Fathers: A symbol of inequality?

They say every girl dreams of her wedding day.  I don’t know if I would buy into all the hype about it being the happiest day of your life, but I know I have thought about it a time or two and I know that even my friends have admitted to thinking about it as well. With the month of June being the biggest month for weddings and only a week away, soon it will seem like weddings will be everywhere.  So when someone mentioned a recent article to me, I found it to be an interesting take on nuptials. 

The article, posted on Jezebel.com, refers to the coming wedding of the Crown Princess of Sweden and how her choice to have her father walk down the aisle with her has sparked some national controversy.  According to the article, it is tradition in Sweden that the bride and groom walk down the aisle together as a symbol of the “equality of the union” and that the union is happening of their own free will. While this tradition differs from what we here in the U.S. consider traditional – that is, the father escorting the bride down the aisle or “giving her away” – I find it an interesting change in tradition.

The article describes how the leader of the Swedish church, Archbishop Anders Wejryd, came out saying that the princess’ choice to be “given away” goes against what the Swedish church represents in their ceremony: ‘”I usually advise against it, as our marriage ceremony is so clear on the subject of the spouses’ equality.”’  The archbishop was not the only one to speak up against Princess Victoria’s choice, in fact, it seems like there is a fair amount of hoopla about it. Ultimately, the article on Jezebel concludes that although it’s great to have the head of the church point out sexist inequalities in certain practices, it is still the bride’s day and she is free to make her own choice on the matter. This is true. If there is any day where we give a woman the right to be picky, it’s her wedding day.

I must say I never gave it much thought as to the “underlying meaning” or symbolism of my dad walking me down the aisle. To some, the walk down the aisle can symbolize many different things.  It can be used as a symbol of equality or a lack thereof, but to me, my dad walking me down the aisle (should I get married), does not mean I wouldn’t be equal with my husband.  To me, it is a part of the ceremony I couldn’t imagine not doing because it would mean a lot to me and to my dad. I think that a woman, like in many other aspects of her life, should be able to choose whatever she wants to do on her wedding day and not receive criticism about it.

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