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The Cozy Spot

5 posts categorized "Marriage"

July 14, 2008

Relationships in the Modern Age: From Christie Brinkley to Frilly Theories on Male Behavior

Christiebrinkleyb Christie Brinkley's divorce has appeared in many shows and magazines. The divorce aired her ex husband's dirty laundry across the world, everything from his affair with a teenager to his addiction to Internet porn, with allegations of his web cam masturbation sessions. It's a tale of yet another celebrity relationship biting the dust for reasons that can (and do) affect non-celebrity couples: infidelity, addiction and humiliation. It's like agreeing to certain relationship terms and finding that the errant partner disrespects the mutual terms, taking a secret detour to find temporary nirvana. Although celebrity relationships are viewed as a unique example, the issues aren't unique or exclusive to celebrities. Infidelity and betrayal are equal opportunity quantities that rear their heads in most relationships, which raise further questions regarding contemporary society, and whether this information driven society is compatible with traditional relationships.

Peter Cook won't be the first or last errant husband to use the Internet to get his jollies off. There are many who opt to reveal their private parts to maintain anonymity, to satisfy their yen for a different partner. The virtual partner or fuck buddy is a popular mod-con; anonymous, distant and open to suggestion, the virtual fuck buddy won't create problems, until Internet histories are discovered or one is busted in the act of preening online. I'm betting that Brinkley didn't see this coming, or anticipated her husband's infidelity or Internet porn addiction. There are things that are impossible to predict, so the statement made by a court appointed psychologist was really interesting because it indicates that some psychologists either have no clue or live on an intellectual pedestal.

Psychologists are renowned for discussing their theories on gender. Some are guilty of promoting their theory of biologically unfaithful men; it's all in the DNA! Where is the proof? Are there any prehistoric cave paintings that prove man's natural need to sow his seed with every vagina he meets? Of course there isn't. Never has been. I feel that the polygamy theory is social and is more closely related to contemporary society. I mean, in an age where all parents are financially responsible for the children they bring to this earth, it doesn't make sense for a man to procreate with every woman, and the same applies to bygone eras. But the present economic world is about disposability, convenience and sales. Thousands of years ago, it was the opposite and closer to the idea of sustainability. Only the wealthy could afford more than one wife, and many royal families featured many wives but the unions weren't sexual or based on the modern idea of romantic/sexual infatuation. It was about bloodlines or maintaining bloodlines within a dynasty. Ordinary men, or men without royal or aristocratic means, couldn't afford to have more than one wife, but not only that, there is no proof to support the theory of men being naturally or genetically promiscuous.

The court appointed psychologist allegedly said (of Brinkley) that Brinkley needed to start working on deeper issues, including her choice of male partners.

I don't think that Brinkley has a bad track record. Her marriage to Peter Cook wasn't an overnight affair and it doesn't seem to be based on whim. Sometimes it is difficult to penetrate the mask that people wear. One marries and sees the bad behavior later. What is the real difference between living together and marriage? Hardly anything. What is the point of cohabiting with a person for years before deciding on marriage? Common law partners are still treated the same way during the separation process and all are legally responsible for the children within a common law partnership. The law in most countries doesn't differ. Why isn't the court appointed psychologist quoted about Peter Cook and his activities? Where is that? Nowhere to be found, that's where but women 'need' to investigate their deeper issues relating to partner choice: here's news for them – sometimes it isn't so easy, and it is impossible to be clairvoyant on such matters.

As a woman, I'm sick and tired of the 'men are naturally promiscuous,' excuse. I think it all a bunch of bollocks, a cop out. Men are conditioned to view women as sex objects, and this conditioning has become something else after research on conditioning was published in the 20th Century. Psychological manipulation is prevalent in the world of commerce. Advertising operates on subtle psychological principles and conditioning and association is popular. You watch a television advert on household cleaning products and you see a woman starring in the advert, in fact you see women in these commercials for decades, so it comes as no surprise that women are associated with housework and cleaning products. Ask a man about the best oven cleaner and chances are that he'll have no bloody clue whatsoever. And no, let's not be rash and blame the entire 'patriarchy' because many executives in the business of conditioning and association are female as well. So it's not that simple to blame the patriarchy. After all, in order for a patriarchy to exist, it had to be supported by the female sector, and by support I mean the subtle support or nonchalant attitudes that exist. The idea of women removing themselves from the patriarchal equation is naïve and tends to be the easy way out or the easy argument. The world isn't about a mysterious Bilderberg-like group named The Patriarchy. It's about commerce, economies and profit. These three things dominate. Take the porn industry as one example: the idea of promiscuity is widely explored in pornography. There are more girls than a guy can handle, but in the ideal world of porn films the guy can handle more than one girl without his dick going soft. In fact, there are no soft-cock episodes in the world of porn, and while a portion of female actresses earn more than men, the idea of 'man conquering' pussy in porn can be considered patriarchal in the modern sense or according to the theory of male biological promiscuity, but it isn't purely patriarchal because women are also making the choice to participate in the films and there is also a portion of women purchasing the films to augment their sexual fantasies. In other words, the theory of supposed genetic infidelity is a fantasy and it is a commercial fantasy.

