A friend of mine is getting married to a man that has not treated her well in the past. I’m fairly certain that she’s marrying him because he has money. I’m sure she has decided to get married because her younger sister got married a year ago, and she feels like she is going to be forever alone. Countless times, I told her that she would find someone wonderful. I tell her that she was young, beautiful, and a sweetheart. I want to see her happy, but she wants to be wanted by a man.
It breaks my heart, really. She has grown up in a patriarchal culture, where a woman’s worth is determined by when she gets married, to whom, and how many children she has and is able to raise well. I know that culture, and I am always telling these girls that they are valuable not because of who they marry, but because they are human.
I saw her Facebook status today, and it’s a quote that translates to something like this:
“Happiness to a girl is to become a beautiful bride, a beloved wife, and a happy mother.”
My heart dropped. No, no, no, no. Happiness to a girl is being the best she can be. Happiness to a girl is becoming a woman who is intelligent, confident, and strong. This girl is in her twenties, and she believes her life will become better by being a bride, a wife, a mother. I’m not saying those things are not wonderful, I’m sure being a princess on your wedding day is fun, being in a loving relationship is wonderful, and being a mother is a one-of-a-kind experience. I’m sure it’s great, but that’s not the point.
I believe that happiness for humans in general is not found in relationships. Happiness is a personal endeavor, it’s about being comfortable in your skin and with your life. Happiness is about learning, loving, just being.
It saddens me to think that my friend believes that her worth and her happiness is defined by her marital status. It saddens me to see a young life’s journey determined by culture. It just makes me so darn sad to see her make this choice, not because she really wants to be with him “forever,” but because she believes that this is what her whole life culminates to.
My dear friend, is so dearly confused.