There’s a simple legal change that will strengthen marriage and the family and thus society.
While men would automatically become legal adults at eighteen women would be able to choose to then or at a later date.
Females without criminal convictions, repeated divorces or multiple abortions, loss of child custody, or other serious problems could petition for adult status. A judge would check and if nothing’s amiss approve the application.
As adults women could vote, hold office, serve on juries, enter into contracts, andwould have to register for the draft. They could lose adult status for reasons that would bar their application and could give it up except when called to military service. There would be provisions for restoring lost status but limits to the number of permitted changes in both directions.
Women could choose to remain legal minors, free of adult responsibilities though in some ways dependent. This wouldn’t be oppressive since such matters as age of consent, marriage, driving, alcohol purchase, and criminal penalties would continue to be determined entirely by chronological age. There would be no legal barrier to education and most employment.
With their roles clarified, no new anti-sex legislation, and other issues stabilized, girls would see this as an improvement over and even a rebellion against outdated ways. They would continue feeling themselves tough, sensitive, adventurous, and needing protection, too complex, unlike men, for a single life role.
Girls ambitious for adult status would avoid trouble and learn self-discipline and good manners. Those choosing to remain legal minors might be valued as wives for being family oriented, dependable, and cooperative. Both roles being legally sanctioned, neither would be considered as less valuable.
Men will appreciate women being clear about their life preferences. Females couldn’t easily hide the reasons for their choices or why their application is rejected, which would be matters of public record. These could be regularly published like lists of graduates and even, like wedding announcements, at female insistence.
Better able to estimate who is genuinely interested in home and family, men may become less reluctant to marry.