Love, Hope, Strength, Faith: Susan G. Komen Race for the Cure

By: Rhonda Nemri

It was last May of 2015, I signed up to do the Susan G. Komen Race for the Cure. I decided to join because most of my coworkers/friends had joined, and I thought to myself it’s for a good cause. I didn’t know anyone with breast cancer, but I still felt connected to it because cancer had affected my family. My father was diagnosed with bladder cancer in November of 2012, and had lost his battle in June of 2013. So the connection was highly there, as I related this race to the loss of my father from cancer. It was my first 5k for a cancer event. Even though it was an unrelated cancer it still pushed me to participate, and feel the pain those felt fighting breast cancer, and losing to it. 

This year as the Susan G Komen Race for the Cure approached it was different for me. I wanted to join not only because it was for cancer, but because my mother was diagnosed with stage 3 breast cancer in January of 2016, and is currently seeking treatment for it. I don’t share this with many people, but this event has prompted me to share my thoughts.

Signing up for this race I thought to myself I’m going to participate in this and experience it in a different light. I was supposed to meet my coworkers/friends for a pre race photo at our company office the morning of the race, which is only a few blocks away. I was running late, and thought I will just walk to this event alone and wait for them there since I was running a bit behind for the photo.

When I actually got to the event, I noticed so many people there dressed in full support for the cause. Women and even men all dressed in pink, children running around with supportive gear, and different booths set up for free items for supporting.

When I got closer to the main stage, they began their announcements, and upbeat music to get us in preparation for the race/walk. They announced that they would have a survivors parade, which entailed breast cancer survivors walking and cheering with signs that stated Faith, Hope, Strength, and Love. At that moment I felt very connected and tears rushing down my face. I wanted the tears to stop to avoid people staring, but it didn’t work. It was an overwhelming feeling I couldn’t control. After a few minutes I felt this positive vibe, and  then realized how many women and even men suffer with breast cancer. These survivors allowed me to see the strength in these women who have fought with it, but also those who have lost their battle. It did however give me hope and faith.

I’ve connected with these women and they didn’t even know it. I thought about my mother through this all, and remembered how strong she is. She doesn’t have an easy life, but she manages to wake up and get through her day fighting. Something I believe I may not be able to do if I were in her shoes.

I was alone for the most part of the beginning, and wondered if my coworkers/friends should be with me so I wouldn’t cry or break down. But I am glad I had that moment to myself. 

I was doing the 5k run, and most of them signed up for the 10k so I even ran alone. I kept thinking I don’t care about what time I would finish this race, I just wanted to finish it regardless of time. 

The race started at 8 am and run start time began at 8:03 am. As I was running I noticed all the different types of runners. The ones that were survivors, the ones that were running for the cause, and the ones that were running on behalf of those who lost their battle. I was the runner that was running on behalf of my mother who is currently living with this cancer and fighting it each day. It inspired me to keep running.
I passed my first mile, and felt I’m not going to stop. I did eventually stop for a moment to walk, but I kept going. As I was approaching the finish line I noticed those cheering me and the others near me to finish. I sprinted to the finish line and the tears came down. I was again alone and just noticed all those around me celebrating their finish. I was happy and proud for them, even though I didn’t know them. I grabbed my banana and water and sat on the cool grass watching those finishing the race.

When I finally met with my coworkers/friends I was happy to see them and high fived them for finishing the 10k. We took plenty of picture and danced a little. It was beautiful and an experience I won’t forget. I have done plenty of 5k races for different diseases, but this one in particular will always be one I won’t forget. 

Participating in these races allows you to give to the cause, as well as running for those who have fought and/or lost their battle. It actually pushes you to keep going. 

Ever since losing my father to cancer, and watching my mother fighting breast cancer, life has been seen in a different perspective. Cancer is a scary word, and we automatically think of loss. But we must continue to be there and fight with those battling it. Your world may be turned upside down, but eventually you will learn to see the beauty of life and how fragile it is. 

It’s a cliché thing to say “you never know when it is your last day”, but this is a true statement. I never knew I would lose my father at such a young age, and I never thought my mother would get breast cancer. But it has helped me to want to help those who may have experienced a loss, and going through grief. It isn’t easy to live with so much grief, but it shapes you to be a stronger and better person in such an unfortunate way. 

