In the human society, marriage is the most essential social custom. Marriage appears as a compromise between two committed individuals, also known as spouses. It is a way of creating a family and obligations. Weddings are traditional ceremonies with exchange of wedding vows and rings, which symbolize eternity and love, between the bride (woman) and the groom (man). It is practiced in many modern countries and has similar meanings as marriage. Marriage is a social bond, which requires care and understandings between the two people. As long as spouses develop together while retaining their individuality, marriage will not be a social trap.
Marriage is a necessary and completing factor of the human life. If the two individuals understand, love, and care for each other, marriage does not become a social trap. As a child growing up, I perceived my parents giving each other some space and freedom, which I believed to be a prodigious idea. In society today, I do not see that sort of lifestyle in marriages. Too many people are dependent on others that they tend to disregard themselves. John Stuart Mill, philosopher, states in his essay “The Subjection of Women” that:
But these benefits are partial; their range is extremely circumscribed; and if they must be admitted, on the one hand, as a deduction from the amount of fresh social power that would be acquired by giving freedom to one-half of the whole sum of human intellect, there must be added, on the other, the benefit of the stimulus that would be given to the intellect of men by the competition; or (to use a more true expression) by the necessity that would be imposed on them of deserving precedency before they could expect to obtain it. (qtd. in Mill 823)
Upon having no freedom, I believe that marriage should be treated as a business partnership. There should not be one with a superior authority in the relationship, but have power on the things one is allocated and tenacious in. Both husband and wife desire equal treatment. In American marriages, many men desire for the women to do the household tasks and men earn money through labor work. This can appear as if women have no opportunity to decide what they want to undertake, however, this is where power on one is allocates come in. Marriage needs understanding on what each is anticipates for and is pleased. This will assist the two individuals to decide and distinguish if it is the right marriage. According to psychologist Albert Maslow, men want be the head of the marriage.
“They try to get what they want by being dominant. But it’s not about making demands or trying to overpower her. Women will pull away from that,” Maslow says. Our best selves emerge in the context of our relationships with others and not as an independent entity“ (“6 Marriage Mistakes Men Make). My mom would always quote, “Keeping your wife happy is a happy life”. Something so simple as that can lead them to enjoy marriage. Maslow clarifies that empathy is something that men lack at. He explains, “Empathy—the ability to recognize and share someone else’s feelings—is the most important part of any relationship. And it’s something that, in general, women are better at than men” (“6 Marriage Mistakes Men Make”). “Men neglect the duties incumbent on men, yet treated like demi-gods” (qtd. in Wollstonecraft 802).
Mary Wollstonecraft explains and argues that men occasionally do not accomplish what they are assigned to do and, majority of the time get away with it. For example, men have a problem with “reckless spending”. Gloria Vanderhorst, a PhD psychologist, says “Making big purchases such as buying a car without first consulting your wife is a huge no-no. Men tend to do it a lot” (6 Marriage Mistakes Men Make). Superiority in relationships should not ensue, but men tend to allocate themselves as a leader. Both men and women should have equal superior authority. Mill asserts in “The Subjection of Women” that: In regard, however, to the larger question, the removal of women’s disabilities—their recognition as the equals of men in all that belongs to citizenship—the opening to them of all honorable employments, and of the training and education which qualifies for those employments—there are many persons for whom it is not enough that the inequality has no just or legitimate defense; they require to be told what express advantage would be obtained by abolishing it. (qtd. in Mill 820)
As Mill indicates, marriage should be between two equals on all facets. He describes a true love where one is on the same level as another. Women are at a huge disadvantage when it comes to physical aspect, however, men and women are equal in humanity. Virginia Woolf in “Shakespeare’s Sister” claims: He was, it is well known, a wild boy who poached rabbits, perhaps shot a deer, and had, rather sooner than he should have done, to marry a woman in the neighborhood, who bore him a child rather quicker than was right. That escapade sent him to seek his fortune in London. He had, it seemed, a taste for the theatre; he began by holding horses at the stage door.
Very soon he got work in the theatre, became a successful actor, and lived at the hub of the universe, meeting everybody, knowing everybody, practicing his art on the boards, exercising his wits in the streets, and even getting access to the palace of the queen. (qtd. in Woolf 844-845). Woolf outlines the difference of men and women. She demonstrates the relationships of men and women through Shakespeare and his sister. Shakespeare had freedom to achieve his aspirations, however, his sister was discouraged and even forced to marry by her family. Lack of opportunities bring social trap to women in society.
This can be compared back to my parents. My father never gave my mom an opportunity to go to college. My mom had a chance to prefer between love and education. Instead she foresaw that love was where she can discover her completion of her life. Overall, marriage is not a social trap. Marriage is an essential social bonding that happens in human life. If one spouse shows indifference or neglects the social bonding, it becomes a trap for them. Freedom and social bonding is the most essential key to marriage. As long as two individuals understand, love, and care for each other, marriage will give a lifelong companion.