One of my co-authors pointed out that the previous post was incomplete: Should we thank the Court as it rescues us from our bad laws? Or just bow?. It included a quote that was absurdly incorrect. Although peripheral to the point of the post, a correction is required.
It’s this from “Gay marriage and the Supreme Court’s empire“, Paul Mirengoff, Powerline, 4 March 2013:
By “traditional definition of marriage” in this context, I really mean the universal definition — one that, as far as I know, prevailed until very recently in all societies since the beginning of recorded time.
Here we have the confident ignorance that characterizes modern conservatism. Marriage customs vary widely throughout the history of Earth’s many cultures. From nothing — free pairings — through polygamy (usually polygyny — like the patriarchs in the Bible; rarely polyandry). With the most constant feature being that, one way or another, men in the elites get several hot women.
Also, “traditional marriage” often required no consent from the woman (or women) involved. Nor did divorce (eg, Deuteronomy 24 and the Islamic ṭalāq). Both might even take place simultaneously, as in wife selling (see Wikipedia).
The quote is daft in another way.
What makes Mirengoff’s defense of traditional marriage so daft is that he in effect defends today’s version of marriage — a form with few historical precedents: serial monogamy, a series of monogamous pairings with the pretense of being for life. It’s operationally complex (especially in the legal and financial dimensions), and often psychologically rough for the participants and involved off-spring. But very popular.
Our form of serial monogamy is quite untraditional, but apparently conservatives are cool with that. After all, it stems from one of the most radical social experiments in western history, begun when Ronald Reagan signed the Family Law Act of 1969. This abolished — retroactively — the core of the marriage contract, as no-fault divorce allowed one party to unilaterally void the contract by stating the existence of “irreconcilable differences”. By 1984 only two States had not yet adopted some form of no-fault divorce.
As with most experimenting to restructure society, the results were unexpected — but there is no going backwards. So it probably will prove for same-sex marriages.
For More Information
- The feminist revolutionaries have won. Insurgents have arisen to challenge the new order. As always, they’re outlaws.
- The war of the sexes heats up: society changes as men learn the Dark Triad.
- The revolution in gender roles reshapes society in ways too disturbing to see.
- A look ahead at the New America, after the gender wars.
- Books to help us see the strange new world following the revolution in gender roles.
- Love in the new world, after the gender wars.
This was in the previous post, but is worth repeating
See other work by Tom Tomorrow at his website.
Categories: Society & gender