I’m really obsessed with your wedding.
Yes, you, who escaped city life to marry your man bun of a fiancé in a Midwestern field, surrounded by mountain ranges and wild horses.
And you, who somehow managed to coerce your guests into dining on oriental rugs on the beach under strings of twinkly lights and the moonrise.
And, of course, you, with the pro photographer at your minimalist courthouse wedding.
To all of you who have gotten hitched without a hitch, I am truly sincere when I say: #goals.
I’m in my 20s, I’m a liberal feminist, and I’m single. I have a college degree and my personal and professional enrichment are immensely paramount.
[bctt tweet=”I take frequent pleasure in planning my hypothetical wedding.” username=”wearethetempest”]
I also happen to take frequent pleasure in planning my hypothetical wedding.
As we sluggishly creep toward societal norms that aspire to fill the gender gap – embracing women with executive jobs, bolstering influential female politicians, and examining the gender and sexuality spectra (to name a mere few feats on the long to-do list that is righting the wrongs of female subservience) – we’re also redefining what it means to be a woman. Clothing preferences, romantic ventures, professional aspirations, and biological traits are no longer of vital pertinence to the fulfillment of gender roles.
However, progress is not synonymous with simplicity, and with these redefined norms come new expectations and complications.
Can I be a feminist with wedding fantasies? I mean, sure I can, but will the Generation Y police approve?
As much as I want to burn my bras, I also want to purchase several lacy intimates to replace them. And as tempting as it is to dip into a daydream where my life-partner, Jason Momoa, and I start a family in our urban-bohemian loft, I might want an exchange of vows resembling a Coachella after-party to match.
Listen, I fully understand that, to an enormous extent, this is societal brainwashing. Since the incarnation of the Victorian white wedding gown, girls and women have been fed gazillions of fairy tales drenched in lavish jewels and sexy princes on horses.
[bctt tweet=”It’s an industry built on a foundation of De Beers diamonds, tulle, and bad cake.” username=”wearethetempest”]
It’s an industry built on a foundation of De Beers diamonds, tulle, and bad cake.
And while the idea can be tantalizingly utopian, the tradition of tying the knot is often overtly superficial and dissociated from the union it represents. So, I should know better, right? For many, the residue left from generations of bad coupling has re-categorized marriage as stale, archaic, and often frightening. From divorce, to trophy wives, to wedding induced bankruptcy — something has gone awry. Within millennial feminism, I see a space for women to debunk so many of the gendered expectations and untruths of our past.
However, I’m concerned that the concept of the romantic will be hurriedly swept from the modern femme under the equality agenda.
Desire for love is not gendered; it’s human. Yet it is not only acceptable for, but expected of women to cling to the fruition of love and marriage for self-realization. Out of this subjugation of personal actualization were borne colossal engagement rings to quantify a woman’s worth, the myth of the Bridezilla, and men who want no part in the planning of their own wedding.
[bctt tweet=”Lions, tiaras, and ring bearers, oh my!” username=”wearethetempest”]
Lions, tiaras, and ring bearers, oh my!
In recognizing that matrimonial traditions, both damaging and culturally embraced, are in fact fabricated rituals, women have the opportunity to reinterpret how they fit into the personal and collective characterization of the self. The answer is not to tear romanticism away from the young woman, but to encourage its reclamation. Rather than breeding a generation of blindly spiteful iconoclasts, let us nurture individuals with options instead of burdens.
If I never marry, if I have a child out of wedlock, if I have seven weddings and collect engagement rings for sport, if I take pleasure in perusing Instagram posts detailing DIY wildflower bouquets and Big Sur ceremonies, that’s my prerogative.
[bctt tweet=”The answer is not to tear romanticism away from the young woman.” username=”wearethetempest”]
Wedding fantasies do not simply cater to women with nothing better to do than bank on an Mrs. degree. The freedom to exercise romantic creativity allows women to redesign the dossier for personal femininity as people, rather than societal objects.
I say keep your Pinterest boards and your ring design bookmarks. It’s your life.
And if the Gen Y opinion enforcement does come looking, I’ll be at the Vera Wang sample sale.