Monday, December 12, 2016

Rethink Our Vexation

. . . What good was berating women for being single or for the growing divorce rate if men were not ready or did not have the skills to deal with being married?

The community leaders got together to discuss the issue. They agreed that there were huge problems around arranging suitable marriages and keeping them together. They agreed that they must get together again and discuss the problems. They reconvened and discussed that the problems were growing and that solving them was a community priority. After all, a community is made up from the building blocks of solid families. They planned our a series of seminars to brainstorm ideas and engage the community. The community duly held the meetings and agreed that the problem was now of significant magnitude and that Something Must Be Done. They concluded that it was important that young people should get married. They would discuss further with experts. The experts agreed that the situation was dire and that doing nothing was Not An Option. If nothing was done then things would go from bad to worse. Action was demanded. They would reconvene to discuss the matter. 

Sounds like a frum gal describing the *snort* "shidduch crisis," no? Except this is an excerpt from Love in a Headscarf. Yep, the author's Muslim. 

Singledom was growing around me as well — women across wider society seemed to be suffering. We moped collectively at work. Emma was single. So were Elaine and Nicola. The men, peculiarly, were all married or in long-term relationships. Why suddenly this universal explosion of female singleness?

There we have it: all women, not merely the frummies, are supposedly having it hard. The "age gap" theory can evaporate on that alone. If those outside of the frum world, who do not have "freezers," who possess a multitude of social venues to mix and mingle—if they are finding it hard to land a dude, how does it follow that it is the shidduch system's "fault"?
The "shidduch system" is merely one method, among many, of meeting someone eligible. Hishtadlus means trying; there is no doing more or doing less. What is perceived as "required effort" depends on the individual (just heard this in a shiur).  

When the Muslim shidduch-system failed her (their protocol sounds so similar), Janmohamed tried alternatives, like speed dating, online dating, and even asking a fellow out: no joy. She did find her spouse (and he was worth the wait); they were introduced by a mutual Muslim friend.  

I think us ladies—all ladies—have to rethink this. If "all" women are on the search for longer (and their future husbands are too), perhaps this is merely indicative of a global shift. As Janmohamed writes, previous generations married for status and security; the current hungers for spiritual connections.

Why are we frantic? Because an arbitrary deadline has been drawn in the sand. Because dating and dating and dating is emotionally draining. Because we do wish for that special someone who isn't in the market for a brood mare, like he may have been once upon a time. 

We don't cook how we used to; we don't work how we used to; we don't dress how we used to. Heck, we've got indoor plumbing.

Why should we marry how we used to?   


Anonymous said...

In theory, I agree with you, but it's hard to stay chilled when your biological clock is ticking and you are rapidly approaching 40.

Princess Lea said...

I am anxious by nature; it is my default state. In my quest to salvage my nerves, I try to take care of that which is in my purview. For the rest, there is bitachon, a work in progress.