By Sarah Shaukat
The rampant drawing room chatter, lugging trolleys and faking smiles just to get approval from a judgmental aunty who did not exist until an hour ago, is a burden that most desi girls must bear. Our society tends to put marriage on a pedestal and puts forth unrealistic expectations that must be met in order to reach this sacred platform.
Meanwhile, many women question the existence of the pedestal itself. Not every woman’s lifelong dream is to build a successful marriage or to rely on the financial support of a man. And not every woman takes kindly to the constant insinuations that she should tie the knot because her child-bearing years are passing her by.
Unfortunately, the pressure faced by a woman to marry extends all through Pakistani society, from the educated ‘upper’ echelons to the lower classes, and from the self-supporting career woman to the young girl just out of college. Finding the origin of this regressive mindset and where the blame lies is a witch hunt because we will only find ourselves entangled in the many complex, unsettling notions that our society vehemently advocates. So let’s not go there.
But it is about time that a cultural shift revolutionizes the mindset of our society and looks beyond the shaadi element of life. It has been said a thousand times and very recently by model and actress Nausheen Shah through her Insta stories. The Pehli Si Muhabbat actress felt pressurized by the century old blame card was also thrown her way and ended up taking it out in an Instagram rant.
Speaking to Glossetc Nausheen elaborated,“Why does getting married have to be such a priority? Somehow, no matter what you achieve, parents consider that the biggest achievement is just to get married. I endure this pressure and so do many other unmarried women around me. Why?”
Like Nausheen, many other women are frustrated by the tone-deaf dogmas that define what is acceptable in Pakistani society. A moment of silence for the ignorant!
And local dramas are no better. Most Pakistani dramas thrive on picking marriage as a theme and developing stories around it. There have been some exceptions that moved beyond this realm and focused on women empowerment such as Zindagi Gulzar Hai and Alif, but these are rare occurrences.
Let us lay out some of the reasons why women today are more focused on themselves and may not be obsessing over finding a husband. Here are all the reasons why you should stop telling a single woman that marriage is the ultimate solution to all her problems.
Let the haw haye begin!
A woman does not want to bow down to patriarchy that tells her that her life is barren without a marriage certificate
Women are independent, educated and more aware than ever before. All hail the mighty support groups and college degrees.
Today’s woman knows her rights and is well-equipped to live her life without the interference or the hefty shoulder of a man. She can very well earn her own bread and laugh at her own jokes.
A woman actually understands marriage and has no interest in raising your manchild
For a society that is obsessed with marriage, it certainly does not seem to understand the purpose of it. Somehow, marriage is considered a rally race of sorts where a girl is handed over from one provider to another. As an exchange of this barter she is expected to babysit poorly raised men who cannot seem to clean up after themselves.
A woman could be living a full life where marriage just isn’t part of the plan
Now this is a bit unorthodox, but ever considered that not every woman wants to get married simply because it isn’t the benchmark by which she measures her success or happiness? For some, being educated and living a financially independent life was always part of the plan and if a man cannot be factored into this lifestyle, so be it.
The belief that marriage is between two grown adults and not their khandan … but you all are not ready for this conversation
Have we touched a nerve? We are not sorry.
Women are not people pleasers and do not want to marry to do so
The unrealistic expectations and the constant need for validation is tiring.
Women do not want to marry just for the sake of it
Marriage is a beautiful institution that brings two people together. But in Pakistan, marriage is considered a social obligation that results in a line of unwanted children who are the sole responsibility of the mother. Marrying for the sake of ticking that checklist of society’s validation is something that needs to be stopped. Instead marry because you want to.
The notion that marriage is the final destination for a woman is tainted and need to be reprimanded. Such concepts take a toll on the mental health of many and leave them scarred and doubting their worth. It is about time that the life of women is not weighed on the marriage balance and we ask them what makes them happy.