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Instructor
Original Poster
#1 Old 28th Aug 2012 at 4:21 PM
Default Gender Roles
This is spawned sort of as an overflow from a specific discussion that went on in a thread in the Sims 3 forum, but as per the mods' direction this thread is for gender roles in general and doesn't have to be limited to that discussion.

Let's lay down some groundwork: gender roles, in my experience, are defined as specific traits or actions we associate with a specific gender, or assume only that gender can do/should do. This can range from gender-specific clothing styles, to the way makeup is considered "women-only", to assuming men are better at mechanics.

The specific topic we'll be starting with, since it was what spawned this thread, is the tradition of men proposing to women--specifically, the social coding that says only men are allowed to propose. My stance is that, since this is putting a specific action to a specific gender, it's sexist. That's not to say that a man cannot propose to a woman, or that a woman should have to propose to a man, but that the concept that it must be men is an issue. Your thoughts?

I promise I'm not as grumpy as my avatar looks.
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Mad Poster
#2 Old 28th Aug 2012 at 4:48 PM Last edited by babele44 : 28th Aug 2012 at 5:54 PM.
Well, the problem with your suggested topic is that it begins with the completely wrong premises. You are not talking about gender roles you are talking about gender stereotypes. If you want to talk about gender roles I suggest the thread two posts down below yours, if you want to discuss phenomena that display examples of stereotyping and marginalisation through hegemonial discourse with relation to gender, well, change your title.
An oppressive hegemon may instigate and govern the development of certain gender roles but not all roles are the necessary function of said institution.

I'm trying to ignore what both you and another simmer said in that other thread because that was also wrong on so many levels.
Scholar
#3 Old 28th Aug 2012 at 4:49 PM Last edited by BlakeS5678 : 29th Aug 2012 at 12:41 AM.
Well, my dad and his girlfriend dated for (checks calender) eight years, now. They never got engaged because the girlfriend (Let's call her Jenny) thought that she should be proposed to, the traditional way blah, blah, blah. Anyways, my dad never proposed because he didn't even know she wanted to get married, and Jenny wouldn't tell him because it's "nontraditional." Moral of the story is, if Jenny wasn't so gender biased, (Which she gets from society and all of her rich white friends,) Jenny probably would be celebrating her 5th anniversary with my dad, and maybe a kid of her own. But, instead she's single, menopausal, and probably not very happy. I could tell you a whole other story about my childhood. But, I'll leave it as that, my opinion, "tradition" isn't always good. And, gender bias/roles, is wrong and should be nonexistent.

Just call me Blake! :)
Hola, hablo español también - Hi, I speak Spanish too.
Instructor
Original Poster
#4 Old 28th Aug 2012 at 4:58 PM
Quote:
Originally Posted by babele44
Well, the problem with your suggested topic is that it begins with the completely wrong premises. You are not talking about gender roles you are talking about gender stereotypes. If you want to talk about gender roles I suggest the thread two posts down below yours, if you want to discuss phenomena that display examples of stereotyping and marginalisation through hegemonial discourse with relation to gender, well, change your title.
An oppressive hegemon may instigate and govern the development of certain gender roles but not all roles are the necessary function of said institution.

I'm trying to ignore what both you and another Sim said in that other thread because that was also wrong on so many levels.


I cannot fix any assumed errors if you do not explain how I am wrong. While the mechanics example I gave probably fits more into gender stereotypes than roles, I cannot fathom how anything else I have brought up us a gender stereotype and not a role.

As for that last paragraph, really? If you're going to ignore me, ignore me. Don't post in my thread, tell me I'm talking about something else without explaining, and tell me I'm wrong without elaborating.

I promise I'm not as grumpy as my avatar looks.
Mad Poster
#5 Old 28th Aug 2012 at 5:53 PM
Quote:
Originally Posted by EmotedLlama
I cannot fix any assumed errors if you do not explain how I am wrong. While the mechanics example I gave probably fits more into gender stereotypes than roles, I cannot fathom how anything else I have brought up us a gender stereotype and not a role.

As for that last paragraph, really? If you're going to ignore me, ignore me. Don't post in my thread, tell me I'm talking about something else without explaining, and tell me I'm wrong without elaborating.
I said that I will ignore that other thread in order to look into this one in a more neutral way.

