Wednesday, 3 February 2010

Weddings: not a time to be blasé about patriarchy

On 28th September 2009 an article was published in The Times about casual misogyny and the continued need for feminism. A smaller version of this advert for ING Direct was published in the same paper. (It is showing up quite small on the screen: the smaller text reads, 'Your daughter's wedding. The day you give your little girl and huge amounts of money away. It might be a way off, but the sooner you start saving, the less painful it will be. Well, the money side of things anyway.')

Now, ING's other adverts, including a man 'cushioning himself' for the cost of an engagement ring, and another when his wife/girlfriend tells him she's pregnant with twins, aren't notable for their recognition that women might have financial responsibilities in relationships. But the above really takes the biscuit in its statement that women are 'little girls' to be transferred on marriage to a new master, after which their families can wash their hands of them. I realise that perhaps the ad is intended to be tongue-in-cheek, but firstly I don't think this comes across clearly enough, and secondly it portrays such patriarchal attitudes as somehow cosy and endearing. Weddings may be a time for tradition, but if I ever have one, its implications about my authority and maturity will not be one of the things I take lightly!


  1. Do you think your dad sees you as his responsibility?

  2. Yes, in some ways. However, I don't think he'll consider that responsibility as ending when he passes me on to some other bloke, signed sealed and delivered. I don't think he considers me a 'little girl', either, and I think he'd probably feel equally responsible for any sons he'd had.