It is funny how in our society we are not yet clear on the idea of self worth. Women would stay in a marriage even after the man had cheated on them or worse yet had taken a second wife, knowing fully that they were simply perceived by their partner as not good enough. Come on, what other explanation is there? Some young ladies would agree to be an option at any time, and men would subject themselves to an examination at a stranger’s house as the “father in law to be” asks questions to see if he fits the daughter’s requirements. In our society, we agree to the loss of self worth at any given time under the framework of “Ethics” and “Decency”
After all, isn’t the idea of an arranged marriage in itself a loss of self worth? Let’s be honest here, these marriages are never about a guy and girl choosing each other, but rather they are about a guy reaching the age of marriage and knocking on someone’s door just to see if the girl in that house fits his wish list. Lacking any deep thought, and I do say with confidence, the test the girl is subjected to is strictly based on looks, ideas about career, religion, and kids and of course her family name because really how deep would that one -hour conversation be?
There are even some cases where this, so called gentleman, goes takes one look, has one cup of coffee at the girl’s house and then disappears forever. Worse yet, he is allowed to pull off the disappearing act without any explanation. He owes nobody anything. In such cases, that means that the girl, for a reason she will never know in her life, did not pass some test that he had in his head.
The idea of arranged marriages is not only demeaning to the woman because it might also work the other way around. The gentleman might show up, and he might want to see this girl again, but yet she decides not to see him simply because he did not fit her wish list. The words “It would simply not work out.” are seen as enough of an explanation, not even given by the girl but by her father.
In case we are still wondering about this idea, these are all instances of losing one’s self worth because, the minute one decides to compromise, agree to be subject to a test, or a showcase, or a person in a list of options the other party has set up for themselves, then the idea of self worth is gone forever.
Even if the relationship worked between these two people subjecting themselves to an arranged marriage, then it would never be about choice it would be about the best fit, like a dress that best fits, or a shoe that best fits. It would never about fully knowing the other person and choosing them anyway with all their quirks, flaws, and issues. Because, let’s face it, we all come with a value package of issues.
The other day I heard someone say, a woman needs to get pregnant straight after marriage in order to tie down the man. I felt I came from a different planet, because I found myself saying “Well if not getting pregnant is reason for him leaving then let him leave.” The horror and shock some people had on their face was priceless. I repeated myself and said “Then let him leave.” the response was “But, she will be divorced.” I responded “But, she will live. She isn’t a baby machine.” In the same week, I heard another person talk about how great another woman was because she agreed to stay in a marriage after the man chose a second wife, while to me I saw nothing great about it. I don’t believe in the pointless sacrifice and to me that is a pointless sacrifice.
Some people argue that these women settle for the sake of the kids, the fear of starving, or not having somewhere to go. To me, none of these excuses are worth it. The kids will survive and even do better in a healthy home, the woman will always be able to stand on her two feet knowing that she chose herself and her respect, and let’s face it we come from a society of families; someone in her family will help her out. Some men may settle from fear of loneliness, or being called a failure, when the bigger failure is trying too hard to make something work when it doesn’t. I am not saying that no problem is worth solving, but major problems are not worth compromising for.
So, what exactly is the idea of self worth? My definition of it is, knowing exactly who you are and what you deserve and not settling for anything less. It is also never agreeing to go into competition with anyone over anything be it a job, a man, or a woman. It is about never waiting, or hoping to be given the respect you deserve, but instead demanding that respect. Self worth is about being ready to walk away the minute our self respect is compromised and never fearing what will happen next because only great things can happen when we respect ourselves The minute we have that idea clear in our heads is the same minute we agree never to compromise in a relationship or work, or life in general.