I’ve always been told that getting married is the best day of a girl’s life. And as a little girl, admittedly I fantasized about it like many of us. I knew exactly what kind of castle the party would be in, what Disney princess I would look like (Belle, by the way), and how my future husband or wife would tear up as I walked down the aisle.
As I got older, though, I found myself wondering if I’d ever even want to get married, and finding that I should definitely have higher aspirations than just having a husband. There is subtle sexism in so many parts of our daily life just left over from when it was acceptable, and marriage is no exception. If I were to finally sign my name on a marriage certificate, I’d need to change a few things first.
1. Changing my name
Taking my husbands name is one of the first things I’d refuse to do if I was thinking about getting married. And while I love the idea of the new couple sharing one name as a unit, I can’t help but get angry that it’s automatically the woman that has to change in this scenario. It should be something to be discussed and agreed upon, not just assumed. My name is a part of my identity, and I shouldn’t be expected to give it up because that’s considered the norm. My title will automatically change to Mrs., my surname will change — everything about me indicates I belong to my husband, but he doesn’t have to change anything? I don’t think so.
2. Bachelor and bachelorette parties
I do not have enough female friends to hold a party. It’s that simple. And even if I did, I’d never want to exclude my male friends just for an old tradition. I’ve heard lots of people say it’s weird if you take a man on your ‘hen do,’ and I could never understand why. “But think about your husband. How will he feel?” they ask. Well, I’m marrying him, so he better stop feeling threatened by my friends.
And generally the culture behind these parties drives me nuts. No, I don’t need to see strippers and act single for the last time. If you feel like that, maybe don’t get married.
3. Best men and maids of honor
As I said above, I don’t only have female friends. What if I want to take a walk down the aisle with the men that have been there for me and helped me plan the whole day? What if my husband wanted to stand up at the altar with the girl that’s stood by him and been his friend forever? We should be able to include anybody we want in our wedding without judgment.
4. Asking the bride’s father for permission
The only person you need to ask if you want to marry me is me. That’s it. You don’t need permission from my family — I don’t belong to anybody but myself. You are marrying me, not my family. I know some people think it’s respectful to ask first, but honestly it’s an outdated tradition stemming back to literally transferring possession of a woman and I just don’t need it.
All in all, I’m definitely not as dead-set against marriage as I once was. After all, times are changing and we’re changing along with it, so let’s not stick to the way things are just because of old traditions.