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Social Pressure – Page 2
Upon her arrival home, she noticed the loud music and chanting coming out of her house as her mother planned a party to celebrate her success. All of the women of her family, neighbors and friends gathered in order to congratulate her. She was thrilled seeing them all there for her, but then that feeling of happiness faded away facing the continuous question of her next success which is in their eyes “Getting married!” It was like her certificate didn’t mean anything to them; it was just a ticket for the ultimate goal of getting a husband!
Sarah has been struggling through this dilemma for years now. Like every other girl, she has been dreaming of a man to love. A man who can take care of her and give her the affection she needs. She wants to get married, but not to a stranger who would come to her family house and propose to her with his family in the traditional way of things. Instead, like a lot of other girls these days, she wants to get to know and love this guy before bringing him home to her family.
Dating a man wasn’t an option to her family. She can imagine her father or brother’s reaction if they saw her in a public place with another man. She knows how strict her father is. Even though he might not hurt her physically, she knows that being out with another man would bring much shame to her father with his old social mentality and strict religious views.
She can’t help herself but to be jealous of her younger brother who has no problem dating other girls. She used to wish that she was born male in this masculine dominated society. Her brother has grew up feeding on his father mentality. Being a man gave him a green light to fool around with other girls, staying late at night with his friends, and having no real boundaries. At the same time, he would take her father’s role and make himself responsible of her, her behaviour, friends and other stuff as a mean of protection in his eyes.
It was a wonderful party that day. As she went to bed exhausted, her mother came to have a little chat with her. “My little angel, look how grown up you are, you have succeeded in college, I am sure you will be a good wife too, may God send you a good husband.” Her mother said as she turned up her eyes towards the ceiling asking God for a husband gift. She then continued “You shall start looking for a job dear instead of keep on sitting here in the house; you need to go out and socialize”.
“Ok mother, I will start looking tomorrow” Sarah said while trying to hide her sadness of her mother’s motives in urging her to find a job. “Don’t forget to pray before going to bed” Her mother added as she left the room. What kind of hypocrisy is this? She asked herself. She loves her mother, but she can’t forget her mother’s objection on her wearing a veil when she talked to her about it a couple of months ago. Being a Muslim, Sarah has been struggling with this decision. She needed her mother’s support in order to make what is right for her belief. Instead, her mother rationalized her objection that it would reduce Sarah’s chances of getting a noticed by men in order to get a husband.
“Wait after you get married” her mother’s words stuck in her head. Sarah realizes her moderate beauty, she and her mother thought that the veil would eat from her beauty by hiding her hair. She has pretty eyes, but she doesn’t like the sharpness of her chin. She is slightly chubby with a bit shorter than average height. Knowing that, she developed excellent skills for making herself look better over the years. Still, her insecurity about her beauty never went away.
Having all that pressure from her mother, friends and society around her, realizing how time passes fast and the limitations her father and brother put around her and her own insecurities created this nightmare inside of her: The nightmare of not getting married.
To be continued…