So here you propose that there is a convention that demands a man should be the only one to propose marriage and wonder whether this should be considered sexist. Right? Well, in a way it is and in another way it isn't. Sexist is too strong a term for this particular example. BlakeS5678's example is telling in that respect and gender-biased much better suited. One shouldn't pull a knife without good reason and an accusation of sexism is a very sharp knife in that respect. It would be sexist if there was a law that said that all marriages that were not initiated by a man proposing are illegal. But that isn't the case. Sexism is when a particular gender is reduced to the status of an object, also termed commodification. Do you think that this applies to your example of proposing?
A harsher statement would be: A woman's place is in the kitchen. But even that bullet has lost much of its momentum during the last decades, since the talk is less about gender identities than gender roles. One might say that this is a strong example of belittling the female gender by reducing her to a specific function and as a consequence to that of a functional entity, i.e. object. That is sexist. But the talk about gender roles has taught that this statement is also oppressive to the opposite gender as it restricts male freedom to choose the kitchen as their gendered space.
This was the flaw then in early feminist writing that in order to ward off the claim for superiority of the male sex that they began to focus on strenghthening the womanliness of certain aspects of life and thus hardening the stereotyping processes. It was suddenly a battle between the patriarch and the matriarch.
It was in the early 1990s when feminist writers noticed that this did not lead anywhere and that to overcome the oppressive system another way should be found. This is when the term gender role came into fashion as it is a much more flexible concept that eventually is aimed at discarding all notions of bipolarity between male/female. A gender role is what it means: a role that you *play* and it is eventually asexual.

That's why I opposed, maybe a bit too strongly, to your use of the term gender role in your thread title as I expected something completely different from what you wrote in your post. "Gender stereotypes that really piss you off!" would perhaps been more appropriate? Perhaps you thought of the word role in the sense of cliché or as something forced upon you. But gender roles are not given they are taken. It was introduced into the gender debate in oder to better understand and then overcome this very idea of ideological force or violence.
Instructor
Original Poster
#6 Old 28th Aug 2012 at 6:26 PM
Quote:
Originally Posted by babele44
I said that I will ignore that other thread in order to look into this one in a more neutral way.

So here you propose that there is a convention that demands a man should be the only one to propose marriage and wonder whether this should be considered sexist. Right? Well, in a way it is and in another way it isn't. Sexist is too strong a term for this particular example. BlakeS5678's example is telling in that respect and gender-biased much better suited. One shouldn't pull a knife without good reason and an accusation of sexism is a very sharp knife in that respect. It would be sexist if there was a law that said that all marriages that were not initiated by a man proposing are illegal. But that isn't the case. Sexism is when a particular gender is reduced to the status of an object, also termed commodification. Do you think that this applies to your example of proposing?
A harsher statement would be: A woman's place is in the kitchen. But even that bullet has lost much of its momentum during the last decades, since the talk is less about gender identities than gender roles. One might say that this is a strong example of belittling the female gender by reducing her to a specific function and as a consequence to that of a functional entity, i.e. object. That is sexist. But the talk about gender roles has taught that this statement is also oppressive to the opposite gender as it restricts male freedom to choose the kitchen as their gendered space.
This was the flaw then in early feminist writing that in order to ward off the claim for superiority of the male sex that they began to focus on strenghthening the womanliness of certain aspects of life and thus hardening the stereotyping processes. It was suddenly a battle between the patriarch and the matriarch.
It was in the early 1990s when feminist writers noticed that this did not lead anywhere and that to overcome the oppressive system another way should be found. This is when the term gender role came into fashion as it is a much more flexible concept that eventually is aimed at discarding all notions of bipolarity between male/female. A gender role is what it means: a role that you *play* and it is eventually asexual.

That's why I opposed, maybe a bit too strongly, to your use of the term gender role in your thread title as I expected something completely different from what you wrote in your post. "Gender stereotypes that really piss you off!" would perhaps been more appropriate? Perhaps you thought of the word role in the sense of cliché or as something forced upon you. But gender roles are not given they are taken. It was introduced into the gender debate in oder to better understand and then overcome this very idea of ideological force or violence.


Reading comprehension fail on my part. Sorry.

"Sexist is too strong a term for this particular example." "Sexism is when a particular gender is reduced to the status of an object, also termed commodification."

In my experience, -isms are prejudice + power, or defined by their dictionary definitions. Your definition doesn't fit the first, and Dictionary.com says the first definition of sexism is "attitudes or behavior based on traditional stereotypes of sexual roles." So I'm not sure where you're getting this from--your definition seems to be of objectification and its role in sexism.

