This keeps coming up here, and I'm a big proponent of avoidance being a crummy way to deal with anything, so I wanted to clear something briefly with all of you, especially since being transparent is something we try hard to do as an org.
In general, I personally try and just avoid questions about marriage and engagement, especially when people are asking about either as legal/cultural institutions, rather than as private, non-legal agreements, leaving them to other volunteers. For the most part, I will still do that much of the time.
The reason that I do that is that while I do not feel I have a bias around either, I do have an intellectual personal and political opposition to both. If I do have any actual bias, rather than educated opinion, it's based in having seen more than my fair share of friends be dragged through some truly nasty divorces in my adulthood, experiences which certainly from a small part of my opposition, but which I can also separate out fairly easily in my head.
I absolutely support everyone's right to participate in those things privately or as institutions; I am supportive of my friends marriages who are married. I have been part of more than one wedding party, and have been as happy for my friends' happiness as anyone else.
However, I have very big problems with many of the historical origins of marriage and its politics, with the ways marriage has impacted both men and women, with the way it has been institutionalized and many of the political polices within and around it, including those about dissolving marriages. Because of that, while I can certainly be supportive of married people and those who want/plan to marry, in general, it's just not something I feel comfortable being supportive of when it is in any way about the institution or legal agreements.
While I think I am not the only person here on staff who feels this way, I think that I am also, for the most part, in the minority. So, there are plenty of volunteers here who do and can talk about these issues with you, and can do so without feeling the way I do.
I wanted to make that clear just so that a) no one felt I had any sort of hidden agenda, but also b) so no one felt slighted in any way when I don't answer/participate in those topics.
By no means should any of you ever feel that my personal feelings on this -- especially if understanding what they are is new to you -- means you should not post on those topics here or ask about those things. You should feel as free to ask about marriage as anything else, since I recognize we all have a variety of feelings and stances on this, and I'm supportive of our diversity.
-------------------- Heather Corinna, Executive Director & Founder, Scarleteen About Me • Get our book! Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world. Indeed, it is the only thing that ever has. - Margaret Mead Posts: 63680 | From: An island near Seattle | Registered: May 2000
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