Reeling from the patriarchy

24 07 2011

 So I went to a family wedding yesterday – the bride was lovely, the groom was charming, and I really like my family and the people in it, so that was awesome.

But HOLY PATRIARCHY BATMAN.  Not that this wedding was different from any other of the countless church weddings I’ve been to, with the various traditions that imply less love than a property transfer, but where I finally cracked was with a reading from Sirach –  this was a Catholic wedding –  which I’m going to paste in.

(TW for women as possessions)

“Blessed the husband of a good wife, twice-lengthened are his days; A worthy wife brings joy to her husband, peaceful and full is his life. A good wife is a generous gift bestowed upon him who fears the Lord; Be he rich or poor, his heart is content, and a smile is ever on his face.A gracious wife delights her husband, her thoughtfulness puts flesh on his bones; A gift from the Lord is her governed speech, and her firm virtue is of surpassing worth. Choicest of blessings is a modest wife, priceless her chaste soul. A holy and decent woman adds grace upon grace; indeed, no price is worthy of her temperate soul. Like the sun rising in the Lord’s heavens, the beauty of a virtuous wife is the radiance of her home.”

And at that point I realized I am simply done with the standard Christian definition of marriage.  For a long time I’ve fought inside my church for GLBT acceptance, and I’d also decided that, if I were ever to get married again (unlikely, but I think about these things) I’d do a civil union because my GLBT friends were still being denied marriage equality.  

And then yesterday, just done.  There can be full marriage equality and I’m still not going to be married in a church ever again.  I did it once, and it was important to me at the time, back when I was still concerned about the conventions and keeping all my various relatives happy.  It was a weird realization for me.  

I swear I came out of that service feeling light-headed, having had my light-bulb moment there in the pews.  I wanted to grab all of my nieces and tell them they didn’t have to buy into this.  The oldest one (age 21) got it, I think – she’s always been so fiercely independent, so much her own person, that she’s light-years ahead of where I was at that age.  Much credit to her mother, I think, who kept her own name back at their wedding in 1988, in spite of much pressure to do otherwise.  

Today I’m spending doing secular things.  I thought briefly about going to church and just could NOT do it.




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