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I am doing a paper on the views of marriage from a feminist point of view. I'm not exactly sure what feminists think of marriage. And what a feminist wife thinks of marriage as being a part of one. What are the main problems or the main benefits from a feminist view? Thanks for your time, Amy

Thanks for your note. There is no one feminist perspective on marriage--for instance, there are many feminists who are married in a traditional way--the husband is the patriarch of the family, he's the primary bread winner, and the wife works two jobs--one outside the home and one inside the home. Other feminists have tried to feminize marriage--for instance Alix Kates Schulman wrote a Marriage Agreement--which made a commitment to an equal household. And some feminists never get married for no special reason and some because it is viewed as the inevitable compromise. I know one feminist who wouldn't marry because she feels ike it is not yet an institution open to everyone--i.e. gay couples--so until it is, she doesn't want to take part in something that is discriminating.

Thirty years ago, marriage often meant a loss or merging of identities for the woman/wife. Today, that is no longer so. However, the existing inequities often shine through when/if children are born. So in general the feminist response is that we need to look at each of our relationships and see what is necessary for them. When marriage is the answer, how can you make marriage and the responsibilites of marriage--building a home, family and yourselves--equal.


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