What Does Sex Have to Do with Marriage or Making Babies?

I was bemused, and not a little puzzled, when I read this tsk-tsking article about about "sexy" wedding dresses in the NY Times. I'm confused as to why the Times has a slate of fashion writers that hate innovation, playfulness, and creativity--you know the very elements that redeem high fashion insofar as it's a redeemable thing. Here are the dresses they think are too damn scandalous when draped over a bride.

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Not a one of these wouldn't be considered a perfectly reasonable evening gown if it was a different color and worn to some kind of thing where you wear clothes like that. Considering that a wedding is probably many women's sole opportunity to dress up that much, why shouldn't she wear something that's appealing, instead of something that fits the image of the bride as a child-like virgin, fancied up for a ritual and deeply creepy deflowering? Wedding fans should be glad that the consumer culture has kept the practice alive in an era where people are increasingly disinterested in the wedding's traditional function as a ceremonial transfer of a female body from father to husband. But for some reason, the NY Times fashion section is fond of harumphing. Another writer there recently threw a temper tantrum when a designer dared to make men's clothes even a fraction as difficult, uncomfortable, and decorative-in-a-demeaning-way as women's clothes are.

Being pissed because brides are increasingly unwilling to play into the fantasies of those who enjoy saying, "Wow, she's so pure and virginal. I bet she doesn't even know what's going to happen to her later tonight. I shall cackle evilly now, because I'm a sadistic misogynist who likes his deflowerings violent," just made me roll my eyes. But of course, it got Rod Dreher all excited, and feeling empowered by the vindication of his deep misogyny by the fashion supplement of the Times, he dropped a time-honored slur right in the title of the post:

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