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May 21, 2010

Comments

Emily

Which one is your brother in the picture?

Robin Goodfellow

Hey, I remember that band.

We played them on 88.3 CJIQ FM for a little bit (threw me for a loop when I announced the band's name as "Hockey". I was mentally like, "What the -bleep-?"

Anywho, because kids are addicted to rebellion and sensationalism more than good sense, I'm thinking that being a rebel by marrying young is... stupid.

Some people can pull it off, but a successful marriage needs both people to have themselves together. That doesn't often happen early on in life. It's nice to be romantic and say all you need is love, but I don't really love someone if I haven't taken the time to lay the foundation down for a future for us.

The merit of the modesty movement decreases when you use the same energies of a culture that the movement is fighting against.

Doing the right thing, is simply worth it on its own, without attention.

Melissa May

Robin, you make a very good point.

I'll say this, though: I too have had the same thoughts (as in the song) by marrying young and acquainting myself with domestic responsibilities at a time when most of my peers were acquainting themselves with the local college bar scene.

I waited for sex until I was married. I married young. I didn't date much at all. When my (future) husband and I met, we were both interested in potentially finding a spouse and dated with that end in mind.

We were rebels, though we weren't trying to be and certainly didn't consider ourselves so. We were doing what came naturally based on what we believed about love, God, relationships and our purpose for life. Inadvertently, we were rebelling against a culture that had dictated to us that the only joy to be found in youth comes from being uncommitted, without boundaries, pushing every extreme without accepting the consequences and playing life loose and easy.

We didn't choose to marry young because we wanted to rebel. We had no alternative motives. We chose marriage for all the right reasons, and yet in the eyes of the world around us we were *extreme* and maybe even *weird*.

It's one thing to choose rebellion against what is right, and I completely agree with your assessment in that regard. However, I think perhaps the Hockey song was simply based on the observation that in this day and age it's a fact that those who choose the higher path of unselfish commitment to another are, in fact, rebels of a sort.


Shanna

Enh. For some people, like Melissa May above, marrying young is the right choice. For most people though, marrying young is the fast-track to a bitter divorce. Most members of my generation are not ready for marriage, because they haven't grown up enough yet. They're not adults yet. Many don't achieve behaving like adults until after 25 (which is the medical definition of adulthood) What's, all the advice I've ever received from my mother, aunts, grandmothers, etc, also all of whom married young (some divorced, some not) is to date around and make sure I'm ready before I make that kind of commitment. I think encouraging people to marry young, neglects that whole make sure your ready for this part. It places more importance on your age then your maturity, and your relationships maturity. While pulling the wool over the hipsters eyes might be fun, the actual message seems like it could cause actual damage if followed.

Emily

I don't think eve was saying you should marry to be rebellious, but people who want to shouldn't be deterred by people's stigma on early marrige because there aresome good aspects to it.

Eve

Emily -- my brother is the one next to the keyboard in the shot where they are all sitting and he is the one in front with the jean jacket and arms crossed in the shot where they are standing.

Angela

I wish I could have married young. It has been very difficult to have children and I would give anything to have started sooner.

Jenna

Perhaps the age of marriage and family formation has more to do with regional, socioeconomic, political and religious backgrounds than actually has to do with personal choice. Data show that the Northeast of the United States (specifically Massachusetts, New York, Rhode Island, Connecticut and New Jersey - all states that voted Democrat in the 2004 and 2008 elections) has the highest median marriage age (around 27 years old) while the states with the lowest median marriage age (around 22 years old) all voted Republican in the 2004 and 2008 elections (Utah, Idaho, Arkansas, Oklahoma and Kansas).

Societal norms and community acceptance have a lot to do with the choice to form families younger, and in certain communities the support may not be there. So, even if a young woman or man would personally like to get married and have children at a younger age, oftentimes the family and/or community support may be lacking due to social stigma, hierarchy of priorities (many communities that have later ages of marriage and child bearing value attaining an education and independent financial stability before starting a family), or lack of financial resources (although this factor oftentimes doesn't come into the equation as expected.)

So, while you claim that early marriage is "rebellious," it may only be so in your community, and more widely accepted in other areas of the country. It is fascinating how little our personal choices may actually be due to our own wants and needs, as opposed to what the larger society deems as correct.

Tirtsa

Like Melissa I married young. As an Orthodox Jew it is not only encouraged, but I believe entirely logical due to the maturity that a committed religious lifestyle entails. In addition to large families and thus shared household responsibilities from a younger age, young people growing up in fervently religious communities are required to focus on their personal development and their goals in the early teens.
I honestly felt ready to marry at 18 and formally dated numerous young men until my husband showed up when I was 21!!
Marrying young is great because you are more flexible and enthusiastic. But it can only work if there is a system in place to encourage appropriate increasing levels of maturity and responsibility in our young people.

LM

" But it can only work if there is a system in place to encourage appropriate increasing levels of maturity and responsibility in our young people."

Hi! I enjoy this blog:)
I think a system in place is what makes the difference. I was almost 30 when I married and it was not because I was career obsessed, anti-marriage, or any of those things. I honestly never met anyone marriage minded. In the past, people used social connections. If you had a daughter or marriageable age or a son of marriageable the social network helped people meet. Some ways arranged marriages but also formal meetings etc.
Now, not so much. People don't want to group date. Even more conservative environments (mine was Baptist) tell you to 'pray for a good Christian man' but that was about it. They never introduced me to anyone. Ever.
The people I knew who married young were practicing Muslims, Orthodox Jews, or people in tighter traditional communities. Their communities helped them meet people. This did not happen to me.
I did get married to a wonderful man (9 years!) I was fortunate enough to find friends who did believe in group dating when I moved to Asia, because it was more accepted there. And there was less sex/hookup pressure-more marriage focus. I know its not true for everyone, but it was in my case.

Laura

Quite honestly, I HATED the dating scene! And by the way, I even went to a religious school. I hated the pressure to flirt. I hated the competition. I hated the games.

This is why I met my husband on a blind date. Heaven knows I couldn't have done it myself. Flirting didn't come naturally to me.

Now, I didn't marry my husband just to get out of the dating scene. I married him because I loved him and wanted to go through life with him. The part about leaving the dating scene was just a perk ;)

For me, marriage has been very liberating. And yet, society will have you believe otherwise.

Nurit Weizman

This is such a cool post! I saw the phenomenon your brother discussed a ton as a student in the women studies department.

A response to Laura's comment-- I completely agree! The dating scene is very, very stressful in my eyes. I grew up going to a summer camp where everybody had to "hook up" to be part of the in crowd. Everyone always went wanting to look their best, with their best outfits, in order to win over the best guy/girl. And this started as early as age 11!!!! Thank G-d I'm entering a community (the Orthodox Jewish community) that sees "matchmaking" as a beautiful thing.

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