Grady and I have talked plenty about our future and the possibility of getting married. Simply put, he is pretty sure he wants to make it happen.
And it’s not because I think it’s anti-feminist.
Growing up, I dreamed of a beautiful marriage with someone who loves me more than anything in the world, to live happily ever after with, as many young girls are taught to dream for. In high school, I wanted my first love to be my last. I wished and wished someone would love me so that I could have my dream of meeting my “forever love” right away.
Society teaches people everywhere that marriage is the ultimate goal in life.
This goes for girls and boys, though boys are also taught that they are a success if they have sex with as many women as possible too.
But feminism is about everyone being able to choose what they want.
That means a woman has just as much right as a man to decide whether they want to get married or not.
If a man and a woman want to get married, even if they want to follow “traditional” gender roles, with the woman doing the housework, taking care of a baby, doing everything she can to make her husband happy, then so be it.
If a man and a woman want to get married and do everything differently, against “traditional” ideals, so be it.
If a man and a woman don’t want to get married at all, but just spend their lives together still… again, so be it.
Let’s not forget about same-sex marriage here. And that’s apparently not “traditional,” either, am I right?
Everyone has the right to choose. It’s just a matter of enforcing that right.
It’s about choice.
Honestly, you cannot tell me that just because a woman wants to marry a man, she is not a true feminist.
Even if she does want to do things the way they were traditionally set out to be done, she’s a feminist if she believes she has just as much of a right to choose as anyone else.
Let me repeat that for a second.
There is nothing wrong if a woman wants to marry a man and fulfil her traditional gender role.
I can be feminist and still choose to be a stay at home mom, because that’s what I want to do, and I’m not being forced to do it.
It’s just the same for marriage.
A woman can wear her wedding ring or engagement ring as proudly as I wear my grandmother’s old ring on my index finger.
She might want marriage for sentimental reasons, legal reasons, religious reasons… it doesn’t matter.
It’s just another thing she can choose to do if she wants to.
So no, I’m not questioning the point of marriage because I think it’s anti-feminist.
Quite simply, I just don’t see the point of marriage.
As I’ve grown older, I’ve begun believing I’ll likely never get married.
Why? Because if I love someone, I can spend the rest of my life with them without getting married.
I mean, why bother?
The chances of divorce are so high these days that marriage hardly seems to mean anything anymore anyway. I know that’s a sad attitude to have, but honestly, I don’t want to invest in something if I’m not certain — and the truth is, everyone thinks they’re certain when they get married.
And then look how many of them are wrong!
There’s nothing wrong with divorce, and I’m not saying it’s stupid to get married. Love just changes, and sometimes people change — or don’t. Life happens, totally.
It’s just reason enough for me to not bother.
Grady argues that a wedding is just a big party, a celebration of love to share with your family and friends and kind of proudly announce that this is the person you want to spend your life with.
But then why is there this really depressing expectation that everything stops once you get married?
You’re supposed to buy a house and stop goofing off, settle down, have children, begin doing what everyone else does.
And I don’t want that.
I don’t know if I’ll ever want to “settle down.”
I mean, isn’t it just easier to stay with your partner and just do what you want, no pressure?
I know a few people who got married young — one who got married at eighteen, another at nineteen, and I know plenty of people in their early twenties planning their weddings right now. The ones who already are married have given me mixed answers when I ask if things “change,” and you feel like you can’t have fun anymore.
One of them says that marriage isn’t about settling down at all for them, and another says that as much as they thought it wouldn’t change things, it did. Yet another couple got married and spent a couple years traveling the world and doing everything they wanted, before they decided to have children and “settle down.”
Everyone does marriage how they want to.
There is so much pressure from family to settle down and have kids. I mean, why is “settling down” even a thing? It makes it sound like you’re going to hate your life and be boring. Why does that have to happen?
Well… it doesn’t.
I’m still not sure if I want to get married, but IF I do — and that’s a very big IF — we’re doing it our way.
It’s not going to be at a church. I’m going to wear an Indian sari. (Red or white I’m not sure — red is traditional for Indian weddings, and white is traditional for American culture but is actually worn at funerals in Indian culture.)
And then we’re going to travel the world.
IF it happens.
And if it doesn’t, we’ll travel anyway.
So that’s it: marriage can be whatever you want it to be — if you want it at all.
Maybe there really isn’t a real point in getting married besides just throwing a huge party.
But marriage doesn’t have to be what others say it is. It’s only because of the way society is that people think it is the end of your crazy fun life. Who’s to say you can’t still have fun with the love of your life?
And despite the oppressive history of marriage — the fact that the ring shows the man’s ownership of the woman, the father has to “give away” his daughter, that it’s supposed to seal the couple in for monogamy — it doesn’t have to be that way.
Besides, if a woman is choosing to have her wedding that way, then… it’s not really ownership, or “giving away,” then, is it?
What do you think about marriage? Do you think I have it wrong?