Charles Darwin Not Ape About Marriage

Charles Darwin wifeThis is genius!  Charles Darwin, astrology proof to the max.

Charles Darwin, Aquarius, listing the pros and cons of a possible marriage in a secret diary or something.  Pro & Con lists are terribly simple but an awesome device, nonetheless. They’re also totes Aquarius, i.m.o.  What do you think of this list? YES – the comfort of the marital couch in front of the fire etc etc but hell no having to visit relatives and (this is SO Aqua) having to “bend in every trifle.” I GET IT!

* FYI he had Uranus in Scorpio on the North Node!!! V.suitable for someone happy to rock the conventional boat by saying we were all descended from protoplasm, apes etc – not Adam + Eve and/or Lilith/various Demon Lovers.   I feel close to Darwin because visiting academics (who looked seriously like time travellers, in sort of Edwardian gear) once came to my house in Sydney looking for evidence of Darwin’s MISTRESS. It is to this day the most interesting bunch of people who have ever cold call knocked on my door.

This is the Question [circled in pencil]


Children –(if it Please God) — Constant companion, (& friend in old age) who will feel interested in one, — object to be beloved & played with. — –better than a dog anyhow. — Home, & someone to take care of house — Charms of music & female chit-chat. — These things good for one’s health. — but terrible loss of time. –

My God, it is intolerable to think of spending ones whole life, like a neuter bee, working, working, & nothing after all. — No, no won’t do. — Imagine living all one’s day solitarily in smoky dirty London House. — Only picture to yourself a nice soft wife on a sofa with good fire, & books & music perhaps — Compare this vision with the dingy reality of Grt. Marlbro’ St.

Not Marry

Freedom to go where one liked — choice of Society & little of it. — Conversation of clever men at clubs — Not forced to visit relatives, & to bend in every trifle. — to have the expense & anxiety of children — perhaps quarelling — Loss of time. — cannot read in the Evenings — fatness & idleness — Anxiety & responsibility — less money for books &c — if many children forced to gain one’s bread. — (But then it is very bad for ones health[19] to work too much)

Perhaps my wife wont like London; then the sentence is banishment & degradation into indolent, idle fool –



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131 thoughts on “Charles Darwin Not Ape About Marriage

  1. Interesting (and sad) that despite his careful planning, Darwin’s marriage involved some tragedy: 3 out of 10 of their children died: and one of them at age 10 which caused great devastation to her parents. He was supposedly a very devoted father too….no idea what kind of husband he was.

  2. read book called How We Decide by Jonah Lehrer which said analytical decision making just causes analysis paralysis and big decisions are better made through intuition.

  3. Wow. Man inside my own mind, now dead sadly.
    Yes. Yes. Yes.
    Maybe I will never marry again, having held the bouquet in my early twenties but…. if Darwin was a possibility.
    Bless the Aqua man: like the Aqua woman (so I’ve been told) so hard to live with with but after all the shouting, so on the money. Truly.

  4. You think it’s fake? I’m gullible – it’s published by CUP so i just believe it’s real! Can you explain?

    • No, M, I didn’t mean to suggest the records from which these fragments were drawn are fake…I was playing with the idea that we have evolved to a point (and we’ve still got a long way to) where we can appreciate that attitudes towards marriage/women/etc that appeared on the surface to be true in Victorian times no longer stand as truth today.

  5. I read a great book years ago called, I think, ‘The Victorians’ which examines the wealth of intellectual thought and public debate that took place in Victorian Britain around rights for women, social welfare, marriage, religion, social order etc and the artists, writers, scientists and public intellectuals (including Darwin) who challenged the norms in various fields. It’s a great book for anyone who’s interested in the revolutionary aspects of that era.

  6. I read in an astrology book that I would be into marriage or
    “something like a marriage” which inspired me, among other things to start thinking about marriage for me b/c I liked the “something like a marriage” scenario/feel to it.

    Now I didn’t take that to mean, “you’re not good enough/nobody will quite fit the bill/settle for a spinster man” type thing. For me it meant,
    “invent something”. Come up with a good marriage for you. I liked that.

  7. The Darwin clan visiting your home is unusual Mystic
    Signs or omens of connection . I agree with Mr. Darwin about not being able to read at night. My romantic side does like to sit in front of the fire and muse with my lover. The dog idea is not nice .

  8. I think its ironic and interesting that Mystic just happens to live in the same house as Darwin’s alleged mistress! How did that kind of information get out anyways? What influence (apart from the obvious) did the mistress have on the old goat? Was she playing Lilith to his Adam? The bonobo to his chimpanzee? lol

  9. As an aqua, I can identify with his fear of loss of time, fatness, idleness and the last line, about the absolute horror of being banished from the big city to the country and how depressing that would be. My aqua ideal would be marriage, several dogs, children and an urbane existence.

    I can’t identify with pros and cons lists at all. Aquas, in my opinion, tend to be more organic and don’t need these lists because they know what they are going to do anyway. They are very emotionally driven, but shy to show it.

  10. Well Darwin visited Sydney, the city i live in and the house i was living in at the time – an Edwardian terrace house – was on a block where previously had been a grand mansion and there – it was said – lived Darwin’s Mistress.

