ETA: Since none of you can see me, this was actually written very calmly (like I’m eating tacos and chilling here–so no rage) and more frankly than an in-person conversation would go. If we were chatting in real life and you were all my friends and were planning something traditional, I might say something but would ultimately choose to respect your decision to live life differently. But due to the nature of an online forum, I feel like it is okay to be direct about things. 🙂
temeculabride : I told myself I wouldn’t wade back into this but, since you asked…
Are proposals truly a surprise though? There are tons of conversations that lead up to it. So, yes, there’s generally time for both sets of parents to be consulted.
And yes, I did forgo most wedding traditions that have sexist roots. I did not have my father walk me down the aisle. My husband and I walked together. I was not pronounced “man and wife,” I did not have a garter, my husband was not told he could kiss the bride, I didn’t wear a veil. The only “traditional” things we did was have an engagement ring and proposal (which was because my husband wanted it. I told him I was actually opposed to engagement rings). I asked him if he wanted something similar and he didn’t. And I wore a white dress. Why? Because it was my one chance to wear a lacey white dress. Did I feel a little icky about it due to its connotations with purity? Yes. So maybe I am a hypocrite. But I did not get fussy about a ring or a large wedding or act like how people have tried to say folks like me behave. We all end up making concessions or compromises, that doesn’t make us hypocrites if we are genuinely pushing and working for equality.
VictorianChick : I really don’t understand people getting their knickers in a knot over the man asking or having a conversation with their parents or parent. Yet they lose their damn minds if the proposal wasn’t a fairy tale one or if the ring isn’t big enough or if the wedding isn’t going as planned. The things mentioned above are all old fashioned.
If we are truly honest with ourselves we wouldn’t get married since marriage itself is terribly old fashioned and women were nothing more than chattel.
This is so over-the-top and ridiculous (and I am only responding to you because you are the most recent person to post something along these lines). In my experience, it’s the women who are insistent about their boyfriends asking their parents who get upset about the ring not being big enough. Most of us who forgo the sexist traditions have also rejected the fairytale myth and, in my experience, have been more chill about the whole process. Furthermore, the institution of marriage and women being chattel are a false comparison. Every society in history has had some form of marriage because it serves societal benefits. It’s not about things being traditional or old fashioned. It’s about rejecting ideas that are patriarchal and sexist in nature. Marriage is about love and a formal commitment to each other. That doesn’t have to be sexist. But how you go about it very much can be.
To everyone, here’s the thing, traditions are coded as romantic to help us swallow the pill of how problematic they are if you probe them. But we accept them because we are told the romance lie. We find it comforting to know the roles and expectations and so it is uncomfortable when it shifts. This isn’t some feminist BS designed to ruin everyone’s fun. At the end of the day, gender equality is made up of more than just legal stuff and household chores. It’s all these little things that factor into perceptions and social constructs about how we see the world. So you know why those of us who find it offensive find it just so darn offensive? Because it perpetuates sexist ideas that still permeate our society. We aren’t out to ruin your fun. We want true equality. And that means rejecting things that have often been held dear or treated as romantic. Yes, feminism is about the right to choose. But it is also about rejecting internalized misogyny. The two can coexist but they can also conflict. If more women asked for her husband’s parents blessing, I would see this as a non-issue. But at the end of the day, they don’t. So to me, this seems like it’s not truly an option for this to be fair. So I think we should forgo it in order to work toward a more equitable society.
What I don’t understand is how anyone can see it as respectful. I am sincerely asking. More than just “my dad would like it” or “our families are joining” because that doesn’t land or make sense to me. How is it respectful to involve the parents of one only party in a legal contract between two adults?