It's not about logic

Wednesday 5 March 2008 12:23 AM

Logically you're right, Catherine Deveny (Opinion, 5/3). I too have wondered about the sense of "deb balls" in the 21st century. But what seems to escape your notice in your ongoing quest to rid the world of every last vestige of misogyny or inequity (marital name change, another instance), is that logic has never been a major driver in the evolution of cultural traditions. When the origins of symbols have long since been lost to all but scholars of antiquities, the symbols themselves take on a life of their own. In so doing they come to represent human values too deep to be dislodged by mere rationality.

Take weddings, for example. I've rarely known historic fact to determine current practice. The fact that the walk down the aisle, the paternal "giving away" and the placing of a ring on the bride's finger by the groom, all originated in the notion that the young woman was being transferred from her father's possession to her husband's, matters little to even the most rational. People just want to get married in a way that expresses for them and their families, sentiments too deep for words.

Frustrating and illogical, Catherine? Yes, sometimes. But that's just the way it is.