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Not all men are looking for ‘wife material’

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JOAN THATIAH

By JOAN THATIAH
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This lock down season has women exploring those talents that they otherwise didn’t have time for, like cooking.

We now have endless photos of gourmet looking meals on our timelines. A friend of mine remarked the other day that when all this is done, she will have done so much cooking and cleaning that she will be ‘wife material’.

This got me thinking about this tag that so many women seem to be chasing. There seems to be that fear that if you do not don this universal piece of cloth, the wife material, you will die old, alone and of course bitter.

Woe unto you if you do not enjoy doing the dishes or ironing because you also will not be deemed worthy of marriage. Because marriage is, you know, the ultimate goal.

First, I have an issue with how society assumes that every woman on the street is dying to get married, or that every woman getting into a relationship is already thinking of her wedding dress or the cute and cuddly babies.

I have an issue with how it has been made that, everything a single woman does, her every decision is an audition for the role of wife.

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I was surprised when the other day it became news when a local news anchor said during an interview that marriage was not in the cards for her. The truth is, some women are not looking to settle down.

Second, I have a problem with that assumption that all men are looking for one type of woman. A very specific type of woman.

According to this imaginary list, she is motherly, a great cook, a great mother, happy to play the role of number two to whichever man finds her worthy enough of his ring, warts and all. And of course she doesn’t laugh too loudly or drink beer.

I have a problem with how when it comes to who the ideal woman is, all the focus is on domesticity. You will never see this wife material tag attached to a woman who has just graduated from college or got a promotion. No.

This wife material concept just goes on to perpetuate that idea that the only place for a woman is pregnant and in the kitchen.

All men do not want just one type of woman. They can’t. Women, too, do not want just one type of man. Word on the street is that all women are looking for a man of a particular physical stature with a fat wallet to sweep them off their feet and fix all their problems.

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The truth is that for some women, for many women actually, other qualities are more important. I know a lot of women who care more that a man has a good head on his shoulders, or that he is funny, that he is nurturing, or even that he ascribes to a particular faith than they do his wallet.

Every man has his definition of perfection or what he finds desirable. When it comes to long-term relationships, we choose our partners depending on our needs.

One man is seeking a homely woman to ground him; there is also one who desires a woman who is ambitious because he needs to have someone to snap him out; to get him to take risks.

There is also a man who needs a reserved woman to come home to, and there is also another who wants a woman who will help him let his hair down every so often. Their needs are as different as their looks.

The problem with society pushing this lie that there is one type of woman that all men love is that women begin to believe it.

What happens when they do? They make becoming this fictitious woman a goal. God knows I do not want my daughter to think that becoming wife material is a valid life goal.

I want her to be herself and to know that she is enough. I do not want her to ever think that she needs dumb herself down to attract the attention of a man she fancies.

A woman who’s fixated on the society’s version of wife material will conform so that the man of her dreams can find her desirable.

She will disown those parts of her that make her unique, the parts that make her interesting. What this woman does not know is that even if she follows these instructions perfectly, she will always be too much of something to someone.

She will be too intelligent, too opinionated, too sexy, too quiet, too motherly…too much of something.

Follow your happiness whether this leads you to a house full of babies or a fancy corner office.





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