The Double-W, Women and Work.
As a millennial young adult who is still an avid reader of my Facebook feed, I came across an article by Leo Burnett on Indonesian women about the tough choice we have to make between our careers and our supposedly designated fate on being a housewife. While I read this, I realized how valid and relatable it is to my life and my society. During lunches or simply any given moment my girlfriends and I hang out and talk, we would once in a while reflect upon our future. College, marriage, jobs, etc. It only recently occured to me that most of my friends have already set an ‘age limit’ to when they will get married. Most of them wants to get married by the time they finish their undergraduate degree, because they think later than that, they would be ‘too old’. Honestly speaking, marriage isn’t something I contemplate about deeply when I think about my future. But the question, ‘When do you plan to get married?’ is a question that is very openly discussed upon and surprisingly an often question to be asked. And not answering is inevitable. So, I usually give a random number around my late 20s out of spontaneity and by now I have adapted to the shock and surprised responses from the people who heard my answer. They would usually say,
“But, isn’t that a little late?”
“You can think about school later, you need to get married first.”
“Don’t work too much when you’re married, you need to be home in the kitchen and raise your kids.”
“How old will you be then by the time your kids grow up? Don’t you think it’s a little too old?”
And so on and so forth. I am not trying to sound like the typical modern day self-proclaimed independent feminists who misuse the term as to someone who does not need a man and that men are inferior to women nowadays, blah, blah. I am simply a young woman of vision and dreams. I have always grown up wanting to do things with my life. To make a name for myself. To achieve things that I have always dreamed about. But most people in my society thinks the only achievement that matters, is to get married to a nice guy, who has enough savings to fund your family to-be (lets do all of us a favor here and not be hypocrites by acting like money isn’t an important factor), who can support you emotionally, who will last till ages with you. In my opinion, anyone can get married. The success in marriage does not lie in the moment when you do decide to get married, rather it lies in what consists in and results of the marriage. You, your partner, and the kids that will come one day. A line in Leo Burnett’s article reads:
“Imagine a world where women collectively agree on the value of a higher education and the need to pursue it. This will no doubt turn the tables on the men, creating pressure for them to step up, upgrade themselves or risk not finding a suitable mate. Wouldn’t that be an ideal scenario, which will ultimately lead to the progression of society as a whole?”
I cannot help but to scribble down these words in my journal, agreeing so much to it. If all women decide to go to school and pursue higher education, that would also motivate men to do greater things in their life, too. Then two great people would be married to one another and produce great kids who will also be highly driven to be a great person as to being raised by two great parents. A large amount of great people equals to a greater society! And isn’t that ideal?
If we all want to be citizens of the modern day world, that are ‘always progressing’, why is it that the culture here still pressure more women to be married sooner than most men? Why is it that when men marry, it is okay to still have a career, and when women marry, a career will only burn the marriage down in flames? Women are amazing beings and I believe that we can do greatly both career-wise and marriage-wise. Who is there to say otherwise?
Thus, I am not saying that marriage isn’t important. It is. It is just very much exaggerated how people emphasize on women and the sole importance in their life should be to get married. I am pretty sure deep down every women would want to settle and grow old with someone and watch the people they’ve brought to this world do great things, but while we’re young and while we are so filled with potential and opportunities, let us do amazing, ground-breaking things without socially pressuring us by telling us that marriage should always trump over higher education and career. It won’t, it would only highly enhance the quality of our personal lives and our society.