Kiss Cam Ad Shows “Love is Love”

Screen Shot 2017-02-16 at 11.07.15 AMPart of the #LoveHasNoLabels campaign, the Ad Council and NFL teamed up to show real and diverse couples on the Kiss Cam.

Why is Miss Piggy Obsessed with Marriage?

Photo Courtesy: Muppets Most Wanted

Photo Courtesy: Muppets Most Wanted

The great romances of our time have always unfolded like a Greek tragedy, a Shakespearian play, a Dickinson novel or sometimes a delicious telenovela. Heloise and Abelard, Romeo and Juliet, Elizabeth and Mr. Darcy, Kennedy and Monroe, Sam and Diane, Ross and Rachel, Franco and Rogen, there’s a long list of would-be lovers but none are as memorable, iconic, romantically complicated and plushy as Miss Piggy and Kermit the Frog.

Kermit will lament that, “it’s not easy being green;” but Miss Piggy embodies how difficult it is, loving and wanting someone – who is green. For the last 30-plus years, Miss Piggy has chased, bamboozled, coerced and sometimes karate-chopped Kermit towards marital submission. However, the slippery amphibian has continuously dodged and spurned her advances. Why after so many years of cat and mouse is marriage Miss Piggy’s pièce de résistance?

Shonda Rhimes and Admitting: “I Don’t Want to Get Married.”

I’m not sure there’s anyone in the world who could sit down with Oprah Winfrey and not suddenly start pouring their heart out to her. I’d be like Chunk in The Goonies who wildly confesses to everything and anything the moment Oprah said, “Hello, how are you?” No mortal has a fighting chance against Oprah and a couch. So when TV Queen/Feminist/Writer/Producer/Future President, Shonda Rhimes sat down with her, I thought, as a fellow immortal, she stood a fighting chance. Turns out even feminist immortals bare their soul to the Big O, and I’m glad she did.

Ms. Rhimes revealed “I don’t want to get married…at all.” Both single gals confided and revealed to each other how complicated such a personal belief is received in a social context, “There’s a huge amount of pressure…you’re suppose to want to [get married] and if you don’t want it – what’s wrong with you?” This is an important element that everyone, even here at The Feminist Bride, must consider. What’s powerful of Rhimes’ revelation is that she gave herself time and permission to explore whether or not marriage was right for her, which gave her the strength and confidence to say, “I don’t want to get married.” And quit frankly, how much do any of us give ourselves the time, permission and freedom to block out social convention and pressure to figure out what we truly want? For all the peer, media, religious and environmental pressure placed on women to get married, there needs to be an open and accepting dialogue that tells women – you don’t have to get married if you don’t want to and that is perfectly acceptable. As friends and family of those people, it’s important such stances are met with support and not doubt too. Rhimes goes onto further share that just because marriage isn’t on the table that does not mean meaningful or long-term relationships aren’t. I know not everyone can sit down with Oprah and get to the bottom of their psyche or desires, but perhaps if we all pretended to bare our souls to the Big O we’d learn just a little more about want we want and be a little happier for it.

Image Courtesy of OWN

Image Courtesy of OWN/Super Soul Sunday TV

Ladies Hilariously Put the “GRRR” in Grindr

CONFESSION! I haven’t been on the dating scene in years and I am not a gay man so I had to Wiki what Grindr, SCRUFF, and GROWLr were. It turns out they are all-male social networks for finding friendship, dating, carpools and a lot of other things that, if you’re like me, might also go over your head! If I learned anything from these videos is that dating is a lot harder, confusing and explicit these days!

Tim Paul of The Second City Network has come out with series called Ladies Looking, which invites women to read some of the intellectual dialogue exchanges from these social networks. Let’s put it this way, after a long workweek, these videos will brighten your week and wake you up more than your coffee and a mound of drugs could. I also seriously recommend that you don’t watch this at work, or at least put in headphones before HR hunts you down.

Keep Calm and (Online) Date On

This story was originally published on, an online magazine for women who are navigating their quarter-lives. Quarterlette’s mission is to help support, guide and inspire women in their twenties and thirties who are navigating their careers, relationships, passions, hobbies, finances and everything in between.  To do this, Quarterlette publishes honest and relatable, first-person essays written by women who have inspiring experiences, funny anecdotes and powerful life lessons to share. Follow Quarterlette on Twitter and like them on Facebook.

