Every time I hear the phrase “You have to make an honest woman out of her” I cringe. That lovely myth that a woman is not a whole person until she has been married just kills me a little inside. And not necessarily for the obvious reasons, more for the feeling it ignites in me. That painful, and horrible twinge that almost feels like it is true or could be true.
When D and I told his mother that we were moving in together after dating for 5 years, she reacted by saying that I was basically ruining myself. She actually used the phrase, “there is no reason for him to buy the cow if he can get the milk for free”. She was absolutely serious and would not lift a finger to help us pack and move. I recall there even being a bit of a struggle getting her to come and see our place for the first time. So the stigma of a female not saving herself for marriage is still one that even I have faced. And although her comment did not sway my opinion that we move in together, it did bring to forefront what moving in together meant. It turned the experience into a pathway towards marriage. The co-habitation was not just because we were in love and we wanted to share our life, but rather it was a trial. If we could live together then we could get married. If we could raise a puppy together then we could have children.
This is a mentality I have tried very hard to shake. At the end of the day there is little fulfillment for me in these little pre-determined trials. There is a lot more happiness in just enjoying the time together and doing things that feel good and are mutually agreed upon with no expectation. To say, we are getting a puppy in order to trial run a kid, then the expectation on the puppy can sometimes take away from the actually experience and joy of having a puppy. And what if you learn that your partner is poor at disciplining an adorable little monster, does that really mean that your lives together are a farce? In the same way, there is a real societal pressure to get married so the woman has a real purpose in life.
And I truly from the bottom of my heart wish that this sentiment did not exist. Putting aside any sexism from the statement, and just dealing with the basic facts involved. If this statement was a point of fact, then because I am 29 and never been married, I am a dishonest woman. Because I have sex outside of marriage, I have devalued my body, and tarnished it, thereby ensuring I will not get married and thus will never be honest. I hope I am not the only one out there who is appalled that such discriminatory parameters are still very prevalent in our society. I do not need a ring to be honest, although that is not to say that I will never want one.
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