Over thirty and not married? According to Ganong and his co-researcher, Elizabeth Sharp, a professor at Texas Tech, if you aren’t married by the age of 30 you are a loser characterized by the pressure to conform to “conventional life pathways,” which naturally include a husband and baby.
Throughout history, men have always been capable of choosing a path in life that they felt suited them best. Unfortunately, women have been unable to have that same right and privilege. Traditional gender roles are still evident in our society and they dominate the way in which the majority of individuals still perceive marriage. From when we are under ten years of age we are already pre-conditioned to accept that our primary function for existence is finding a boy to love us, marriage, followed by children. We spent most of our childhood lives fantasizing about white, strapless gowns and the final “I do’s.” Being unmarried by a certain age implies something ‘wrong’ with you, as no man wants to be with you, rather than the other way around.
A woman being unmarried at any age does not indicate that she is dysfunctional in any way. On the contrary, she may be self aware and confident enough to actually live her life however she desires. Far too often do people get into a relationship unaware of their selves, insecure due to their own flaws- and this especially applies to females. Too many women still live under the notion that once they meet a partner and settle down they will finally find true happiness; hence why the women who chose to remain unmarried are viewed as dysfunctional.
We have shows such as The Bachelor, where twenty five insecure, hopeful women compete for a relationship with a man they barely know anything about. Then we have the female version, The Bachelorette, where twenty five men compete for the temporary love of a stereotypical, desperate woman. There are endless shows with a similar theme, implying that women can only find true happiness through a man and marriage. Yet all these shows have one similarity among them and that is the inability for any of these relationships to endure past the first three months. It’s rather fascinating that with numerous failed relationship attempts these shows still continue to dominate our television screens and brainwash our already manipulated minds.
Well, newsflash to all the traditional, old school, judgmental individuals- some women chose to be emotionally reliant on themselves and indirectly married to their careers. Being unwilling to rely on a man for financial or emotional stability is one of the top reasons why women chose to be alone, alongside endless other personal motives.
What makes a person happy can not be determined by anyone or anything other than that person. Maybe that thirty-two year old you met at the party and questioned about her single status has consciously made this choice for herself and is content with it. Far too often does society assume and judge others, however every person makes decisions on a daily basis and the majority of these grown women have made the decision to spend their life with friends, family and colleagues.
It is now 2012 and it is time to let go of the conventional, traditional gender roles.