Guest Writer: Janah Valenzuela & 

In the era of natural and organic everything, why does it seem impossible to meet people that way concepts of online dating, with message on enter key of keyboard.anymore? I have joined the league of women who can no longer date from their pool of classmates or colleagues and have come to realize Channing Tatum is probably not going to turn up at my local watering hole anytime soon. Though I am the first of my friends to point out how important it is to put yourself out there, the toll that online dating can take on your ego and self esteem can be exhausting! After several on and off waves with online dating sites, I have learned that there should be a few emotional guidelines to help keep us sane during the process:

Playboy Explains When Catcalling is Okay; It’s Surprisingly…Feminist

Playboy, an unlikely ally in women’s quest to end street harassment, especially Bv_DwnmIMAI130Pbecause they’ve made millions and millions off encouraging men to ogle at women, has done something wonderfully feminist. Hugh Hefner has even claimed we are living in a post-feminist world before, meaning that a chart like this shouldn’t even be necessary. But here we, feminists, are in agreement with Playboy’s work for once. Hell just froze over.

Playboy and graphic designer Shea Strauss have designed an excellent explanatory flowchart (click to see full chart) that answers when it’s okay to catcall a woman. In a sort of choose-your-own adventure game, guys can follow the line that represents his libido and male entitlement the best with options like, “Are you sexually frustrated?” if yes, proceed to “Yeah, I wanna yell sex stuff at people.” It eventually all flows down to “Nope, don’t do it,” and “Yeah, go for it.” There’s a real educative twist to help folks understand that the only case where it’s okay to catcall is when there’s mutual consent (and even then they make clear heckling is an equal opportunity for both sexes) and when it’s an actually kitty. For everyone other instance, it’s not cool.

This chart comes in the wake of other great devices to battle street harassment. There’s the bell Hooks hotline, which provides women a fake number to give to strangers who ask for it. The idea (unfortunately, this reasoning exists) is to safeguard women “because we’re [women] raised to know it’s safer to give a fake phone number than to directly reject an aggressive guy.”

There’s also the Cards Against Harassment, which are business cards that anyone can get and hand out to street harassers to explain how their actions negatively affect women. And Tatyana Fazlalizadeh’s art project, Stop Telling Women to Smile attempts to combat harassment directly on the streets too.

While this great flowchart doesn’t get Playboy out of the doghouse for its years of misogyny, objectification, exploitation and body issues, it is certainly a step in the right direction.

Dating Solutions on Giving Out Your Phone Number

Finally, there’s a solution for when you don’t want to give your phone number toUntitled-1_copy_2757471b creepy people, but don’t want to be rude either because as the bell Hooks hotline explains, “because we’re [women] raised to know it’s safer to give a fake phone number than to directly reject an aggressive guy.”

Feminist author bell Hooks has created the Feminist Phone Intervention Hotline for anyone to use when faced with the dating dilemma of giving out your phone number to a stranger. When you’re just not that into the suitor, you can just give them the phone number (669) 221-6251.

Fun Feminist Friday:

Cuz everyone deserves love. Thanks College Humor.

Fun Feminist Friday: Hilarious Durex Condom Ad

For your fun feminist Friday frills, here’s a hilarious Durex condom ad that only made it so far as Down Under (which given the ad is kinda perfect). You’ll never look at balloon animals the same way ever again. Or at least, kids parties will be a lot funnier now. Remember guys to always use protection!

A Dad’s Best Rules for Dating His Daughter

As a teenager, I dated a ton. I’m not sure if my parents’ had rules related to dating, though I Rules for Dating my Daughterknew fact checking might lead to some answers I did not want. Not wanting to wake the bear, I was sly about it; “friends” would come over a lot until eventually my parents asked about the nature of the friendship and I’d casually say, “Ya, I guess we’re going out.” If I played it cool, they’d be cool. As an adult now looking back, I probably wasn’t so cunning, and the truth was they just trusted me.

Not all girls are so lucky. Even if a girl is responsible, smart and heck, a black belt, there’s still this social distrust over a girl and her adventures in dating. Just recently, photos from chastity balls made big headlines for being beautiful (for the record, I thought they were super creepy). These young girls, barely pubescent, were pledging their virginity to their dads. First, why their dads only and why not make the boys pledge too? Why not protect girls by teaching them how to protect themselves and make smart decisions as opposed to teaching them that someone can only do it for them? Why not teach boys the importance of respecting the bodily autonomy of girls? Those boys will only grow into fathers and the cycle of dating distrust will either recycle itself or stop.

And this entire spring we’ve been inundated (and rightfully so) with news warnings that the state of campus rape crisis management is deplorable if not immoral. Victims have been blamed left and right, rapists walk around unpunished, school campuses passively deny any large problems. Even Obama and Biden felt it was terribly necessary to address the issue and change the way we respond to rape.

