I got the following article from The Jakarta Post published on Sunday, August 8, 2004, written by Reno Rahmawati. I keep this article coz it really attacked me to my deep heart how this male-dominated society doesn’t give much space for women to do what they want except to follow the norm.
THE LENGTHS WE WILL GO TO TO BE WEDDING BELLES
Being a single woman over 30 may not be the most comfortable thing in a “marriage-oriented” society like here, and as a consequence many are willing to go through hell just to be able to say, “I’m getting married.”
I witnessed one such a senseless example at a friend’s wedding last week. I admit I wasn’t really interested in going, partly because I was afraid I would stand up and shout that the whole thing was idiotic.
The bride is 35 years old with a great career, wonderful family and many friends. But she was willing to jeopardize all that for a married man with two children and no steady job.
She also got herself pregnant to give herself more bargaining power with the man.
I had seen coming, because she was always craving to have somebody she could call her own, hungering for a marriage proposal from her boyfriend of the moment. Even so, I was not quite ready for the news only a week before the wedding ceremony.
Her husband’s first wife did not know about the wedding because they live in separate cities, and secrecy hung over the ceremony, with no invitations sent out and none of his family present.
But my friend seemed very happy, quickly referring to “my husband” without acknowledging that he was shared with someone else.
“I have to do this so he will divorce his wife as soon as possible,” she told her friends to explain her choices. “Besides, I am prepared should he want to spend more time with his first wife and their children.
Despite standing to lose a lot more than him if the plan backfired, my friend refused to have a prenuptial agreement, saying that both of them entered the marriage with good intentions of building a life and facing the odds together.
What is she looking for in marriage? Is it companionship? Is it love? Is it about sharing a life together, or merely a quick way to change her status from “single”, with the inevitable, dreaded tag of old maid, to “married”.
The way I see it, love should give you happiness, not anxiety. It should not make you constantly look over your shoulder in case another woman walks into the house, screaming and accusing you of stealing her husband, which is what probably will happen. The truth will out.
Companionship? Well, she claimed that she would be ready to spend many lonely nights when her husband decided to stay with his first family.
Sharing a life? Yes, they will share a life, but with three others in the equation, with her single paycheck supporting all of them.
I can understand that it is frightening to imagine growing old alone, besieged by incessant questions about boyfriends and marriage.
And it is not easy to face your parents and their belief that a woman must get married before 30, and that she is only “complete” with a husband and kids, in tow.
For me, marriage is the holy matrimony of two people, who believe they are meant for each other and will contribute good not only to each other’s lives, but also to society.
Societal pressure, advancing years and tiring of the dating game should not be the reason to take the solemn vows, because it will only lead to problems, especially for any children involved.
But life is always about tough choices, and my friend had chosen to go down that road just to have the satisfaction of saying to all and sundry: Look, I am a married woman.
Lucky for all you men then; some women, even in this “modern” day and age, are willing to do anything just to call you their own.