I wish I’d planned my wedding, all those years ago, as a feminist wedding as Rachel Hills did and blogged about at Feminist Wedding Planning. It may have set the tone for my marriage.
You start with going along with your parents and in-laws want and what they think is appropriate for the society you live in and it ends with you losing yourself in the marriage, the children and other people’s lives. A great way to prevent divorce is to be the person you are instead of fitting in to other people’s expectations of you. The path of least resistance can seem the best, the easiest, the one least likely to rock the boat but it isn’t. Better to rock the boat with small waves of resistance, of voicing your opinion, of getting your way than to overturn it with a mega wave of frustration and recognition that your life is being led by a person who isn’t you.
The reason I’m thinking about weddings is because my daughter is getting married. She knows what she wants and exactly how she wants it. She’s a lot older than I was when I got married and she has the advantage that it’s 34 years later. Weddings uphold traditions and tradition is by default patriarchal. So it isn’t easy planning a feminist wedding. Specially in India. But she’s going to do it and I support her fully.
It’s absolutely bizarre that a confident woman with a great career and a strong mind should suddenly be expected to kowtow to the elders of another family – which she didn’t do even in her own family. It’s equally strange to imagine that she should need a trousseau. What an outdated idea – propagated by designers and clothes companies. Most girls have more clothes than they should have. All they need is the wedding outfit. And special occasion clothes for the satellite celebrations like mehendi, sangeet, reception – all of which I consider superfluous and unnecessary.
Rachel puts it well when she says, “For me, planning a “feminist” wedding is about refusing to participate in (what I believe to be, at least) the bullshit that is heaped upon all of us – but perhaps especially women…”
The challenge is for us to do this in India where the very idea of being female and a woman is draped in being submissive and if at all you get your way it has to be in a round about manner, if at all you state your needs and emotions it’s invariably passive aggressive because that’s the cultural norm.
- The rise of the feminist wedding (crystalpinkevents.wordpress.com)