Saturday 25 March 2017

Eilis O'Hanlon: Love and marriage go together for gay and straight

Getting hitched is so much fun that most Irish people believe everyone should have the chance to do it

Eilis O'Hanlon

AS YOUNG Leftie feminists studying politics and sociology in the far-off Eighties, we were all convinced that marriage was a failed bourgeois institution which had run its course and would soon bite the dust of history. Liberated women wouldn't stand for it anymore, and that recently discovered subspecies, the New Man, wouldn't dream of asking any woman he cared about to subsume herself into his oppressive patriarchal identity.

Of course, it didn't quite work out that way. Rather than becoming unfashionable, marriage is more popular than ever. Look at Kate Winslett, who did it last week for the third time. Kate's only 37, so she still has plenty of time to catch up with Zsa Zsa Gabor (nine weddings), and why not?

People like getting married so much these days that they do it all the time. Even gay people, who could once have been relied upon not to fall for those icky, socially-constructed delusions, ended up being as sold on the whole marriage shtick as the rest, especially when marriage was reconstituted, according to the liberal vocabulary, as a "right". There's nothing more guaranteed to make a being want something than to tell them that they can't have it.

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