I really, really wanted to get married. My husband was not so keen. I mean he loved me and he was completely committed to me but he didn't see why society had to get involved in that. Let's just say I prodded him once or twice and wed we did. I really, really wanted to have a baby. I know it sounds a bit fruit and nut bar but by the time the broody bus hit me, it felt like a physical need. Luckily my husband was on the same page, so along came Roscoe. That being said, I'm not proud of getting married and I'm not proud of having our baby because, for me, those things were easy.
Recently I was talking to an ah-mazing woman who has done astonishing things and she was doubting her own success because some fella hadn't put a ring on it. Don't get me wrong I think you should embrace whatever ambition you desire - aim to get married, aim to have twenty babies but make sure those ambitions are your own and not ones thrust upon you by outside forces.
I think the fetishisation of marriage and popping out babies is a subtle form of misogyny used to limit women and it's one that works. When George Clooney was single he was known for his work as an actor and director and sometimes given a ribbing for being a bit of a cad. When Jennifer Aniston was single at a similar age it was all - POOR JENNIFER, SHE IS SO ALONE, SEE HER EMPTY WOMB.
It's shameful and degrading because where is the skill in getting married or having a baby? By that I mean it's fun to snog in public and eat a bit of cake; it's easy to have unprotected sex with someone you love and fancy but keeping a marriage healthy is a challenge and raising engaged and secure children is a job; co parenting successfully with someone you might prefer never to see again is high five worthy indeed.
When your mate got married I'm sure you laughed and cried and spent half a months wages on a hotel room and a dress in the Oasis sale but at her four year anniversary did you take her out for lunch and tell her how much you admire her commitment to making it work? When a baby is born there is, quite rightly, much fanfare but when a year rolls by no one remembers to say - happy mummyversary, you're doing a sterling job.
By celebrating the status and belittling the progress that follows we're still saying to women your goal is to be a prop, a human representation of someone else's worth. Yes I'm a prize, I'm sure my husband wakes up every day, giddy at the fact that he gets to be married to me; I certainly feel lucky to have him. Along the way, however, my feelings of good fortune have given way to pride because of the effort I put into making and keeping our family happy. I don't want another generation to aim to get married, I want them to aim to create the most wonderful, honest, empowering experience for themselves and for others that they can, because nothing worth having is ever easy.
Do you think getting married is easy?
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