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A Marriage Manifesto: the Future of Marriage

A Marriage Manifesto: the Future of Marriage - Cason 1...

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Cason 1 Andrew Cason English 123 Professor Gordon November 28, 2007 A Marriage Manifesto: the Future of Marriage The idea of marriage has exorbitantly transformed within the span of the 21 st century but astonishingly our society’s existing social, economic and legal parameters regarding marriage has changed very little. Our present system is not attuned to today’s status quo families. In “Political Economy and Family Policy,” written by Julie Matthaei, she presents a comprehensive view of the adverse effects of these out-of-date policies and social norms on the new modern family and also a revolutionary solution to the crisis. In order to explore the topic of marriage and it’s future in our modern society, one must use Matthaei’s framework to explain the current condition of marriage. For the sake of my argument, I intend to use Matthaei’s framework as the bases for my argument and put it in the context of marriage. My argument will prove that current economic patterns, public policy and social assumptions concerning marriage and the family are reminisces of obsolete unjust family models that must be replaced by a new progressive family paradigm. This paper will define Matthaei’s “natural family system;” present evidence of the obsoleteness and the crisis caused by the “natural family system;” advocate a solution to the crisis and disprove arguments against my inherency of the crisis and my solution. Matthaei identifies the traditional family system, which she terms the “natural family system” because in the past this standard was viewed as the only natural and good
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Cason 2 form of family. “Natural” marriage being between two “different and complementary beings,” a man who is the main source of income and authority and a woman who traditionally takes on the responsibility of the house hold and the children, both of whom are assumed to be “instinctively heterosexual” (Matthaei 743). After the industrial revolution, during the World Wars, the feminists’ movements and the sexual revolution, we see this “natural family system” begin to disintegrate, probably due to the fact that it really isn’t “natural” at all. Today, family structures are diverse but we still apply this old model on everyone which harms many families and leaves many behind. Women are being harmed by our “natural family system” despite successes of the women’s movements of the 20 th century. Many women have taken over man’s role in the family and are more independent from men. Today many married women have entered the work force and have taken job’s usually done by men and have put their careers ahead of marriage or having children and starting families. “The natural marriage union between a bread-winning husband and a homemaking wife has become the exception rather than the rule” (Matthaei 744).
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