Friday, July 12, 2013

The Marraige Story - For Girls

Marriage is something that is considered to be an important ritual or rites of passage in a girl’s life. It is like something that is considered as essential as eating and breathing and girls do end up experiencing a lot in the name of marriage. From falling victim to freaky traditions and cultural practices to pressures from society and society rejecting girls for being beyond a certain age and not being married, blaming the girl for being too picky (as with all forms of judgements that society likes to pass, it assumes everything is just black and white).

Now, I am going to begin by giving a disclaimer. This article is going to be super biased. Two reasons. Firstly, my own views on this topic are extremely bitter, for valid reasons, but those reasons will not be disclosed here in such a public setting. Secondly, this is written one hundred percent from a female point of view. If I knew the male stance on this topic, the resulting article would’ve been relatively more balanced, but as currently I am unaware of that, the bias remains.

For girls, once we reach the ages of 23-25, it is usually the time when a person is in a position where their dreams seem attainable. They have the relevant work experience and relevant education and skills banked up, and they think, now I can achieve my dream, it is when the sword of marriage starts looming upon their head. (Yes, I know that they are very few people in this world who can say that they have managed to achieve their dreams, but I am just trying to prove a point here).

Now, when the girl realizes that she can now obtain her dreams, be successful, do something with their life, marriage creeps up. And it is at this point, an extremist view that many do end up taking is that  we realize that actually our parents were actually prepared us for marriage since the very first day. The reasons behind this extremist view is that every little thing about you matters. From which school you went to your favourite colour. Because we are turned into commodities up for sale in the market.

This sword of marriage means that everything just becomes a source of time pass. Education is a just a source of time pass. Job is just a source of time pass. Any hobby you may have is  a source of time pass. Basically every single thing a girl does becomes a source of timepass until marriage arrives. I extreme cases, sometimes the girl is made to sit at home and stare at the walls all day long, just waiting for marriage to occur. This can be quite frustrating for many people as anything they had ever hoped for, dreamt of and achieved is being taken away from them in the name of marriage. The question arises, why not just pursue whatever it is after you get married? Not possible. Marriage is considered final, once you get married, hopes, dreams, wishes, everything is somehow supposed to automatically be drained from your head. In fact, some even give up on all of their friends even. Ask a lady what her daughters are doing and you are bound to get a reply like this, “My eldest daughter is married and younger one works in a bank”. I am sure a homemaker is a good profession to have, a homemaker is on duty 24/7 without pay, but why portray it in such a way that it is the only option available to someone? Many people give up a lot of stuff to do that, you know. Why be so negative and final about it?

Secondly, just the entire process of these arranged marriages are enough to drain out a person’s humanity and scar them for life. Imagine being treated a commodity in the marketplace put up for sale. That is what girls are made to feel like. Either you studied the wrong subject, or went to the wrong school, or work for the wrong organization or have the wrong height or the wrong shoe size or the wrong hair texture. There will always be some big huge wrong with you, always, which will make a person damaged goods in this commodity market and in some cases, too damaged to be sold. I was the other day reading an article online where this girl had told the true story of her friend who committed suicide over this commodity business. Apparently she was a very bright and promising young girl with a lot of potential. Her mistake? She studied the wrong subject, she studied advertising. So the comments that people would pass were, “She is not a doctor” and “My son is taller than her” and “She is too talkative” and so on. Eventually the comments took a toll and the girl was driven to suicide. May her soul rest in peace.

The subject/study business reminded me of two things. Firstly, when I had recently started studying in the university a lady says to me, “Nobody is going to ever marry you if you study Sociology and Education. You should study Business instead, because guys of today like girls at the same level as them”.

The second thing is this project in my Social Psychology class. Lame class with the world’s lamest projects that made no sense or relevance with the course material. Anyways, one project was to pick up the marriage ads from the newspaper and compare what girls are looking for and what men are looking for. The number one thing that they wanted was the girl to be a medical doctor.

And opportunities outside of the country can also reduce your value in this commodity market. If you study in a foreign country, fine, but if you do a job in a foreign country, your value in this commodity market is zero. What is the difference between the two? I do not understand. I know of one family where the parents would vacation abroad but the daughters were never taken along thinking that visiting abroad might give them ideas and harm their chances in adjusting to a marriage situation.

Basically, what my entire point is that girls deal with a lot in the name of marriage, like just to get married. Since the first day of life, everything you do, think or say can improve or hamper your value in this commodity market. Going to the wrong school, to having the wrong hobby or having the wrong eye colour can make you considered damaged goods that cannot be passed on. It really harms the people who suffer from it, always hearing comments, hearing how they are not good enough because of one tiny thing. A note to society – treat us like human beings instead of commodities for sale in the market, expecting us to give up our hopes and dreams and wishes and expecting us to make every tiny decision on the basis of what will increase our value in this commodity market.