Furthermore, in what way is it "too strong"? A gender role that poses men as the doers and women as the do-es is harmful as it continues to make men "stronger". There's nothing "weak" about this sort of thing, nor should we be using terms that are "softer" than sexism just because they're not "serious sexism".

I'm afraid I can't understand your logic in the rest of your post, so I have to ask a basic question: how do you define gender stereotypes, and how do you define gender roles? Because while it seems that you're looking into some supposed origin of these terms, I'm looking at every instance of how I've seen them used and the definitions of the words. No definition of "stereotype" and "role" will find that men having to do specific things is a stereotype and not a role, and nowhere have I ever seen people use the terms in those way.

I promise I'm not as grumpy as my avatar looks.
Lab Assistant
#7 Old 28th Aug 2012 at 6:46 PM
I had a friend in high school that proposed to her boyfriend on impulse and he ignored it, took it as a joke. A while later he proposed to her. Obviously there are men out there that think they should be the ones that propose. In my opinion it's something that either person can do, but the problem is how it's taken.

It is more of a tradition for the man to propose, and some people can't let go of that idea. I'm sure some men would be met with criticism if their girlfriends proposed and they accepted.
And all the maladies of the world burst forth from Pandora's cooch
#8 Old 28th Aug 2012 at 7:31 PM
The whole "Men Only" proposing thing comes from hundreds of years of men viewing female offspring as assets, instead of people. Fathers controlled who their children married, and was usually a way to cement political or social alliances. "No, you can't marry that stable hand, even though he is thoughtful, caring, good looking, and loves you totally. You have to marry Lord Elderbits, who is rich, powerful, and well connected. Who cares if his dangly parts reach his knees, and his back is covered in warts?" Was this attitude ingrained through hundreds of years of sexist behaviour? Sure. It wasn't until the "female empowerment" movement really took off that people even looked at this issue in a different way. I think whichever partner wants to propose should be able to do so, without any negative attachments to some outdated behaviour models. But since I still can't legally marry my partner in certain parts of my country, to me, the whole issue is kinda abstract.
Mad Poster
#9 Old 28th Aug 2012 at 7:57 PM
Quote:
Originally Posted by EmotedLlama
Reading comprehension fail on my part. Sorry.

"Sexist is too strong a term for this particular example." "Sexism is when a particular gender is reduced to the status of an object, also termed commodification."

In my experience, -isms are prejudice + power, or defined by their dictionary definitions. Your definition doesn't fit the first, and Dictionary.com says the first definition of sexism is "attitudes or behavior based on traditional stereotypes of sexual roles." So I'm not sure where you're getting this from--your definition seems to be of objectification and its role in sexism.

Furthermore, in what way is it "too strong"? A gender role that poses men as the doers and women as the do-es is harmful as it continues to make men "stronger". There's nothing "weak" about this sort of thing, nor should we be using terms that are "softer" than sexism just because they're not "serious sexism".

I'm afraid I can't understand your logic in the rest of your post, so I have to ask a basic question: how do you define gender stereotypes, and how do you define gender roles? Because while it seems that you're looking into some supposed origin of these terms, I'm looking at every instance of how I've seen them used and the definitions of the words. No definition of "stereotype" and "role" will find that men having to do specific things is a stereotype and not a role, and nowhere have I ever seen people use the terms in those way.
Ok, I see.
As I said in the thread on the Difference Between Sex & Gender, Gender Studies is one of the things that I teach at university. But as is the case with most disciplines in the humanities there is not ONE Gender Studies syllabus as there is not ONE truth out there. So, what I told you is basically part of what *I* teach.

Gender roles are the wider term and roles consist of certain elements, and these elements may be stereotypes but they don't need to be.
Your profile says that you are male. If it is true you'll probably know that your concern here is not what certain parts of society would consider part of your role as a man. You are supposed to be strong, to defeat your enemies, not to bother yourself with the concerns of the other sex, to earn the food and income of a family and to father many children. That is the role of a man of the Western world, it is made up out of many stereotypes.
But as you ask here for opinions on sexism and especially male sexism towards women you are deviating from that role and add a new element. You are creating a new role, let's call it the "EmotedLlama (male) role". Now let us assume that this role still contains all the stereotypes cited above - you wish to be strong both in body and mind, you want to earn your own money and you want to have children that you fathered yourself - but in addition there comes this other element that I call "gender aware", which means, for example, that you care about your partner not only as a person but also as a gendered being, in this case a woman. This is not stereotypical but it is still a role that you play.
Now if you did not tell the truth in your profile and you are actually female, we've entered the realm of advanced Gender Studies, because you voluntarily chose a new role here on MTS, the "EmotedLlama (female) acting as "EmotedLlama (male)"" role. In real-life we would for example be interested in how you manage this role, what stereotypes from the range of male ones you choose and whether you exaggerate them or modify them and so on.
Now the tricky part is to understand that although these male stereotypes are called "male" they are not necessarily tied to the male gender. Your appearance in that other thread was very abrupt, uncalled for and strong-headed. That is very male. But that doesn't mean that this marks you as a member of the male gender, it just means that in this case you made use of a stereotype that is associated with male.
Yeah, I know, confusing. One of the base assumptions of contemporary Gender Studies is that male and female don't exist, but just the stereotypes and their deviations that construct a role. And, to make it worse, these stereotypes change over time.

