Opinion

Women and the never-ending When? When? When? When?

Not embodying all the ‘traditional’ roles of a woman doesn’t make you less accomplished

pic TMR

THERE are questions that we obviously have no answers to. When it comes to our life and future to be exact — among other things. No one has the slightest idea who we might be and what we might achieve when we hit a certain age(s). To be fair, this goes for both males and females. 

However, I am intrigued to find that most women deal with the never-ending “when” questions usually from “over-caring” older generations and some friends who have successfully ticked all the right boxes, ie “society appropriate/ accepted” accomplishments. 

Yes, I understand that they try to initiate small talk, but rather than personal issues such as boyfriends, salaries and ticking biological clocks, I believe there are more noteworthy matters to be discussed — current issues, politics, fashion, music, entertainment and mental health — just to name a few. 

The Oxford dictionary defines a woman as an adult human being. It does not help that with the advancements in education, technology and personal achievements, there seems to be a stigma toward women. 

We are expected to do it all. We are expected to get married by 25, have a child or two before we hit 30, and also have a decorated career by 35. 

We are also expected to wonderfully juggle our career, family and friends, and be strong to handle anything that life throws at us. 

I am not complaining, maybe a bit, it is just that these expectations are so above us. 

My POV: I successfully graduated by 25 — When are you getting married? If I do managed to get married — When are you going to have a baby? If I do have a baby — When are you having another child? 

If I’m a housewife — When am I going to put my diploma or degree (if not Masters and Phd) into use? 

If I am a working mother, it gets WORSE — When are you quitting so that you can focus on your marriage and kids? Cause you know, I’m being a bad mom for leaving my children to strangers. 

For those who are single, things get a little more complicated. 

When will you settle down now that you are well into your 40s? When will you stop being picky and just go out and date whoever is available? When are you giving birth, your eggs are drying up? 

With the current economic situation and personal reasons, a one-size-fits-all solution won’t work for everyone. We are individuals, each of us has our own reasons, experiences and expectations when it comes to life-changing decisions. 

Not being a feminist, maybe a little, but some of us have our visions of ourselves. Yes, we are happy for our friends, family and relatives for achieving their personal milestones, but kindly respect our decisions. 

And most importantly, I believe Allah has written the best storyline for us after the hardships and trials. Trust me, Allah is preparing the best “rewards” for us as He is The Most Knowing. Just because it is not our time yet, it does not mean that He will not grant us our rewards, albeit here or in the afterlife. 

I came across this list of nine roles of a woman (www.floweraura.com) that I’m supposed to go through in life — a daughter, a sister, a friend, a wife, a daughter-in-law, a mother, a professional, a mother-in-law and a grandmother. I’ve yet to achieve five of themandImaynotdosoinmy lifetime. That doesn’t make me less of a woman, an accomplished one at that. 

Oh, on another note, for both SINGLE men and women, here is a quote for you to ponder: “It’s better to wait long than marry wrong.” 

  • Intan Baha is a copy editor at The Malaysian Reserve.

  • This article first appeared in The Malaysian Reserve weekly print edition
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