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sex without moral foundations (marriage!) is unstable

Posted: Mon Feb 19, 2018 10:24 pm
by poetess

Re: sex without moral foundations (marriage!) is unstable

Posted: Tue Feb 20, 2018 4:30 pm
by neilethere
Poetess,

I normally find the comments after articles like this more informative than the opinion itself, and I wasn't disappointed this time.

Whilst your heading is true - and the point of the article - the comments give a good picture of why marriage is viewed so unfavourably and by so many. It seems it isn't done well by many either now or historically.

Re: sex without moral foundations (marriage!) is unstable

Posted: Tue Feb 20, 2018 5:31 pm
by poetess
Neil, abuse does not negate proper use. In other words, "some people have mistreated marriage" does not mean the answer is to throw it out altogether. Some men have railed to properly protect their wives, and a few have even hurt them. Is the answer to throw all women out into a shark tank with men who do not have their best interest in mind at all?

There is no way to measure such things, but I would wager that historically most married women have been at least moderately content with marriage and family life, finding deep satisfaction in it. A few others chafed under a sense that being different from men meant innately being inferior to men. (The idea that they were systematically inferior is bogus. At least in the West women had some protections men didn't have--for example, a man might beat up a man who hurt a woman, women and children had precedence in such situations as the sinking of the Titanic, and men often work in such dangerous jobs as coal mining that women generally do not do. Women are vulnerable, but most men have understood that and sought to offer protection, particularly to those women in their own families--taking them out of families doesn't help!) Some women were married to bad men, and some women were not married and thus didn't get the protections that came with marriage. The new system, in which we try to make sure NO woman gets the protections that come with marriage, is not superior. Problems with marriage would have been better dealt with by looking at the problems of marriage and reforming the problems, not by getting rid of its protections and leaving women without those relationships that have always been most important to women.

Women often complain that they are treated as inferior to men, and indeed men do sometimes mistreat women. But women competing with men on men's turf--free sex being one example--are going to lose. In "the old days" women also had their own turf, places where men were at a disadvantage, but many women have abandoned such places. But women are losing this one badly.

Re: sex without moral foundations (marriage!) is unstable

Posted: Tue Feb 20, 2018 7:54 pm
by neilethere
poetess wrote:Problems with marriage would have been better dealt with by looking at the problems of marriage and reforming the problems


I agree. The problem as I - and many others - see it is the institution that should have led the way - the Church - did a pretty [edit] job of protecting women and rooting out the bad husbands. And in a lot of ways still does. I've shared before on here recent articles on abusive marriages in Australian Churches - particularly the ones that push Headship - and the same situation exists in the US. In fairness, too, the Church had ample time to deal with those issues prior to the Revolution that has us where we are today.

poetess wrote:women and children had precedence in such situations as the sinking of the Titanic,


and the rich, of course. It's actually a myth, too, the Titanic (and the Birkenhead) are exceptions. In all other maritime disasters women and kids end up as shark food in higher numbers than men.

poetess wrote:historically most married women have been at least moderately content with marriage and family life


of course this is true because to survey women in the 'good'ole days' you would have been asking their husbands how content their wives were.

Re: sex without moral foundations (marriage!) is unstable

Posted: Tue Feb 20, 2018 9:46 pm
by poetess
Well, there is no such thing as "the good ol' days" in terms of any era being perfect. But the idea that no woman ever spoke until the 21st century is a myth. I personally have had friends who were already adults 60 or 70 or 80 years ago; I'm not the only woman around who has talked to women from previous decades, and I speak partly from having seen a greater satisfaction and peace from women who had less frantic life expectations and a more valued place in society than is true of women coming to maturity today. Women used to have much more a community than is true today, and the place of wife and mother was given more value. We have gained a few things, culturally, but I am not alone in thinking we have lost more. And the generation behind us has lost even more, because the very structure that allows stability has been kicked out from under them.

A society in which marriage is not the norm is not going to be a healthy society.

Re: sex without moral foundations (marriage!) is unstable

Posted: Wed Feb 21, 2018 10:33 am
by poetess
BTW, I agree that the conservative church has done a rotten job (in general) listening to the voices of women who have been abused. But (1) that isn't the point of this thread and (2) dumping women out of families, to sink or swim alone (and eventually to decide whether or not to have children without a husband) is completely the wrong answer. We have gone from a culture in which a few women had unhappy marriages (and a few more were unmarried) but most were protected and cherished into a culture where women have to fight all the time, and in which no one nourishes and cherishes them. And BTW, a culture in which most women are married still has a solid place for a few single women. A culture with mostly healthy families is a healthy culture and can support a few "outliers," be they lifelong singles, single moms, or widows. When those "outliers" become the norm, the society lacks cohesion. And a culture heavy in single men will not be a healthy culture--men need marriage just as much as women do, but for different reasons.

The years of dating can be a vulnerable time for women in a culture where sex is considered a normal part of dating. A woman must constantly plan ahead to stay safe. (Not that every man is unsafe, but that she has to think of the possibility.) It used to be that a woman would say "You can't have me unless you marry me" and culture would back her up. (Yes, some of those women were raped, and some of those women chose to let him have sex with her. But a cultural consensus that sex is only for marriage is a powerful protection for a woman. In most cases it worked.) Now, a woman who is determined to save her sexuality for marriage is fighting a losing battle--the chance that she won't be at least groped is pretty slim. Not only that, but in a culture where marriage is not the norm, she is fighting a permanent battle. In a culture in which most women marry by 22 or 25 or even 30, a woman dates one man or two men or a few men, but moves on into the protection of marriage. But a culture in which male/female interaction is constantly dating, never the stability of marriage, is an insecure place for women--and a dangerous one. If "consent" is all that is needed to make sex acceptable, then a woman who steadfastly refuses to have sex with her dates is frigid, unkind, a refuser . . . in short, if sex is normalized within dating, and marriage an unlikely end result of dating, then within the dating relationship she has become the refuser that husbands on here complain about. Think about that for a moment, how much antagonism that puts between them. If she makes it to marriage a virgin, she may very well have done it by saying no through ten or twelve years of dating! She may have been raped or she may have had to use violence to back up her "no." She is unlikely to enter marriage thinking of men as safe people.

If it is culturally "accepted" for a woman to say yes to sex in a casual dating relationship . . . if she is not seen as a "loose woman" for doing so . . . then the logical next step is that it is culturally "expected" for her to say yes. She will be seen as ungenerous if she does not say yes, and she will be pressured, and most likely many men will not date her again (putting on a different kind of pressure). People talked a few years ago about empowering women and "letting" women be sexual beings, too, by opening them up to the possibility of free sex. But single men are always going to want sex more (on average) than single women want sex, for multiple reasons. One being that sex is more likely to be the reason that men want to date in the first place, one being that women have more to lose (including pregnancy outside of marriage), and another being that women need a deeper level of intimacy before being ready for sexual intimacy--he might be ready on the first date, but unless she has shed all her inhibitions over time, she won't be. Opening premarital sex up as the norm for women did not give women more freedom; it started requiring them to accept sex on men's terms (in dating) rather than on women's terms (in marriage). And it has put our culture into a whirlpool from which some of our countries may not recover. Women who compete with men on men's terms, whether in sports, in business, or in relationships, rarely win. So yes, marriage "in the old days" may have been imperfect, but it had an astronomically greater chance of giving a woman what she wanted and needed--and the Bible had it right all along. Maybe it's way more pro-woman than today's culture gives it credit for being, eh?