I’m thankful to know I am not in this alone, and there are many supportive people. I thank them for their existence in my life, they know who they are 😊

Check out the few pics from the event!

   

   

  

    

    
 

How The Middle Eastern Culture Can Be Toxic

By: Rhonda Nemri

Now I know some people will take this to offense, and say “how could you say this?” Or that I am not prideful of my culture. If that’s your first instinct about this, then you’ve already proven my title. However, there are many ways in the Arab culture that people depend on because it is “safe”, and a better excuse for getting away with their hostile behavior. I will explain what “culture” does to people, and how it affects our society; mainly the Arab community. The list will predominately focus on the Arab/Middle Eastern Culture, but can relate to the general idea of culture.

1. Culture is established by a group of people’s norms, and their own perceptions of life, and something that usually sticks with them for a lifetime.
2. Culture brings people together, and creates traditions that can be passed on to generations.
3. Culture allows you to identify with a group/race.
4. Culture is something good, but when taken too far, it can actually create toxicity among family, friends, co-workers, etc.
5. Saying “this is how it is supposed to be” is based off of what someone created to be the norm. Therefore basing everything you do in your life a norm that you only live by because someone else told you this is how it is supposed to be.
6. Culture makes people become hostile towards those who do not fully abide or engage in cultural norms.
7. Culture puts a timeframe for when to be married, when to have children, and requirements on whom you should be with/shouldn’t be with.
8. Culture creates an identity crisis. Arab/Middle Eastern culture versus other cultures can cause one to conflict between being authentic versus being what someone else wants.
9. Culture creates a sense of fear for living authentically. The constant thought that people are monitoring your behavior, and being worried of what other people think of you.
10. Culture makes people believe that because specific norms have been around for so long, that they are correct or acceptable.
11. Culture has created strict tendencies and traditions that have been the cause for separating family units, or has hindered the quality of life.
12. Culture has repeatedly made women to be the lesser equal. Invoking certain lifestyles, do this and don’t do that, limiting career opportunities, etc. As well as creating standards for men to be and act a certain way to appear masculine.
13. Culture for Middle Easterners has been a reciprocated understanding between several religious faiths. (Examples: Christians/Catholics and Muslims). Thus prohibiting many ideas, and new values from different men and women.
14. Culture does not allow mistakes, because your reputation is a representation of your family, and is always accounted for. If you make mistakes, then the people in your family also live through repercussions. People then bad mouth, or speak badly about each other.
15. Culture makes religious people focus more on cultural values, than religious values. This can be detrimental for those who try to live through their religion as Godly-like beings.
16. Lastly, Culture would be something great if people allowed each other to live freely, and not have to live for other people.

Final thoughts:

If we would see the negativity of our culture and become more positive we would be happy individuals. Stop paying attention to other people, and grow as an individual. Making someone suffer because of what you think is right, does not make you right. It’s bad enough we have to live to see the Middle East falling apart because of control, power, and greed. So why do this to the people who you call your family, friend, acquaintance, or someone you vaguely know. Give each other a chance to live life, and a chance to know them before you let culture dictate your every move in your life. Culture is important to have, but not to make you hostile towards humans.

Destructive Power

By : Rhonda Nemri

They cut you. They cut you so deep, you bleed. But you don’t bleed to death. Just a bunch of cuts that become scars. You don’t walk away, you forgive them. Each time you forgive them, you think to yourself it will be better. When really, you’re handing them that power.

Now this power is so destructive that every time you legitimately have the right to be hurt and upset at them, they make you feel it’s your fault. Each time this happens, another scar is added. You try to walk away, but it’s that power thing that just can’t seem to go away. Whether you are with them or without them, they seem to have this power over you. You lose sleep, you don’t eat, you overly think, you lose yourself in all of this.

Each time you come back you hand them that power again. The sad thing is they know it, and they feed off of it. They need it to survive. And they will survive because you are feeding them your precious soul. You are feeding them your life that used to be yours. But something keeps you around them. Something makes you whole again when they are good. It’s this drug feeling that numbs you, that you can’t even see what’s wrong. But you enjoy it, because with it, it keeps you alive.

