Guest Post from Jesi Stewart: How to be a Wedding-Loving Feminist

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From Cris: When Jesi approached me about writing for the blog, I thought sure! She'll hand me something witty and intelligent – probably about, like, “How to Keep the Maid of Honor from Taking the Bartender Home as a Favor” or “What to Do When the Best Man Shoves his Tongue Down your Mom’s Throat (and She Likes It).” After all, I’ve read Jesi’s thoughts before – on her blog Lace & Wildflowers. Jesi is a proud feminist and currently resides in Northeast Ohio were she and her fiancé, Cody are to be wed in May of 2013.

So, combine Jesi’s wedding planning, real bride status, and (um) mouth with Kiss My Tulle? And you get THIS TOTALLY AWESOME post about how you can be a feminist and a bride. Take it away Jesi:

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From Jesi: When I am introduced to new people, my friends might say, “This is Jesi. She has a sister that looks exactly like her, but they aren’t twins. She won a car once and will be considered the luckiest person you will ever meet. She loves going to weddings. She is quite a feminist.” Upon listening to my impressive introduction and realizing they forgot to acknowledge my love of pandas, I wonder if I am a bit of a contradiction. Can I love weddings and still be a feminist?

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Image Courtesy of: Manolo for the Bride

Weddings have gotten a bad reputation. We have arranged marriages that often put woman in unwanted relationships and ultimately bad situations. And we need not forget about that divorce rate. Those numbers alone would discourage many people from wedding. Many feminist believe that marriage is society’s way of claiming women as property. But if a marriage is between two equals that love each other and vow to respect each other for better or worse. What feminist wouldn’t love that? All feminists might not hold my same opinion of marriage, but it is best to acknowledge some anti-feminist practices that can arise in a wedding.

There are a few things that brides to be should be aware of when planning their wedding. The traditions that have come with the wedding day package are often archaic and sexist. It is best to be aware of these traditions’ roots and perceptions, so you can make an executive discussion on whether or not to include these practices.

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Image Courtesy of: Bitch Buzz

Be aware, that white dress you are thinking about wearing was once considered to be a sign of your virginal status. It is quite interesting to know that the only virginal status that was considered was that of the bride. In this day and age, most people other than your grandparents don’t think about your wedding dress this way. Now, the white dress just comes with the package and isn’t typically thought of as a statement of your sexual escapades, but you could always wear ivory or bright green.

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Image Courtesy of: Les-Furies

My favorite cringe-worthy wedding traditions are the bouquet and garter toss. Let’s start with the bouquet toss. My big beef with the bouquet toss is that it depicts woman in a terrible light. You have a group of single women obsessing over a bundle of flowers. One, women just get nasty and competitive over a few dying flowers and two, it gives off the idea that every unmarried woman is sad and only wants to get married. Then the garter toss, yes, I would love to have my husband search up my dress while his friends and family hoot and holler.  Count me out.

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Image Courtesy of: Wedding Bee

There are great alternatives to these traditions. Instead of throwing the bouquet, you can take apart the bouquet and give every woman there a flower or just give the bouquet to the longest married couple. Just forgo the awkward garter toss.

My advice to brides, if you are in a happy, loving, equal partnership, that is a true feminist approved union, but be aware of the traditions. They were created when women weren’t thought of as equals. And it’s your wedding you can do whatever you want, just don’t be a Bridezilla.

From Cris: Thanks Jesi! I know that even before The Boy and I got engaged – I had already decided that if I ever had a wedding there was NO WAY IN HELL I was lobbing a bunch of flowers at a group of group of surly and/or screaming women. So uncouth.

How about you Tulle Nation? Do you brides consider yourselves feminists? Do you think that any of wedding traditions are sexist or degrading to women? How about the groom? Does he feel the same way? Or do you think that everyone is just over-reacting? Sing out in the comments, Louise!