In my previous article, I wrote the female biological aspects of the need for marriage and in a nutshell, I said: A woman’s desire for marriage by the basic instinct of giving birth is the result of her very nature. However, choosing a mate solely by looking at today’s signs of power such as financial status and job title without seeking any other harmony and moreover, turning to a pertinacious and an aggressive person, if the target of marriage is not hit by the age of 30, is not natural at all.
It is not natural, but unfortunately, it is normal (!) “Norm”al, in other words, fitting the norms and the preset patterns… In our subject, it is the society that has preset the pattern. Let’s take a look at the picture from the societal point of view.
It is highly usual to hear a baby girl being called as a “princess” (and the like) by her parents. Every parent believes that his/her offspring deserves to be shown respect and intrinsically these nicknames are the plain, daily reflections of this belief. Baby girls tend to look like the “princess”es in the fairy tales because the more their roles of “princess”es are encouraged in the family, the more they desire to look like them.
Look at the little girls; they are dressed like princesses with their pink, sparkling dresses and colourful hair bands and they behave like them. The fairy tales for baby girls are also not very different from one another. Generally, every one of them involves a princess -Cinderella, Rapunzel, Snow White- with whom the girls identify themselves with, a male character -generally it is a prince- and a happy ending with a marriage proposal together with “They lived happily ever after” -despite formidable monsters and evil-minded witches-.
While listening to these fairy tales, children internalize beliefs such as “Prince Charming exists”, “Married couples live happily ever after”, “Marriage is the happy ending”, etc. All these beliefs are supported by what the baby girls hear at home: “My girl is going to be a grown up one day and she’s going to wear the wedding gown…” If you are a baby and a female in our society, there is a future age for you to wear a wedding gown and getting married is like some kind of a degree that you are going to get at some point in time. Little girls put pillows on their bellies and act as if they are pregnant; they hug their dolls like their mothers and say “See, here I become a mom!” Most of the parents find these plays very cute, in other words they get support. A baby girls toys are also very consistent with this picture. Dolls, playing house stuff -coffee cups, nail polishes, mirrors, etc. If they have a younger sister/brother, they play the older sister or even the mother for them. All of these, are applauded -a lot or a little- by the families and the society because being a female requires to fulfill some expectations. And at the top of the expectations list lies the roles of spouse and mother.
With the desire of starting a family and giving birth, in her genes… and the extraordinary societal support for that since her birth… Could you guess a +30 woman’s “ideal life picture”?
A 30-year old woman knows very well what is expected from her and what she needs to feel complete both psychologically and socially. Because ‘her time’, that seems to have been waited for by everyone for her entire life, has come. Moreover, she often hears from outside what she already knows: Elders in the family say “Oh, how I would love to see you get married before I pass away…” while the parents say “Today we are alive, tomorrow who knows what… We wish to see you start a family of your own.” What’s more, is the question strangers ask to a 30+ woman as if it is the most natural question on earth “Let me see… Do you have a wedding ring on your finger? No? You should be quick my dear, time flies…”
In the meantime, let’s look at the life of a baby boy. He is called a “prince”, a “pasha” or a “tiger” and the like -nicknames which highlight ability, power and strength. No doubt, the society has expectations from males and these can also be traced from these nicknames. Baby boys mostly play with balls, cars and video games (Nowadays, they also have smart devices, but again from the game spectrum they choose the appropriate games for their gender: They play car games while girls dress up dolls.) Subtexts of the fairy tales and cartoons for boys are “saving the world”, “being a hero”, “wiping out the evil in the world” (He-man, Batman, Spiderman) These characters are internalized and taken as models by the little “prince”s, “pasha”s and “tiger”s. If one of these characters is to love a woman and pronounce the word “marriage”, this is always secondary besides saving the world in primary. In opposition to the characters watched by baby girls, none of these characters have intentions like getting married or being a spouse or a parent. Likewise, neither their families nor the society suggest them to be “the head of a family”, “spouse of a woman”, “a father of a child” during this phase. Therefore, these are not the concepts internalized by baby boys then. On the contrary, subtexts are “Real men are the womanizers”. To such extend that, we see mothers of baby boys brag about their offsprings “My boy is a womanizer!” and when he is to look innocently to a woman, say 20 years older than himself, he is supported for this “Mmm he found you beautiful honey; he understands beauty right away”.
When this boy becomes an adult, his societal test then starts. Because the society also expects an adult man to start a family and be a father. Different from an adult woman, the man has no infrastructure! Marriage? Fatherhood? Householderhood? These are concepts with unknown details for a man and all of a sudden, they pop up in his adulthood. Moreover, they contradict with his infrastructure of “be a womanizer”, “be a real man”.
Therefore, when an adult woman and an adult man cross paths in their private lives, while woman is feeling extremely ready for marriage both biologically and socially, man mostly has difficulty understanding his mate’s desire and “superfast” verdict about marriage. On the other hand, woman starts wondering why her mate has not yet come with a ring in his hand and proposed, from the moment she starts seeing him as “prince charming”. (And that moment is soon after their first date, because a woman is already crystal clear about what she wants and does not want in a mate.)
From this point of view, it has been possible to see the picture larger enough to understand the underneath meaning of this man-woman-marriage triangle which may have looked nonsense while only seeing the small part of the iceberg. We will be continuing with the subject…