June 22nd 2008

The Lilith eZine Sunday Edition

Letter from the Editor and Assistant Editor

The Summer Solstice came and went, but did any of you bother to celebrate it? Or even notice it? Not that it matters. I have a more interesting topic to talk about:

Marriage, Divorce and Sex

Call them the Bermuda Triangle of relationships if you want to. So many marriages die due to lack of sex and/or communication. Many of them are doomed from the start because the people getting married don't really understand what they are getting into. To explain properly I will need to split this topic into two sections:

Sex Before Marriage (1): If you're in this camp you believe that your physical and sexual wants have to be met before marrying a person. You know that sex is an important part of a healthy relationship and you want to be sexually compatible with your potential spouse. Marriage for you isn't about having sex, its about the loving relationship you have and the desire to start making babies. This camp has the potential for pregnancy, STDs and the sex may get dull after awhile (which could lead to adultery and divorce).

Sex After Marriage (2): If you're in this camp you believe that love must come first and that your sexual desires will have to wait until you have the ring on your finger. When you do start having sex you will probably be disappointed with your partner's ability, your own lack of experience and/or regret not trying this sooner (possibly with someone else). This camp has the potential for divorce and adultery, but at least when the female in the relationship does get pregnant it will probably be intentional.

Pregnancy and Babies: Nothing throws a wrench into a relationship like a baby, especially if it wasn't planned. The responsibilities, a lifetime commitment and eventually the prospect of kicking them out of the house/putting them through college can be a lot of stress on any parent. Marriage, as an institution, was designed specifically to protect women from being burdened with all of these responsibilities by themselves (and possibly burdening their parents). Most religions are in the sex after marriage precisely for this reason, so that women in society won't be burdened and impoverished by men with loose morals.

For feminists this is a tricky matter because many feminists won't even agree on which camp is best. Camp 1 means the woman is sexually liberated and free to do whatever she pleases but she has to be very cautious about who she is sleeping with and confident enough in her use of protection and her ability to raise the child alone in the event the male has a fear of commitment. Camp 2 means the woman will be sexually inexperienced and repressed, but at least she won't be left holding the baby if the man decides he's not up for this kind of responsibility and financial commitment. (This is why deadbeat dads rank so high on many a woman's list of complete scumbags.)

For men the risks are significantly less and that is one of the reasons men aren't cautious about sex the way women are. Men have a tendency to forget that the sexual act is really about making babies and that there is a financial responsibility attached to it. That financial responsible is virtually guaranteed by laws these days with very rare exceptions. Centuries ago some cultures had much harsher penalties for getting a woman pregnant than merely docking your weekly pay. Marriage at sword point for example was likely more common than we think.

Divorce as a concept has been around a lot longer than most people think and the earliest recordings of divorces date back to ancient Mesopotamia. The Romans for example believe that "matrimonia debent esse libera" ("marriages ought to be free") and that either spouse could get a divorce at will simply by renouncing it. Emperor Constantine however began placing restrictions on divorces during the 6th century and the Holy Roman Catholic church followed suit, making significant efforts to get rid of divorce entirely in order to make men more happy (mistresses were relatively common during such circumstances). Eventually the church made marriage a sacrament and that only annulments (essentially a tax on divorces) could free people from their marital bonds.

Not all men were happy however. King Henry the Eighth, to six wives he was wedded: One died, one survived, two divorced, two beheaded. Britain's modern very high marriage and divorce rate can be traced back to his desire for a divorce and the creation of the Church of England and the separation of that church from the Holy Roman Catholic church.

For our modern society divorce is basically now the sacrament, because without it women would be virtual slaves in their own homes. Feminists unfortunately get the blame for this however despite the laws being in the books for centuries (largely thanks to King Henry the VIII), with many disgruntled ex-husbands blaming feminism and their uppity ex-wives for their financial commitment for raising the kids involved (although they might not complain so much if they had custody more often and had to deal with the stresses of actually raising those kids).

Shared or dual-custody is pretty much the norm these days, unless one of the parents is an alcoholic, abusive, a drug abuser, has a mental disorder or any number of other reasons that would give child services a reason to remove the child from their care.

After reading all of this do you still want to have unprotected sex to a person's you're not married to? If so, try watching this video:

Suzanne MacNevin & Charles Moffat
Editor and Assistant-Editor of the Lilith eZine

PS. Exam season is over and Suzy is now on vacation, which means you can be expecting the Sunday Edition to be back on its weekly schedule every Sunday.

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