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Woman Declines Attending Cousin's Wedding Over 'Sexist' Invitation

Lex Gabrielle 19 Nov 2020

Many times when a couple sends out invitations to their wedding, there are some societal norms and traditions they choose to follow for the invitation. One is using the husband's name as the addressee on the invitations for any couples who are being invited. For example, "Mr. & Mrs. John Smith," would be the traditional way to address an invite to the Smith couple.

With many people feeling "woke" in today's day and age, some women don't like being identified by their husband's name.

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Some women don't like the idea that their identity is tied directly to their husbands' since, in the past, women's advocacy groups worked hard to obtain their own rights separate from their husbands'. There are also many women today who choose not to take their husbands' last names at all.

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Recently, one woman opened up to Reddit about her distaste for a cousin's wedding invite, citing that it was "sexist."

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"My husband and I [27F] received the invite in the mail, and they were addressed to 'Mr. and Mrs. John Smith.' I was livid, because they totally erased my name and my identity by referring to me as an extension of my husband. My husband thought it was old fashioned but he didn't think it was offensive," she said on a Reddit post.

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The woman said that she was so offended, she called her cousin to talk about it.

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"I called my cousin yesterday night, and told him that I will not be attending because of the wording on the invitation," she said.

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The woman told her cousin that she felt she wasn't even invited to the wedding.

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"I said, technically he didn't even invite ME because he never even wrote my own name on the invitation. I mean, I go by my maiden name and I never took my husband's last name when we married," she added.

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Her cousin did apologize and said that his fiancée's family are the ones who were responsible for the invites.

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"My cousin apologized, said his girlfriend and her family were mainly responsible for the wedding planning, including the invitations, and he said they didn't know they were addressed like that," she wrote.

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The cousin also said that others had received the invite and no one had complained about them.

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"He said others received their invites a few days ago and nobody has complained about them so far. I told him that's no excuse for the blatant sexism on his invites and that we will not be attending," she said.

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The woman asked the Reddit community if she was in the right to be offended or if she was being "dramatic" and overreacting.

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The Reddit community agreed in the vast majority that she was wrong.

"I am a feminist, but I think you’re choosing the wrong battle here and being a little petty. They addressed the invitations in a formal and traditional way. It’s not really setting feminism back in any way. Don’t be petty. If your cousin is important to you, you should go," one person said.

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Others said that this is a traditional way to address wedding invitations and there's nothing "sexist" about it.

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"That is the traditional and formal way to address a wedding invitation. Perhaps it is outdated but do you really want to offend your family by choosing such a petty hill to die on. In 10 years will you really care how they addressed the envelope or that you missed the wedding of a family member?" one person added.

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Even women who also dislike this formal way of addressing invitations weighed in.

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"I'm also a feminist and dislike this naming convention. I would see it and absolutely at the very least raise my eyebrows at it... Saying that, I'd still go the wedding. I'd still be chummy with the family. People do offensive shit all the time out of ignorance, it's when people are aware of that impact and don't care that it becomes an issue," one Reddit user said.

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However, some users were on the OP's side and said the invitation was "blatantly wrong."

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One user pointed out that tradition dictates how the card should be addressed if a married woman keeps her maiden name.

"It’s not just 'outdated,' it’s blatantly wrong. 'Mrs. John Smith' isn’t her first OR last name.

"Skipping the wedding over this is definitely extreme, but the invitation absolutely should have been 'Mr. John Smith and Mrs. Jane Jones,'" the user said.

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Some users offered helpful advice for how to defuse this situation.

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One user suggested the woman and her husband include their preferred ways to be addressed in their invitation response so that it would be correct for the seating chart at the wedding.

"It would actually be polite to rewrite how they are both addressed on the response card, so bride knows how to address her seating card," one person suggested.

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Others said the issue wasn't with the invite — it was with how the OP responded.

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"People seem to forget that when we’re attacked, our natural response is to defend ourselves... and then it becomes harder to change our minds. As you said, you’re more likely to help someone to see things from your perspective by explaining things in a friendly way, rather than calling them idiots for not agreeing with you," one person said.

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And, many Reddit users empathized with the cousin, saying they also had no say in their own wedding invitations.

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"I remember when I was getting married, my husband's parents had A LOT of opinions on how invites should be addressed and it was a big deal to them," one user said.

Many agreed and said they had little or no input on their own wedding invites and to give the cousin the benefit of the doubt.

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Someone else speculated that it seems maybe the OP "doesn't like the bride" very much.

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"What a ridiculous hill to die on. Yes, you're being overdramatic. It sounds like you simply dislike the bride and are looking for a way out," one commenter added.

What do you think? Was she justified or overreacting to these invitations?

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