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SOC 605 - Week #5 Notes.docx

8 Pages

Course Code
SOC 605
Kelly Train

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Marriage and Intimacy Changing Patterns of Intimacy • Until the 1850s, nobody got married for love • Arranged marriages were common • Arranged marriages in the 1850's were different then, than they are now • Marriage was considered an "economic unit" • The marriage was between two families (two people from the upper class, and usually the arrangement was that one of you had a lower title but a lot of money while the other one had a high title, but no money). As a result, a marriage took place between these two families to benefit both parties (the one with no money would be provided with money, and the one with no status or class would receive that) • Peasant families - marriages were based on the day to day survival of the family • By the 1880s, upper-middle class families throw these coming out parties. They invite friends, family and eligable male suitors • The female dances with the male suitor for a brief period of time, and then after that he starts to write her letters describing how he imagines her to be. She does the same. • You're not allowed to be in the same room as him before the two of you get married. He would come and have tea with your father, and you might serve the tea but otherwise you would not be in the room. He then asks your father for your hand in marriage. It's not until you're married to this person that you spend any time unchaperoned. Even once you're engaged, and he comes to family events you still have a female relative that tags along very closeby, and is privy to all of the conversation. In fact, even with the rest of the family around, she is the chaperone to make sure that absolutely no sexual activity happens between the two of you • There is no such thing as dating until after World War I • Even after World War I, until the post World War II era, dating was also heavily chaperoned • The chaperoning was to ensure that the woman's sexuality, and her virginity was kept intact. The reason for this was that in a patriarichal society, the way that men ensure that a child is theirs is through the woman's monogamy • The Victorian Era was focused on regulating sexuality • It tried to eliminate homosexual sex, sex for pleasure. It also meant cracking down, and ensuring people's chastity • Women were blamed for rape (revictimised) because the idea was that as a good woman, it was expected that you regulate your own sexuality and the man's behaviour • If he ended up "breaking you," that was your fault because you didn't do a good job of moral guidance Wedding Traditions • Your father walks you three quarters down the aisle, and the groom walks from the alter to take you from your father. That moment is the exchange of property • It is also symbolic that you no longer belong to your own family • Bridal suites came about because historically, people either got married in the church or in the home. You signed your secular, and relgious contract. Even though you sign this, and go through the marriage ceremony, your marriage is not in effect yet. Which is why immediately following the wedding ceremony, there is 45 minutes in which the bride and groom disappear. This time is specifically to put your marriage in effect. The couple is then escorted to a room in the house, or to the bridal suite (by having sex). • Anullment does not mean divorce. It means that the marriage was never consumated • The entire purpose of the marriage is for procreation • The expectation was that you got pregnant on your wedding day (through that act of consumation) • The act of consumation is based entirely on the male race • Consumation is based on not only insertion, but that he must have an orgasm • Marriage laws are written by men, and based on the male experience • You needed legal proof for the marriage to be recognised as "official." You needed to prove that the hymen had been broken and that the woman was a virgin • However, a lot of these women rode horses and engaged in physical activity so they didn't have hymens • After the 1850s, people were given the opportunity to choose their own partner • The first person to take a honeymoon was Queen Victoria. She was also one of the first people to choose who she married, largely because she got to choose from a group of people • The idea of the honeymoon was that you married this person for the reason of love, and now you were going to get to know them on your honeymoon • The honeymoon was in fact, the opportunity for the couple to practice their domestic roles • The honeymoon was also supposed to be a period of sexual adjustment • Brides were usually told by their mothers, and their aunts that they would probably never have sexual satisfaction but that they should keep trying to achieve it • One of the central places that people tended to go to for your honeymoon was that you went to Niagara Falls • Niagara Falls was created as a tourist attraction for couples • In the 1880s, they were building railroads in which the very wealthy would take a train down to Florida (which took weeks to reach) which is why people went to Niagara Falls, because it was closer • One of the most polluted, and toxic places in Niagara Falls is called the Love Canal. You took a gondala ride with your marriage partner on the love canal Constitution and Marriage Trends • Nobody cohabitated until 1970 because there was no reliable contraception • Married women got rid of unwanted pregnancies through back-alley abortions • Single women did not do this • In 1969, when birth control pills become legal, one of the things we start to see is how cohabitation starts to take hold • Essentially, reliable contraception made it so people could cohabitate • The highest cohabitation trends exist in Quebec (even to this day) • The relation between the catholic church and the state was that the catholic church dominated • English capital enriched both the state, and the Catholic church of Quebec • The catholic church infringed on everyone's life (women did not get to vote until 1940 in Quebec) it also denied french canadians any access of all forms of contraception and sex education • In 1967, the Quiet Revolution begins • This fought both the Catholic church, the state, and english monopolisation of the Capital • People refused to get married so they wouldn't have the church or the state telling you what to do • People stopped getting married, and simply cohabitated. They stayed together for their lives, and had children but refused to get married • All swear words in Quebec, are very different from french words in France (the ones in Quebec all contain church imagery in them). • The Quiet Revolution changed the nature by which families were formed • In addition, we also see reliable contraception making cohabitation possible in the rest of canada (1970) and changing gender roles also come about with feminism • The Feminist Movement argues for women being agents of themselves
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