There is the underlying message, handed down through the ages, that women are property. I mean, considering that even as late as the 1960s and 1970s most women could not even get a credit card in their own name, is it any wonder that inherent in the idea of marriage and relationships that men are taught to be very possessive toward women they get involved with. They are still taught that their sense of worth comes from working and supporting their loved ones, so no matter how enlightened or open-minded someone is, they have to get past that bullshit.
So, I think one of the ways this expresses itself is in the traditional mono attitude. Much of the disgust a male partner feels at the idea of another man being physically intimate with the woman he loves has to do with it being a violation of something that only he "has a right to" -- in essence, his property and possession. I think it is very strong in our culture for a man to feel that a commitment with a woman means she belongs to him. Of course, lots of women feel the same way about "their men," but this is a huge influence on our ideas of relationships and marriage in general.
Last edited by nycindie; 01-12-2012 at 11:17 AM.