An hour-marriage, gender equality and Islam?


One of my new neighbors comes from Iraq and is half-Muslim. As maybe you all know, you’re not allowed to have sex before marriage according to the Koran and the Bible! Most Christians are pretty liberal in that aspect, most Muslims not. But the Muslims still want to have sex and have become more liberal sexually. So what do they do? – they do time limited marriage.

My neighbor told me, that before he can get physical with a lady, he has to marry her, even if it’s only for an hour. There’s a contact, that he and she have to sign. It doesn’t matter if the women is Islamic or not. The contract (the symbolic marriage) is just an expression of the deep respect for the women and a security police for her. The contact says something like “any children or complications resulting from that marriage lie in the responsibility of the two people signed below and are equal to the children from a traditional marriage”. So this contract kind of makes sure that the women is equal to the man – she has no more consequences to fear than the man,  both are equally responsible for their actions and even the children are safe from being called “bastard” or something.

So isn’t that system kind of better than our way, which is more like “well, if something happens – though luck, you have to see how you can get by”, because we all know that contraceptives are not 100% effective and the women always has the bad cards, if something happens it’s her problem, not his or both. Additionally the child may have to face unpleasant comment in more conservative regions.

That’s what I’ve thought afterwards. As he told me about that “marriage” I just couldn’t stop laughing….

Would you sign such contract? What do you think – is it a good / bad thing? Is that real equality or the opposite?

I guess some could say, that it’s discrimination, because the assumption, that a women couldn’t make it on her own. But why should we make everything on our own, while it takes two to tango? Should we?

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12 Responses to “An hour-marriage, gender equality and Islam?”

  1. godlesspaladin Says:

    That is really fascinating! I wonder how these “marriages” are viewed in more conservative communities. Would you technically be divorced after the “hour long marriage” ends? What if the “marriage” only lasts for 20 minutes but you feel like being “married” again later in the day, would you have to sign another hour long contract with the person? I love these little legal loopholes. I know some conservative Jews have machines that are designed to exploit loopholes so they can do work on the sabbath without doing “work.”

    Somehow though I feel like it would kill the mood. I can just imagine a guy trying to seduce a woman, things are going well, but then suddenly he pulls out a piece of paper and a pen and says “Wait, sign this first”….

    I do like how it puts the woman and the man on equal footing in terms of responsibility. Too many guys find it easier to just leave if something wrong happens. (Over all, I think it’s silly, but I can see how it’s useful)

    • teo Says:

      These “marriages” are made up for the conservatives, because so they are ok with the sexual practice of the young Muslims or at least that’s what my neighbor told me.

      You arrange the duration of the marriage with your partner, it can be whatever you both want it to be 🙂 After the arranged time is over, your marriage is over, you don’t have to do anything.

      “Somehow though I feel like it would kill the mood” – I thought that too, but actually – it’s really only in interest of the women, the guy has no advantages of it, he gets more responsibilities than otherwise, so why should showing respect and caring about the women kill the mood? It’s like with condoms…

  2. godlesspaladin Says:

    Yeah, I understand that. I was just thinking that reading and signing a contract in the heat of the moment takes more time and mental concentration than pulling out a condom, but it is in the interest of the woman and the guy should not have a problem with that. I’d be a little wary of a guy who refused to sign it, just like I’d be wary of a guy who didn’t want to use a condom…

  3. helen Says:

    that’s pretty ridiculous. and in addition neither sexy, nor romantic.
    the solution is people to act as responsible adults. women in particular since they always have to bear the consequences. actually I think that the invention of this contract is just another clever way for men to get what they want and to overcome resistance strengthened by religious beliefs.

    • teo Says:

      Yeah, everybody acting responsible would be the best of course 🙂

      And yes, that contract is a way of overcoming strong religious beliefs, but in a way that doesn’t harm the women, other ways of overcoming these beliefs in regions like Iraq (and not only) are rape, violence or simply “screwing up someone and not giving a shit about it”… I think that the contact may actually be the better way 😉

      • helen Says:

        but signing a contract does not really mean that if anything goes wrong … the gentleman will see to his obligations. what would you do? go in court? if he is irresponsible, signing a contract would not make him responsible

        • teo Says:

          “what would you do? go in court?” – of course, if I have to, that’s the point of a contract – you’re obligated as much as today’s society can obligate you -> with a legal binding contract that you can use in the court.

          “if he is irresponsible, signing a contract would not make him responsible” of course not, but it at least brings to mind, that the responsibility lies in both of them and not only in the woman.

          Would a law stop a murderer? As we see almost everyday – not really, it can only bring him to court after it. No law or contract can’t stop you from doing something you want to do or push you in doing something you don’t want to, it can only remind and document the obligations you’ve taken.

          • helen Says:

            So you see how a Muslim woman gets pregnant and then goes in court and says he is not taking care of the children despite the one hour marriage contract. The court verdict is that he should take responsibility. Then he still doesn’t do it. Going back to court. and so on, and so on… I am sure she would have the mental, emotional and physical strength to do that. I am sure she would have the money. I am sure her father would be very proud of her and would back her up on each and every step of the way. I am sure she would be able to find a husband for a long term marriage.
            and, on the contrary, if the man is responsible, there is no need for contracts here.

            • teo Says:

              “if the man is responsible, there is no need for contracts here” – of course 🙂

              I see how a Muslim women can get killed for having intercourse with someone without a marriage.

              I believe and hope that such contract can prevent this and that it can provide the children with equal rights and conditions in the society.

              And yes, I can rather see that women going to court and winning than a women who was raped or just slept with someone without that contract.

              Again – I’m not saying that it’ll make someone responsible or will easily solve some problems, but at least it gives options, that you don’t have otherwise 🙂

  4. godlesspaladin Says:

    Hey, one of my favorite news shows started talking about this :p

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