Blue marriage and the terror of divorce | Curio
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Anne Helen Petersen

Blue marriage and the terror of divorce

26 mins | Oct 11, 2021
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Will the pandemic change things? Why, in a culture that ostensibly celebrates strong, independent women, does this fear of being single still exist? This instalment of Culture Study reveals that it’s about money and keeping a stable family environment for children, but it’s also about a lot more than that. Anne Helen Petersen reflects on why progressive and feminist understandings of marriage are terrified of divorce compared to those in a more conservative background. “Still, apart from loss of identity, there are a lot of reasons that divorce can feel abjectly terrifying. We are a nation still oriented around those puddles of married, middle-class power that accumulated in the post-war period. For heterosexual couples, the gender pay gap is still very real, and in queer marriages, there’s similar long-term earning penalties if one spouse stayed home long-term to care for kids. Affordable housing is harder than ever to come by. Unless you can pay for a good attorney and live in the right state, the legal system is generally shit when it comes to alimony. If you don’t have a full-time job, how will you find good health care, especially if you have a chronic condition?”

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