Welcome, dear reader, to the Premature Love edition—our second themed issue of the year. We don’t publish over reading break so this is the closest we get to Valentine’s Day, and seeing as this is the Other Press, we never like to do things exactly by the book. So, issue before Valentine’s Day… Love/sex themed… Premature Love. Logical.
My major difficulty when it came to this paper was coming up with a relevant Lettitor that did something other than ramble on about the contents you’re better off simply flipping to. Fortunately, there are many tangents one can run away on. I settled on weddings and the conditioning about them.
Some friends of mine are getting married and all of the women involved are strong feminists. That hasn’t changed the fact that the women are essentially doing most the work for the wedding. Invites, decorations, the website, planning, etc. If there were a group of people who were going to do something differently, I’d have put a large bet on this squad. But they didn’t. And these people are the type who don’t give a rat’s ass what you think about them or their leanings. If they feel attacked, they’ll let you know. If they feel inclined to change the system, they will. We don’t have to tell them that it’s their obligation to do so.
Yes, women may be socially conditioned to be ga-ga about wedding plans, but complete conditioning is something that can’t take place without at least some initial leaning. The person has to have a personal yearning beyond the supposed forced nature of it all. I mean, some women will do it begrudgingly to be a good friend, but the ones who are truly excited must be interested beyond just “society says so.” And even if this is false and women have no actual desire of their own free will to have a great interest in weddings and their related “work (i.e., invitations, decorations, etc.,),” what does that matter if they still want to do it? You want to tell a woman, a feminist even, that she can’t do the wedding invitations because she’s actually just been conditioned to do so and what she’s feeling is an impressed devotion to something men didn’t want to do? Regardless of how they’ve come to be this way, many women legitimately enjoy the wedding-related work.
So what am I saying? This really isn’t anything more than an observation. People are quick to cry “bloody murder” when they see women supposedly oppressed in any way, but they often fail to consider all the facts. Don’t immediately play defence if you’re not sure what game you’re playing yet. A great deal of jobs, especially when it comes to higher management, are boys’ clubs. Objectification of women happens on the daily. But weddings? Why take something that’s genuinely enjoyed by many women and try and put a negative spin on it? There doesn’t always need to be a fight over every single picky perception. Women who want to do “feminine” things shouldn’t be told that it’s bad to do so—instead, freedom of choice for women should be celebrated, not shamed.