Really good pieces about weddings and love

Not joking, the wedding section of the Times this week is actually good. This Modern Love, about love and marriage between two older folks, is about the sweetest thing you will read this month, and if you don’t cry by the end you have no soul. This marriage announcement contains the line, “The bride, 97, is keeping her name,” which is about the best thing I’ve ever read. And this look back at a 40-year marriage defined by a commitment to social justice and a son’s well-being is also just lovely. And yes I’m a cranky feminist who will probably never get married, but a good marriage story still gets me. Maybe I’ll finally consent to the betrothal thing when I’m 80.


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About Jill

Jill began blogging for Feministe in 2005. She has since written as a weekly columnist for the Guardian newspaper and in April 2014 she was appointed as senior political writer for Cosmopolitan magazine.
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43 Responses to Really good pieces about weddings and love

  1. TomSims says:

    With all due respect, I’m confused about posts that seem to glorify marriage on this and some other feminists’ sites. I keep reading how feminists want to destroy the patriarchy and yet marriage comes directly from the patriarchy. I feel like Abbott and Costello, “Who’s on First?”

    • Andie says:

      This is one of those things where it’s important to remember that feminism is not a hivemind where everyone agrees on everything all the time.

      Some feminists would prefer to abolish marriage all together.

      Others would prefer to subvert and/or redefining marriage by doing away with some of the more problematic aspects and appreciating the positives.

      Some feminists focus more on making sure that marriage is not the ONLY option available to women.

      There’s a number of approaches, not just the one.

    • Lolagirl says:

      Oh, FFS, Tom, it’s been pointed out to you repeatedly here that Feminism is not some monolith. There is no one size fits all orthodoxy that requires all the feminists to be in lock step on every single issue ever to be had in the world. That is an utter fabrication of your fevered imagination, and nothing more. Stop trying to play gotcha by pointing out some supposed inconsistency between whatever Jill writes and what has been said or written by other feminist writers.

      The GOP may require a hive mind of its followers, as does much of Christiandom. But Feminism is neither a political party nor a religion. Thank the stars for that.

      • TomSims says:

        Oh you’re on full spin cycle now. You also make the assumption I’m GOP and Christian. I’m neither. I fully support everyone’s freedom to choose. Life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness. But here we have full blown hypocrisy. I admire the feminists ,that to use a poker term, are all in. They want to dismantle the patriarchy finally and completely. That is every bit of it, not just some of it and the get to cherry pick what to keep and what to throw out.

        I’d be curious to see what your score is by clicking on this link

        http://www.selectsmart.com/FREE/test/tq.php?kqid=57395&kq=4

      • roro80 says:

        I have a giant sad face that I am among feminists who Tom does not admire. Your acceptance of my feminism is totally what I’ve been striving for.

      • karak says:

        I’m a feminist and I just bought $60 worth of makeup and a push-up bra. I know it’s hard to understand that people have different needs and prioritize different battles, but if you try really, really hard, maybe you have a epiphany and finally get it.

        Or an aneurysm. Either works for me.

      • EG says:

        Whereas I admire people who are capable of nuanced thought. See? Tastes differ.

      • Past my expiration date says:

        I admire the feminists ,that to use a poker term, are all in. They want to dismantle the patriarchy finally and completely. That is every bit of it, not just some of it and the get to cherry pick what to keep and what to throw out.

        I guess I have to go get divorced now. I really don’t want to, but TomSims says no cherry-picking.

      • pheenobarbidoll says:

        Way to white wash marriage, Tom.

        Not all cultures are P based, nor have P based marriage.

      • Lolagirl says:

        You also make the assumption I’m GOP and Christian.

        Alrighty then. So reading comprehension seems to be a real problem for you there, Tom. What I was doing was making analogies in my comment, where I pointed out certain groups that tend to be very hive minded and demand lock step conformity to doctrine from their membership. And I was contrasting that with how Feminism tends to work, that is in a way that does not demand conformity or ideological purity from those who want to call themselves feminists.

        The only one who is spinning appears to be you, Tom.

      • TomSims says:

        @Lolagirl

        Ok how about Andrea Dworkin’s views on marriage.

        ““Marriage as an institution developed from rape as a practice. Rape, originally defined as abduction, became marriage by capture.”

        http://www.discoverthenetworks.org/individualProfile.asp?indid=1951

      • karak says:

        @Tomsim:

        The fuck does Dworkins have to do with anything? She was one of many outspoken militant feminists, and she was never taken as gospel by the movement and was, and continues to be, explicitly rejected for some of her theories.

