Marginalized Majority

Kristie Collins theory of mediated singleness states  there has always been a perception of female(singleness) and the actual experiences of the single women  in mainstream America which are still identifiable with women till date.

”Marriage can be a source of joy and love and mutual support but why do we teach girls to aspire to marriage and we don’t teach boys the same? We raise girls to see each other as competitors not for jobs or accomplishments, which I think can be a good thing, but for the attention of men. We teach girls that they cannot be sexual beings in the way that boys are.”-   (Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie 2013)

“While falling in love is fun, it’s not everything, and it’s not the antidote to an unfulfilled life, despite what Reese Witherspoon movies may tell you.” (Jessica Valenti 2009)

“If any female feels she needs anything beyond herself (e.g. a male figure) to legitimate and validate her existence, she is already giving away her power to be self-defining, her agency.” – (Bell hooks 2000)

Feminist of the 1970s opined that the issue of marriage should be avoided like a plague because it had placed women in an un-imaginary box (Richards 1982:39). Albeit, the ‘society’  according to Collins (2013:24) the (African) society holds marriage in high esteem, it has thus made it socially acceptable to be married by also placing social incentives like health care to the women and regarding married women with more respect than their unmarried counterpart regardless of her social and/or financial status in the society. African American society put marriage on a high pedestal to the point mothers compel their females to stay married even when they know it is no longer healthy- they do this because the idea of  going from MRS to Ms is seen as a ‘spiritual torment from a family member who has placed a curse on the female’(Reynolds 2005). Reynolds scenario is one of many ways Patriarchal knowledge and power vested on women to other women according to  Smith(1997:395).

It was in this regard that a social activist group named: “the Feminist in 1969 made a declaration that marriages should be eliminated to guard against female stereotypes until the unmarried are valued as much as the married women (Mauthner 2005:36). Though, the purpose of this post is not to disagree with the idea of marriage which in itself should not be considered a bad thing, however, this research aims to institute the knowledge of the problems of labelling faced by women in a Nigerian society. While Dorothy Smith opines that the social life of every society around the world is male centred (Smith 1997), Adichie reiterates by adding that gender and its expectations prescribe to us how we should be rather than recognising how we are. She further states that the idea of masculinity is a ‘hard small cage’ the society has put boys into without prior knowledge from the boys (Adichie 2011).

 

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