Now sexism. "Attitudes or behavior based on traditional stereotypes of sexual roles." I'd say this definition is not sufficient. A performer in a travesty show or a transvestite would have to be considered a sexist then, because what he or she does is exactly that. The former does it for entertainment the latter because his self requires it and needs the stereotypes in order to assure themselves of their transgendered being.
In *my* dictionary sexism is the oppressive attitude and behaviour towards members of a gender based on their gender. Whether based on stereotypes or not, doesn't really matter. If I beat you because you are a woman I wouldn't do this based on any stereotypes but just because I don't like women. But I would be a sexist offender.
Most sexism is based on commodification. I beat you up because I don't think of you as a person but as an object from a certain class of objects - women. When you say "doer" vs. "do-es" that's the very thing. A subject is someone/thing that acts and an object is something that is being acted upon - active vs. passive. Reducing a person to a passive object is called commodification (you are a commodity like a piece of furniture), doing so based on your sex or gender is sexist.
That's why I said that your proposing example is sexist in a way and not sexist in another way and preferred gender-biased instead. Because the question is whether the proposer is really turning the proposed one into an object. And besides, this is rather a contract and not a conquest. Because the one that receives the proposal could still say "No". It would be sexist in the strong sense, if the man proposing was the only way to legally confirm the contract. But this is not the case.
Your opinion on this matter, namely that this is sexist, registers in my books as very outdated. It would have fitted into the 1970s or 1980s, but I know fundamentalism and traditionalism are getting stronger and so the opposition against these apparently has to go backwards, too. It won't help very much, however, in my opinion if one cries murder before there is a dead body. You aggravate the tension instead of helping to overcome it.
That's one of the attempts of Gender Studies the way I understand it: as one cannot get rid of the stereotypes one could perhaps cause them to implode by starting to play with them. I like that approach. It's very clever and it actually makes me a bit sad when I see that those "old stereotypes" of gender war make a return nowadays.
Instructor
Original Poster
#10 Old 28th Aug 2012 at 8:40 PM
Not quoting since that was long. XD

The thing is, you seem to be using "stereotype" to refer to everything encompassing society's notions of how we should act, when a stereotype is not, say, the idea that a man should have to propose; it's the idea that a man always wants to propose. Basically, society saying you have to act in a certain way is a role, whereas society saying you do act in a way is a stereotype. Does that make sense? Because I don't believe you ever gave your definitions for "stereotype" versus "role".

I also fail to understand what your point actually is. You're explaining a lot of things, telling me a lot of things, but you're not connecting them in a way to get across a point. As such, I honestly can't tell what I'm supposed to be responding to, because you don't, well, have a point. You're just... saying things. Things that don't even seem to be connected to what I said.

I promise I'm not as grumpy as my avatar looks.
Mad Poster
#11 Old 28th Aug 2012 at 9:13 PM
Quote:
Originally Posted by EmotedLlama
Not quoting since that was long. XD

The thing is, you seem to be using "stereotype" to refer to everything encompassing society's notions of how we should act, when a stereotype is not, say, the idea that a man should have to propose; it's the idea that a man always wants to propose.
This I didn't understand.
Quote:
Basically, society saying you have to act in a certain way is a role, whereas society saying you do act in a way is a stereotype. Does that make sense? Because I don't believe you ever gave your definitions for "stereotype" versus "role".
No, the role is what you adopt, like an actor, you accept a role. The stereotypes are the elements out of which the role is forged. This role is your identity, so to speak and it is made out of stereotypes or other bits that you created yourself. This role is not given by society. There is not one role that says "MALE", there are dozens or thousands. What society does with regard to these roles is that it prefers some over others. The more a role agrees with the stereotypes that society has developed the more acceptable that role will be. And the role that you took is not fixed, it's like a mask and you can change this.

