Monday, January 10, 2011

Weddings and Feminism

We have a pretty equitable split in the household chores over here. All the cooking, the cleaning, etc, gets done in what I would imagine comes close to a 50/50 split (but I don't really know because we don't actually track every minute of household work to find out.) We don't both do the same work ... it's not you do the dishes this week and I'll do them next week. It's more like we split the work based on what we're good at and what we like doing. I'm better at the larger broad-based, organizational kind of thing, whereas my fiance is much, much more OCD than I am.

So, for example, I'm more likely to search online for recipes, come up with potential meals for the week and put needed ingredients on our shopping list. But we *have* a shopping list because my fiance is compulsive about keeping one. And in terms of the cooking, my fiance is much better at chopping and more attentive to detail than I am. (I'm more likely to throw things in with reckless abandon, figuring, whatever, it'll work out!)

It's similar with the wedding stuff. On the surface, most of our wedding vendors probably assume we're the stereotypical couple where the bride does all the planning for HER big day, because I'm the one in communication with all of them. I'm the one who does the research, sends the emails, and keeps on top of scheduling meetings.

But my fiance has opinions on EVERYTHING, and every decision we make is a very joint decision. He's the one who spent time to really sit down and format our receipt tracking system, our guest list system, and he'll be the one to deal with a lot of the website formatting. Again, with the small details, he's much more particular than I am.

And it made me wonder. I can't imagine we're alone. This is 2011 after all. How come, if there are so many couples out there with equitable arrangements, are most of the cooking blogs, wedding blogs, and personal sustainability blogs written by women and commented on by women? How come wedding websites always seem to be told from the woman's point of view?

It's weird. My fiance is JUST as invested in wedding planning as I am. Like, when I hear a bride talk about how she tries not to bore her fiance with wedding stuff he doesn't care about, I am always like, "Wow, there's wedding stuff her fiance doesn't care about? How refreshing" followed by wondering if her fiance is similarly considerate about details she doesn't care about. (Or are women just naturally interested in each and every aspect of their wedding?)

But, my fiance does not think it's fun to read wedding blogs or do wedding vendor research or anything of the kind. He will do it if and when he needs to because party ain't gonna plan itself. He's more than happy to discuss weddings we've been to and talk about what he liked and disliked, but he doesn't want to troll Martha Stewart Weddings to find the latest on wedding trends. (Although, I don't particularly want to do this either. I still don't really know what bunting or poms are and I really don't care.)

I think this is fine, mostly. I don't need him to read wedding blogs; I need him to be invested in our own wedding. But I really do wonder why I love reading about wedding stuff for fun even, whereas he doesn't really care. And I do wonder if we sort of do a dis-service to the world by falling into strict gender roles when it comes to the "public face" of our wedding.

On the other hand, it seems silly to make my husband-to-be act as the communications person and me act as the organizational person just to show the world at large that we're not the stereotypical gendered couple, we're not! when it's so clear that our strengths lie in the reverse.

1 comment:

Braden Crockett said...

I'm a man. My wife and I got married in May 2008. And at the time we felt the same way. We were constantly making excuses for our equal-planning behavior by telling people we're just not the typical bride/groom.
I had very specific demands, and so did she. But the strange thing about it was that if we were each to independently plan everything without the other person, it would have turned out basically the same. And I chalk that up to our ultimate compatibility.
My wife reads all kinds of blogs, and actively comments and participates, but I usually don't comment... until today... right here.
My excuse is I'm a man, and men don't typically participate.
But if a groom doesn't care at all about the wedding, how can he truly say he cares about the bride?