Restoration and Neoclassical Miscellanea
Posted by: Eleanor Reeves
Marriage tends to be a popular topic of discussion these days among women. Whether a woman is married or single, it is on their mind; they’re either working on their marriage or working on getting married. Most girls spend months and sometimes years of their lives trying to get their boyfriends to pop the question. It is pretty pathetic seeing them be so desperate to give half of their stuff to someone else.
Women need to open their eyes and look at all the things they can do in life without a man. We don’t need a man to be happy. And we sure as hell don’t need a man in order to be taken care of. Ladies, before sacrificing your freedom and your bank accounts, make sure you understand the perks of being single and empowered before you let someone tie you down.
In Daniel Defoe’s Roxana (1732), Roxana has been burned by her ex-husband and was forced to reestablish herself socially and financially. After spending the evening with a suitor, Roxanna argues her reasoning behind not accepting his wedding proposal. The rational in Roxana’s argument in 1732 is still relevant today. She argued that she did not want to share her money with a man, that she did not want to up give her freedom, and that getting married was not a good idea just because they may or may not have a child together.
Today, marriage means becoming one and sharing everything from an income to a house to whatever is for dinner . It’s a huge commitment, and marriage means that everything a woman does in the world is no longer for or about her, life is now all about the unified team.
Now, my question is: What woman wants to share all of her stuff with someone else? What woman wants a man telling her what she can and cannot buy with her own money? What woman wants a man keeping tabs on her throughout the day? What woman would sacrifice her liberties for a man? Roxanna believed in sacrificing nothing to a man and that included her freedom.
A woman shouldn’t let a man make her think it’s going to be an equal union if they get married. We live in a patriarchal society, the men run everything. Everything. Even the bible asks women to throw in the towel and concede to their husband. No! Women should stand their ground and veto this “be a submissive wife” nonsense.
Women are grown, making their own money, running their own life… ain’t no man need to come in here and manage things. As Roxanna said to her suitor in 1732, even if you say that you will give me all of your money, you will still have control over it because you are the husband. And that is the law –even today.
Also, women shouldn’t get hoodwinked into a marriage with the age-old excuse from a man, “We have a child together, it only makes sense for us to get married”. Women should close their ears!! That is a recipe for disaster; don’t get conned into this. Women shouldn’t marry a man just because they are pregnant/think they are pregnant or if they already share a child with that man. It’s perfectly ok to go through life having a “baby-daddy”. Society doesn’t look down on single moms; they actually idolize them for being so strong and on top of things. Being a single mom is great for women, they get lots of praise and extra attention.
Women have to stick together and remind each other what they can do it on their own. Women are powerful; they don’t need a man to make them feel that way. Roxana’s reasoning was wise beyond its years. What she said then completely contradicted the societal norms of the time period. But now days, it’s ok to feel this way, in fact, it’s encouraged.
Sources: Daniel Defoe’s “Roxana” (1732)