I know that some people don’t see marriage as a position of privilege. For some, it probably isn’t. I know this because I got quite of few questions about why I was getting married so young. As in, what is the point? Well.
I do see marriage, as an institution, as a place of privilege. Sure, you, your rights, children were all property of your husband under coverture. But marriage ensured a certain currency in the world. Married women could demand certain rights from their husbands, like fidelity.
I do see my marriage as having given me advantages that I wasn’t expecting. Before the Boss never took me out to lunch, bought drinks, was social outside of work. Getting married got into a ‘secret circle’ and now I get invited to those gossipy business lunches.
We get mail addressed to the both of us. Family and friends treat my relationship as more legitimate.
I am now seen as an adult who has it figured out. Absolutely being married has helped even out the highs and lows between paychecks but didn’t magically grow a 401K after signing a marriage license. But I now don’t have an excuse for not figuring that out (great, one more thing to add to the to-figure-the-eff-out-list).
I am not trying to say whether privileging married relationships is good or bad. I don’t know. But what I do know is that they are.