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.