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Essay on Marriage in Western Cultures

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Marriage, and specifically in western cultures is a topic that has greatly changed over the course of time. From the 16th century all the way to nowadays, numerous aspects of marriage, and the reasoning behind it have evolved. Historically, marriage was less about emotions compatibility and more about other socioeconomic benefits. These unions of two people were based upon functions like controlling wealth, sexual relations and building networks. The division of labour is also something that has greatly changed over the course of the last centuries. At the start of the 17th century, individual people from each gender were looked at as less of a person than if they were united by marriage. Apart from being part of the church, unmarried individuals were to live at the farthest margin of society. By the 18th century, being a bachelor was considered to be the lowest form of manliness, and soon after, any man who wasn’t married would have a hard time securing credit for himself. On the other side of things, unmarried females were the ones that coined the term “spinsters.” This word originally was an honorable title referring to textile production but soon after, it became an offensive slur. Women soon felt as if being married to anyone was better than being called that word. Marriage has not only changed since the medieval times but it has also greatly changed within the past 3 decades. More focus has been put on emotional compatibility and less on the financial aspect of marriage. There are also deeper connections between child and parents whereas in the past, parents acted more like “dictators,” and less as friends. The increase in emotions in marriage has led to sex being used more for recreation as opposed to solely for conceiving ...


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...’s up to the individuals to work them out instead of just throwing away the marriage and causing extra stress on themselves. I think media has also ruined marriage for the current and future generations. There’s so much pressure put on having a perfect wedding and instead of falling in love with your significant other, we often fall in love with the idea of falling in love. It’s not unreasonable to want these certain aspects from life and love but it’s only negative if we base our lives around them. Individuals seem to always want more though, and I wonder if there will be a point where people are genuinely happy. Kipnis seems to believe in the idea of individualism and that we’re not meant to be monogamous but if this is true, I think that at some point, the human race would cease to exist, so there has got to be some sort of reasoning behind the idea of marriage.



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