I started listening to podcasts, because listening to the radio seems to be zapping my brain cells away. And one podcast I came across is things your mom forgot to teach you. Monday’s topic (which I just got around to listening today) was all about weddings and this idea of a feminist wedding.
I had never heard of the term feminist wedding until today. It got me thinking, you know a wedding is mostly a ceremony of traditions from a patriarchal society. One that did not value the worth of a woman more than her ability to reproduce. The white dress signifying purity of the bride to her husband, her father giving his daughter to the husband because she was no longer his responsibility, the veil covering the brides face, the diamond ring. It sounds ugly when you put it together in that context.
Now don’t get me wrong I think weddings are beautiful. I love going to weddings where the two people getting married have been dating for what seems like forever, they compliment each other so well and the wedding is full of sharing their love for one another more than showing off how much they spent on the wedding. I love weddings. I wanted to be a wedding coordinator, that’s how much I loved weddings. I also love cake (perhaps more than the wedding ceremony itself).
But even as a little girl I had always challenged the belief of a traditional wedding. See my mom raised me, so the whole thought of being walked down the aisle by my father caused my stomach to turn. And as I got older and have thought about weddings less and less it just seems obvious to me that if I ever get married, it will be as far from traditional as I can get away with. It would be silly for me to demand that my father walk me down the aisle. I would feel silly wearing a white dress knowing what it’s supposed to mean. I don’t even like white all that much. I may conform to wearing a veil only if I get to wear one of those cool pillbox hats because I’ve never found the occasion for it. And I’m not going to object to a diamond ring. I mean come on, “it’s so pwetty…” (swoon) but I also wouldn’t be mad if my ring wasn’t a diamond.
The point is that a feminist wedding is going to be unique to you, because that’s what feminism is about. It’s about having the choice to continue your career or be a stay at home mom after having kids. It’s about being in control when and if you want to have kids. It’s about feeling safe in your workplace free of sexual harassment. It’s about being allowed to do any job men can do and getting paid the same for doing it. Feminism is about having the choice. And if you choose to make “gender conforming” traditional decisions and that’s what you’re comfortable with, then power to you because you actively made that decision. It wasn’t imposed on you. But don’t feel like you have to do things the traditional route either if you’re not comfortable with that.
The label feminist isn’t bestowed on you only when you conform to a set of check lists and hoops that you have to jump through. The feminist movement was actually created so that women wouldn’t have to conform to one set of rules. So I’m saying create your own rules because after all “well behaved women seldom make history”.