They say they need you and want you, but what they need is that power that someone else may not give them the way you give them. That’s real abuse. Not the physical kind, but the emotional and psychological abuse. That abuse will stay forever with you if you keep handing your self control over to the person who thrives over having you by their side only for the sole purpose to control you. This is toxic, and you know it. But you’re afraid that if you walk away, no one will want you the way you’ve laid out your life to the last person. So you stay and forever have lost yourself.

*NOTE*
It isn’t just our intimate relationships that this applies to. Power is a necessity for some in your family, friendships, colleagues, superiors, etc. we all struggle through powerlessness in our lives. But to let someone take over our lives for their sake, we should reconsider them in our lives. Emotional and psychological abuse hurts more than physical. All abuse is harmful, but it is the words that affects us coming from the ones that say they love us.

The Fools Will Chatter

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By: Rhonda Nemri
Photograph painted and photo edited By: Rhonda Nemri

I mustn’t show my tears. Or else the fools will chatter.

I mustn’t show my smile. Or else the fools will chatter.

I mustn’t grief out loud. Or else the fools will chatter.

I must show my tears. Or else the fools will chatter.

I must show my smile. Or else the fools will chatter.

I must grief out loud. Or else the fools will chatter.

Yes the fools will always chatter. With chatter they speak as fools, and fool you to believe they stand beside you as if you’re a fool. But indeed the fool will always be a fool, full of ignorance.

Visionaries

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By: Rhonda Nemri
Photograph taken by Rhonda Nemri

Lying there with your eyes closed and your cold delicate skin, I see you but can’t feel your touch. Throwing myself at you with tears rushing down my face, dripping to the cold ground.

Catching the last moment of your presence as I press my warm face against yours and sing you a song that once was heard.

Revealing my story to you in the last moment before the doors shut. Staring in the eyes of the lost souls, feeling their pain, but nothing can be done.

Consoling one as I feel the wind knocking me down. Creating visionaries in ones mind as we lose the branch off the tree of life.

Whispering voices, crying eyes.
Look around, touch the ground. Fall in hurt, reach for support. Crazy scenes, loud full screams. Stop the ride, feeling to confide.

Moved away quick as they give one last look. Running back to just hold you in that split moment I’m shook.

Soil is moved for your rest. Feeling this urge to fall apart, as the dirt shall fall, and the grass will sprout.

Digging with my bare hands, as I visit your long stay. Feeling this pain that won’t go away. Dig, dig ,dig, but I don’t go far. As I stop the dreaming and walk to my car.

I look one last moment before I leave, and pass through the gates as I weep.

Your memory is in my mind throughout the day. As I place my hand to my broken heart, and hum this way.

As the sun shines I feel your smile. I hope this feeling will stay for a while. I rest my eyes through the night. As I wake things don’t feel right.

The final thoughts are of this life, without a moment of you things don’t feel right.

Happy International Women’s Day 2013

International Women's Day 2013

International Women’s Day 2013

Happy Women’s International Day! This is an important day for us women!. Each one of you have an ability to make a change, and inspire others. You have a voice, and you can be empowering. Do not let anyone tell you, you can’t be something, or do something, because you are a woman. Show that you are more than a pretty face, or a sexual entity. You are more than this, and you have a wonderful mind to share. I am glad to have read some of the most inspirational posts on WordPress. We have a wonderful opportunity to capture an audience that knows nothing, or a little about feminism, and women’s rights. Remember that even if someone disagrees with what you are saying, and is being irrational when debating with you about women’s issues, or anything else, just know you at least pushed them to think about the topic, and feminism. I dedicate this blog to the women, and mentors in my life that pushed me to be the best that I can be. I am grateful for the opportunities I have been given, even when I had a bit of doubt in myself.

Enjoy your day,

Rhonda Nemri ❤

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A Desired Freedom For The Oppressed

By Rhonda Nemri

Passing that moment in my life that tries so hard to bring the hurt to me for my wants.

Standing still looking around fighting to see the freedom I have been longing for.

You stand there over me with your hurtful words, and your abusive sentiments that you call love. This is your victory.

I am trembling in hurt, and all there is, is myself that keeps me going in this life.

