Our Popaganda relaunch kicks off with a bang: This episode digs into issues of monogamy. We tend to take monogamy for granted as a goal of relationships, but that's in part because it's an idea that been carefully constructed and policed throughout history. On this 20-minute episode, author of Sex and Punishment Eric Berkowitz explains the strange legal history of monogamy, writer Alex Borinsky discusses the role of monogamy as a political tool in the same-sex marriage debate, and sex educator Tristan Taormino dishes on the logistics of open relationships. Tune in!
Far from being a union of one man and one woman, marriage, for most of human history, has been the union of two men: the husband and father-in-law’s wealth and property. Marriage was a business arrangement in which love was highly incidental. Forget kids or compatibility, the only thing guaranteed going in was a well-negotiated contract.
This week the Supreme Court took up the debate over same-sex unions. As Justice Roberts remarked on Wednesday, political leaders have been “falling all over themselves” to endorse marriage equality. Fine. But why do so many gays and lesbians want their romantic relationships recognized by the state in the first place?
There are, of course, bureaucratic matters: tax breaks, hospital visitations, and other federal benefits many same-sex couples are currently denied.