A Married Woman With a “Single Girl” Mindset

“I always hated it when my heroines got married.” And with that line, Rebecca Traister had me hooked. Author of All the Single Ladies: Unmarried Women and the Rise of an Independent Nation – my current reading fascination.

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And it’s true. Jane Eyre is one of my all-time favorite books, but even I wish Jane could have found happiness and stability outside of Mr. Rochester.

Which is an odd thing to admit, given the fact that I’m married. And, in fact, was married at the age of 26, when the median age of first marriage for women in the United States is around 27.

But reading this book, I’ve found that I much more identify with a single girl mindset. “Single women helped put Barack Obama back in the White House; they voted for him by 67% to 31%, while married women voted for Romney.” I can’t even fathom having voted for Romney, with his antiquated ideas on how much control a woman should have over her own body.

These are the kinds of things I’m struggling with in a Trump-elected United States. How could women have voted for a man who so devalues them that he admits to being able to grab their pussies without consequence?

It’s making me realize that women might just be women’s worst enemy…and married women might be the biggest offenders. Rose Wilder Lane (daughter of Laura Ingalls Wilder) worked outside of her home her entire life and yet, in 1936 was quoted as saying that a woman’s real career “is to make a good marriage.” Going further to state that “feminist agitation” had dangerously diminished the importance of the “deep-rooted, nourishing and fruitful man-and-woman relationship.”

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Not quite a traditional Ethiopian wedding(s)

I have something new to cross of my list of unusual things most people won’t experience: attend two wedding ceremonies for the same couple. But this is Peace Corps, and if something’s not unusual, it’s probably not worth doing. That’s a motto I’ve developed here and it probably explains why most PCVs return a little odd, if we return at all : )

But back to the weddings…Fiorina was one of the first people I met when I moved to Hawassa six months ago. And over the months, we talked a lot about this wedding! She married Rich, an RPCV who had been stationed in Hawassa the previous three years, but had returned to America a few weeks before I arrived.

They are such a beautiful couple and I loved sharing their special days with them. The first ceremony took place in Debre Zeit, just south of Addis on one of the lakes. It was so serene and the couple couldn’t have looked happier.

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Despite a two-hour delay (this is Ethiopia, after all), the couple still managed to tie the knot : )

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And then it was off to the reception! I just need to include this next picture to prove that despite being Peace Corps Volunteers, we still clean up pretty well!

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We were able to stick around for dinner and a couple religious dances, but then had to head back to Hawassa before it got too late. But not before snatching a quick photo with the bride after an outfit change.

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Three days later and it was time for the festivities to continue. This time we stayed in Hawassa, and if it’s possible, even more people attended. The couple certainly turned heads with their colourful ensembles.

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