I’m 24 years old. In my culture, it is not uncommon for women to get married young. With the current generation, women tend to get married by the time they graduate from university. My mom has been pushing this idea that I should be married by the time I graduate (nope). After 6 long years, I finished dental school, and currently doing working my ass off because I love working what I do and helping out my patients. It’s not enough for my parents that I had just submitted a manuscript to get my paper published, that I have graduated from dental school, that I’ve grown into an intelligent woman who does her best.
My mom has been pushing the idea of marriage to me. Two problems. I’m not religious and I am not financially independent.
I decided to go with the notions of looking into the proposal with intentions of rejecting the man for whatever reason. Talked to him twice on the phone, and I have solid reasons to not want to be with this man. He doesn’t know how to cook, is not willing to learn, and has lived with his mother most of his life, and presumably wants a traditional Arab housewife which I cannot provide him.
I’m very liberal, against gender stereotypes, and because I will be contributing to the household, I don’t see why I have to be the one to sacrifice my dreams. I’ve explained this to my mother in a non-triggering, logical manner, and outlined the important things that I’m looking for in a husband.
He must treat me like an equal, contribute to household chores, not treat me like a responsibility because I don’t need a bloody handler, and we need to have some sort of Chemistry. I even highlighted that the man is not a bad guy, but he and I are not compatible and he is better off looking for a girl that fits his standards. I added at the end to my mother that just because I am a woman, it doesn’t mean that I can’t be happy without a man running the house and four children at my feet. I am perfectly content waiting til later for the guy that would suit me.
My mom went absolutely ballistic. Yesterday she was telling me on the phone that I was very wise and smart and that any man would be lucky to have me accept them to today where she told me that I have some sort of sick twisted ideology where I’ve been influenced by something or someone to think these things and that a woman’s natural place is in the home with children. And that there was no such thing as an equal marriage but a ‘fair’ one where my husband will ‘let me’ work granted I fufill my tasks and responsibilities. She further went on to tell me that I am the product of a failed upbringing and that she should have never raised me with the idea that I should be comfortable with the language I speak (English) and with my identity (Very against traditional Arab Practice). I am apparently a failure and I am ruining my chance for a good future because:
A. I don’t have a job yet and am not guaranteed to ever get a job.
B. If I reject these proposals, I will never be married and therefore have children and live the saddest life ever. I will be nothing.
I focus too much on the concept of having a career and I can still have one once I get married and have precious babies. I am also very deluded for not thinking like a typical Arab woman and she thought I would grow out of this stupid ‘phase’ I’m going through.
Mature enough to get married, but not mature enough to make decisions for myself. Mature enough to bear children, but not mature enough to live alone and focus on my career for a few years. I hate that I live like this. I’m not financially independent like many girls my age and I don’t live in a supportive country yet, but the fact that my requests came off as unreasonable for wanting mutual respect and no hierarchy of power in my relationship is just…
I hate that I have disappointed my family so deeply for them to feel this way, but I also cannot accept being the submissive woman that they want me to be. I feel so dissociated these days, and her words really hurt me. My own mother is disappointed in me. She wouldn’t have said these things to my brothers because they’re the men. They’re in charge. They don’t have to sacrifice their careers to have a family, they get to have both. If they want to marry someone outside of their ethnicity or religion, sure my parents would object, but would accept it eventually. Why is it that I can’t have the same responsibilities, just because I’m a woman?
I am at a loss for words.