Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Stop! You don't have to say yes!

Caught in the web of family expectation, this young woman of twenty is about to throw her education away and get married to a man she barely knows. This man in question was introduced to her by her elder and married sister, who then told the mother about the man’s intention to marry the younger sister, a twenty year old geology student at a Malian University.

My concern in this very matter is how things like this happen to young women all over the world, where their guardians or even parents from their societal understanding tried vehemently to explain to the girls how they will not find any other man as good as the ones they are pushing forth, if they girl should say NO. They are quick to remind these young confused minds on how Ms. P was unable to get a man after she has used all her life to acquire education and they quickly want these girls to stop in their track, if they do not want to be met with the same fate. On and on the brainwashing goes, till the victim eventually throws away her education, her aspiration to cliff with a man she barely knows!

At least, it is a duty one owes oneself to have a deep awareness of the life ahead. To be able to make the choice convincingly whether good or bad that this is the way I want to go, this is what I want to do and my life will not cease to be meaningful if I toll the path of my dream. But if your life has taken the wrong turn before you are even aware of the disservice you are doing yourself, then by the time of awakening, you are far gone in the game! I am sad that I do not speak the language of this young lady of twenty that I met through one of my housemates in Mali who asked me not to mention to her that he told me the story. Even if I had wanted to betray the trust, my French and Bamba’a are both not good enough to hold a conversation with her. And the very person that can be our intermediary has since sworn me into secrecy!

The few worlds I need to say if I have the chance is for her to be sure of her choice. For her to take a deep breath, close her eyes and imagine what she can achieve as a person and not as a married woman. To imagine what difference her life would make if she chooses to finish her education and pursue her dream (if any). To seriously think if there will never be any man as good as the one she barely even know but judging from the point of view of her sister and mother… all these and more I would like to share with this young woman of twenty who wants to get married to a man she does not even know at all because she was told that he is working and she might not get the same gold mine if this one passes her by.


Parakeet said...

Am not against arranged marriages as long as the couple involved are attracted to each other and take time out to get to know each other before making a life long commitment such as marriage. What I dont get in this matter is why she has to pull out of school in the first place. Can marriage and school not go hand in hand?

histreasure said...

my take on this is clear..she has the rest of her life before her, if truly the man desires her for a wife, let him wait till she gets her degree..and then she get marry him forever..ce fini.

StandTall-The Activist said...

@ Parakeet: See, other issue has to do with what they afre tell the 20 yr old lady about how she may never get anyone to marry her if she doesn't take this offer. My dear, that has even fault the "arrange marriage" concept in my opinion. She is studying Geology and from what I am hearing the man is ready to settle down with her ASAP, I am wondering how she will be able to cope if she gets pregant soon after they tie the knot (which is more likely to happen)... and how that will not even affect her studies. That said, if they get to know each other first at least she can negotiate her stand as to what she want to achieve before X and Y happen... I don't see that as the case at this point either.

@ histreasure: good point!

Lara said...

why does she have to stop school for marriage, I know people who are married and at the same time where students.

I think there is more to this, because school and marriage sure go hand in hand

Olufunke said...

I really feel your pain.
In this day and age.....
I saw a documentary on ALjazeera 2 nights ago about the lives of women in some African countries ..Congo in particular.....I was so sad.

Like you said 'it is a duty one owes oneself to have a deep awareness of the life ahead'

What can we say.

StandTall-The Activist said...

@ Olufunke: grasping the power of freedom to do, to choose, to belong is what many women never have the chance of. It is very bad.

@ Lara: I guess school and marriage will and can go hand in hand if it is with the consent of the both party that here most often deeply in love. A girl of 20 may still have chance to focus on her education unterruptedly before she gets married. She will probably finish her studies before she is ever 25, no need to rush if you ask me. She does not even know this guy and not to talk of loving him. If they do not get to know each other to some extent how will she know what lies ahead?

poeticallytinted said...

Hey, you know my thots on this already. Just stopped by to say I am back on blogspot. Errr... sorry I've been away for so long wasn't planned at all. And I will tell that story now...

doll said...

seconding parakeet

StandTall-The Activist said...

@ Doll: read my reply to Parakeet then.

@ Poeticallytinted: glad you are back!

Tyger said...

it is so unkind to wish to cut someone's ambitions and desires short for the sake of marriage ... it is so terribly unkind. Marriage is a beautiful place you get into of your OWN FREE WILL. It is not a place you go into for pity, for righteousness, for the sake of it or to please someone else.

I wish parents, guardians and so called older friends wont spend their time mounting such pressure.. to what purpose? her marriage is not the reason why you live is it? so why force her into one?

StandTall-The Activist said...

@ Tyger: you captured what I have being trying to say in a perfect way

Tisha said...

I don't have and opinion
If i did i would say a big no
but i don't because it happened to a friend of mine and i didn't say a word
i accepted fate
and somehow that makes me ashamed

Like i said, if i had the courage to speak
I would ask her to embrace life
and trust God to reserve the best for her.

StandTall-The Activist said...

@ Tisha: sorry about that, at times we think our silence is the best option... so how did it go with your friend?

My Passion, my focus, the change that I want to see in the world - is my propellent factor.

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