Once upon a time, I used to watch Sneak Previews on PBS before I went to the theatre. I mostly watched when I was a young child but continued on into my teens. Most of the time I found the reviewers to be somewhat intelligent as they brought up the good and bad in each film they saw and it was mostly informative. However, I noticed that one of the reviewers in later years–named Michael Medved–could come off as more than a little bit of a jerk. He wasn’t thrilled with Disney’s handling of The Little Mermaid, complaining bitterly how it seemed that Ariel, only being a teen, seemed to know what was best rather than her father. He took The Hunchback of Notre Dame to task over a supposed language error. As time wore on, I liked the guy less and less.
Granted, this was written by his wife but it is on his site for all to see. And it is telling. Very telling.
First off, the of marriage has been changed quite a bit: if you look closely at the Bible, you’ll realize that it wasn’t always “one man/one woman”. It could be one man with three wives and a thousand concubines and that was A-OK with the Lord Almighty. But that’s not the truly telling part about this essay or the most heartbreaking.
To Diane Medved, marriage shouldn’t be about love at all. The whole SCOTUS ruling turns marriage into a feeling and that is just BAD. Because, you see, being married means you’re part of a social institution, one that is meant for one thing and one thing only: raising children. Does that sound familiar to you? It should. But in her mind yes, married heterosexuals who can’t stand each other yet have children should have more rights than two gay people who actually care about each other. Because that’s what marriage is for, right?
I have news for you, Diane: Google “marriage” and you don’t see many definitions for it that mention child rearing. In fact, Wikipedia defines it as:
Marriage, also called matrimony or wedlock, is a socially or ritually recognized union or legal contract between spouses that establishes rights and obligations between them, between them and their children, and between them and their in-laws. The definition of marriage varies according to different cultures, but it is principally an institution in which interpersonal relationships, usually sexual, are acknowledged.
In that passage it does not say that marriage is strictly for child rearing. It is a legal contract or union. It grants the married couple specific rights. But it does not say “wifey-poo needs to be barefoot and knocked up in so many months or this is null and void”. But I digress.
However, what Diane completely forgets is that here in US, most couples today marry because of that tricky little thing called love. They have a relationship with another human being and thus want to make it legal in the eyes of the state, so they get married. Do bad things sometimes happen? Yes, yes they do. But horrible things have happened to those who didn’t marry out of love. In the 1950s, it was quite common for a woman to be married off to her rapist if she was impregnated by said rapist. These unions weren’t happy ones and most of them were filled with physical, mental and emotional abuse. There were children in those marriages but they certainly weren’t being raised in ideal conditions; these children were exposed to some true horrors and suffered because of it.
But to Diane, that doesn’t matter. You know, institution and all. Besides divorce is a trauma to children and all that. Better to run your marriage like a business, I guess. You know, just keep love out of it.
Maybe I’m wrong, maybe I’m just a stupid, hopeless romantic but to me that just sounds pointless and downright soulless. To me, #LoveWins in the end.