We had heard that marriage is a legal contract between two individuals. But a few days ago we heard of a concept of self-marriage, which is called sologamy or sometimes known as autogamy, or self-uniting marriage. It is the act of marrying oneself in a public ceremony. It is the same as other marriages but the only thing that it lacks is the groom or the bride. This marriage is practised mostly by women.
Why do some people choose sologamy?
Women wonder why to be someone’s wife and someone’s mother? Why would they take care of a family and ignore and destroy themselves in all that? They believe that they should show this love to themselves rather than to their spouses or their children. Even some say that they wanted to become a bride but not a wife. Moreover, they say it is the commitment to be there always for yourself and show unconditional love for yourself. It is the act of self-acceptance. In addition to this, they say that people marry someone they love, while we love ourselves so we get married to ourself.
Alexandra Gill, the founder of “Marry Yourself Vancouver,” told CBC news that women are tired of being told that they are failures if they haven’t married by a certain expiry date. Further, Sacha Cagen, author of the book “Quirkyalone,” lists the reasons why women prefer self-marriage, and she also writes that most of the stories about sologamy she heard are mostly based on the commitment to take care of oneself, like one hopes or imagines that a lover would.
History of sologamy/ when did this trend begin?
It is not that too old but rather a new concept. The first sologamy marriage happened in 1993 when a dental hygienist, Linda Baker from the US, married herself, in which 75 of her friends attended the marriage. Then basketball player Dennis Rodman also reported having married himself in 1996. In the 21st century, sologamy became more popular. In 2014, a British photographer was also reported to have married himself and an Italian fitness trainer in 2017 reported to have had this marriage. Celebrities, too, have embraced this marriage. Victoria’s Secret model Andriana Lima announced on Instagram by wearing a diamond ring that she is committed to herself.
In India, the first case of sologamy was reported a few weeks ago, when a Gujarati 24-year-old young woman, Kshama Bindu, announced that she will marry herself on 11th June 2022, but after she was trolled on social media. Sunita Shukla of the BJP announced that he will not let her get married in a temple as it goes against Hinduism. So after all this, she decided to get married sooner and got married on the 8th of June 2022 at her own residence, with all the Hindu rituals including haldi, mehndi, pheras and applying sindoor.
After being questioned about why she embraced sologamy, she said that “she always wanted to become a bride but not a wife”. She said she got this idea from the Canadian Netflix series “Anne with an E”.
Many movies, television shows and books have depicted the sologamy concept. One of the most popular shows, “Sex and the City”, has one of its characters, Carry Bradshaw, marrying herself. Likewise, in the American comedy-drama “Glee”, the character Sue Sylvester also marries herself. And Sacha Cagen’s book “Quirkyalone” has much popularised the concept of sologamy.
Can they divorce themselves?
Yes. Just as normal marriage has the option to divorce, sologamy, too, has the option to divorce yourself. An example of that is a 33-year-old Brazilian woman, Cris Galera, who married herself in 2021 but after 90 days she announced that she found a partner and then gave herself a divorce from sologamy.
Another example is of a celebrity Andriana Lima, who after embracing sologamy later divorced herself and gave birth to a child with her partner.
Is sologamy legal?
The practice of sologamy is on the rise globally, especially among affluent women. However, it is not recognised by the law of any country, nor a social norm as of yet. India, too, does not permit sologamy as there have to be two persons in a marriage.
The writer is a research scholar at Baba Ghulam Shah Badshah University, Rajouri. [email protected]