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Below are the 20 most recent journal entries recorded in Alternatives to Marriage's LiveJournal:

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Monday, August 22nd, 2011
12:12 pm
[elettaria]
Those stats supporting marriage
You know how there are quite a few stats around which purport to prove that married people are healthier, happier and in better relationships? Does anyone know how reliable they actually are? In particular, are there are any stats which compare like for like in terms of relationship length? After all, marriage is still a majority preference, so people in a marriage are likely to have been together for substantially longer than people who are cohabiting. It could just be that the longer your relationship lasts, the more likely it is to be a good one. I was particularly taken aback at the claim that domestic violence is more likely in cohabiting relationships - sorry, can't remember where I saw these figures, but the website looked reasonably good. Although considering how much domestic violence is under-reported, and that married couples are under more pressure to stay together and thus perhaps more likely to keep quiet about problems, the figures could be distorted for those sorts of reasons. The stats certainly suffered from the misconception that if a relationship does not last for the rest of your life then it is a terrible failure.

Meanwhile, another study claims that Marriage and divorce both cause weight gain. It's the BBC and their science reporting is vastly unreliable, but you never know, it might be what the research actually found and the research might even have been properly done! I just checked, and their idea of a "small weight gain" is at least 15lb (over a stone), which isn't all that small.
Thursday, July 21st, 2011
11:57 am
[elettaria]
Hello!
I'm marriagefree and have been getting a bit depressed about the constant social pressure to marry, especially since I recently tried to set up a thread about being marriagefree in the "alternative" section of a message board which was first thoroughly derailed and then deleted. I know I'm not the only one out there who strongly dislikes the institution of marriage! I live with my partner of five years, and while it's a mixed-sex relationship, we're both bi.

I've noticed that this community is dormant, but I thought it was worth a shot. Are there any active marriagefree communities on LJ, or should we just try to shoogle this one back into life?
Monday, November 13th, 2006
12:11 am
[choose_again]
poly project
I have mentioned my polyamory project on my personal LJ a few times but instead of being able to meet with all the people who have volunteered to be interviewed, I have created an online survey. This means strangers can fill it out, too! It eases the process for me, since it will track the data anonymously, and I think it will be easier on those who wish to participate because it is anonymous and doesn't have to be done in person. I hope that my questions are useful and inoffensive. Please do not answer any that cross your boundaries, of course. Also, feel free to hand this around to anyone who is poly friendly- or not, I suppose, as their input is also valuable when painting a picture of the discrimination that polyamorous people face.

Just to make the purpose of this clear: I am going to be doing a presentation in my Culture and Identity class on 12/12 to a room full of future psychotherapists, and I am hoping that I can increase their awareness and support for the poly community in receiving services and advocacy.


Click here to take the survey. Thank you!

Note: there are 2 pages, the next button is at the bottom. the second section is really the more important one (meant for non-poly people too), but does take more time and is more personal. many thanks!

Update:
I'm noticing that many people are skipping the essay questions. is it just too much? should i try and make them multiple choice somehow? any ideas?
Friday, September 22nd, 2006
1:34 pm
[bitter_woman]
lesbian_poly For women who love a lot of women. A lot.
Thursday, September 14th, 2006
12:48 pm
[skibbley]
Anyone here in range of London, England on 14th October is welcome to join us at Polyday.

Polyday

14 October, London



If you know anyone interested who might not of heard of the event, please tell them. Thanks.
Sunday, June 18th, 2006
6:40 pm
[being_together]
Happy_Gay_Life: an alternative approach to alternative lifestyles
Hi, come and join a brand-new homo/bi/t friendly community: happy_gay_life

This is a community dedicated to uplifting your spirit and building a positive glbtq image by sharing joyful and constructive experiences of being glbtq.

Ever wonder why there are so few glbtq stories/movies with happy endings? I did.

I figure out that it has to come from us. We've got to count our blessings and share these lovely moments with each other: the special moments that bring smiles to our faces, that make our hearts sing, that tickle us, that move us to tears of joy ... on a daily basis.

