It is a truth universally acknowledged, that a single man in possession of a good fortune, must be in want of a wife.
Most people will easily recognize this quote as the very first lines in of the novel Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen. One of my all time favorite novels I must say, who doesn’t love Elizabeth and Mr. Darcy, despite their flaws, they have the best of intentions. I can distinctly remember my reaction when I read that line. I was quite frankly puzzled. At first, I believed that Jane Austen was suffering from some kind of self-delusion, but pretty quickly recognized the sarcasm for what it is. Allow me to rewrite that statement if I may.
It is a truth universally acknowledged that a single woman without possession must be in want of a husband.
What is so cleverly highlighted by Jane Austen, is the belief that women cannot be without, thus they yearn to be adjoined by marriage to a man and to go even further; women often view marriage as a form of self-actualization.
What was that, oh really? I can hear the objections.
“This no longer applies to our society”
“Not anymore … women have become liberated”
Is this really true and most importantly has society liberated us? If so why are words like slut, whore and the ever-popular bitch still being used so frequently? Why is it that when women have children out-of-wedlock there is still that disapproval in a variety of subtle actions? This I know from experience, as I am a child conceived and raised out-of-wedlock.
Are we really modern and liberated? Or do we need to follow Bob Marley’s advice?
Emancipate yourself from mental slavery
Some may ask why it is so hard for us to release ourselves from the constraints of socialization. The answer is obvious. We are social creatures and products of our environment. Socialization is a natural derivative of civilization and by the time we realize who we are it’s sometimes too difficult for us to change, particularly if it is ‘acceptable.’
Similarly, our society has also effectively created these ideas of love and relationship that never materialize for most persons. It is my belief that relationships are illusions we create to satisfy our sense of social decorum. This illusion is then shattered when it becomes apparent that our so-called relationships are not exclusive. We are consequently forced by our dignity to end the said relationship. As remaining in a polygamous relationship betrays our notions of respectability and belies our modern sensibilities.
Now what is a woman to do? Our attempts at gaining that infamous yet prominent wedding ring keeps eluding us.
Now the purpose of this blog is not to preach or give unrealistic solutions, but to give food for thought. Therefore, I’m not planning a demonstration, even though I probably should. I can however, give some insight into what I do on a daily basis to disabuse my negative socialization.
I refuse to be stereotyped. I embrace my sensuality. I become confident of my intellectual prowess. I set my moral and religious standards and I refuse to compromise them. But most importantly I try to do what makes me happy not what I think will be acceptable by some false set of social conventions.
Here are sets of questions that I use to tell whether or not my socialization has completely imprisoned me. What am I? As opposed to what I want to be and who I think I am? How do I define myself? What standards do I use? Moral, social or religious? How do they weigh against each other? What is more important to me: vanity or pride? Which of the two is my driving force? In essence, my questions are all geared to answering one question. What matters more? What I think about myself or what others think about me?
Isn’t it time to shuffle off the coils of socialization and freely be our most true and authentic self?
All copyright credit goes to Dina Goldstein, who’s photo I have been unable to get out of my head since I first saw it. It depicts Snow White and Prince Charming after the happily ever after – maybe not so happy. Check out her other photos here.