Marriage is a symbol of love, not a burden

In many Asian countries, marriage seems to be a milestone that every woman should have in their life to be recognized as a successful one. It is not to mention that they also have to look for men who have lucrative careers and most ideally would be those who are able to take care of their wives for the rest of their life, or else it could not be a “happy marriage”. This misconception has resulted in many adverse impacts on women’s life and made many women feel like it is their biggest goal to pursue, and it is the only way for them to find joy in life.

Speaking of those who are still single, a majority of them have to deal with pressure from their own family and relatives. This has been shown very clearly from the music video named “Bao gio lay chong ” presented by Bich Phuong, who is a singer in Vietnam. The video talked about marriage in Vietnam in a sarcastic way. In this video, when Bich Phuong came back to her hometown to enjoy Tet holiday with her parents, many of her relatives asked her when she would get married, and she had to try to hide away from them so that she would not have to answer that question. In Vietnam, especially in rural areas, it seems to be a pity for women who are around thirty to not have a husband, so many parents advised their daughters not to focus on their work too much and should try to find a husband instead so that they would not be a spinster. This pressure from parents not only doesn’t help their daughters, but it also makes them more stressed since they have to deal with pressures from work and family. 

Regarding women who are already married, many of them have to cope with another type of pressure, which is that they will have to do whatever it takes to keep their marriage, even if their husbands cheat on them because it is unacceptable for a woman to go through a divorce in Vietnam. Going through a divorce do not only affects one’s reputation but it might cause a diverse impact on their whole family. Their parents may have to cope with unceasing judgment from other people, and they might be humiliated by that as well. Because of this, many parents reject their daughters if they get a divorce in order to protect their standing in society. To prevent this from the beginning, Daughters are taught to treat their husbands well so that their men would not betray them, and even if they do it, the wives should forgive them in order to maintain their marriage. Many people also assert that cheating is men’s nature, so women should not expect their partner to be loyal with them forever and should learn to get used to it instead because it is women’s job to keep a “happy family”, which is absolutely ridiculous. 

In sum, marriage is an important milestone in our life, but it is not the most important thing. Women should be given the right to have a life they want, not what society wants or expects from them. Women are not born with the duty to get married to someone. We should only do it as long as we want it and it make us happy.

My name is Do Ngoc Nhu Binh and I’m a 17-year-old girl living in Ho Chi Minh, Viet Nam. I was born and raised here, so I can see clearly how women are treated unfairly in society. In my country, many women are taught to obey their husbands unconditionally so that their husbands will stay with them and they will not cheat on them. That was a true story that I have heard from my teachers at school, who had to live with that obsolete mindset for her entire life. Speaking of myself, I have experienced it, too. My parents taught me to do the housework when I was eight years old, but when my brother turned nine, they didn’t teach him to do anything, like I did. I asked them: “Why don’t you teach him to do the chores?”. Then, they answered: “He is a boy, so he won’t need to do these things.”. I know it doesn’t mean they love my brother more than me, but they think that chores are supposed to be women’s jobs and responsibilities, according to our “culture”. The reason for this is because these rules have existed for so long and it has been inherited by many generations so it makes people believe that this is the normal thing that every “good” girl needs to learn. As a woman in this society, I think it is the right time for me to speak up for myself and fight for my rights as well as many other women around the world, and that is the reason why I want to give a voice in SHEQUALITY. I hope that we can raise awareness about sexism and get rid of the obsolete mindsets in our society.