There’s a men’s t-shirt that’s been circulating around the Internet that speaks directly to men about the importance of trusting girls when it comes to dating (apparently, it’s a customized shirt from Zazzle). First, it’s awesome because it says “Feminist Father” on it showing that men can be feminists too and send the message this is how you do it! Secondly, it puts the power of choice and control in the hands of the girl, which is how it should be. And third, the second line “You Don’t Make the Rules” directly fights that male entitlement that creates the problems for females in the first place.

Dad’s if there has to be rules for dating your daughter, this is the list you want to follow!

Our Obsession With Love and Labeling

It’s already several dates in.  You’re way into this new person and you’re pretty sure he or she is into you. The kissing is great, the butterflies have yet to go away, you swapped embarrassing stories that both of you swore you’d never tell anyone, there’s been talk of future dates and trips and…neither of you are seeing anyone else. It’s time to have “the talk.”

Love and LabelingWe all know what “the talk” means. It’s time to put oneself out there and ask, “What are we?” Boyfriend and girlfriend? Just dating till something better comes along? Lovers? An open relationship? Sugar daddy/mama? FoBo’s? Friends with benefits? Or the dreaded ‘just friends?’

You Think Dating Is Hard? Try Being 5-yrs Old with 3 Girlfriends

For the daters out there who might be tired of the game, the hunt and bad dates – don’t worry cuz you got it good. Try being five years old with three girlfriends. According to this hilarious kid, life doesn’t get much worse. Managing the ladies was much easier at 4. At least he knows not to string along all of them.

Screen shot 2014-05-24 at 3.04.01 PM

Signs of Wage Gap in Your Wedding

Did you know that the wage gap has influenced a lot of wedding traditions? Unknown-1When it comes to the things that anyone but the bride pays for like an engagement ring (groom), paying on a date (the guy), the honeymoon (traditionally the groom) or most the wedding (the bride’s family) it’s all a function of women’s wage gap. It stemmed from when they weren’t even allowed to have careers, which meant they had no income for life’s events. Even traditions where money is not involved like the groom asking the bride’s parent’s permission to marry, walking the bride down the aisle and carrying the bride over the threshold all stem from asset issues. As in a women’s only asset was herself and her fertile uterus, which is why those are traditions of exchange (just a different type of currency, because, again, she didn’t have the monetary type).

When thinking about the wage gap and all the debate over it this week, consider how it might affect other areas not just your direct deposit into your bank account. If you’d like to learn more about where women stand in terms of matching men’s earrings, watch the video below. Just remember next time you find yourself with a cumbersome and annoying amount of pennies – every cent counts.

Disney Princesses say, “I don’t need a man.”

As a kid the best part about Disney princesses was watching the sassy, beautiful princess go on an adventure, defeat the bad guys and fall in love. As a teenager, I loved collecting all my well used VHSs and searching for the hidden sex scenes (the only undeniable one was in The Little Mermaid, which probably only exists on the VHS version now). As an adult, I still enjoy Disney movies but, as a feminist, I need that bottle of wine as my spoon full of sugar to soften those misogynistic blows in technicolor. Graduate school and my romps in feminism hasn’t ruined Disney, but I swallowed that blue pill. I woke up to their sexist reality and Cinderella will just never be the same (which is why, unlike my childhood, I will probably raise the kids on Hayao Miyazaki (Spirited Away, Howl’s Castle).

To be fair, Disney is slowly getting better. The last few Disney princess movies have not ended in marriage. This winter’s Frozen was probably the most progressive in implying that a women’s value is not in her amorous relationship. And it’s misunderstood villain, Elsa reiterates that neither do women have to sacrifice their interests or subdue their personality to get a man. (Though Frozen is not socially perfect, it was awfully white…and I’m not talking about the snow.)

If you’ve missed the gender evolution of Disney movies and were totally unaware that Belle had a verbally abusive relationship with the Beast or that the Cinderella and Snow White could only escape domestic drudgery if they married. Luckily, you can still enjoy the imaginativeness of Disney despite its magic spell being broken with the fun viral videos by the AV Byte Brothers that let’s women know, “Why keep on assuming men will save the day, I can be a hero, and do it my own way…I am fine the way I am, I don’t need a man.”

A Rom Com Gets Real Over Choice – OBVIOUS CHILD

In the saccharine land of rom coms, plots can be trite, characters undefined and sappy sweet endings all too predictable for most movie goers. And the worst part is that they are usually geared towards women. No one wants to watch the same movies with the same formulas. If you’re like me, you’ve been looking for something different, endearing and more in touch with reality.