Role
/ | \
stereotype1 - stereotype2 - stereotype3


Quote:
I also fail to understand what your point actually is. You're explaining a lot of things, telling me a lot of things, but you're not connecting them in a way to get across a point. As such, I honestly can't tell what I'm supposed to be responding to, because you don't, well, have a point. You're just... saying things. Things that don't even seem to be connected to what I said.
Well, lost in translation then, I guess, but I'll try again:

(1) My first objection was that your question cannot be properly handled within the concept of gender role, you have to go one step down to the level of stereotypes. A man wanting to propose because it's the right thing to do is not a role but a stereotype. It's one of the stereotypes that make up the role of Western, heterosexual male that is the most acceptable by society.

(2) The second part was my attempt to answer your actual question: is this sexist? And my answer was No. It is gender-biased, true, but I cannot see any oppression. Like ButchSim pointed out it was sexist in the past, but it is not anymore.
Mad Poster
#12 Old 28th Aug 2012 at 9:33 PM
Quote:
Originally Posted by ButchSims
The whole "Men Only" proposing thing comes from hundreds of years of men viewing female offspring as assets, instead of people. Fathers controlled who their children married, and was usually a way to cement political or social alliances. "No, you can't marry that stable hand, even though he is thoughtful, caring, good looking, and loves you totally. You have to marry Lord Elderbits, who is rich, powerful, and well connected. Who cares if his dangly parts reach his knees, and his back is covered in warts?" Was this attitude ingrained through hundreds of years of sexist behaviour? Sure. It wasn't until the "female empowerment" movement really took off that people even looked at this issue in a different way. I think whichever partner wants to propose should be able to do so, without any negative attachments to some outdated behaviour models. But since I still can't legally marry my partner in certain parts of my country, to me, the whole issue is kinda abstract.

Um, you do know that what you are describing only really applied to the upper MONIED classes don't you? Ordinary people, from all the evidence we have, did things rather differently.

Polgannon Project - Seriously, I'm still working on it.
Instructor
Original Poster
#13 Old 28th Aug 2012 at 10:00 PM
Quote:
Originally Posted by babele44
This I didn't understand.
No, the role is what you adopt, like an actor, you accept a role. The stereotypes are the elements out of which the role is forged. This role is your identity, so to speak and it is made out of stereotypes or other bits that you created yourself. This role is not given by society. There is not one role that says "MALE", there are dozens or thousands. What society does with regard to these roles is that it prefers some over others. The more a role agrees with the stereotypes that society has developed the more acceptable that role will be. And the role that you took is not fixed, it's like a mask and you can change this.

Role
/ | \
stereotype1 - stereotype2 - stereotype3


Well, lost in translation then, I guess, but I'll try again:

(1) My first objection was that your question cannot be properly handled within the concept of gender role, you have to go one step down to the level of stereotypes. A man wanting to propose because it's the right thing to do is not a role but a stereotype. It's one of the stereotypes that make up the role of Western, heterosexual male that is the most acceptable by society.

(2) The second part was my attempt to answer your actual question: is this sexist? And my answer was No. It is gender-biased, true, but I cannot see any oppression. Like ButchSim pointed out it was sexist in the past, but it is not anymore.


What are the stereotypes that create the "men must propose" idea, then?

1) Under what definition of "stereotype" is a man proposing because he perceives men as the ones who have to propose a stereotype?

2) You said it wasn't sexist based on it not making women objects and thus it doesn't count as sexism, conceded that making women objects isn't the only way to be sexist, then said it's not sexist because it doesn't make women objects. You just went in a circle and contradicted yourself.

I promise I'm not as grumpy as my avatar looks.
Mad Poster
#14 Old 28th Aug 2012 at 10:15 PM
I give up. Read whatever you want to read into what I wrote. I am not under the impression that I contradict myself, but apparently we cannot reach a common ground where each understands what the other one is talking about. I would continue to repeat myself, so no point in continuing this.
Instructor
Original Poster
#15 Old 28th Aug 2012 at 10:51 PM
Okay, then...?

I promise I'm not as grumpy as my avatar looks.
Mad Poster
#16 Old 28th Aug 2012 at 11:52 PM
Quote:
Originally Posted by EmotedLlama
The specific topic we'll be starting with, since it was what spawned this thread, is the tradition of men proposing to women--specifically, the social coding that says only men are allowed to propose. My stance is that, since this is putting a specific action to a specific gender, it's sexist. That's not to say that a man cannot propose to a woman, or that a woman should have to propose to a man, but that the concept that it must be men is an issue. Your thoughts?



