[LMB] OT: about the ratio of unmarried to married people

Paula Lieberman paal at gis.net
Mon Sep 17 03:56:01 BST 2007

----- Original Message ----- 
From: "sylvus tarn" <sylvus at rejiquar.com>

> Hash: SHA1
> Dawn Benton wrote:
>> I myself would expect the number to drop to a lower but consistant rate
>> because in the US at least, the number of women who never marry does seem 
>> to
>> be increasing.  That decrease to me seems to be due mainly to the simple
>> fact that more women can survive economically as single people.
>> Dawn
> This is more or less what the `marriage is on its way out' camp is
> saying:  that the legal contracts between individuals represented by
> traditional marriage should be decoupled from love and romance.  I
> imagine it will never go away completely, but as a system of filtering
> cattle with chattel it's clearly not necessary if both (or all) partners
> are self-supporting.

-originally- marriage involved property contracts, and property handling and 
inheritance was the -reason- for marriage.  A contract called a "get" still 
exists, that is the inventory of property and property handling for a 
marriage in Judaism.  It is a  marriage contract.

Meanwhile, the whole basis of "courtly love"  and romantic love in the 
Western Tradition, out of the court of Eleanor of Aquitaine a thousand years 
ago, was the marriage and Romantic Love were mostly incompatible--marriage 
in that society involved property rights and inheritance, and "love" 
involved all sorts of rules and extramarital obsessions... there are the 
lays of Marie de France, where "happily ever after" is generally NOT the 

> Marriage is certainly not necessary for the parents to leave their
> worldly goods to their offspring---in my own parents' case, their will

Much depends upon the particular society and its ideas regarding inheritance 
and "legitimacy."  Once upon a time a baby's -mother- was much more certain 
than the paternal actual parentage... but even back then, babies appeared on 
doorsteps and church steps, abandoned by unknown parent or parents (not 
everyone who's pregnant gets noticed being pregnant, and childnapping is not 
a historically new crime, including childnapping by relatives/guardians  who 
want the offspring out of the household and who will dispose of the baby by 
placing it for adoption, leaving it out somewhere to be found anonymously, 
or more brutal action.

> (or trust, to be accurate) is complicated by the fact that they were
> married, as my father wanted to ensure his portion would go to us while
> allowing my mother to spend hers as she wished, or even leave it to a
> second spouse (since they knew ahead of time which would die first.)

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