Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Feminism and marriage

Marriage is one of those feminist issues that I struggle with.  I find my views around it to be very mixed and confusing and I'm not sure how to navigate my thoughts around it.

On one hand, I think it's absolutely ridiculous that marriage is considered a religious institution based on morals and faiths yet is all but required to get federal benefits.  I absolutely hate the fact that I can partake in it while same sex couples cannot. I feel that it is very privileged of me to want to get married when others cannot, and at one point I considered boycotting the entire institution until everyone could be a part of it.

But on the other hand, I love my partner and I want to be bonded with him forever legally. I want to have tax benefits with him, I want to be considered his 'spouse'. I find myself selfishly wishing that we weren't "boyfriend and girlfriend" because it feels so juvenile, but that I could refer to him as my husband or my fiance. It's all very silly, and I know it.  But is there something inherently wrong with wanting to be married? I think not. I certainly don't see it as passing ownership of myself from my dad to my new husband, and I don't see it as being an oppressive relationship between my partner and I.  

I know many wonderful feminists who are happily married in both gay and straight marriages. Does that mean that they're validating this unfair institution?  I don't think so. I know that it's a very privileged thing that my partner and I can get married, but I also know that it's privileged that I have a maid service. I know that is privileged that I make almost 6 figures per year in one of the most fun industries around.

So yeah, my thoughts aren't clear on marriage enough to write a post that is actually informative.  I guess I'm just interested in hearing some thoughts an opinions about how you reconcile marriage with your feminism.  Thoughts?

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