    So these historians – three of them in crushed velvet and cameo brooches with very pink complexions though there hair was grey- i swear they looked like they were from the past – knocked on my door, told me the story of Darwin and his mistress and said their map led them to believe that her portion of the grand old now ghost house was my house…So they just wanted to see inside…

  11. That does sound very Aqua!
    It also sounds like someone who doesn’t really know how to use their heart chakra properly.
    I think lots of people – men and women – are shocked when they have kids because their heart chakra suddenly bursts open. They are overwhelmed by feeling and it changes their energy field permanently.
    This sounds very pre heart blossoming…

    In defense of Darwin,”The past is a foreign country; they do things differently there”. He probably hadn’t met many feminists or women who were empowered. Aqua’s can be very rational about what is fair, isn’t that the bright side of Aqua?

    As an intellectual personality type and someone who clearly didn’t understand relationships, he would have got a Uranus/NN in Scorpio wake-up call that would have been profound, no?
    LIke Anon says, he was deeply disturbed by the loss of his child.
    In the movie he was drawn as an ethical sort, spiritually concerned?

    Also he says, if his wife won’t like London, he will have to do what she says and move to the country…! He is prepared for compromise from what I read here.

    • “They are overwhelmed by feeling and it changes their energy field permanently.”

      Wow: that perfectly describes what having my son did for me! Heart chakra, you say? Interesting…

      • Check out the Hearthmath Institute. They say “The electromagnetic field generated by the heart is the most powerful rhythmic energy field produced by the body. Studies conducted in IHM’s laboratory have shown that the heart’s electromagnetic field can be detected by other individuals and can produce measurable effects in a person 5 feet away”.

        We all know that angry people are prone to heart attack, but what about the positive effects of a powerful heart?

    • I have to disagree with the “wait til you have children” thing creatrix. I hear it not infrequently. Now I am quite sure that you were not in the least being patronising or anything like that, and I do understand what you are trying to say. and I am probably responding to “everyone” I have ever heard say this, so maybe your words just triggered the response. anyway. BUT. I do think this approach belittles the “pre- or non-children” person. To me, it implies that they are incapable of love or selflessness or general concern for anything other than themselves and their immediate interests. Being overwhelmed with feelings / concern / compassion for various species (including humans) is something I am quite familiar with and have been since I was a kid. I just happen to not be keen to show it, probably the way I was raised. anyway, rah rah rah, i know ho harm was intended, just needed to get on my soapbox.

      • Really I am not commenting on individual cases & I don’t believe we all need kids to grow up spiritually.
        But it is my experience and some other people I know too. I wasn’t unloving pre kids, I was too embarrassed to express it. To my understanding it is like a muscle – well it is a muscle! – that gets a real workout on having kids.
        I can imagine how hurtful this could sound to beautiful people who care with deep compassion for others & don’t have kids. Well neither does the Dalai Lama. I am not questioning his heart chakra’s power either! So power on Anon, you are no doubt a beacon of love & warmth to those around you, having kids doesn’t change some people. 🙂

        • Hey that was me as anon up there forgetting to re-type my name. I don’t know about ‘beacon’, but I do understand better what you are saying now and i get the ‘too embarrassed’ part of what you mean – one simply must be spontaneously loving with kidlets, there’s no other way. Until relatviely recently I tended to freeze – sort of – around the littlies , not knowing how to be. But i think this process has been changing, and my adult relationships changing with it . Due to a couple of things I can identify: spending more time with warm, loving and expressive people, spending time with the divine young children of a friend whom I adore, and realising that I have nothing to lose from being more open about my feelings myself . Also only caring about / having fun in that immediate interaction rather that worrying about external factors. (Bit more to it probably). So yes. the expression and spontaneity is something I am now trying to transfer to my ‘romantic’ r’ships, but… as we know it’s slightly different there 🙂 xox thanks for making me think about this a bit more !

              • Heya. 5th house is Scorp. Saturn will be there soon enough, mars too I guess (briefly). NN has been there for a bit but just changed signs into Scorp. There are also some outer planet transits by sextile, trine etc to natal Uranus. So, we’ll see.

