It’s no secret that many girls today are renouncing the ancient Egyptian tradition of getting married. Yes, believe it or not, many young girls are choosing to not get married today, they’re adamant about their decision for many reasons. With divorce rates hitting – no – breaking through the roof, scandals happening everywhere, and abuse stories coming to light, it’s no wonder this is how some teen girls chose to fight this. Actually, not only are their reasons well founded but they’re also diverse, and they serve as a reminder of what some of our outdated misogynistic and purely patriarchal traditions have led to. Here’s what 8 girls have to say to our question: “why will you never marry?”
“They say that girls always gravitate towards boys who remind them of their dads, I found that I subconsciously do, my gravitation has yet to fail me, and I know marriage is all about choice, your choice of partner can make or break you. I don’t want to choose a man who is emotionally or verbally abusive, I don’t want to go from one abusive attachment to the next, and I know I’ll never marry someone I don’t love but when I love I’m blinded. My fear will keep me away, I know my limitations, and I’m okay with them, I want to grow, I want to be myself fully, unabashedly, I want to escape the negativity, and if choosing myself with my limitations means I will never marry then so be it. I am more important to me than society’s traditions, shames, and gossip.” Anonymous, 18
“Cause why would I? Loving someone doesn’t mean I have to marry them. Marriage means sharing my entire life with someone. I like space, space is bliss. I know you can get married and have space if you’re in perfect harmony with that person, but you’d be spacing out for a healthy relationship. I’d enjoy something with much more space than marriage. Also, how should I know that I can commit? What about kids? This system doesn’t work anymore, back then, there were frigid gender roles, today, they don’t exist. Thus, the system is failing. Women now work AND care for their kids, at the end of the day, ana elly hakhod 3ala demaghy, might as well not.” H, 17.
“The idea itself scares me w kaman taree2et tafkeer el welad delwa2ty ba2et ghareeba w byb2o mstanyeen enohom haytgawzo cinderella ba2a w ennek 24/7 hatb2y model fel beet w fekret enohom 3amaleen yshofo 3al social media sowar celebrities with fake everything fa fakreen en el hayah helwa w yala koony zayaha, enty leh msh keda? Marriage isn’t just based on love da el bywadeena f dahya. Khayfa lama ykoon 3andy welad ma3rfsh ab2a 2orayba menhom w a3ml el ghalatat el ahly kano by3mlooha and make them suffer, aw mmkn y7sal el 3aks w akoon ana om kowaysa bs aboohm la2 fa bardo ykraho 7ayathom. I think it comes down to fear, honestly.” Mariam, 18
“Tbh I feel like there’s so much pressure from family and society in general to get married even though I really don’t think it should be my main focus in life. Bc there are so many other ways to be successful and happy and in my mind, being married is a way of being tied down and not being able to reach my full potential. And recently it has been such a popular opinion that girls think their happiest time in life was during the time between finishing uni and getting married. That ba2a taba3an is aside aslan from the fact that I believe marriage in general is pretty useless. Like yeah sure I can date and even have a boyfriend aw keda bas I genuinely feel like marriage isn’t what adds to the relationship. It’s just like a contract or whatever bas the thing is, what does being married actually add to any relationship? Like in our society I feel like the only thing marriage adds to a relationship is the freedom to have sex without being judged aw without the guilt of feeling like you’re doing something 7aram. Bas other than that, if someone is in a truly happy and healthy relationship, marriage isn’t what’s gonna change their commitment and love to each other fahmeni? Bas other than that, I actually have so many goals in life regarding my education and career etc.. and so many things I want to do in life and places I wanna go and at the moment I don’t think being married is gonna help me achieve any of these goals. Marriage is definitely way way way down the list of thing I want to do (that’s if it’s on the list aslan).
I’ve had a job every single summer since I was 11. I’m 17 now.
Have I ever had a boyfriend? No.
Do I feel like I’m missing out? Definitely no.
Do I feel empowered, successful and happy? Hell yeah.” Laila, 17.
“f egypt bezat its basically a routine you grow up go to school then college and get married bas khalas bas i dont want that because its not a main goal or target in my life ya3ny in the future i dont see myself having the mom life khales because marriage isnt a necessity. i also want people ( in general w in egypt ) to see girls as more then just wives and stay at home moms . to see that we can make an impact on this earth , to see that we are smart and capable of changing the world.” Farida, 14.
“I’m just not interested. I’m in love with knowledge, I’m a person who likes giving something either 100% or nothing at all, I value my work and my education over anything else. So even if I chose to be in a relationship or – God forbid – get married, I’d be a terrible partner, because it will never be my number one priority, it will always come second to my work. I also feel like it will be a hindrance to all I want to do in my life, it’s just not something I want to do. It’s not a commitment I’m willing to take part in. Plus, I’ve always worked better alone than with a partner or group. Maybe this will change, but I doubt it.” N, 16.
“I think there’s a maturity gap, I think parents interfere too much, and honestly, teta makes marriage sound like prison. Fi hagat keteer awy “lazem” a3melha 3ashan “a3geb” 3arees. Lazem akoon skinny, I have to know how to cook, have a decent education, work, albes helw, a7ot makeup keteer, akhod baly men nafsy 24/7. I love taking care of myself and feeling good about myself – but for myself. Fa heyya kollaha fekret enny et7ashar fi demaghy keteer awy ana lazem akoon eh, fa etfasalt, seeret el gawaz ba2et betdaye2ny, I feel caged. It made me feel like an object. Fa, I don’t want it. It may sound silly, but I don’t want to get married because I’ve been taught over and over and over that it’s a cage. I want to be free – or as free as I can be, that means no gawaz for me.” Annonymous, 15.
“Most of the women in our family are happily divorced, they’re all powerful in their own ways, they’re busy and exhausted, being a single mother – I’ve learned – is quite difficult, especially when you’re working too. I’ve also learned though, that marriage is not for everyone. I just don’t believe in it, not after everything I’ve seen, I’d rather sidestep it all.” Anonymous, 17.
“It feels unsafe. Marriage. In a patriarchal society. Where I am still an object to be bought. Where I am forced to follow the will of someone else. Where I can be abused and silenced. Marriage is a lot of trust. I’ve never been good with that. It takes too much trust, I have to be comfortable with that person. Love blinds. The whole situation is just scary, it’s not something I’d like to go through. In Egypt especially, marriage is scary.” Malak, 18.
I don’t think I want to marry either to be quite honest. I connect with every single thing the girls have said. Safety. Trust. Control. Being a female isn’t easy in this stronghold of male control freaks. I know not all men are like that, but enough men are narcissistic, entitled, and close minded for me to worry for myself. Marriage has so far proved to be a failed institution, who is happily married nowadays? 50 couples? 100? 1,000? 10,000? Out of how many million though? I think I’ll take my chances as a single woman for life over risking exposure to any and all sorts of abuse. I think that says enough about the current state of our society, no?
Personally, I don’t dream of the day I’ll meet my Prince Charming or find the perfect dress, and I definitely don’t dream of my wedding, I dream of making international headlines though, I dream of building my empire, I have a right to what I want to do, I’ve chosen my path. You’re allowed to choose your own too.