Now this is the big question for women that women oddly often never ask themselves: Is marriage realistic for me in this era? Women are usually groomed from birth to daydream and ponder their future life about who they are going to marry, where they will live, what their house will look like, and how many kids they will have. In fact, I seem to have very fond memories of childhood in which we played lots of silly games with paper that would predict who we would marry and what their name would be and etc. Lots of fun, but it wasn’t until this year that I realized how silly all of that really was and how girls should be brought up wondering what they will do for themselves and what they will do to become the best person of their own right, and not necessarily defined by other people (i.e. their kids, a husband).
Don’t get me wrong, there is nothing wrong with wanting kids or a family but perhaps we spend too much time worrying about that when it’s only just a part of our lives not the entire thing. Women have had to set aside the rest of their lives for the benefit of their husbands and children for thousands of years and while this is the highest most respectable thing a mother and wife can do for her family, that is, to sacrifice for others, it is not necessarily the best thing a woman can do for herself.
In the modern era women more and more are reaching out for more than just the homemaker/wife life. So the question is, is marriage an old out dated tradition that really just keeps women down? Frankly I think the answer is yes. Not that it can’t work for some couples, not that I especially love broken homes or separated families, but there seems to be very little room in society, at least ours, despite being modern, for women who actually want to be individuals as well as moms and wives. Is it honestly possible for us to keep believing that two individuals can become one, magically because they wear fancy clothing and have a spiritual priest say they are married? I really don’t think so.
Evidence shows more and more that women are moving away from the idea of man as head of household, and of being arbitrarily morphed with their husband’s identity. Even laws now separate husband and wives in certain areas of law. Women are not so much taking the last names of their husbands anymore. Hyphenating their last names has become the new trend while some actually keep their original last name or even have the husband change their last name to theirs. Children are also being named after their mother’s last name or being hyphenated out of respect for both parents as opposed to only the father. In this trend we can see women are tired of being Mrs. Man. They want to be an individual as well as a family. There is nothing wrong with this. Men have always been allowed to be individuals and wives ought to as well.
For the most part women are now educating themselves and have been fighting back and forth between needing/wanting to stay home with children for financial reasons or because they want to take care of their own children, and going to work or school or just exploring life a bit on their own. These decisions would be a lot easier to make if we did not live in a world that expects women to do nothing but dream of their future life as a bride of a man, or mother of her children or wife of her husband. I could go one with specifics but I want to keep this post simple today. Society does not afford women the opportunities to do all they want to do. It’s not just because of financial limitations but because society expects women to give up what they want and give up their individuality as a wife/mother.
I think that each woman has to decide for themselves if they need or want to be married. I think this society has unfairly stigmatized women with the responsibility to be married and have a husband that takes care of them in order to function without being in poverty. The fact is, most women cannot earn enough to live without a partner which has been the root cause of most of women’s fight for individuality and independence. Phylilis Schlafly said (after the Paycheck Fairness Act was blocked by congress) that; “Women who make as much as men wouldn’t find good husbands.” This tells you alot about her generation. Now in respect Mrs. Schlafly has recently died (rest her soul in peace) but perhaps it resonates the death of an era of women brain washed into being reliant on husbands to live life? How often do we hear the term welfare queen, but never bother to ask why women can’t earn enough money to live without a husband, or why her husband or child’s father is not providing for his family? This makes women feel like it’s all up to them to keep a family together. Isn’t it true we don’t think anything of it when men are single and have kids?
The possibility that marriage just isn’t the modern answer for society has rarely openly crossed the minds of our people. While I do make posts on advice on how a family, a man, a woman, a wife or husband should behave in relationships, and do in reality hope for everyone that family can work out, this does not change the question as to whether marriage is truly working for our society at this point. We simply do not afford women the life they deserve, and if a marriage is going to work well in this era it will have to be one that does for women what society does not do, which is to allow for her to be an individual with equal rights and respect and to not just be the one that a husband dumps the kids off on while he runs off to invest in his own career and life away from home. Until this day comes when both society and families do this, women I think, may need to have respite for a few centuries from marriage, to move forward to push this society into a future where women are rewarded for being dedicated moms, rewarded fairly for their work, where women’s jobs bring in real earnings, where we don’t morph them with their husbands. A society where they can be allowed to breath, spread their wings. be sick without penalty, take a break and not be expect to be the super human sacrificial lamb of the family.
What do you think?