I've covered Stuff Mom Never Told You's videos many times before, and since I am a huge fan of host Cristen Conger, I am happy to report that she will soon be getting married. Kudos to Conger for finding someone to love and cherish for eternity!... But today, I want to focus on the topic of her latest video instead of her pre-wedded bliss: "Questions Nobody Asks My Fiance." Conger, you see, has been getting a lot of questions from friends and family who — let's face it — would never be asked to a man. Wedding industry sexism is alive and well, it seems.
She starts off by acknowledging that those who ask her questions like "Are you getting a spray tan?" or "Are you wearing white?" and the dreaded "have you gone shopping?" are probably all well-meaning. But despite their good intentions, they are still carrying on the sexism behind a lot of heterosexual wedding traditions nonetheless. Furthermore, there are also plenty of pre-wedding questions inevitably asked of brides-to-be that get incredibly personal — but while they're often seen as fair game, they really shouldn't be. "When it comes to...questions of last name changes, future pregnancies, and what your children's last names are going to be, it starts to get a little weird," says Conger — and she's absolutely right.
How could they not get weird when everyone wants to know exactly why you're making the decisions you do about topics that aren't any of their business? If there was ever a time I felt strongly about eloping privately if I get married, it's now, right after watching this video.
Here are three of the questions Cristen gets asked that her straight male fiance likely never would be:
1. "Is your daddy paying for the wedding?"
This question of the bride's father paying for the wedding goes back to the old tradition of the wedding dowry, where father's used to pay their daughter's future husband's family a lump sum of money basically for taking her off of his hands. Since women were viewed as property, this buying and selling of the woman was part of the business transaction wrapped up in a wedding. Talk about misogyny!
2. "If you have kids, what will there last names be?"
This question must be really uncomfortable to be on the receiving end of, since there are a lot of assumptions being made here by the asker. The bottom line is that the names of any potential offspring you may have, whether or not you want to have children at all, and even if you're going to change your last name, are no one else's business but your own.
3. "Have you thought about blending your two last names and making a new name?"
Probably. These are things married couples often think about before they tie the knot. But as to whether you need to know the details of their last name decision making process, that would be a negative.
Why do people feel like they can ask these questions? Cristen points out that it goes back to this larger problem of the public feeling entitled to women's private information. "It's similar to people walking up to pregnant women and rubbing their bellies without prior consent," she says — and I couldn't agree more. Why is it that women are not given any sort of privacy when it comes to our bodies and sexualities? Decision-making should be allowed to be kept private. Full stop.
Conger covers a lot of ground, so watch the full video below to see her conclusion. It's a pointed question that will get you thinking about wedding traditions and changing times, and it's definitely worth it.
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