Saturday, March 20, 2021

"I feel strongly that the longstanding tradition of having one’s father or other prominent male figure walk a woman down the aisle is a tradition worth tossing."

"This tradition always felt frankly gross to me, deeply rooted in patriarchy, and the notion that a woman must belong to a man."

Said Lauren Nolan, a recent bride, quoted in "Walking Down the Aisle Alone/Meghan Markle did it. Many other brides choose to do the same, often because of the sexist origins of the tradition."

In the case of Meghan Markle, she was estranged from her father. Is there a trend of women who love their living, ambulatory father choosing to walk down the aisle alone?

Instead, Ms. Nolan said, when she met her fiancé at the altar, she was making a joint decision to combine their lives, rather than participating in a handoff between men.

If it's a matter of the man and woman in exactly the same position, fully independent human beings joining their lives together, why is he standing at the altar while she takes a long, slow walk for the assembled crowd? Isn't that also a relic of the sexist tradition?  

If you keep the bride's walk and the groom's positioning at the altar, why are you excluding your beloved dad from the old-time-y spectacle? What does it mean for the groom to stand at the altar and watch his bride slowly approach? Is that really devoid of sexism? But you want to deprive Dad of a profound moment that he may have dreamed of all your life? Why? 

If the honest answer is that you don't have a sufficiently worthy dad, fine. Do your solo walk. But don't make other women feel they need to sideline their dear dad to prove their feminist mettle. Your solo-walk wedding isn't solidly founded on feminism. It's selective feminism — cafeteria feminism. Show us a sacrifice you're making for feminism, and maybe you'll have some moral standing. Even still, people putting on the theatrical show that is their wedding should figure out their own values. They don't have to put feminism first. 

But if they're going to preen about putting feminism first, they'd better actually do it. Let the bride and groom walk separately down the side aisles and meet in the middle. Let the groom wear an outfit as gaudy and eye-riveting as the bride's. Let petals be scattered in his path. Give him a veil too. Let them lift each other's veils simultaneously. And so on.

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