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Unconventional Marriages & Sexual Exploration

December 6, 2008

I have been reading a book about unconventional marriages, particularly those of writers in the early 20th century (1915-1920’s).  In it the author seems to rail about the role in marriage of women as a means of introductions, and she adds insult to injury there by then conveying a moral view of how sexuality and marriage have not been helped by the “glutted exploration” evidenced now.  Strange that somehow sexual exploration is supposedly invented by each generation.

So, I struggled through the introduction of morality-based lit crit, and then I struggled through the remaining profiles of marriages destined to be unhappy.  It’s not as if this took some infinite gift of insight.  When a married couple has the husband’s homosexual lover enter the household and then impregnates the wife, strife is bound to occur.  The author describes children physically or emotionally abandoned by their parents’ unrealistic quests for romance, all as though this was new or somehow different from all the dysfunction that had been accomplished by humankind before.

If you are intent on reading about sexuality coded in Ivy school morality, by all means, pick up the book.  If you are tired of hearing about how marriage subjugates all women (even though I think that our society often enacts this even if the husband doesn’t), go ahead and read the book.  Otherwise, it uses lesbian relationships and bi relationships to portray sad and disaffected characters, as though their entire being is encompassed by marriage and sexuality.  All in all:  strange.

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