Culture and Desire — 8 Comments

  1. Rachel – a few comments………

    Firstly – I heard/ read something that only being married once in your life was something that happened when the average lifespan was 60. Now that the average lifespan is 86 for women, is it realistic that people are still married only to the one person for their whole and long lives?

    Plus you said

    “People busy suppressing their desires don’t have time to create a different, more life-affirming (and desirable) culture.”

    The odd person doing something different (not suppressing desires) doesn’t change culture. It might – might – only happen over the length of a generation ……. change is very slow in their type of thing……..

    fwiw etc

    • Stephanie Coontz points out the change in lifespan in her book “Marriage, A History.” Basically, couples used to be married to raise the kids – once the kids were grown, there wasn’t much time left in the parents’ lives.

      I totally agree with your second point: We need systemic changes, which are slow, partly because the cultural norms bind us from within. There’s a lot for us to unlearn! There is, of course, an interplay between individual and system change: If enough of us do things differently, the system changes.

  2. courageous and enlightening!

    another tragic outcome of placing the burden of ‘holding the family together’ on women, is throwing all blame on her when things go wrong. this clearly fosters mysogeny in its many forms…

    there’s a still-thriving tribe in the amazon jungle where each family decides freely on marriage partners, resulting in some women ‘having several husbands’, and the opposite, and any combination that works for the people involved.
    they are a tribe at peace with one another and who willingly care for all members, especially kids and elders…….well-documented on video and in research.

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