Every time you share a line of joy, you're contributing to creating a better life for yourself and building a positive glbtq image.

Come! Join us and have some fun!
Wednesday, June 7th, 2006
11:37 pm
[strumquill]
Exodus day protest
My Fellow LGBT North Americans:

In protest of the proposed US constitutional amendment to make US marriage ONLY heterosexual....

Here’s what you do. You get hundreds of thousands of gay and lesbian Americans to leave work on the same work day. You all head up to the US/Canada border in multiple major locations on the same day or the same day later. You stage a mass demonstration. And then on cue and en mass you ALL cross into Canada and tie up the border for a DAY maybe more..a WEEKEND in a symbolic demonstration.

We Canadian gays also amass on our side on the SAME day you thousands try to cross into our side, to welcome you - we tie up the border on our side; for the same weekend…

When some of you get to our side we hol symbolic marriages - or real ones- right on our side of the border crossing. You all cross back in MARRIED, symbollically or really…

And we call it…. the EXODUS RALLY !! :)

I’m serious - set the leaving work date as Thursday August 31st, 2006 and the border crossing date as September 1st, 2006. Labour Day weekend.
4:40 pm
[outcastfilms]
Women in Love DVD Release!
Hey everyone,

I work for a relatively new independent LGBT film distribution company in NY called Outcast Films. Women in Love, Karen Everett's documentary about her own experiences with poly relationships, will soon be released on DVD and I just wanted to give you guys the heads up. Check out the info below and pre-order your copy of this wonderful film NOW!

More info about the film and OutcastCollapse )
Thursday, May 18th, 2006
2:39 pm
[eurika27]
Improved Community
CHECK OUT OUR ADS!!!Collapse )

**COME JOIN THE NEXT BEST COMMUNITY NEAR YOU!!!


Erica
Maintainer

PS (To the Maintainer of this community) We are also looking for community's who would like to join forces to become "Sister Community's" so as to promote each other in our respective Info pages? What do you think?
Tuesday, July 4th, 2006
1:28 pm
[death_peach]
For the ladies....  come on, you know you want to.

http://community.livejournal.com/dyke_riot/

Current Mood: giddy
Monday, May 1st, 2006
8:18 pm
[maewe]
Show some love
Yesterday I was in a great rage because I saw for the first time one of the horrible Fred Phelps's propaganda videos. It filled me with anger, and shock, and contempt, and sadness.

But then, i've found this http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Sfln-GJ2D6E&search=Fred%20Phelps&watch2
and i kept crying for nearly an hour. It's a very moving video, very well made, very true. And it made me want to DO something, even if just a little something.
So this is it: watch it and tell me what you think. The message I want to bring is: your are not alone.

Love.
Saturday, December 24th, 2005
6:51 am
[vegan_lucky_3]
My Position Paper for my Women & Gender Studies Class
Kathryn Crittenden
Women and Gender Studies 101
Professor McLean
December 13, 2005
Marriage: An Institution Disguised as Bliss

