Rebecca Steinfeld and Charles Keidan yesterday lost their legal battle to allow heterosexual couples the right to have civil partnerships rather than marriage. Although it is rather odd that homosexual couples should have more legal options than heterosexual couples, I have little sympathy for the pair. They seem to think that marriage is contrary to 'equality' and therefore 'not for them', whilst still seeking recognition for their relationship.
There's no doubt that traditional weddings do suggest female inferiority. Brides advertise their virginity by wearing white whereas men feel no such need; they are walked up the aisle by their fathers and walked out by the new husbands as though they are in constant need of a male chaperone; traditionally, the woman only wore a ring suggesting she was the property of the man; and the woman almost lost her own identity by taking upon herself her husband's surname and sometimes even first name in all matters legal. None of this, however, is in the Bible, but rather comes from a later tradition. So although I see nothing wrong with these traditional expressions of wedding, I cannot accept the argument that marriage is intrinsically symptomatic of patriarchy.