Dec 052005
 
Authors:

Jenna Lynn Ellis' view of marriage is strictly constrained by her Western Christian bias. Her definition of marriage as between ONE woman, ONE man, under a Christian god displays her gross lack of understanding of the practice.

To quote the American Anthropological Association, professionals who, unlike technical journalists, study the multiplicities of world cultures:

"The results of more than a century of anthropological research on households, kinship relationships, and families, across cultures and through time, provide no support whatsoever for the view that either civilization or viable social orders depend upon marriage as an exclusively heterosexual institution. Rather, anthropological research supports the conclusion that a vast array of family types, including families built upon same-sex partnerships, can contribute to stable and humane societies."

Indeed, marriage is not a Christian institution. The vast variations of "marriage" as they are manifested across cultures are not even necessarily tied to religious beliefs. Unions between individuals have been practiced long before Christianity, or even Judaism took root. Christianity, like it has with so many beliefs and other social constructs, has usurped "marriage," and has naturalized, and moralized their narrow definition of the cultural practice into a hierarchal institution of inclusion and exclusion.

Ellis' lack of comprehension of Marx, coupled with her ethnocentric viewpoint demonstrates the dangerous crisis we find ourselves in. Our world lens is shaped by dominant narratives that we perceive as naturalized truth. We must question those assumptions we take for granted, and understand that the status quo, what is "normal," and what we perceive as being "right" are merely cultural constructs that bind our greater understanding of humanity.

Henri Jean-Francois Dengah II

graduate student

anthropology

 Posted by at 5:00 pm

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