Commemorating the 1st anniversary of the grand Royal wedding, CNN had a special show on Kate Middleton aka the Duchess of Cambridge. The royal wedding was the biggest wedding spectacle since William’s parents got married ages ago. And a lot was written about Kate and how she got her prince.
Kate has been held up as an example of a modern woman who would hold out for the man she loves and almost every one of these reports mentions that all this waiting earned her the infamousmonicker ‘Waity Katy’. Basically the fact that she waited 8 years for the man she liked seemed too much of a stretch for a modern woman. She was dubbed as someone who didn’t have any other aim than marriage. And whatever work she did was automatically called meaningless. Damned if she did, damned if she didn’t.
Now I don’t know the couple nor do I think all the report writers knew them. But even so, I have a huge problem with the whole description of Waity Katy. Apart from a brief interview with the couple, where Kate herself said their much publicised break up was because of William’s immaturity, no one seems to have ever questioned William much. Of course, he is the prince and he could obviously string a commoner along.
No one seems to talk of the fact that even if he was a normal man, the attitude towards the woman would have been the same. She would be questioned for waiting too long. She would be questioned about why she can’t just move on if marriage is so important to her. She would be asked todevelop other interests and have a life. If she moves on, she would be called impatient and someone who didn’t have the emotional understanding to hold on to a man. If she doesn’t she would be seen as a weak woman whose life revolves around this guy. If after spending years with her unlike William, he dumps her and promptly gets engaged/married to someone else, then the first woman would be jeered at. People will show fake sympathy towards her while at the same time saying that she should have known he would never marry her after so long. There would also be the typical statements like why would be buy the cow if he got the milk for free (yep, please cringe some more).
No one seems to talk of the fact that the guy is equally responsible for the relationship. If a guy can’t commit, the girls are asked to exhibit behaviour that encourages him to commit. No one tells the guy to just man up and be genuine. Some people I know are going through similar things and all of us being around the same age, we keep hearing of something or the other. But rarely does anyone talk of how the guy needs to step up too. Then there are movies like He’s is just not that into you that teach women the right balance between desperation and going for what their hearts want. Yes, gag me already.
The business of deconstructing romance and writing self help books on it is very lucrative. Almost every celeb marriage is analysed in great detail and nuggets of wisdom are given out to women (and some men) on how to conduct themselves to get a mate. But most of these books are targetted at women. Very few if ever talk of men doing their bit to change their expectations and roles as per the changing times. For all their empowerment, in the dating and marriage game, women are still considered at the mercy of the timelines and convenience of their men. If she asserts too much, she will pressure/scare/nag the man away. Its like men are the helpless, dimwit damsels whom women have to rescue all the time with patience/understanding/maturity. Left to themselves, the men are incapable of making any decisions because they can’t/don’t want to talk about it/are overwhelmed with work or whatever other tower that they are lodged in. But they also love this tower of bacherlorhood and do not want to leave apparently. So the woman is also seen as this evil creature who shall take them away from the comfortable familiar into an unknown land, one where they will have to deal with themselves. And oh my, they are overwhelmed.
A lot of the above is just rant, I shall admit. And I know some of those who will read will have some of the same questions to me and may even suggest that I should just stay single (such a convenient defense against so called feminists no?). Some others will probably try to draw inferences to my personal life and wonder if I have such strong opinions because of my own experiences. To them, well, you have the liberty to think what you want.
I have some questions to everyone though:
Is it bad if a woman wants to get married and she follows through on that with consistency? Why is that termed as pressurising, being a gold digger etc etc.
If a career woman also values marriage does that make her weak? And what’s with asking her if she wanted to get married, why did she end up doing some fancy course?
Conversely, if a woman is dragging her feet on marriage and wants to wait, why is she unnatural, but if her boyfriend does it, he is just being sure she is the One?
Why doesn’t anyone ask the guy any questions about when he will get married or get any pointed questions at some random acquaintance’s engagement?
Why does marital status have such a halo, that it makes you suddenly the ‘chosen’ one, the ‘complete’ one?
Lastly if Kate Middleton was called Waity Katy, why didn’t the tabloids call the prince Waffly William?
A relationship is about two people, so the success or demise of it should not always be blamed on the woman. And at the same time, each relationship is different, so judging anyone’s choices of whatthey endure for that relationship should be seen as a personal choice. There cannot be an ‘If I were in her place I would’ because, lets face it, you are NOT in her place.