I read a story a while back on Facebook.
According to the story, a lady married a man who is more conservative than she is and she is now living with regret.
The Cliffs Notes version is that he told her she would need to do away with makeup, trousers and all that because he didn’t believe in them. She agreed, believing he would change his mind and she wanted to get married.
Ten years later, she sees other married women slaying and she is now unhappy in the marriage, wishing she didn’t get married.
It might sound like a minor issue. What’s there in clothing, we might say? But it is a big deal, enough to make her miserable.
It reminded me of how my friends and loved ones subtly and not so subtly tell me to stop being a feminist because they believe that’s why I’m single.
I know they mean well, that’s why I smile when I hear it. I know I won’t ever tow that line but I love them for caring.
Now, why doesn’t it bother me?
First of all, I am not single because I am a feminist, I am single by choice. Believe it or not, despite being a feminist, I have admirers and men wooing me lol. I have a substantial amount of men who want to and would have married me if I wanted.
At the risk of sounding conceited, I am really just stating facts. I am not lacking men who want me, feminist or not. So why am I still single you might ask? Well, let me tell you one of the reasons.
One very important thing I consider as it relates to marriage is that I want to marry well. You see this marriage of a thing, I have seriously understood it.
Now, I don’t mean marriage itself because I believe no matter how much you think you know before marriage, many more you can’t learn until you are actually in it.
So, what I mean is the whole business of getting married.
See, I don’t want to be a “at least, she is married” kind of person. I want to be purposefully married.
While people are so obsessed with the “at least she is married” part, I am more concerned about what happens after.
For me, the getting married part is just the beginning, what happens after is more important.
Mine is a case of “I am married, now what?”
I’m using “she” because generally, it is women that society has brainwashed to see marriage as a reward for good behaviour.
“Act this way so he will marry you.” “Do this thing this way so a man can have pity on you to put a ring on it.” “She did so and so and now, she is married.”
It is everywhere, our discussions concerning marriage just unconsciously feel like we are rewarded with it and that’s why you are likely to see two women fight over a man than two men fight over a woman.”
It is the man that is the prize after all, not the woman.
But I digress.
In case you don’t get what I’m on about, let me make it clearer.
Assume that I stop being a feminist – not because I believe there is anything wrong – but because I want to be more attractive to men, so they can have mercy on me and marry me.
I remove ‘feminist’ from my bio, stop talking about it, go to posts against it and join in to bash feminism, all in a bid to attract the prize.
Then finally, a son of Adam sees me and falls in love with me in all my virtuous glory.
We join in to bash feminism together and he is happy because he is going to marry a “virtuous” woman.
Now, this innocent man falls for the act and marries me. We probably don’t have the same principles and values but it doesn’t matter … at least, I am married.
He believes in throwing orders, I believe in discussions.
He believes in seeking permission, I believe in giving information.
He believes the kitchen is a woman’s place, I don’t think the kitchen minds the gender minding it.
He believes it is a man’s role to handle the bills, I believe it’s a couple’s role.
But at least I am married.
Two things are bound to happen.
It is either I get married, remain mute for the rest of my life and act like I have been acting and end up miserable, bitter and unhappy because I have lost a part of myself. And because I am not happy, I won’t be able to make him happy.
Or I unleash and show him who I am, plunging the poor man into a case of deceit. When he should have married a woman who believed in the same things he does, I have subjected him to myself, someone who is totally everything he doesn’t want. Then he becomes unhappy and because he is unhappy, I also can’t be happy.
But who cares? I have a ring, I have children, I am no longer a member of “all the single ladies.” My status has changed; people now look at me with respect. Who cares that we are both miserable?
At least, I am married. Is that what we really want?
PS: I understand that sometimes we cannot be too careful because at the end of the day, we cannot tell the intent of humans and sometimes, they do indeed pretend. That’s why we need God.
And when God has shown us the red flags and let us see the issues we will have if we continue with a certain person – not necessarily because the person is bad, maybe it’s just contrasting worldviews – do we listen or do we scoff at it and go ahead, hoping things will change?