Emma Essays Marriage

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He will have to dig down deeper into the very life of the sexes to know why marriage proves so disastrous.

Edward Carpenter says that behind every marriage stands the life-long environment of the two sexes; an environment so different from each other that man and woman must remain strangers.

At any rate, woman has no soul---what is there to know about her?

Besides, the less soul a woman has the greater her asset as a wife, the more readily will she absorb herself in her husband.

No need for the woman to know anything of the man, save his income.

As to the knowledge of the woman---what is there to know except that she has a pleasing appearance?In taking out an insurance policy one pays for it in dollars and cents, always at liberty to discontinue payments.If, how ever, woman’s premium is a husband, she pays for it with her name, her privacy, her self-respect, her very life, “until death doth part.” Moreover, the marriage insurance condemns her to life-long dependency, to parasitism, to complete uselessness, individual as well as social.There are to-day large numbers of men and women to whom marriage is naught but a farce, but who submit to it for the sake of public opinion.At any rate, while it is true that some marriages are based on love, and while it is equally true that in some cases love continues in married life, I maintain that it does so regardless of marriage, and not because of it.Like most popular notions this also rests not on actual facts, but on superstition.Marriage and love have nothing in common; they are as far apart as the poles; are, in fact, antagonistic to each other.Robert Herrick, in and scores of other writers are discussing the barrenness, the monotony, the sordidness, the inadequacy of marriage as a factor for harmony and understanding.The thoughtful social student will not content himself with the popular superficial excuse for this phenomenon.It is this slavish acquiescence to man’s superiority that has kept the marriage institution seemingly intact for so long a period.Now that woman is coming into her own, now that she is actually growing aware of herself as a being outside of the master’s grace, the sacred institution of marriage is gradually being undermined, and no amount of sentimental lamentation can stay it.

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