That’s where Obvious Child (2014) comes in by writer and director, Gillian Robespierre. Unlike rom coms being about getting the boy or choosing love, Obvious Child is about what a woman chooses for herself – in this case, an abortion. It follows Brooklyn comedian Donna Stern (Jenny Slate) who gets dumped, fired and pregnant just in time for the worst/best Valentine’s Day of her life. The best part about the film’s description is that it focuses on the nature of the Donna’s choice and how after everything, she ends up all right.

FB Movie Review: When Harry Tries to Marry

4 Fem Rating SMWhen Harry Tries to Marry (2011): As a result of his parents divorce, young Harry believes arranged marriages are the only way to have a successful marriage. Straight out of college he rushes to employ a matchmaker, gets paired with a very nice match and goes about planning his wedding. Except amid a long-distance relationship… life and love unexpectedly happen. Harry is left to decide between his hardcore beliefs and the natural path that is laid before him. The movie ends on a really good lesson; that life and love cannot be rushed in youth, inexperience and impatience. Time is one of most important assets we can give ourselves. (Subjects: Marriage, Love, Arranged Marriages) Director: Nayan Padrai


The Future of Marriage

In honor of the Supreme Court ruling today defending the legality and support of same-sex marriage, I thought offering insight into the future of marriage would be a salient point. I’m thrilled that many same-sex couples in states that recognize gay marriage can now enjoy the same state and federal benefits hetero-couples do, and I hope that many of those in states behind the curve can start planning their own legal nuptials soon too. However, while today was a huge milestone there is still lots more to accomplish…for all sexual orientations. Everyone should keep marriage equality as their number one wish on their wedding registry.

In the meantime, I predict more scandalous celebrity marriages and divorces that will push the limits of conventional marriages (I’m looking at you Kardashians). Now with California, I foresee one highly publicized gay celebrity marriage sponsored by US Weekly that will help mitigate the fears of same-sex marriage, but also (unfortunately) perpetuate gay stereotypes. I envision a line of new wedding products designed by those briefly married celebrities. I foreshadow more diversity in the couples TLC wedding shows exploit. Rom-coms will continue to define its female lead’s value by the relationship she gets by the end of the movie. After all of this, I hope Hollywood will be a little more conscientious about how it treats marriage and those within it. 

There are more positive things to predict though. I predict, like interracial marriage, gay marriage will be commonplace in the next twenty years and our children (born inside or outside of marriage) will read about this civil rights movement in their history books. In the near future, I anticipate people will come to better understand that mass cultural institutions cannot take precedence over a person’s private rights as protected under the fourteenth amendment. I also hope same-sex marriage naysayers learn that a strict exclusive definition to marriage dilutes its power and meaning, it is stronger when it is all encompassing and embracing. Love does not discriminate and as its formal frame, neither should marriage. I believe gay marriage will help eradicate sexist gender roles in wedding traditions and marriage and we will be better off for it. I predict every person, regardless of their race, age, gender and sexual orientation will eventually access the same rights, the same benefits and the same protection, not because they fell in love with someone, but because we’ve come to respect and love humanity above the private privileges marriage retains for itself. But most of all, I hope the terms same-sex or gay marriage disappear and we can just recognize those forms of marriage as what they truly are, just marriage.

I predict the next big issue when it comes to marriage will be among the permanent, lifestyle singles. With 95% of people trying marriage at least once in a lifetime, the next minority to feel excluded from the special provisions provided by marriage will be singles, and single families. This means that fixing the cracks and dents in our existing family law will be the next reform issue. And it’s a major one. We seldom realize that our existing family law discriminates against almost everyone, regardless of his or her race, sexual orientation, marital status and age. (Sorry, plural marriage participators I just don’t think the US is ready to pull your number for reform next.) I foreshadow that in the effort to eradicate singlism, the next great debate will not be what is marriage, but what constitutes family.

I’m struck by all the happy and celebratory posts on Facebook in light of today’s Supreme Court ruling, particularly by those who do not benefit directly from today’s historic ruling. Their elation shows true altruism. For everyone celebrating though, it proves that marriage is purely enjoyed when everyone can partake in it. And for my final predictions, I foresee a still long walk to the aisle for same-sex couples, but today it got a little shorter; I envision happier and just slightly brighter smiles at weddings, and I expect to get invited to many more weddings now.

The Upsides and Downsides to Eloping

A friend and one of my bridesmaids, came back from her family house in New Hampshire and announced to me over the phone, “So…I got married last weekend.” While I can’t remember my exact reaction it was something like, “Whaaaaat?” There’s still a small shock even with predicable elopements. It wasn’t quite the last minute elopement, but they performed a secret engagement and then a secret wedding all within a month – only the immediately family knew.

