The End of Marriage

Emilia Roig, founder of the Center for Intersectional Justice in Berlin, is one of the most important feminist voices in Germany today. In her new book, she is challenging old thought patterns about marriage.

New forces are at work: The gender debate, the LBGTQ movement, and thoughts on decolonising thinking are a matter of course, especially for the younger generation; the fact that marriage is now also being questioned is not entirely attributable to today. Since the 1920s and earlier even, there have been women who have consciously decided against it, even if this has made their lot in life much more difficult. It is women who question marriage, not men, because what can change in it is primarily relevant to them, even though Roig emphasises that new possibilities would be just as ‹beneficial› for men. She identifies marriage as a form of oppression because it solidifies binary structures, standardises couple life, and doesn’t value women’s work with children equally. One can be annoyed by the feminist way of looking at the world or experience it as liberation. Following on from sympathy or antipathy, however, a consciousness-soul question space opens: What does it mean to be in a relationship? What forms of love and true co-existence based on equality and partnership are waiting to be discovered? It cannot be about abolishing marriage simply because it is fashionable. It is about questioning our chosen togetherness again and again and understanding that it is not the same for everyone. The dimension Roig criticises is on a social level, not on that of individual choice. «It was only in my mid-20s that I became aware: there were women in my village who were not married, and I always perceived them as a bit ‹abnormal›, pitiable even. In my sphere of life, the ‹mother, father, child› structure was normal.» Roig wants to question this social normality and open it up to new possibilities. This is the real benefit of the discourse.

Translation Eliza Rozeboom
Photo Nima Izadi

Print Friendly, PDF & Email

Letzte Kommentare