The Alt-Groom: Feminism



Today I wanted to write about Siobhan's engagement with, and exploration of, feminism at university and how this has had a large impact on my own world view and sense of identity. However, before I talk more about this I want to first reflect on my perspective and memories prior to meeting Siobhan. I think that sometimes as adults we forget that children can have a keen insight into, and are affected by, the world around them (something that as a primary school teacher I am constantly trying to keep in mind). One of my earlier memories that I can relate to gender is of myself at 7 years old, feeling happy that I was a boy because we seemed to be in charge of everything. This selfish, but sadly honest, assessment of my social standing serves as a stark reflection of the world that I had seen around me in the short time that I had been around to witness it.


 Interestingly, I did not give this memory much thought until I began to consult my assumptions about society that my partner was questing. It was as if I had not really stopped and considered the divide that gender causes and the fairness of this practice. I had pushed away the honest insight I had as a child and instead merely accepted the way of the world and told myself that men and women were basically equal and therefore there was nothing to worry about. I told myself, as many do, that these feminists just hated men. I had become so blind to the inequalities present within society that I actively took part in many of the practices that push women back and hold them down. I treated women like objects, slut-shamed, undermined and overlooked women in my life and also those not in my life. I took on board many assumptions about women without questioning the inherent sexism within them; for this I am sorry.

So now, let us fast-forward to my early years of university when Siobhan was first getting to grips with feminism herself. I remember a feeling of worry that now Siobhan might start hating men and that my position within our relationship would be degraded. However, Siobhan helped me to confront my own thoughts and expel these ridiculous notions.

I do not claim to be perfect now and I still sometimes fall back into these habits, but the important part is that now I notice this and seek to stop. That's the funny thing, when you start to consider things you begin to notice them everywhere. So now, I think back to my childhood memory and I consider the many influences that children absorb in their daily lives and I try to create some positive ones for the little people in my care when I am at school.

So.....back to the wedding, we are going to be changing or getting rid of many practices that a traditional wedding would include. The aim of this is to alter the gender dynamics within the ceremony to put the men and women involved on an equal footing. This, I hope, will also help to make our wedding reflect us as a couple more faithfully. For instance, as you may have previously read we both have engagement rings, something I had not considered before but now seems to make so much sense, why would I not also want to display my commitment and love for Siobhan from now until our wedding day? This engagement has also acted as a great conversation starter about our wedding and the things we plan to change because when people see me they assume I am already married. On top of all this, I also love wearing it! If you are interested in other traditions we choose to alter / ditch be sure to follow the traditions tab.

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