I was in my second week of college when my mom called me to tell me about her dream: “Yassi joon, I had a dream about your wedding! I think you should wear a strapless dress and put your hair up. You look so nice with your hair up.”
Mom, I’m 18. It hasn’t even been a month since I started college!
If you are a girl in the Persian community, you know that talks of marriage start as soon as you hit puberty.
I mean, your family starts saving for your jahize as soon as you are born.
So, color me surprised, when a few months ago while I was visiting home my mom declared: “I don’t think I will care if you decide not to get married. Marriage has become meaningless and messy now a days.”
Was she drunk? Did I just hear that? Is this real life?
Definitely, she was definitely serious. My next thought was: WTF? Did my mother, who had for years talked about the details of my wedding, suddenly have a change of mind?
After three ugly divorces in our family, seeing families ripped apart, my mom has turned weary and pessimistic about modern-day marriages. And I don’t blame her.
Seeing that divorce rates are over 50% in the US, and rising in Iran – and the stories of cheating, abuse, and strange demands, marriage doesn’t sound like the greatest decision.
A former boss, who is going through a bad divorce, told me that the only reason you would want a husband is to have kids, and now they have sperm donors, “man in a can” so there really isn’t a need for marriage anymore.
But I don’t want to be that pessimistic.
I want to have a marriage and family, but I’m also not willing to sacrifice my mental health and ambitions.
I’m not willing to be in a relationship where I’m the one that sacrifices all of the time, where a man wants me to be subservient (where I’m expected to be).
I don’t think this comes from rejecting people and relationships. Maybe it comes from demanding this type of treatment from men. Partnerships have never been easy or fair…
isn’t it time we strive for that and demand it? Instead of dismiss our needs as impossible things to ask for?
Is it too much to ask for someone who is willing to treat me as an equal? After all, hamsar (spouse in Farsi) could literally be translated as equal heads.
Is it too much to ask to be an equal head?