Mirror Magazine

There’s more to life…
By The Scribe
Note to Readers: Please keep in mind that this column is not a onslaught on the ‘Sacred Institution of Marriage’ but rather, on the shift in priorities of womankind, over time.

What I’m trying to get at is that the woman of today in comparison to the woman of yesteryear, has fundamental differences in priority. Especially in relation to us eastern countries, many are the instances where infants are betrothed at birth. If two noble families deem that far into the future, a union between their two families would prove to be an ideal resolve to ensure their children be ‘set for life,’ then what better way to unite their wealth than to marry off their offspring to each other.

Or, take the life of a ‘typical’ young lass of the 1940s, who, on the stroke of her 16th or 18th birthday, will be sure to find a stream of suitors lining up outside her gate (metaphorically speaking), so that her parents can scrutinise them and decide on who might be the most ideal suitor for their beloved child. This would be the accepted norm as even most girls of that era considered it to be a disgrace to be unwed beyond a certain age (usually beyond 24 years or so).

For the most part, times have changed. Now in most traditional homes, the couple-to-be is actually asked if they like each other (this too at sight of course). Thereafter, a series of meetings later, they would be blissfully wed and it is presumed that they live happily ever after.

In the more modern family though, a daughter is permitted to select a person of her choice to be her life-long partner. And more often than not, he’d be accepted into the fold.

Regardless, if you have surpassed or are just at the brink of a supposed ‘marriageable age’ woe be unto you! Every time there’s a family function or gathering you’d have to face the routine ordeal that all your cousins and siblings before you would have had to face.

“My, she’s all grown up now. The last time I remember she was cradled in my arms… now of course, it’s high time you settled down, no child?” says one aunt. “You know Gertie, no? She has a handsome young grandson who’s also on the look-out for a girl…” pipes in yet another aunt nearby. “My…really? So, that would be ideal, no men? Good family also, no? Must tell her mother and see…” replies the first aunt, and so continues their exchange as though you are invisible. Sigh… anytime, any place, if the topic of marriage is struck up, there is an instantaneous ‘moth to the flame’ attraction towards it. This strange phenomenon as to how so many find it their sole purpose in life to identify and play matchmaker to hoards of perfectly content single relatives never fails to astound me.

I’m not suggesting that finding a partner is something to be ashamed of. All I’m saying is, if you’re alright with it, then it’s all well and good, but given the occasion that you’re not, then you shouldn’t be made to feel less of a woman, just because your priorities differ.

Most women of today don’t base their lives around getting married, bearing children and playing housewife. This is the new age. It’s all about a little give and take. Most women want something more challenging. They want an education, a career and yes, most definitely she may want a family. Contrary to mass public belief, it is possible for a woman to want all those things and also want a family. Complete with the caring husband, lovable kids, beautiful home and the golden retriever! But, that doesn’t mean that the be all and end all of her life must revolve around marriage, kids and ‘home-making.’ So, she wants it all! What’s the huge crime in that?

Her priorities in life have changed dramatically – this is not meant to look derogatorily upon the women of the past or even women of the present day who might still opt to lead a solely family-oriented life. However, one must keep in mind that a career woman is fully capable of being a good mother. Many are those who regard such mothers with contempt for not getting their priorities straight, but that’s just it! Her priorities are very much intact. Her having to give up her job and stay at home with the children once they’re born is not a prerequisite for a mother. Yes, of course, she may need to take some time off to be with her child – it’s called maternity leave! But, other than that, a working mother shouldn’t be made out to be a part-time parent or the likes, because if that is the case, what then should the beloved spouses be termed as?

This is not an attack on the old order; it’s merely a reminder that a new one has indeed dawned. One, which heralds the great news that there is so much more to a woman’s life than marriage… and don’t you forget it!


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