You remember when I said in my last post that we would talk about this topic? Yes the day has finally come.
In this part of the world, why is it when a woman has done well for herself, the first question usually asked is “IS SHE MARRIED”? If the response is No, the next question would be WHO WOULD MARRY HER NOW? It would be very hard for her to get married! I have heard this so many times especially when people talk about successful people like, LINDA IKEJI, GENNIVIVE NNAJI, to mention but a few. No wonder Chimamanda said “We say to girls, you can have ambition but not too much. You should aim to be successful but not too successful otherwise you would threaten the man”.
Another issue people tend to raise is, if a woman is married and successful, people have this fear that the marriage will always be at the edge of ending. This is because they are of the opinion that successful women can’t keep a home. It’s either their career or their family but they can’t have both, but that’s not the truth. We have successful women who are both successful in their marriages and in their careers. Some women like TARA DUROTOYE, BETTY IRABOR, OMOTOLA JALADE EKEINDE, ANGELA OCHU-BAIYE to mention but a few.
In Nigeria, I stand to be corrected, often times, a successful single man is acknowledged to be ready for a wife. But sadly, the reverse is the case for women. Extremely successful women are not perceived as good wife materials (my opinion).
Despite the extent of our education and enlightenment as women, we are still surrounded by some harsh realities that put us in a position where we are expected to sacrifice certain aspects of our live’s in other to blend with the society. I remember this extract from Chimamanda’s quote “because I am female, I am expected to aspire to marriage, I am expected to make my life choices always keeping in mind that marriage is the most important”.
Society has made us (women) feel that we haven’t really accomplished anything if we have no man to call our husband. This amounts to an unnecessary pressure on a woman to have not just a successful career but also a family. This therefore leads to my topic for today Must every woman get married?
Don’t get me wrong, I do want to get married but I just don’t understand the unnecessary pressure. If Mr Right comes, then he comes. I can’t carry a sign post on my forehead saying single and ready to get married.
For most women, their reasons for either not getting married or not being married differs. Some are waiting for the perfect man, some have been through emotional heart breaks that they are scared of commitment. Some wants to attain a level of success before getting married, not because they want to be richer than their spouse but because they don’t want to be totally depended on them that they become a burden. Most men don’t understand this, in fact they don’t care especially the ones that feel they have money.
(My personal experience) I once knew a young, educated, rich and handsome man who was asking for my hand in marriage. He asked me one day what I wanted to do. I didn’t know why he asked but I told him a list of what I wanted to do and achieve by God’s grace in my life… After listening he said “it’s good oh! But if I marry you, you won’t have to work. You don’t need to stress yourself. I will just open a supermarket for you, where u can go whenever you wish. Some ladies would be happy to hear this but I wasn’t. ” I was shocked. “Really?” I said. “Why would I go to school to study law, suffer to graduate with a good result, my parents suffering to pay my tuition, just to own a supermarket and not work or create an impact?. “My wife won’t need to work, I have money that can take care of us and by God’s grace will continue to provide for her” he said..
After listening to his reasons, the only thing I could comprehend was that he didn’t want his wife to be richer than him because it will make him loose his respect and he wants his wife to have enough time to take care of their children and not feel superior. “I want to be in control” he said. This is, permit me to use the word Crazy. An educated man speaking..
I know Marriage is ordained and programed by God. It was that same God that says there’s time for everything. Why can’t society allow us follow the part God has destined for us. When you are in your early twenties graduate or no graduate, every body starts looking at you with one eye, parents start telling you of their friends daughter or your class mates that got married or is getting married. When you enter your thirties, parents and family members starts playing match maker for you, some even go to the extent of going for prayers on your behalf. Most women who get worried about the constant nagging and comparison start what I call God release my husband type of prayer. Funny right but it happened. I remember a neighbour of mine kept praying every midnight for God to release her husband to locate her where ever he was. And yes God finally released her husband.
Another question raised by the author CHIMAMANDA which I concur to is ” why do we teach girls to aspire to marriage but we don’t teach boys the same?”
I have realized that no matter how many times we talk about this topic as women, it’s still going to be hard to change the view of an average Nigerian. Even my mum usually say, “Ugwu nwanyi bu diya (a woman’s honour is her husband)”. I subscribe to marriage the same way I stand for successful women. We don’t need to shrink ourselves in the name of not wanting to intimidate a man… We are women, we are great, we are successful and we are mothers and wives..