Redressing Our African Beliefs: To Marry or Not To Marry?

Victhur Ihuka September 15, 2015

African weddings
Last week, one of my friends on Facebook posted a topic that ignited a battle between the sexes. The post was a parable of a young man who was asked about the girl he supposedly wants to marry. And while the young man said he loves her (enough to marry her), his grouse is that she doesn’t like to cook. To him, this flaw is the reason he’s having second thoughts about marriage. This seemingly harmless post garnered more than 200 comments, with most expressing their disappointment in a “marriageable” young girl having a “dislike” for cooking. In the end, her dislike was blamed on women wanting equal rights with men. Going through the comments on that post, I realized how much some aspects of our culture needs to be redressed.

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It is alarming to see the number of people — most of them men — reducing marriage to cooking.

Honestly, our psyche has been pervaded with patriarchal constructs. We have all been socialized from birth that marriage is the true goal of womanhood.

Girls have been brought up to believe their life has a singular purpose: to satisfy a man’s every whim.

Why does a woman live all her life trying to be everything to a man, while the man can decide to be everything he wants to himself? This is selfish!

I hope to get married someday, but truth be told, we are in dire need of de-emphasizing marriage. The unwholesome emphasis on marriage is the cause to a lot of problems — from marital rape to infidelity to whatever other problems one can think of.

It is alright to believe that marriage is ordained by God with all its attending tenets, and no one is contesting the significance of marriage in our traditional society, but the age-old narrative of marriage being the terminus of womanhood should be cast away.

The over-emphasis constricts womanhood to a very narrow lane and gives the girl child little-to-no room for expression and exploration of other life goals since they are coerced and coaxed to twist themselves beyond measure so they can get married. This results in many unhappy marital “situationships.”

My generation needs to be re-educated.

Young people should know that while marriage is good, it is perfectly OK if one doesn’t get married.

Marriage doesn’t guarantee happiness; therefore, one can still be single and happy.

Even in the Bible there is no mention of marriage for Jesus and his disciples (except with Peter whose in-laws were mentioned occasionally).

Marriage is serious business, and as such, one should have a choice to decide if they can HANDLE it or not.

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Last Edited by:Abena Agyeman-Fisher Updated: September 15, 2015


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