I thought i’d humor myself this semester by enrolling in a “Marriage as an Internal Process” course. The entire focus of the class is to stress the importance and benefits of the institution of marriage, and to help all of us suckers figure out what we can and cannot demand from a spouse. It’s been fun, for lack of a better word.
My class has quite the diversity of students. One girl is a single mom, we have three newly-wedded hubbies in the house, a handful of us single people hoping to learn how to change that via this course, and a handful of married women. On the first day of class, we were assigned to break up into small groups and discuss why we thought divorce happens, and why people choose not to get married. Some of the responses that were given literally caused my head to explode across the four walls of the classroom.
My favorite response? A perhaps twenty-five-year-old wife raised her wedding-banded hand and said in a negative tone, “I think that the cause of divorce can in large part be due to women’s rights.” *Clank!* That was my jaw hitting the floor. Psycho say what?
Let’s dissect this bone-headed comment for a moment. This woman blames the accumulation of human rights for a specific gender as being the culprit for tearing a marriage apart. May I remind everyone that there has to be a cause for a woman to want a divorce, and that there was a time when if a woman was being abused by her husband, she just had to shut up and deal with it and make sure she had dinner ready on time tomorrow to avoid another abuse?
I refuse to see women’s rights as the cause for ANY negative outcomes. Women should have had the right from the beginning of whenever marriage became a thing to back out of it for any time and for any reason, ESPECIALLY if that reason is due to abuse or unfair treatment by her spouse. End of story.
Today in class, we watched a documentary on mail-order brides. Don’t even get me started. Well okay, i’ve already started. Mail-order brides are a perfect example of objectification. And it makes me sick. The featured “couple” was a British dentist who had mail-ordered a bride from Thailand (I’d estimate she was approximately a third of his age). He seemed like the happiest camper alive-his arm flab draped over her shoulder as he told the story of how they came about as a couple. She said nothing, she couldn’t speak English. He was the most gluttonous, repugnant man I’d ever seen, and she was a dainty, lovely, submissive Asian woman.
He talked about their relationship, and she sat in total oblivion. She spoke no English, but he told us not to worry, he didn’t mind so long as she had food on the table for him when he came home. He told us how he allowed her to visit her friend who lived down the street so long as she called and asked for permission. I’m not sure how she did so, due to their language barrier. She bore him three children, and she looked like the saddest, most disappointed woman I’d ever seen. But we’ll never know how she felt, she wasn’t given the opportunity to express herself.
This crap i’ve described for you goes on TODAY. It’s trafficking. It’s wrong, and it’s dehumanizing. Any old rich guy can hop online and pick himself out the prettiest, naive, foreign woman, and take her to wife. Granted, these women go into it willingly, falsely believing that these rich, old Western men will respect and love them. I cussin’ hate the patriarchy.
I’ve been angry about this all day. Mostly because there isn’t a damn thing I can do to change it.
On a lighter note, I learned that the reason i’m attracted to Brad Pitt is his exceptional facial symmetry. So do with that information what you will.