Saturday, April 19, 2008

i'm blogging this!!

teraninse says:
I mean, if your own wedding can't be a highly individualistic, idiosyncratic affair, I don't want to know what can be.
teraninse says:
that's not to say...break out the furries for bridesmaids....but..


So, um, yes. The things that were said by, and to, Kyraninse/Seraninse/Teraninse (with occasional comments from Chris, who I gather was in the same room as her at the time), related in bits and in the wrong order because I can, and edited for brevity & to protect the guilty.

teraninse says:
and when are you getting married?
(and I'd do it again) says:
oh, we got married on February 29th.
teraninse says:
......*boggle-eyed*
teraninse says:
that's...a good anniversary, IMO
(and I'd do it again) says:
*shrugs* it took all of thirty seconds. we picked the 29th because we hate the world.
teraninse says:
*snicker*
teraninse says:
I'm horrified that I didn't know though. @@
(and I'd do it again) says:
no one knows except a few people on my deadjournal list, and a few members of his family, and the two friends who came along with.
teraninse says:
chris: I think that's pretty shabby, for her not to tell me, even for someone who doesn't think marriage counts for much.


This is entirely true, especially in Chris's case. As with many young things (but worse, because I'm such a flybynight floozy), the people I've met have come along in blocks associated with different locations & different educational institutions & different internets fads; Chris has been my friend for roughly 6 years, an extraordinary length of time - outside of my siblings and the blue and purple people, there might be no one I've known longer.

(and I'd do it again) says:
honestly, I didn't put it around much because I'm not proud of it in the least.
teraninse says:
because it was a purely political/practical move?
(and I'd do it again) says:
it's playing a system I hate in a blatantly unfair way.
teraninse says:
...I'm all about manipulating an unfair system to suit me, but then I'm horrible like that.
(and I'd do it again) says:
*nodnods* yeah, I wasn't THAT wary of doing it, but I feel queasy about bragging about it. My siblings knew I was marrying, but I didn't actually tell them about it afterwards - I hope my father doesn't know at all.


There was some talk about the age problem - how young marriages are so not okay in the UK, but pretty normal in the US. (Average age at first marriage in UK: 29 F / 31 M. US: 26 F / 27.5 M. I am twenty-freaking-three). Hint: I am not from the US, so this is generally not okay with me.

teraninse says:
*pokes gently with a poker* it's not bragging just to let people know you got married
(and I'd do it again) says:
but what WOULD I be telling them, if I told them I got married?
teraninse says:
btw, I thought you might want to know, M and I are getting married?
teraninse says:
*spreads hands in shrug*
teraninse says:
Chris was still thinking that you were "going" to.
teraninse says:
I mean, you could have it come out casually over dinner conversation sometime ten years down the road, but.
(and I'd do it again) says:
no, I mean, what would I be conveying to them? that I support Georgia's hetero-only, perk-ridden marriage system?
teraninse says:
oh
(and I'd do it again) says:
that I am into the whole 'marriage' thing with the nice long history of women being property and stuff?
teraninse says:
I'm the chinese immigrant here, no stealing my lines.
(and I'd do it again) says:
that my sex life is now sanctioned by Jesus?
teraninse says:
...you would be conveying that you're getting married to M, who I'm assuming you adore?
(and I'd do it again) says:
yes, I do, but I keep the adoring fairly private...I'm just like that.
teraninse says:
...sometimes, a cigar is just a cigar.
teraninse says:
even if it has a bit of marijuana in it, it's still a cigar


