There is a lot of confusion these days about what constitutes a “good marriage.” The forces of servility are asserting pressure on” woman” to fall back in time. She is to stand behind her man who makes the important decisions. It is reminiscent of the Nazi rule for Aryan woman: “kinder, kuche, kirche” (children, cooking, church.) She is to follow her husband’s orders and reproduce. There are women today who accept this proposition as good and appropriate. Humans are an amazingly and sometimes inappropriately adaptive species.
But even those not attempting to reinstate this power disequilibrium do not know how to keep their own opinion and still co-habit. They live in a one wins and one loses “world,” an above and below position in relating. But of course, that cannot be. Partnering like true friendship is between equals. Those who have not surrendered the competitive struggle, cannot imagine happily living together where they do not have to agree yet both are right. The epitome of happiness is found in a place of anarchy and difference, a mighty coexistence. It is the most long-lived, healthiest kind of bonding, just like the strongest dog is a mixed species mutt.
I once read of an experiment in which people were given a container to sniff the odors of similar and distinctly different people. The odor of those most physically distant from their selves was most attractive. A feeling of pleasure is energized by what creates the strongest offspring. Survival of the species, a condition in our genes knows the difference.
Historically, those who chose to mate with almost identical types as in royalty attempting to retain ownership of their land, often suffer from hemophilia, a state of uncontrollable bleeding. There are other signs of weakness due to inbreeding, not a good choice at all.
How then is it that despite this we are drawn to similarity? Is it the greed of the land-holding royalty which was passed down to us by identification even though we were their serfs? Our current US snobbery tells us that white is better than black, tall better than short, Straight better than curly, that size breast and nose and mouth….and so on. In so many ways, the ever-changing but currently favored appearance is dictated by fashion- makers who want to sell you something or by those who use it to establish their superiority, has all kinds of negative consequences. Blind to the consequences of our snobbery, of our greedy consumption, pollution, extraction, we seem to be moving towards non-existence.