Thursday, September 08, 2005

Impairment Begins With the First Marriage

(I originally published this on, but it has been receiving so many hits I realized I should have it here too. Bitter? A little. Funny? A little.)

Impairment begins with the first marriage. Friends don’t let friends marry friends.

Well David Popenoe’s new study, “The State of our Unions,” demonstrates what most young men already figured out after they saw what their dads went through: If you never marry you never pay the penalty of divorce. As stated in the report:

“The most noteworthy changes this year are the continuing decline of the marriage rate accompanied by an increase in the number of cohabiting couples; a small increase in the percentage of children living in fragile families and born out of wedlock; and a sharp increase among teenage boys in their acceptance of unwed childbearing….”

That’s right boys, if you never marry, you can keep your car and your house and even your retirement. The cost of child support is tolerable, but the violence of joint property distribution, now that’s a 90 mile an hour car wreck. But what is truly best, is if you never marry you are more likely to keep the woman you love. There is no monetary or legal incentive for her to leave you.

What Popenoe is telling us, whether he means to or not is that guys have finally figured out that the divorce industry is a booming predatory industry that eats, for the most part, straight men. If divorce is the retroactive transformation of marriage into prostitution, marriage is the contract that transforms love into slavery. John Stewart Mill in On the Subjection of Women called marriage the last form of legalized slavery in the West. Little did he know how right Hegel was too: In any master/slave relationship inevitably the slave becomes the master and the master the slave.

Yes, marriage in this litigious age is dangerous, too damn dangerous for straight men. And today’s young men finally figured out they only had to resist marriage to escape the twin perils of victim feminism and liberal legalism. But the lesson was never that far away, no further than Aristophanes’ Lysistrata. Yes, women want sex and love too, just like men, and they too will stop all their wars if that is the only way they can have love and sex.

So, don’t give in boys. Don’t do it. Stay away from the diamond-ring counter. I know she is beautiful. She always is. But, now, finally we can have love and partnership and avoid the malice of marriage. Boys, just say no… to matrimony, and whatever you do don’t get nostalgic. If you do, just ask some old guy like me who lost it all because he signed the document that enslaved him to a life of spousal support, and cold cereal for dinner every night so he can afford McDonalds on the four nights a month he’s allowed to have his kid over for dinner. As F4J puts it, "We're not lovin it."


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