I want to argue that marriage is a morally discriminating institution. It is masked as a joyful, happy, and harmonious celebration and congratulatory love. Marriage’s dark side lies within the societal ideals and expectations often exercised through legal and social inequalities, discrimination, patriarchy, etc. I am against the institution of marriage for numerous reasons, such as, denial of health insurance to unmarried couples, societal oppression and stigma toward unmarried couples, higher taxes for single or unmarried parents, special benefits for married couples but none for unmarried couples, etc.
There are also several cons for those heterosexuals who do marry. For example, they are often burdened with certain obligations whether it is governmental policy or not. Any burden is susceptible to stress, such as transitioning to sharing pretty much everything, and tension is more than likely to happen more than once, and—if taken to an extreme—can lead to divorce, and most judicial systems in the United States can enable the messiness of the procedure. That, in short, would become a waste, especially since our society risks it and as Dorian Solot, executive director of the Alternatives to Marriage Project and co-author of Unmarried to Each Other: The Essential Guide to Living Together as an Unmarried Couple, puts it, “We love marriage so much that 9 out of 10 of us marry in our lifetimes, and that movies that include wedding scenes sell more tickets at the box office. We place so much importance on the marriage ceremony itself that we delight in throwing the most lavish, elaborate weddings of any culture in history, spending on the average wedding nearly the amount the average American earns in a year.” (Solot 75). So why take the risk? Love does not equal marriage and if any couple truly loves each other, they should have no reason to object to establishing a written agreement of their own, for if ever they wish to separate, and especially if they have children. But what is most important is that any household, family unit, etc. can be perfectly happy and healthy without being in a traditional and conventional heterosexual marriage with or without children.
For any couple or group that decide to live together, money is often one of the first topics to be raised. Life insurance is either refused or very hard to come by for unmarried couples. Bostonian journalist, E.J. Graff tells of an instance that she and her partner, Madeline encountered when they bought a house, “…the bank required us to buy life insurance, naming each other as beneficiaries, because neither makes enough to pay the mortgage on her own. But insurers refused to issue a policy, since we have no legal relationship. Our determined insurance agent finally put us down as ‘business partners—co-owning a house—‘ and snagged us a policy.” (Graff 40). Graff also injects, “What’s common is that financial interests are always at stake—and that society uses marriage as shorthand to define who gets to share and who doesn’t.” (Graff 40). Everything from buying a house, owning a car, to obtaining health insurance—if the customers are a heterosexual married couple, they are automatically the “favored customers” given all sorts of “bonus discounts” just for obtaining a marriage certificate. Whereas unmarried couples are either “put on hold”, needlessly obligated to explain their relationship, shamed and stigmatized for not withholding a “legal” status, or are given permission in rare cases or only under restrictive regulations often with a higher tax. America is a disgusting mockery; America’s package is said to grant liberty, equality, and many other privileges to its citizens.
Groups that disapprove of non-traditional families and think a heterosexual couple with children (conceived after marriage, of course) is the absolute and only right way to live, find it justifiable. Those groups claim that it is ideal, for the best of the children, and a marriage—also equating it to success and exemplary of achieving the American Dream. Groups such as those—who hold “family” in high importance and often as a first priority—want children to be happy and to live the best possible life just as or even more so than their parents did. If that is the case, why are families who love each other dearly subjected to things such as these? “On a daily basis unmarried people are denied access to health insurance, bi-national couples are prevented from being together, partners are shut out of hospital rooms, couples are shut out of faith communities, and people lose their homes when their partner dies without a will. Groups that oppose expanding rights to unmarried people and their families base their arguments on the well-being of children and the strengthening of families. Yet their resistance functions to leave an ever-growing portion of American families out in the cold. The reality is stark: half of children today live in a family other than the one headed by their two married parents.” (Solot 80). The legal issues are almost never helpful and are very black and white when they intervene in the life of a couple or family. “Legal barriers compound the problems. Everywhere that families come into contact with the law—housing, employment, health care, insurance, taxes, immigration, adoption, pensions, social security, inheritance, and more—the legal system is oblivious to the needs and realities of unmarried families.” (Solot 77-78). Graff also states that because of those barriers, many couples choose not to marry and leaves me with the horrid question of whether America is transforming into a totalitarian government. “Some people stay away from marriage because they don’t want the state to make surgical decisions of their functioning as a couple. People who don’t want to live by the general social understanding needn’t enter the institution, or should feel free to try to change it. Certainly many of us would like to see healthcare benefits untangled from coupledom. But in any society, pluralist or otherwise, one hardly expects agreement with every social detail. Only totalitarian government is free of compromise, over time and across groups. “ (Graff 50-51).
There are ways to changing the prejudice toward those who cannot or choose not to marry. For one thing, we can simply look at our statistical data for some incentive. Solot speaks according to up-to-date statistical research, “…unmarried partners are one of the fastest-growing household types, increasing by 72% between 1990 and 2000.These unmarried partner households don’t necessarily fit the stereotype of a young, childless couple either: 41% of them include children.” (Solot 75). With that evidence, we can apply it and use it in organizations—of a wide variety of familial lifestyles—that advocate and emphasize family diversity and can expand awareness as high as state-wide and even higher as nationwide. Solot holds hope and determination that this goal be achievable, “Shifts in social support are likely to happen gradually on their own, as unmarried people and relationships become increasingly commonplace. But updating laws and policy is a more complex process. An organized grassroots lobby of unmarried people could bring change, like the War Widows of America who in the 1960s lobbied successfully to eliminate the “singles penalty” from the tax code. A high profile case of discrimination on the basis of marital status could turn legislators’ sympathies, such as the scores of surviving partners of people killed on September 11, 2001, terrorist attacks who are currently denied access to most survivors’ benefits. The lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender rights movement has already succeeded in expanding recognition of diverse families in a myriad of ways, and is another likely leader in the movement for fairness.” (Solot 80-81).
If Americans are doubtful of that goal to be achievable, they can certainly examine other cultures throughout the world and can be proved of that probability. Obviously traveling abroad can be very costly, but that does not, by any means, eliminate the purpose. “In the last decade marriage rates fell in Australia, Austria, Belgium, Bulgaria, China, France, Germany, Greece, Ireland, Israel, Italy, Portugal, Spain, Switzerland, and the UK, just to name a few. The percentage of births to unmarried parents rose in 14 of the 15 European Union countries, and is 39% or higher in a third of them. The number of unmarried parents in Japan grew 85% in the last 5 years, and in 2001 the Swiss marriage rate fell faster in a single year than it had in the previous eighty years.” (Solot 79). All sorts of cultural statistics—including those pertaining to “family”, “marriage”, etc. can be found, even through the click of a mouse.
Our treatment toward nontraditional couples or families needs reexamination. I have nothing but praise and admiration for diversity. I am an avid supporter and member of the Alternatives to Marriage Project and stand true to this quote by Ellen Key, a Swedish social feminist of the early twentieth century, “Love is moral without marriage, but marriage is immoral without love.”. Love, honesty, and happiness between anybody should be honored and celebrated. True celebration of love itself is priceless.


