinking-- what is marriage even for? I mean, from a legalist perspective; a a social institution there are plenty of rite of passage, kinship binding features, whatever, but what does the state gain? Traditionally, I think the answer is "parents for children," but with rising divorce rates & single parenthood, I don't think that is the case. In the end, I had to look at the contract aspect of it. If two people throw their lot in together, financially, things can get muddy. "I worked two jobs while you went to grad school" or "I stayed home raising children while you worked" are two easy examples that show how that can play out-- they are essentially life-contracts, a fluid & flexible soup of economic obligations. Now, I can accept arguments that say there should be platonic civil contracts, as well; sort of an adoption process where you become siblings with your long-term best-friend roommate, or whatever-- but again, that is kind of a distaff branch of the argument, along with the "multiple marriage" issue. I guess my point is-- a protected contract for family building is a reasonable legal argument.
Tags: comics, ideology

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