Perhaps the most relevant restriction within the Old Paradigm marriage model is that of gender. One reason why this particular restriction is so meaningful is that it is being hotly contested today. The restriction of race, although only recently removed in some areas, has been gone long enough to be little more than a vague memory or a footnote in history for most. If fact, these days it’s a rare thing for a person to not at least know someone in an interracial relationship of one form or another. Therefore, the restriction of gender is, at this moment, the most significant element in terms of how it still affects the lives of countless people all around the world.
Unlike the restriction of race, which was put in place due to bigotry and the notion of racial superiority, the restriction of gender is of a different nature. After all, patriarchal cultures define women as inferior, therefore it should be seen as a plus if two men were to fall in love and celebrate a life of marital bliss. However, this is not the case, as men were expected to be the dominant gender, and thus, engage in a marriage where they could hold power over a partner of the opposite, ‘inferior’ sex. This is yet another example of how control permeates the values systems of the Old Paradigm.
Needless to say, we live in an age where equality of the sexes is on the rise, bringing any sense of gender superiority to an end once and for all. This equality has come to transform the perception of roles within a marriage, meaning that neither role is seen as superior to the other. Even so, same-sex marriage is still vehemently resisted by the Old Paradigm, which still holds on to the traditional roles of male superiority and female submission. As such, it demonizes same-sex marriage as an affront to what is considered the ‘natural order’, where man is in control in every aspect of life, including marriage.
There is another aspect to the Old Paradigm restriction on gender, one that is born of religious doctrine. This is another area in which organized religion can be seen to have a profound impact on culture as a whole. Simply put, any culture where the mainstream religion considers homosexuality to be a sin will see same-sex marriage in the same light. Such strong cultural biases eventually make their way into the political arena, where laws are passed not only prohibiting same-sex marriage, but also making it punishable by penalties as extreme as death itself.
As with the case of race restrictions, you could find the hangman executing someone who committed murder, someone who committed treason, and someone who simply expressed their love for the ‘wrong’ person. Again, how can a society stuck in such an antiquated and barbarous system legitimately be referred to as ‘advanced’ in any way? Fortunately, the sun is setting on the Old Paradigm and its control-driven mentality, making way for a new day where love is no longer a crime.