Re: There They Go, Bad-Mouthing Divorce Again

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From: Karee Swift (
Date: Fri Sep 22 2000 - 17:55:25 PDT

--- In, Jeff Bone <jbone@j...> wrote:
> Bit of a tangent here, but...
> Today, marriage is a template contract which, in essence, specifies
a bunch of
> liabilities and responsibilities on the part (primarily) of the
man. In most
> ugly divorce cases, the man is the one whose lunch gets eaten.
(What the hell
> is alimony about anyway? I say, if you've got to divide assets in
cases of
> dispute, average *each* individual's wealth accumulation over the
time in
> question, find the ration of least / greatest wealth accumulation,
and let the
> person who contributed least financially have that fraction of the

*sighs* I hate this kind of logic. Case in point. My mother, in
all her infinite wisdom, and at the behest of my father stayed home
for the greater part of my brothers and my maturing lives, stayign
home and taking care of us. She made very little money, since she
was a full time mom. By your logic, if my parents had divorced,
she'd get little to nothing, and socially (more likely than not) have
the full responsibility to take care fo the kids. Excactly how is
this equitable? Answer? ITs not. Sometimes you need to look more
than just at things dealign with monitary revenues. My mother put in
more time than my father ever did working. Period. Hers was a
24/7/365 day job. People dont' pay you for it, but that doesn't mean
its any less valuable.

That was the first part of your argument that bugged me.

> any rate, whichever way direction the liability flows, do we
*really* need some
> standardized contract? Can't we all just negotiate our own
contracts? Why do
> we even need marriage as a legal institution at all, anymore? Why
in the world
> is the government in the relationship game? Why should
governments, or society
> at large, specify by default any financial, sexual, or other
obligations in a
> private relationship?

My boyfriend feels much the same way. this is how I jive marriage.
Basically, it keeps boys (or girls for that matter) from being
flighty bastards. I emphasize men mroe because in my experience, its
been them who finds a better item and flees. WHile this can happen
in marriage, its got a much stiffer penalty. I live with my
boyfriend now, but what stops him, short of my emotional well-being,
from finding some other pretty number or just getting tired of my
shit ;) ? Really , nothing. Marriage provides somewhat of an
incentive to stay with a person, either socially, legally or
financially. IT makes sense, and generally I support it. Not
everyone does and I can understand that.

> What about the following: let's say I'm in what is generally a
happy, lifelong
> relationship with two absolutely wonderful women. (Or rearrange
the gender
> configuration as you see fit.) We all live together. We've got
our own
> agreements, "contracts," etc. that are mutually acceptable among
us. "We" all
> have a child together; of course, only two of us are the
biological parents,
> but that's beside the point. Let's say our child grows up happy,
> intelligent, well cared-for, well-loved. Why can the government
confiscate the
> child just because the parents have chosen to live in a non-
> multiparty relationship? The only "endangerment" to the child is
some threat to
> the child's "moral stature," i.e. there's a risk that the child
might grow up a
> bit more tolerant or open-minded about what loving relationships
mean than is
> apparently accepted by the mainstream.

I've known quite a few relationships taht do exist in this way. And
they're great. And marriage shoudl n't just be a opposite sex,
single party pheonomenon. I think marriage should be opened up to
different lifestyles (perhaps within reason, say within species
guidelines or requiring two living people ;). Sometimes marriage
wouldn't work in those situations, but even if you're in a long term
situation to that extreme, it sort of deals with the flighty nature
that I warned about in my last paragraph.

  Can't we just all be
> a little bit more tolerant?

'Can't we all just get along? ' -- Sorry.. Couldn't help myself.

> without control of the situation. Case in point: paternity law,
and all the
> hooplah over absentee fathers, child support, etc. In the case of
an unexpected
> pregnancy, *all* the ability to decide how to proceed resides in
the mother,
> however the father is subject to long-term financial burden purely
on the basis
> of the mother's decision.

While you'r eright to a point, let me revise a bit in that statement.
1) First it takes two people . If the father doesn't want to be
liable, but a condom on. SOrry, I just don't deal well with this 'I
wasn't responsible, and now I'm screwed' argument.
2) I think the reason primarily its weighed more for the woman is 1)
the woman carries the kid 2) the woman deals with/raises the kid.
The father is pretty much exempt if he wishes to be ( I know many
fathers who do not wish this, and thats a different story), and the
state feels, good or bad, that since he did help to create a life,
he's also obligated to deal with it. Why is this so wrong? Gee,
responsibility is bad ....

 I'm not talking about a case where the couple decides
> to have the baby and the father leaves later; clearly, in that
case, the
> decision was shared, and so the responsibility should be shared as
well. But
> what about the case where the father-to-be does not want the child,
but it's
> purely the mother's decision? In my opinion, a pregnant woman who
decides to
> have a child without the consent of the father is deciding to
accept all
> responsibility for that child's life, financial and otherwise.

THIS I do agree with. To a point. QUite a few friends have had the
situation where they notified the father, 9 months or a year or what
not rolled around and THEN he stepped in and said 'I don't want you
to have the kid' (I dont' want to make payments). THe law doesn't
deal with all cases fairly (by any means) but I think it tries.


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