  12. Well… my soapbox subject at the moment.
    I married in my early 30s with quite a lot of pressure to ‘settle down’ . I mistook emotional distance for freedom. We are good friends. I had learned early through various toxic experiences and my own lack of self esteem that ‘passion’ = ‘loser’. I felt finding a husband was the only measure of my ‘success’ as a woman, despite my other achievements. Despite years attempting to get the issues in my marriage dealt with, I’ve been met with denial on a multitude of levels. I kept at it because I cared about him, and the marriage, and because that’s what people say, isn’t it, that you ‘work at’ a marriage.
    Now when it comes to the dissolution, it seems to be little more than legal and financial logistics. We aren’t adversarial so I’m hoping it doesn’t have to be adversarial. Painful no doubt, but not adversarial.
    My sense of loss over this marriage is profound, particularly as the issues that will end it are the same issues I brushed under the carpet at the beginning, thinking (wrongly) that they wouldn’t matter. I have spent years trying to subjugate fundamental aspects of myself to make the marriage work, and when I really think about this I cry at how hard I have worked to obliterate myself. It’s been a long process but I’m no longer doing self-loathing nor am I terrified of being without a man. By far the hardest part of all this ‘growth’ has been accepting and owning my own role in the situation. No blame. But ironically that’s also made it easier to make change.
    I’m grateful for the many, many good things this man has brought to my life but I will NEVER get married again. I will never tangle my finances up with another human being again. I hope to find a man who understands my dual need for closeness and space. I want axis-shifting, sky-shattering love with someone who gets me and is also kind. If I can’t find that I’ll be more than happy for it to be me, a little house I can call my own, and a dog.
    Sorry to offload. I hope it doesn’t sound self-pitying, that’s certainly not how I feel. I’m getting on with what’s in front of me and excited about the future.
    Astro-wise – Venus in Aqua. Need space like I need oxygen. Cap moon-Lilith-Eros-Juno conjunction so I need steadfastness, ethics and fidelity. Neptune rules my 7th where my sun/Merc/Saturn/Chiron are, and Neptune/Chiron are transiting now. So everything’s up for reinvention. Uranus/Pluto conj in 1st will help with that.
    Holy fuq, eh?

    • What i love is how hard you worked to love someone and be a partner – even though you say, rightly, that you worked to obliterate aspects of yourself. That was a mistake but not for the time you did it, only now that you really know who you are. But at the time you were a younger version, a less cooked version, a less knowing version of who you are today. Can you imagine who we’ll be at 60?? 😀 I just cannot!!! It’s scary and exciting! The lady you were then would also probably not quite guess at the lady she would become today.

      Who can know a person’s character at first sight? Plus, the character evolves in relationship – why do we blame ourselves for not seeing? Well, i did.

      I also felt like i had failed or given up when i admitted to my parents i could not do it anymore and i needed their help. I thought they would tell me to try harder though i didn’t say that. AquaMa assisted straight away, plus a big cuddle (very unusual) and LibraPa said immediately with a gentle Libran sigh, “Nobody could say you didn’t do your very best.” Marriage IS hard work, but both people have to be doing it, not one resting comfortably in a surface status quo.

      Like you, i’m grateful for much in that relationship. It gave me so much i didn’t have, and vice versa. That will never be thrown away but it also did not sustain. You’re doing this so much better than i did then – truly wise and mature. You’re both people who deserve respect and love, and this parting is all about that, i think.

    • My first thought after reading your post…your going to have everything that you want and more, its so clearly stated…..
      congratulations on being sure about your new direction. Regrets about your life till now ? they will disappear soon enough. x

    • Deeply grateful, peeps, for supportive words. Here is about the only place I vent fearlessly and often, although I do have amazing friends i.r.l. who are absolute towers of strength.

      So much wisdom and hard-won life experience in this cyber-community xx

    • Ah, Chrysalis, you are on your path. And what you will find…is YOU!

      I have been there. I believe that the beginnig of the very end of my marriage was when I decided that I was going to take my own path and find my joy. He could come along or sit on the couch. I invited. He sat on the couch. He found another, charming him, giving attention, drama. A cloud lifted when he left. We did not fight. I saw the writing on the wall. It sounds like you do, too. You will endure and grow and find your bliss. My advice is to get the divorce/dissolution done quickly. Strike while the other party still feels bad and does not resent you or whatever silly “stuff” people fight over. Divide things up on paper and get it inked. And then – fly off like as the buttlerfly.

    • Space and steadfastness. I get that concept. I get that many do not as they seem to contradict not compliment to the average mind.

      I wish you less hurt as it peels back to reveal that it was growing pains and you fall in love with the new you and reclaim your almost obliterated (just separated no doubt) parts.


      • Funny, isn’t it because to me, the two together have always made perfect sense.
        It’s on a trajectory now, the whole thing, I am doing my plan and it will be ok. Difficult, but ok. x

  13. I never thought i would marry. But it was only one of the proposals that made me actually go through this mental process (read that two ways). Have had a number of marriage proposals since i was about 14 (truly crazy – that one came by letter from Africa). You know how cats tend to ignore people and be real cool, but they all beeline to cuddle up against the person who is allergic to cats? Whenever people generalise that it is women who are marriage-crazy and men who like the free life, i think they are inexperienced or blind. This gendered notion of difference drives me nuts. I’m a Piscean – i’m all female – but according to some i have strongly androgynous energy. Means nothing to me except revealing of certain prejudices. It doesn’t stop men wanting to be with me, and i adore men. Sex aside, marriage is a committed meeting of minds and routines and passions in life. Darwin was a scientist, and i admire that for him marriage was something to be entered into no less lightly or thoughtfully than an educational or scientific journey, an ambitious plan or a life changing decision demanding personal resource management. After all, you wouldn’t want a little detail like poverty or career dissatisfaction to wreck something truly glorious just because you hadn’t considered yourself wisely in advance. You may not know how you will grow in the future but you alwyas have to leave room for growth, for one, or for both of you.