The freedom that I shall see is none other than the ability to speak, the ability to be heard, and the ability to decide my destiny without any faults.

Oh how you choose my weakness for your happiness. You have toyed with me like a child, yet I am not. You have toyed with me as if I am helpless, and not full of life, yet there is life to be seen. Oh how the oppression of my life has put me in a longing for this freedom that I’ve tried to receive.

I struggle to be prosperous in this wretched life, but all that prosperity is, is for me to be submissive in your eyes. I shall hope to live the life I long for, but due to your loss of compassion, and your loss of love for life, you have kept me shielded. You have tormented me in your moments of despair, because despair is all you feel.

Oh how the oppression of my life has put me in a longing for this freedom that I’ve tried to receive. I shall see the oppression as a piece of my life to dismiss. For I shall not let the actions of your abuse destroy me.

Oh how I tremble in hurt, and all you see is anguish.

Oh how I tremble in hurt and all you do is despise me.

Oh how I tremble in sufferings and all you do is stand above me and slash at the wounds I never longed for.

Oh how the oppressions of my life has put me in a longing for this freedom that I’ve tried to receive. I shall see the oppression as a piece of my life to dismiss.  I shall not let the actions of your abuse destroy me.

I plea for a better tomorrow, but all I have to live for is today. For I shall always remember the unsubtly words you threw at me while I curled up in my thoughts of loss.

Poetry Category Coming to Feministtalk

Hi Everyone!

I have been writing for a while now, and I used to share my poetry all the time. I figured why not showcase some of my work here on my WordPress blog. Some of my poetry is a bit dated, but since I have been back into the creative writing motion, I want to continue inspiring through my words.
I will create a new category for Poetry. That way whenever you want to view my poetry specifically you can click on the category. Thank you for stopping by.

Rhonda ❤

‘Hello My Name Is Bride’: An Analysis of Weddings, Gender Roles, and Marriage

By: Rhonda Nemri

In our society today, we focus on the many things that seem important to us. One main thing that most people see as a natural process during life is marriage. Even though the marriage process is different now than ever before, we still have some historical background as to why we do the things we do, and how significant or insignificant it is when getting ready to become a married couple. As a young woman who has grown up in a Middle Eastern culture, marriage is one of (or supposed to be) the most important aspects of a woman’s life.

With the many reality televisions shows, books, and magazines, wedding planning has become a significant role for some women who plan on being married. During a graduate course that I took a couple of years back, I was involved in a research project that tailored around reality television shows such as Bridalplasty on E Network and David Tutera’s My Fair Wedding. These shows represented the many reasons why weddings have become so popular. My Fair Wedding focused on changing women’s own wedding plans into

My Fair Wedding With David Tutera

David Tutera’s vision, because her ideas were impractical to begin with, and not up to the expectations of what a perfect wedding should look like. Those women who have applied to become a part of this reality television show have agreed to let go any plans they initially had, and give up any right to say what color schemes to have, wedding themes, bridal gowns, reception hall, and bridesmaid dresses. All of this is done in order to capture a perfect wedding through the lens of a man, who seems to be popular in his career path, and one who knows more about style, and the perfect wedding. Bridalplasty focused more on altering women’s body or face so that she becomes the perfect bride. Women on a weekly basis in this show competed for a closer opportunity to get the whole package of getting plastic surgery done on her body and face before the wedding. Although this show doesn’t exist anymore because of the damage it was doing to the E network, these are the common things we see women doing when wanting to fit into their “perfect dress”, and have the princess-like fairytale wedding. After completing the rhetorical analysis and research for

Allyson’s Wish List on Bridalplasty

these shows, I have not stopped examining and looking into the wedding process and how it has changed our social lives and societal roles when it comes to weddings and marriage. In this discussion I will focus on the historical background of marriage and weddings, and how society views women and men when it comes to marriage through my feminist lens.

