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The Marriage Trap
[ Nanook is talking with Father Vincent ]
The Double Standard
"OK. This is all very interesting. But we’ve strayed a long way from the original point. What does SEX have to do with all of this?”
Father V broke into a long quiet laugh.
“I see that part of the young man’s brain is still wired like a big horn ram. OK. Fair enough. The problem with sex is that NONE of the religious groups, small or large, have figured out how to manage it. Sure, the sixth commandment says, ‘Thou shalt not commit adultery’. But that does not solve the problem of getting human males to stop fighting over females. Just as important, however, the sixth commandment doesn’t get people to pay homage to church leaders, in any of the religious groups. So, every one of those religious groups has made up an endless list of restrictions that include just about everything related to sex. This goes way beyond the definition of adultery that I read to you to include everything from looking at photos of naked women, to even thinking about such photos, to a whole list of sex related words that people aren’t even allowed to say.”
"So? What’s wrong with that?”
“What’s wrong with that? I thought when God gave us commandments, we were supposed to obey EXACTLY what they said? If you don’t limit our leaders to that, then they will keep making things up until we are all slaves to every wild notion they have.
Furthermore, creating all these restrictions goes directly against what the third deadly sin warns us about. The third deadly sin tells us that humans, because of their animal drives, will have a huge problem controlling their sexual impulses. And what is well known from psychology, if a major human drive, like sex, is suppressed, it will eventually come out in some form anyway, but in an exaggerated and intense way. So what do the major religions attempt to do? They attempt to put sex in a straight jacket. And the result is exactly what the third deadly sin tells us it will be. People will rebel with excess.”
"But, as I said, we don’t have any choice. The sixth commandment is clear on this.”
“No it’s NOT! The sixth commandment is VERY clear on ADULTERY. But the churches of the world are not putting into effect what that commandment says. They are making up their own rules and claiming that’s what the commandment says. It’s a bunch of LIES. And the result is they are NOT achieving what they are attempting to achieve. The result is rampant LUST throughout society along with the huge occurrence of hidden behaviors that are categorically denied that we refer to as the DOUBLE STANDARD! Have you ever heard of that?”
"The DOUBLE STANDARD? No. I don’t think so.”
“Well, I guess you are a little young to have heard much about it. In short, in spite of all the preaching the Church has done about the sixth commandment, and in this instance I mean precisely what the commandment says, people still didn’t do what they were told. And I’m specifically talking about human MALES. Men have continually broken the sixth commandment all the time. Over the history of the Church, this also included a lot of the clergy including the Pope himself. Over the history of society, this included a lot of high placed community leaders and political figures. If the church and society were to have taken strong action to enforce this Commandment, a lot of important men would have been exposed and needed to be punished. So, what has society’s response been? DENIAL! There are a whole set of UNWRITTEN rules that allow men to break the sixth commandment and get off either Scott-free, or at least with almost no punishment. While you said you never heard of this, I bet you’ve read about it. Haven’t you studied the book by Hawthorn called the Scarlet Letter?”
"Sure. Everyone in high school has read that.”
“So, didn’t you see the Double Standard there?”
"Actually no. I don’t see where it applies. The Scarlet Letter was about a woman caught in adultery.”
“OK. And how does the woman manage to do this ‘adultery’ thing on her own?”
"OK. Fair enough. There was a guy involved. It was the minister.”
“Correct. And what was his punishment?”
"From the community, none. They never found out he did it. His torment was totally self inflicted.”
“But why didn’t the community find out who did it?”
"Because Hester Prynne wouldn’t tell?”
“Why didn’t the society force her to tell? Conversely, why didn’t the society provide her protection so she COULD tell?”
"I don’t know.”
“They didn’t do it because the male leadership of the church and the community created a whole set of cultural conventions to get men off without punishment and let the women bear the burden. This is the saga of the Double Standard. And it’s not a recent invention. The Double Standard has been a fact of discrimination against women from the beginning of time. The Bible even supports it and provides many examples. There is rule after rule describing how women who are caught in adultery are to be treated. But there are very few rules about how men are to be treated. And the result of this discrimination has been the development of the institution we call MARRIAGE.
**The Marriage Trap
[ Father Vincent presents a summary]
While marriage is usually presented as a blissful place for both husband and wife, there is a huge sinister side in it for women. In fact, for women, its a BIG TRAP. The trap is the role women are required to play. George calls it the Marriage Trap. It’s a trap because it has a hidden requirement: women have NO social status value of their own.
Maybe we’ll get back to this in more detail sometime. But for now, let me summarize it in relation to another model we’ve talked about as I see it evolving in the Brave New World that is emerging. Cultural brainwashing has created in most people, a "house of cards", made of FALSE beliefs. This house of cards may have held together in the previous world. In that world, women BELONGED to men. As long as women played by the rules, their marriage was "protected". Divorce was NOT and still is not allowed in the Catholic Church. Divorce was NOT granted in U.S. courts except for FAULT which mostly meant adultery. But women paid a big price for this. They couldn't vote. They had to obey their husbands about almost everything. They had little control in regard to a career because they either "had" to stay home and take care of the kids, or got moved at the whim of their husband's job. Sex was very tightly controlled for them while men played the "double standard". Birth control was forbidden. Their role was truly the role of a slave.
