She Done It: Mystery Writer Barbara Neely
Do! I Do?
Wants to Marry a Feminist? by
Me Marry? by Ms. Staffers
Special Report on the Fertility Industry:
Since the birth of the first "test
tube baby," assisted reproductive technologies
have been hailed as medical miracles. Ms. goes
behind the hype. >by Ann Pappert
- Both Sides Now:
She married at 18 and instead of finding bliss, she
became a shrinking woman. Now, at 54, marriage is on
her mind again.
- Marriage Vegas Style
In this desert empire 295 couples marry every day.
-Who Wants to Marry a Feminist?
But the real question is why do feminists want marriage?
The issue of same-sex marriage has sparked an impassioned
debate. Asked if she would marry if she could, this
author takes a long hard look at the institution and
SPECIAL REPORT ON THE FERTILITY INDUSTRY
Ms. goes behind the hype of assisted reproductive technologies.
When it comes to fertility treatments, gender makes
all the difference.
Her immediate family fled Germany before being swept up
in the Holocaust, but they forever mourned the loved ones
who didn't survive and the life they'd once shared.
- Women to Watch
- Word: Fuck
- Just the Facts
-The Struggle to Preserve Reproductive Rights
- Laws of Entrapment
- Taxing Menstruation
- High Anxiety
Austria Ditches Women's Ministry
- Opinion: Partial-Truth Abortion
- $5 and a Dream
- Czech Mate
- Newsmaker: Lisa Oberg
- Women Organizing Worldwide: Reports from Philippines,
Mexico, Zimbabwe, and the Internet
- A Newscaster, a Mother, and a Steelworker Talk About
- Damn, She Done It: Mystery Writer Barbara Neely
- Bold Type: Chelsea Cain
- Debunking the Book That Claims Rape COmes Naturally
- More Reviews
-Uppity Women: Tsitsi Tiripano
- Fiction: Resurrection Hockey
- Columns: Carolyn Mackler, Gloria Steinem, and Patricia
- Comments Please!
was more surprised than me when, once, I considered
tying the noose, uh, knot. I'd fallen harder than ever
before, and mistook the intensity for love. Despite
years of protesting the practice, I'd even planned to
change my name. That fleet decision reminded me of those
mercurial moments when pregnancy scares left me thinking
I could go through with an abortion. It's always the
fear of going it alone that gets me backsliding against
think she got scared?" a friend asked about a 34-year-old
newlywed at a party. Her husband had made too many ball-and-chain
"jokes," while she hovered within earshot, eyeshot,
it was my own falling in love, and the slow falling
out, that made me long to get married. To have a love
you honor and openly own. To have someone to share the
ups and downs with, split the rent and the chores. It's
an ideal--like sexual equality, world peace--that I
want. Yet the realist in me looks at the black men/black
women stats and sees that happily-ever-after couplings
are not possible. (And we're just talking numbers. Forget
personality and if you can stand the way he chews).
Somebody will end up alone, and it's nothing personal
if it turns out to be me. That thought doesn't horrify
me--most of the time.
of the time, I would trade nothing for my independence:
my own apartment; no-strings romance; the freedom to
somersault into an abyss of risks and come up smelling
like roses, or not, but no harm done to anyone except
me. Most of the time, I'm aware that my bouts of loneliness
are easier to bear than the misery I've felt in bad
relationships. But often enough, I'm shaken by the men
who tell me that, ratios being what they are, black
women will have to settle for whoever comes knocking.
Or the ones who push polygamy as the "African" solution.
These are good guys, supposedly marriage material. I
just hope I don't get scared.
has beliefs that help make life bearable. As one who
came to this country from India many years ago, my religion
is family. And my ticket to this ultimate security is
marriage. Marriage is sacred. It is the opportunity
to preserve my values in a country where I've ended
up not by choice but in economic exile.
me--recently engaged to a fellow Indian immigrant--the
compulsion to marry is as much about the profound love
I have for my future husband as it is about a rejection
of my adopted homeland and its so-called values. In
the maze of shifting identities in America, marriage
to someone from my culture whom I love and respect (and
vice versa) is a return home. It is the reminder to
myself that not only am I feminist, I am an Indian.
And I am an Indian first. I believe that a happy, equitable,
and lasting marriage with the right man is the balm
I need to stave off the emptiness of the me-first generation.
The idea of marriage fills a deep, visceral need I can't
bring myself to question or wonder about. It gives me
a security I can't deconstruct but that I can't live
without. No empowerment programs and no professional
accomplishments will ever provide me with this.
was the generational divide that first got me thinking
about marriage. I didn't understand why so many young
women in our office said they wanted to marry. The reasons
were often unclear but seemed to be a reaction to boomer
parents who were at best disenchanted, at worst divorced.
We boomers, meanwhile--cynical, skeptical of the state,
leery of the patriarchy--were all asking why do something
that the state so desperately wants you to do, a state
run by men who want to own women, children, and other
property? It was the prospect of lesbian and gay marriage
that got me thinking in another way. I joined those who
supported gay marriage on the basis of equal opportunity.
We should all have the same rights to feed into the patriarchy,
make fools of ourselves, whatever. Later, I shifted yet
again. Quite simply, I fell in love. With a woman 20 years
my junior who--guess what--wants to MARRY! What's a cynical,
lovesick boomer supposed to do? Annie's reasons, it turns
out, have mostly to do with public recognition--the desire
for friends, family, and the state both to acknowledge
and accept our partnership. And also with wanting me to
be her legal decision-maker if she can't make decisions
for herself. Her generation seems to have little truck
with that heady mix of subversive politics and illicit
lifestyles that was such a turn-on for us. Her radical
acts come from the impulse to mainstream change. Would
I do it? In a heartbeat.