Thursday, March 5, 2015

Are You Sure You Want A Traditional Marriage?

It has become rather fashionable nowadays to complain about the females of the species and their unsuitability for marriage, and also about the fact that marriage itself has changed as an institution.

It's true that traditional marriage had certain specific "gender" obligations, but they didn't apply only to women, but to men as well. Namely, a man seeking to marry had to prove to the girl's father that he belonged to a good family, was healthy and capable of providing an income.

Here is an extract from a Dutch 1930s book on the rules of decorum concerning marriage proposal (translation mine):

If both young people agree, the young man has to ask permission by the girl's father...
Sir, says he, I came to ask your permission to get engaged to Marietje. I understand that you, of course, want to know everything about myself, my family and my circumstances.

The young man sums up: names on father's and mother's side of grandparents and parents, the profession of father and grandfather, and the possible famous personalities which belong to the family. Further, his age, health, religion, education...diploma's, work, income, future prospects and names of persons with good reputation who can vouchsafe for him. 

It wasn't just a formality, either, since you weren't allowed to marry without the parents' permission till the age of 30. The law was abolished only in the 1960s.

Feminism emancipated women from their traditional obligations, but it emancipated the men also, as the majority of them get married nowadays with the full expectation that their future wife will help provide, at least, until children come. As I have previously pointed out, you can't have your cake and eat it, too.


  1. Many don't even want to get married and put off having children until they are getting on in years. They don't want the commitment of marriage, so they live together and when that doesn't work, it's easier to leave and leave a mess behind.

  2. Housewife from FinlandMarch 5, 2015 at 5:09 AM

    Well, men think that what's the point of buying a cow when you can get milk in cartons. I think this sexual liberation thing was very big mistake. Feminists tried to make women more valued and it costed us all respect.

    But Sanne is right. Many men think that they want a wife who is feminine and such. But they fail to be real men and then they wonder whats wrong with women when they cannot find anyone?

  3. French call living together unmarried "concubinage" and it's exactly what it is:)

  4. It's not that the men aren't "manly", it's just that they are quick to denounce any woman interested in the financial side of the arrangement as a golddigger, while complaining that the traditional marriage is gone. Well, what do they think traditional marriage was all about? One of the carrots the progressives used to convince men to vote for them was the promise that lower class men would be able to marry upper class women.

  5. Housewife from FinlandMarch 6, 2015 at 3:20 AM

    I wonder if we have another interesting cultural difference here? Or maybe my acquaintances are so limited. In my experience men who mostly whine about women and their preferences are unmanly nerds. (I also know some very manly nerds.) And I know 2-3 couples where wife is very obvious golddigger and the husbands do not seem to care.

    Those whiny men always complain how women want to marry upwards in every way. But if that is a possibilty, why in earth we should marry downwards? If we can get a man who is everything a girl could want, why we should settle for less? Marriage should be a lifelong arrangement after all, so we have to play wise.

    But I agree that traditional marriages were mostly financial agreements. Especially on the countryside if you were from landowning family.

  6. Housewife from FinlandMarch 6, 2015 at 3:22 AM

    I think some men just cannot stand the fact that women usually can pick. Women make the final decision. Not men. Men can just hope to be chosen.

  7. Housewife, I don´t think there is really that much difference. It´s just that I wasn´t talking about any person in particular, I was more thinking along the lines of what I sometimes read on the internet. Since I don´t know these men personally, I can´t say with any certainty whether they are manly or not:)

  8. BTW, women also don´t have it that easy when choosing a suitable marriage partner, especially nowadays. There has always been a difference between those who `married well` and those who didn´t. And one should be realistic in one´s expectations, of course.