Lucy Snow: Marriage is about more than each other's pay cheque

iWriters

Share
Related Topics

I recently turned 21. Lovely day, but laced with panic – already one year into the big decade. A lot of stuff needs to get done before I'm 30. I have always assumed I will be married by then. I want to be. I have a nice boyfriend who might one day be willing. I also have a rather lovely church down my road and a lawn that is flat enough for a marquee.

So Kate Bolick's 5,200-word article reprinted in yesterday's Observer, "Why marriage is a declining option for many modern women", was something of a challenge to my romantic sensibilities. As the next generation and the supposed inheritor of this kind of post-feminism, I just don't buy it. Maybe I am a product of too much Living TV and not enough life experience, but I wholeheartedly subscribe to the institution of marriage, and refuse to accept that money is, and always has been, the most important dynamic within a relationship.

Because women are making more of it, so Bolick's argument goes, the pool of "marriageable" (and she specifies, "those who are better educated and earn more than they do") men has decreased, and more women will not get married because financial freedom renders it a choice rather than a necessity for security. Lucky me for being part of a generation "liberated from needing men the way we once did".

Aside from making mercenaries of entire generations of females, the idea that it is women's increased capacity as wage earners that leaves us free to pursue "pure relationships" in which the only motivation is intimacy, is absurd. Being an equal contributor to your marriage is not based on your wage packet. If the wife of a high-earning husband stays at home arranging flowers, does that relationship lose its legitimacy? Should that couple have to battle the assumption that there is some economic angle rather than the "pure" motives of intimacy and love? A dynamic of power based on wage becomes defunct if we refuse to make money the measuring stick for what each party brings to the table. Whilst the above scenario isn't my idea of a good time, I would be happy for my partner to earn more than me, because my economic productivity is not where I place my self-worth, and I hope he will judge his "value" in the same way.

Lucy Snow is an English literature student at the university of Leeds. Rebecca Armstrong is away.

React Now

Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Research Manager - Quantitative/Qualitative

£32000 - £42000 Per Annum: Clearwater People Solutions Ltd: Our client is curr...

Senior Research Executive - Quantitative/Qualitative

£27000 - £31000 Per Annum Excellent Benefits: Clearwater People Solutions Ltd:...

ETL Developer / Consultant

£300 - £350 Per Day: Clearwater People Solutions Ltd: Our client is currently ...

Primary supply teachers required in Stowmarket

£21000 - £35000 per annum: Randstad Education Cambridge: Primary teachers requ...

Day In a Page

Read Next
David Cameron and Ed Miliband attend the Queen's Speech on 4 June 2014  

Scottish referendum: It's hard for us Labour supporters to admit, but Cameron did good here

Rob Marchant
NO ballots are stacked on a table during the Scottish independence referendum count at the Royal Highland Centre in Edinburgh  

Scottish referendum: Some divorces are meant to happen – this one wasn’t

Dotti Irving
Mystery of the Ground Zero wedding photo

A shot in the dark

Mystery of the wedding photo from Ground Zero
His life, the universe and everything

His life, the universe and everything

New biography sheds light on comic genius of Douglas Adams
Save us from small screen superheroes

Save us from small screen superheroes

Shows like Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D are little more than marketing tools
Reach for the skies

Reach for the skies

From pools to football pitches, rooftop living is looking up
These are the 12 best hotel spas in the UK

12 best hotel spas in the UK

Some hotels go all out on facilities; others stand out for the sheer quality of treatments
These Iranian-controlled Shia militias used to specialise in killing American soldiers. Now they are fighting Isis, backed up by US airstrikes

Widespread fear of Isis is producing strange bedfellows

Iranian-controlled Shia militias that used to kill American soldiers are now fighting Isis, helped by US airstrikes
Topshop goes part Athena poster, part last spring Prada

Topshop goes part Athena poster, part last spring Prada

Shoppers don't come to Topshop for the unique
How to make a Lego masterpiece

How to make a Lego masterpiece

Toy breaks out of the nursery and heads for the gallery
Meet the ‘Endies’ – city dwellers who are too poor to have fun

Meet the ‘Endies’ – city dwellers who are too poor to have fun

Urbanites are cursed with an acronym pointing to Employed but No Disposable Income or Savings
Paisley’s decision to make peace with IRA enemies might remind the Arabs of Sadat

Ian Paisley’s decision to make peace with his IRA enemies

His Save Ulster from Sodomy campaign would surely have been supported by many a Sunni imam
'She was a singer, a superstar, an addict, but to me, her mother, she is simply Amy'

'She was a singer, a superstar, an addict, but to me, her mother, she is simply Amy'

Exclusive extract from Janis Winehouse's poignant new memoir
Is this the role to win Cumberbatch an Oscar?

Is this the role to win Cumberbatch an Oscar?

The Imitation Game, film review
England and Roy Hodgson take a joint step towards redemption in Basel

England and Hodgson take a joint step towards redemption

Welbeck double puts England on the road to Euro 2016
Relatives fight over Vivian Maier’s rare photos

Relatives fight over Vivian Maier’s rare photos

Pictures removed from public view as courts decide ownership
‘Fashion has to be fun. It’s a big business, not a cure for cancer’

‘Fashion has to be fun. It’s a big business, not a cure for cancer’

Donatella Versace at New York Fashion Week