Recently, I have been exposed to the “traditional” expectations of women in their twenties. As a graduating senior, every question I receive revolves around a love interest or the eventual existence of children. These questions are then followed by congratulatory remarks of getting this far without offspring or disappointment for my lack of immediate interest in them. However, has anyone ever considered how interesting (and problematic) it is that people treat the lack of children as some grand accomplishment until a certain age. Beating teen pregnancy makes us worth a fortune, but God forbid we make it to thirty without someone calling us, “mom”.
This idea encompasses everything it means to be a woman by society’s standards. We are deemed as the damsel in distress in every regard. Not only are our choices limited by what everyone else wants, theydictate how we choose. We are expected to have children and a spouse, but it has to be by a certain point or else we are failures. That concept doesn’t make sense in the society of a self-proclaimed holy-land.
If the message is that we are powerful beyond anything we imagine, that mindset should be reflected in every aspect. Womanhood is far beyond biology and what you decide to do with ours.
Woman have always been defined by what they can do for other people, but life beyond this place can be anything we want it to be. So, contrary to popular belief marriage and motherhood are not our sole purpose.
From personal experiences, the value of my accomplishments have always been compared to how they would help shape me into a better “wife” or “mother”. Contrary to popular, and misguided, belief, my doing well in school and having good jobs are not preparation to satisfy my non-existent marital duties or to develop generational wealth for children that do not exist yet. These decisions are for me and will be just as important without someone depending on me.
Everyone is not fit to be a mother, but aside from that, everyone does not want that responsibility. Everyone does not want the commitment of being the other “half of a union”. Both are perfectly fine.
For the women who want these experiences, including myself, prayerfully, everything will happen when the time is right. For those who do not, I am proud of you for recognizing that you can exist without these titles. Your worth is predetermined by being a good human. How you choose to positively and intentionally impact others in your lifetime is far more important than genetic attachment or your body’s physical capabilities.
A common question is, “What is a queen without _?” The answer is… still a queen. No other characteristics can dictate that title.
Please do not let society’s obsession with motherhood, marriage, and money dictate how you find happiness or view your accomplishments. Ever.
Image: Freedom via Flickr.com