No, Amanda isn't getting married. Why would anyone want to marry her? Since she considers every norm of adult life to be another plot of Teh Patriarchy, I can't believe that there's more than a couple of winos in Austin who would be interested in standing up in front of a transgendered priest with her.
No, this is about the upcoming nuptials of Jessica "Let's take a look at those breasts" Valenti. Valenti became famous for being one of the women bloggers willing to take a photo with the Groper-in-Chief Bill Clinton (and stand in front of him, no less). I got into a discussion of this at Echidne's site, way back when, and was fascinated to find that to the Valenti defenders, giving blowjobs to the president and ignoring sexual harassment were perfectly acceptable as long as the POTUS promised to keep abortion available to every menstruating third grader. That they saw no hypocrisy in this position made it even more astonishing.
Now, Valenti has succumbed to patriarchal oppression and decided to get married. To a man. But not without having a lot of angst about...the fact that same sex couples can't be oppressed by Teh Patriarchy as well.
Andrew and I discussed not getting married until everyone could, and we think that's an understandable choice. Instead, we're trying use our impending marriage as a pro-active way to talk about same sex marriage among our friends and family, and being mindful of the inequity in every step our process. (For example, in our engagement announcement we asked anyone considering getting us a gift to instead donate to an organization fighting for same sex marriage rights; we're planning on saying something about it as part of our ceremony; and we've taken the advice of several commenters and will have cards indicating we've made a donation to said orgs instead of favors.)
Because a wedding should be a political statement, after all. It's too bad Valenti isn't printing up cards and asking for donations for, say, Juanita Broaddrick or, perhaps, a women's shelter for rape victims. Maybe she could ask for donations for a self-help group for those oppressed by men and tight sweaters. Or something.
But having lived through the "It's only a pattern on a shirt" kerfuffle, I'm not the least bit surprised that pucker-faced feminists like Amanda are now, well, pucker-faced that others are having a good laugh at Valenti's starry-eyed embrace of Teh Patriarchy. It's hard watching feminists who regularly excoriate marriage as oppression and slavery argue in favor of the institution without a double gin and tonic in one hand. How does Amanda even write things like this?
But this is an interesting double bind---there’s a lot of pressure on women to get married, but as soon as you start to live up to that cultural expectation, you are shamed for thinking that you deserve the honor of getting married, and now it seems that showing even the slightest bit of interest in your own nuptials makes you a Bridezilla. But showing no interest at all would make you a heartless feminazi. Femininity is the overarching double bind. If you reject some requirement of it, you are a transgressor of gender norms, and that incurs people’s wrath. But if you live up to any kind of standard of femininity, then you’re a target for mockery and shaming, as well, because caring about feminine things makes you a shallow bimbo.
Um, no. The mocking is for people who have derided marriage as slavery and then decided that they, too, would like to be slaves. But don't you dare shame them for it!
Amanda gets particularly incensed at Ace of Spades for having the temerity to point out Valenti's hypocrisy. From Ace:
Everyone who believes that she was seriously considering delaying marriage until “everyone could,” and believes she’s looking at her wedding as a “pro-active way to talk about same sex marriage among our friends and family,” rather than as Princess’ Special Day, please raise your hand.
And Amanda's completely twisted take on that sentence:
Ace of Spades comes right out and pretty much states that women, by definition, are shallow pieces of shit who don’t care about anything but showing off. Or that’s the conclusion I get from this. His only reason to believe that Jessica must be lying about her intentions is that she’s a woman, and all women want the same thing, and that’s to have Princess’ Special Day. I fail to see how this isn’t pure misogyny. All women are shallow bimbos who want to be tantrum-throwing Bridezillas, and women who don’t want that are just lying. I thought I was a cynic, but I have nothing on this sort of bleak view of humanity.
Of course, the reason Ace thinks Valenti is lying about her intention to turn her own wedding into a political statement about same sex marriage is that a person would be batshit crazy and completely tasteless to do such a thing, subjecting 200 of your closest friends and family to two hours of liberal whinging and then expecting a nice
It's often funny watching the lemon-sucking feminists argue about how horrible men are (both Amanda and her commenters make this statement in the comments thread to the post), then race to find one who will marry them. It's not that wanting to get married is a rotten thing. What's rotten is the hypocritical and self-righteous way Valenti and others behave as though their weddings--complete with smug lectures on favorite causes--are somehow morally superior to the Wedding Industry events they revile. Maybe if these "nonjudgmental" types were a little less, er, judgmental, they wouldn't get mocked so badly.