    • Venus in Aquarius trine Uranus in Libra (mutual reception)
      Mars in Capricorn 2nd, Saturn in Tau 6th, Pluto in Virgo 10th
      Lilith in Virgo
      Juno in Gemini 7th
      Isis, Venus, IC, NN Circe and Diana in a line up in Aqua 3/4 House
      Sag x 50 million

      (wrapped up in romantic Pisces 5th House Sun 🙂 )

      • Sounds delish! And I like the above. My multi Gem hub has Sun in the 4th, Moon in Cancer. He wanted marriage much more than I did.

        • Thank you , that’s a nice way of looking at it. Your husband wanted YOU 🙂 and his astro told him how.. that’s nice x

    • “Darwin was a scientist, and i admire that for him marriage was something to be entered into no less lightly or thoughtfully than an educational or scientific journey, an ambitious plan or a life changing decision demanding personal resource management.”

      True, true: good point, mille. As usual 😉

  14. But Darwin was married right? Had kids, got totally depressed when one died?
    I quite like the ‘loss of time’ concern.

  15. ‘Conversation of clever men at clubs’ vs. ‘charms of music and female chit chat’ !!!. I can just picture it now, Louisa sitting on the chaise, stroking the cat, pianoharpsichord in the background while the tinkling laughter of the fairer sex provides a soothing backdrop to a world-weary clever man.. Having to make all those very clever and difficult world decisions. How lovely to be able to put aside the troubles of the day for the simple, feminine pleasures of conversation:
    ‘And what shall we name the new foal, Papa? Shall I wear my new blue dress to the dance?’ a ha ha ha. I didn’t realise China was a Neo-Communist Country? (tinkle tinkle).

  16. Was that less money to spend on boots? 🙂

    I think like a man and like a woman. I get it and roll that way to a certain extent but then I’d also respond to some of that by saying that’s part of the deal, give ‘n take. Do it with class or whinging and groaning, your call kinda thing. Of course if it’s not negotiable.. you can find your way out.. it’s the same door you chose to come in by 😉

    And… is ‘&c” the early version of ‘etc’

    • Yes, a catchy abbrev.

      et = and

      cetera = the remainder
      (this word also forms the word “entrails” or intestines”, from memory)

      • I think the ampersand thew me.. all the abbrv’s and acronmyms these days.

        Intenstines and entrails… lol, of course that naturally fits too?!?!? :p x

    • Using the example of dogs, generally I find people who don’t want dogs even though they love them, to be often more responsible than those who acquire them on a whim.

      They have thought about what is fair and what is responsible before they embark on that relationship. If they end up with a dog they often are the very best of owners: loyal, patient and understanding. 🙂

      • Thanks for saying that…i really want one particular type but i really can’t warrant it in the space i live in and the routine i have just now. I ddi start to wonder if i were just selfish, but i can’t bear the thought of …ok no judgment, but some of the things i’ve seen pets subject to. Nothing you’d report to the RSPCA or anything, just kind of… not really the capacity to allow the little thing the boundless best they could have.

        • I really want one too!!!! Lol. But I am renting. My boys would benefit from dogs, it’s a pity.

          Would never buy a lone dog, they are pack animals. The loneliest sound of the suburbs is a lonely dog crying on a cold night.

          • Hi Creatrix, you might have already looked into this but if not – a lot of dog refuges run foster programs whereby you can take dogs home overnight or on weekends, which gives the dogs a break from refuge environments and allows people to get a ‘doggy fix’ while fitting in with their lifestyles. Most refuges also have volunteer programs that your boys might be old enough to be involved in? Hope that’s helpful!

          • Creatrix, they are pack animals. But dogs accept humans as part of the pack. That’s why there can be such an amazing bond between us and them. So a single dog with one or more loving humans is a happy dog. You can still hear a pair of dogs crying in the night if they have been turfed out by their human owner and boss of the pack.

            • Thanks Mitra good point!
              Btw, I can’t believe I didn’t get virtually stoned for comparing dogs ownership with marriage..

        • Generally speaking, big and small dogs will be fine in a small space provided they get regular walks and especially runs off leash with things to smell. Dogs above all love your attention when you are together. The ones I see suffer (excluding obviously grossly neglected ones) are those that are made to go outside when the family is inside and are sort of ignored.

          I have lived for 10 years with a small dog in a small space, for a period, working long days. To me, he is truly the happiest, healthiest and most loving and well-loved soul. Yes, you need to give up your time but the rewards are joy, not just in your relationship, but in seeing people’s faces light up as he walks towards them and the people and children that stop to pat him. Dogs can be very bonding for all relationships.

          I’m sure Mille you wouldn’t do any of the horrible things you have seen. So there is no need to be afraid of them.

      • It’s good to love other people’s dogs and just between you and me, I actually love my friend’s dogs, more than I love my friends– by a country mile– mostly. I’m not entirely sure they’d be all that surprised or necessarily offended either.

    • 🙂 My thoughts exactly Zaiborg! It’s like someone keeping a diary on their wife – wife observed crying in garden, 8.05pm, on phone to mother, 9pm-9.25pm, like investigating some strange insect. He needs a good kickin’! Can you imagine the sex?? Thrust, 1, 2, 3 breathe 1,2,3, check pulse, 2, 3, continue until orgasm. Do not bother to ask wife. Wife should be automatically grateful man like me finds her attractive.

