“Why do you go overseas to study at your age? Your parents worked so hard to bring you up. As a woman, you should just find a job and husband here and take care of them. You failed in your duty to your parents.”
source : http://www.globaltimes.cn/content/972670.shtml
Last year, just before I graduate my master degree, I stumbled upon this article, which hits home really hard.
If you are a woman, passing the age of 25, especially if you are Asian, then you must be used to people, especially the elderly ones, asking you “Sooooo…. Where is that special person in your life, and have you guys set up a date?”
Which usually I respond by giving the inquirer a big grin, pointing at the sky, and start shouting the classic “LOOK!! A FLYING COW!!”, and run away.
I don’t really feel comfortable being asked that question, but being a fair and nonjudgmental person that I am (*smug*), I try to put myself in the inquirer’s shoe and try to justify the reasons they are asking me that question. I finally come up with some possible (overthought, possible) reasons and the best way to deal with that question.
Although I do not doubt that there are detrimental people who asks you about when you are going to get married for mere personal satisfaction (i.e. to have a gossip they can share with your mutual friends). There are still some who asks because they are actually worried about your well being in the future.
Let me start explaining with a brief of history and social facts.
Women emancipation movement is nothing new, but it is not something which our parents generation (my parents are in their 60s now) could take for granted. The statistics (https://www.weforum.org/r…/the-global-gender-gap-report-2016) shows that EVEN NOW there are opportuinities gap caused by gender, this condition is getting better since, say 30 years ago, but there are still existing prejudices that women are not as capable as men in providing for themselves. Thus having a male partner is the best choice. This condition is changing. For one thing, it is not illegal (at least in most progressive cities/countries) for women to stand in the same position as men.
Leaving the gender equality argument for a different occasion, what I want to point out here is that 30-40 years ago most women are still dependent on men to provide for them. So it does make sense if someone in their 60s or 70s, thinks that if you are a woman in your 30s, if you are not married it is a handicap for you economically.
Another thing, in the past, it is not so common for people to have investments and pension security plans. So having kids to take care of you, is the way that you can insure security for your life after pension. And in most Asian countries, the norm is getting married and then have kids.
Also before the internet become the bare necessities of life, social interaction are made much often with nuclear families. In the past, there are no SNS or online forums, so the best social support community you have is your family. (I personally still think it is, but nowadays your inner circle grows largely outside of your family.)
Bottom line!(I know you just want to scroll down to my answer)
So the next time I’m asked about this my reply will be, “I don’t know yet, but I want to do it when the time is right. I appreciate that you are worrying about me, but I am sure I am taking well care of myself and am prepared for my future!
And if they aren’t satisfied with that answer, and trying to push the topic further, probably I’ll go nuts and say
“Do you know that there are the increasing needs of female participation in the workforce to support the global economy growth. Therefore, both the government and the industry are showing great efforts to increase the participation of women in the workforce………..” And I’ll continue ranting on with the available welfare and security plans, data about contribution to the economy, working female support community, etc, etc. At one point the inquirer will think I’m crazy and leave me alone. (So don’t try me people…)
That being said, I am not opposing marriage in any way. But as I said when I do it, I want to do it right!
Like how Aimee Finicky put it in Spectacular Now
“My husband and I will both live on a horse ranch.”
(I live next to an Equestrian Park, that counts!)
“I will work for NASA”
(Not NASA but still research stuff)
“And my husband will do something different so we can offset each other”
(The last thing I still need to work with!)
Two checks down the list and one more to go. I think I’m progressing quite well in having my dream realized!!