Wednesday, 27 April 2011

Boycotting the wedding

I like this story, about a Belfast pub who have made "a safe haven for our customers so it's somewhere they can go without hearing, or seeing, or talking about" the royal wedding. I also like current vogue for goth wedding cakes. Burton's Nightmare Before Christmas was real good for the ready-roll icing industry.

I think we're all entitled to a healthy degree of escapism, and I can see the comfort to be had in participating in archaic, gilt-edged traditions, especially when everything around us is scary and volatile, but I won't be watching/celebrating the Kate Middleton/Prince William wedding. Here's why:

  1. Glamorizing marriage when gay people still do not have access to that right is wack. 
  2. I believe the monarchy as an institution is bloated, gross, an emblem of Empire and false economy as a tourist draw.
  3. The wedding will cost MILLIONS - at a time when libraries and hospital wards are closing, and vulnerable groups such as single parents, immigrants, at-risk communities, the disabled, the unemployed, and the homeless are being targeted and victimized. Unacceptable.
  4. Its a major distraction, perfect for encouraging sentimentality and drawing us away from the spirit of protest when faced with terrible ideological government policy/cuts/economy woes etc.
  5. It doesn't speak for me, or reflect the cultures/communities I align myself with.
  6. Kate will wear a designer dress, William will wear a designer suit. Old-school bourgeoisie gender binary costume ick. 
  7. Kate seems (as much as I can tell from the obviously biased press) to be a fairly innocuous figure, but celebrating her 'sorta-but-not-really common-girl turned princess' fairytale just enforces the insidious socialization that girlz have been fed for years - wait for your dashing true-love prince to transform and validate you! Real womanhood can be defined through the pinnacle icons of white dress, church marriage, sparkly ring! Its Disneyesque propaganda, British style. 
  8. It enforces class divides and the worship of the rich. Let the peasants forget their woes by basking in the glorious and patriotic celebrations of the aristocracy! Never mind your disappearing pensions, NHS service or human rights - toast and cheer and hang bunting for your beloved royal family! Enjoy the spectacle of wealth and privilege vicariously! Hip hip hurrah!
Here's a song about an almost-wedding:

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