The featured image has been circulating all over my timeline the past couple of days, and clearly, a lot of people, mostly women, are up in arms about it. The text translates to: “Are you a spinster?! Tell us your opinion about it!” with a bunch of fingers pointing accusatorially at a poor, defeated looking woman. The accompanying hashtag to the campaign is “you are the model/example”
Never you mind that this is an advertisement put out by a COOKING OIL company.
Regardless of the weird execution, and it is very weird, the advertisement does accomplish it’s goal of getting people to talk about a very relevant issue, and one that I personally have to deal with all the freaking time. Single woman shaming.
Since I was 20, I was beset with a barrage of questions about my marital future. No doubt this intensified because my father passed away that year, and the extended family was very concerned about how I could manage to accomplish the task of marrying without his assistance. I say extended, because my nuclear family are not a bunch of morons, and knew very well that my father couldn’t have cared less if I married or not – in fact, he preferred I didn’t, and just lived with him forever. Daddy’s girl through and through.
Obviously, this societal pressure increases with age. With every passing year, people you barely even know pass judgment on your ability to bear children, ask irritating questions about your age, request a summary on how you’re going wrong with “pinning down your man”, offer to set you up with their friend who saw your picture on social media, drop heavy hints about their cousin who is in law school or has his own medical practice. I mean. It’s exhausting just thinking about it.
Now that I’m in my 30s with one unsuccessful marriage under my belt, it’s even worse.
Now it’s also an attempt to carry out a post-mortem on my previous marriage, and throw me a pity party for the fact that I didn’t even manage to have a kid with him. Seriously, people? I’m glad I didn’t! I’m not so selfish that I would just use a man for his sperm and discard him.
It’s 2017. What is so horrible about being single? And why does my life have to be automatically less than stellar because I’m not married? And why can’t I just be mommy to a bunch of dogs and cats if I don’t meet the right guy to have babies with? Isn’t it better to be single than to be married to the wrong person?
Women don’t really need a man to be happy anymore, because we aren’t so deep in the shackles of male patriarchy and not able to work, own property, and travel. Sure, men are great, I love men, some of my best friends are men. (See what I did there?) But being married, or being in a long-term relationship isn’t necessary, my life can be pretty fucking great without it. Sure, sometimes I have my doubts and feel sad or lonely, but that is temporary, and I remind myself that I’m actually lucky and capable and life is what I make of it.
When you meet the right person, it’s a bonus. It’s like levelling up on having a best friend. You get cool benefits like sleeping with someone every night, having sex, mixing your super awesome genetics with another person’s super awesome genetics, AND you get all the “best friend” qualities like having someone to share stories with, laugh with, cook with, and watch movies with.
So till I meet that guy, I’m good on my own and I definitely don’t need your pity.