20 January 2014

Category Error


This will probably sound radical, but hear me out: a wife is a wife.  I know that sounds a little strange as a standalone assertion, so let me clarify:  A wife is not a maid.  Also, a wife is not a prostitute.  Now, a wife will have sex with her husband, and she will generally attend to domestic duties, but this doesn’t make her a prostitute or a maid, even though she receives some form of provision from her husband, generally speaking.

This seems rather obvious, I know, but I think it might help to clarify things a little bit further:  You marry a wife; you don’t hire one.  In contrast, you hire a prostitute but you don’t marry one.  You hire a maid but you don’t marry one.

The point I’m trying to make is that any man who is contemplating marriage would do well to first figure out what, exactly, it is he wants from the opposite sex.  If you want a prostitute, hire one.  If you want a maid, hire one.  If you want a wife, marry one.  Don’t treat a wife like a prostitute or maid.  Don’t treat a maid like a prostitute or wife.  Don’t treat a prostitute like a maid or wife.  In short, don’t make a category error.

So, for example, if you marry a woman and she doesn’t have sex with you as often as you’d like and your complaint is that, “I’m paying the bills, the least she can do is have sex with me once in a while,” then I’m sad to report that you’ve unwittingly married a prostitute.  Exchanging sex for resources is the essence of prostitution.  What you’ve implicitly done is shelled out a whole bunch of money for a lifelong contract of sexual exclusivity.  If you promised to treat her like a wife, though, somewhere along the line you’ve committed fraud.  If you were upfront about exchanging resources for sex, though, you have a breach of contract and the initial contract is rendered null and void.  The important thing is that both parties properly understand the contract.

The husband-wife relationship is more complex than the employer-maid relationship, or the john-prostitute relationship.  The husband-wife relationship is about more than sex and service.  Do not forget that when choosing between marrying a woman and merely employing her.