Considering the history of our relationship and the circumstances of our engagement it seemed perfectly natural for us both to have engagement rings and I was very confused by the happy but quizzical looks I was given when I told people I was looking. “Oh really?” “Huh, I’ve never heard of that!” and “I wish my husband was like you, I can’t even get him to wear his wedding ring!” are just a few of the many responses that I’ve received from friends and family. But my question is why should that be the natural response?

What do we immediately think of when we think of engagement rings? (I’m being intentionally heteronormative/gendered here, bear with me)

  • A man professing his love and commitment to a woman with a physical object.
  • A man proving that he’s financially stable enough to support his wife in their marriage.
  • Visually affirming to the world (or at least other men) that a man has claimed this woman as his property.
  • All the “unity” and “commitment” and “eternity” feel-good fuzzies.

But almost all of these things just serve to perpetuate our society of gender inequality!

Write for DDP!

CALL FOR SUBMISSIONS- please share widely!

Are you interested in writing for DDP? We’re looking to expand our writer and editor pool.

We’re an awesome group of people who care about intersectional social justice, with a (very not exclusive) focus on gender equality. We also write about racial justice, class issues, LGBT rights, mental health, and dis/ability, among other things–and the way those systems of privilege overlap.

Writing for DDP has been incredibly rewarding for me. Disrupting Dinner Parties is an all-volunteer collective feminist blog that posts new, original content every weekday and receives about 1,000 views per day. Internally, it’s a supportive, fun, thoughtful, and thought-provoking community who help each other think through complicated issues and give constructive feedback on each other’s posts.

We’re looking for guest posts from those interested in becoming permanent editors, and from those just looking for a venue for a single article. We’re especially looking for historically marginalized voices: gender non-conforming or trans people, people of color, people from the dis/ability community, queer people, and others. Please email disruptingdinnerparties at gmail if you’re interested in writing a guest post or becoming an editor.

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Why More Feminists Should Watch Game of Thrones

If I were to identify the central theme of Game of Thrones, it would be power. Some characters have a lot of it; some don’t. The show asks questions about what people are willing to do to acquire power, what they do with it once they get it, and how they handle themselves if they lose it. Game of Thrones is set in a highly patriarchal fantasy world, which means that society works to rob women of power. But instead of accepting this as a given, the show asks how women face up to their powerlessness in this world, and how they might empower themselves despite the strictures of the societies they live in. This doesn’t always result in “strong ass-kicking badass women” (though sometimes it does) – more importantly, it results in some of the most three-dimensional and well-developed female characters in the whole fantasy genre.

That, for me, is the bottom line of how worthwhile a book or TV show is from my feminist perspective: how many multifaceted, interesting,real female characters are there? I’ve read books by women, with no objectionable problematic elements, in which the answer to that question was zero.

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I was going to die, sooner or later, whether or not I had even spoken myself. My silences had not protected me. Your silences will not protect you…What are the words you do not have yet? What are the tyrannies you swallow day by day and attempt to make your own, until you will sicken and die of them, still in silence? We have been socialized to respect fear more than our own need for language.

I began to ask each time: ‘What’s the worst that could happen to me if I tell this truth?’ Unlike women in other countries, our breaking silence is unlikely to have us jailed, 'disappeared’ or run off the road at night. Our speaking out will irritate some people, get us called bitchy or hypersensitive and disrupt some dinner parties. And then our speaking out will permit other women to speak, until laws are changed and lives are saved and the world is altered forever.

Next time, ask: What’s the worst that will happen? Then push yourself a little further than you dare. Once you start to speak, people will yell at you. They will interrupt you, put you down and suggest it’s personal. And the world won’t end.

And the speaking will get easier and easier. And you will find you have fallen in love with your own vision, which you may never have realized you had. And you will lose some friends and lovers, and realize you don’t miss them. And new ones will find you and cherish you. And you will still flirt and paint your nails, dress up and party, because, as I think Emma Goldman said, 'If I can’t dance, I don’t want to be part of your revolution.’ And at last you’ll know with surpassing certainty that only one thing is more frightening than speaking your truth. And that is not speaking.

—  Audre Lorde