“I can’t wait to be 30!” … I remember how that came off as a shock to everyone who heard me say it, specially the ladies. They’ve always asked me “What is it that makes you look forward to grow older?” “Let’s stay in the twenties. It would have been great to pause at twenty-five” so they said to me! I then started to think what is it that makes women so scared of aging? Why is it such a taboo to ask a woman about her age? And why do women feel increasing pressure as they grow older especially in Middle Eastern societies?
“In almost every family, there’s a girl suffering the pressure of having to get married before it’s “too late””
Sad as it sounds; women in the Arab world were raised up to the belief that the older they grow the less desirable and important they become. In almost every family, there’s a girl suffering the pressure of having to get married before it’s “too late”, having to breed before she’s “too old and useless”, as if that’s the only thing women were born for!
An Eastern woman finds it difficult to cope with a society which defines her by her age, rather where she stands and how far she has gone throughout the years. That’s not to mention the privacy invasion and unjustified linking between her marital status and her age. Family gatherings, weddings, and occasions filled with elders have become a heavy burden to a lot of women. That of course is as they are quite aware of the pile of harsh questions they’ll encounter. As smart as a woman is, she knows that if she manages to evade one question, she’ll never manage to evade the one that follows. Simply, because our society will always find things a woman is “too late” for; it’ll find million ways to tell her “you’re old!” If she’s not married yet; then she’s old. If she’s married with no kids yet; she’s old. If she’s married with only one kid; she’s too old to have another. Sadly, the list goes on…
“our society will always find things a woman is “too late” for; it’ll find million ways to tell her “you’re old!””
As society pays attention to women in terms of family making only, it fails to give them credit for the accomplishments they’ve made in other areas of their lives be it academically or professionally. It’s undeniable that this perception of a woman leaves her always feeling unaccomplished, inadequate and running out of time.
We all come across a lady or two who have become thirties-phobic. They shudder to think of how they will face society if they’re not married by the time they’re thirty, as if they owe society a justification! Little does our society know that the pressure it throws upon women’s shoulders is actually the reason why they feel old. Judging a woman based on her marital status and home making capabilities is a blunt underestimation of her abilities and potential.
We’ve come to see that some women, unfortunately, have narrowed their interests and attention to one thing only: man-hunting. To get married before it’s too late, to have kids before it’s too late. They focus on being what society wants them to be, rather than what they want for themselves. They’ve fallen into the trap of thinking this is the only success, the only accomplishment, the one thing they need to get done before some expiry date!
“some women, unfortunately, have narrowed their interests and attention to one thing only: man-hunting. To get married before it’s too late, to have kids before it’s too late”
We’re not by any means trying to victimize women here. Placing her as a victim is placing her at a position of weakness. However, women are powerful, very powerful. It’s about time we tell women how invincible they are. It’s about time we give them back their self-confidence and teach them how to love themselves the way they are. Here’s a shout out to all of you amazing women out there. You’re beautiful no matter how old. You’re desirable no matter how old. Embrace your age, don’t fear it. Youth is a state of mind and heart, not the number of candles you blow out each year. You’re important, and valuable; don’t allow them to tell you otherwise. You’re not just a breeding creature; don’t allow them to tell you otherwise. You’re the successful businesswoman, the ambitious entrepreneur, the artist, the doctor the engineer. You’re the missing piece of the puzzle completing a beautiful picture. You’re the milestone of our society, and you make a difference, no matter how old.
A strong believer of Self-love and the magic it works in one’s life, a wordsmith and a bookworm.
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Twitter account: Rana_Hamdy