It's the Groom's “Big Day” Too, Dammit!
Anyone who’s been reading my stuff on the site for the last few months knows I got engaged in November. My fiancée, Kory, and I have been planning our wedding, at least in the hypothetical stage, ever since. We’re planning on a wedding in the late spring or early summer of 2012, so anything past hypothetical at this point is a little nuts.
We’ve been getting a lot of congratulatory messages from friends and family and whoever else for this whole time, and that’s great. One thing I’ve noticed, though, is that all of them seem to be slanted toward “her special day” or “her big day.” Even my own father referred to it in this way when we returned to my home state of Connecticut for my baby brother’s wedding. What am I, dad, a hat rack? I don’t blame him, though, it seems to be societal programming that makes people think this way.
Before I go on and start to sound like some kind of aggrieved guy, let me lay out a few things:
1. If there’s anyone who deserves exactly the wedding she wants, it’s Kory. She’s the sweetest, kindest person I’ve ever known, always willing to see the best in people and give them the benefit of the doubt. Plus, she loves me, for whatever reason. 🙂
2. For myself, I want nothing more than to marry the person I love more than anyone else on the planet. The particulars of how that occurs are less important to me, as long as the end result happens.
3. We both think this gender bias is dumb, and have taken to calling it “our big day.”
I still think the bias is odd, though, even though we don’t especially care about it. Considering that the United States looks at itself as an advanced culture, why is this view, almost some kind of reverse misogyny, still so prevalent?
I know Kory has female friends, whether they’ll admit it or not, who consider my views on the proceedings completely irrelevant. Hell, I remember being told by a female friend many years ago that if I ever got married, my duties were simply to smile and nod at all of the planning and make sure I show up at the ceremony.
Kory’s going to be attending a bridal expo this month so that we can be more aware of what our options are in making decisions. You don’t see these things for grooms.
By the same token, I’m sure I have male friends who are wondering why I’m taking such an active role in the planning process. I’m sure they’d say something like “Dude, just worry about the bachelor party and the honeymoon.”
I don’t object to people having these views, it’s almost ingrained at this point. I’m guessing most people wouldn’t even know why they feel this way, if asked. It just points out how outmoded we still are in some respects.
It’s as if we still have still have some cultural remnant that says a wedding is the highest point of a woman’s life. Have we been paying attention to how the world has changed, folks? Weddings and marriage are still a big deal, sure. But we’re not in the 1700s anymore, where a woman’s only real option was to marry a man with a desirable social posiiton. It’s not like Kory’s parents are going to give me cattle and money in exchange for marrying her. I just get welcomed into her awesome family. I’ll take that over a cow any day.
I challenge everyone to examine their views on the gender bias of weddings and marriage. The whole thing is just as much of a commitment and life change for the groom, even if no one wants to acknowledge it.