And now it all gets political, as if it wasn't already:

teraninse says:
I dunno, that's like saying, I'm never willing to go through an affirming ceremony with the man I love -- just because he happens to be male (which isn't PC) and because I get some perks out of it.
teraninse says:
which -- to be honest, smacks of silly to me, on some level. I wouldn't marry chris even for the perks unless I loved him, and so what if it's easier for us just because we happen to be sanctioned by the government? that's...like wanting to chop of your limbs in sympathy of the beggar down the streeet. *bad analogy*
(and I'd do it again) says:
no, it's not because he's male that I have an issue with it, it's because I supposedly could not do this if he wasn't.
(and I'd do it again) says:
if something's restricted to heteros it can't fit with my relationships/my life because I am not hetero and never will be.
teraninse says:
yes...and no
(and I'd do it again) says:
there's no sort of relationship I could have with a man that I couldn't also have with a woman, I'm pretty sure of that
teraninse says:
yessss....
teraninse says:
but I'm assuming you don't want to have the same kind of relationship you have with M with another woman.
(and I'd do it again) says:
not any woman I know currently, no, but that doesn't mean I never will and certainly doesn't mean I never would.
(and I'd do it again) says:
so it's not about sympathy for the beggar down the street, it's about sympathy for MYSELF.


Slightly related; Belle has a shiny new post on the subject of passing, which is more or less what this is about. And I feel upset just copypasting all this, right now.

(and I'd do it again) says:
oh, i didn't even mention how annoying the actual marriage bit was; the judge sprang fucking Jesus on me.
(and I'd do it again) says:
I swear that's not even legal
teraninse says:
this is why you don't want to be in the SOUTH!
teraninse says:
amirite???
(and I'd do it again) says:
it would've helped if the ceremony itself hadn't been so yuckmaking. I'm convinced it didn't HAVE to be - he MUST've had a secular script in a drawer somewhere, surely - but about two lines in I nearly interrupted him to say 'waitwaitiwait who said anything about JESUS?' I should have, really. :/
teraninse says:
hahaha.
teraninse says:
that's...icky indeed.
(and I'd do it again) says:
i didn't want to make a scene. i was having such a nice morning up until then.


The South part seems relevant; now, I'm a n00b here, and I'm also a pretty obnoxious and socially inept human being, but the area seems to have a higher density of totally annoying men than anywhere else I've ever been. The Bookworm tells me that this is part of why her mother had the family move up to New Jersey when she herself was but a small bookworm.

From my Deadjournal at the time: Btw, I totally got married last Friday - yes, on leap day. This is only worth mentioning because the judge was a jackass. (Nakki and M say he wasn't, that he was just a 'traditional southern guy'). He ignored me the whole time and never used my name - M had a name, but I was 'the bride'. He asked (empty-handed) M for the certificate, then gave the fresh copy to M once he'd got it ready, even though I'd given it to him in the first place and I was standing there with a GIANT PURPLE HANDBAG. He even sprang fucking Jesus on me. Bitchface could've asked if we liked Jesus - I didn't feel like I could stop him at that point... (Yes, we must be the only people in _______ County who don't like Jesus, but, dude, that first amendment thing?) *le sigh* I'm not an atheist - if I was, I imagine I'd've been rather madder about it than I am. I believe in god, just not your poxy god who likes his prayers and amens laid on inch thick with a trowel, at my bloody thirty-second no-fee leap-day courthouse wedding. That was just rude, offensive and just maybe illegal. This is not holy matrimony - see, if it was holy, you wouldn't be fussed about whether I was doing it with a boy or with a girl.

There is negative problems - ie, all the above - and then there are positive problems, like this one:


