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The talks we have here in Pakistan

“We do want the best for you!”

“We have seen more than you have, you can’t tell if they are”

“You should trust the fact that we as your parents can’t possibly make the wrong decision for you,”

“Yes take your time; just don’t say no immediately,”

“How could you just say no like that? You don’t even know maybe this is the best for you,”

These are some of the very common arguments our parents/ relatives or random people around us make as soon as a girl is in her late teens and our society starts looking at them through the lens of “potential rishtas” for their sons. The unconditional love for these sons makes their mothers and our society quite oblivious to the fact that the girl is also a human, has a right to choose what she wants for herself, can say no to the proposal because; yes, it is not mandatory to say yes to every marriage proposal she gets, also the fact that even at some point and time in their lives they were also in their shoes and just like them had to face the same nagging and that if given the chance, life might have turned out differently for them. All these things disregarded, the things we come up with in order to try and convince our teenage girls to say yes to the proposals we think might be right for them are a perfect example of bad argumentation, the murder of logic, ignorance of the individual’s right to choose and much more.

If they dare mention how they want to pursue their education and would rather get married after they are done with their studies, we have the classic:

“It’s alright if you don’t get a degree that you want if you can’t have that job, in the end, this is what all the women will do, and hence this is something that should be done in time!”

marriage

Well, to your disappointment, it is okay to not get married in what you think is the ample time to do so, and by educating herself she’s making sure that she has a secure future or at least a chance to opt out of the marriage in case it turns out to be a bad marriage, live on her own, not be a burden and the repository of your further ramblings about how girls are a burden financially. And then we also have this example they always have of some unfortunate educated family they know;

“Don’t you know their parents let them study and get their masters and their PhDs but now they don’t get any proposals because they are not of the right age and also because they have unrealistic standards normal humans cant match!?”

Guess what unrealistic standards are we talking about here, they’re standards like, the person should be respectful towards my family, should let me continue my job if I want to, should let me be a part of the decision making process about when we should have our children and what decisions shall we as a couple take in life.

Alas. The horror! Women asking for a say in the way their lives would be lived. This is surely the education they acquired that is to be blamed for this. If they point out how the right to choose their spouse is a right which Islam gives them and how you can’t make them say yes by force or pressurize them into saying yes, we have another one:

“Obviously we won’t marry you without your consent, take your time but do make the right decision,”

Oh and by the way, by the right decision they mean the decision they think you should take, which obviously is to get married and procreate as soon as possible.

pressure to marry

My personal favorite is this one, which surfaces in response to any argument they do not have a response to:

“You know you won’t understand at this age because you’re too young,”

And,

“I used to say the exact same things but now that it’s been a while I think it was for the best”

Also, the best way to make you realize how you are a disappointment in general:

“I had so many reservations while I was getting married but I didn’t dare say no to my parents”

And the generalized closure:

“This generation is so unbelievable they can’t even tell who wants the best for them”

This is just a casual routine conversation we have with our teenage girls, and no, surely they do not feel stressed, or as if they have always been a burden, no they are never less motivated to do what they want too, nor do they find themselves facing an unmovable mountains which despite how much they want to evade surfaces every now and then.

For once let them have the life they want, just to see how that works out, we’ve tried it the other way it’s not working so well for us as a society is it?

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