[George provides a more complete explanation]
"Let me offer that what you are seeing is part of a social construct. Creating the idea of a single male bonded to a single female for a lifetime has certain social advantages. So, in designing the structure of Jewish tradition, the leaders developed a whole system based on monogamous family units. Since Christianity was derived directly from Judaism, it’s not unusual that this structure was carried forward.”
"Father Vincent mentioned this. He said, if I understand it right, that marriage was developed to reduce violence in society. And using the principle about philosophical stabilities that Father Vincent also explained to me, that when the Jewish religion was founded, the leaders set up this family structure as part of an overall system.”
"And that, while it might work within the Jewish religious system, that doesn’t mean it would work in other systems.”
"That’s correct. But it’s funny hearing you describe it this way. I wouldn’t expect you to use some of the phrases you used, because of your Catholic background.”
"Being Catholic, I wouldn’t expect you to talk about the Jewish religion as being ‘founded’ and having had its structure designed by ‘leaders’?”
"Hmmm . . . I think I see your point. I mean, the basic establishment of Jewish religion is described in the Bible. So, you expected me to say that God set this all up.”
"Well, this has always bothered me as well. I mean, I never accepted how the Catholic Church and Catholic people so strongly rejected the Jews. If Jesus was meant to die the way he did, that is, if it was all part of God’s plan, then how could the Jews be held responsible? It would seem to me that they should be thanked for being a key part of the plan and be considered life brothers. I mean, if God gave them the 10 Commandments, and Christians consider the 10 Commandments the major guiding words, then we should be celebrating Passover and the receiving of the Commandments with them.
The point is, though, Catholics don’t think of Judaism as being the true religion. So I guess what you saw is me speaking the party line.”
"Exactly. Furthermore, it seems you didn’t make the connection that if the monogamous family structure was set up by the Jewish founders, and it was part of a particular stable philosophy, then to work for Christians, a huge chunk of the Jewish system might have to be taken forward into the Christian religion as well.”
"Yes, and especially so following on your comments about Christians rejecting their Jewish heritage.”
**The Marriage Trap defined
"So, keep going. What other elements of the Judeo-Christian systems were the basis of the monogamous family structure?”
"I call this system the MARRIAGE TRAP. While marriage is always presented as a blissful place for both husband and wife, there is a huge sinister side to it for women. For women, its a big trap - therefore the name. That trap has been refined like a college course. I call it women’s role 101: "how to grow up to be a woman in western culture."
"Father Vincent did summarized this for me.”
"Is that right? Good for him. He and I have talked about it quite a bit. So, did he discuss how the structure of marriage resulted in women having NO value of their own. And how male patriarchy, for the entire span of human culture, has been jealous of the reproductive power of woman.”
"No. We didn’t get into many details.”
“OK. So let me start from the beginning. Marriage is a social institution that was developed at the beginning of civilization. It plays a big role in the Old Testament. And while the, quote, ‘formal’ institutional view of marriage is a blissful relationship for both husband and wife, the realistic view is very different. And, there is a huge sinister side in it for women. In fact, for women, its actually a big trap. It’s a trap because it has a hidden message: women have NO inherent value of their own.
Early human social groups were only a few notches above herd animals. The social groups were dominated not only by power but also by greed. Women were treated like possessions and hording was common. This would have led to continuous conflicts among the men if some rules weren’t established to control it.
Male Patriarchy, for the entire span of human culture, has also been afraid of the reproductive power of woman. The scary part for men has been that women could manage reproduction almost totally without them. This is the story of the Amazons. They killed most of their male babies. All they needed was just a few males to mate with all the women. It was a society that was essentially opposite to the male dominated herd structure of animals.
Basic marriage rules
So, to control both male competition and the fear of female domination, marriage, with it's current ideals evolved during a period when males already dominated social relationships. It’s basic rules were: 1. every man was entitled to at least one woman, 2. every woman would WANT at least ONE MAN, and 3. the man would hold dominant power in the relationship. The ramifications have been profound and have existed up to the present day.”
"Hmmm . . . Neat. If every man was entitled to at least one woman, then that would stop a lot of the male fighting over women.”
Women’s social role
“Exactly! But the structure is very rigid for women. The structure is focused on control of women. It essentially ENSLAVES women. The trap is created by establishing a women’s social ROLE. From the day they are born, women are, dare I say, brainwashed, into being “proper” woman in western culture. In western culture, proper women draw their identity from their husbands. This model is especially strictly enforced among the elite of our society, so that the lower ranks want to emulate it. A woman is not referred to as Mrs. Josephine Smith. She is referred to as Mrs. John Smith, a direct implication that she is the property of her husband.
