It’s ironically interesting to consider how many female innovaters and creators throughout history have rejected the institution of marriage in favor of the freedom that came from not wanting to exclusivelt fit the mould set out for them.
And we often look back at figures like Emily Bronte,Emily Dickinson etc. And think “Society has progressed so far that women need not be so-called social outcasts to achieve their dreams”. But I argue that we are not as far as we like to give ourselves credit for.
There are still many who believe that to be married and be wife and mother is the highest calling of women. It’s more ingrained in our culture than we care to admit and more so in African and Asian cultures that are still heavily traditional.
Pressure to ‘complete’ our dreams/education by a certain time before you settle down suggests to me we still have limits. We’re still tethered by expectations that by certain ages or accomplishments we stop being us and start being woman.
We’re encouraged to be modern but deep down there’s a part ingrained (at least in a few girls like me) that reminds us “this is still a mans world and respect that. That is the way things are, you can choose but not from any tree because you are still different; flawed in comparison to a male child.”
A woman’s honor is still measured by her dress, her company, her virginity and sexual experience in ways that guys still don’t have to subscribe to.
On the flip side a man is not a man unless he is lustful, hypermasculine and “not afraid” especially to show that he is the smartet, dominant force in a situation with another women.
My call isn’t to radicalise us all to a feminist march. More personal than that, I think we all owe it to ourselves to challenge those little limits and sayings that put us in a box.
Question the intention and possible outcome of another’s ‘advice’ in our lives. Do they say this from a place of traditional safety because that is all they know to say or because they know you and want you do somethig remarkable in the world. To build our lives in such a way we dismantle the things that hold us back from our dreams from the root and heal the underlying issue/craving. Maybe I am naive to believe that African culture can coexist with modern freedom but until proven otherwise, I will live this out. Otherwise if we do have a timeline, a certain checklist that degrades us bacl to obhects or mindless things, I don’t want to play. Even if it means that the rejection of married life; as long as it means freedom.