In Emma Goldman's essay Marriage and Love (1914) she believes that marriage and love are all part of this superstition that people uphold in order to have meaning in society. Goldman wants people to know that marriage and love shouldn't be seen as a correlation. You don't need one to have the other. Love can stand on its own without the title “marriage” being printed on a relationship. It's proven that just because you are married doesn't necessarily mean there is love present, it's possible that there is but she describes love as spontaneous, intense and beautiful. Goldman argues that marriage limits women more than men in a way that women are limited in their independence while men are limited in an economic sense. Goldman states “If the world is ever to give birth to true companionship and oneness, not marriage, but love will be the parent.” (Goldman, 1914). Overall the goal of love is finding that happiness within each other.
Goldman discusses that marriage is like insurance. Some women see men as insurance because it helps them feel economically secure. Without this security some might feel lost. That's why it takes strength and will power for women to break free of this so-called chain. Goldman’s passage was written in 1914 and since then some things have changed but some still remain the same. This idea that women need the support economically has been flipped in some households. We are seeing this new era that stay-at-home dads are becoming the new norm. The mothers are becoming the ones that men have to financially grasp on to which to me is empowering. People including myself see that you don’t need marriage to be financially stable.
Marriage is a word that I feel has lost its meaning over the years. Many women and men I speak to today don't necessarily correlate love with marriage or even a successful future with marriage. Then again, we have those people who do. From my own experience I've never felt the pressure from my mother or father to find “the one”. The complete opposite of that actually, they always told me to find “the one” within myself and that to love someone else you must love yourself first. True happiness comes within oneself and to share that with someone else is love, that's what I call true companionship.
The ultimate goal shouldn’t be seen as marriage for women, it should be happiness. Everyone has their own perception of happiness, may it be love, marriage, money, children and so on. No matter what it is, nobody can tell you whether it's right or wrong. Some women like the idea of being taken care of and that’s not something to be ashamed of. What is seen as shaming to me is that if you are being taken care of, you lose your ability to be the person you are to the fullest. Goldman writes: “The institution of marriage makes a parasite of woman, an absolute dependent. It incapacitates her for life’s struggle, annihilates her social consciousness, paralyzes her imagination, and then imposes its gracious protection, which is in reality a snare, a travesty on human character.” This described here is something that I do not see as marriage, this to me is seen as slavery of the mind. Your character shouldn't be in any shape or form compromised when you get married. The idea of marriage should be that you find this person who you can spend the rest of your life with, who you can be yourself with and that you can prosper and grow together. These are all characteristics found in a companionship, found in love for another person. This could be seen as an ultimate goal, but the ultimate goal should actually be whatever you want it to be.
-- works cited --
Goldman, Emma. “Marriage and Love.” In Anarchism and Other Essays. Mother Earth Publishing, 1910. https://www.marxists.org/reference/archive/goldman/works/1914/marriage-love.htm.