The Royal Wedding: a mild feminist perspective

No blog would be complete today without a post on the royal wedding, so in keeping with my attempts to ensure my little wordpress page is ‘with it’ in blogging terms, here we go.

I think it’s fair to say Britain is fairly pessimistic at times, so to see any royalist google search brimming with positive reports on all aspects of things Kate & Will, I was slightly surprised. The dress ticked all the boxes: established and modern designer, classic look, understated, elegant and suiting to her class. So did the ceremony; nobody tripped up during the 3 and a half minute walk down the aisle and the police ensured London stayed a safe place to be for all involved.

However, there is one detail the critics are missing out, and without trying to sound like the apparently solo critical blogger today and portraying myself as a man-hating, radical feminist, I think it’s fair to say the ceremony didn’t quite sit with the 21st century expectations the world was expecting in this respect.

Okay, to be clear, I’m talking about two main points here, both of which annoyed me; not to the point that I felt a blog post ranting about them was justified, but joining the masses to talk about a dress when I know nothing about fashion (other than knowing Princess Beatrice’s ‘hat’ was god-awful), just wasn’t going to be a good idea. So here are the two offending items: 1) William didn’t wear a wedding ring. 2) The couple were presented as ‘man and wife’, rather than ‘husband and wife’. I know, two very small, insignificant details really, but for the first royal wedding of the 21st century I expected something slightly more in line with feminist expectations.

The first of these was announced in the media a few months ago. Wearing a ring isn’t everyone’s style, admittedly, but it really does seem like an all or nothing situation; one of you wearing a ring just seems a little strange and matching bands is one of the only daily reminders of your wedding day in married (in usual circumstances, anyway. I suppose global media coverage littering the streets for months to come may suffice in this case).

Secondly, the man and wife thing. This does annoy me, but in general so I won’t restrict the blame purely on the royal newly weds. Women are not men’s wives, they are wives to their husbands, i.e. they both have the marital identity allowing them identities other than just the wife to a man who has no attachment to equality, rendering the woman to a sole fulfilment as basic servant.

Basically, if you’re new role models in a First world country with 2 billion people watching you, it’s probably not a bad idea to set an example.


4 thoughts on “The Royal Wedding: a mild feminist perspective”

    1. That’s a really obvious point I forgot to include. As well as being anti-feminist I’d include that in my category of why the whole concept of a wedding ceremony is just quite strange in a First world, western country.

  1. I hate to quibble, but when I watched the ceremony in a Cambridge pub (I was in the pub, the ceremony wasn’t), I was pretty sure the subtitles (hey, it was a pub, not everyone wants to hear the Archbishop of Canterbury bleating on at 11am) had the royal couple being announced ‘husband and wife’ – and then Huw Edwards called them ‘husband and wife’ later on as well. I remember noticing it because I was impressed that William wasn’t referred to as ‘man’, which bemuses me as much as I think it annoys you. Then again, maybe I’m being too generous to the clergy in assuming they’ve updated their scripts for the 20th (!) Century. Or the subtitles were wrong.

    What is true – and laudable as far as ‘mild’ feminism is concerned – is that the vows didn’t involve the word ‘obey’. She’s not promised to ‘love, honour and obey’ or whatever the usual formula is. I think she’s supporting and protecting or somehting instead. Though quite how that sits with her legally being a subject of his grandmother (and someday of William himself) I’m not sure.


    1. I didn’t have subtitles, but I can’t vow (excuse the pun) 100% that those were the words, being in a noisy pub myself, but I was pretty sure that’s what was said. I hope I’m right for the sake of this blog post! And yes, I do owe them some credit for omitting the word ‘obey’, but why take one obvious step for feminism and ignore others?

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