by Alexis “Froggi” Anderchuck
Editor’s Note: While this blog encourages freedom of speech and expression, the author was advised by the editor to use clean language. The author refused. Mature readers are advised to proceed, and curse words have been marked with dashes. Enjoy! -DHS
I came home to a surprise this summer. Not a vacation. Not a new car.
My parents were getting divorced.
What’s the Point?
Yup. That was the surprise.
After twenty-six years of what seemed like marital bliss, Robert and Marlene Anderchuck are calling it quits.
Do they probably want me blasting this to the internet?
Do I give two fucks what they want right now?
Anyway, it happened with all the awkward staring, angry mumbling, and obligatory shit-banging in the kitchen that accompanies all family drama. What a fun summer!
And it got me thinking: What’s the point of all this?
Seriously! After a quarter-of-a-century, they threw away a perfectly fine relationship because (and I’m half-guessing here) Dad can’t cool his jets with some young tart at work, or Mom met a wonderfully bangable yoga instructor at the YMCA.
I could be wrong.
But at this point, who cares? I’m the collateral damage, and I’m not alone.
So I’ll ask again: What’s the point!?
The Crumbling Fence
Well, there used to be a point.
Just ask your unmarried Christian friends: Why do they want to get married?
Maybe you don’t know any Christians.
Well, I do.
And they just can’t wait to righteously hump each other’s brains out.
Marriage may be a lot of things (including a huge money-maker for bakers and florists and middle-aged DJs), but most of all it is and has been a fence against promiscuous sex, which the Christians (again, in case you don’t know any) don’t approve of.
What with the 10 Commandments outlawing adultery, and Puritan culture shaming any man or woman who dares to think about coitus before the wedding day, marriage has helped keep unwanted pregnancies, sexually-transmitted diseases, and scorned lovers at bay.
But that fence is falling apart.
With that protection came other shittier things, mostly for us ladies.
Women face pressure to meet impossible image standards, all based on the allure of unattainable sex. They have to push babies out of their vaginas one day and slip into a bikini the next, all because Kim Kardashian did it.
And while many cultures punish husbands who stray from their vows, that punishment is tame compared to what women must endure. In some countries, a woman can be murdered by her family after falling victim to a rape, as she was likely “culpable” in enticing her rapist.
Yeah, you read that right. So while marriage didn’t cause the rape, its cultural interpretation certainly caused the fucking murder!
And it was all done in the name of fencing the family (namely its patriarchal men) from the dishonor of promiscuous sex.
The Fence Isn’t Working
But what happens when these religious and cultural stigmas are gradually removed?
What happens when the churches and temples and mosques lose their foothold in our collective consciousness, and the people express their will as one?
You get today’s result: Men and women marrying later, having sex earlier (but more safely than our rebellious parents and grandparents), and moving toward a mindset free of judgment.
What’s not to like!?
The momentum here is obvious. Fewer people seem to believe that god will smite them for sexual sins. Fewer people feel the need to shame their neighbors (though this still happens far too often).
And fewer people are getting married, overall.
We’re heading in that direction, people.
And it just might be time to get on board.
A Brave New Community
In his landmark novel Brave New World, Aldous Huxley wrote of a society in which everyone belonged to everyone else. To be fair, he meant for this vision to be a warning.
But his vision also included endless drug use, predestination in factories, and mindless distractions that kept people from pondering life’s painful truths. These are realities that we don’t need, and mostly don’t want.
Yet his vision of a world free from the agony of divorce, rejection, and overwhelming sin, is pretty fucking appealing.
Alone, Huxley’s vision of marriage and family works. It realizes that the institution itself is based on outdated, oppressive ideas, and isn’t flexible enough to change without being broken.
And whether we like it or not, society is heading in that direction.
I’m confident that this will lead us to a far more beautiful civilization than the one we endure today. We desperately need community. And by flinging open the repressive gates of sexual and relational restriction, can’t we build a better one?
Wouldn’t it be froggy if we could eliminate outdated mandates and replace them updated, compassionate guidelines? Wouldn’t that bring us together as one?
There is a word for this gathering of ideas, souls, and spirits: Sába Sacá.
With Sába Sacá, all come together as one and learn from each unique element of the whole. Our societal reality is moving this way. Our cultural reality is progressing there, too.
It has to.
Or we’ll continue to suffer the shame and pain of that old, rusting fence, marriage – and its form of relational tetanus, divorce – a whole fucking lot longer.
What do you think? Is marriage an outdated custom? Or is it a valuable part of society still? Leave your thoughts in the Comments below!
Alexis Anderchuck is a student of world religions and women’s studies. She blogs frequently about issues of feminism here and hollers at Facebook and Twitter occasionally, too. She really needs a job, so if you know about one, let her know.
Image Credit: Samson Loo, Creative Commons