|Many women consider marriage as a great achievement. Photo:Courtesy|
By Shirley Genga
It is not hard to understand why every young girl dreams about her wedding day. I mean it is the only day that celebrates a woman (sorry men).
A bride gets to be the belle of the ball, she gets to dress up like a princes and gets a promise of a lifetime commitment.
But what I don’t understand is the obsession that women in general have with marriage, so much so that many seem to think it is the ultimate achievement, the reach for the stars kind of ambition that can be equated to Bill Gates Microsoft or Steve Jobs Apple Inc.
Every woman I know — no matter how successful, ambitious or financially secure — seems to feel desperation once 30 closes in, if she is unmarried. It’s like some sort of marriage mania seems to hit women once the big 30 begins to close in.
Talk to any woman who is age 25 and above, and ask her what are her future plans and I assure you that somewhere at the top of her agenda will be marriage.
This is all good and dandy for the married or soon to be. But what does that say about women who are over 30 and unmarried? That they have achieved nothing? That their jobs, achievements and education do not count for anything? That they are unhappy, miserable and lonely losers and that all they need to turn it all around is an expensive dress and a new name?
We may be living in modern times but being a single woman is looked at like leprosy, something to be ashamed of and hidden from others. That is why you will often find women wearing fake rings in an attempt to hide their single status.
Further, if you are a woman of a certain age (in your 30s) and you go to a social gathering and announce your single status, everyone looks at you with pitiful eyes like you have a second head growing out of your butt!
Who is to blame for this twisted and untrue belief? Society. With the amount of marriage propaganda shoved down our throats, it is not hard to understand why women feel pressure to walk down the aisle. Society often shuns unmarried successful women but pats women on the back simply for being married, and nothing more.
Once a woman is married, she is seen as having ‘arrived’ and gets some imaginary badge of honour or something. But if she is not married, she must be loose or queer, never mind how successful she may be.
Marriage is not the answer to all a woman’s problems or measure of her self-worth. It cannot be ones ultimate goal in life, and only path to “happiness” and “utter completeness”.
And just in case you are wondering, I do believe in marriage and that huge wedding ceremony that comes with it. I mean come on - an entire day, essentially devoted to me, with a fabulous Cinderella type dress, I mean who would not want that? But marriage cannot be one’s greatest ambition. There has to be more to life.
Getting married for the sake of getting married is ludicrous. Getting married because of loneliness is misguided (just ask those who are married). And feeling ashamed because you are not married is utter nonsense.