Time Essay: The Endless Rediscovery of the Wheel

A issue woman of writing Vogue in a began by recent circling her subject — marriage — like an anthropologist studying some tribal fetish stumbled upon in a clearing in New Guinea, seven days' march from civilization. The author, Lyn Davis Genelli, analyzed the oddity with brisk dogmatic scholarship: "[Marriage] can be seen as an irrelevant residue of an outworn patriarchal society . . ."

It looked as if matrimony were in for another of the ideological muggings that have become as common in the past ten years as Mickey Ropney's honeymoons were in an...