        So you’re just pulling a dead woman’s decades-old theory out of your ass as proof of… what?

      • EG says:

        So what? First of all, the history of marriage is rather more complicated than that; second of all, that’s not what it is here and now. It’s not like Dworkin is some kind of gospel whose words cannot be questioned.

      • Fat Steve says:

        @Lolagirl

        Ok how about Andrea Dworkin’s views on marriage.

        ““Marriage as an institution developed from rape as a practice. Rape, originally defined as abduction, became marriage by capture.”

        http://www.discoverthenetworks.org/individualProfile.asp?indid=1951

        How about Andrea Dworkin’s marriage?

      • Jill says:

        Well if one feminist said something once, then it must be true!

        Dworkin is probably right about marriage. Ok. You realize that most of our institutions evolved from horrible things, right?

      • Oh you’re on full spin cycle now.

        -_- And yet your arguments come out with as many skidmarks.

      • Well if one feminist said something once, then it must be true!

        Jill, as a feminist I should let you know that all feminists eat babies. I said so, and I’m a feminist, so it must be true, right?

      • Lolagirl says:

        @Lolagirl

        Ok how about Andrea Dworkin’s views on marriage.

        @Tom, thanks for illustrating once again how you still haven’t gotten the reading comprehension thing down. I already answered your question in my initial comment above:

        Feminism is not some monolith. There is no one size fits all orthodoxy that requires all the feminists to be in lock step on every single issue ever to be had in the world. That is an utter fabrication of your fevered imagination, and nothing more. Stop trying to play gotcha by pointing out some supposed inconsistency between whatever Jill writes and what has been said or written by other feminist writers.

        Not all feminists must agree with one another on every single issue, nor do any of us have claim on controlling what other feminists may or may not think on any given issue.

      • TomSims says:

        @Jill

        “Dworkin is probably right about marriage.”

        Thanks for the confirmation

        “Ok. You realize that most of our institutions evolved from horrible things, right?”

        No, I didn’t know that? Can you explain further please?

      • TomSims says:

        @Lolagirl

        “Not all feminists must agree with one another on every single issue, nor do any of us have claim on controlling what other feminists may or may not think on any given issue.”

        I do not disagree. But Andrea Dworkin was a very famous feminist writer and activist. Gloria Steinem , the Godmother of Feminism, had some very nice things to say about her.

        http://www.democracynow.org/2005/6/23/gloria_steinem_remembers_feminist_writer_and

        So I have a hard time comprehending why feminists of today are rejecting one of their feminist pioneers. To me that’s analogous to today’s Americans rejecting George Washington and Abraham Lincoln.

        I mean after all, didn’t Dworkin and Steinem lay the groundwork for what today’s feminists subscribe to?

      • TomSims says:

        @FatSteve

        “How about Andrea Dworkin’s marriage?”

        Yes she was married twice, the last one to a gay man. So you are saying Andrea Dworkin was a hypocrite? Yeah maybe she was, but still a very strong voice in the feminist movement. Gloria Steinem railed against marriage as well, but then got married at age 66. It is what it is.

      • Lolagirl says:

        So I have a hard time comprehending why feminists of today are rejecting one of their feminist pioneers. To me that’s analogous to today’s Americans rejecting George Washington and Abraham Lincoln.

        I mean after all, didn’t Dworkin and Steinem lay the groundwork for what today’s feminists subscribe to?

        Oy

        Look, Tom, I think part of your problem here is that you are approaching this from a far too dogmatic point of view. Feminism is not a religion or a political party, as I already pointed out in my earlier comment, it’s more a matter of philosophy. The very basis of Feminism is that women have equal rights in all things in the same way that men do, and that they not have those rights subjugated by other (be they men or women) for any reason.

        Therefore, after starting off with this initial premise, it’s perfectly acceptable for various people to head off in differing directions with feminism theory. That’s fine, there is no one single right way to do feminism best. The ways in which Gloria Steinem’s approach to feminism differs from Dworkin, who was a Radical Feminist, illustrate this point quite clearly. Radical Feminism actually does mean something quite specific, by the way, and it differs quite significantly from Second or Third Wave Feminism.

