REALLY?! Legal equals? Then why hasn't the Equal Rights Amendment been passed and adopted? How many states still have marriage laws on the books that still make a woman her husband's property (the same for their kids)? Louisiana eliminated its Head and Master law in 1980. One small step for humankind.
Each of us have numerous examples of marriage from our parents, grandparents, other relatives, and all their married friends. I grew up in a traditional patriarchal family in which the father was the ruler, males were valued higher than females, and the men believed that the women must be kept under their control and not allowed much freedom. As I went through adolescence and attended college, I looked at this conception of marriage as being destructive to relationship -- bad for both the man and the woman, but especially for the woman because she had no rights except what the man granted her under his control. My mother was happy, though. She valued stability and security, and was content to have her husband think for her, make the big decisions, and control family life. I also watched my mother masterfully manipulate my father in order to get what she wanted at times. I listened to them bicker and argue daily. My father was right even when he was wrong, and he always got his way. It was rare indeed for him to acknowledge my mother's knowledge and wisdom from her own life experience.
|My father, the Boss|
These decisions did not mean that I was against relationship, dating, friendship and companionship. I think men have a lot to bring to a relationship, and working together, men and women could accomplish a great deal in sharing a life by accepting and respecting their differences and strengths and weaknesses. Rather than allowing differences to separate us, we need to allow them to bring us together, to use them. While women have been working since the late 1960's for equality and acceptance as humans, not as a man's property, men have not been working nearly as much on their beliefs about women and about themselves. So, again, how many states still have marriage laws on the books that still make a woman her husband's property (the same for their kids)?
|U.S. Supreme Court|
I believe that there are men who have changed their beliefs about women, and there are married couples who have forged their marriages based on equality. They are still a minority. They need to be more vocal, however, more of a presence in our society, so that men who have not changed their beliefs can see what life will be like for them. Women need to be a lot more patient with men, too, helpful rather than judgmental, but firm and determined in their work for equality. Clearly, a ruling by the U.S. Supreme Court is not yet enough to establish gender equality in this country....