As I perused Facebook on a lazy Sunday morning, I came across the same article being shared on multiple of my female friend's pages. The title: "Getting Married Is Not an Accomplishment." The article summed up the story of a young women who's boyfriend had proposed. She was excited, she acknowledged the 'huge moment' in her life. "But was it an accomplishment? No."
Society - "Women, be excited for your life! Except not as excited about that."
The author says that the world should not be celebrating the marriage or engagement of a young woman the way we do. She argued that academic and career successes are not celebrated enough in comparison to the parties and the tears and the champagne passed around at the celebration of upcoming nuptials, citing that it was back in the 1950s when #marriage was the 'end goal' for women who would inevitably become housewives. The horror.
"You don't have to have a brain, drive or special skills to get married. You just have to have a willing partner."
A 'willing partner?' Hey, mom. Hey, dad. I found some guy who said he'd be willing to spend the rest of my life with me. Ah, bask in the romance and commitment.
Why make marriage seem more like winning a spelling bee than winning a Nobel Prize?
Is it the grandest achievement in life? That should be subject to the person answering that question. What if someone's greatest happiness could be achieved by becoming a wife and mother? Surely there was a time when that was acceptable. And while back in the day, it was less acceptable for a woman to want more than the life of a 'wifey,' should we be suppressing the alternative? Should we, by a means of pushing women to be all that they can, be trying to convince them that marriage isn't a large, life fulfilling accomplishment? Or that it is instead not an accomplishment at all.
Our parents and grandparents generations held getting married and starting a family in the high regards that society would now tell young women to not. Our mothers and grandmothers, who, for the most part did not have an education but instead worked as hard as they could in the home, seemed to be happier and less depressed than our generation.
In fact, studies have found that "teens in the 2010s (compared to the mid 1980s) were 74% more likely to have trouble sleeping and twice as likely to have seen a professional for a mental health issue."
As a strong, educated woman, I'm also allowed to love my husband more than my job.
For those of you who think I'm knocking the working woman, I'm not. I'm 26 years old and I've been working since I was 14. I have my MA and a BA. I've traveled Europe and lived in London for a year. I've lived and celebrated it. My point is that I did all of this while meeting, dating, living with and then eventually marrying the man of my dreams. There's no reason why I can't strive for both and absolutely no reason why society should make me feel any less accomplished about my marriage than I do about my degrees.
The article states, "the ring is no longer what defines a woman." I have to agree. Today, women can be anything we want; a scientist, a lawyer, a doctor, a president, a wife. We can be wives and be captains of industry. In this judgmental and condescending society, we can, as women, be proud that we found a partner, a friend and a lover in a sea of young people who are, today, more selfish, self-centered and arrogant. Swipe left because his hair too blonde.
We are more obsessed with phones than futures. Who's to say that finding a partner of any sex who's willing to devote themselves to you is not, in itself, an accomplishment?
I'd say being able to plan and pay for your wedding is an accomplishment too! More than anything else, to be happy that you are who you want to be and to not let society's #judgement on what is and isn't ok for you have any bearing on your character, that is an incredible accomplishment. After all, isn't the new end goal women empowerment regardless of the title? #soceity