heavy stuff.

since my engagement, i have been struggling to find a comfort level with weddings, being a "bride", being a "wife" and marriage in general due to my strongly held beliefs about equality, feminism and heterosexism.
to be clear, i am enormously happy and am completely certain that adam and i are meant to be partnered for life. it was obvious to me early on that something was different about my relationship with adam; something comfortable and grounding. our strengths and weaknesses balance each other well, we share similar interests and life goals. we both knew we were in it for the long haul. neither of us are very traditional and since we don't want children, marriage was never a really big issue. but now that forming a legally recognized union is happily part of the plan, i have to negotiate a difficult path.
my feelings about marriage are complicated. i hold marriage in high regard even though i am not particularly religious. but i also discount marriage because it is an elitist club which is rooted in sexist traditions.
i feel more than a little bit guilty that i can marry my partner because i happened to have fallen in love with a man. i believe strongly in marriage equality and originally felt that i would not marry adam until any consenting and loving couple could marry. i now wonder what that choice accomplishes. i'm pretty sure my choosing to not marry my opposite sex life partner in protest to inequality isn't having any affect on changing laws. actually, the state of New York is probably getting a bigger chunk of my paycheck for this act of protest. i am slowly coming to the realization that my marrying a man isn't sabotaging my commitment to marriage equality, although it isn't assuaging my guilty feelings.
from a feminist perspective, the concept of the wedding is a veritable minefield. i am no militant, but i can see why some of the "traditions" associated with weddings could be triggering. a few examples being that there is a lot of implied ownership (what am i, livestock?), there is the word "obey" (i will not), and there is the white dress/virginity thing (no comment). ultimately, i will take out or adjust the parts of the wedding ceremony that are not aligned with my personal beliefs but i still struggle with conflicting feelings. is my wish to have my father walk me down the aisle undermining my principles, or is it a heartfelt gesture of respect for the man who was an integral part of making me the feminist i am today?
there is no easy solution to this conundrum and i know i will continue to wrestle with taking this exciting next step while maintaining my autonomy and using my privilege consciously.


  1. I haven't been online in a while, so I'm just catching up on your posts. I was very interested when I saw this one. I was married a few years ago for less than a year. I also struggled with certain aspects of marriage and the wedding. I wore a yellow dress. I had both my mother and father walk me down the aisle. I did change my name, however I changed it back right after I was divorced and decided that I would never do that again. There are so many things that are expected of a woman when she gets married and most of it is such... I don't know what word I'm thinking of, but 'crap' just came to mind. :)

    And congrats!

  2. I'm just discovered your blog by follwing links with Peter Singer, and am avidly reading with interest! :) I am bisexual ( ...I guess!I don't really think of myself as having any such label, really), and I married my long time female partner about 2.5 years ago. I came out of a very traditional & pentecostal religious family and community and so have had to deal with all sorts of shit, understandably.
    I grew up very 'girly', doing the designing wedding dresses and choosing baby names from about the age of 4. I laugh at this, but it's a part of who I am and I like it; and my Beloved is the complete opposite.
    As a teenager and young adult I went through the whole feminist thing, and then, with inadvertantly & unexpectedly falling in love with a girl, I had to decide what I really thought about love and marriage and parenting, ...all that. We decided to get married because we, the two of us, wanted to commit ourselves to each other in a public forum, with our friends as witnesses.

    In a way, the law and current social issues were irrelevant to that decision. It was very much about the two of us and what we wanted to say and be to each other. As it is, the law in our country /state doesn't recognise our 'marriage', but we do and and our friends do. The law allows us to 'register' our relationship - which we did, so legally we're covered in regards to property laws and superannuation etc.

    I'd love it if we were given the rights as anyone else and seek this as much as anyone. And the occasional friend still can't consider us married because we're not a male-female relationship and that upsets me from time to time. But, at the end of the day it's about us, and what we want for ourselves and each other.

    I am profoundly grateful that we live in a time where this is largely accepted. I'm grateful that we have the choice to wear white, or not, to say the words or make the commitments that we want to, and to embue as much or as little meaning and significance into this as we wish. I'm profoundly aware that even 20 years ago this would have been very difficult to do.

    I did wear white, because I'd always fantasized about the pretty dress and all the trimmings- we wrote our own vows, of which there was nothing remotely connected to 'obey' and designed our own ceremony completely around what we wanted. I did not invite my family. I walked myself along the beach. It was a very liberating experience.

    So, what I wanted to say ( & I realise I'm a year late!), was - GO for it!! It's about you and Adam, no one else. The world we live in, the history of the treatment of women and the traditions that have arisen around that are important. But love, itself transcends all of that. Nothing is more important than the two of you & the strength of your relationship, and what you want out of it. This is the value of living in the age we do - we have the freedom to choose to hold onto what we want and discard what we don't. Gender is irrelevant!! Not all will agree - but, that's where we sit on it, and we're very happy.
    Squishy hugs to you.

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  4. adkvegan & pepper b:
    thanks for sharing your stories and your support!


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