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Why ‘Wedding Shaming’ Needs to Stop

Posted January 9, 2014 by Cassandra Ehrhart in Life After Five
Recently, we’ve seen a slew of popular anti-young-marriage articles, most famously this blog post about 23 things to do rather than getting engaged before 23.

But, don’t forget about these from Mandatory.com and The Huffington Post. So sweet…real charmers! In response to these negative articles there have been articles about happy young married life like these from When the Girl Meets World and this little ditty from you guessed it,  a happily married young woman.

As a 21-year-old woman, both types of articles pop up all over my news feed, posted by my happily married and happily single friends.

But I have to ask, 

Why the hell are we still arguing about this?

Why do we care SO MUCH about what our friends are doing with their personal relationships? Why is it anyone else’s business other than the two people making a commitment?

Some of my best friends have gotten engaged and married, and however young they may be, I hope all the best for them.

Why is it suddenly the single woman’s job to tell a young married or engaged woman that she’s not ‘finding herself ’ or that she’s not ‘making the most of her good years’? By the way, what criteria defines the ‘good years’ any-friggin-way?

No one has the right to tell women that they haven’t explored enough or haven’t experienced enough. If a woman wants to get married and have children at the ripe young age of 21, that is her personal choice and it affects only her.

In our culture it’s very common for married women to be portrayed as boring, uneducated housewives. It’s also very common for single women to be portrayed as career-hungry, ruthless, and slutty. Guess what? All of these arguments back and forth are confirming and enforcing those cultural stereotypes.

What should we be saying to our friends getting married at a young age? How about something like,

Wow, you must be a courageous woman for making such a profound commitment to someone else, and I applaud you.

Or,  even just a simple, ‘best wishes” would be better than an article about what other people are doing wrong with their personal lives. (And a moment of etiquette please: a man is offered a hearty ‘congratulations!’ upon his engagement announcement, a woman is offered ‘best wishes’. True Story.)

Women need to be supportive of one another, no matter if they disagree or agree with their friends’ personal decisions. The only thing women should be worried about is making decisions that fulfill their personal needs and desires.

That is all. Do what’s best for you, and forget everyone else.

About the Author

Cassandra Ehrhart

Cassandra Ehrhart is a results driven, public relations professional. She's currently a senior at Indiana University, Bloomington. This semester she's working for Coca-Cola as a Brand Ambassador, Author Solutions, Inc. as a Marketing Intern, and serving as the 2013-2014 Director of Communications for IU's Public Relations Student Society of America. She’s a bona fide dog lover from a small town in Indiana. There's not much that makes her happier than her niece and red wine. Cassandra is passionate about the mission of CGN and is proud to contribute her knowledge as a rising career girl.