When I was sixteen, I remember at church people would continually ask me if I had a boyfriend.
They drilled it into my head since I was six years old that my only value in life was to be a wife and mother. That I was defined by the proximity of the people in my family and friend circles. That I was to surrender myself and my dreams for the idea of motherhood and marriage.
It never sat right with me.
The idea of giving up who I was and what I wanted just to uphold societal norms really upset me. Because why should a woman be defined by her relationships with people? She’s someone, too. She’s someone. Period. On her own she has a worth, a magic, and a power.
Instead of teaching me to embrace and accept myself for everything that made me uniquely and wonderfully me, I was taught to sacrifice that for the “greater good” of marriage and motherhood.
I never understood why women were expected to sacrifice everything for a man. Especially when they weren’t willing to be held accountable or pull their own share. When it was so normalized for them to be treated like another child in their relationship, it just didn’t appeal to me.
Stop acting as if women aren’t people themselves. We are not only the people we have proximity to. We have our own value, our own worth, and our own magic.
If I ever do marry someone then I want it to be because I want to and because I love them, not because society told me I should. And if I never marry, that is okay, because it doesn’t cheapen or lessen my worth. I have always been worthy, and the only one that should feel bad about making me feel as if I were ever less than is society.
Marriage or lack there-of doesn’t define a woman, children or no children doesn’t cheapen or enhance the value of a woman; they’re just two different women with two different lives. Let women live their lives the way they want to do and be who they want to be.
No one gives a man grief when he says he doesn’t want to be married, and yet they all want to vilify women who are career and goal oriented that seek to follow their ambitions and make their dreams real.