The Guilty Feminist lays down the law on why weddings are actually a huge feminist statement.
Marriage ceremonies aren’t exactly known for their feminist credentials. Traditional vows dictate that the woman has to “obey” her partner (men skip this part in their vows), she is given away (from one man to another) and takes her husband’s last name, essentially giving up her identity for him.
But then again, Deborah Frances-White isn’t known for thinking inside the box.
She created The Guilty Feminist podcast at a time when it felt like everyone was desperate to out-woke each other. Instead of staking her claim as the biggest feminist of them all, her show was an innovative, hilarious act of rebellion against this perfect, all-knowing image. She tapped into the struggles that we all share in balancing our want for equality with the less-empowering innermost thoughts that creep up on all of us.
And now Frances-White has given us her take on weddings, explaining why they’re actually a lot more feminist than you might think.
“When I watch Say Yes to the Dress, I’m watching young women, working class women, plus-size women, racially diverse women, given the power of command,” she begins.
“Women, literally put on a pedestal, in the middle of a beautifully lit multi-mirrored oasis, with staff running to fetch and carry anything they desire. A woman is given permission to wait until she’s laced into a ballgown, worth more than her rent for a year and then says, ‘I don’t like it, it isn’t me.’
Frances-White continues to pick apart what an empowering time this can be for a woman, knowing that she really is the star of her show.
“At that point her female friends and relatives, who are watching proceedings like a film star’s entourage, agree that she should trust her instincts and the dress should be banished.”
She continues: “I am watching an empress, I am watching a woman say, look at me and see the height of my veil. Taste the champagne which I chose because it’s my favourite, and notice the length, sheen and colour of the f***ing chair ribbons!”
Reiterating just how much control a bride typically has over the celebration, from the decor to the guest list and food, Frances-White ends by saying: “I have collated every detail of this room, these people, this day, because if all other days are days of deference to men, and people-pleasing and the demands of children and boorish work colleagues who talk over me, this day and this space and this dress, are wholly mine.
“And no, Max, you can’t ruin it with a purple Ferrari between wedding venues, because this isn’t your day. You’ve had ten thousand years of history. You’ve had 3,650,000 days. This one is mine. I am a woman, and you will watch me take control so comprehensively and so unreasonably. You’ll want to name a monster movie after me, not the other way around.”
Could planning a day completely around yourself and reveling in your every whim being un-apologetically met be the ultimate statement of female power? Well, we’re starting to think it just might.
Watch the full video above for many more wise and hilarious words from Frances-White.