Tuesday, January 31, 2006

Who's Your Master?

Being of Eastern European origin, I tend to be opinionated.
However, due to my upbringing in Canada, I have been able to actually see other peoples points.

Historically, romantic marriage is relatively young.
Maybe only a century or so old.
Prior to this, marriage was essentially a business arrangement. Women were not much more than chattel, in some cultures less than.

So, the idea of arranged marriage to me, as a modern woman is foreign.
Although, in my mothers dreams, she certainly would have liked to have had the power to choose a husband for me, regardless of the fact that she sucked at choosing one for herself.

The year before last, I taught ESL courses in child development.
Many of my students were of Far Eastern descent.
During our discussions around family, and children, I had the opportunity to ask some questions of women who (most of which) were in arranged marriages.
The women I spoke to were pragmatic, and grew up knowing the score where their marriages and lives would be concerned.
The more I spoke with them, the more I understood where in the right circumstances, an arranged marriage had more of a chance to survive than a "love" marriage.

Love marriages are full of emotion, and "I wants".
It's about what makes us happy personally, without the support and pressure of family expectations.
It's not so much about sacrifice, family, compatibility in life, expectations, and level of life.
While I was thinking about this, I ran across this entry at "Procrastination" from 2003 arguing the pros and cons of arranged marriage.
It's an interesting discussion, and while I'm too conditioned to accept the concept of arranged marriage for myself, I can certainly see it's merits.

It's an interesting discussion.

While arranged marriage is not for me (too late for that anyway), I can see the point.
The same way that I can see the point of women who wear Hajib and say that they are more free than women who dress in contemporary clothing because they are not slaves to fashion and fad.

But in the end, we're all slaves.
Be it to fashion, religion, family, or to love.
It all depends on who your master is, no?