Mazel Tov, Liz Lemon! You Are A Beautiful Feminist Bride.

Blurg! Everyone’s favorite fictional feminist got married last night on NBC’s 30 Rock. What kind of wedding does career-oriented Liz Lemon have? Well, it did not involve ham and other delicatessen treats, jorts or sun pee to toast the newlyweds. What it did involve was awesomeness served up with some midnight cheese on top and some sweet Tony Bennett on the side.

Discovering the History of Interracial Couples

The fun, quirky and uber-informational podcast How Stuff Works, has a sister Discovery podcast called Stuff Mom Never Told You that focuses on issues of a more feminine and woman-type. Podcast episodes include such titles as ‘Where do all the bobby pins go?’ and ‘Does Queen Bee Syndrome exist?’ And it so happens it covered something we’re of particular interest ourselves over here at The Feminist Bride – interracial marriage or miscegenation.

This particular episode is well done, though I should stress I found the title ‘Why are interracial marriages on the rise?‘ and their treatment of Pew Research’s stats to be overly optimistic. A 2010 Pew Research Center study revealed that 15% of new marriages are between people of different races or ethnicities (compare this to 6.7% in 1980). The total of all existing mixed marriages in 2010 was only 8.4%. The acceptance of such relationships varies, but overall is better than in the 80s; but any statistician will tell you that this growth over a 30 to 40 year period is extremely slow and not the ‘exponential growth’ the podcast mentioned.

In fact only four in ten Americans view such relationships as positive, these people are most likely minorities, college-educated and younger people from the West or Northeast. 63% of Americans say they would accept family members or peers marrying a person of a different race, but in 1986 37% said it would be acceptable for others but not themselves. Even almost a half century after the Loving v. Virginia case went to the Supreme Court, interracial marriage is still not as common as one might think, indicating that we are far from a post-racial society.

But on a whole, give the podcast a listen. It’s full of interesting facts and stories like the Lovings of the 1967 Supreme Court Case of Loving v. Virginia. There’s a new documentary out about the case too. And if you like the podcast’s brief coverage of the biracial children’s identity politics, I highly suggest checking out Adrian Piper’s 1988 video performance entitled, ‘Cornered.’ It covers every angle of her experience as a biracial woman and it’s incredibly provocative and interesting. It’s also really important that we educate ourselves about the history of interracial marriage because the same arguments used to prevent it, are now included in the argument against gay marriage. In addition to that, the measly 15% and the personal lack of acceptance Pew revealed shows that the US has a long way to go before we achieve a purely post-racial society.

For Other Related Feminist Bride Articles, Please Read:

An Interracial Fix for Black Marriage –

Podcast Episode Description: “Thanks to sociocultural evolution, interracial marriage is increasingly common. Join Cristen and Caroline as they explore Loving v. Virginia, why worrying about children in these marriages is outdated (and likely rooted in racism) and more.”

Watch out cuz ‘We’ll Marry Your Girlfriends!’

Sorry feminist brides, I’ve been MIA lately (grr, grad school!), but here I am bringing to you a FABulous video clip from which I hope makes up for my temporary absence. In light of the advances towards allowing gay marriage this past election, here is a motivational video that will hopefully sway those reluctant to support gay marriage. Enjoy!


Dear ReadyMade Magazine, This Is How Not to Write A Love Letter. <3 The FB

I may not be a literary genius like Mark Twain, a.k.a Samuel Clemens (hello bad blogger grammar), but I do know a chauvinistic comment when I see one. I’ll excuse Twain from using sexist language that was typical of his day because feminism had yet to take root, but I can’t excuse ReadyMade magazine for taking a romantic cue from the humorist in the present day. Last time I checked, women were not objects to be won (physically, emotionally or figuratively). I thought we figured this out decades ago?

Twain, in a love note to his wife in 1875 declared, “…I made my first great success in life and won you…” ReadyMade magazine highlights and interprets the ‘won’ as good framework for writing a love letter with, “…is a fun way to flatter. ‘Victory,’ ‘triumph,’ and ‘ultimate achievement’ are also words that work well.” Using synonyms does not bypass the blatant chauvinism in the statement. And there’s no way to put a positive, non-sexist reinterpretation on it.

There are a hundred better ways to say that you’ve never been happier since the day you met the love of your life and commited to him or her. Twain may have said a lot of wise and credible things, but giving credence to a statement that is clearly obsolete in our modern times is not healthy for any woman or relationship. ReadyMade may make a lot of things well, but perhaps it should stick to making stuff out of wine corks and light bulbs. Otherwise it should put a cork in it and leave love letters to fortune cookies and dirty limericks.

