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Maureen Lipman on Marriage

I wonder what you thought of Maureen Lipman’s recent comment, in an interview with The Lady magazine, that women mainly choose to get married for the dress. I guess it was a throw-away light-hearted remark, not intended to be taken too seriously, but it did give me pause for thought. Firstly, what evidence is there for making this claim? I’m sure there are some brides who are doing it for the dress, but does this apply to the majority?

Secondly, how does such a statement square with her claim that "it's quite easy to be a single independent woman in this day and age and have loads of male friends and a partner you're not married to”? Just think about this. If living as a single independent woman is fine, why would you give up that life in order to wear a pretty dress for a day? Are a few hours looking gorgeous really worth it?


Then she said “I'm not quite sure of the purpose of marriage for me. I don't need anyone's money or their house. What would be the point?” Let’s hope she is actually challenging the sexism in this, not endorsing it. Marriage for a woman should surely not all be about getting a house and a share of someone else’s income. Not these days, anyway.


Another reason she gives for doubting that marriage is for her is: “I’ve worked hard all my life, and I wouldn’t want to be a burden on anyone”. I guess that an older person (Maureen is 74) might be concerned about the possibility of needing help in old age, but the truth is that when a couple of any age marry there is the possibility of illness and dependency. That is part of the deal: “In sickness and health” and all that.


Finally ... an insightful thing she said! "Marriage is basically a religious commitment and always was.” I would say that the couples coming for a church wedding would usually agree with that. And even those choosing a civil ceremony might say that there was a spirituality about their marriage, however they may choose to define that spirituality. Marriage touches the heights and depths of human existence.





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