      • He talks about blending career and lifestyle ambitions with the responsibility of truly being a partner. I don’t get how you extrapolated this into clinical self centred sex. To me, it’s like he clearly realised that besides passion he would need to invest a lot more into a relationship commitment. I think that’s tremendously caring and respectful, something which often makes an attentive and satisfying lover. He is considering marriage here, not the sex act.

        • He’s considering his marriage partner to be an object. To even write pros and cons of getting married, is, in my book, a no-brainer for not getting married. He’s already decided on the woman. He’s not considering his or her feelings, or love, or sex. To want to get married (and presumabely make love), surely you must consider someone’s feelings first, including your own. If their presence in a room wilts your flowers, so to speak, why get married. Why not have a legal partnership or better still, a flatmate? Cohabitate with your bestie. My point is that he’s thinking about marriage as a business proposition, not as a union (involving feelings, intimacy, emotional support and, often, sex too – well inthe first couple of years anyway). He is also quite sexist, as were men of his time (apart from John Stuart Mill, one of my heroes). Still, I suppose it does mean he’s thought a little bit about it.

          • I presumed those feelings, love, sex must all be present already to be even considering marriage. But no that does not appear on his list so i see how it could be taken that way, most particularly in a modern context. Marriage was very much a business union among other things.

            I supported my husband for most of nine years and purchased the home, so i very much think about the financial aspects of this kind of living together. I lost a lot. I supported a few actually. I also disrespected my career and lifestyle path to be supportive in a live-together relationship. It took a while to make that decision, longer than it took to regret it (three weeks after quitting, moving to a new town etc.) I once believed that the passion the romance and the pledge of emotional support were the everything, would conquer all, but i think it’s only part of the story now, and the cold hard facts of who you are as a breadwinner, where and how you want to live and the willingness to first get there yourself should all take precedence. When you commit to someone you don’t forget who you are and what you want. I thought Darwin was making the same considerations, on the premise that the emotional union was already unquestionably present. But i guess we don’t really know.

            Will research J S Mill – intrigued. Thanks!

            • Totes agree, Mille… as my hairdresser told me, ‘in the end, marriage is a business’. It seems to be entered into for ‘love’ and yet in its ending it’s about property. I find myself wondering about some kind of ‘ending’ ceremony which would be far more meaningful to me than the legal dissolution. Although as I have experienced so much of the limitations of marriage, I’m hoping to benefit from some of its legal protections as well, on the way out.

            • Ooo.. sorry to hear about that Mille. I do think that women are sold a big con about marriage and can get taken advantage of. When I think of some of the women I went out with, I actually thank my lucky stars marriage wasn’t legal in UK. I had a job offer as a lecturer at Uni, a place on a PhD course, and a house, but I was talked out of it by my then, lover, who wanted to stay in her home town and for me to ‘look after’ her financially. Was completely mentally and emotionally ground down – In the end, I lost the house, my job – tout!
              My partner now, was married for 14 years to a guy, she bought the house, she did all the housework, shopping, cooking, cleaning, gardening, chopping the wood (like Link), paying bills and most of the work in the (shared) business. She lost the lot too. So I take your point about going into it with eyes wide open. x

              • Wow, you gave up so much…and for love…there is something noble about the sacrifices we make for love. But they aren’t always sustainable, just a constant drain, with the wrong partner. Part of me REALLY wants to go with the Love Conquers All notion. I guess it’s just a case of recognising REAL love – real sharing, equitable support, respectful space. So simple, so hard! Thanks for the dialogue, Min, it’s really been food for thought xx

            • we do know a bit, and you’re right millie- the emotional bond was already there. Emma was his first cousin; he was close to his uncle (her father), and spent time with that family, so he and his wife had known each other since early childhood. She was there when her father talked Darwin’s father into letting him take his voyage on The Beagle. In the end, it was letters telling him that his own brother was effectively being paired off to Emma to protect his brother from a scandal involving a married woman that was the clincher: he hurried back to see her on his return. She was stuck for a while, caring for her sick mother and disabled sister, and Darwin was deeply impressed by her caring nature. Later was able to accept his proposal.
              Darwin also loved Emma’s piano-playing – was seduced by it – and you can see this in his mention of music above. He thought a lot about how the sexes attracted one another with sound while he sat listening to her play at night (so he ended up being able combine work and companionship!).
              Sad irony was that they were both from very inbred families, and first cousins themselves (quite common at the time). Three of their kids died in early childhood (two in infancy, one at age 10) and it gutted them. Darwin’s own health wasn’t great, and later in life he worried that in-breeding had had genetic effects that contributed to all this, along with the inability of 3 of his adult married children to have kids of their own. Subsequent research bore out his concerns about this.

              • Blown away! What an incredible man. Certainly not impulsive.

                (I think i need to find myself an Aqua Science Genius.)

                (Although last month i was convinced it should be an ambitious and focused Cap.)

                Thank you for that insight, Fi.

                (What the heck, Santa, just leave one of each sign under the tree.)