The Mark Twain quotes and ReadyMade Love Letter suggestions first appeared in the August/September Issue of 2010. Even though it is a year later, I still think it is important to highlight mistakes that perpetuate sexist, obsolete language.

FB Book Review: The Girls’ Guide to Hunting and Fishing (Fiction)

The Girls’ Guide to Hunting and Fishing by Melissa Bank: As an outdoorsy gal, I picked this book up because of its awesome title, only to be mildly disappointed that hunting and fishing only referred to men and dating. Readers follow the life of Jane Rosenthal who is pessimistically and somewhat passionately needy when it comes to her own self esteem, and not surprisingly with men and relationships. Her love life involves a series of unhealthy relationships that she seems to understand are a function of her own personal issues but does little to make a clean break before any damage is done. At a breaking point on her own self worth, she turns to a self help book in order to find love. The book’s most redeeming moment is when Jane finally realizes that the book’s advice to act like a hard-to-get, traditionally feminine, demure damsel is probably the worst advice. The book seems to be hailed as an accurate depiction of women’s dating troubles, but I would have found the book more salient had it focused on problem solving stories and less on the problems. (Subject: Fiction, Love, Boyfriends, Relationships, Self Esteem)

FB Movie Review: Love and Mary

Love and Mary (2007) – Mary, a bakery entrepreneur, is faced with the eviction of her business. She decides to fly home with her fiance to collect engagement party money in order to save her business. Her fiance bails at the last minute and she brings his brother as a fake replacement. Without giving away the movie, what struck me the most is that Mary, assertive enough to save her business, seems to be a bit passive in her own feelings. She’ll put decorum and promise over her feelings. Overall, it’s an enjoyable movie with a quirky cast of characters. Director: Elizabeth Harrison (Subject: Money, Love, Weddings)

Platonic Politics: Inviting an Ex to Your Wedding

People are in an uproar because Prince William and Kate Middleton, wedding trendsetters of the 21st century, are (gasp!) inviting their exes to their wedding. People just can’t seem to jump on board with this one, which tells me there are one too many unrepaired, broken hearts out there. If these wedding icons can say to their amorous past, “Let bygones, be bygones,” it’s a little bit of egg on the face to those who can’t.

The Last Hurrah

It’s the last call, the final mile, and the end of an era.  It’s the time you spend saying goodbye to  singlehood: It’s the bachelor/bachelorette party.

It’s a night that strikes fear into the hearts of many a young lover – where fiancés disappear in the night to sow wild oats; where irresistible strippers spread their legs for the almighty dollar; where “what happens in Vegas stays in Vegas” is more than just a motto, it’s a credo; and where the ability to remember the night’s events is worn either as a medal of honor or as a sign of disgrace.

The event itself has historically been the man’s day, yet women are now taking part as well. Some women dare to rival the debauchery of bachelor parties, but many also insist upon propriety and decorum above this one “get-out-of-jail free” card.  No matter your taste in parties, it’s important to make sure the party is a representation of your ideals – not what other people think a bachelorette party should entail or how a woman should act.

Contrary to popular belief, I don’t believe this momentous night is about saying goodbye to singlehood. Whether you’re the bride with the “suck-for-a-buck” t-shirt, or want to form a sewing circle, a bachelorette party is more about bonding with friends – of all genders.  Traditionally, this is a same-sex party, and while I’m all for ladies’ nights, women keep anatomically dissimilar friends these days.  So invite your guy friends! There is no rulebook that says a bachelorette party has to be ”just the girls.”

We’ve all seen the trend where opposite-sex friendships dissolve because a significant other felt threatened, or that eventually the lady felt like the male friendship was inappropriate, whether it really was or not. What does it say about a relationship that limits with whom you can be friends? If you value a friendship of the opposite sex, it’s important to honor it, and if your partner values you, then he should respect these friendships as well. It’s a powerful testament to see brides make a man a bridesmaid, and vice versa. A relationship is stronger when a partner can accept friends of all shapes, sizes and anatomy.

As my friends and I brainstormed on my own party, we stopped to consider the girls in relationships – would their boyfriends and husbands approve of a bachelorette trip…to Vegas?  We quickly noted the folly of this thought process – we considered ourselves progressive women, yet even we have been conditioned to look to our men for approval. Yes, it’s respectful to share information about the event, but we women have autonomy to make decisions, exercise that right, even if they are unpopular ones. So chose Vegas or whatever type of event that makes the night a happy one for yourself.

