Friday, October 21, 2005

About Marriage: A Redesign

Was talking with a savvy friend yesterday about marriage. If it were a technology, it really is out-of-date, or at least designed for a user community that no longer exists.

It was designed for people who got married in the heat of hormonal overload -- 18 year olds -- who couldn't possibly make a rational decision. Then they quickly have lots of babies, become grandparents at 40, are probably dead by 45 - 55.

Also necessary for the old institution of marriage was gross economic inequality between male and female, with the female having little or no other economic livelihood other than providing housekeeping, childrearing and sex services to the man willing to have her -- the original cottage industry. It's not a bad institution based on those presumptions.

But what about educated people who marry in their 30's on average, have few or no kids, have a life expectancy twice that of their grandparents ... and the female partner has many more options than being a slave ... certainly shakes things up a bit.

And don't ask me about love ... (What's love got to do with it?") ... well, that's the place where things get a little crazy.