    • I agree Zai, very unattractive person. If we ran that ruler over every relationship we would all end up alone, studying our own navels in awe. or guffawing at some single sex club about our latest masturbation technique. A grown man with the emotional intelligence of a 13 year old.

    • Geez Zaiborg Darwin was probably pretty mild in the sexist tool stakes.

      Being married meant for all men of Darwin’s class never having to think about cleaning, cooking, shopping, washing, or the practical aspects of raising children.

      Take a minute to think about how much time and energy you’d have if you never had to even think about such things. No personal responsibility for your day to day life. just like having a personal servant. Exactly so in fact.

      I live-ed (currently vacating) with a reasonably new age sort of man but turned myself into housewife superstar when I moved in 2 or so years ago just to get the place to a level of hygiene I could (anyone could) tolerate. Bad move as I found I was clearly on my own with trying to maintain this and it wasn’t until I realised I would be forever on my own that I began to cry foul.

      I could expend every iota of my energy (and money) engaged in scrubbing, cleaning, washing, shopping, cooking, mowing, weeding, chopping wood and this to my partner was perfectly acceptable, indeed it was clearly completely desirable.

      The alarm bells sounded loud and clear when he turned in the kitchen one evening and said “I love the way you look after me.” My heart sank and from that point I realised it didn’t matter who I was personally, nor that I had no life other than this role. Angry and depressed I was told his daughters could be source of happiness for me if I had no life, no happiness, of my own Oh God. Goiod grief.

      Yes I’m a fool as I was stressed and resentful about the responsibility I had for every aspect of our lives together. And I knew our relationship would not survive my resent. The situation was seriously compounded when his teenage girls came to stay, who also seemed to have a pretty sexist approach to what they expected the symbolic ‘mother’ to do for them. If I wanted them to contribute in any way, it was up to me to ask them nicely to do so because this wasn’t his job either. Young girls already with stereotypical expectations of what the ‘wife/mother’ should be doing. And so the hangover continues on into the next generation.

      None of this was overt it all operated on an unconscious leve. Such is the nature of this particular beast.

      • This is the underpinning of our culture still, in terms of gender roles. Women’s individual roles may be opening up, but in a partnership these trends are still mainstream and unconscious. Please understand i’m generalising about society not individuals here, but it takes enormous awareness.

        The number of times i’ve been taken home to meet family and noted after dinner certain divisions of who remains seated chatting and who gets up to help. I want to do both! I love helping but i don’t want to talk about my fertility over doing the dishes, or how to look after someone’s son. And i love conversations with the men of the house but i don’t get why i’m sometimes the only female allowed to join on guest status. I also hate being told someone’ll help me with the housework – buddy, it’s a house, it needs work – how bout i help you with it? That gets some bulging eyes. SOmetimes they say but you have a thing for cleanliness, and i reply yes i do but my vagina couldn’t give a flying * about it. This is a house issue not a gender issue.

        Having said that, i’ve been in homes of various age groups where everyone just pitches in cos it needs doing, not “have uterus, will clean”. These homes seem really happy, too, and warm towards everybody in them.

        • yup, the non-gender specific role households do exist mille 😀 I live in one and strangely enough (I’ve only just realised this recently) I also grew up in one of those houses. I wonder if the fact that I wasn’t conditioned to be that woman I ended up with someone who doesn’t have those hangups? We’re a team. We share. It works for us. But we’re busy people, we have to make it work, otherwise the stuff we do in the outside world would grind to a halt. We need this place running smoothly to come back to for sleep and meals and laundry etc. But as you say it’s a household, it’s not going to run itself. Two people live here, two people make it work.

          • Gorgeous! Yes, it’s NOT unheard of, or so strange. And it works really well, hey?

            I guess it shocked me to discover that seemingly fairminded people turned out to be so rigid about these things when partnered.

          • same here wolf. house dominated by aquarian and gemini energy, most gender traditions were exploded in the household (apart from that old-time classic: womanising father). If I ever dated a man who ‘expected’ me to do anything based on gender alone, lolol, well I wouldn’t be dating him.

  17. Hey, Darwin: ambivalent much?

    I know it was a different time and all, but, I don’t get the cons of not being able to read in the evening & less money for books. How does marriage change those things? I guess I don’t get a lot of his cons. But an Aquarius I am not.

    I get the pros, tho– except for the “better than a dog I guess” bit. I can tell you that I have been married to two different men, and I *still* have the dogs. lol

  18. Marriage is an outdated institution. As anyone can tell –even without the guidance of this list–it was set up for the convenience of men, so that they could have a housekeeping service, companionship, and sexual favors in return for allowing a woman a “share” in their earnings.

    Why do we still have this thing around? Surely, it should be possible to live together and hire a lawyer to draw up a contract/will to handle issues such as who pays which bills, which assets belong to which person, who gets the house/children/money if one of the two people dies/moves out, etc at the inception of the relationship. As time goes on, you would make any needed changes to the contract. Its doable.

    I am sure the only reason people don’t take this way more pragmatic and realistic approach is because of the lingering religious smoke and mirrors around anything involving sex.

    • You just mean the legal side no? I mean joining ceremonies have surely been around since before the rise of the patriarchy..

