Links on modern masculinity

As a follow-up to my comments on male roles, here are links to a few interesting articles. One is by a historian called Stephanie Coontz who’s just written a history of ‘modern’ marriage (from late C18):
The second is a discussion of a new book on the ‘future of men’, which seems to be taking a more useful approach than just saying we need to turn the clock back again:,,1-7-1737856-7,00.html
Finally, a fairly depressing article about divorce (but which shows incidentally, how difficult it would be to turn the clock back, given attitudes have changed):

I think high rates of divorce are one of the downsides of the social changes since the 1960s to marriages/families, which are positive overall, in my view. I think I may keep this article to hand as an awful warning for the times (relatively few during 15 years of marriage) when I’ve thought I might be better off out of the relationship.


3 thoughts on “Links on modern masculinity

  1. This last article is at the heart of why. Why do people need to actually bother getting married today. There are no particularly bright tax incentives any more and it is painful and often cruel for bothe parties but more often, for a woman.
    I am doing a blog on this very issue and I with you permission would like to use this link.. crediting you with it?


  2. You’re welcome to include this link or others in this blog. As for why people get married, while there may not be income tax advantages any more, there are a number of other legal and tax advantages for married couples, although ironically, most are visible only when the marriage ends either via death or divorce. There are inheritance tax exemptions and also intestacy provisions (if you die without making a will) and pension rules which benefit widows/widowers. If unmarried couples split up, there may be a very unfair division of assets and unmarried men do not automatically have parental rights over any children from the relationship. There are also other rights within marriage, e.g. if your spouse is in hospital, you have more information/influence over their treatment. The range of rights given is shown by the legal impact of the new UK civil partnerships for gay couples (which very largely gives such couples the same legal rights as the married).

    Speaking as someone married to a former solicitor (and thus being relatively well-informed about the legal position), I can’t see any advantages for someone in a serious, longterm relationship in not getting married. Marriage can bring emotional problems and even cruelty, but so can any kind of relationship.


  3. Thanks for this reply magistra. A couple of points I would like to make. In planning a long term relationship, it would make legal sense to “protect” partners rights, as you say, at the end of it. Although it seems to me that there are not that many obvious advantages for marriage during it. So would you say this why people get married.. for legal reasons? Todays young people seem much less inclined to engage in long term relationships anyway. Women are far more independent socially and do not always feel the need to be locked into exclusion to just one man. Would you agree? This is I feel confusing for young men these days.
    So why marriage on this basis, and is marriage ultimately doomed as a basis for two people sharing at least a portion of their lives together? Would you say that men and women get married for different reasons.. other than the legal consideration and the obvious one of sole access to that partner?


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