...I may be more like a hunter-gatherer than a “modern” Westerner, as the practice among the former is to treat marriage as very important and each partner in the marriage as a critical and similarly empowered member of the contract, while the practice among the latter has been to see women as the man’s property and to form economic, social, and sexual alliances as needed outside the marriage.Hunter-gather societies have occurred in diverse iterations--with a vast array of kinship arrangements. We cannot in fact generalize about the attitudes of hunter-gathers--that they 'treat marriage as very important and each partner in the marriage as a critical and similarly empowered member of the contract.' That's bullshit--and cringe-inducing that Laden sees himself as sharing the hunter-gather sensibility pertaining to marriage. Eek!
Do modern Westerners indeed 'see women as the man’s property and to form economic, social, and sexual alliances as needed outside the marriage'? I just asked three random modern Westerners--and can't find any who believe Laden's got their marriage views right. Does he capture your attitude accurately?
Laden frequently resorts to trivially true sentences:
Who is in on the deal and how they work together to get the job done matters.And he puts forward a lot of non-informative mumbo-jumbo:
Marriage isn’t simple. It is about social relationships, economics, child raising, sex, power, and all sorts of other things. It is important enough that The Patriarchy has owned it, in Western Society, for centuries.So 'The Patriarchy' has owned marriage in 'Western Society' for centuries, though not in non-Western societies? And what is The Patriarchy, when we're discussing, say, 1800 England--when average life expectancy hovered somewhere around 36 years and per capita GDP was less than one-tenth what it is today?
By The Patriarchy I'd be curious to learn what portion of adult society would be included, in Laden's understanding--in that England of 1800? A large portion, even among male Britons, had scant 'ownership' of the institution of marriage then, no?