Planetcaveman's Blog

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Could “Cohabitation contracts” be the new marriage?

The humid weather and lack of football games on TV has not only bolstered my desire for an alternate football league in the warm months but has also led to other unexpected consequence: I actually watched a few episodes of “Sex and the City” today!  Surprisingly I actually found it a little amusing and enlightening at the same time, while many males would scoff at the idea of watching a show directed almost entirely at females I think it can also be a great opportunity to learn what and how women think.  While one might say “it’s just a TV show” they’d be overlooking the fact that the show can certainly influence how viewers think.

The episode in question revolved around Carrie’s inquiring what the appropriate amount of “using” in a relationship is, specifically regarding sex and power, and how interconnected they actually are.  While I think that has the making for a fascinating discussion Carrie strategerized (Bushism) about dating a rich guy in order to secure jewelry, a wealthy marriage, and then a comfortable divorce.

This got me thinking about our ideas of what constitutes an appropriate divorce settlement.   Suppose we have a wealthy Italian wine-producer who marries a waitress who can barely cover the payments on her VW Jetta, she then lives like a princess for 5 years and then they divorce, at least in the USA she’d probably walk away with a rather hefty portion of his assets.  We expect this, it’s normal to us, but is it right?

Why is it that she gets her hand on wealth that was produced before they were together?  What did she do during that time that merits such a payment?  I can certainly understand a settlement in the case of Ivana Trump where she was VERY active in running Donald Trump’s hotels but why is it the rule rather than the exception?

The sad truth is that the law has been manipulated over time to become a tool to redistribute the power and wealth of those that have it as opposed to a shield that protects us from the aggression of others.  It makes sense that a person get an appropriate portion of whatever wealth they helped create but many marriages/divorces just turn the woman into an extremely high-cost hooker and the man gets turned into an unwilling John who no longer gets the nookie he still has to pay for.  I believe that this arrangement is instrumental in getting many women murdered every year: its one thing to have to deal with a relationship that ended badly but it’s a whole different thing to have to pay that person off for the rest of your life.  Killing the Ex. might be the only thing that allows the male to feel a sense of empowerment and self-control, which he might value more at that moment than the idea of going to jail.

While there would likely be a whole bunch of other benefits to our society if our divorce settlements weren’t de facto tickets to Disneyland, just the fact that people wouldn’t feel pressure to stay together because in the back of their mind they fear getting taken to the cleaners would be a plus.  That lawyers would have less opportunity to parasite off the rest of us would just be some icing on the cake.

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August 1, 2009 - Posted by | Uncategorized

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