October 11, 2012
Marriage: Is It In Crisis?
In America, it is the traditional thing to do to get married to someone in order to spend the rest of your life with. Someone to go through the ups and downs of life with, someone to be there to support you no matter what, and even in most marriages someone to have children with and to create a family. All these are perfect examples of why people get married, so why wouldn’t you want all of these things in your life? Well society as we know it today is declining in all aspects including, economics, the work force, and even health care. It is no wonder why people have come to the realization that marriage is in crisis because of everything that is going on around us. In the articles I read, “The Marriage Crisis”, “Pimp My Bride” and “Few Good Men” there are different viewpoints and takes on my marriage is in trouble. The most important points I will be making and elaborating on in this passage about why marriage in in crisis today will be the realization people are coming to about a worthy marriage, how the media portrays marriage, and the economic and emotional state of marriage. While explaining these points we will ask ourselves, is marriage in crisis?
In the earlier 1900s people were getting married for usually one reason: Stability. Times were hard back then and the only way people could make a living was if they had a “partner” to help out with a household/farm while the other spouse went out in the work force to earn a living and put food on the table. Having someone help you out with things at home makes things easier and that’s why they formed almost a business like partnership. In the article “The Marriage Crisis”, it explains the declining of marriage and the rising of cohabitation. This brings up my first point which is the realization people are coming to about a worthy marriage. In other words, people can now fend on their own, especially woman. Today, women have more rights and are able to participate in the work force just as much as men are. Woman are more independent now more than ever before and because of this they don’t need to force themselves in a marriage they don’t want to be in just so they are financially stable. This is why cohabitation exists. People want to know a person for a long time before they make any commitment and rush into a marriage without fully knowing the good and bad in a person. In addition to women’s rights, marriage is declining because women also have the power of education. Women are now getting degrees, making their own money (not having to rely on a man), and gaining a sense of personal fulfillment and to some women personal fulfillment is a lot more rewarding than fulfillment from a marriage.
On the topic of marriage and society now, media comes into play. Technology has emerged excessively in the last decade, and with technology comes media. Of course there are many different sources of media but we’ll just focus of television. In the article “Pimp My Bride”, the author Judith Halberstam explains the world of marriage on reality television based program. She includes shows like The Bachelor, Average Joe, and Joe Millionaire. All these shows portray one message: how marriage is outside of normal society which includes financial responsibilities, children, families, work, and other outside conflicts that usually affect a normal relationship/marriage. Halberstam explains how these reality television shows are known as “survival of the cutest” where these shows are simply based on looks, although they try to mix in personality with it, it usually doesn’t work that way. Shows like The Bachelor are scripted programs that only get our hopes up and make us think that marriage is perfect and nothing gets in the way of that relationship. Well that is totally wrong. What they don’t show is how marriage really is outside of that program. Usually with these shows, once the couple returns...