~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Kathryn Crittenden

Women and Gender Studies 105

Professor McLean

November 26, 2005


Annotated Bibliography


1) Coontz, Stephanie. 2005. Marriage, A History: From Obedience to Intimacy or How Love Conquered Marriage. New York: Viking, 2005.

2) Duff, Johnette and George G. Truitt. 1991. The Spousal Equivalent Handbook.Houston: Sunny Beach Publications, 1991.

Flynn, Tom. “Mixed Blessings”. Free Inquiry Magazine, November, 2003.

3) Goldman, Emma. “Marriage”. The Firebrand, July 18, 1897.

4) Graff, E.J. 1999. What is Marriage For? Boston: Beacon Press, 1999.

5) Mead, Rebecca. “Unmarital Bliss”. The New Yorker, December 2, 2002.

6) Ojeda, Auriana. 2003. The Family: Opposing Viewpoints. Farmington Hills, Michigan: Greenhaven Press, 2003.

7) Sack, Steven Mitchell. 1987. The Complete Legal Guide To Marriage, Divorce, Custody, And Living Together. New York: McGraw-Hill Book Company, 1987.

8) Stacey, Judith. 1996. In the Name of the Family: Rethinking Family Values in the Postmodern Age. Boston: Beacon Press, 1996.

Current Mood: hopeful
Sunday, September 25th, 2005
3:25 pm
[chemical_sex]
Wednesday, July 27th, 2005
10:35 pm
[a_synx]
Being a Pet
I know what you're thinking when I say 'pet.' Extreme submission. Leather. Bondage. Pony play. Leashes. But what I often pine for in a relationship is not the BDSM equivalence of 'pet', but something closer to what pets have in real life.