        So stop with the gotcha because Dworkin said whatever different from whatever Jill or other commenters have to say on a given matter. No feminist is beholden to Ms. Dworkin, nor must we prostrate ourselves to the almighty gospel of Andrea Dworkin in order to call ourselves feminists. It just doesn’t work that way.

      • TomSims says:

        @Lolagirl

        “The very basis of Feminism is that women have equal rights in all things in the same way that men do, and that they not have those rights subjugated by other (be they men or women) for any reason.”

        Agreed and Dworkin and Steinem said the same. I also agree in equal rights for all.

        “The ways in which Gloria Steinem’s approach to feminism differs from Dworkin, who was a Radical Feminist, illustrate this point quite clearly. Radical Feminism actually does mean something quite specific, by the way, and it differs quite significantly from Second or Third Wave Feminism.”

        So you are saying that Andrea Dworkin was out of touch with the Second and Third Wave of feminism? Why would Steinem speak in such glowing terms about Dworkin if she disagreed with her?

        “No feminist is beholden to Ms. Dworkin, nor must we prostrate ourselves to the almighty gospel of Andrea Dworkin in order to call ourselves feminists. It just doesn’t work that way.”

        And do you condemn Gloria Steinem the same way you condemn Ms. Dworkin, since she has spoken publicly so favorably about Dworkin?

      • Caperton says:

        TomSims, what exactly is the point of this line of questioning? Do you have some checklist of prominent feminists we’re expected to support unconditionally if we want to identify as feminists? Is there some kind of calling-out planned for the end, to expose those Feministe readers who you feel don’t conform sufficiently to the feminist monolith?

      • Lolagirl says:

        So you are saying that Andrea Dworkin was out of touch with the Second and Third Wave of feminism?

        No, I’m not saying that, which is why I never said that.

        And do you condemn Gloria Steinem the same way you condemn Ms. Dworkin, since she has spoken publicly so favorably about Dworkin?

        I never condemned anybody, and I never said Dworkin was out of touch with other schools of feminist thought. Stop putting words in my mouth, and stop trying to pit different thinkers and schools of thought against each other. It’s becoming quite clear that you do not intend to discuss any of these issues in good faith here. I’m more than happy to compare and contrast the various ways that Dworkin, Steinem, and other feminists approach feminist theory, but I vehemently disagree with your approach of insisting that these differences are shortcomings to be criticized.

      • TomSims says:

        @Caperton

        “TomSims, what exactly is the point of this line of questioning? Do you have some checklist of prominent feminists we’re expected to support unconditionally if we want to identify as feminists? Is there some kind of calling-out planned for the end, to expose those Feministe readers who you feel don’t conform sufficiently to the feminist monolith?”

        No, not at all. I would ask you to read my first post on the topic. That being I’m confused by the OP embrace of marriage, which is part of the patriarchy, which is the enemy of feminism. I realize the feminists here are very well educated and very smart people. I on the other hand am poorly educated, with an IQ too small to even register on a standard IQ test. So again, I’m just baffled by the inconsistencies I’ve seen where on one blog feminists compare marriage with slavery and in this OP, extol its virtues. It’s just very confusing to me.

      • EG says:

        But Andrea Dworkin was a very famous feminist writer and activist. Gloria Steinem , the Godmother of Feminism, had some very nice things to say about her.

        Tom, this remark is so very patronizing that it really removes any sympathy you may wish to have. You can go ahead and assume that regular posters on a feminist website know who Dworkin is. Now, Dworkin was a very controversial figure within feminism even in her heyday, particularly around issues of sex. Many, even most, feminists do not agree with her on many, many issues, and never did. Gloria Steinem is not the Godmother of Feminism; she was liberal feminism’s most prominent representative in the mainstream media. And again, that doesn’t mean that anybody has to agree with her. The liberal feminism she advocated bases its analysis on certain assumptions that are up for debate; the radical and in many cases, highly condemnatory of sex, feminism that Dworkin espoused does the same.

        So you are saying that Andrea Dworkin was out of touch with the Second and Third Wave of feminism? Why would Steinem speak in such glowing terms about Dworkin if she disagreed with her?

        Dworkin was wildly out of touch with third-wave feminism, yes, and, as I mentioned, was very controversial within second-wave feminism. What you have to realize is that second-wave feminism was not a monolith. It contained a multitude of perspectives and analyses.

