MAR­RIAGE RIGHTS

Southern Gazette (South Perth) - - OPINION -

THERE is no mar­riage un­til the of­fi­cial piece of pa­per is signed and wit­nessed. That pa­per has en­abled gov­ern­ments, em­ploy­ers, religious bod­ies and so­ci­ety to in­ter­fere and make rul­ings based on mar­riage.

If a male un­der 21 mar­ried, they im­me­di­ately went on to full wages; their wives were not per­mit­ted to work.

Later, in the work­force, mar­ried women could not be on per­ma­nent staff, could not get su­per­an­nu­a­tion.

Gen­er­a­tions went to their graves re­ferred to only as Mrs… male name… male sur­name.

Ti­tles in­di­cate mar­ried sta­tus for fe­males only. Houses were in the name of the hus­band, as were the chil­dren.

Women needed their hus­band’s per­mis­sion to ob­tain con­tra­cep­tives. Chil­dren born out­side mar­riage were os­tracised.

Gen­er­a­tions of peo­ple have gone to their graves listed as un­mar­ried, di­vorced, wid­owed.

In the 1600s, the cel­e­bra­tion with ma­tron of hon­our, brides­maids etc was for the landed strata in Eng­land to main­tain the line of in­her­i­tance.

Oth­ers lived to­gether and named them­selves hus­band and wife.

The whole con­cept and lan­guage of mar­riage needs to be re­viewed. Never again should it be used for ti­tles, dis­crim­i­na­tion, in­ter­fer­ence or os­traci­sa­tion.

That signed and wit­nessed piece of pa­per should be just that: a con­tract be­tween two peo­ple. LAVINIA TAR­RANT, Dianella.

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