Satisfying a Fetish

The perfect family according to social idealism.

When you stop and consider the nature of control-driven values one thing you realize is that, in some way shape or form, many of these values are intended to protect an individual from perceived harm. This is particularly clear in such cases as laws against murder, theft, and violence. Whether protecting the person committing the act or the person being acted upon, most rules are designed to ensure the safety and wellbeing of all involved.

That said, what possible protection could such restrictions as race, gender, and number within the marriage paradigm provide for those concerned? How can marrying a person of a different ethnic background, or the same gender possibly harm anyone? In the end, the simple answer is that it can’t. And this fact is being proven today, as interracial marriages are on the rise, and same-sex marriages are proving as loving, healthy, and long-lasting as their ‘opposite-sex’ counterparts. So, what possible reason could there be for not only creating these restrictions, but for enforcing them in such a relentless way?

The sad truth is that it comes down to one simple scenario; these restrictions have been put in place to satisfy a fetish. A good way to understand this is to consider the Chinese practice of foot binding. A brutal and dangerous custom, foot binding is when a young girl has her feet wrapped tightly in such a way as to prevent them from growing into their natural size and shape. This was done to maintain the look of young, tiny feet even into adulthood. Needless to say, this practice has a devastating effect on the feet of the woman being subjected to it. Not only does it disfigure the foot, it can cause all sorts of physical harm, including long-term disability as well as constant pain. Yet it was a practice that only came to an end in the twentieth century, believe it or not.

How exactly does this bizarre practice equate to restrictions on marriage? Simply put, the restrictions were put in place to shape a marriage, much the way that binding shaped the foot. They kept a delicate, idealistic shape that suited the fetishes of the powers that be, at the great expense of all affected. Thus, the ideal of one man and one woman, of the same race and creed, making the ‘ideal couple’ was not only encouraged, but it was forced on everyone regardless of the pain and suffering it caused.

And, while it may yet be shocking to discover that foot binding has only recently been outlawed in China, is it any less shocking that marital restrictions remain in place in what are deemed the most ‘advanced’ societies? If this isn’t shocking enough, perhaps the argument for such restrictions will take the prize. Many claim that by removing the restrictions of race and gender, the most commonly recognized, that the institution of marriage will somehow grow into some grotesque monster. This would be like saying that if you don’t bind the feet of a woman they will grow into the size of a house. Both arguments are patently untrue, and for the same reason.

The bottom line is that any element of the human experience is a lot like a body part. Cared for properly, it can grow to be healthy and strong, performing the tasks it was designed for effectively. However, uncared for, or abused, it can be damaged, even to the point of no longer being able to fulfill its potential. Furthermore, every element of the human experience has a natural size and shape that it achieves when it reaches maturity. Thus, the unrestricted marriage model, rather than becoming grotesque and monstrous, will become healthy, strong, and capable of providing the highest levels of love and happiness.