Monday, April 12, 2010

Arranged Marraiges

I heard an interesting piece on the radio today about arranged marriage.

In the West we have always stood against arranged marriage. I have heard women like Indira Ghandi speak in favor of it, but on the whole, we've doggedly dug our heels in about wanting to make our own choice.

But arranged marriages were not always about putting you with someone your parents like. Sometimes it was an arrangement made with a local matchmaker (often a woman) who saw two people with common tastes and from common backgrounds, who recognized the sorts of compatibility that will make for an excellent lifelong connection.

We still turn our back on these kinds of ideas in the West - or do we?

More and more people are turning to on line dating sites to be "fixed up" with people they are compatible with. This has a great deal in common with arranged marriages. When they go into these sites, they hook up around likes and dislikes, political and religious beliefs and even physical preference. There are even websites totally devoted to just hooking beautiful people up with beautiful people.

So what is the difference between this, or looking for like minds on facebook etc and going to a traditional matchmaker?

Maybe the non westernized countries had something there?


1 comment:

  1. The problem with arranged marriage isn't so much the "arranging" thing, it's when you don't have the ability to refuse (a partner you don't like) the arrangement.

    I value consent very much, and therefore deplore situations which robs people of their independence and selfdetermination (usually the woman in that case, because 'arranged marriage' as commonly understood is usually embedded in a larger culture of patriarchy/misogyny).

    If you have consent, no problem, arrange all you want. "Hey, you should really meet him/her, I think you'll like them". it basically becomes just a matchmaking suggestion then, if you will, which is really a different thing than the "arranged marriages" the "West" is against - those that are basically forced marriages, ie. you being shipped off as property for considerations other than 'compatibility'.

    Cheers -