How can a woman like Christie, or any other woman, anticipate relationship disaster? Is it obvious beforehand, when a person puts on their best clothes for a date or displays perfect manners and conduct? After the relationship enters a regular routine, people find themselves living their life according to the agreements they made, and I'm not talking about wedding vows here, just the regular agreements and they can be anything. Even couples in open relationships have rules. Every individual relies on some code of conduct. It all boils down to knowing where one stands in a relationship.

You're an individual in the contemporary era and you're a female who is advised to analyze choices or the reason behind certain choices. It's what women have been advised to do for many decades but there are never any clear answers, and each relationship is different because people are different. There are patterns of behavior, definitely, but they often materialize differently (different time intervals), and it's not easy to step into the subconscious and demand instant answers. In Christie's case, one can't say, 'oh it's easy, all her partners were philanderers,' because they weren't. Thus, the issue is more subtle or subtle to the point of escaping the individual; the closer one gets to the reason behind certain choices, the reasons elude the individual and when coupled with the modern era of convenience, relationships become more difficult to negotiate in the long term. Is Christie's latest statement, vowing never to marry again, wise? It probably is wise. What does that say about the idea of marriage in contemporary society?

Don't put all your eggs in one basket and always have an escape hatch ready; have your finances sorted, a career ahead of you (and Christie is a great example: maintaining her own career), because we're living in a volatile era, and life isn't a romance novel.

Image: US Magazine

April 07, 2008

Want Marriage? Go to School. Want a Life? Don't Live in Sydney

We have had weird developments here in Australis. A little over a week ago, the NSW government or idiotic premier Morris Iemma, announced that parents of truants could be jailed if their kids continued to skip school. As for what would happen to those children if parents were jailed? Well (according to the stupid Iemma government), the Department of Community Services (DoCS) would step in, even though they are incompetent and many children from abusive households have died in the process of having DoCS take care of their cases. What is the point of this in relation to the title?

The (Labor) state government of Australia's largest city is incompetent (the Labor Party is so sad: latest example was Prime Minister Kevin Rudd giving George W Bush a military salute!), many ignorant people voted this incompetent state government in yet again, based on promises given by a premier with cadaverous eyes, idiotic policies and incompetent/corrupt staff. Severe disciplinary action (against citizens/parents) seems to be the rule of engagement. That, as well as lies and denial. Education is 'important' to the government, even though more private schools receive government funds.  Public schools lose out, and the push for tradition keeps on going and is 'backed' by census results.

According to the Australian census results, educated women, who have university degrees, have a better chance of getting married. Now I'm wondering if the census was necessary to arrive to that conclusion.

Continue reading "Want Marriage? Go to School. Want a Life? Don't Live in Sydney" »

December 14, 2007

The Ritual of the Bed

As far as I know there is no equivalent definition in English, just like there is no equivalent tradition. If I use the term The Bed, it could mean anything. When this term is translated in Greek, ‘krevati,’ it can mean various things but when it’s added to an upcoming wedding, it means one thing: the prenuptial ritual performed the Thursday before the wedding ceremony.

The centerpiece of the ritual is the bed, and it’s embedded in so much tradition that nothing has changed much; money and fertility are of prime importance. Money is essential for staples such as that home entertainment system, white goods, or other home appliances, and fertility is symbolized by rice, which is thrown on the bed to bring good luck and fertility. Now if you have a spare child handy, you can throw the child on the bed as well. Why not?

