Women's Life Choices and Marriage - Do Kiwis Need To Fly?
The Kiwi, a Flightless Individual
Does a Flightless Bird Need to Fly?
The original question put by ayaniv was "Is marriage a necessity of life, especially for a woman?"
I answer with another question: "Do kiwi birds need to fly?"
The audience may respond, "What does it all mean?"
The Ongoing Riddle
My observations have been these: Even if women did need to be married, they may find marriage impossible to achieve in an area where there are no men to marry. In that event, these women must adjust to a non-married state of being or experience tremendous anxiety on top of social pressures to marry (in groups that expect or even demand marriage).
In some societies, arranged marriages are the norm. A woman that refuses these arrangements often incurs consequent wrath and social restrictions. She might be socially ridiculed or even shunned, perhaps denied employment. All manner of strictures may be put into place against her and she may find herself needing to move away from her home society in order to survive. This requires confidence, determination, and bravery. The same can be said for men that prefer not to have their nuclear families arranged for them.
In other societies, family and friends begin prodding a single woman in her late teens with questions, even in the 21st Century, like:
- Why don't you have a man (boyfriend, finance, sugar-daddy, significant other, etc.)?
- When are you going to get married (move in together, make a civil union, shack up, etc.)?
- When are you going to have children?
- When are you going to give me grandchildren?
- Why are you going to college, all you need is a husband?
- What's wrong with you?
Again, this can be said about men in certain societies as well.
The riddle is: If marriage is required for survival, then what is a woman to do that cannot marry? She may not even wish to marry.
I like long walks, especially when they are taken by people who annoy me.— Noel Coward
How Can This Bird Fly?
A Riddle Addendum
The wonderful kiwi bird has been called a genetic leftover. Are single women also called leftovers?
Even in the 1990s, I could not extract an answer to the riddle from individuals and groups that believe(d) that all women should marry and not work outside the home.
Now, stay-at-home moms and homeschooling moms are superheroes to me, because that is an overwhelming, important, neverending job. I have to say a big Thank You! to all of them, because I think they do not hear it often enough.
However, these folks I mention believe(d) that no woman should ever work outside the home, because the King James Bible surely meant this by many of its passages. I think that is incorrect, looking at the original language. These folks stated that unmarried women should only volunteer at church and not work for pay, staying at home with their parents.
I asked the people what a woman is to do to survive other than work, if
- She has absolutely no famly or property; no living relatives with whom she can abide; no friends that will take her in for free,
- No men are available to marry or none of them wishes to make such an arrangement, and
- The homeless shelters are full.
There was no real answer to this. The military is out, because it is work. Churches do not financially support single women that can work, except Catholic orders of nuns and perhaps some other faith groups. The Peace Corps might be a possiblility, but the stipend paid makes it a type of paid work.
So, my opinion is that the riddle needs to be eliminated from society, at least Ameican society. At the same time, we need not become cubicle-dwelling single entities depicted by the novel 1984.
The truth, I think, is that not every women - or every man - will become married and we cannot change this fact. Some will be sad about this, so friends and family can be emotionally supportive of them. Some will be happy about this - and if they are, let us leave them alone or congratulate them on their happy lives.
We can stop telling the kiwi it has wings (which it does not need).
Must She Be Married?
The Numbers Don't Add Up
The US Census in 2007 reported 147,129,583 males and 151,627,727 females in the United States and this difference is usual for most years.
Even if all pairs (im)possible were forcibly matched, 4,498,144 females have no match possible. Further, since males live shorter live spans on average than females, some males will likely die before females can marry them. Therefore, why hound women about not being married, unless the sentiment is a cultural artifact, outright cruelty, or malicious spurring toward cat-fight competition?
Is a high divorce rate a method of providing men to more than one woman without committing bigamy? An interesting thought.
Regardless of all this, not every person in the US will be married, because very little is "all", except in the case of a fractal equation, which has no margin for error, no tolerance level, no wiggle room -- One nano-change and you have a completely different pattern.
Still, even all this is moot when we consider the premise that not everyone wants to be married and should not be forced to do so (civil rights) -- You cannot force someone to want to do so.
1st US Female Astronauts in 1978
Mary J. Blige
Self Reliance, But Still a Community
Any single man or woman is less of a person, in my opinion, if he or she marries a partner solely in order to gain financial support and a roof over the head Some people do this, however, and they seem to make it work. That's fine. Some folks are supported in this manner without marriage and while I think it may not be the best course of action either, it is their own lives to live. Again, fine. If any of these individuals would ask me my opinion, I would give it objectively, but otherwise I leave them alone -- Just as I do any single person that wishes to remain single.
Remaining single and relying on long-term welfare is another matter, a part of the concern of Welfare Reform in the first place. However, some people simply need help. But in America, if a 29-year-old woman (or man) is working in a successful career and judiciously seeking help when needed from professionals, such as healthcare practitioners, attorneys,accountants, realtors, bankers, mechanics, and whomever else one may require; then why is anyone criticizing her for lacking a husband?
It is the unfortunate norm that as individual in a group betters herself or himself, the mass of individuals at the status quo grasp at the moving or rising person to draw that person back into the mass. This is rather like Odo rejoining the lake of the Dominion Founders in the finale of Star Trek: Deep Space Nine® -- It's a perfect visualization of the phenomenon.
Ladies and Gentlemen, do not be sucked back into the mass. You can chart your own course, meet your own goals, and yet participate in the community. Hopefully, each of you can improve it in your own corner and the whole will rise in function. This reminds me that the commune is making a comeback as well. Regardless, choose your own nuclear family.
Don't get married just to get married and don't reject it just to reject it. Be yourSelf.
Content where I am, also hoping to improve.— Asian proverb
What Do you Think?
Do women need to be married?
© 2009 Patty Inglish MS