Saturday, September 22, 2007

Truly sexist?

Apparently some churches in Sweden are banning fathers giving away their daughters. The reason for banning it is because it's sexist.

Couples who marry "are equal when it comes to finances, politics, values ... but when they come to the church ... the woman suddenly turns into a man's property"Lutheran Church vicar, Yvonne Hallin said.

I was walked down the aisle my by father, but i was not given away by him. I too, felt like being "given away" was being treated like i was property. Yet, i was still happy for my father to walk me down the aisle to symbolise the life i had led with my family was ending.

So is being given away at a wedding too traditional? Is it truly treating women like property or celebrating tradition and giving parents their rightful respect?

Would it be sexist if the man was given away by his family as well?


Antonio said...

Church weddings are traditional.If we start changing things that have
been part of a ceremony
we're breaking traditions
that many people have come to expect from a church wedding.I don't think there's anything sexist about a father walking his daughter down the isle.

Jennifer said...

the tradition has its roots in very sexist ideas - that women are property to be sold or given away at the will of the man of the family. and who cares what people 'expect' from a wedding! having said that, i see nothing wrong with having a father walk his daughter down the aisle. family is important, and if i ever get married, i want to acknowledge and honor my parents' influence in my life at the ceremony. what really bothers me is that, traditionally, the mother sits quietly on the side as if only the father has any importance in the daughter's life. what's wrong with BOTH parents, or a mother, or grandparent, or another close family member walking by the side of the bride? and why doesn't the groom get the support of his family as he walks toward one of his most important life decisions?

Ben said...

At my Nana's wedding (she re-married before I was born but after my parents were married) her father had already passed away so my dad did the giving away. And he said in a speech at the reception "it's not every day you get to give away your mother-in-law."

In my opinion, tradition can be a bad thing. People do things simply because they have always done them. No one thinks.
However, on this topic of giving away the bride, I dont believe the churches have any right to ban people from doing it. Just like they have no right to force people to do it either. People can make their own choices on what they want for their wedding.

kris said...

antonio: traditions are truly powerful parts of the human experience.

Jennifer: you raise some very interesting questions. I think its possibly time for society to show some support for both the daughters AND sons.

Ben: you've got a great point. the church really doesn't (or shouldn't) have the right to say what a family can and can not do at their wedding. perhaps if the church wanted to take a stand on the issue, they could counsel one way but leave the decision to the couple.