Wedding Traditions – Sexist??

posted 2 years ago in Traditions
Post # 2
1200 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: January 2017

I find them very sexist, as well. A lot are based on the old way of treating women as property and an investment. A lot has since evolved, thankfully. Even having a best man was originally based on sexism! He was there to help fight off anyone who tried to prevent the groom from kidnapping the intended bride. Go figure. 

We didn’t have anything traditional, and I kept my name. 

Post # 3
3415 posts
Sugar bee
  • Wedding: June 2016

NikkiBee18 :  I told him that he was not to ask my parent’s permission. We picked out and paid for my ring together. I had my mom officiate the wedding and I wrote the entire ceremony to make sure that it was modern and reflected my values. I wore a short off-white dress (for a long time I’d planned on doing a dark red dress, so that was actually pretty traditional of me). I chose not to have an aisle, but had there been one, Darling Husband and I would have walked together. No veil, because I hate the symbolism. And Darling Husband and I are both changing our names this spring  (we couldn’t agree on what to do about that before the wedding, so I kept my name until this point).

This is not meant to bash anyone who loves veils and white dresses and being walked down aisles. It’s just seriously not my thing. ☺

Post # 4
2503 posts
Sugar bee

I agree with you that the history/origin of many matrimonial traditions are sexist, but I think a lot of people keep certain traditions like walking down the aisle for the same reason they do parent dances – to honor and include a beloved family member – rather than for the traditional meaning of “giving away” the woman as property. Many others simply leave in these elements because it’s traditional. The history behind these things might be sexist, but I don’t think that’s how most people interpret them today. 

Personally, I was raised by a single mom and basically just text my dad on holidays, so it definitely would have been weird (and I’d have been offended and weirded out) if my Fiance had asked my dad for my “hand.” Similarly, I do not intend to have my dad walk me down the aisle if I choose to go for a traditional ceremony (debating eloping – and I’m using the term traditional here very loosely!). I’d rather walk by myself or have a different family member like a grandparent walk me. I am considering changing my name because I like the symbolism of me and my partner having the same last name as a family unit, along with any future kids. However, my Fiance has also said he’d be willing to change his name to mine or choose a different name together, so I certainly don’t feel pressure to take his name, and I also might choose keep mine at least professionally. We just got engaged so I haven’t decided yet! But I’d definitely be upset and think it was sexist if my Fiance were pressuring me into taking his name. 

ETA: He proposed but he didn’t buy me a ring – we used a ring that was my great grandmother’s. We discussed it and I already had a ring I loved with sentimental value, so it seemed silly to spend more on a different ring. He could have easily bought me a ring but we’re combining finances eventually so we’d rather use the money he would have spent to take a vacation or put toward home costs down the line. I have nothing against men buying women rings, though! I will happily accept future jewelry, just didn’t feel it was necessary in this case. 😉 

Post # 5
5 posts
  • Wedding: April 2018

Yea, I’m more than anti-sexist…I’m pro-woman. Not to be confused with feminist. So yes, I agree with you in that I find asking for parents permission, being walked down the aisle and given away from your father to your husband, and changing your last name. Me and SO have agreed for a JOP/City Hall ceremony. And even though we have the same last name already, I wouldn’t have changed my last name anyway. 

However, I’m totally fine with the tradition of a man asking a woman to be his wife. Yes, grovel, bitch. I like the idea of a man groveling on his knees, basically begging me to do something, while presenting me with something extremely expensive. Pro-woman…get yours! lol

Post # 7
3563 posts
Sugar bee
  • Wedding: June 2017

NikkiBee18 :  I kept my name. AFTER deciding to get married, Darling Husband asked for my parents blessing (not permission). We had our officiant announce “you may now kiss your spouse”, no bouquet or garter toss, Darling Husband had a groomswoman. 

Post # 8
1983 posts
Buzzing bee
  • Wedding: February 2016

NikkiBee18 :  well marriage itself is sexist. It was a business transaction in which your burden of a daughter was bought by a man so she could produce strong male heirs to purchase more women. Yet I’m assuming as we’re all on this site, we are interested in the concept of marriage. So sometimes we can redefine what traditions mean to us and sometimes we can agree to go with the tradition or concept even whilst acknowledging it’s sexist roots. So just because the women in your social circle are choosing more traditional/more sexist options it doesn’t mean that they haven’t considered the sexist implications and decided it either doesn’t mean anything to them or they would prefer to redefine it.

Personally I did not want my husband to purchase a ring but it was important to my husband but as a result it was important that I pick the ring. It was important that my husband not ask my dad’s permission, not least because I haven’t asked permission to do anything since about the age of 12, why would I start now? My father in law thinking he could create a dig at me (thinking DHhad asked my dad) asked if I should have asked for Future In-Laws permission to marry Darling Husband. I rationally explained that neither of us are asking permission, especially considering we are left to do as we please the rest of the time without asking permission. This includes bigger things in life, like starting a career. I argued that making your mind up at 18-22 what you want to do with your life is more damaging than marrying the wrong person. If you marry the wrong person, you can get a divorce, sure it hurts but assets can be divided and you can remarry. It has a financial impact too. But if after 5 years or worse 20 years you find yourself in the wrong career you have a massive time and financial input while you possibly retrain. There’s also likely a financial cost when you take an entry level role to gain experience. You spend 50-60 years working, sometimes with no way to escape an unhappy situation. We send kids out into the world and tell them to make a success of themselves with no guidance but no, our life partner is what we need help from our parents on.

Anyway, I digress. I did not want to be given away. However, I had my parents walk down the aisle with me (no mention of giving away anywhere). DH’s parents also walked down the aisle with him. For me, this was taking a very sexist tradition and turning it into something that worked for us. To me, that symbolised that we were entering our marriage equally and with the support of our families behind us. Unless you’ve been involved with the conversations the couple has had you can’t say whether they’re ignoring the sexist roots or not.

Post # 9
709 posts
Busy bee

Yes, I find them to be very sexist too. My (now) finace did not ask my father for permission. He asked me to marry him and we went out and picked an engagement ring together (that I paid half for). I’m not changing my last name. If we have kids, we decided that girls will get my last name and boys will get his. My dad is not walking me down the aisle – both my parents are but I don’t look at it as “giving me away”. It’s just something special that the 3 of us can do together. Also we are each paying for our own individual wedding bands. 

Post # 15
74 posts
Worker bee
  • Wedding: July 2018

Yes, most wedding traditions are extremely sexist.  The only traditional things in our wedding, is that my dress is white, and I will be changing my name (mostly for practical reasons).

The sexist traditions we are NOT including….no wearing a veil (no need for me to pretend being a virgin at this point, lol), no escort walking me down the aisle, my fiance asked no one’s permission or blessing to marry me, no garter toss or boquet toss, and my fiance is having a groomswoman.  

That being said, I think the great things about weddings nowadays is that is up to the couple as to what they want.  Some people like the traditions, and some people like me, like to pick and choose.  One other sexist wedding tradition is the practice of the woman wearing the engagement ring, but the man not wearing one.  I don’t hear too many woman complaining about that.  It’s all about what it means to you.

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