There are double standards when it comes to the party scene as well. Though equal opportunity partying is expected, it is still common for partners to be manipulated into thinking that if one partner abstains (for example, from seeing a stripper), the other should be held to the same standard.  The desire to party hardy and see a stripper does not by default mean a partner is straying from the relationship (there’s a no touch policy in the strip joints anyway). Sayonara-singlehood parties do have a bad reputation, but a relationship falters not because of the nature of the party, but because of deeper, rooted issues in the relationship. If trust cannot be shown even in the brief presence of a stripper or just amongst friends, how can it ever be earned before you get to the altar?

Having experienced a bachelorette party or two already, I was constantly dismayed at how most women treated this opportunity.  Most wanted to go to the beach and read – no alcohol, no scantily clad men, no penis pops or disastrous costumes only suitable for Halloween parties – not because it’s what they wanted, but because of a belief that this type of behavior was unbecoming and inappropriate since they were soon to be someone’s wife. In asking these ladies the reasons behind their choices, they simply explained, “those days are over for me.”  These ladies, who in college did keg stands, flashed their assets and spent many a night praying to the porcelain god, could not let their hair down for one night. It is perfectly fine to move past college nights of drunken debaucheries – BUT – there’s no need to assume sainthood just because we’re putting a ring on our fingers.  Neither extreme is a fair representation of who we are or who we will be, because the truth of the matter is once we do marry, we’re still the same girls who ran naked through the quad freshman year. History does not have to repeat itself, but we also don’t have to abandon it either.  Your partner loves you for who you are now, not who you will become.  Don’t change and compromise yourself because you think you have to as a wife.

The truth is there is no such thing as a “last hurrah.”  We said goodbye to singlehood the moment we stepped into a monogamous relationship.  A bachelor/bachelorette party is not a chance to experience singlehood for “one last time” – it’s a chance for camaraderie with your closest friends, to laugh, to relax. These parties are harmless, but when more power is given to its stereotypes over trust in a long-term relationship, it’s a sign of weaknesses in the relationship.  If these issues come to light, it is my hope that the partner has enough confidence to reassess the relationship, or at least address the real issue at hand. If there is real trust and each partner understands the true reasons behind hosting a bachelor/bachelorette, which is friendship, then there should be no limitations in the style of a bachelorette party.  We should be free to be ourselves amongst our friends, men and women alike – be it a night full of shots or a relaxing day at the spa.

Hey Sister, Let’s Talk About Sex.

Between the ongoing debate about sex education programs in school, birth control, teen moms, celebrity shotgun weddings, abortion, cohabitation before marriage and the plethora of conflicting opinions on sex, the one thing we can all agree on is that we all have sex on the brain.

FB Movie Review: Mystic Pizza

Mystic Pizza (1988) – Julia Roberts first break out role (no, Pretty Women was not the first) in what would be a long career of romantic films. Set in Mystic, CT three strong, local girls struggle with finding love, navigating the bedroom, their future and breaking from their provincial townie existence. Despite class struggles, forbidden affairs and feeling trapped, the girls at the end of the day find solace and comfort in each other and pizza. The break out feminist moment comes in the end, when one girl finally commits to marrying the love of her life but only on the condition that she keep her name. (Subject: Relationships, Sex, Identity, Friendship)

Obama Endorses Same-sex Marriage

In a historical change of mind, President Obama has come forward to proclaim that he supports same-sex marriage. Prior to this announcement, he limited his belief system to civil unions based on his own religion’s edict that marriage was only for men and women. Regardless of his new personal beliefs he still believes the legality of same-sex marriage should be dictated on the state level. I could find no information as to whether this would prompt him to change the federal policy which still doesn’t recognize legal same-sex marriages from the seven states that allow it.

FB Movie Review: The War Bride

The War Bride(2001) – Set during World War II, Lily marries a Canadian soldier. She quickly becomes pregnant and moves to Canada to live with her in-laws as part of a save the war-brides campaign. A sassy, fashionable city-Londoner, she finds herself in the plains of central Canada on a farm, severely out of her element and amongst hostile in-laws who find her UK style foreign, too sexual and think her marriage was a ploy to get her out of war-torn Europe. Not knowing whether her spouse is alive, she struggles with being a wife and a mother in a foreign land. (Subject: Marriage, War, Women) Director: Lyndon Chubbuck

Understanding the Past, Present and Future of Marriage

This is my most recent lecture at the Tufts University GSC Research Symposium. It was me and a bunch of Ph.D. candidates lecturing on mostly science, but alas my speciality is in marriage culture. Here’s a breakdown of how marriage’s past, present and future effect our quality of life. It’s an interesting overview about how our time-honored traditions are totally irrelevant to Western lifestyles, which in itself makes a case for why it’s really important we respectfully modernize them! Enjoy.

