I am sitting alone here at my volunteering station. This is my last day helping out at the South Yorkshire Energy Centre. It has been a perfect volunteer placement – I have used my skills with young people in teaching to good use – making displays and activities for the summer – while also developing my environmental knowledge which is an important part of my life anyway.
It has been frustratingly quiet though, there are often more volunteers in during the day than there are people visiting. I am led to believe it will be better when the school summer holiday’s start next week (crazy that Swedish kids have had 4.5 weeks off already!) – but I guess I will just miss that storm.
One of the most interesting and equally important aspects of my time here in the UK was to attend a lovely wedding of my lovely lady’s cousin (the lucky girl getting a Collingwood Alumni in the process).
Thank you firstly to everybody involved in the organisation for the invitation, and also for the fabulous company we shared that evening. Furthermore, it was a very well done affair in a brilliant location with superb food and drink – I had never felt so indulged in my entire life!
This as well, ticks off things that we have on our list of things we need to do to get married:
1) Go to a wedding
2) Life together for at least 12 months (so we know we can cope with each other more than the one week at a time we usually do)
3) I actually want to marry her
4) And her to marry me
5) And one of us actually proposes…
But why marriage anyway? We do not share any religious connection to the idea, and at least for me, I object to the restrictions that has on one’s life. You are making a decision based on information you know purely now, without those about people or places of the future. Yes, we have divorce today, but I do not with to be tarred with that negative brush across my life ever.
Ways of ownership and agreement over people have been around for as long as recorded human history has – and is a common feature of many cultures and religions. It does work. I love this quote I stumbled across on Wikipedia which makes a lot of sense:
“In almost all societies, access to women is institutionalized in some way so as to moderate the intensity of this competition.”
It certainly is true, it would be seen morally wrong by many people to try and start a relationship with somebody already in one, never mind somebody who had already made a marriage commitment. This whole marriage system does make it far easier to cope with.
However, we are at a stage now in the world where we can rationally and objectively make these decisions in increasingly complex ways. Societal growth has seen tribal communities grow into multi-cultural metropolis’ – and clashes of culture take place – conventional rules to many are at odds with others. Choice is far superior. Women should be having equal right, chance and say in all 21st century relationships. The ‘competition’ we talk about, testosterone barring, is for women to impress men and men to impress women. For these reasons marriage should die as an institutional right.
Marriage is something linked with religion; many countries have, as law, recognition that religious parts of services must be separate which I do agree with. However even the languages of marriage ceremonies strikes of a far gone land. The meaning is different now to millions of couples than ‘honouring’ and ‘obeying’ – and yes we can change these words – but all of these words anyway are a faff compared to what a marriage should be about.
It is with this that I find it slightly so frustrating with the LGBT community and there campaigns for same-sex marriage. In my head, how it has been worked out (and I will accept critique on this with pleasure), marriage is a traditional relic ceremony, predominantly with a religious practice involved as well. Civil ceremonies should be our official recognition of a legal union between people. To campaign for same-sex marriage is, and I apologise in making offence in trying to belittle this, to want your progressive ways to actually go backwards merely to secure a nice sounding title for what it is. Let’s spin this round a revolutionary way to actually make our wrongs right. Why not say those wanting a religious approved service to have a marriage – and all others, men and women, together or not, to have a civil ceremony of sorts.
It solves all legal conundrums, keeps our religious groups happy, and actually takes a positive step towards equality for all.
However, that might just not be enough as well. There are people the world over who believe that countries should recognise whoever they wish as a next of kin – as somebody to share their legal rights with – and that they can do that with more than one person. I can’t imagine that as a case with me, but if it came about I would certainly try, and my laws should give me protection to do so. A progressive state would realise that marriage, and the purposes it has in 21st century (for taxation reasons, to be higher on adoption lists, to be easier to get joint bank accounts and many other factors that are also decaying through time anyway) can be done by any people with a strong connection to make their world better. How they do that, and, even if they are in a conventional state of ‘love’ is no matter for a country to consider.
Maybe then, with a world like this, we can talk about an actual equality. Not with going back to archaic times but to actually put something new on the table that is fit for the world we live in. I ask and plead with all equality campaigners, whether you be from an LGBT, feminist, BME or just a unique action group on this type of issue, to consider it and discuss it, and maybe think about the campaigns you do in light of my bumbling, dotty and not proof-read thoughts.