Historical Background of Weddings

Understanding the historical wedding traditions is something one must consider giving the fact we still practice the same views and traditional values from centuries ago. According to Simone de Beauvoir, “Modern marriage can be understood only in the light of a past that it tends to perpetuate in part” (De Beauvoir 426). Here are some things that we commonly do for weddings (These are things that I pulled from my research with my good friend/colleague Lisa Glancy (She does analysis’ on Women’s Rhetoric, and General Rhetorical Analysis’):

  •  1. During Ancient weddings couples that were to be married was not important event. Men would visit different villages to capture a woman to marry. “Wives were desired for sexual release, procreation, and household labor.” (Here Comes the Bride: History of the American Wedding). Women were often exchanged for cash or livestock for thousands of years.
  • 2. Early weddings in America were often private affairs within the families. They were held at home either at the bride’s house or the grooms (Here Comes the Bride: History of the American Wedding).
  • 3. By the 1820s and 1830s upper class weddings began to evolve and became recognizably the modern American wedding. These weddings had dinner, cake, receptions, and a toast to the bride and groom (Here Comes the Bride: History of the American Wedding).
  • 4. The phrase “Let’s Tie the Knot” or Let’s Get Hitched” is western slang about ‘hitchin’ up yer gal like a horse (The History of Wedding Traditions).  This term hitching was a process used for tying up horses.
  • 5. Bouquets and Flower Girls were symbolic meanings for the couple’s future life. Originally brides would carry wreathes and bouquets that were made up of herbs (Brideandgroom.com). Garlic was used to cast devil spirits, sage was used to bring wisdom, and dill meant that the bride was to become lusty (Brideandgroom.com). Flower Girls held sheaves of wheat that represented “growth, fertility, and renewal” (Here Comes the Bride: History of the American Wedding).
  • 6. Giving away the Bride symbolically means that the father gives her away to represent that she is no longer belonging (property) to her father. Also representing the price the groom will have to pay before taking away their daughter (Here Comes the Bride: History of the American Wedding).
  • 7. Shoes tied on the back bumper this symbolizes authority and possession because the brides shoes is taken away from her when led to the wedding place, and given to the groom by her father. This transfer means that her husband is now in possession of her and could not run away (Here Comes the Bride: History of the American Wedding).
  • 8. Veils represent virginity, innocence, and modesty. Also in Middle Eastern and Asian countries women were to wear veils so that their groom does not see them.
  • 9. Wedding dresses in biblical times were the color blue which represented purity not white. White wedding dresses became popular in the middle ages by Anne of Brittany in 1499 (Here Comes the Bride: History of the American Wedding).
  • 10. Wedding rings in medieval times had the brides three fingers bound to represent the father, the son, and Holy Spirit. (Here Comes the Bride: History of the American Wedding). Wedding rings came from the idea that women were wrapped around in chains and ropes, to ensure her spirits do not leave her (Here Comes the Bride: History of the American Wedding).
  • 11. Bridal Showers rooted back in Holland. If the father did not approve of her husband-to-be, he would not give her a dowry. Therefore her friends will then shower her with gift to replace her father’s dowry. The bride will then be able to still marry the man of her choice.

Marriage through My Feminist Lens

For a while now, the thought of marriage has been roaming through my head. It isn’t the fact that I am not married yet; it is the fact that women have taken marriage to a different level. I shouldn’t just state that only women are like this, it is all genders, cultural backgrounds, and different generations. Looking at the historical backgrounds of each traditional aspect, as a society today, we have definitely taken those traditions and have expanded on things that are not really necessary, or valuable to us. I am not one who is opposed to marriage, because I want to be married someday, however as I fully get exposed to the marriage process, I have come to the realization that a lot of these traditions are non-sense, and take away from the actual reasoning of marriage.

When looking at the traditions such as giving away the daughter from one man to the other, this is quite present in our society today. We can notice that we hardly ever see the mother playing as one of the major roles in giving her daughter away. Some have stated that they have involved their mothers in the wedding planning, but we can also state that the father is ultimately the one that gives his daughter’s hand away. It is also a symbolism that the father (patriarchy) will pass off his daughter to the next patriarchy in her life (her husband). According to Simone De Beauvoir, “what bourgeois optimism has to offer to the engaged girl is certainly not love; the bright ideal held up to her is that of happiness, which means the ideal of quiet equilibrium in a life of immanence and repetition” (De Beauvoir 447). In The Second Sex, Simone de Beauvoir described marriage as an “obscene bourgeois institution” (Wolf). Women inessential and man is essential. Women are the other whereas man is the absolute. “All love requires the duality of a subject and an object” (De Beauvoir 629). A woman is seen as just the other in the relationship. The subject of her life is her man, her husband, and her soul mate.

