I am incredibly disgusted by the IMF’s latest press release
on “Canada’s Declining Marriage Rate.”
I think it is ridiculous that they would link common-low relationships to poverty.
First of all, there are several facts here that they are meshing together, without sorting them out and presenting them in logical fashion.
1. Marriages are on the decline according to Canadian statistics from 2001-2003. Yet divorce rates are still around the 43% on average (http://www.statcan.gc.ca/pub/85-002-x/2012001/article/11634-eng.htm).
2. In areas like Quebec the common-law rate is as high as 49%. ( http://www.realwomenca.com/archives/newsletter/2005_july_aug/article_10.html)
From this study (of common law breakups, which are as high as as 63% in Quebec) they conclude that a common law relationship is more likely to break up within a ten year span than a marriage.
Doesn’t it make sense that since there are fewer marriages and MORE common law relationships that there would be higher incidences of common law relationships breakups (since there are fewer marriages, therefore obviously fewer married people can divorce).
For the IMF to link common law relationships to family poverty is really sickening. I know many common law relationships that are doing much better financially and are in better relationship health than marriages.
Instead of fear mongering people, I would love them for them to actually provide evidence of how a piece of paper leads to a lasting relationship.
Relationships take time, commitment, communication,dedication and mutual respect.
In fact I know many people, thanks in part to being educated in the era of the feminist movement, who choose NOT to marry. So their blatant commentary about uneducated people choosing this path is really disgusting.
Secondly, very educated reasons people do not choose marriage for several reasons. One reason is that that more and more people are choosing to live freely without the interference of the state.
A second reason is that people who choose common-law want love, mutual respect and commitment rather than religious doctrine or what a government body tells them they ought to be doing.
A third reason is that more and more educated people know the history of marriage, and frankly it is not very good. Historically marriage has been used to discriminate and control minorities, women, and children.
This beautiful book review puts the history of marriage into a very clear perspective – what was the purpose of marriage, really, and what motives did the political powers that be have to make so many people believe in its superiority?
It is true that it is easier to leave a common law relationship. However, I ask you if that is a wrong thing. Why would someone want to pay upwards of $30,000 dollars or more to the state and lawyers to end their relationship? Why would they want to involve third parties instead of relying on their maturity to end in an amicable way (something I have also seen is more common with common law relationships than marriages which lead to an all out blood bath over rights of their children and property).
Many people choosing a common law relationship choose to do so because they trust that they will always remain mature and amicable with one another because they are building their relationship from an even ground, and because their relationship takes that much more work, effort and mutual communication to keep together, since it is all the easier to leave.
The IMF’s cultural bias and discrimination leaves one with a bad taste in the mouth. Is this really what Canadians are coming to?
Instead of being tolerant and a freer people, we are using fear mongering tactics to try SCARE people into signing a piece of paper and hence becoming more under the watchful eye of papa patriarch Canada?
Instead of modelling democracy and tolerance of countries like Sweden and Findland (where common-law relationships are up to 50%), we are trying to frighten people into dutiful obedience?
No wonder more and more people are choosing to rebel against papa patriarch Canada.
I would suggest that the IMF educate themselves and be more tolerant of the various types of relationships human beings have evolved in. Hopefully it will dampen their bigotry somewhat. A few books they can start with are:
1. Intimacies: Love and Sex Across Cultures by William R. Jankowiak.
An excellent ethnographic and historical analysis showing that the very concept of marriage is new to human culture.
2. What’s Love Got to Do With It ? by Merideth Small
An excellent analysis showing how marriage has historically been used to control and oppress women and children.
3. History of Marriage by Elizabeth Abbott
An excellent historical analysis of marriage showing the political and religious ideology behind marriage and it’s oppression of women and children.
Two great books on the nature of love and how humans love – and how it has nothing to do with the religious and political ideologies of marriage.
1. Anatomy of Love by Helen Fisher
2. Why we Love by Helen Fisher
It wasn’t too long ago that “scientists” were measuring people’s heads in order to try to prove that one race or one sex was superior to the other.
Isn’t that just bad science? This brief wikapedia article gives just a fraction of how we have used science in the past to justify our discriminatory ways: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Scientific_racism
As do these thought provoking articles:
It wasn’t too long ago that it was ok to express in public homeophobic thoughts (homophobic jokes were prevalent throughout all aspects of society and culture in the 80′s – that’s only 30 years ago!).
And has it really stopped?
Another article to ponder is IMF’s supposed research against single mothers and gay parents.
Will organizations like this have any real force in our society? Will we become a less tolerant people thanks to these sort of “studies?”
I certainly hope not. But looking back in history, seeing the homophobic joke against gays in the 80′s and the police dogs sent after black people in the 50′s gives me hope that we are progressing as a society, but are we progressing fast enough, or are we merely taking two steps forward for every one step back?