Hello there! This week I have a handful of ramblings but will keep it at one issue in particular. In the office we had a guest who was the founder of a local NGO/ women’s center. She left behind her business card, later one of the staff pointed out that the center/ NGO was for widowed women and spinsters. That’s right, spinsters.
Online, in the English world a general definition of a spinster is “an unmarried woman who has passed the marrying age.” Who on earth decides the marrying age? A pitiless society who is always ready to stigmatize.
It stirred up a discussion with my work colleagues, a little bit of laughter, but on more serious notes it reflected one of the major issues confronting women in our society today.
In my society if a spinster, or qayra zhn/kch, was used just as a term of reference like the words widow, single, married etc. this is entirely okay. But usually the word gives negative connotations to an extent there is sympathy for the woman who is referred to as a spinster. There is often pressure on the woman to compromise on what she feels could be her ideal man just so she can get married for the sake of marriage.
Some fall in the trap and do that, others don’t, but live with repeatedly being pointed out and referred to as a ‘spinster.’ It becomes more difficult for women who belong to conservative households restricting their outings, travels, study options and even return home after dark. It is basically telling women your freedom can come once you’re married.
While the union of a couple and marriage is a beautiful aspect of a man and a woman’s life, it is important we don’t stigmatize women who have decided, or happen to be still single. Why can’t we embrace the thought of an independent women who maybe works, has a great career and when the Mr. comes into her life, he is welcome.
I have been with friends who are still very young, but happen to be single, people have literally commented: “But you are beautiful, why aren’t you married yet?” I will leave it to you to imagine my reaction at that moment.
Back to the organization, I don’t know the details yet, but what I do know is that there are many single women in our society who are stigmatized in society. While in the urban areas it might be a little easier, in rural areas at times these women are seen as a burden after the parents pass away, who will she live with? What if she doesn’t get along with her sister-in-law? Why didn’t she accept the proposal to marry the older man who already has a wife and five kids?
Anyhow, that’s just a thought, a little observation,
I am sure one day will come where women can be at any age, single and no one will say a word, but for the time being we must work at it.
For now lots of love from
My Nest in Kurdistan