The founder of the incredibly man-hating and man-silencing website Everyday Sexism, one “Laura Bates,” is planning a feminist wedding. Oh, joy, and my deepest condolences to her spouse, whomever he is—Bates is being coy about naming her victim, though indeed, grooms are mostly superfluous to modern-day weddings anyway.
To celebrate her special day, Bates is not content to demonize and demolish, in an abstract way, men and male sexuality in general and the civilization men built at the behest of women: she has decided that the personal is political and so she plans to enslave, torture, and destroy one exceedingly unlucky bloke in order to reify the feminist inclination to exterminate the patriarchy that feeds, clothes, and shelters her from the hazards of the world.
Now, weddings are steeped in what feminists call “traditional gender roles,” even though it is women (and not men) who slavishly enforce those roles. Let’s see how well this prominent feminist “walked the walk” of feminism in bringing equality into her wedding and compare hers with that of another beloved feminist, Jessica Valenti.
When, say, fellow man-hater Jessica Valenti was selecting her future cuckold, Andrew, there was no romantic evening, no bent knee indicating the subservience of men to women. Oh, no—as Valenti relates, it was the most unromantic, bloodless proposal ever: “The problem is that there is no proposal story to tell. At least, not the kind most people expect. There were no rose petals scattered on a satin-sheeted [sic] bed, no trips to the Eiffel tower, no ring hidden in a champagne glass. There wasn’t even any kneeling. My partner Andrew and I made the leap in the way that suited us best—we talked about it, and jointly decided that we should get engaged.”
Laura Bates, however, rejected this loveless farce for a more traditional, supposedly feminist script: “My [nameless] boyfriend kept his grandmother’s engagement ring hidden away in a box of cufflinks for months, then made a spur-of-the-moment decision to offer it to me buried in a bowl of popcorn. This would have been romantic except that, in his panic, he chucked the whole lot in, box and all. The result was less pleasant surprise, more genuine bafflement: ‘What are your cufflinks doing in the popcorn?'”
Ignoring the obvious charm of popping the question with a charm in the popcorn, and the practicality of avoiding a broken tooth, the Valenti and Bates proposals illustrate the meaningless, nihilistic delusions of feminism—Bates’s feminism is a kind of goofy traditionalism while Valenti’s feminism erases all feeling and passion from pair-bonding and sexuality. Given the choice between two contradictory bullshit options, it is no wonder that smart men are resisting proposing marriage to entitled harpies like those in this coven.
Having lived with Mr. Anonymous Master for five years, Bates was acutely aware that she was undeserving of a white dress symbolizing purity/virginity. But consistent with her brand of feminism that emphasizes the importance of celebrating female narcissism, she opted for the traditional white gown anyway.
Valenti, by contrast and in a slight and unusual bit of honestly, rocked her inner slut with an “off-white” dress.
Both feminists, it seems, will kind of, maybe, fight patriarchal traditions with all the vigor of a dead fish when it comes to their own sartorial elegance, meaning that, despite their rhetorical lies, one should never underestimate the power of a feminist to exploit traditional roles to harvest money from men to buy shoes and wear-once clothing.
Bates insisted that, contrary to tradition, Mr. Anonymous Master would be forced into participating in the planning of the nuptials, a task traditionally dominated by the bride. Despite this, in her article she could point to no examples of any input he had or decisions he made about the wedding itself. Now, this contradiction is a key component of the feminist penchant for avoiding responsibility—if her wedding went smoothly, Bates could bask in her success and deny his help, but if something went awry, she could deflect blame onto Mr. Anonymous, even though his involvement in the actual planning was a complete sham.
Valenti, likewise, insisted that “Andrew took a renewed interest in his wedding-planning tasks, recognising that it wasn’t just important for the sake of my sanity, but as a political statement too.” But also like Bates, Valenti was silent on Andrew’s actual contributions to the planning, if any—but she was NOT silent on usurping his areas of responsibility: “From the beginning, Andrew and I agreed that we would not be one of those couples in which the woman ends up doing all of the wedding-related work because she is the person who is supposed to care about it the most. No, we were going to do this fairly. He would take care of booking the music, I would handle the flowers. I would cover the invite list, he would deal with the invitations. Several months later, when I found myself up to my eyeballs in sample invitations and band websites—while Andrew read the newspaper or dallied online—I was ready to throw in the towel on so-called domestic bliss.”
And, of course, both feminists wound up completely supporting traditional gender roles—because that is the very point of feminism. Valenti was already planning her divorce.
Flowers are beautiful, sometimes breathtaking. They are also the sliced-off sexual organs of plants and thus are still appropriate at even a feminist wedding, I guess. Bates made sure that a feminist “female” symbol ♀ (Alt-12 on most keyboards) was festooned with floral pudenda (Latin for “to be ashamed”) during the photo-shoot for her feminist wedding article.
And yes, Bates did plan to toss the bouquet to all the single folks, men and women alike: “I shall simply chuck the flowers in the air and the boys will be under clear instructions to join in. I want an undignified non-gender-specific scrum.” I’m sure no inappropriate groping occurred during said scrum because, you know, that would be Everyday Sexism—oh, and she throws like a girl too.
Valenti’s own floral plans were unclear—perhaps Amanda Marcotte munched them down before the formal tossing commenced and Marcotte galloped off.
The closest Bates comes to naming her new domestic slave is when she relates that they considered portmanteau names “Baylor” and “Tates,” which means the poor lad’s most likely surname is “Taylor,” something Bates never discloses explicitly, effectively erasing his identity. The putative Master Taylor considered taking her name “Bates” as his last name, but “Master Bates” would be a bit awkward for some odd reason. In the end, they took each other’s names as middle names, salvaging a bit of Master Bates’s dwindling masculinity.
Valenti kept her own last name—even nominal symbols of marital commitment are anathema to her feminism.
There were LOTS of other traditionalist “misogynist” features to their “feminist” weddings, but really, what can we learn from all this?
When it comes to making a real commitment, either to feminism or to their husbands, both Bates and Valenti come up wanting. They both managed to turn their weddings into feminist shams worthy of the same respect due campus sexual assault claims.
When it comes to marrying feminists, the only good answer is this: Refuse at all costs.