Men and women are placed as the subject/object when they form a union. It is not commonly based on love, however based on the economic decisions that the couple makes. People get married because this is society’s expectations. Often times women will escape their father and mothers household to become free, yet she is not really free once married. She will take on the roles of wife and mother, by cooking and cleaning, and taking care of her children and husband. “Marriages, then, are not generally founded upon love…the husband is, so to speak, never more than a substitute for the beloved man, not that man himself” (De Beauvoir 434). Even though some men don’t view themselves as domineering or taking control of the marriage, the socially constructed norms of how a marriage should be is that the man is always the “man of the house”, and the women negates herself for her man so that he can feel whole (hence women stay home cook, clean, and raise the children). I can see a lot of people being open-minded about marriage these days, but I feel that what happens before the marriage is what intrigues me as well.

Since women are commonly seen as the other, she is also seen this way before she is even married. For instance, Something’s I have noticed lately in my culture is that a young lady/woman is always looked at as a future bride.  In the Middle Eastern culture even when she is not with a man or not even getting married she is still referred to as a bride. In Arabic this is known as Ahroose (Ah-roose). She is constantly referred to as the bride because in the eyes of the Arab society she will one day be the wife of a man. Also generally speaking, women when engaged are always referred to as the bride. If you notice in some television shows such as Say Yes to the Dress, she is always referred to as the bride and not her name. In my culture even after she has gotten married, she is still referred to as the “bride”. She holds the most prestigious role, and that means she is now married and responsible to take on her life, and to finally be recognized as a woman. The bride must always be beautiful, perfect body shape, perfect dress, perfect make-up, and perfect hair. All of this is lovely; however, the grooms’ roles are very much different. Even though some grooms are included in the wedding planning, he is still just seen as a man/groom and not ridiculed for how he looks on the day of the wedding by the guests. The fact that grooms are rarely involved in any of the production (frequently only appearing in the ceremony and reception after all arrangements have been made); it would be easy to paint them as subjects, who anticipate the coming of their objects of desire. Women have the capability to exceed any oppressive situation that they are in, but they reject this choice – either because they believe there is no other way out, or because they are content with adhering to traditional societal expectations.

Another aspect of marriage I want to focus on is the idea of women changing their surname. Even though it is a never-ending cycle of using a man’s surname, women are often joyous and exhilarated to take their husband’s surname. Since women often take their fathers surname, it is quite evident that using a man’s last name is something that we cannot rid. However, the idea that society sees when changing the surname is to make the marriage official, and connected to the man much more. Some women choose to hyphenate their names using their last names and their husband’s last names, but legally, she is always expected to have her husband’s name, never the other way around. For example, we may often hear (example name), “I would now like to introduce you to Mr. and Mrs. Nicholas Johnson. You hardly ever hear a woman’s name included when presenting both couples, because it is now the man who represents her. From my perspective, I believe keeping a last name is more of an identity that you choose to maintain in your life because as a person you have established your life with that name. Whether good or bad experiences occurring, that last name has gone with us throughout our lives. Ideally I would like to keep my last name, however both parties must be willing to compromise and see the reasons why a woman would want to keep her name. Nonetheless, the changing of the surname is a significant process in the marriage to conclude the bonding stage of the couples.

Seeing it that there are many different cultures who have different traditions for their ceremonies, I will talk about the American/Arab culture who mainly derive around Christian-like traditions. The ceremony being a huge part of the wedding, it is also apparent that the father walks his daughter down the aisle. However, the ceremony is usually concluded with a phrase “I will now pronounce you man and wife”. In this situation some ceremonies have changed a bit and state “man and woman”, or “husband and wife”, however the statement “man and wife” very much occurs during the conclusion’s of the ceremony. Women are still seen as the wife, because that is ultimately her role, while the man is just a man, who will always be a man and nothing else. He is a husband; however he is only referred to that label when it is convenient. He is the provider, man of his house, the one who works, while he expects his wife to be at home and take care of house duties and cooking. I know the controversy behind all of this is that not all men are like this. I agree, they aren’t, but in my perspective the majority is. I have analyzed a lot of things lately and have just heard women say that it is our “job” to be in the house and have kids. I don’t necessarily see it as a job, I see it as a natural human obligation to take care of their home, not because of our gender but because it is our priority, and not an expectation. I believe when it comes to marriage or any relationship, a man shouldn’t expect his wife/ woman to do house chores; this is something that must be 50/50 between the two.