The Bed (Krevati) isn’t a segregated rite, or one restricted to females; men attend, and contribute, and it’s one big happy gathering, but I was thinking that there were many other things that could be added to the bed to promote fertility.

Continue reading "The Ritual of the Bed" »

August 20, 2007

'Til Death Do Us Part

It’s hard to pinpoint the moment that marriage became linked to love, but one simple breakdown of history points to this institution being anything but love related. The ancient Egyptians married to consolidate dynasties; the same can be said for other – more recent – royal families. Marriage, in cultures other than the mainstream culture or the little microcosm (one steeped in romance), worked as a means of survival. Even in contemporary times, in the mainstream cultures that advertize marriage as a union of love, investment takes top priority. Did Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis love Aristotle Onassis or vica versa?  She saw it as a viable option; when the marriage was going downhill, she shopped. He married her because of her status, that was his arrogance; to put one up the federal authorities who dogged him. His view, 'I'll marry your number one woman.' No one liked it, but it worked for both of them for a while, and it wasn't about love.

The mail order bride was a woman who was married off in order to gain some semblance of a normal life away from poverty in countries like the United States of America, among others. Pantelis Voulgaris’s film Brides, illustrates the mail order bride concept, basing it on real events, and it’s not an isolated example. The mail order bride isn't a figment, and as societies and ideologies are deconstructed, mail order brides increase. An example of this is the Eastern Bloc, or the former Soviet Union, and the mail order brides it has produced in recent years.

I am surprised that once again, the endangered species (‘The Feminist’) in the form of Germaine Greer, is trying (desperation on roids) to tear down more people, by whining about their ‘extra-marital’ affairs. I'm surprised, because she's never been married beyond three weeks.

Life isn’t perfect. I’m not quite fond of the extra-marital thing myself, particularly the pissy excuses people make to justify their deceptions, but marriage – the way I see it (historically and socially) – wasn’t developed for ‘love’ or love in its western romantic form. There are many relationships that developed from the extra-marital affair; Elizabeth Taylor met the love of her life in Richard Burton, while she was married.

What gets me about Greer’s latest offering, in the Independent on Sunday, is that she goes on about Princess Diana’s affairs with married men, like Prince Charles wasn’t doing Camilla (who was married prior to her divorce) for years, prior to Diana having a taste of freedom? The thing is, people meet people, and attraction isn’t held back by marriage. Perhaps Greer, a vintage neo-virgin, has never been in the position to yield to her attraction toward an attached individual; sure it feels terrible, some may feel guilt, but the attraction can be so dazzling, it blinds, regardless of the marital status of the other.

Marriage is a social construct, and in our times it’s come to represent everlasting love, when this quantity or one’s perception of love may change over time. The marriage of then, one that included duty (more so than love, in many cases), isn’t the same today. Duty? Loyalty? Contemporary marriage isn’t restricted to love (or the idea of love based on certain moments, gestures or environments) and duty, it’s also about the value of the return; do we gain from the investment that we make? And, in some cases, it is a large investment: emotional, financial, sexual, social and so on. It's not about keeping the home fires burning, cooking a nice roast dinner, and giving hubby his slippers after a long slog at the office. The world, as it currently stands, is wholly different to the world of the 20th Century. Technology has enabled more people to meet, has broken communication barriers, and has raised the probability of numerous attractions, on many levels, which is why the olde concept of marriage has a small chance of survival. There are fewer people celebrating Gold wedding anniversaries and the likelihood of celebrating a platinum anniversary is about as guaranteed as world peace. It's not to say that I expect the worst, but I've become more realistic about it; to put all hope into one concept is like readying the guillotine.

The very word, marriage, is just that, a word that defines a blend. It has nothing to do with ‘love’ (as a word). Marriage, as a definition, is not synonymous with love. Why can’t an academic like Greer understand that?

She also goes off at William Shakespeare, and my only guess is that she has to pick the foremost English playwright of an era, simply because she has little else to offer (as a feminist, as an environmentalist, or as a woman.) Shakespeare may be dead for centuries, but his works probably sell more than her tomes. It's amazing that she hasn't included King Henry VIII in her commentary; he found new wives while married, and used his authority to eliminate them in order to marry his new infatuations. He decapitated the wives he wasn't interested in. Such was his barbarism. But no, let's pick on William Shakespeare. Why? Because she's written a book that she has to sell (trying to add Diana stardust to the book, about Shakespeare's wife Anne Hathaway; unrelated to Diana's story, but hey, every one and their dog is an opportunist, particularly Aussie ex-pat nouveau British authors who need to sell a book. Just add Diana for instant publicity and she planned on this, hence her previous essay on Diana published in the Weekend Australian a little less than a month ago), that's why.

