It's kind of embarrassing. After spending about a decade pretty convinced that "marriage" or "spousedom" or "the big patriarchal celebration of misogynist ownership" was only a peripheral, take-it-or-leave-it, not-that-important-to-me grade interest, a shrug-worthy possibility at best, I realized about two months ago that I really... truly... Goddess-help-me... want a wife.
I figured out three primary reasons it took me until my latest of 20's to reach this conclusion.
And here they are:
1. Marriage had generally seemed to be about me and a boy.
This idea is outdated now, but has always kind of given me the heebie-jeebies. Make no mistake, I have had deep love, good love, even, with male-bodied partners in the past, but there is something about the het set-up of "man and wife" that turns pretty quickly to "neglect, abuse, deceit, divorce and potential uxoricide (thank *you*, wikipedia.com)" in my mind. I know that all of these phenomena are not exclusive to the straight world, but this is one of my visceral reactions (along with a nostalgic "aww...." for all of my beloved, former-potential husbands-to-be) to the idea of marrying a guy, and especially, a bio-guy. I know that happy, loving, lasting, straight (or so) married couples still exist and that there are wonderful husbands inhabiting the world. But I've long felt like those odds were definitely against me.
2. No one would ever want to marry me.
Now what kind of reason is that!? I'm just over my own self-loathing, OVER IT. It's true though, like the odd vegan masking an eating disorder (please excuse the metaphor, all of you healthy, lovely vegans!) this gripping belief in my own unlovableness, or uncommittable-to-ness, was often the gnarled face beneath the mask of reason #3. Well, fuck that shit. All sorts of people are attractive and irresistible to others for a host of obvious, mundane and unlikely reasons. I'm a person, and a generally pretty good one at that; why wouldn't someone, someone great, in fact, want to marry me?
As a queer, and a feminist and a someone self-associated with a bunch of other identity-politicky labels, I'm aware of much of the problematic history and symbolism behind the institution of marriage, its ties to capitalism and its misogynistic roots.
As a sex worker and someone with an embryonic but earnest interest in radical politics, I feel even less inclined to get the state involved in my romantic life. All of these arguments seem to kind of fall apart for me when I think about the type of marriage I would want to be a part of.
* Would it be legal? - Who knows. Since I'm really interested in commitment with a lady, our options for legal marriage would be few, anyway, unless my bride-to-be is a transwoman and we fell under one of those strange birth certificate gender loop-holes. I love to travel, and don't know enough about the legal benefits and repercussions, if any, for a foreign state-sanctioned union. It's the kind of decision I would want to collaborate on.
* Would it be monogamous? -I doubt it. While I have certainly had my fair share of trouble navigating the vast open waters of polyamory, I also feel that with my ideals, values, and self-knowledge about loving and sexuality, non-monogamy still makes the most sense for me. I also feel like I've reached the point in my emotional maturity where I can handle non-monogamy in an intentional way, with respect and integrity informed by a deeper knowledge of my own needs and limits.
*Would I feel free to take the conventions that ring really deeply true with me, and make up or fuck the rest? -Hellz yeah!
My primary interest is in commitment, collaboration, a partner in the beautiful crime of building a life full of wild wise dreams. Plus, I'm a ritualist, love costumes and parties, so a wedding of sorts seems fitting. As a person who deeply believes in reclaiming: words; like "queer" and "dyke" and "whore", concepts; like the sexuality that feels intense, dirty and hot, not the one that Dworkin says is right, I think that taking another traditional tool of oppression and subverting it for my own kinky, queer, whole-hearted, fierce-loving means is right up my alley.
In the end, it all comes down to feeling free; allowing myself to recognize what I really want and letting myself want it, not because of cultural expectations or a need to please my family or hegemonic pressure, but because it fits with my personality, my values, and my dreams for my life. If I let my early concepts of feminism or my latter fears of radical queer judgment curb my true desires, then what the fuck's the point in believing in freedom of expression or social equality? A simplistic, and unoriginal argument, I know, but dammit, I just want a wife. I just do. And as far as I'm concerned, the sooner I am un-conflicted with my own personal desires, the faster and better able I'll be to relax my own biases and address bigger problems.
I am reminded of Annie Sprinkle and Elizabeth Steven's recent show, "Exposed!" in which I got to play a small role. Before they explained their 7 year project of a wedding every year for seven years corresponding to each chakra point (http://www.loveartlab.org/) they opened the floor to the audience and asked for everyone's input on reasons not to get married, particularly as queer women. After hearing the audience's grievances regarding marriage, their anger at the commercialization of love and the LGBT's community perceived sell-out in the hopes of hetero-esque privilege and normalcy, Annie and Beth end the segment by saying, "yes, well we thought of all of that, and totally agree with it, too, but in the end....we decided....we just really want to get married!"
So here I go. Giving myself permission. Not just permission, but online exposition. It's a common, if not always conscious, tactic of mine, to burst open areas of shame and embarrassment by immediate and severe exhibitionism. There will be more, later, about what I want, my little fantasies, perhaps my progress, and not all of it will be tedious blah blah blah, some will most likely be absurd or toothsome or sexy blah blah blah.
But for now, let it be know, int0r-wide-webland: SADIE LUNE WANTS A WIFE!