If the husband is a successful businessman or politician, then the status of his wife is elevated. Why? Does the marriage make her more intelligent? More capable? No. These are not required. The only requirement is that she is MARRIED. Her elevated status happens because there are conventions built into society which allow a woman who marries a wealthy man to share his wealth and status. The natural greed of human nature insures that women WANT THIS.”
"Wow! Neat. To make the system work, to give it at least one element of win-win, the woman is also given an incentive to join in.”
“Exactly! But there is an additional important factor. Social convention also says that the FAMILY of a well to do woman will share in her good fortune through the award of a DOWRY. This locks in the support of the mother and father to drive their daughter to a good marriage.”
"This is an amazing story. It sounds like a big conspiracy - like it would have taken a lot of organization to get going.”
“Actually, no. Just our old favorite culprits: the Seven Deadly Sins along with Maslow’s critical human drives. During the early period of history, and continuing into modern times, men were scarce due to the toll of war. Women who wanted a secure environment to raise their children learned to fight for them. This is still the primary human courting model - makeup, hair, figure, sexy clothes. As a species, humans differ in this regard from all other animals.
Ok. Another twist. The MENTAL security in a woman's life was directly proportional to the VALUE of her man. So, whether their man was actually special or not, women needed to "believe" that they had the "best" man, or at least one with some UNIQUE position. The uniqueness made him 'better' than other men in some way. It gave him power. This provided HER with SECURITY. SHE felt SAFE. SHE escaped FEAR. Why? Because, her man had chosen HER. Furthermore, she felt safe because she had the rule of law, both religious and secular, behind her to hold the marriage together. As long as she played by the rules, she was "protected". Divorce was NOT and still isn’t allowed in the Catholic church. Divorce was NOT granted in the courts except for FAULT which mostly meant adultery.”
"But this seems like a good deal for women. What’s the problem?”
“Yes. I see you have been well indoctrinated. The problem is that women have paid a big price for this protection. That was the hidden message that women had NO inherent value of their own. In the western world, according to western religion, women BELONGED to men. The Bible has all kinds of rules about this. They were purchased from the woman’s family with a dowry. They had to obey their husbands about almost everything. Even into modern times, these restrictions have only changed slightly. Women couldn't vote or hold public office. They had little control in regard to a career because they either ‘had’ to stay home and take care of the kids, or got moved at the whim of their husband's job. Sex was very tightly controlled for them while men could get away with the ‘double standard’. Birth control was forbidden by law.
The system that keeps women locked in this model now pervades our entire social structure. For example, in schools, girls have not been allowed to participate in team sports. They don’t develop the cooperative skills in this regard that boys do. They are focused on individual initiative, home making and beauty culture to attract a mate.”
"So where are you going with this?”
“Where I’m going is to show you that some things that religions tell you can only be one way, don’t have to be that way at all. The Bible spells all of these marriage things out. We are led to believe that this is the ONLY way to social happiness. Then how do we explain the Eskimos? The Eskimos don’t have any of these customs. And it doesn’t seem to cause them any problems. Start out with how they refer to sex. They call it LAUGHING WITH WOMEN. It has a very positive image for them. And notice the word “with”. Women are not USED in this regard. It is a pleasurable experience and both men and women enjoy it. During the long winters, multiple families are confined for long periods in the same small shelter. They essentially become one large family for this period. By complete openness with physical sharing, rivalry for mates is eliminated, at least using sex as a basis. Since children become valuable hunters and food preparers very quickly, all children are valued. The Eskimos do not have an equivalent of marriage. Men and women come together into small family groups to hunt together for survival. If a man cannot provide enough food, his mate must leave him and go with someone else to survive herself. There are no hidden agendas.”
"Wow. This is a pretty powerful story. So, how did we get started on it?”
“Beats me!” George broke up laughing.
Homosexual challenge to male power
“Actually, we were discussing the trauma in society related to the word ‘fairy’. So, now consider what happens when some men start dressing and acting like women?”
"Hmmm . . . I don’t know.”
"What happens is that many men see the role of all men in society as being devalued. Men want to maintain their control over women. They want to be seen as in control. So when a man starts dressing and acting like a woman, they think he is essentially saying, ‘being a man isn’t all that valuable’. This is such a big issue because what became very clear in society very early on is that men who did dress and act like woman were more desirable to a lot of women. They were more sensitive and emotionally open."
"So, you’re saying that men feel threatened. They feel threatened because the value they assumed they got by belonging to the, quote, ‘men’s club’ is attacked and their influence with women is attacked.”
"Exactly. That’s the way the leaders see this. It’s not necessarily the way individuals in society see it, however. Individuals don’t see the whole picture. All they see and hear are the trigger words. When they encounter a trigger word, the word is replaced by feelings of anger and fear.”