(and I'd do it again) says:
and that's another problem - I don't know any married people and barely ever have done. My parents had a pretty miserable marriage for the first 11 years of my life; M's father's now living in Alabama with his 5th wife, and M's brother and aunt are divorced too...
teraninse says:
*nodnods*
(and I'd do it again) says:
i don't really know my extended family at all - just my uncle and aunt in Preston, who are very Christian and...generally not people who inspire me. So all I see is the big-media-weddings on TV, which are just cringeworthy
teraninse says:
...uck
teraninse says:
yes.
teraninse says:
I think...I'll blog about this at some point.
(and I'd do it again) says:
clearly there should be a WEDDING DRESS with 'I'm blogging this' stitched on the veil........
teraninse says:
CLEARLY!
teraninse says:
there's some slogging through icky-making weddings of both the pagan variety and the x'tian variety. haha
teraninse says:
and...oh darn...but...chinese wedding dress or european? @@
teraninse says:
ack! cultural identity strikes again!
(and I'd do it again) says:
oh, I went to an icky Pagan handfasting once. felt like a big dressing-up game, the couple split up three weeks later
(and I'd do it again) says:
OOOH, what a question!
(and I'd do it again) says:
(I do know another pagan couple who married - in Edinburgh, so I missed it - but a few months later, the wife ran off with my ex-boyfriend...)
teraninse says:
...*sigh*
teraninse says:
...
(and I'd do it again) says:
(the happy couple had been together ten years before that. *sigh*)
teraninse says:
just..no comment.
(and I'd do it again) says:
mm.
(and I'd do it again) says:
so, yeah, there's NO ONE i can look at and say 'I want what they have!'
teraninse says:
nothing wrong in creating your own
teraninse says:
I mean, what's fanfic, after all?
(and I'd do it again) says:
indeed not, but feels like I'm starting with nothing


The elephant in the room, do you see it? No? Good. It shall not be spoken of, for all I am leaning on one of its exploding pink feet. But I will say this of it; I came here - here being everywhere it's taken me - to get away from gender. I hate gender, remember? It's repugnant. Like most of us (of either designation), I could make a long list of all the times I was told UR DOIN IT RONG when I was a girl-child, but that would just make me feel shittier. I cannot tell you how glad I was to find out that there was a way to do this whole love crap without it being about gender roles. (This is still a huge part of why I love slash so fucking much - because I am a big old sop, but I despise gender. It's also why I find lesbian romance a zillion times easier than the hetero variant, and why I've basically wound up wanting to strangle all-but-one of the guys I've ever had a thing for, but I persevere. Being queer gives me a way to do straight).

Whether I feel this way because I'm queer or because I'm me is something the jury is still out on. But I am reminded of a Slate article I read two years ago;

Of course, some opponents of same-sex marriage are just anti-gay. But to dismiss all opposition to gay marriage as pure bigotry is to miss an important point. The key to evaluating the real stakes here is to think of gay rights in terms of two major categories: gay marriage and everything else. [...] And polls show consistently growing support nationwide for gay rights other than marriage. Gallup found that 90 percent of Americans support equal employment opportunities regardless of sexual orientation. And 79 percent support the idea of homosexuals serving in the armed forces, a profound change in public opinion since the 1990s, when President Clinton thought it politically prudent to abandon his push for nondiscrimination in favor of "Don't Ask, Don't Tell."

But somehow same-sex marriage is a different story.

[...]

Many people get married because they want the established sex roles the institution provides: a blushing, beautiful, white veil and miles-of-lace bride set off against her dashing, handsome, chivalrous groom. Same-sex marriage seems to undermine these very sex-specific statuses, leaving everyone a sex-neutral "applicant." Sure, we could say same-sex marriages involve two brides or two grooms, but something really is lost in this translation: At that point the terms do not describe distinctively gendered roles but are merely gendered descriptions of the same role.


...Dear god, does that last paragraph make me feel ill. I can barely believe that there's anyone alive who wants that, let alone a whole bunch of people who equate it with what your genitals looked like when you were born.

So Kyraninse gets on to the rewriting of affirmation (which is something she posted about yesterday too - and ooh, look, a Punkass post on the topic):

