NOM BLOG

When Marriage is Redefined, What Prevents People from "Marrying" Themselves?

 

After being single for six years, a London woman took matters into her own hands by "marrying" herself.

Grace Gelder, a photographer, says she was inspired by the Björk song Isobel, and was “on a journey of personal development using meditation, dance and performance” to increase her “self-awareness,” focusing on a program about “sexuality and how this was bound up with making agreements with yourself and other people.”

BrideAfter buying a dress and ring, which were apparently important to Gelder as “traditional elements,” she was married by a friend in Devon, England.

Gelder had this to say, via The Guardian:

The day was obviously centered on me, the final event being a mirror for me to kiss, but it also felt like I was sharing something very special with my friends, giving everyone an opportunity to reflect on their own ideas of love and commitment.

...I really don’t see it as any kind of feminist statement, but creating a wedding of this kind on my own terms felt incredibly empowering. My self-married status — meaningless though it may remain in the eyes of the law — has also given me this great sense of clarity. I seem to sense much more clearly than before if something is worth pursuing or best left alone. And just because I married myself, it doesn’t mean that I’m not open to the idea of sharing a wedding with someone else one day.

When marriage is devalued and its nature loosely defined, what prevents marriage norms—such as sexual complementarity, monogamy, exclusivity, permanence, or even the idea that marriage requires two people—from being broken down as well?