Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Can't get a read on this...thoughts?

Today while I was at work researching immigration policy and being alternately enraged and enheartened Pandora kept interrupting my Busta Rhymes jam sessions to advertise this website:

*sorry for the terrible screen shot - the internet gets the better of me a lot. Also I have no actual image programs on my computer

I tried to ignore it for a while but then curiosity got the best of me and I HAD to check it out. Apparently it is some sort of website for married people? To help with them with their married lives and offer resources?

I dunno, I suppose I should be really excited about this but something about it weirds me out. I made D$ do some internet-sleuth work to figure out if it was some sort of veiled "Pro-Marriage as in Anti-Same-Sex-Rights" propoganda or secretly done by a religious group, because it has that weird uber-normal-not-really-saying-anything kind of ad that usually means "we secretly want to take your rights away." But as far as he (or I) can tell it is part of a Health and Human Services Program called The National Healthy Marriage Resource Center (NHMRC) which is "a national resource and clearinghouse for information and research relating to healthy marriages."

As you can see from the screen shot the website features pointers on communication, "how-to"s on finding time for your honey, and other tips. It all seems pretty innocuous, so why am I so weirded out by it?

I mean, think about it. I started this blog to process my own marriage, and I would love for there to be more people talking about marriages (or commitments) instead of just weddings. So why am I not excited about this website? I think it might be the squeaky-cleanness of it, or maybe the intense hetero-normativity (why shouldn't it address all committed relationships? Why married and engaged couples and not just couples? Where is the section on domestic same-sex partnerships)? I can't help but thinking there is some sort of hidden message that I would find offensive - if I could only figure out what it was

So what is it? Am I just a cynical naysayer who can't appreciate an honest effort to support marriage? Or is there something fishy here?

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