Summary: Both Left and Right criticize the institution of marriage. The high divorce rate, with its annual list of casualties (adults and children) shows its dysfunctionality. Here is a simple solution, a patch until larger reforms become possible.
Laura posted a simple, powerful comment at Dalrock’s website.
“I’ve been reading your posts and frankly find them very logical from a man’s point of view. But I don’t understand (and I’m not trolling here) why women would enter marriages as most men have described them here (ie lacking agency and subservient to another). Essentially, I understand why ‘modern marriage doesn’t serve the modern man. Would your ideal marriage be better than the current system because it would, unlike the current system, serve men and women? Or is it better just for men?”
The context of her question is wrong in several ways. She should ask some grandmothers why women were eager to marry under the “traditional” system. Also, “modern” marriage does not serve “modern” men well – and past generations of men would consider it insane. Patriarchy was the reward for men to marry and join the rat race (see here and here); we have nothing to replace it. But the question is important and seldom discussed.
She was treated badly by commenters at Dalrock’s website (comments often become a pack of rabid dogs unless moderated). Let’s try to give her a first cut at an answer.
The current system of marriage is grossly unfair to men and very often provides poor care to children. See these posts for details. The goal of reformers should be a sustainable institution that is fair to husband and wife, good for the children, and useful for society.
This is the fifth in a series about solutions to the gender wars, and reform to marriage is the key part of that program. I do not know what “the” reform might look like. But this series describes how to get there. It is an operational solution. In life we often just see the next step, not the end of the road. The next step for marriage is obvious.
Marriage is a contract. Today, marriage vows range from meaningless to perjury (“until death do us part” said by people who consider divorce an option). The process of getting married works to produce delusional ignorance by the two parties signing the contract. Such a process would be considered fraud for any other form of contract. The solution is simple. Sunlight. Both bride and groom should sign a notarized acknowledgement to a disclosure form that states the following facts in clear language.
Fair contracts disclose the key information both parties need to know. An obvious model for reforming the marriage contract is buying a home. This is usually the third largest financial commitment that people make – behind marriage and having children. The purchase contract discloses the vital information about the terms of the deal.
(1) Marriage is a contract with terms set by the State and administered with massive discretion by its institutions. The State can change those terms at any time. If you move to another State, you become ruled by that State’s rules.
(2) Describe each parties’ obligations to each other. Include the definition of spousal abuse, and that the definitions of that are changing. Disclose that sex is not an obligation of either party.
(3) Describe the process and obligations of having children. The wife has full discretion to have children, and to abort a pregnancy.
(4) Describe the process of divorce. How it works, including spousal support, determination of child custody, and child support.
- Disclose that currently almost half of marriages end in divorce; most often initiated by the wife.
- Disclose that the wife determines custody of the children except in cases of manifest incapacity. She gets full custody if she wants it. If not, then the Court mandates joint custody, unless she allows the husband to have it.
- Disclose that child support obligations can be increased over time if the father earns more, but are seldom decreased if his earnings fall.
- Disclose if this State allows exemption from child support when DNA testing shows that husband is not the biological father.
(5) Disclose in writing any conditions either party sets to the marriage. For example, that household chores will be evenly divided.
Now you are ready to get married.
Those couples that sign have given informed consent. I predict that their divorce rate will be lower. Of course, there will be fewer weddings – and fewer children raised by divorced mothers.
See the other posts in this series about the gender wars
Describing the situation and how we got here.
- As the Left’s social revolution wins victories, a revolt begins.
- Do we want to bring back traditional marriage? What is traditional marriage?
- Men are going Galt. Marriage is dying. — A review of books from the cutting edge of the revolution.
- Red Pill knowledge is poison to marriage.
- Men find individual solutions.
- Modern dating: is the only winning move is not to play?
- The end to World War G (the gender wars)
- Men standing together can end the gender wars.
- The next phase of the gender wars will end the gender wars.
Ideas! For shopping ideas see my recommended books and films at Amazon.
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Books about the new era of gender relations
Men on Strike: Why Men Are Boycotting Marriage, Fatherhood, and the American Dream – and Why It Matters by psychologist Helen Smith (2013). One of the major books about the counter-revolution.
The Privileged Sex by Martin van Creveld. You will never again see women’s role in society in the conventional way after reading this, by one of our era’s greatest historians.