Jan 23, 2012

The Pressure To Marry: Is It Fading?

Marriage is a strong tradition in almost every culture around the world. It is the union and public recognition of commitment of two people to spend the rest of their lives together. But is it still relevant in this day and age – or is the pressure to tie the knot starting to fade?

While many young women still yearn for the diamond ring, the big white dress and the princess setting, more and more, people are bypassing the massive weddings of years gone by, an opting either to marry quietly in a remote location with only family in attendance – or to skip it all together. So what’s changed?

Traditional marriage

Different countries have different traditions when it comes to marriage, with many pitted in arranged unions, and few based on marriage for love. In times gone by, the ‘giving away’ part of the ceremony was almost literal, with responsibility for a woman – who could not work or earn for herself – being passed from father to new husband, and a dowry also exchanged. Marriage also played a major role in how society worked, unifying a man and a woman – the woman’s role to look after the man and the home, the man’s role to provide financially for his family. In the past this made perfect sense, as it provided balance and a successful outcome in all areas.

What’s changing it?

The need for the traditional marriage is changing largely at the hands of changes in society, such as a relaxing of moral expectations, the changing status of women and new legal regulations that provide for unmarried couples. While those who want to don the
maternity wear and have a few babies, may be more likely to tie the knot, it’s now not the case for everyone.

With religion in the western world in particular, not as strong or regimented as it once was, the moral objections to unifying without a formal marriage are fast disappearing. While some countries do maintain these strong religious objections, other societies have evolved in their beliefs, or simply forgotten the beliefs altogether.

In addition to this, the status of women has continued to change over the last century, with women’s liberation gradually improving women’s standing so they are almost considered and paid equally in many western societies. The fact they can work and earn well for themselves means they are no longer a responsibility of a man.

In line with these changes, the law has been required to keep up. With many people, particularly in countries like Australia, now living together without being married – under the philosophy, ‘try before you buy’ – governments and courts have had to consider these unions from a legal standpoint. Laws relating to de facto relationships protect partners living together almost to the same degree as marriage, giving them the same rights, even in the event of a break up.

Countries that demand it

While some countries have become more liberal, others are still pitted deeply in religious values, these impacting their law and regulation. Middle Eastern and North African countries in particular still strongly believe in marriage, and disagree with cohabitating without a marriage certificate. In fact, in some countries, living together is severely punishable! Other more traditional countries, like India, also still largely adhere to marriage traditions.

3 komentar:

kim January 23, 2012  

for a 'pro-marriage' person like myself, i find it really sad..

sm January 24, 2012  

thoughtful post
yes slowly India is changing

kalaiselvisblog January 25, 2012  

nice post sis...

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