“When ‘Womanless Weddings’ Were Trendy”

“Small towns hither and yon — from Aiken, S.C. to Galena, Kan., to Clayton, N.M. — staged the burlesque-esque shows. “Many in the community were more than willing to pay admission to see their male neighbors in ridiculous female attire,” the Encyclopedia of North Carolina notes.
In fact, the Forest City Courier of Nov. 30, 1922, estimated that more than 1,000 people attended a womanless wedding in the North Carolina community to raise money for the local Parent Teacher Association…
In his book, Friend suggests that the womanless wedding was a “ritual of inversion” created not to undermine, but to reaffirm community values. “In mocking the very ritual they found most central to communal stability,” he writes, “organizers and participants in womanless weddings raised questions about the society in which they lived. In the play, they called attention to real social change and its effects on marriage.””

Huh. So many unexpected things used to happen

Related: The really interesting legal and gender understandings in what we would now call marriages between two lesbians (or, at least, between two female-bodied persons)

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