        Steinem spoke in such glowing terms about Dworkin because she was writing a memorial; decades had passed since the various differences that divided second-wave feminists had been heated. Everybody was much older, and few people will publicly speak ill of the dead in what is essentially an eulogy.

        I mean after all, didn’t Dworkin and Steinem lay the groundwork for what today’s feminists subscribe to?

        No. Not really. Plenty of feminists, famous and non-, laid the groundwork for today’s feminisms. But even if they had, that doesn’t mean that either one of them was right about everything.

      • TomSims says:

        @EG

        Gloria Steinem is not the Godmother of Feminism; she was liberal feminism’s most prominent representative in the mainstream media. ”

        Yes that is the best explanation of who she is. I tend to be a smartass from time to time, but it was only in jest. And thank you for the most detailed and thorough explanation of Ms. Dworkin, who I only in the last few months discovered. To the general public Ms Steinem and possibly Betty Friedan were by far the best known and the face of Women’s Liberation, as it was called in the late 60s.

        Talking about feminism, it was posted on this blog on several occasions as being a political movement and I think that it is. It’s not a political party, but does have strong ties to the Democrat/Liberal agenda. And that’s fair as the Tea Party has strong ties with the GOP.

        And as you pointed out, not all feminists subscribe Steinem’s or Dworkin’s teachings. From what I’ve seen, there are basically 2 main groups of feminists, Liberal and Radical. I’ve seen in Wikipedia Liberal = sex positive and Radical = sex negative or separatists. I know it’s more complex than that, but in overall general terms would that be accurate?

      • Fat Steve says:

        So you are saying Andrea Dworkin was a hypocrite? Yeah maybe she was, but still a very strong voice in the feminist movement. Gloria Steinem railed against marriage as well, but then got married at age 66. It is what it is.

        And when I was 10 years old I was convinced that the members of Kiss were the greatest musicians in history. Opinions evolve.

      • TomSims says:

        @Fat Steve

        “And when I was 10 years old I was convinced that the members of Kiss were the greatest musicians in history. Opinions evolve.”

        ROFLMAO. When I was a kid I thought Jim Brown was the greatest running back and John Unitas the greatest quarterback of all time, and I was right!

    • de Pizan says:

      I think that while marriage may originate in patriarchy or at least have been taken over by it for thousands of years–there’s still some good about it (and I say that as an asexual feminist who has zero desire for marriage or children, and hates the major emphasis on marriage, romance and family as if that’s the only possible path in adulthood). I grew up in a conservative religion, and I have the same discussions about my church with like-minded people in it–we stay because we feel there is some good there, enough worth saving, and if all the liberals leave, it will never grow or change. Sometimes the only way to change things is from within the group.

    • Foxy says:

      Just like there is no single version of marxism feminists come in different shades.Some feminists oppose the war where as others are apologists for war criminals

  2. JBL55 says:

    I’m reminded of Gloria Steinem’s response when she was asked if she would marry: “I don’t breed well in captivity.”

    Of course she did marry eventually, as have I, but I still found that remark very funny and have used it myself at appropriate moments as it makes a beautifully succinct point.

  3. onetinythought says:

    Apparently, there is plenty of soul left in this cranky old body
    (re This Modern Love)

    *sniff*

  4. Iam138 says:

    This wedding was just down the street from my house, and I was wondering if the old MTV VJ, Martha Quinn, was in town for it, since the bride is her grandmother. Cool opportunity to put a Dead Kennedys song into use.

    I enjoyed not only the line about their names, but also the naming of their parents and parents’ hometowns, as in a “traditional” announcement.

    • victoria says:

      Yes, I love that it adheres to the traditional wedding announcement format, yet there’s all kinds of subtle subversions of traditional gender roles: she’s keeping her name, she’s the older one in the couple, he’s leaving his home to live in her apartment (not the other way around). I’m glad Jill posted the link.

  5. Aww, that first piece. <3 <3 <3

  6. DouglasG says:

    *busily writing in notebook, then reciting*

    Rule Forty-Two. The wedding section of the New York Times is never good.

    It’s the oldest rule in the book.

  7. Gina says:

    Is Tom seriously trying to neg us into clicking on his link?
    Yeah that’s something we’ve never encountered before. Right?

  8. Foxy says:

    Why the hell is my comment in moderation

    • Jill says:

      Because a lot of comments go into moderation. Also you’re really annoying me, so please, be more of a dick so I can ban you.

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