With the advent of those three key technologies though, women no longer were forced to depend on men for income, no longer directly required marriage to enjoy sex, and had a small oversupply of men to choose from. So when the choice for women turns into, “stay married” or “dump this guy and do something else more fun”, then they naturally want to change marriage law to allow that option. Thus Marriage 2.0 is born.
I’m going to somewhat overstate things in this post for simplicity and clarity, it’s theorycraft to an extent, but here we go lol…
The entire Marriage 2.0 edifice is driven by technology not ideology. For sure the ideology is there, but without the technology creating the environment to support the ideology, the ideology simply would have been nothing more than a handful of intellectuals thinking about possibilities rather than reality.
There are three primary technologies involved in creating Marriage 2.0.
(1) Nuclear Weapons. Surprise! But think about it… nuclear weapons have essentially ended traditional warfare. Any war against a nuclear power simply cannot be won for fear of a last ditch “fuck you” strike that devastates both sides. To be sure military force is still used around the globe, but it’s far more targeted and focused. Yes we were in Iraq for eight long years, and yes good soldiers died in the line of duty, but it created vastly less casualties compared to 20th Century wars.
The entire point of invading Iraq was the fear they were on the verge of making nukes. By comparison, North Korea looks like it actually has nukes, so we won’t be sending troops there any time soon. See how that works?
In terms of sexuality though, this basic lack of war creates a “problem” in that large numbers of young males that would have been sent to war and killed in years gone by, never get sent. There’s a natural sexual imbalance in the the birth rate where 105 males are born for every 100 females. So from a cynical perspective, we can “safely” lose about 5% of all males from sickness, accidents, violence and war, and there would be still enough men to go around for all the women to have one.
Looking back to say the First World War, my home country of New Zealand lost around 2% of it’s total population. But all of that 2% was focused in the age 18-30 male cohort, to the extent that around 25% of all young New Zealand men were killed.
Or put another way, at the end of 1918, there were three young men for every four young women. That sort of extreme dynamic makes most women extremely happy to have any man, so they weren’t going to be terribly picky and were going to be appreciative about having one.
Now we have a situation where it’s probably only the prison population of young males keeping the sex ratio of young men and women in check. In plain English, if everyone makes it to adulthood, there’s going to be 105 men for every 100 women, so even with a perfect monogamy system, a small number of guys are never going to have a wife. As a result, women can be pickier about who they marry and there’s generally always someone willing to step up and replace a deposed husband.
(2) Birth Control. This one is a no brainer so I’ll be short. It used to be that women who had sex got pregnant quickly, so that very much demanded that they extract commitment from a male before having sex with him. Women got married to have a sex life. Marriage was the ticket to safe eroticism.
Birth control pills of course changed all that. Now women could have sex whenever they wanted and with whoever they wanted, without fearing pregnancy. So it’s birth control that allows promiscuity and sexual experimentation, as opposed to marriage, which now actually appears to limit female eroticism rather than create it. So rather than make an early choice in mate and stick with him, women can now play the field for as long as they want and never settle down.
To be sure feminist thinking existed before the birth control pill, but it is only after the invention and easy availability of the pill that feminism truly launches into the mainstream. If all birth control methods disappeared tomorrow, feminism would wither away and be all but gone within a decade.
It’s really the feminist push that has rewritten marriage and family law to create no fault divorce, child support and custody law. It’s the reduced family size and ability for women to have careers and support themselves, that allows a family to be split up without everyone automatically ending up in grinding poverty.
So the short version is…. birth control allows sex to not be a socially bonding experience, where before it was a bonding one.
(3) Computers. Everything, and I mean everything comes with some sort of computer chip these days. There’s been just astounding technological advances in every sphere since the 1960s all driven by the power of computing. I’m not sure the kids of today can ever really grasp the blistering pace of change that has happened. I used to play Dungeons and Dragons with paper, pencil and dice… today I can play World of Warcraft and be online with 10,000,000 players. It’s utterly astounding technology we have these days.
The downside to computers is that they save labor, and in particular the labor of males. Entire industries have gone by the wayside, or overseas, in the staggering societal changes. Cars used to be made by men, now they are for the most part made by robots. Broken cars used to be fixed by men, now they pretty much just ask the computer in the car “Where does it hurt?” and replace that.
Traditional male jobs decline and are being replaced, or at least mostly replaced, with service industry jobs. The irony of unemployed guys addicted to computer gaming is painfully acute. In a general sense, men just don’t know what the hell they are meant to be doing anymore. Once we were warriors, now we work retail.
This decline in the traditional male income support role still hasn’t been fully felt as yet I don’t think. Most men truly believe that if they hold a good job, they should have a good marriage and a happy family. Good provider = good husband = good father. But when a woman can out earn her husband, it undercuts that need for a socially contracted agreement between a man and a woman.
So to recap….
Before Nuclear War, Birth Control and Computers… there were fewer males for a female to choose from, who she choose was a very serious life changing choice from the get go, and she would then become economically dependant on her chosen male for essentially the rest of her life. The untimely death of a husband a hundred years ago, essentially meant enduring poverty for his widow.
The entire point of the Marriage 1.0 agreement and law, was in no small part to ensure that a man could not simply leave a wife in the lurch with his children. When the choice for a woman is “stay married” or “poverty”, she would want the law to ensure the “stay married” part was going to stick.
….okay Athol, so what’s your point?
To be sure, Marriage 2.0 does have it’s problems, and they are serious, but the game has utterly changed, and there can never be a return to Marriage 1.0 days. At least not without the complete loss of what amounts to all technological development since about 1900, maybe even earlier. The technology is driving the change in our sex lives and relationships. Not feminism or pop culture. There are no solutions whatsoever in the past to find for those concerned about the problems of Marriage 2.0. Simply none.
The solutions to the problems of Marriage 2.0 lie somewhere in the future, in whatever Marriage 3.0 is going to be. Whatever that Marriage 3.0 will be though, will also be driven by technology rather than ideology.
I am personally still trying to grasp what those technologies are going to be, and I’m for the moment sadly out of good ideas. However there is one very obvious technology we have available now that will unquestionably play a key role in Marriage 3.0, and that is paternity testing. Once you have a technology available, you simply can’t wish it away. So a prediction…
….within a decade a handful of states and countries will have adopted mandatory paternity testing laws. Within two decades it will be a standard law across all first world nations.
So hang in there, Marriage 3.0 is coming. Whatever the hell that is going to be.