A case study of post-feminist-fear

I’m scared senseless of marriage. To me it’s still an institution that imprisons intelligent, accomplished women and turns them into home-cleaning, baby-producing, dinner-cooking, „when are you coming home, honey?”-robots. Women are deeply indebted to feminism – true. We now have the right to vote – thanks to the struggles of Olympe de Gouges, and the sacrifices of many other female revolutionaries – the right to free speech, the right to assembly, and all the other things we mostly don’ t do anymore as soon as we get married. 

Feminism, or could it be history, or maybe the many unpleasant personal experiences concerning the institution of marriage, has left us harbouring an intense fear against anything that might be integrated into the category of commitment. We do not want to commit. You get committed into a hospital, a mental institution and of course a marriage. Who wants to be committed?

Worst of all marriage is highly contagious and addictive. My parents – who have not had the happiest marriage possible, to euphemize to the utmost; have been trying to convince me to get married for years. It’s high time, they say, for a 24-year old woman to start her life, and I’ m thinking that this is the fastest way to end it. Everybody seems obliged to get the disease of marriage at least once, otherwise you are stigmatized and banned from the community: you are a hysterical old maiden who never got f****d and is highly stressed because of it.

Nothing will ever change

Marriage is like an illness Marriage to me is like an illness, it’s lethal from the moment you get it, but the venom you have been injected with works so slowly, scientists should study it. It must be like being poisoned over a longer period of time, without having the slightest suspicion. We know the story: He starts coming home late, because he has so much work to do, suddenly he values his friends more and feels the need to spend more time with them, he starts being less patient with you, occasionally even throws some punches just to make you understand how much you have upset him, but of course he is always very sorry, and you think, well you did get him angry…

And then comes the final dozes, the biggest one yet: you find out he has been cheating on you for years. And than you loose all the strength you had left to fight (pathetically always for your children, and never for yourself anymore) and you give in and die (of course you threaten to leave him, take the children – even sadder – you maybe even move back to your mother for a while, who of course tells you that your husband is not that bad of a man, and that all men cheat) and then he comes begging, and for a moment there he might even mean it, and you want to believe him so much because you would like your life to have at least some sense again, and than you move back although you never forgave him, because you had built such a nice house together and the children need a father…but nothing will ever change. 

The shock of my life

I had the shock of my life a couple of days ago when I accidentally bumped into an old childhood friend, whom I hadn’t seen in years. I had heard that she got married, but the idea somehow never materialized in my head. I was visiting my grandfather, in his small Transylvanian village, where I had spent most of my childhood – quite happily I might ad – and was taking a walk up the garden behind the house when I suddenly noticed a familiar figure in the garden across the street. She was working in her garden, mending her tomatoes and lettuce, and all the other vegetables I could not make out, looking very- happy- housewife-like.

Ten minutes later I was sitting in her living room which was quite tastefully arranged, with huge windows I had always dreamed of having, and was drinking her home made strawberry syrup, looking at the wedding albums, at pictures where she seamed artificially happy, and I couldn’t help but think “O my God, this is like something from The Stepford Wives!”. I am now Nicole Kidman’s character at her first shock of meeting these deranged women, perfect suburbia housewives, who work out in their ball dresses! (But give it a few months of marriage and I would probably have integrated myself quite gracefully in this community that you wouldn’t be able to tell the difference with a spyglass.)

My childhood friend
My childhood friend readily showed me all the rooms in the house and held long discourses about how she now would choose a different color for the living room floor, if she had to do it all over again, because this one seems to attract not only dust, but all sorts of schmutz as well. Then I had to hear about the bathroom marble and the rest of the house, which was not ready yet, but would be soon. To my great comfort there was luckily no talk of babies, however I had to hear about what the husband liked and disliked to eat and how they complemented each other on all levels, physical and intellectual.  

And I involuntarily felt like a baby myself, disoriented in an aimless life, in a relationship which had no future plans of marriage, (stuck in a job I hated, but brought nice money) trapped in a religionless world without a house of my own with its close-to-perfection furniture and dog for the complete package. 

I felt lost and thought to myself this could be a goal in life: a house, a dog, a husband, some children and home made strawberry syrup. Yes, this could be it. This might put an end to all of my feelings of anxiety and all my insecurities. This would give me stability. But as she closed the gate behind me and kept waving while I was strolling down the motionless street I knew that this might have been her sweet happiness.

 

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