Monday, October 8, 2012

A partnership of equals

You might expect me to be crying into my cornflakes upon seeing this article in the Daily Mail this morning, but far from it. As a mother of a daughter I'm always interested in changing attitudes towards women and what we consider to be positive feminine attributes. A survey of the Girl Guiding association found that whilst girls still value marriage only one in five thought it was the definition of success whereas three in five thought success was about being confident and independent. This is great news for a Humanist celebrant!

I have never in my seven years of conducting legal Humanist weddings heard a couple tell me they feel they 'ought' to get married. Humanists see marriage as a positive choice and a partnership of equals. We also respect that couples are together because they love one another but they can have quite different reasons for choosing to get married.

A partnership of two confident and independent people is an admirable one in my book. The men I admire are the ones who value strong women and respect their opinions and personalities. I seem to be marrying a lot of couples in their mid to late 20s who have been together for ten years or more. They know they don't have to get married and I'm always keen to stress in the ceremony that the wedding isn't just about the future but also a celebration of what's already been a very successful relationship.

If women no longer feel marriage is the be all and end all then there might be fewer weddings but it might also mean that if they do get married they'll choose a ceremony that reflects their choice and their own views on marriage. It will also mean that the majority of women will marry when they feel fulfilled by themselves as well as their partner and that's great news for men too!

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