A friend of mine is on marriage crisis. She said, “I’ve finally found it’s wrong to speak out our mind”. But, of course I disagree with her. I said to her, “it is better to speak out our mind, rather than we have to repress our feeling that might explode some day, and ruin everything”. My friend finally agree with my opinion, but (surely) she’s still on that crisis.
I understand. With the social-culture construction attached to us as man and woman, there are so many things, which are not easy for us, particularly for woman.
My friend is one of many women who are trapped on that social image. She grows up in a family who believe that telling story about problems on marriage is taboo. She could cope with that rule on her first years of marriage, but then she can’t stand it anymore. At last, after six years of marriage, she explodes! She tells her big family that for years, she’s the one who feed her little family. Her husband is busy with his own world. He’d rather playing computer game, than thinking how to fulfill family needs.
My friend’s husband is not an unemployed. He works for IT Company, but he’s got his salary to pay his debts. My friends just know it recently. They had a big fight about it. Six credit cards and additional credit card on behalf of my friend’s name (without her permit) have made her no longer have the ability to cover her marriage –as if they were okay. She’s in deep anger. She’s extremely angry to know the fact that her husband does nothing about it. She gives him advice many times, but he never listens to her.
Well, man is grown up to be the decision maker. So, he decides what he wants. The problem is: what he decides gain nothing. He always fails in his business he starts. Meanwhile, my friend is a successful business woman. Though, my friend still has no good financial management system, but she has enough money to fund her husband (failed) business. Unfortunately, he accused her not to support him. My friend (for sure) got more (extremely) angry!
My friend said, her husband is always good to her. He’s never hurt her physically. Even, he does the household works. But his silence hurts her heart.
My friend is exhausted to fight alone. So, I said to her, “it’s not good to keep that situation, especially you have a child”. Then I suggest her to talk to my sister’s friend whom she knows well. My sister’s friend, she, was on her situation, and now has officially divorced. She also has one child. But my friend said, “It’s a son”. I wonder why, “still, they are children”. My friend them smile cynically, “you know I have daughter. If I divorce, who will become my daughter’s guardian when she gets married?”
Though, I felt annoyed about that, but I just kept silence. I know it’s not that easy to give progressive view to my friend about the issue of (marriage) guardian for bride at that time.
I know it is the common sense. Most Muslims in my country believe a daughter needs her father as her (marriage) guardian, while a son needs no guardian. * I am also a Muslim, and I disagree with that.
This is what made me want to do terrible thing (well at least to throw a sandal, or perhaps a shoe) to the people who express their condolences to my mother (when my dad passed away last May) while saying (in a symphatic way), “Poor you are, you still have two burdens”. Well, it refers to the fact that my late-30-year-old-elder-sister and I (a-30s-something-woman) have not still got married. We(the daughter) are still considered as the burdens of our parent (mother) –though in fact we finance ourselves, but (of course) it’s not counted because we’re still single. We have to get married some day. And, a father should be our our (marriage) guardian. That’s common (happy) dream of every daughter. So, those people believe we’re in pathetic situation. Our (RIP) father has no longer be able to be our (marriage) guardian.
It’s never easy to be a daughter. But this fact has challenged me. Challenge me to fight the injustice, the inequality. Also, challenge me to inspire many women to realize and try to make them aware that they deserve to have their self-integrity as human.
Our self, our body, our voice, our mind, belong to us.
I believe we always have choices, and power to decide.
Surabaya, 18 September 2010