I’ve posted before about the phenomenon of sites like CompleteCase.Com making divorce easier to get via the web, but that post eaten in of one of the last database crashes I had before relaunching the blog. (The Technorati link above is the best I could do to find it.) I thought about that post, and about how little objection we hear to real “threats to marriage,” when I saw this piece about the latest resource for heterosexuals looking to get shed of their marriages: Divorce Camp.
Despite the fact that [Jennifer] Morris sells real estate for a living, she had no idea how to make wise decisions about her own legal and financial future. On top of that, she was spent emotionally. Instead of feeling in control, she said, she let her divorce happen to her.
Determined to save other women from the same fate, she created Daisy Camp, a one-stop shop tackling many of the hardest challenges of divorce, from legal to emotional, in a supportive atmosphere. While the camps are directed at women, Morris also offers mini-camps for divorcing couples dealing primarily with legal matters and healthy co-parenting.
… There’s no canoeing at Daisy Camp’s three-day retreats, but there are sessions titled “Real Estate ABCs” and “Financial Nuts and Bolts” as well as “Essential Oils.” There’s belly dancing and massage, too.
Her first camp in March, limited to 40 women, sold out and had a waiting list of 50. Website traffic (www.daisycampforyou.com) has increased from 20 to 1,000 hits a day, Morris said.
Online divorce, 3-day divorce seminars, etc. Sounds like divorce is a booming business already (and kinda fun; if you throw in some belly dancing, massage, and essential oils it’s like a divorce seminar and a weekend at the spa all rolled into one), and gay people have barely gotten gotten marriage equality anywhere yet.
What gives? I didn’t see anything in the article about why Morris “knew that she had to get divorced” or what’s driving women to her website and selling out attendance at her seminars, but it can’t be our fault because we can’t get married in 49 out of 50 states, and can’t get civil unions in something like 48 out of 50. And in the states where we do have legal marriage or civil unions, heterosexual divorce rates are lower than in states where we don’t have marriage equality or civil unions.
It’s been mentioned before, usually facetiously, that if people are so concerned about protecting marriage they they ought to look into outlawing divorce or making it a bit harder to get. Rep. Lincoln Davis brought it up during the House debate on the FMA last month. And caught some hell for it, so perhaps to some people divorce is nearly as sacred an institution as marriage. I can’t remember if Rep. John Hostettler got as much flack when he said divorce is just as dangerous as same-sex marriage, but maybe it was different because he’s a Republican.
Don’t get me wrong. I’ve seen enough bad marriages to know that sometimes divorce is the best possible move for everyone involved. At the very least, it empowers women to leave abusive marriages. I’ve seen that happen too, and I think it’s saved a lot of lives. That and the social changes that made it easier for women to achieve an economic independence that makes it easier for them to leave abusive relationships. So, I’m not against divorce.
But it occurs to me that with so many marriages failing, and so many of them failing in states most opposed to marriage equality, that either a lot of people have their priorities out of whack when it comes to real threats to marriage. Either that or they know there’s still a few dollars to be made and votes to be gathered through gay bashing, and they’re cynically exploiting that for as long as they can. (Perhaps due to evidence that they’re running out of time to exploit that issue.)
Either way, it seems if the powers that be really cared about safeguarding marriage, they’d look into operations like Daisy Camp; not to shut them down, but to find out what’s really driving people to these services. That is, of course, if preserving marriage is what they’re really interested in to begin with.