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Paper Topic:

Ambivalence Essay

What Does Marriage Really Mean to a Woman

Lady , why do you have to get married ' Many people consider this a pointless , nay , silly question to ask of women - especially educated successful working women . It has always been taken for granted that everything else being normal , the universal answer is because they are in love and want to spend the rest of their lives with their men - to love and to cherish , till death do us part . But why marry when you can just live together - forever , too , if you can tolerate each

other 's presence that long ' Here the answer is typically because they want to do it right : everything legitimate and respectable , with everybody from their families to their circle of friends happily and approvingly and witnessing the union . Up to this point , everything 's predictable and clear-cut . However , the third question Are you prepared to give up a successful career to become a mother ' causes ambiguity among many women . Responses to this question become varied . There are those who will readily declare that they will sacrifice their career anytime just to experience the joys of being a mother . There are also women who will prefer not to answer the question categorically , while others will probably beg to give their answers at a later time - get the feel of married life first , so to say . Feminists , on the other hand , will not hesitate to say that no , their careers are too important to be relinquished for motherhood . Still others - we can probably call them collaborationists - would say that they will try striking a balance between career and motherhood . In other words , keep their jobs and hire a sitter to care for the baby . In the face of this ambiguity concerning marriage , one is left to ask a final question : Regardless of the choices that they have made , who is really happier now - she who has chosen her career over motherhood or she who has opted to leave her job to become a mother

In an attempt to search for an answer , two couples came to mind . I have known them since I was in my teens . They got married simultaneously They said that they had planned on getting married at the same time as early as college because , according to them , being very close college friends , they wanted to start their family lives together so they could compare notes . The men were already successful junior executives and their wives were also doing well in their respective careers when they were married . At first , their new status did not change their lives so much . They remained good friends . In fact if anything , they even became closer . They became a happy foursome for a couple of years : doing things together , going to places together , attending parties , moving within the same circle of friends , even planning their lives together

However , the two couples started drifting from each other after about two years . The reason , it turned out , was their attitudes toward...

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