According to some brown communities, there are three stages in a girl’s life. The first, when she is too young for marriage, the second, when she’s ready for marriage, and the third, when she’s past her prime and is considered a lonely spinster (bring on the cats!).
Far too many times I have come across people who find it necessary to share their opinions on when a girl should get married. These opinions are often based on their own personal experiences, societal and traditional influences, and of course, the point at which she’s mastered the art of round rotisserie – because God forbid the catastrophe that is slightly oval shaped rotis.
Amongst the little groups of women I find at social events, a hot topic is often the most recently paired unions within the community. On many occasions the discussion, filled with prejudice, describes two populations: (1) girls who get married young have been groomed for marriage, have no goals in life other that fulfilling their wifely duties, have AMC pots, and can’t wait to have babies spill out of their birthing canals; and (2) girls who are not married simply cannot find a boy to like them because they are too fussy, can’t manage a home, and have never opened an Indian delights cookbook. Either way, both populations are always met with an equally dismal ‘’Shame….bechari’’ (poor girl).
I could MAYBE understand if 86 year old dadi-ma made these comments, but what makes me sad, is hearing our generation do the same. Despite being aware of the struggle we constantly face, to nourish our potential in a developing world of female empowerment… we volunteer to disparage our own because of age and matrimony?How can we, after knowing of strong, successful, and independent women out there in the world and also part of our locality, still hold such beliefs? I personally know women who defy the aforementioned descriptions brilliantly. Married whenever, single whenever…they are all happy, successful, intelligent, independent, and beautiful women.
Why should this be a subject up for discussion? I’ll tell you why. Because, sharing an opinion, based on ignorance, which has the potential to hurt another female, is never okay. Some readers may see this as a petty issue, but I know that there are brown girls everywhere who are made to feel small because of this ‘’petty’’ issue, and I just can’t allow that.
If you want it then you shoulda put a ring on it: Provided you are of legal age, have given your consent, and understand that matrimony, alone, won’t grant you happiness, you shouldn’t allow others to degrade you or make you feel ashamed for wanting to be married. Being married shouldn’t define who you are, and whoever you choose to marry should facilitate your growth as a woman, allow you to dream, learn, succeed, should intellectually stimulate you, support you and encourages you to acquire self-love.
All the single ladies, now put your hands up: Girl, why you gonna let people stress you out? There are 99 reasons as to why you you’re not interested in marriage and not being able to find a guy isn’t one of them. There’s nothing wrong with having priorities above marriage and you shouldn’t allow that to make you feel any less of a woman.
If you find yourself guilty of ever passing judgement or unfair opinions around this topic, I hope our chat today has allowed you to reflect on this. If (whether?) you are young and married, got married young, single, have no intention of being married soon, have no intention of ever being married, or are being pressured into marriage… remember, you are your own self above all else. You’ve thrived to be who and where you are and you have the right and obligation to choose your own path of which you should never be made to feel little about. No one is allowed to dictate what you should do and when you should do it… because who runs the world? Girls.