      • Creatrix, I don’t know much about sociology or anthropology or history etc. I have no expertise or specialized knowledge whatsoever.

        Having said that, I am surprised that you use the words, “the rise of patriarchy.” I know that feminism has a historical point of origin. But it seems to me that patriarchy has always been around. I mean, even in the old cavemen days, men must have dominated women because of the advantage of physical strength.

        As for when “marriage” had its origin–that issue is complicated because of the relativity of the concept of marriage. For instance, marriage in many countries involved polygamy. But no matter what the form of marriage (whether the man had more than wife, whether divorce was allowed, and who was allowed to do the divorcing etc) the advantage has always accrued to men rather than women. Personally, I think patriarchy and marriage have risen together and walked hand in hand.

        • Firstly, our thoughts on prehistory differ.
          I don’t necessarily believe that we were always cavemen. We have the same brains for 200,000 years and this is the only civilsation that managed to get as far as we have with technology? It’s a questionable hypothesis given the massive floods that would have wiped out almost the entire planet. Did you know we are now descended from only 2000 people more or less? We are completely inbred as a species due to climate changes.

          Secondly, we use our left brain these days, a way of thinking that favours analysis and disconnection, things we often find men are better with. It is entirely possible that we used the right brain, intuitive faculties and so forth which have now atrophied in many people. Right brain thinking is a forte for many women, which would mean the balance of power would be very different. The value of what is powerful would differ also.

          All of this constitutes a doubt for me that there was always a patriarchy.

          As you say where marriage had its origin is questionable, but making a promise of love and doing a binding is a ritual that isn’t something I feel is particularly new. Certainly I can’t prove anything on this topic but my impression of history is that we don’t know as much as should.

          • So you’re saying that the history of humans goes beyond what we currently learn about in schools–that there were civilizations that existed before our current civilization (possibly wiped out by floods) and that these cultures may have been right-brained civilizations which valued the contributions of women. Well, that’s interesting. Do you know of a book that discusses these ideas in detail?

            • Try ‘Catastraphobia’ by B.H.Clow. She is also an astrologer, it’s a great read whether or not you decide that you agree with every point.
              Happy reading!

    • Speaking as a member of the community of which it’s illegal for us to marry in this country & an atheist, I emphatically disagree. While marriage may have roots in religion, the act of getting married, for the most part, is still an act of love rather than religious ceremony. There are a lot of us in the gay community who want to marry our partners (or live in the comfort of knowing they can) because they love them so much that they want to take that step and because we want to have that same legal right to do so, if we chose to.

      I think marriage should just be open to whomever wants to marry each other, if that’s your choice.

      • I support gay marriage. It just mystifies me that gay people would want to get married at all.

        It seems from your post, that some gay people see marriage as a public affirmation of their love or commitment. Well, ok–though I don’t understand that perspective. To me, marriage seems such a bankrupt, moth-eaten, on-its-last-legs kind of thing. I wish that gay people had come up with their own improved version rather than buying into the existing paradigm.

        • Maybe by emphasising marriage as a public affirmation of love and commitment, coming up with an improved version of marriage is exactly what the gay community is trying to do?


          Freedom from choice is what you want?

          Why would they want to invent a new kind of contract when one already exists? All they want is the right to sign the same contract that hetero’s are allowed to sign and to have the same rights as a married couple – which at the moment as defactos, same-sex couples don’t. It’s not the civil contract in itself that is flawed, it’s the layers of connections – shared ownership of property, the rearing (or not) of a family, division of labour, organised religion, all complicated by the fact that in modern times it’s been interwoven with the unfathomable curve-ball LOVE. Marriage is like the ultimate curiosity.

          I’m ambivalent about the whole thing. Darwin’s list made me smile. For me its either something you’re into or you’re not. You do it… or you don’t. Love is something two people share. I figure how they choose to formalise it is their business, if they want to invite me to watch and feed me afterwards I’m all for it. Although churches do creep me out for the most part and I’m more likely to have a preference for the food and drink phase than the vows.

          I hope you and your peeps will have freedom of choice and be able to tie the knot soon Vuldaen – maybe Tasmania will lead the way.

          And I could well be wrong but think tie the knot is a la the handfasting or binding ceremonies Creatrix has mentioned where the hands were bound with a cord that could also be unbound in a similar ceremony later on – i think there was a length of time the initial binding lasted for and then the two had a choice of whether to continue or be undone – people got to have a trial run. They did it on certain moons? It’s cord magic. It’s a whole area of sympathetic magic I’m pretty sure predating the civil ceremonies. I’m paraphrasing from memory so I can’t name the tome soz. I suspect the whole marriage issue is the merging of a few different customs just like christmas and easter.

      • Yes, I agree. What’s happening with DOMA now in the US? (I presume you’re from the US? I’m in Aus). This is where you can legally get married as a Gay or Lesbian couple in some States, but you can’t bring your other half into the country on a fiance status as DOMA states that marriage is legally between one man and one woman, thus directly buggering up immigration policy – 2 couples, both legally married, one person from one couple can immigrate, the other one can’t.

        • I’m in Sydney 🙂

          Yeah I think it’s because marriage is coverned by the state in the US, whereas here it’s federal.

