THE WEDDING GUEST II
Last year, I talked about being a wedding guest in this post here, but as the wedding season comes by again, I’ve decided to explore the narrative of being a wedding guest as a “single-of-age” young woman, especially in the Nigerian society.
You’ve heard the conversation time and time again, be it as banter on our Twitter timelines or via funny videos on Instagram, the dreaded annoyingly familiar questions:
“When will you marry?, When would we meet him?, Your own is next, isn’t it?”
Marriage being the subject matter here, is a beautiful thing that I would love to experience someday. However, the keyword is “someday” and not today. The societal pressure on young women to be wives and mothers even before we begin living our lives or discovering who we are as women is a topic that shouldn’t be discussed in hushed tones.
Now the pressure might not be as direct as “you must get married”, but even the gentlest nudge is enough to create an internal countdown with an invisible age clock.
I struggle to reconcile with the idea that marriage is the ultimate end goal for a woman. I’d like to believe that it’s possible for a woman to attain different levels of career success, be completely happy and content with life, without marriage being thrown at her face as a factor of credibility.
The amazing Chimamanda put it simply in her well acclaimed we should all be feminists speech:
“Because I am female, I am expected to aspire to marriage. I am expected to make my life’s choices always keeping in mind that marriage is the most important”.
Everyday, I dream of a time where the script will be flipped, imagine the same pressure put on young women to find the perfect partner in due time was channeled into encouraging them to find themselves, set goals and aspirations. Just imagine the wave of culture it would inspire. I particularly love this post by Fisayo Longe called “No Expiry Date”, where the importance of letting young women enjoy life at their own pace was highlighted a great deal.
I’m at that age where a good number of my friends are tying the knot and I’ve never been happier. Being able to celebrate love in all forms is what I’m here for, all I ask is that I do it in peace. I’d like to enjoy the sweet sound of fuji music while dancing to the floor without someone asking me “when will we come for yours?” You’ll come when you come. Next!
It’s unfortunate that as a society that should be empowering women to be everything we can be, new ways are found to belittle our achievements and make them secondary to finding a husband. It also worries me that no one bothers to ask if this is what we want. Just because I’m a woman doesn’t mean I want to be a wife or that because I’m able to biologically, I should aspire to be a mother to children. These are discussions we should be open to having and not shamed to silence.
We’re made for way more and I believe if left to experience life, discover ourselves, take more risks and be more daring, without being reminded of how important it is to achieve certain milestones by a certain age, our capabilities would be endless.
I’d love for us to continue this conversation in the comment section below, in what ways have you been pressured to aspire to societal expectations and how have you coped it with it? Let’s talk! <3
Till next time,
Whew you said a mouth full there! I’m almost 26 so every other day it’s like “when are you going to have a boyfriend?” “When are you going to finish college?” All I really want to say is mind your damn business! However I just politely say “whenever I’m ready” and leave it at that. I want more for myself than to get married and pop out babies. I want to explore the world, and do amazing things not be a housewife.
It’s so funny how young girls or should I call them ladies of 21 and 22 now think of marriage, what they would wear, their wedding reception, honey moon and wedding bants instead of thinking of a way to make the world a better place. Soceity has o an embargo in marriage for the female sex and it’s like if you ain’t married, you haven’t achieved nothing. So many people are interested in the wedding and not the marriage and that’s why we have so many single parents and crashed marriages.
I quite enjoyed reading this post. I am Ghanaian born and this is no different among my country people as well. No wonder many of the women and even men are rushing into marriages that don’t last the test on time. Unfortunately resulting in many marriage breakdowns.
Your outfit is so lovely. I love the way it sits on your body, I also love that you styled it with minimal accessories.
Thank you for stopping by Marianne! <3
This is exactly what I stated above in my comment. No one cares about happiness, they just care about themselves and want to attend weddings.
First off all, I love your dress, its so beautiful and elegant.❤❤❤.
Secondly, the picture quality is ????.
I love this topic on wedding guest, so many people want to be invited to weddings without actually putting the happiness of the ‘couples’ before-hand, they push lots of people into marriages. Because of this pressure put mainly on the female sex, we are made to rush into marriages even when we don’t want to.
Great post tho, more of this posts should be created, it’s a wake up call to so many females, this post could be saving a wrong or forced wedding.
I love your words too in this topic!!!