It's what pisses me off about some (not all) contemporary authors today, they wax lyrical, playing a violin, just so they can sell a book that can't sell on its own merit. My understanding, after reading books for many years, and working in a publishing company, is that the more vocal the author (in the way they prostitute their work), the more mediocre the book. Shakespeare may be dead hundreds of years, but you don't see an agent talk the book up. It still sells. Likewise, many contemporary books sell by themselves, without authors getting all courtesan about it. There's a distinct relation; the more an author prostitutes a book, the more crap the book. Dan Brown didn't need to blog about the Da Vinci Code, for example and he didn't sit there giving his thoughts on celebrities, or royalty. Neither does Stephen King or JK Rowling; but Greer, or authors like Greer are lucky to sell a quarter of a million books, excess stock is returned to the distributor, and within ten years, one is unlikely to find their work in a bookstore; some other works disappear within a year. I've had difficulty, for example, locating many of the seemingly popular (on the web only) blog books in many of the large outlets of Sydney; less than twelve months after their release. One of the best books of the last twenty years, in my opinion, has to be Patrick Susskind's Perfume. It's a literary masterpiece. Why? Because twenty years later (that's when I bought it) it still sits on 9 out of 10 bookstore shelves, and has been recently made into a film. As for feminist thought? It dates, and can grate on the nerves, falling out of fashion faster than bell bottom jeans, that have made a few comebacks. A book that disappears from retail bookshelves within twenty years, hasn't made an impact on the collective consciousness, and really, despite people saying they write for themselves (I'm guilty of that too), that's not true. The dream of publishing a work is also a dream of tapping into the collective consciousness. There's always a bit of ego there, but when ego overrides morality? What then? To assassinate a dead mother's character to sell a book (like Greer has done), says more about the craving of celebrity, than anything else. When that happens, it's not about humanity or the collective conscious. It's about the most basic, infantile drives; Greer's assassination (although post mortem, a decade down the track) of Princess Diana (among others) in death, more or less nullifies her works on the female plight. If you don't have one smudge of empathy for a mother (regardless of her stature), then you can't discuss feminism or female rights. Thus, for me, her entire treatise on feminism and women's rights became null and void. She doesn't respect the rights of children (Diana's two songs, or Irwin's children, who are under ten years of age). Null and void. A waste of space. A supposed feminist, who ignores the rights of children (by assassinating their dead parents) should not be called a feminist. Vulture, yes. Ghoul, yes. Mediocre? Shit yes, especially if they resort to criticising a dead person's sex life to sell a book.

Feminist? No.

Greer is the ultimate hypocrite. When the issue of an author (writing a biography) approaching Greer's mother came to light, Greer could only froth at the mouth and threaten the author with broken kneecaps, she doesn't like it when the shoe is on the other foot, but it's perfectly all right for her to publicly go on about the deceased parents of children living today; that is how vile she is or has become and it's a shock, particularly when - like me- you spend some of your formative years as a young woman looking up to these 'bastions of thought', to see them resorting to cheap barbs to sell books or maintain their celebrity; I feel like taking all my ancient dockets (if I had them) to the bookstores and asking for my money back. A decade of accumulating feminist thought for what? To see a circus clown clutching on the final threads of celebrity, resorting to a horrid form of defamation? For her to now tell women about marriage; fuck off Greer. You can't even give a dead person a break, and you're going to tell women about marriage. Marriage is an individual experience; it varies and it may or may not work out. C'es la vie.

For those who are exclusively live in a society (or microcosm, which is what it is – on a global scale) that entwines marriage with love, it may be difficult to comprehend the reality of marriage as a social construct (one that is geared toward furthering a male or family line, or enabling economic survival) in contemporary times. One look at the rise of eastern bloc mail order wives provides one current example that marriage isn’t restricted to romantic love.

And who is Greer to discuss marriage? As a card-carrying feminist, she’s never married or lived, what can be considered, a married life (three weeks of marriage hardly reflects longevity). One doesn’t have to be married in a religious institution to be married. A married life is one that involves two people marrying their beliefs and goals. The marriages that Greer discusses are those that involved the bonding of two people, to produce offspring, and that’s something that she’s never done.

