Monday, February 27, 2012

Wife

You know how every once in a while you read something and it's like yes! That's how I feel but hadn't been able to articulate! This article about the word wife on Huffington Post was one of those for me.
I really don't like the word wife, but I couldn't say exactly why until I read this:
"It's time to recorrect. To pay attention. To define ourselves not as someone's wife, or someone's mother, but as women who have embraced these relationships, and others, as parts of our larger whole."

I think I have such a visceral reaction to the idea of being a wife because it seems to take away my individual identity. Like once I'm someone's wife I stop being Hannah. I don't like that. I'm not trying to say that's necessarily how marriage is, it just seems to me that the word wife carries that baggage. I like the way this article talks about how wife is part of an identity, not a whole identity. 
The church especially tries to make wife a whole identity. I can say this because right now in young women's we're on the "Fulfilling Women’s Divine Roles" section of the manual, which although it sounds like a cool opportunity about feminism, is really three Sunday's worth of how to be a wife. The past three lessons? Preparing To Become an Eternal CompanionCreating a Spiritual Environment in the Home, and  A Woman's Responsibility to Teach. The highlight of the past few Sundays was the quote from the prophet "Young women should plan and prepare for marriage and the bearing and rearing of children. It is your divine right and the avenue to the greatest and most supreme happiness."
This puts me on my feminist soap box. I'm like hey prophet, guess what? I'll decide for myself when and if I want a husband and babies. I'm entitled to choose my life's direction. Don't you dare tell me what is the very best thing I can do with my life or what will lead me to happiness. I know plenty of unhappy mormon housewifes and plenty of happy unmarried adult women.  Also I'm 17, so maybe you can get off my case about this whole wife thing until I'm grown up enough to actually be a wife.
In reality, I sit there holding my tongue and feeling bitter. We've got to move on to another section of the manual.
(okay, so I do not know very many single adult women, but nevertheless the ones I know are happy).
PS. I love italics. I have a crush on italics.

No comments:

Post a Comment