Marriage is the ultimate expression of compliance with the culture of oppression. It is the bedrock of misogyny, the ideal upon which heteronormativity is based, the primary unit with which patriarchy replicates itself. Thus does the spinster aunt die a little inside whenever one of her friends or acquaintances makes with the big announcement that she’s engaged.
“Wwwhyyyyyy?” I always chide the cosmos. I chide with my hands clenched in the air and my face twisted into an expression of agony. Flocks of startled pigeons take flight as my anguished cry echoes into the infinite reaches of space and time. Because not only has the friend or acquaintance basically signed up for the accelerated Tool of the Patriarchy Program (which bums out anybody familiar with special inequities visited upon women who formally merge their identities with patriarchal culture), but I’m lookin’ at months of giddy wedding planning during which unholy interim I will be expected to make girly remarks about gowns and reception halls.
Failure to express sufficient giddiness always puts a strain on the relationship. I know this because I have never once managed to express sufficient giddiness. It is only with the most superhuman of efforts that I manage not to recoil in horror and disgust.
“Can’t you just be happy for me?” is the refrain.
“Sorry,” I say. “The best I can do is hope that he doesn’t beat you, cheat on you, stick you with all the diapering and toilet cleaning, and rob you blind in the divorce.”
Did you know that not being happy for people on demand is some sort of crime? It’s true! The minute you aren’t happy for somebody who is making the worst decision of her life, they absolutely have to take you off their speed-dial and snub you in social situations.
Western women are always so appalled at “third world” traditions of misogyny, but they think nothing of volunteering for duty themselves. I reiterate that Western vs “third world” misogyny is merely a matter of style, and more often than not the twain shall indeed meet. Thus did guffaws of horrification rumble around the bunkhouse when poor, shriveled Kate Middleton, this century’s quintessential Blushing Bride, sailed up to St. Patriarch’s Cathedral for her sale as a broodmare to the British monarchy, encased in a designer chadri.
Photo: BBC: “Kate Middleton’s Wedding Dress Revealed!”. This video is a hoot, containing the following commentary from the giddy presenter: “I am beside myself! This is such a fashion moment, I can’t tell you!”