This post is going to contain a lot of unpopular opinions and it’s not meant to convince or persuade anyone to let go of certain views. This is just me expressing how some aspects within the culture that make me…cringe a little.
First, let me say I find it very shocking how many people I met during my travel that were concerned with the fact that I did not have marriage or kids on my mind. Especially at my “big age”. I’m 23, and apparently I’m closing in on my due date and time is running out. I tend to just smile at these unwanted opinions people felt the need to express out loud, because it’s like why y’all in my business? I’m not even in my business when it come to that.
Jokes aside, I honestly don’t care about this at all. What mainly concerned me was the fact that there are still many young girls (younger than me) in some parts of Ghana and many many other countries who are expected to be married and have children at age that’s not safe…mentally or physically. I have the privilege to have safe options in my life, a privilege to choose to not be bothered by these social expectations. I often wonder if my attitude would be the same if living in a place where such expectations were a rule or a means for survival.
I’m not going to lie, I am biased when it comes to marriage since I do have a more cynical view of it. But, I am trying to expand my view into a more realistic and holistic one. Nonetheless, certain gender roles expectations and characteristics of it…do not always make marriage an attractive or fair lifestyle for women.
First of all, don’t take any of these African men hitting on you and offering marriage seriously, I beg. If he really wants you he would pay your bills first.
….but not really.
My issue is what is really being offered? Hear me out.
Most of these men quick to “propose” are often the same to have quite some misogynistic views. Many are particularly bothered when a woman is not considering marriage (with a man). It’s like how dare you try to think you can make it without a man, how dare you think a man is an option!
For example, one night during my stay, sitting outside, enjoying the cool evening breeze in Accra, a conversation sparked around this topic with the guys and I was told by some that I wasn’t a real woman because I didn’t agree with certain views and wasn’t willing to accept a certain life as a woman. Views such as:
- A wife who doesn’t serve her husband everyday is not a real woman. Serving means cooking, cleaning, you know the usual.
- A husband can not do certain things (anything to do with household chores, that the woman is expected to do, rain or shine, after 8 hour job or not) solely because he’s a man.
- Men are to control the wife because women don’t know how to take care of business… (For example a woman is supposed to hand her entire paycheck to the man, not because we are bringing money together as a couple to equally manage but just because women just can’t handle money)
However, when my life is full of brilliant, tenacious women who handle things exceptionally (on their own), it’s difficult to see men as a need rather than a option, a want. When my life is full of men who don’t depend on these toxic views for their masculinity, to define their manhood, it is difficult to see them as nothing but kwasiasem.
If this is the marriage they are so quick to offer, my already skeptical mind is definitely not considering them at all.
Also, don’t get me started on the fact that everytime I would be out with a guy, people would refer questions (even ones concerning me or both) to him rather than me…ugh I don’t recall wearing my invisible cloth.
Honestly why is Patriarchy a thing at all?
P.S. Gentlemen, if the shoe doesn’t fit…no need to be fake hurt.
On a more important note: Find out more on Global Child Marriage on UNICEF