If you’ve been paying any attention at all, you’ll have noticed that last Thursday I got engaged and (as those of you who follow me on Twitter will also know) found out I’ve got a place on the Newspaper Journalism MA at City University.
It’s been a pretty manic long weekend (ok, I realise it’s now Thursday again – make that a pretty manic week!) of celebrating, visiting and repeatedly answering the same questions! I sincerely promise that I’m not going to bore you all by endlessly blogging about feminist wedding planning (there’s really only so much I have to say on the topic), but I thought I’d get some of the FAQs out of the way so I can get back to reality and normal service can resume.
Frequently Asked Questions:
(For the benefit of friends, relatives, anyone else who’s interested.)
So, you’re feminists and you’re getting married?
Yes, we are. For all the soppy romantic reasons why people get married, as well as all the unromantic, practical reasons why people get married. Obviously as feminists we’re very conscious of the glaring patriarchal flaws with marriage as an institution, and we’re going to try our best to make the day (and our lives) as patriarchy-free as possible. In fact, to quote the wonderful and lovely Izzy John, it’s going to be “FEMINISTASTIC!!”
When?! Have you set a date yet? When’s it going to be? How long have I got to save up for my hat? Etc, etc.
Yes, I’ve heard this question a lot. We’re thinking of Spring/Summer 2014 – probably around May or June.
Are you really waiting that long?
Yes. Did I not mention I’ve got a Masters to do? And then a job to find?
How come us men don’t get engagement rings, eh?
Actual question, to which the response was, “his ring’s been ordered, but they didn’t have the right size so it’ll be with us in 3 weeks”. I love rings (this is my sixth) so I wasn’t going to pass up the opportunity of another, even prettier one, but engagement rings do have a really sexist history and all sorts of nasty ‘ownership’ connotations. When we very first talked about marriage, about a year ago, his first question was “if we’re doing this equality thing, does that mean I get an engagement ring too?” One year on, he still wanted one but was worried people would “think it’s weird” (to be fair, if they think that’s weird, they’ve got some real surprises to come!) Interestingly, the man in the jewellers told us that he wears an engagement ring himself and that it’s becoming far more common – they currently sell about three men’s engagement rings a week because, as he said, why shouldn’t both partners wear a ring as a symbol of their commitment?
So what makes it a “feminist wedding”?
Or, as my best friend and bridesmaid put it, “you are still going to wear a dress, aren’t you?” Well yes, I am, but we’d like to do away with some of the nastier traditions and focus on what’s important and personal to us. For a start, we don’t want any of that usual “men doing everything while the women just stand around looking pretty” lark. There’ll be no veil, no giving away, no “obeying” or “submitting”, a reading from Simone de Beauvoir, and I’m making a speech. Fortunately we’ve got two years to figure out the finer details of what makes a “feminist wedding”, but that’s our starting point.
What about surnames? Are you keeping yours?
Yes, probably. Or we’ll add each other’s to our own. Discussions are ongoing.
When are you going to have babies? Is it soon?
No, it’s not. Not until at least ten years after people stop asking this question – so stop it!