Dec 16, 2011 @ 12:30 pm | By TheFeministGriote | 3 Comments
The Pew Research Center recently released an analysis study on marriage that for many hopeful romantics paints a harsh picture of marriage. Marriage seems to have lost its luster for many. According to the study barely half of all American adults are jumping the broom and both men and women are delaying marriage. The median age of a man marrying is now 28 and for women its 26. The staggering numbers in marriage does not shock me or upset me.
I am over 26 years old, pursuing a masters degree, and the recession has forced me to move back in with my parents. I am currently rebuilding and restructuring my life as I believe that many Americans my age and older are forced to do as well. Therefore marriage in not a high priority on our list. Also, my generation has seen many failed marriages in our day. We live in a society where marriage is contrived and done for TV ratings a la The Bachelor & The Bachelorette show or the most recent faux American royal nuptials of Kim Kardashian to Kris Humphries which ended the way any scripted contrived union would- in divorce. Needless to say that my generation may suffer from an acute case of cynicism.
No one really knows for sure why the marriage rate is declining, but I’d like to think it is because people are realizing that there is more than one way to attain happily ever after. Living with a lover can be just as satisfying as being married or that instead of having one great love of one’s life, one can be open too many great loves. It could be that practicality is fueling the revolt against marriage. According to the latest Census Bureau figures on poverty, 49.9 million Americans which is 13.8% are living below poverty. (Which I guesstimate is much higher considering America still uses absolute measures to measure poverty which is an antiquated and substandard way of measuring poverty.) We all know what money problems does to a relationship and if that many people are living in poverty that is a very depressing backdrop for love to try to flourish against.
The most interesting thing that I noted from this study is the fact that it appears that for whatever reason American’s as a whole are NOT jumping into marriage and are okay with that. In 2011 Black women have been assailed and shamed into thinking something is wrong with us because we are not married by a “certain age.” Steve Harvey has grown his personal net worth exponentially by exploiting Black women and making us think we need to be saved & be taught the rules of the game in order to dupe a man into marrying us. After all, if you listen to Steve Harvey, Tyrese, Hill Harper, and any other relationship prophet finding a man willing to marry you is the ultimate prize. No one cares where you went to school, what you do for a living, or what type of impact you have on your circle of influence and surrounding world, if you are not married somehow they feel you have failed to acquire it all!
Wrong. Truth is a whole lotta folks ain’t drinking the marriage kool-aid! When accomplished white women don’t marry there is no ABC special or CNN documentary devoted to them. It is simply assumed they’re career women making power moves and delaying marriage for smart reasons, but when Black women do the same its because we are standing in our own way and can’t find a man who can tolerate us(never mind that not all Black women are interested in men.) As the year draws to a close, I hope we will wake up and realize that there is no such thing as a one-size fits all happy ending narrative. In this 21st century we are endowed with a myriad of choices and that also includes to marry or not.
FYI: If we are serious in wanting to boost the marriage percentage (because in a capitalist society that rewards married people by giving them tax breaks if they marry and procreate marriage is important), if we really care about “love” and want to take this “grim news” and spin it positively, then allow gay men and women the right to marry. I bet the rate goes up then.
Categories: Venus vs Mars