“The tragedy of marriage is not that it fails to assure woman the promised happiness-there is no such thing as assurance in regards to happiness-but that it mutilates her; it dooms her to repetition and routine” (De Beauvoir 478). “As long as the man retains economic responsibility for the couple, this is only an illusion. It is he who decides where they will

Sarcasm

live, according to the demands of his work; she follows him from city to country or vice versa, to distant possessions, to foreign countries; their standard of living is set according to his income; the daily, weekly, annual rhythms are set by his occupation; associations and friendships most often dependent on his profession” (480).  The women must basically give up her identity and alter it to her husband’s identity. It is she who must change not the man, because ultimately he is the” ruler of his kingdom”.

Conclusions

Weddings are occurring in every possible culture, it is the bonding of two people who will remain together and hopefully forever. A society begins new traditional values of weddings and marriage, and the old ones still very much occur in our lives. As a we can see women have these roles that they must go by, and same for men. I believe that because women are so used to these roles, they believe that these traditions are the true meaning of happiness and love. Women will always dream of that day when she wears the dress, and becomes the center of attention. Nonetheless, women should also focus on not being labeled always as bride, because the label bride becomes an identity that she must fulfill, when she shouldn’t. The wedding planning, colors, dresses, make-up is an inevitable process for wedding planning, and is something I am sure I will come across when I get married, however, women shouldn’t just focus on fulfilling the brides image, and what societies expectations of her should be. We should be involved in becoming subjects, and connect with our mate on a deeper level, and not just focus on the petty things like colors, food, music, etc. These are important to consider for a lovely day, but shouldn’t be the reasons why we lose our minds just to become a perfect bride. When we try to be the perfect bride, we lose sight of who we are because we then become too focused on changing our appearance for others, and not for ourselves. Shows like Say Yes to the Dress, are shows that market and sell what a bride should have, and how she should look. The more we watch these shows, the more we begin to want something we can’t have, or want something that is only fitting for others.

Surely the wedding industry will continue to make their money, however if one chooses to create the perfect wedding, choose it to be your idea of what perfect is, and not what some else’s idea of perfect is. Finally, in a marriage it should not just focus on duties, and expectations of each other. Women should not always be associated with roles such as wife, or housewife. Indeed, these are things that a women becomes when she is married, however, let us not focus on the fact that she is a servant to her husband. A man shouldn’t expect his wife to be the one to do everything for him just because he makes the money and provide, he should allow his wife to be herself, and explore all possible opportunities that she may have. Opportunities such as educations, working, traveling, etc., and not just feel that when she gets married her aspirations and wants in life diminishes for the sake of her marriage. Let’s not focus on just the man having a job to support, and focus on both being able to be successful, and supporting each other. This is something that has been roaming through my mind, and has been something I have always wanted to bring up. Not only does this occur in the Middle Eastern cultures, it occurs in a lot of other cultures. I have been watching young women (even older) talk about these things that bothers them about marriage and their potential future. Struggling with their thoughts of whether to not go forward with their education or to stop their education for marriage. I have also seen women who focus so much on becoming perfect and not accepting herself, only because she has societal expectations to fulfill. It is hard for one to remove their mindset from something they are so used to. But the more we start changing our mindset on things that may or will better us, the more we have a healthy and positive traditions that we pass on for the future. Working together, and helping others see that their life is valuable, is something that is much-needed.

References

Bride and Groom. Retrieved from http://brideandgroom.com/

De Beauvoir, Simone. The Second Sex. Vintage Books: New York, 1989 .

Here Comes the Bride: History of the American Wedding. 2007. 5 April 2011
<www.randomhistory.com/1-50.009wedding.html>.

The History of Wedding Traditions. 2006. 20 March 2011 <www.brideandgroom.com>wedding-
articles/wedding-traditions-2.asp>.