Opinion: On Denying Birth Control Coverage and Not Inviting Women to the Table

By Guest Writer Wendy Allen

This news of a Republican panel of five men and NO women convening to discuss denying birth control coverage struck a sour chord. It saddens me because I don’t want men dictating how I treat my body, and we women are not second-class citizens who are unable to think for ourselves. (One woman did show up to testify, but was shown the door.) But it also saddens me because denying this coverage commits an entire sector of our population to an endless cycle of poverty. It’s amazing how making a little pill (or other more reliable options) available to all, regardless of income, can make a difference in the educational level and the standard of living of our entire country.

Putting the “V” in Valentine’s Day

When it comes to celebrating Valentine’s Day, we seek to spend it with those we love and shower them with all the accoutrements a Hallmark Valentine’s can bestow. What about spending Valentine’s Day in a non-commercial way? What if you could honor the women in your life by participating in something that seeks to support and empower them? What if you spent this Valentine’s Day learning how to appreciate yourself?

FB Movie Review: The People I’ve Slept With

The People I’ve Slept With (2009) – We’ve seen many a male character own the spoils of an active sex life, and when the main character Juliet pulls a Samantha Jones it’s exciting to see a female character finally own her sexuality on par with a man and without social ramifications. Except then she gets pregnant and has no clue who the baby-daddy is. Suddenly, Juliet tailspins into an emotionally abusive, self-reflective state of how could she have been so slutty and irresponsible? Not once does the movie turn the table onto the men who are equally responsible for the embryo and it reverts to a pro-life stance and the age mindset that a woman can’t be sexually free without being promiscuous and irresponsible. BS. (Subject: Sex, Pregnancy, Double Standards, Relationships) Director: Quentin Lee

The Best Kind of Girl to Date

Seems nowadays everyone is searching for that special someone and they are not so easy to find. Countless websites, friends, parents, magazines and books will tell you who to date and how to date, but perhaps the answers aren’t in a book. Perhaps the answer is the person with a book. Time to eradicate the dating days of cutting down the available singles list by someone’s physical attributes, bank account or car. Nona Merah’s blog post exemplifies the real attributes we should seek in someone. She places a particular emphasis on girls who read and why they are the best date of all. Click to read: A Girl You Should Date.

“Date a girl who reads because you deserve it. You deserve a girl who can give you the most colorful life imaginable. If you can only give her monotony, and stale hours and half-baked proposals, then you’re better off alone. If you want the world and the worlds beyond it, date a girl who reads.” (Nona Merah)


West Meets & Marries East: The Mail Order Brides Industry

(Un)Tangled Disney Princess Story Lines

Disney’s princess plots are more predictable than a woman’s period. Girl is oppressed (by magic, evil villain, or station in life), girl decides to challenge adversity, girl meets vagabond boy en route, cue adorable magical or animal sidekick, boy and girl conquer evil villain, boy and girl marry and the live happily ever after. The End. Right?

Facebook Blamed For Underage Marriage And Teen Pregnancies

It seems Facebook is causing a stir amongst Indonesia’s youth

, by facilitating liasons between very young users, which result in unplanned pregnancies and therefore marriages. Officials from the Gunung Kidul region are claiming the increase in teenage pregnancies align with Facebook’s inception in the country. Interestingly, 66% of divorces caused by social networking, specifically blame Facebook too.

“Facebook is easy access, even in rural areas, and leads to teenage girls getting pregnant outside of marriage,” Gunung Kidul Religious Court junior legal secretary Siti Haryanti told The Jakarta Post.

via Facebook Blamed For Underage Marriage And Teen Pregnancies.

Dating Website Creates New Post-College Profession – Sugar Baby

A website called SeekingArrangements is causing a huge stir because it hooks up college kids, down on their luck economically and professionally and in desperate need of some student loan assistance, with wealthy sugar daddies. Since the site acts merely as a facilitator and connection to these two people and because there is no talk or money negotiation on the site (that is an arrangement left to the couple once they meet) the site is walking a barely legal fine line.

Pet Names Are for Pets

If I have one consistent shortcoming, it is that I am horrible at names. At a party, I am that person who greets most everyone with a “Heyyy…youuuu.” I can tell you what you were wearing, talking about and drinking, but I can’t tell you what the hell your mom wrote in your underwear. It’s a terrible habit, but sometimes it’s not my fault.