One of the most challenging aspects of organising our wedding for me and my wife was finding a reading that reflected our mutual values around feminism. I spent hours searching around for a reading to include during the ceremony that would encapsulate what we really thought but to no avail.
I read books by Gloria Steinem, Jane Caro, Marie Stopes and countless internet articles, as well as listening to hours of Deborah Frances-White's podcast desperately hoping to find some gem that would be both positive but also fierce, romantic but forthright and egalitarian.
Finally, I stumbled upon Jennifer Wright's article Please, Marry a Man Who Understands Feminism.
It was too long to include as a whole, but I spent another few hours editing it down to the word limit that our celebrant had suggested and finally we decided we had the perfect reading.
My mum, who was once the National Coordinator of the Australian Women's Electoral Lobby read it with great passion and got a few laughs and cheers.
It really would not have been the same without that reading. Many people commented how much the day seemed like a perfect encapsulation of us as a couple and our values.
So, if anyone else is still looking around for that perfect reading, I hope this will help:
Please, Marry a Man Who Understands Feminism
by Jennifer Wright
Marry someone who will be your true partner.
I hope you have that. I hope you never settle for anything less. Because to be a team is the best thing. Oh, it is the best thing.
Some believe that marriage is about being enslaved, a patriarchal institution.
But marriage can mean the opposite of that. It can mean being freed from that, and having, at last, someone to go on adventures with. It can mean having someone who makes you braver, because you do not have to face your dragons alone.
Marriage can mean finding someone to share your rage at the injustices of the world. It is a great, endless relief to come home and have someone there who will pour you a glass of wine, listen to you and support you while you rage… and when you're finished, someone who will hug you and tell you “That is so shitty”.
Together, I hope you can push forward and change the world, even if it's just a little.
Excerpted from Please, Marry a Man Who Understands Feminism.