RE: There They Go, Bad-Mouthing Divorce Again

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From: Bfar, Reza (
Date: Tue Sep 12 2000 - 12:10:10 PDT

I am new to the list....and am a tech dude....

But, loved this thread... Am contemplating marriage... And this is certainly
scaring the living crap out of me :-)


-----Original Message-----
From: Jeff Bone
To: Lisa Dusseault
Sent: 9/12/00 11:13 AM
Subject: Re: There They Go, Bad-Mouthing Divorce Again

Lisa Dusseault wrote:

> Much as I'd like to agree with the pro-marriage sentiments, I'm
> about the "I know n couples who are truly happily married" statement.

Bit of a tangent here, but...

You know, I totally believe in the notion of lifelong relationships, but
come to the conclusion that "marriage" as such is an antiquated,
inflexible, incorrect, and painful concept. It's a throwback to an ugly
(well, all of history, really) when women were virtually enslaved by
men; it
was a marker of sorts by which a man indicated "this woman is my
Clearly, that's not what it's all about today, though.

Today, marriage is a template contract which, in essence, specifies a
bunch of
liabilities and responsibilities on the part (primarily) of the man. In
ugly divorce cases, the man is the one whose lunch gets eaten. (What
the hell
is alimony about anyway? I say, if you've got to divide assets in cases
dispute, average *each* individual's wealth accumulation over the time
question, find the ration of least / greatest wealth accumulation, and
let the
person who contributed least financially have that fraction of the
assets.) At
any rate, whichever way direction the liability flows, do we *really*
need some
standardized contract? Can't we all just negotiate our own contracts?
Why do
we even need marriage as a legal institution at all, anymore? Why in
the world
is the government in the relationship game? Why should governments, or
at large, specify by default any financial, sexual, or other obligations
in a
private relationship?

What about the following: let's say I'm in what is generally a happy,
relationship with two absolutely wonderful women. (Or rearrange the
configuration as you see fit.) We all live together. We've got our own
agreements, "contracts," etc. that are mutually acceptable among us.
"We" all
have a child together; of course, only two of us are the biological
but that's beside the point. Let's say our child grows up happy,
intelligent, well cared-for, well-loved. Why can the government
confiscate the
child just because the parents have chosen to live in a non-mainstream
multiparty relationship? The only "endangerment" to the child is some
threat to
the child's "moral stature," i.e. there's a risk that the child might
grow up a
bit more tolerant or open-minded about what loving relationships mean
than is
apparently accepted by the mainstream.

And why the hell do we treat individuals involved in marriages *in any
differently* from others for tax purposes, either on a positive or
basis? Why are couples who are legally recognized as marriages exempt
having to testify against each other in court proceedings? Why is it
to "default" into a state of legal (i.e., common law) marriage just
living arrangements?

Why all this special-casing? Can't the government figure out that "all
men are
created equal" --- given the assumption that "men == human beings" and
not "men
== males" --- *requires* that we *absolutely* refuse to recognize people
anything other than generic individuals before the law? Can't we as a
realize that our own prejudices, morals, etc. are *ours* and don't have
to be
inflicted on everyone else in order to make society work? Can't we just
all be
a little bit more tolerant?

While we're on the topic: is it just me, or does anyone else perceive
legal imbalance in the way society treats relationships between men and
even outside of the context of marriage? All of our laws in that regard
seem to
inevitably treat women as the lesser party, the potential victim, the
without control of the situation. Case in point: paternity law, and
all the
hooplah over absentee fathers, child support, etc. In the case of an
pregnancy, *all* the ability to decide how to proceed resides in the
however the father is subject to long-term financial burden purely on
the basis
of the mother's decision. I'm not talking about a case where the couple
to have the baby and the father leaves later; clearly, in that case,
decision was shared, and so the responsibility should be shared as well.
what about the case where the father-to-be does not want the child, but
purely the mother's decision? In my opinion, a pregnant woman who
decides to
have a child without the consent of the father is deciding to accept all
responsibility for that child's life, financial and otherwise.

People are people. The law shouldn't recognize, speak to, or
in any way any differences. Contracts must be explicit, binding, and
acceptable. There are no default contracts.

Just some blather,


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