Can weddings be feminist?


On yesterday’s RTE Today show (which you can watch at the link), I asked: Can weddings be feminist?

So many of the traditional symbols around the big day are inherently patriarchal that it can be hard to see beyond them. A white dress symbolising virginity; a diamond ring to say you’re taken; being ‘given away’ like property; the silencing of the women as all the men make speeches.

Clearly, many of these have just become traditions most people don’t question. They don’t bother a lot of women – the white dress, particularly, is clearly just an anachronism now.

But now that we are no longer restricted to the Church or the registry office in Ireland, it’s leaving people free to change it up a bit and add their own individual touches.

Facebook was positive:

Twitter was divided, with some believing marriage and weddings are unsalvageable as unequal institutions, but others pointing out the breaks with tradition they made in their own circumstances.
I did a storify of the responses (it’s my first one).

Friends of mine had the most feminist wedding I’ve ever been at, where the bride spoke (she was awesome) and the groom had ‘groomsmaids’ as well as ‘groomsmen’, because half his best friends are women.

I don’t think they would describe it in terms of feminism particularly, but they made the wedding fit who they are – a modern, equal couple with a lot of respect for each other. It was beautiful. Here’s a picture of them with their wedding party!

 

 

Fintan & Arlene

 

 

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