prince william’s engagement: a feminist perspective

Just as I got into my office today, the phone was ringing. So you have to picture me having this conversation with my iPod all tangled round me and my coat still on and my various bags and tags and headphones all being intractable.

It turned out to be a journalism student from, I didn’t get whether she said ‘this university’ or ‘City University’, who wanted an academic to give her a ‘feminist perspective’ on Prince William’s engagement to Kate Middleton for a radio piece this afternoon: specifically, on the fact that he asked her father’s permission. I said I was busy all afternoon (which is true – I’m about to be late to the MA Open Day, and then after that I have the Critical Theory Reading Group hoorah), but also, I don’t think I have the ‘feminist perspective’ she’s looking for. But now I feel kind of bad about it, so instead of going on the radio, I am blogging here at my blog. So here is my feminist perspective on the fact that Prince William asked Kate Middleton’s father for her hand:

I am a radical lesbian feminist with separatist sympathies, and I cannot possibly express how much I don’t care about the Royal Family or about the arcane courtship rituals of aristocratic heterosexuals. So my feminist perspective on this event is: the monarchy should be abolished, and so should the cultural and legal privileges associated with heterosexual monogamous marriage (although the legal right to register self-defined partnerships for the purposes of inheritance, housing, benefits, care/next-of-kin stuff, visitation rights, and co-parenting should be extended to all people, whether monogamously sexually involved or not). The fact that Prince William asked Kate Middleton’s father for her hand has literally no bearing on the gendered and sexed distribution of power under global capitalist patriarchy, which is what feminism is interested in.


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8 Responses to prince william’s engagement: a feminist perspective

  1. Anna says:


    I had a similar reaction of being both deeply appalled and deeply bored by the whole asked-for-her-hand thing.

  2. Sarah AB says:

    I feel slightly smug at not having heard this snippet previously – clearly I’ve been quite restrained in my consumption of media coverage about the royal wedding. I will confess to an interest in what her dress will be like – and vaguely wish them well – but quickly got bored of the media coverage.

    I was surprised when my husband started talking about the wedding, revealing an unexpected knowledge of gossipy details which were all new to me. My son also confessed to being slightly interested. My daughter disclaimed all interest with a look of contempt.

    • nowandrome says:

      Hee. I have to admit that I get all my news from links on people’s blogs – I don’t watch the telly (except for The Event) and I don’t read the paper, except when my gf leaves something out for me, so I haven’t seen any media coverage. Which meant I totally hadn’t made the connection between ‘engagement’ and ‘wedding’, both of those events being completely outside my horizon of expectation for ‘things people do in real life’, until after I made this post and someone said ‘oh God another royal wedding’, and I suddenly got a little jumpy feeling of joy in my heart and started going WHAT WILL THE DRESS BE LIKE? So apparently I don’t make any sense. (But I wonder what the dress will be like?)

  3. Sarah AB says:

    Yes – benignly disposed towards W and K as I am – it has to be said I’m much more excited about Cryoburn.

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