She has never given birth to anything but her ego. It's as though she is still in transition, for how can a woman be a woman if she has not experienced or yielded to the maternal?

I think the UK need to put her on a tall ship, and transport the Greer back to Australia (lol). The audacity to critique William Shakespeare when she is - as housemate says - a 'fucking tourist' is laughable. It's like shifting to the US and attacking someone like Mark Twain or John Steinbeck for trivial reasons. Who the hell cares about their marriages, and their conduct (of which can only be assumed). A reader cares about the literature, not the ins and outs of an author's relationship.

In Greer I see the dying flame of leftist-neocon-capitalist (based on book sales and royalties)-feminism, not that it gave anything anyway; western women still purchase clothing and accessories that are made by other women, paid a pittance from other 'third world' countries, and this is why it hasn't worked or if it has, it's only worked for the western woman, ignoring  the larger sector of women who toil for less than a thousand dollars a month (more like five hundred dollars a month, or even less in some countries). And that's a fact. If one takes a look at places like Juarez, or countries like Guatamala, and the rife crime toward women, one can only conclude that the 'global' form of feminism, put out by white arsed feminists in capitalist countries did little to improve the plight of women around the world. Present day Guatemala (a place that is far off the beaten track or map for any Australian or American feminist; they probably prefer the Cotswolds or the Hamptons), for example, sees an average of two women dying (in gruesome ways) per day. So in my book, it (the White Caucasian feminisms) doesn't wash or can only be suitably washed down with Dom Perignon; it's so far reaching and universal - not.

Greer, and others like her, are like frantic fish, writhing as they suffocate on 21st Century terra firma, their Ism, dying a slow agonizing death, because they have nothing else to say or add. Greer, listed in Prospect magazine's list of the 100 greatest thinkers, who hasn't offered a workable theory to make the world a better place, one who has resorted to robbing dead people, like a celebrity ghoul, of their dignity like a desperate gravedigger, to add to her fame; a great thinker!

Sir Isaac Newton is lucky he didn't marry, otherwise la Greer would waste little time taking his husbandly behavior apart!

She only has the balls to attack dead people. William Shakespeare, Princess Diana, and Steve Irwin (less than 48 hrs after his death). If she attacked anyone living, and they replied, she wouldn't be able to reply or hold her head up throughout the verbal volley. I think the worst or the lowest of the low would have to be to attack a child's parent; to a child, a parent is above God, and this is what she has done on two recent occasions. Vile, heartless and hardly one to discuss feminine issues, because she lacks empathy; a human invertebrate.

Greer is a courageous feminist; δεινόσαυρος

I'm through with the labelling; isms and classes ('suppressed,' 'repressed', whatever other crap). It's when these divisions are created, that problems ensue and I guess that's because all these types of labels lack one term in their discussions:


May 05, 2007

In Babel’s Tower

I figured I’d do it halfway, and somehow please my mother in some sort of way. Stopping short of marriage, I cohabited with a man from my culture for years, and although we could speak the same languages I didn’t see the supposed innate communiqué that was meant to exist. Friends of mine would go on at length about feeling ‘at home’ once they blended with their cultural clone. Sure enough, there are some things that hit home quicker than Carl Lewis, and those things (for me anyway) pertain to dirty talk or intimate sayings, but outside of this everything else annoyed me.

Where to begin?

The double standard is a popular topic of debate, and has been for decades or ever since feminist luminaries made it a global debate topic but it is often more profound within cultures that aren’t part of the mainstream. I don’t know, it has a spicier taste, and is draped thickly throughout many signposts in life and this is where relationships enter the scene.

I can’t speak for all Greeks, especially those who live in Greece, but one thing I do know is that immigration has somehow forced many of my folk to clutch their culture like a shield (at the cost of progress), and this can sometimes translate to a reluctance to adapt to everyday concepts like equality. Sex would often pepper conversations, where women were divided into two categories: the Madonna and the Whore. The whore represented the good time girl, the type that one wouldn’t bring home to meet the family, who was also less likely (or seen to be) to maintain a stable relationship or a home whereas the Madonna represented virtues that would elevate her man to some form of He-man status.

Continue reading "In Babel’s Tower" »

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