I mean, how can we possibly not envy our pets? We feed them, give them shelter, and give them affection. They may lose some of their freedom (like the freedom to starve to death?) but really it just seems like a good situation for them overall. I have often said I never want to get married. A husband, a wife, a father, a mother, all those roles just rub me far the wrong way. And even a "significant other" seems too... overwhelming. Too much responsibility. Not to say the reward isn't great, but... not the kind of thing I dig. Even as a child of marriage, as a sibling, or cousin, those familial relationships just don't strike a strong cord with me.

It often comes to mind how much easier things would be if I was smaller, cuter, didn't need to eat as much. Alas these things can never change, but nevertheless, being a pet will remain in my mind the perfect relationship, connection. If I could find a couple, cluster, or family who I could trust enough to be their pet that would be just way past cool. And trust it does take a lot: pets get abused all too often in our society; neglected, viciously trained, ear bobbed. One who desires the lifestyle of a pet has to keep it in mind that cruel people may abuse your status and just make things not nice overall.

In our history of interaction with other animals besides human, we have had "working" pets, and I agree with this too. Freeloading is fun and all, but there's nothing quite so rewarding as bringing home a dead bird for the family who so cares for you. So dead bird, or salary, it's the lifestyle, the situation and the position within the family that really makes my soul sing, not the easy living or any junk like that.

Current Mood: twitchy
Friday, July 15th, 2005
10:32 am
[kitnish]
Midwest Alternative Poly Con early registration extended!
Due to technical difficulties, early registration for the 2005 Midwest
Alternative Polyamory Conference has been extended! Get your
registration in before July 30, and pay only $99! This is one of the BEST
conference values you’ll find all year, but the price goes up to $120
after the 30th. Reduced prices are available for children. Register
your entire family/tribe now!!More con details...Collapse )
Tuesday, June 28th, 2005
1:23 am
[crumpet13]
GAY MARRIAGE: what do YOU think?
I invite everyone to comment (I will not delete any I promise, and I will not comment back):

http://www.livejournal.com/users/crumpet13/

Current Mood: determined
Wednesday, May 25th, 2005
10:39 am
[kitnish]
2005 Midwest Alternative Poly Con Registration Open!
Registration for the 2005 Midwest Alternative Polyamory Conference is now open! Early registration lasts through July 15, and is still $99. More information regarding the conference and registration can be found at http://www.midwestaltpolycon.com. The website is still under construction, so check back often!

Registration in the con is all-inclusive! It includes camping or dorm facilities, all activities, workshops, socials, Friday night's dance, and all snacks and meals from Friday dinner through Sunday Brunch.

Our keynote speaker this year is Janet Hardy. Janet (aka Catherine A. Liszt and Lady Green) is the president of Greenery Press Inc. Under her various pen names, she is the author or co-author of ten books on sexuality, polyamory and BDSM, including _The Ethical Slut_, _The Bottoming Book_, _The Topping Book_, _The Sexually Dominant Woman_ and, _Radical Ecstasy: SM Journeys to Transcendence_. Janet is a bisexual, polyamorous, gender-flexible SM switch who has shared her lifestyle knowledge at workshops and conferences internationally.

This year, back by popular demand, the attendees of MAPC will entertain you through Saturday's dinner with a talent show! Please contact talent@midwestaltpolycon.com if you have an act you would like to share.

Please pass this message on to any other poly groups you're a member of, but please CC me (kitnish@yahoo.com) so we don't duplicate efforts.

See you at the con!

(crossposted to kitnish, altmarriage, bipolypagangeek, ethicalsluts, ethicalhedonism, kithandkin, madison_poly, polyamory)

Current Mood: excited
Thursday, January 13th, 2005
10:16 pm
[saluqi]
Any other queers noticing a divide?
I've noticed for a while that what used to be a shared space in queer culture (ie, no-one expects you to get married or have kids) has now shifted to the extent that most of my queer friends are pro marriage, and want to have kids. I try hard to keep the bridges maintained between us, but it is not easy, especially when a project to have kids or fight for queer marriage becomes a dominant feature of someone's life and I'm still squarely here in no child, no marriage LTR land.

