AN ANALYSIS OF AND ALTERNATIVE TO THE RADICAL FEMINIST POSITION ON THE INSTITUTION OF MARRIAGE

Abstract

“A husband is . . . an elective obligation.” This is the position many feminists—liberal, Marxist or socialist, and other classic feminists—take on the institution of marriage. Yet, to a radical feminist, a husband is not an option; rather women are coerced into the institution of marriage as a result of their gender inequality and male domination (i.e. women do not have a choice). The notion propounded by these radical feminists is that women cannot consent to marriage, as they may “perceive no alternatives.”This group of feminists advocate for the complete eradication of marriage because of the inherent danger and inequality perpetuated by the institution. Further, radical feminists argue that the institution of marriage was set up as a method to further subordinate women. No single anthropologist, sociologist, or other academic scholar has identified the origin of marriage, but there are many theories as to its beginning and history including religious purposes, as a method to civilize men, or in accord with the radical feminist view, a mechanism to oppress women. Radical feminists place great emphasis on the patriarchal history of marriage and on the historical dominance exercised by men over the women they possessed as wives. This “origin” identified by radical feminists is supposedly the root of the flaws in the institution of marriage. While that argument appears to be a reason against sustaining the institution, arguments presented by these feminists are inherently flawed. This paper will address these defects in the radical feminist position on the institution.
How to Cite
. AN ANALYSIS OF AND ALTERNATIVE TO THE RADICAL FEMINIST POSITION ON THE INSTITUTION OF MARRIAGE. Journal of Law and Family Studies, [S.l.], v. 11, n. 1, feb. 2009. Available at: <http://epubs.utah.edu/index.php/jlfs/article/view/88>. Date accessed: 25 nov. 2017.
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