The Purpose of the Wali

Nahida adamantly—and hilariously—explains exactly why no Muslim woman needs a male official to give her away and certify that her marriage was consensual.

You don’t want to start thinking about which of our modern wedding rituals have their roots in the concept of woman as property. You really don’t.

Okay, fine. It’s all of them. Give or take.

A Feminist Wedding: My Engagement Ring

Shannon of The Feminist Mystique is chronicling her wedding plans. This week: avoiding conflict diamonds and commercialism:

It seems like there is something inherently wrong with the idea that making life-long promises to a partner you love MUST be marked by spending thousands on a diamond, and I detest the way consumerism has become inextricably tied to the decision to spend your life with someone else. To make matters worse, this consumerism is also intrinsically gendered.

"Billboard About Your Sex Life"

A bride-to-be on a budget chooses the color of her gown:

I thought a quick search of “white vs. ivory wedding dresses” would give me a good idea of which color would look better on me, but instead it led me into a universe where brides had to be reassured that choosing an ivory wedding dress was not equivalent to wearing a big scarlet A on their big day

I know I speak for my bridal-designer wife when I say it’s time for wedding dresses to branch out beyond white, ivory, and pink as color options. And don’t bring me this “white = virginity” nonsense. Wedding dresses are white because of Queen Victoria.

Not All Ponies and Rainbows

Today the feminist corner of the internet is very much in love with this piece by Jill Filipovic for The Guardian debunking the exclusive morality of chastity before marriage. Despite my interest in reframing the conversation about pre-marital sex, particularly within the church, I found it riddled with unfounded assertion and the assumption that correllation equals causation. Here’s an example:

So here it goes: having sex before marriage is the best choice for nearly everyone.

How do I know? Well, first of all, nearly everyone has sex before marriage – 95% of Americans don’t wait until their wedding night. And that’s a longstanding American value. Even among folks in my grandparents’ generation, nine out of ten of them had sex before they wed.

Data? Not in evidence.

I see this type of ill-considered writing (and speech) all the time from evangelicals, too. It’s what happens when your culture becomes so insular that you start mistaking your conclusions for valid premises.

Getting Married "The Right Way"

Steven Crowder of Fox News wrote an entire column about how awesome he and his new wife are for being virgins when they got married, and he doesn’t care what you think about it:

Feeling judged? I couldn’t care less. You know why? Because my wife and I were judged all throughout our relationship. People laughed, scoffed and poked fun at the young, celibate, naive Christian couple.

I feel a little ambivalent about this (a very little). On the one hand: my wife and I were virgins when we got married, and I’ve heard enough responses to that piece of information to feel a little defensive about it when it comes up in conversations with non-evangelicals. On the other hand: I don’t act like a jackass about it.

Christianity is already counter-cultural and offensive enough by its nature; we don’t need to add offensive behavior and attitudes to our faith. Let the world hate us because the Gospel is hateful to them, not because we are.

21st-Century Gnosticism

Stephen W. Simpson wraps up his series “The Naked Truth About Saving Sex for Marriage” with one last warning: “The first time probably won’t be very good… but that’s not the point.”

Simpson advocates gradually increasing physical intimacy as marriage approaches. I’m not sure how I feel about that, and everyone is different, but I do like his rationale:

Thinking about physical intimacy in terms of “how far is too far?” puts the matter backwards. Connecting with someone else is not about how far you can go without pissing off God; it’s about what will enhance and build your relationship in a way that pleases God.

"You will be exhausted and probably dehydrated."

Stephen W. Simpson posts the second in his four-part series The Naked Truth About Saving Sex For Marriage over at The Good Men Project. The first post was more setup than content, but here he really digs in with some cold, hard facts for young couples to consider.