Recently, I’ve been watching a show that I used to criticise due to my lack of knowledge about it: Married At First Sight. This is an Australian reality show that features couples that first meet each other at the altar, having been arranged together by psychologists, neuropsychologists and relationship psychologists.
At first, I really thought that this was quite a mockery of marriage. I myself support gay marriage (though when it comes to relationships and dynamics, as I am not gay myself, they can do as they want, I have no knowledge and right about that). I had previously thought that this was a blatant abuse of marriage between heterosexuals, when some people are even struggling to get married.
However, I was proven wrong. The marriages in the show are not even legally binding, they are simply there to create a traditional foundation for their relationship. These were not just any random matches, there are scientific experts behind their matches and I will give that some credit. So far? I actually enjoy the show, where I am midway through the first season. I simply wanted to watch this show to see how their relationships will grow (or not) and how they interact in such a unique circumstance.
Yes, I understand reality shows can be scripted and exaggerated but I still think it is a rather large change to be married so suddenly to a stranger. I think some of their earnest feelings, reactions and personality will actually come through. No one is a perfect actor.
Just as I dived into the show though, I already noticed a pattern within the female candidates or the ‘brides’, so to say. They are nearly all women in their mid to late thirties (save for one who is in her twenties), three out of four of them are eager to settle down and have children (quite soon). They were marketing executives and managers, mostly corporate.
Women who had literally let their eggs rot away through the years in exchange for their careers (save for one, Roni, who had already been married but divorced).
Now, as I’ve made it very clear before, I have no opposition towards women who live for their careers and are happiest there. Some women really are born for that, I believe that. However most women are not, just like these women who chose to be on the show, they truly want a partner and family, which they felt they had been searching for for too long.
One such woman, Clare, really drove this point home. She is 37, a marketing manager. On screen she talks about filling out forms and registrations, mentioning that right after asking whether she is single or married, the questions inquire as to how many children she has. Then Clare simply broke down and cried.
This is really concerning.
Seeing women with such ‘great’ careers desperate to find somebody, wanting to just have children (even rushing now, because of their age and ‘their eggs’) and being miserable really hit home for me about the reality for modern women.
We were sold a lie.
We were told that we have to reach for the stars in a career, doing whatever we want (in a career) and we will be happy. We were told we don’t really need men and if you’re in your 20s, you’re too young and should be having a wild life. Partying. Sleeping around. ‘Finding yourself’. Children should not even be a thought.
So now they’re in their thirties, with their fertility already on a decline, time is running out and they’re still single. For men, their reproductive abilities don’t really hinder until they’re much older, this is just an unfortunate reality for women- we just don’t have as much as time as they do. It’s biology. It’s nature.
It’s really about time we as a society should stop feeding women these lies about what would make them happy. Stop hating on a more ‘traditional’ way of life and just accept that it is completely normal and okay for a woman to marry and have children in her twenties. The stigma has to stop. You’re not ‘wasting your life away’, ‘settling down too soon’ or ‘ending your independence’. This sort of negative attitude pressures women to keep pushing career-filled lives that almost always leads to misery and loneliness.
The twenties or even late twenties is actually quite a great marrying age for women, especially if they have older partners. They are at the prime of their youth, have the strongest reproductive capabilities and due to a smaller age gap, it could make bonding with and understanding their children easier.
Though this isn’t for every lady, we could all do better with more happier women around!