Let's admit it. Marriage no longer works in today's society. When you look at the recent data, it appears that in the US alone around 47 percent of marriages fail, and in the rest of the world, statistics are nearly similar. That means that more and more marriages today end in divorce. According to a recent poll it was suggested that over 90% of women of this generation are "scared to engage in marriage, because they fear it might end up in expensive divorce." Although "marriage counseling" still exists, and the wedding industry does market marriage to women as if it was the "epitome of success" for a woman, let's not be naïve. Marriage is a dying institution.
According to Orna Gadish, M.Sc., author of Don't Say I Do! Why Women Should Stay Single there are various reasons for this occurrence discussed in great detail in her book that challenges marriage as the first choice for women who are looking to "settle down." Gadish clearly illustrates a unique way to approach life without committing to matrimony, which was more of the choice of past generations. The writer accents that today's women do not need marriage in order to "settle down" in the old-fashioned way.
She goes on to explain that women who are well-versed in modern lifestyles, and have their own careers, they don't need men to support them financially and psychologically, since those women work, study, and are way more independent individuals than in the past. Therefore, according to Gadish, if in the past, a woman needed marriage to "cover" her financially and also psychologically (since women were portrayed and treated as "the weaker sex")—this is no longer the case for a modern woman.
In part, Gadish ascribes the decline of marriage to the "sexual revolution," and today's women's own physical and psychological perception of their body and control of it. One of the contentions of the book is that today's women have more sexual liberties and freedom to "do with their bodies whatever they like." Ever since women released themselves from the "shackles of sexual control," which was the case for patriarchal marriage in the past—women have gained their sexual decision-making powers, "physical authority," and above all, freedom of choice to select their own sexual paths, relationship partners, friends, and also fathers for their children.
Here, the writer's point is that, also in relationships and family matters, women do not need marriage to secure such goals. That said, according to Gadish, today's women do not need marriage to start having sex with a man. She rightly points out that in the past, a woman could have intercourse only after committing to marriage (otherwise, a woman was scorned). Also in the past, it was only marriage that allowed women to create a family and bear children.
But needless to say that today the situation is totally different. "Our lifestyles have loosened became hectic and more diverse," Gadish writes. Today's women can have sexual mates, relationship partners, both long and short terms, all without marriage. Today's women can create families without tying the knot. And above all, women can have babies without marriage (in some cases even without a relationship or a touch with a man...) which is certainly a revolution in women's sexual liberation and decision-making powers.
Bottom line, according to the outstanding book Don't Say I Do! Why Women Should Stay Single, marriage is no longer necessary for women today in order to achieve all the benefits and freedoms that women could secure in the past only through marriage! Indeed, this is truly a remarkable liberation for a modern woman, no matter if she is single or not. The basic concept that a woman can do it all, without marriage (which is "a man-made institution," according to the writer) is significant to every woman!
Another interesting point raised by Don't Say I Do! is about cohabitation of unmarried women and single women. According to Gadish, cohabitation is on the rise today, with millions of women opting for this option rather than for marriage itself. If in the past a woman could live together with a man only after marriage, today, if a woman does not test their "living togetherness" through cohabitation first, the relationship might later fail. Which adds up to Gadish's points for alternative dwelling, relationship, and family options, and also strengthens her case against marriage.
To sum up, I totally agree with Don't Say I Do! that marriage might not be the best choice for a modern woman who wants to "make it in life." The alternatives discussed in Don't Say I Do! are truly great substitutes for marriage. The book really cuts through all the stories society tells us about how "wonderful" marriage is, and sheds light on the new events, options and opportunities for women in light of all the modern social transformations. Thumbs up to Don't Say I Do! Why Women Should Stay Single. A great read on every scale. You can find this powerful book on Amazon and in your local stores.
Don't Say I Do! Why Women Should Stay Single