teraninse says:
and as a friend, I wanted to know because I wanted to add my congratulations for affirmation and blessings to the pot, regardless of what the federal system has to say about it. not that congrats and blessings have to be specifically time-tied, but...
teraninse says:
well, sometimes it is. superstition and tradition and all that.
(and I'd do it again) says:
can i ask what the congrats would be FOR, though? it's not like the relationship's changed at all because of it
teraninse says:
I'm working within my paradigm, in which if I ever married chris, I'd essentially be formally announcing to the world that I'm taking this man to be mine and I vow to honor, cherish, protect, and succor until death do us part. [In her blog post she amended this to 'until life do us part']
teraninse says:
and this would be an affirmation that would resonate, for me, within the spiritual realm also, since I believe in intent, spirit, and magic.
(and I'd do it again) says:
*nodnods* I grok that.
teraninse says:
and so...if I weren't willing to say those things, I wouldn't want to get married, even for practical purposes. I'm assuming that you also meant those things when you said them.
teraninse says:
which, to my belief, is, regardless of society and law, a very powerful thing.
(and I'd do it again) says:
yes, but I would've meant them with or without the marriage part. that's just what the relationship is like.
teraninse says:
*nod* marriage is a nice convenient excuse to have a affirmation ceremony, in my eyes. maybe this is just me, but for me it's not binding unless it's been ceremonialized.
teraninse says:
partially because of the paradigms of intent and magic that I work with.
teraninse says:
so -- in my eyes, if I congratulated you on your marriage, I'd be happy for you that this affirmation happened and was now binding, so to speak.
teraninse says:
which is NOT to say, you should advertise your marriage when you don't want to, just to make people happy.
(and I'd do it again) says:
I think I get you now - I guess my main problem is that the affirmation ceremony is coupled (hurr) to a raft of legal benefits that fucks over a huge number of people *of whom I am one*
teraninse says:
that makes sense.
teraninse says:
lots of it.
(and I'd do it again) says:
but I believe in intent, and this relationship is one of the reasons I do.
teraninse says:
but -- I don't see a reason to be ashamed of your marriage per se just because it is supported by a corrupt system.
teraninse says:
or not the marriage itself, but the ceremony of it.
teraninse says:
btw, none of this was supposed to be "chastise chastise, bad, bad thene" -- I just wanted to hash out the why and wherefores.
(and I'd do it again) says:
nah, I get that and thanks, I kinda think I needed to get it out with someone...
teraninse says:
*nod*
teraninse says:
Do you feel like the marriage ceremony is just ...well, not empty ritual -- but can have, can do without, as the chinese would say?
(and I'd do it again) says:
I don't know, because I don't know of one that would be appropriate for me, so I feel like I'm comparing 'can do without' with...nothing. Dunno what 'can have' would be like.
teraninse says:
I've talked about wedding ceremonies at great length with my friends -- one of whom's mother and father got married on a hill top somewhere with witnesses and that was all.
teraninse says:
I also attended a wedding this past summer where ...they exchanged vows they wrote themselves and that was it.
teraninse says:
If you like, and only if you do, I'd be happy to talk with you about what you might like for a possible affirmation ceremony if you feel like the yuck-making should just be ignored on the metaphysical level.
teraninse says:
and ONLY if you feel it's something you want.


Do I? I don't even know. I have too much pride to be any good with bindings, or gods for that matter. I am happy with what I have flung myself into; but I am at my most happy when not putting words to it, when just being here, words and symbols bedamned. Feck. Must hit 'publish post' now.

8 comments:

belledame222 said...

being queer gives me a way to do straight

Ha!

Dw3t-Hthr said...

I'ma ramble a little about marriage and the shape of it and my own stuff, in the hope some of it looks useful to you.

I got married at ... 22, I guess it was, given the year. To someone I'd been with for six years. And engaged to for five -- we got married on the fifth anniversary of his proposal.

We've never been monogamous, which blows some people's minds. "If you weren't going to be monogamous, why get married?"

Because marriage is this thing where one makes a commitment to a partner in the context of one's community, damnit.

(This is where the religious shit comes in for people who do religious marriage -- their religious communities, or their community including their god(s). But the religious thing isn't universal; the community thing is.)

We got a JP who did house calls.

The reason people get twitchy about same-sex marriage rights and don't about 'civil unions' or whatever, is because a 'civil union' is something that doesn't put it in the context of their community.

A marriage, there's a social obligation to respect. This newfangled shit, they don't have to respect. The word matters; what it is is something in the shape of how people are in their communities. And that's a thing some people can't handle extending to same-sex couples.

