Jacquelyn Hurtado/ Staff Writer
Every family gathering probably starts with your grandma asking, “How’s school? Do you have a boyfriend?” In Hispanic households, these are the two first questions that we have to brace ourselves for.
If you are a Hispanic woman, there’s this preconceived notion that Latin American women were made to breed children and tend to the house. We have to succumb to machismo, allowing for our husbands to be the dominant figures in the very house that we are expected to clean 24/7.
These expectations of marriage have become ingrained in us by society, making marriage less and less desirable. It makes me more hesitant to get married because I don’t want to spend my life tending to other people’s needs when I haven’t gotten the opportunity to live out my dreams yet.
When I was younger, I looked into my future and saw a stable job, a prince charming and three children. However, as I’ve grown, I’ve realized how society has constructed a future for me that I never chose. Even research has shown that millennials are starting to think like this.
In a 2014 Pew Research survey, it was found that 33 percent of 18- to 24-year-old millennials and 13 percent of 25- to 34-year-old millennials say they’re not ready to settle down because they feel they are too young for marriage.
In today’s day and age, marriage seems like a step we take when we are older. It comes after we have travelled, had adventures and found stable jobs. Millennials, especially female millennials, are focusing on their individualistic goals before taking the big step of settling down and starting a family. “For women in particular, the ability to delay childbearing and the increased social acceptance may also factor into the decision to delay marriage,” said Martha Deevey, senior research scholar at the Stanford Center on Longevity.
With more female empowerment and representation, women are no longer tolerating machismo and are refusing to submit. Women shouldn’t be ashamed if they aren’t married by the time they’re 25-years-old. They should have the choice to enter a relationship when they are ready.
For most of my childhood, I believed that there was something wrong with me because I didn’t have a boyfriend when all of my classmates did. However, I realized over time that my dream wasn’t to become someone’s girlfriend or wife or even mother. I want to achieve something more with my life and make a name for myself.
Marriage might still be in my future or it might not, but either way, I want the freedom to wait and see where life takes me without being weighed down by societal expectations.
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