I think it's a cultural thing. Where I come from, people in a relationship talk about where their relationship it's headed and sometimes decide to get married. Once you both decide that you want to get married, all you have to do is set the date, so there's no need to wait for a proposal. No use staying with a guy, hoping for a proposal, if he doesn't see a future for you together or does not enjoy the idea of marriage.

View my other downloads on MTS

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Instructor
Original Poster
#17 Old 29th Aug 2012 at 12:17 AM
Quote:
Originally Posted by crocobaura
I think it's a cultural thing. Where I come from, people in a relationship talk about where their relationship it's headed and sometimes decide to get married. Once you both decide that you want to get married, all you have to do is set the date, so there's no need to wait for a proposal. No use staying with a guy, hoping for a proposal, if he doesn't see a future for you together or does not enjoy the idea of marriage.


Oh yeah, sorry, I suppose this subject is specific to certain cultures.

I promise I'm not as grumpy as my avatar looks.
And all the maladies of the world burst forth from Pandora's cooch
#18 Old 29th Aug 2012 at 2:42 AM
Quote:
Originally Posted by maxon
Um, you do know that what you are describing only really applied to the upper MONIED classes don't you? Ordinary people, from all the evidence we have, did things rather differently.
You mean like died of the plague?

Seriously though, the same basic rules applied regardless of class, women were assets, though I concede that, ironically, the poorer class of people actually had a bit more freedom to choose. But it was still the province of the men to propose. And when you throw in the brides dowry, I'm willing to bet not all marriages were for the sake of True Love, but were most likely for the number of cows/sheep/pigs she brought with her. Also, plain, strong women were preferred over soft, pretty ones, since they were more likely to be able to do homestead work. And they still usually had to get parental (read: Daddy's) permission.
Mad Poster
#19 Old 29th Aug 2012 at 6:21 AM
I'm pretty sure that when the women were assets they didn't have much say in who they married, which is why the proposal was first made to the father (since he was the one providing the dowry) and if he agreed with the suitor he would inform the young lady.

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Mad Poster
#20 Old 29th Aug 2012 at 10:29 AM
Quote:
Originally Posted by ButchSims
You mean like died of the plague?

Seriously though, the same basic rules applied regardless of class, women were assets, though I concede that, ironically, the poorer class of people actually had a bit more freedom to choose. But it was still the province of the men to propose. And when you throw in the brides dowry, I'm willing to bet not all marriages were for the sake of True Love, but were most likely for the number of cows/sheep/pigs she brought with her. Also, plain, strong women were preferred over soft, pretty ones, since they were more likely to be able to do homestead work. And they still usually had to get parental (read: Daddy's) permission.

No - not always they didn't. Getting married, at least in England, was an expensive business in the past and poor people couldn't always afford it. There was a roaring trade in the 18th century in London for fake marriage certificates, for example, because paying the vicar/court for a real one was more expensive still. There is evidence that many poorer people did not marry at all. It didn't stop them setting up home and having babies though. You're making a generalisation there and like all generalisations it breaks down when you look at the detail. The notion that everyone was respectably married in the past before they set up home and had children is a false one, influenced by the preferences and priorities of the upper classes (who are the ones who left most of the historical records and whose ideas dominate our historical understanding of their culture).

Polgannon Project - Seriously, I'm still working on it.
And all the maladies of the world burst forth from Pandora's cooch
#21 Old 29th Aug 2012 at 12:54 PM
Quote:
Originally Posted by maxon
No - not always they didn't. Getting married, at least in England, was an expensive business in the past and poor people couldn't always afford it. There was a roaring trade in the 18th century in London for fake marriage certificates, for example, because paying the vicar/court for a real one was more expensive still. There is evidence that many poorer people did not marry at all. It didn't stop them setting up home and having babies though. You're making a generalisation there and like all generalisations it breaks down when you look at the detail. The notion that everyone was respectably married in the past before they set up home and had children is a false one, influenced by the preferences and priorities of the upper classes (who are the ones who left most of the historical records and whose ideas dominate our historical understanding of their culture).
Well, I wasn't really referring to the those couples who didn't get married, since in those cases, no one was proposed to at all, and wasn't really the point of discussion in this thread. I know not everyone was respectably married back then, and I never said they were.
Mad Poster
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29th Aug 2012 at 4:47 PM Last edited by maxon : 29th Aug 2012 at 7:44 PM.
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