Thursday, 22 May 2014

Mothers Lost in Time: Women Shunned from Marriage Certificates in England and Wales

I was outraged to discover recently that only your father is included on your marriage certificate.  In 2014!!  Listening to the Woman's Hour podcast (not exactly Feminist but has some interesting stuff on it) they had a family historian and record specialist Audrey Collins explaining the law, and Caroline Criado-Perez explaining why it needs to change.  

Since 1836 when marriage certificates were developed women were the property of men; when you got married you went from being the property of your father to being the property of your husband.  This piece of paper represents the exchange of a woman from man to man as if she is an object.  Is that a symbol you want in your life anywhere?  If you feel like you are equal to your other half in every other way, why is it that in the symbol of your union it is fine to still have this archaic symbol?  What if you were brought up only by your mother(s)?  What if your father is dead, absent, or you don't have any kind of decent relationship with him?  

The statement from the Home Office is that it is too expensive to replace the bits of paper in the churches and registry offices; when I spoke to my other half about this he told me that if you work in the council and you have any kind of relationship (including a drunken snog) with one of your colleagues, you now have to fill in a form reporting this.  Now I wonder how much it cost to print out all of those ridiculous forms??


If you don't think that women should be wiped from history via marriage certificates, if you think that women are equal to men, or if you think that you will be pretty pissed off to be excluded from your child's marriage certificate in the future then go and sign the petition.  It's free and it takes 2 minutes at the most.

I know that I for one will not be getting married until this is changed; most people don't realise until the day of their own wedding, when it is too late, so I am glad to have found out in time.  Those of you who are friends and family reading this - you may be getting a little holiday in Scotland!

1 comment:

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