          So the civil union thing can be implimented by each state here as it’s not marriage per se.

          Also to elaborate on my point a bit more (coz I love hearing myself talk), I believe it’s more the aspect of two people coming together. A lot of the anti-marriage argument seems to be around religion or traditional/perception of husband & wife roles or even a business arrangement. If it were about religion/property/traditional roles, then no I’m totally against it. But if ou challenge that and make it something you want out of it, then why not 🙂

          • Marriage historically wasn’t about love – that’s a late breaking thing. Previously it was about all those other things. The catholic church started promoting and charging for the sacrament of marriage in the middle ages because they were cash poor and wanted to build and renovate cathedrals. That’s also when they started trotting out relics, sending them on tour and manufacturing souvenirs. Hollywood and the mass media have done a lot to perpetuate some of the illusions associated with it. That’s what i mean about it being the ultimate curiosity. It just keeps on carrying on and different meanings and significances are laid on top of it. And people tend to get so impassioned about it. It’s a totally weird thing.

            Not meaning to put you on the spot or make you feel uncomfortable, just trying to understand the rationale – if it’s just about coming together and you’re not religious why does it need to be via the marriage license? I thought the issue was that defacto same sex relationships weren’t treated in the same way as hetero ones? ie there’s a legal anomaly.

            • forget i even asked that question hon, it was rational mind being inquisitive and as soon as I asked it and closed the laptop I thought no-one has the right to question how other people choose to express their love. It was pure curiosity and it serves no good purpose. The same sex marriage thing has been explained to me several times as being about equal rights and being able to be present if the partner is on their death bed in hospital or having access to their super after having lived with them for years if they die. It’s always been expressed in those terms so that’s where my line of questioning came from – I was surprised by your statement because it seemed out of step with that. Whatever your reasons I hope it happens soon.

  19. I never agreed with marriage and neither had my Husband until we realised we physically couldn’t stay together unless we did marry. Laws and stuff… Anyway, 4 years later we’re still married, happily 🙂 I must say though, I have absolutely no fear of divorce and I live each day happy to be with the man I love until the day comes that I don’t love him anymore – may be that will be never. But I don’t put any pressure on it either way. Being married, for me, has been better than any long term live in relationship I’ve ever had. I never thought it would be the case, but being “stuck” with someone by law is strangely freeing.

    I always tell my friends to just get married. It’s no biggy and it’s heaps of fun if you elope to Vegas 🙂 And anyway, while half my friends legally can’t marry I don’t think it’s fair to view marriage is some sacred, big deal anymore.

    Oh, I have IC in Aquarius and so does my Husband. That’s all the Aqua we seem to have, and no planets there but may be that explains it?? 🙂

  20. Holy fuq, do I relate to this. Everything – seriously. And yes, I did a pro/con of my hubby after I realized we’d treaded into ‘serious’ territory. Thank God I married an ‘evolved’ ape who gives me sh*tloads of time to myself. Darwin one of my favorite peeps – same birthday as Lincoln. What a day! LOVED the film ‘Creation’ – MUST SEE! Paul Bettany rocked it – with his real wife Jennifer Connelly.

    Sigh. Marriage does take up a lot of time jockeying your personality with another human bean. If I hadn’t married a calm Pisces, they’d have locked me up by now. LOL

    • I have zero planets in Aqua, but my 11th House is loaded. As a Virgo Sun I get this! I get along with Aquas because, we give each other space.

      • Yea, I seem to get along with the water signs more than earth or even fellow air … I have Neptune opposite my ascendant and a Jupiter in Scorpio, so those help. My moon is in Virgo, too! Double need-my-space-whammy, eh?

  21. Also I love the story of the travelling academics – what made them think YOU / your house were relevant in their search for Darwin’s mistress?

    Also again, eek, moon in cap, this list was probably what my first love & first live-in boyfriend was secretly thinking for at least some of the time…

  22. Oh but this is how I feel about marriage & I am still super-romantic, just don’t believe marrying/ living together is for all soulmates! Aquarius in the 7th….

    • Cap in the 7th, of the Uranus/Neptune/Saturn Cap generation. In the 7th…

      Ugh. Tried the whole Disney-esque thing, watched it bomb before my eyes. Now I’m ignoring my Saturn/Neptune and channeling my Uranus in the 7th. If you can’t keep up with my dreams, aren’t really nerdy (so far only engineers are making the cut), and aren’t a little fantastical, I won’t sleep with you. Not even date you, oh no, because dating takes up too much of my energy. (Sound like a scorned Ramzilla? Buaha, it’s been a year and all I’ve learned is I want to be friends with EVERYBODY (even him, except he sucks) and only those of the jetsetter persuasion are to my liking right now.

    • Oh my goodness it is! I didn’t think of it that way Rache 🙂

      I actually found it quite nice that he liked the “Charms of…female chit chat” and the whole “object to be beloved and played with” Ha ha ha!

      Totally cool! 🙂

    • Actually, i feel as though Darwin just tabled my own thoughts to a tee. The proposal that broke me was from someone who knew me well enough to just about spreadsheet it to me, though more convincingly, in this manner.

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Mystic Medusa