That first line of “The Last Unmarried Person in America”—“The great marriage boom of ’84 began shortly after Congress passed the historic National Family Security Act”—is such good science fiction that it took me several beats to realize it was in fact made up. Then Ellen Willis expands on it, noting that the Act abolishes divorce, prosecutes single people as vagrants, requires applicants for civil service jobs to sign a monogamy oath, and my personal favorite, makes the interstate sale of quiche a federal offense. This America has finally made “a reality of what had then been an impossible dream: universal marriage.” Gays who take an oath for a sexless marriage can marry, and young couples insist that their marriage has nothing to do with the NFSA but is instead about their love; they assure the narrator that their desire to commit is spontaneous.Read more.
Posts tagged with: marisa meltzer
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