Some traditions are rooted in harmful, outdated beliefs.
While some people maintain the tradition while discarding its problematic elements, some people feel the fact it is a longstanding tradition justifies keeping those harmful beliefs alive.
A 32-year-old man wasn't sure if his family pushing their wedding tradition and what it means on to his 23-year-old fiancée was right. So he turned to the "Am I The A**hole" (AITA) subReddit for feedback.
Redditor SweetStickyThrowAway asked:
"AITA for convincing my girlfriend NOT to wear a white dress on our wedding day?"
The Original Poster (OP) explained:
"So me and my soon to be wife are planning to get married in a few months."
"I come from a very religious household with strong Cristian [sic] beliefs and one of the traditions in my family is if the woman getting married isn't still a virgin they shouldn't wear a white dress on their wedding day."
"My family knows my soon to be wife wasn't a virgin when I met her because my mom asked me when I started dating her if she was pure, and I was honest and told her she had boyfriends before she met me."
"My fiancée was really upset when I asked her if she could wear a coloured dress on our wedding day but she agreed, so we're looking at getting a glittery blue dress instead."
"Now she's saying she won't marry me because she's too humiliated by the whole situation, but I really don't see how it's a big deal."
The OP revealed in his only comment he had been married and divorced prior to dating his fiancée.
Redditors weighed in by declaring:
- NTA - Not The A**hole
- YTA - You're The A**hole
- NAH - No A**holes Here
- ESH - Everyone Sucks Here
Redditors declared the OP and his family major a**holes.
"Your 'Cristian' beliefs are so strong you don't even know how to spell the word?"
"Virginal white wedding dresses are a modern concept that wasn't prevalent until the beginning of the 20th century. It combines the values of greed and misogyny."
"Just as with diamond engagement rings, the bridal industry convinced women they needed an overpriced white dress they'd wear only once."
"Then misogynists added the virgin nonsense."
"Unless you're wearing a sandwich board that reads 'I'm a whore! I f'ked other women before marriage!' you can cram your double standard of shaming the woman who hopefully leaves you."
"Because that's the entire purpose of the sparkly blue dress." ~ LakotaGrl
"Info OP: are you a virgin? If not, what will you be wearing on your wedding day to signify how you've been tainted?" ~ the-happy-sisyphus
"YTA. Way to humiliate your wife over something she has no reason to be ashamed of."
"Also fun fact: brides in western cultures started wearing white because Queen Victoria did as a fashion statement NOT to symbolize their 'pureness'." ~ viggiestardust
"YTA. I am a 65 year old Christian grandmother and that is an unkind, judgemental and controlling thing for you to do."
"Truly it is spirit crushing to hear when people pretend that this kind of finger-pointing idea is Christian in nature."
"If you want to love and honor her as your wife ask her forgiveness and God's for being unkind and encourage her to choose whatever dress she wants." ~ nannylive
"Jesus wasn't a fan of publicly shaming sexually 'sinful' women if I recall." ~ JournalisticDisaster
"YTA. That IS humiliating."
"ONE - the idea that a woman/person is 'impure' because they've had sex is disgusting."
"TWO - she's sacrificing something that may be important or traditional for her—wearing white which she wanted to do—for OTHER'S beliefs."
"THREE - she's announcing to your conservative, judgemental family she's 'impure'. That's like labelling her for judgement and abuse from them."
"I can only imagine how she feels." ~ ur-humble-overlord
"[She feels] mortified, humiliated, ashamed, disrespected, unappreciated, like she is shameful for her fiancé, like his family shrink with disgust when it comes to her? Maybe, but just maybe?" ~ Cute-Shine-1701
"Surprised he didn't ask to put a scarlet letter on the dress as well!!!" ~ mtngrl60
"Probably because he's going to have the flower girl throw confetti with 'MY BRIDE IS A SHAMEFUL WHORE' written on it." ~ SaveTheLadybugs
"Yeah not for nothing but the unmitigated arrogance and narcissism for any man to think that the value or inherent nature of a body is fundamentally and irrevocably altered by whether or not a penis has been inside it is insane. Ya dick ain't that special bro." ~ TheJujyfruiter
"Honestly, she shouldn't marry him."
"By disclosing her history and pressuring her to wear a non-white dress, he's basically declaring open season on his fiancée, and inviting the rest of the women of his family to treat her like damaged goods."
"Dude, cut this poor lady loose and let her find someone who will treat her like a decent human being." ~ Arbor_Arabicae
"YTA. I can't believe you're trying to publicly shame her on your wedding day."
"Are you a virgin? Should you wear something to identify your shame?!"
"She should run!" ~ Concord2018
"YTA. Your family has people wear clothes that announce their sexual history?"
"And you shared your girlfriend's private sexual history with your parents. That's so vile."
"What clothes will you be wearing to announce your sexual past? Will you be describing your favorite sexual positions during the toasts?" ~ Moggetti
"Found out that he's divorced so he's not a virgin either. Plus he's marrying someone damn near a decade younger than him shaming her over her past history."
"Smells like someone needs to stay single until they pull their head out their a**."
"Also open a history book about weddings before you call shots about what someone should wear." ~ Amanya98
White to show the purity and virginity of the bride and non-white dresses to publicly declare she's "impure" is a tradition Redditors felt was misogynistic, outdated and repulsive.
If forcing his fiancée to publicly display her lack of "purity" before all their family and friends is that important to the OP, he should probably make that clear at the beginning of the relationship with the next woman he dates.