A Reflection On A Reflection On Young Marriage (that’s not a typo!)

This week’s post is going to be a reflection on this article.

Slate, a left-leaning website, published two pieces that came to my attention this week. The first was one about why people should get married young. The second was a rebuttal to the first.

Because I go to Grove City College, the ring-by-spring phenomenon is not lost on me. It seems every day I see someone on Facebook congratulating a friend of theirs for getting engaged. Whether I agree with marrying young or not, the response article written by Amanda Marcotte is something worth discussing.

Personally, I tend to be more on the side of not marrying young. That’s my opinion for what would be best for my life. Marcotte starts out the article bashing conservatives, which as you may have guessed, gave her some major points with me (NOT). She refers to marrying young as “the old conservative hobbyhorse.” Calling it “the conservative hobbyhorse” might be a little much; maybe “the Christian hobbyhorse” works better. Anyway, she goes on to make a snide comment about how since Julia Shaw’s young marriage is working out for her, Shaw is suggesting it will work for everyone. She goes on to be very sarcastic about Shaw’s article. While I don’t agree with Shaw’s contention that you marry someone and THEN they become your soulmate, there is a more convincing and persuasive way to disagree with Shaw’s points without coming off in a rude and mocking way. Marcotte goes on to slam Shaw and say, “Shaw tries to distract from these concerns by talking up how much more cool stuff she can supposedly afford, like cellphones and plane tickets, now that she’s married. Yet she doesn’t actually indicate where these new income streams available only to the married come from.” To be honest, I couldn’t find a delineation of all the cool things you can buy when you’re married in Shaw’s article.

Here’s the line that really gets me, though. “Not that any of this matters anyway. Watching conservatives desperately try to bully women into younger marriage with a couple of promises and a whole lot of threats is highly entertaining but clearly not persuasive.” Where are these promises and threats coming from? Just because the majority of people who are talking about young marriage (typically Christians) are conservative, does not mean conservatives are trying to ram the idea of young marriage down anyone’s throat. When you marry the person you want to marry is up to YOU.

Overall, Marcotte’s response to Shaw wasn’t well written and didn’t prove any solid points. While Shaw’s article included facts and percentages from reliable sources, Marcotte offered few. Sadly, many people will read Marcotte’s article and go along with it just because it’s the popular opinion. My purpose in writing this post is to implore you to look deeper into what you are reading. Do you really agree with what this person is saying? Are they building solid arguments based on facts or straw man arguments that look good but would fall apart in a second if pushed? Be conscious of what you read, and be sure to form your own opinions!

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