Sunday, April 10, 2011

When "marry me" is used as a compliment, it isn't, really.

I was reading along, some various times both past and present, and encountered the use of "are you married?/I want to marry you" as short hand for extreme approval of some statement. I've done it myself but am putting stop to that habit for the reasons below.

Here's the thing, complimenting someone by telling them you love what they've done so much you want to marry them (in jest, of course, because you don't actually, unless of course you do, in which case, this little diatribe of mine is not for you) is an attempt to compliment someone through offering them something of great value, value in accordance with their own demonstrated worth. And what is the thing of great value to which the individual's worth is compared? The marriage state.

Because marriage, in this patriarchal society, is still the mountaintop for which all (women) are told to strive.

This form of compliment, thus, perpetuates the idea that marriage is a state so devoutly to be desired and of such great value that you, having demonstrated your awesomeness, have shown your worth to enter into it, is really pretty backhanded.

This woman has demonstrated great value! What a prize she is! Marry her and claim that prize!