(Part 7)...Between roughly 1960 and 1980, marriage came under a rather fierce and multi-faced ideological attack.
Five great strands of contemporary liberalism — the sexual revolution, the gender-role revolution, the expansion of welfare for the poor, the movement for racial equality, and the environmental movement — came together to support de-norming of marriage, knocking it off its pedestal and de-legitimating, in various ways, its privileged cultural postion.
Why? The monologue ran something like this: Moral norms disapproving of illegitimacy must be overturned to make room for expanded financial supports for poor single mothers; concern for married childbearing was implicitly and sometimes explicitly racist; marriage trapped women into unfulfilling domestic roles and interfered with the sexual pleasure that should be available equally to men and women. The fear of the slut within must be conquered. Abortion must be elevated to a constitutional right or women cannot be just like men in bed or in the workplace. And the population explosion reinforced the sexual revolutionaries' idea that the generative capacity of women — our power to create new life — was a problem, not an asset....