Which comes around to the closeting thing, yeah. 'Passing privilege' as what Lisa pointed out -- passing obligation. Can't let someone call a same-sex spouse a spouse, because that's not hiding enough.

When my liege and I get married, I expect we'll actually have human witnesses. Because the declaration in community matters, and we can't introvert-fake it by having the paperwork serve as a social witness.

I'm thirty now. Thirty-one by the time I get married a second time. Have only gotten stodgier and more vigorous about it mattering in the past seven years and a couple of months, which is why I get so fucking pissed at the genderfetishists who want to fuck it up for everyone else.

Back before we got better marriage rights here in MA, there was a hearing about it, and I went to try to speak. Had a medical thing and had to leave before they called me, so I never spoke, but what I'd have said was something like:

My partner and I are high school sweethearts. I went to college here in Massachusetts, and stayed, and after my partner's graduation we moved in together.

[ yadda yadda ]

[ His name ] and I were married last month in a civil ceremony in Lynn, and you can look up the paperwork in City Hall. Because, you see, he happens to be male.

SunflowerP said...

Me, I got nothing against gender. What irks me, in various degrees depending on circumstances, are gender roles, gender rigidity, gender essentialism, all that crap. Oh, yeah, and I'm just not much of a fan of binaries, period, for anything more complex than a computer talking to itself.

Sunflower

thene said...

Belle - s'the truth!

dw3t-hthr - thankyou. I hadn't even thought of the community aspect at all until I read your comment, and maybe that's part of my problem; my 'community' is scattered thinly over the world (and in the space between all our different worlds), and it does overlap with his community, but not in a way that's easy to bring together. And we live in suburbia; the community we have locally (which is still first his, secondarily mine) seems to feel exiled from the wider local community, and even distant from itself. Do we have an obligation to that community? With us all in our separate suburban boxes, it's hard to see how that would work...

I'm very glad Nakki was there, even if they didn't have anything for her and our only other guest to sign; she's continuity, and her visits have a way of punctuating our life, and...there is that thing we have in common which we long ago gave up discussing with other people on the internets. An obligation to Nakki and to the things in the space between she and us, that I could more easily understand.


Sunflower - true, I guess without all those things gender would just be an interesting feature that was possibly relevant depending on your orientation. I'm at least 90% cis*, so clearly there's something at the back of that, but ideally the girl thing isn't that much more defining than my hair colour, right?

That's what I want it to be, but it so rarely is. Instead, it is a thing I have been told I sometimes do rong. In the real world, there is no way to do it rong.

Oh, and, me and my mupppetry. :O

Dw3t-Hthr said...

You can see in some people's structures of marriage the explicit stuff about the context in community. I wound up at one point digging through my Methodist hymnal looking for marriage liturgies once, and there's a bit where it's, "Okay, congregation, do you guys promise to chip in and do the work of supporting this relationship from here on out?" Explicit 'this is our defined village that it takes'.

All the legal stuff is about the definition of what the community-manifest-in-law thinks marriage means, too, and wants to assign as legal status.

There are all kinds of communities out there. I have all kinds of philosophies about the nature of community rattling about. And I know I'll have to pick community carefully when asking people to witness my oathtaking to my liege, because not all of them are places we can live. (And 'places we can live' isn't a location thing, it's a social thing.)

The world is an intricately complicated place.

nakki said...

(and I'd do it again) says:
not any woman I know currently, no, but that doesn't mean I never will and certainly doesn't mean I never would.


I am sooooo hurt :(

(and now I'm going to finish reading the entry :P )

Daisy said...

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Lisa KS said...

...I'm thinking about getting married. AGAIN. In like two months. I hate legal marriage. But I'm thinking about doing it. AGAIN! I must be out of my mind. Thanks for this blog post; it cheered me right up. Clearly I'm not the only person who is massively conflicted on the message I'm sending by even CONSIDERING getting legally married. AGAIN!