The net result is that I've been making more connections with straight people who have chosen not to get married and not to have kids. Odd where life takes you...

The kids thing is less vexed in some respects than the marriage thing. While I don't want kids I have no in principle objections to kids. I do have some major problems with the hierarchy of relationships that is tied up in marriage tho'. The recent debates in Australia bought a lot of weird things to the fore for me on a personal level.

Like seeing an old mate who had once chained themselves to the South African embassy to protest apartheid writing articles in the paper about how gays are just like you normal hets out there in suburbia (eh?) and so should be allowed to marry. And a het work colleague who remarried, changed her name, would not shut up about it, and made a couple of "well you can't get married" comments to me when the gay marriage debates were on (eh?). It would be easy to peg a person like that as being the conservative enemy, but actually she was in other respects feminist and left voting. It was damned weird.

So, I'm not exactly sure what the point of this post is, except to say hi, and I'm looking for like minded souls because aside from one or two unmarried work colleagues in LTRs I'm feeling the isolation.
Wednesday, January 12th, 2005
6:53 pm
[unworthy_alice]
Hi, I'm new here. Name's Natalie. I guess i writing this for 2 reasons, just because I think
i need to actually see myself write this out and for some advice, maybe.
I don't know.
Here's my super-short version of a really long story.
I met Sam over LJ(!) in Oct of 2003, became internet buddies, met, b/f..g/f, had a
wonderful summer together, he broke up with me(as he says now, i'm not sure what i was thinking,
i just had a lot on my mind, i made a huge mistake), didn't talk for a while, starting talking
again, kind of got back together for a 4 week time, then he graduated College and moved back in
with his parents in TN(i'm in Mi). We still talk, a lot. And in out 4 weeks together, he asked me
to think about coming to live with him in Ca, when he gets a Preminate job there. He says he's
90% sure he wants for me to live with him. And I told him i would if he were seroius. He's the
problem, when we were together over the summer, he had talked about us living together once he
finished college, around the time we broke up, I asked if he was serious about us living together,
he kind of got annoyed i guess. so this time i'm not sure if he's serious or if he's just talking.
we're not boyfriend/girlfriend i don't think, but i'm not sure, we still act and talk like it
but there was never an offical get back together. I want to be with this man, i love him,
but I'm not sure how to bring it up to him that if we're serious about each other than we need to
talk not just him mentioning it every once in a while(sometimes we're talk for 2 hours and he won't say anything, sometimes he's say something about it 3 or 4 times in a half hour.) I really don't know what to do, I need to start planing my up-coming year and I don't know whether to leave him in or out of it.

anyways, thanks for letting me rant.
Friday, January 7th, 2005
1:40 pm
[karenmkk_610]
Hello!
I am trying to make a New Year's Resolution to post more and try to actually meet people. I 'should' be working but the work will be here I am sure. I also want to watch Little Black Book but I want to wati till I can devote my whole attention to it.

My name is Karen and I am a 27 year old lesbian living in Springfield, MA. I am single and hope to change that this year. I have one kitty, who is almost 5 and is VERY very important to me. I like Italian Food, cooking, reading, movies, writting, country music and some show tunes and A LOT more. My favorite tv shows currently are Nanny 911 (the ONLY reality show I watch), ER, 7th Heaven, Strong Medicine (and the Division before it got cancelled), Blue Collar TV, Reba, Roseanne, Who's the Boss and I think that is pretty much it. My favorite actress has to be Clea Duvall with Gina Gershon and others a close second. I don't usually have AIM or Yahoo on because I am doing other things, but I do work at home so feel free to email me or comment if you want. More to come later!
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