Matchmaking And Stability

Societies in which every man has his own wife, and no man has more than one, are more stable than the polygamous cultures that generate whole cohorts of frustrated young males. Religions that promulgated monogamy may have been powered, or even created, by this desire for stability. That includes Islam, which originally set out vastly to restrict the previous unlimited polygyny and improve the condition of women. Social cohesion was certainly the aim of the medieval Christian church when legislating the prohibited degrees of marriage; it wanted to compel the new Europeans to exogamy, well knowing that endogamous clans tend to be continually at war with one another. Likewise Maimonides wrote that, “Perfect love, brotherhood, and mutual assistance is only found among those near to each other by relationship….. To effect the great boon that all men should know their relationship to each other ….. sexual intercourse was only permitted when man has chosen a certain female, and married her openly.”

Traditional Jewish culture is, of course, famous for wanting everyone to get married and have children, and for taking active steps to make it happen. That is, matchmaking, whether amateur or professional. Now, universal marriage and arranged marriage are much the same thing – for only fairly intrusive matchmaking, coupled with a firm conviction that choice of partner should not be about looks and infatuation, can give the “inferior” specimens the chance to breed, thus overriding our biological programming in order to maximise social satisfaction and stability. The result is that even the nerdiest yeshiva student weds and begets, despite being a type that is generally condemned to celibacy under the sexual equivalent of “perfect competition”. Similarly, the Jewish matchmaker might find even the kind but ugly woman a husband, while her Catholic equivalent might be encouraged to take the veil and get out of the way.

Posted on June 9, 2009 at 12:16 by Hugo Grinebiter · Permalink
In: AGAINST NATURE, "Love" Contra Social Stability

2 Responses

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  1. Written by David Goldstein
    on June 9, 2009 at 21:11
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    I personally think that online services can really help people to find their love but there are many people out there who still believe in match making.

  2. Written by Hugo Grinebiter
    on June 10, 2009 at 09:00
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    I should like to see some scientific work done on online services versus the traditional matchmaker, to see how they tackle situations where beauty and other qualities don’t go together. I have an uninformed notion that the traditional matchmaker would work harder to persuade a client that X is worth having even though he or she is not a dreamboat at first sight, but I should be open to the evidence.

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