Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Dissing Marriage at Dayton State College

By Glenn Campbell

Today, I gave a talk of over two hours at Daytona State College in Daytona Beach, Florida. The topic was "The Case Against Marriage," based on my unfinished book of the same name.
Here is the entire presentation in YouTube video (audio only).

The event was open to the entire campus, but about 1/3rd of the audience came from an honors class on intimate relationships that had previously been assigned my book to read. The presentation was very informal and consisted mainly of lively debate between me and members of the audience. Most of the audience disagreed with my positions on marriage, which only made things more interesting. Although the event was optional and everyone was free to leave, about half stayed for the full duration.

As part of the relationships course, the students in the class had been assigned my book to read at the beginning of the semester. In fact, it was their only textbook in the course. They later had to write a report on it, which was turned in two weeks ago.

The lecture came about because one of the students emailed me to interview the author directly. Since I can fly for free, I offered to come to Daytona to talk the the class myself.

I thought it was very amusing to turn up in a place where my work was being discussed. The students were well-prepared to challenge me, and I think we all had a good time.

Also available as an WAV audio file (2+ hours, 31 mb) Recorded with the voice recorder you see on the desk in front of me. A second recording of the same lecture is also available - Daytona.WMA - recorded in the audience. The first recording (.wav) is the best for my own speech, but I don't know which one is better for questions from the audience. In the second recording (.WMA), the professor's introduction begins at 4:15, and my talk begins at about 5:00.)


  1. Did anybody ask about Bob Lazar? If you have time, think about coming to my 5th grade class and give my students some pointers on how to pass the Nevada State Writing Test!

  2. I don't like that shirt on you. It makes you look fat. See, another good reason not too get married,all that nagging! JB

  3. And you reply,"You idiot, it should be 'to'!" JB

  4. I listened to that entire podcast of your "workshop" and was shocked by the hostility of the group, the sheer lack of critical thinking skills among the attendants, they resort to all of the usual ad hominem arguments and wallow. They have a love of marriage as a Platonic abstraction and are utterly unable to separate it from other things like love. You deserve kudos for having the courage to deliver that lecture. One would think you were making a a case against "peace" or "child rearing" or something. But you seemed to enjoy it. Good luck with your projects


  5. Great stuff! I agree with the MHampton's assessment of the lack of critical thinking skills, the pervasive "buy-in" to the party line, and the inability to compare oranges to oranges.

    I was waiting to hear you shoot down some of these "ad hominem" arguments as people jumped from apples to oranges in making their points. In any event, it was a really good listen.

    The reason why most women will instinctively reject the
    "case against marriage" is this. And this was clearly and succinctly explained to me years ago by a woman who was objective enough step outside of her own stuff, and to recognize the game that is being played.

    Here's the voice of "woman:
    "I'm valued for my beau"ty. My time of beauty is limited, and therefore very valuable. I trade that value for security--giving up, within the relationship, the time I could be using to generate income for myself.
    This value, my value, however, is not recognized by the men in society. In addition, the other things of value that I bring to the table (child care, nurturing, etc. ) are also not valued equally by society. Therefore, I need to ensure that I am not tossed aside, left destitute after my beauty fades, and my time is up.
    I need the courts to obligate a man to provide for me, and to
    split "our" community assets, should someone more beautiful, and with more time (i.e. younger) come along who usurps my position, and results in us getting divorced.
    The binding contract of marriage (not the fairy tale) is what is legally enforceable to guarantee that the time I "lose" to this relationship will be compensated in a "fair" way should I be replaced."
    To attack the institution of marriage is to personally insult and trivialize a woman's sense of value, and to rob her of the only recourse for compensation in a capitalist society that requires money in order to survive.

  6. My first reaction from this site was: an institution of "higher" learning had a class that only offered one view, one required reading to the students on a subject that is the foundation of our existence - relationship - in particular, between a man and a woman. May I suggest that this sounded very biased and close-minded of the professor. Also, as a woman who "came of age" during the 70's, I have run the course of being a beauty queen, found (false) strength in the feminist movement, worked shoulder to shoulder in a male-dominant profession, experienced marriage, divorce, modern relationship without marriage, motherhood and even turned away from my career to bring up two precious people - now adults. I must say, that through it all - nothing, nothing, I have done (traveled the seas, other countries, flown airplanes...) is more satisfying than being a wife and mother 24/7. Sorry, but I don't base my value as a woman on what the people in this world think. There are higher thoughts than this. To know deep inside that I have given all I can to other people who have entered my life for to me to nurture is all I need to feel I did well. Although marriage has been hard work - I am blessed by a man who is devoted and loves me more each year even as my physical attributes decline (duh - like all living things!)....this is the spark we can still see in the older generations who understood accepted, and fulfilled committment and the benefit of looking at the big picture of life instead of short term, instant gratification and fulfillment. I don't buy into the accusation that people who support the marriage institution are locked into a party philosophy or are not critical thinkers. Seems to me that by avoiding committment and honor in relationship, a person avoids many opportunities to think critically and outside of their own box. You see, it isn't about's about others. That's what marriage means. For those who don't haven't been here. Don't try to judge it quite yet. My life is very successful because of the love I shared.

  7. Perhaps what you don't know is that he actually said that he was wrong. I know, because I was there. Also, it would make sense that they all had one opinion, because that was the point. He was to come on campus to debate with students who are for marriage. Please read his book in progress, and you will see he has no statics working in his favor. This is simply his opinion. Look at writings from actual psychologist such as Frank Pittman. BTW, the problem isn't that we get married, the problem is that we don't know how to stay married. We teach sex, not relationship.