“Platonic spouses” were another predictable outcome of the redefinition of marriage.
A recent Zogby Poll found that 61% of American business leaders agreed “that progressive ideas on race, gender, post-colonialism and ‘cancel culture’ were undermining society and were not necessary.” One suspects that the other 39% are not being honest with the pollsters or with themselves.
Consider the latest development on sexual identity undermining marriage: “platonic spouses.” New York Times writer Danielle Braff does her best to write her article in a tone appropriate to quirky, fun experimentation with human norms, even trying to spin the following according to the standard narrative about stigma:
There are no statistics about the number of platonic, best-friend marriages, and many people who are in them aren’t open about their situation. But chat boards on Reddit and within smaller asexual and aromantic communities have popped up recently, suggesting this could be a larger portion of the marriage population than numbers portray.
The way progressives see the world, obviously the reason friend-marriage would be in the shadows has to be “that we’ve really normalized heterosexual monogamous romantic relationships to the point of stigmatizing other kinds of relationships,” as California marriage and family therapist Nick Bognar puts it. From outside of the Left’s ideological mandate, though, such talk sounds like a bonkers mirror image of everything about which conservatives have been warning.
We used to warn that cultural elevation of homosexuality was erasing the idea of deep friendship, such that literary or historical close friendships were assumed to have been intimate. Now, close friendships are taking their place among the victimized “alternative lifestyles.”
Maybe people who are in these marriages aren’t open about them because (1) they know they aren’t really marriage, and (2) they’re relationships of convenience. Writing about same-sex marriage a couple of decades ago, I explained that this would happen. It took no great insight. Of course friends would do this, particularly with the complete absence of stigma for divorce. In their early twenties, of course roommates and friends would fill out the paperwork in order to share benefits. In their later years, of course older friends who thought their romantic lives behind them would follow incentives toward a semi-binding agreement like marriage.
More broadly, if marriage is just a statement of affection and mutual care, of course the standard of sexual intimacy would disappear along with the standard of being of opposite sex, the standard of being limited to two people, and the standard that the spouses cannot be closely related already.
Progressives have undermined marriage, and that’s just one of the institutions on which they’re working their corrupting magic. This will have consequences, although progressives will keep blaming cops and “white supremacists.”