Social Norms

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The building blocks of society are human beings. When me and you put our minds together and determine whats exceptable and whats not, we are creating social norms. General definition of Social norms or mores are the rules of behavior that are considered acceptable in a group or society. People who do not follow these norms may be shunned or suffer some kind of consequence.

In my day to day walk, im starting to feel that some of these perceptions that are imposed on people are neither fair nor equitable. To me, some are starting to lean towards being prejudice, discriminatory and not holistic particularly to women. I’m told it’s a free country, free to walk and live your life as you wish and yet these chains and shackles are around me, vultures watching my every move, ready to share their disapprovals.

What aggravates me the most is that your society as an individual is made up of friends, family, loved ones, neighbours etc, those who are meant to be understanding and supportive towards your situation, instead they are in the fore front of your public shun.

Unmarried women are seen as failures. For many, an unmarried status signifies unworthiness, you have no value, you deserve less respect in society. As soon as a young woman turns 28, people raise eyebrows and unsolicited questions are whispered “what’s happening with her”. It’s as if marriage is the highest achievement a woman can ever reach. There’s always that half-drunk uncle who then breaks the whispers and blatantly asks when are you getting married?

Is this really the relevant question to be asking? Does it not matter to you who I get married to as long as you are rid of me and cows have replaced my position in the family? This ignorant mentality is perpetuated by the false notion that women spend their entire lives grooming themselves for marriage – and if they never make it down the aisle, they have failed at life. I think the relevant question is “Are there any young men who are proving themselves worthy of you lately”. Generally the answer to that question is no as there are less men in this world and more of the over-aged boys.

You are pressurising the girl child into a premature decision that determines whether she gets into a lifetime of happiness or a lifetime of misery. Your primary concern is not her livelihood or her inner peace but rather her status on a piece of paper. Once she is in this marriage that she was coerced into, all her prior active participants are nowhere to be found as she struggles on to keep her marriage afloat.

Now she’s married, she’s happy, she’s taking timeout with her spouse to enjoy each other and their new lives. They have set goals and…. there again is society…..creeping in and asking all the peripheral questions such as ”where are the children?”. Do you people stop? This is her timeline and life story not yours. Your intentions here are not pure, your questions are not kind, why are you prying? You surely followed all the social norms but clearly you are not happy with your life otherwise you wouldn’t feel the need to impose rules and regulations on another individuals life, one who has no direct influence to yours.

She announces she’s getting married. First question asked is what does he do for a living. Again is this relevant? This is a very subjective question but in my opinion, the relevant questions to ask are does he make you happy, does he treat you right, is he worthy of your love, is he a man of integrity. What matters the most is her happiness, do not rob her of that. She married a man who has a blue collar job or earns half of what she does….the primary goal is her happiness, how she feels. The only thing that would make her question her decision about this man is based on your (society) opinion of him. Don’t have an opinion, you are not the one living with him, she is. The only time your opinion matters is when she comes to you crying that his not treating her right. A wealthy man does not guarantee your girl child’s happiness. What he earns and how he looks are not characteristics to look out for when deciding on inner peace and contentment, which should be your primary concern.

Life is short, there’s no re-run or replay button to it. Let a woman live her life to the happiest of her ability. You are there to guide not set social standards that make her choices feel unworthy. “Society” starts with you, your mindset needs to be re-evaluated.

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