Welcome to the rabbit's hole. A blog on pulp.
Freedom and the freedom to chose are two of the most basic elements of a modern democracy. Family on the other hand is one of the oldest but certainly also the invariable principle in human history.
The authors of the American Declaration of Independence chose the words ‘pursuit of happiness’ to describe what I would interpret as the right and the will to shape your own life after your own ideas and concepts. However, if people in Germany are given the opportunity to decide if they want to have a family or not, most people would say that apart from biological and social reasons there are constrictions that are far less pathetic and nonetheless force you to go into what Christians call a marriage.
After being reigned by more or less conservative governments for most of the past 60 years the German Federal Republic’s residents have no means to change into so called alternative live forms. Particularily after the ‘neo-conservative’ turnaround in the nineties, as the more radical leftist would call it, family, especially family in the way western european christianity puts it is on a new all-time high. You don’t have to read Eva Herman to perceive that. Five years ago studies already predicted a generation, my generation, that would not even be more practical, pragmatic and less political – we are also branded as being part of a conservative roll back after the wild seventies and early eighties. To put it in simple letters: we are family people. Marriage numbers have gone up since then.
But still: one of the most radical thoughts that the flower-power generation brought up was the idea of a real democracy. Not a fake one to be put against evil communism – no, a actual people’s republic. Respecting women and men as individuals and tolerating differences is still part of this ragged utopia.
Since you need room for differences this leads to the beginning of this thought: room to pursuit your happiness, the freedom to chose. And you can’t chose something that ain’t there. As the stereotypical supermarket in the former USSR gave you the right though not the option to choose. You could chose between three different loafs of the very same bread. Nice, huh?
In Germany, one of the so called free states, you can chose between all possible constellations of family. Father goes to work and mother stays at home, mother works and father does the housework, both work and buy a cleaning whatever to keep the mess sorted – but what you can’t do, is simply having: no official family, two working persons in that relationship and a child that can go to nursery.
There are no nurseries.
And there comes the first conservative telling me, that the right to chose is not the same as the option.