'I cannot respect a woman who doesn't have a ring'

Mercy Kusi
Posted May 17, 2018 from Cameroon

I work all through the week,so I mostly find time to do my hair, manicure and pedicure on Saturdays.Beauty parlours are noted for the gists that one hears there, but there is this one I will hardly forget because it reminds me of the prejudice unmarried women in this part of the world are subjected to.This faithful saturday, I got into this saloon and met my stylist with two of her female friends who from their discussion I understood were teachers.One of them a nursery school teacher of about forty years narrated to her friends how she once discovered two of her pupils  (a boy and a girl) cuddling while lesson was on.The other women laughed and expressed worries over how 'smart'children of nowadays are.I followed keenly without offering a word until when the storyteller remarked that such things are common amongst children of 'Free Women.'(the phrase used to describe an unmarried woman in Bamenda).Pretending that i didn't understand what she meant by that, I quickly asked what she meant by 'Free woman' and her reply was,'A woman who isn't married.' I felt bad because i couldn't decipher how someone will quickly attach a child's bad attitude to unmarried women without first investigating to know the marital statues of his/her parents.Then it brought to mind my personal experiences as a single woman-How severally people had told me how much respect i would get if i'm married that i can't get as an unmarried woman-How I'm expected to allow anyone trample on me because I don't have a man's surname to mine.I also remember vividly how in the course of a squabble with another woman, a friend of mine give me a thousand reasons why I had to put up with her behaviour because she's somebody's wife.I got really angry in this case and told her what is bad is even if it's coming from a married woman-How I'm expected to allow anyone trample on me because I don't have a man's surname to mine.I thought I was the only one in this until in the course of a conversation with another single female entrepreneur she narrated to me how a guy in her driving school had categorically told her that he doesn't respect a woman who doesn't have a ring.This is someone who contrary to the tutor's instruction was occupying a seat that had been reserved for the ladies during the driving practicals simply because the Woman in question didn't have a ring to prove she's married ( mind you the lady in question has a rich academic portfolio and is making strides in her Profession but had to be spited by someone who might have achieved far less than what she has in her lifetime because of her marital status) I could cite many examples where I've been judged and considered capable or incapable of certain actions by mere fact that I'm unmarried.Why a woman's intelligence,strength,beauty,successes and failures are attached to her marital status,is something I'm yet to understand,despite the narratives I've had.I'm sharing my story on world Pulse to let every unmarried woman know that she can be whatever she wants to be without being married.I denounce the mentality that says marriage is a yardstick to measure a woman's morals.I believe a vile woman doesn't suddenly become good because she is married and a good woman isn't bad because she's single.My fellow single women your reason for doing or not doing something should never be influenced by your marital status.Laugh, play, invest if you have to, go after your dreams like a lion does after a prey and keep being the amazing woman that you are while you rock singlehood.With love from Mercy 

Comments 5

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  • Olutosin
    May 17
    May 17

    Hmmnn when did marriage become a yardstick for success? Let me not drag issues with these people with shallow way of thinking before they start to insult someone.

    The story is not different in Nigeria, although not about ring, because many religious women do not wear wedding ring here, in my church, majority of us don't wear wedding ring at all. Where this come to play is when a single lady is looking for accommodation, most house owners will never rent a house to a single lady.

    I love the trend of change in this world because I know that very soon, women will solve all these problems. There were greater problems on earth before and women had turned those mountains to valleys' I trust women, we are problem solvers.

    All these minor challenges are nothing before women, we will keep on conquering as long as we keep on fighting discrimination, oppression and patriarchal war against us. We are overcomers. I trust us.

    I know that one day, our daughters will wake up free. Free from all these barbaric, dejected, outdated, archaic and backward ideas.

    You are right, ring is not one of our challenges, we have gone far beyond that small handcuff. We are free.

    Thanks so much for sharing this with us here.

  • Mercy Kusi
    May 17
    May 17

    Thanks Olutosin.We are indeed the change that we need.

  • jlanghus
    May 18
    May 18

    Hi Mercy. Thanks for sharing your story. I totally agree with you. This kind of outdated, and damaging thinking needs to change. I really don't see what purpose it serves other than keeping women down. I hope you inspire more women to stay single, if they want to, and to be 100% authentically themselves at all times, regardless of their marital or non-marital status. I'm looking forward to seeing more stories from you.

    Oh, please be aware that if you would like to respond to someone's comment, you will want to choose the back arrow so that person will be automatically notified via email that you responded to them.

    Hope you have a great day!

  • Mercy Kusi
    May 18
    May 18

    Hi Jlanghus thanks for your words of encouragement.I wouldn't mind sharing many more stories with my World Pulse sisters.Do have a nice day too

  • jlanghus
    May 18
    May 18

    You're very welcome:-) Sounds like a plan, then:) Thank you!