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Marriage and Love, a Prospective from a Hundred Years Ago

One of the articles that raised my interest was called “Marriage and Love” by Emma Goldman. The author expressed a strong opinion against marriage and how it is has nothing to do with “Love”. I agreed with some of her writing in regard to love and marriage. There have been so many marriages that were not based on love; even some so called successful marriages were not based on love. Also marriage could be the product of love; love may not guarantee marriage success for the long term. The author went and primarily criticized marriage as an economic arrangement or an insurance pact that women pays for it with her name, her privacy, her self-respect, and her very life. The author described women conditions and knowledge about sex before marriage and how it is considered taboo for women to know anything about it until marriage. I was a little confused as the descriptions the author presented about women marriage life and sex were not in tune with my current assumption about today’s society, until I noticed that the article was written in the year 1910. The author description clearly emphasized how women’s life was in the nineteen and early twentieth century. The author’s criticism of marriage and how it condemned women to a dependable life, and how it makes a parasite of women, was clear and harsh. It is clear that women at that time had absolutely no rights and were raised to be a dependable entity living in the shadow of men.

I could not stop thinking to wonder how things have changed from that time the article was written and now. Things have definitely improved for women over the past hundred years. But again it took a long hundred years of women fighting and struggles to achieve more rights and freedom. Woman nowadays learn about sex and their sexuality in a free and safe environment. Women now have the right to explore their body and sexuality without the fear of society, the state or the church. Women do no longer have to be a dependable entity for a man in their marriage. Woman still have more work to do to get more equality but looking back in time, to the time of this article, we see that we accomplished a lot.

Meanwhile I have to disagree with the author when she criticized marriage and blamed most women suffering described in the article on marriage alone. To prove my point, we currently have many of our rights as women and marriage is still around. People are getting married and women are not necessarily doomed to a dependable life and do not have to live in the shadow of their husband. Women are working along with their husband or partner, make decisions in the home as much as men and considered one of the main providers for their families. I do not believe that the issue was marriage but it was society that punished women through marriage. Marriage was a tool that was abused by many then and still abused by some now.


  1. Stephanie Jones says:

    Reading the first part of your post, I was confused too. I couldn’t help but think that would be a terribly extreme view to take, blaming marriage for all of women’s problems. But hearing that the article was written in 1910 makes sense. Women really have come a long way over the last 100 years, and it makes me thankful for the women who came before me, fighting for the rights we deserve.

    In 1910, marriage was probably a sentence to a life of dependence, but now, I agree with you. I would like to think that in today’s society, the primary reason for getting married is love rather than things like economic security. However, I’m sure there are still some cases were this is not the case.

  2. balbojaw says:

    The topics of love and marriage are ones many women find interesting. I agree with you that marriage and love are two separate matters. The author of the article has the same opinion as you, in believing that not all marriages come from love- even if they are successful; and also that not all love leads to marriage. Some cultures think only about marriage first and say that love comes after marriage.

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