Your Source for Feminist Discourse

Old Habits Die HARD

WHY are women always expected to want to get married and have children? Why is it weird that in the 2015 people question or look down upon a woman who does not want to have children or get married? Throughout history women have been conditioned to believe that having a husband, children and a house with a white picket fence is the ONLY way to have a full-filling and joyful life. I have an issue with this.

18th Century

The best way to explain why women feel this way about marriage is to go back and look at women and marriage throughout history. Women during this period of time had very limited financial and social restrictions. These restrictions kept women in a subservient position for years. Often the marriage of an upperclass woman was to gain a higher status for her family, or to merge two powerful families. A woman who did not marry was considered to be an outlier in society. This woman was scene as ‘dirty‘ or ‘unclean‘ often had trouble finding a husband and was ostracized from the community. An example of this in practice comes from the Nathaniel Hawthorne book “The Scarlet Letter”. An interesting thing about unmarried women at this time is that they began to ban together and demand marriage changes as well as equality for women. Its interesting that the ‘unwanted’ in society were the ones to start the movement for women’s equality.

         1940’s and 1950’s

Lets fast forward a bit into the 20th century to the 1940’s and 50’s. After the World War’s women were forced back into the home from the factories. There was a huge social backlash putting heavy emphasis on motherhood, wifely duties and ‘being a lady’ (or what ever that means). So as you all know woman took LEAPS backward into the kitchen where she will make her providing man food after tending to the children all day. Advertising plays a large role in making women feel as if they MUST be a good wife. But what if the woman does NOT want to be a wife? What if she DOES NOT want to push out kids and tend to her men? This woman is called a spinster? or wench? When the man who is unmarried is called a bachelor? Why are woman being shamed for being career driven? The 50’s sets the stage for the backlash in the 60’s but regardless there is still this pressure placed on women to find a husband and settle down.

2015 

Today women ( although men also feel this pressure) still have this burden placed on them by society to get married and have kids. WHY? Why is society pressuring them to all fit inside this neat little box and be something that they do not want to be? Women do not have to just marry a man or woman to feel like you are something in this life. Marriage shouldn’t be something that you’re expected to do, it should be something you do when you find the right person to be with. NO ONE should EVER feel the pressure of society to conform to the ‘social norm’ when it doesn’t make you happy. There is NOTHING wrong with loving your job, loving another person and choosing NOT to get married. WOMEN OUT THERE READING THIS! YOU do NOT have to be a house wife and push out children just because your grandmother or mother did. YOU CAN DO WHAT EVER YOU WANT!! Marry WHOEVER YOU WANT because at the end of the day, everyone should be happy with who they are and whom they are with; married or not married.

Further Reading on this topic! Money and Matrimony,  Advertising and Sex

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