Laura Kipnis 'The Marriage Trap'

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In the minds of millions of Americans, marriage is not the life-long and gender specific commitment it used to be. The “traditional” view of marriage is two people committing their lives to one another in a ceremony before God, where divorce is not an option. But are traditional marriages a thing of the past? In “The Marriage Trap” by Meghan O’Rourke, she critics the views of Laura Kipnis’s “Against Love” a polemic analysis of the problems with marriage. O’Rourke starts by stating that marriage is an oppressor, trapping men and women in a life of drudgery, emotional anesthesia, and a tug of war struggle to balance vastly different needs. She tells us that traditional marriage isn’t realistic in today’s society, that half of today’s marriages…show more content…
According to Kipnis the answer to that question is capitalism. She suggests that capitalism is using marriage to get us to have kids and work hard to support them. That way it keeps us as “working class” citizens because we are respecting the responsibilities of marriage and family. O’Rourke gives us two definitions of the word “work” the kind of work where you endure everyday labor to support your family. The work that we do because we like it or are even drawn too. This is the type of work we do for the relationships that are important to us, we can help ourselves but to fight for the one we love (Even through our relationships the government is making us “work.”). O’Rourke argues that we probably shouldn’t invest our well-being into another person and we shouldn’t spend so much time trying to make a relationship work when so many of them end in divorce anyway. . Kipnis’s version of a “good’ relationship is desolate and she doesn’t really offer an opposing view of marriage. She suggests a solution to marriage, in which we should just find someone we are compatible with to join us through life, not necessarily someone to marry. She hints that we should maybe start looking at marriage as a nonmonogamous relationship. Then all the pressures of making a marriage work would be gone and the divorce rate would decline, because not everyone…show more content…
Although there is no evidence that in a world with no marriage as Kipnis suggest, we would be any happier. We still do not want to go through life alone or end up with 5 cats. O’Rourke states that Kipnis’s witty polemic may not be as radical as it was thought to be, in society today marriages’ reputation is declining. Divorce and a lust-happy world are publicized in the media, people in TV shows are just living together and sleeping around. Celebrities are getting divorced and remarried every other week. Even the iconic couple, Kermit the Frog and Miss Piggy are getting a “divorce.” Although there are still people that uphold the traditional values of marriage, as a whole we can agree that the signature of marriage is not as sacred as it once was. That more radical views are being accepted in today’s society. O’Rourke ends the passage by saying that although it is evident that marriage is starting to reflect Kipnis’s lackluster view, still love might get a better name if society was attentive to the dishonesties over the failings of marriage as they are to the dishonesties of

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