Friday Repost: On Being Grown Up

This is old and not particularly profound, but it still made me laugh. It’s about the idea that young Jewish woman are sheltered little maidens who are taken under the wing of their husbands upon marriage. From the vantage point of a few years, I can say that yeshiva guys do exert quite a bit of influence on their marriages, even if they’re not (and often because they’re not) nearly as worldly as their wives. Unfamiliarity leading to fear, fear leading to the knee-jerk reaction of categorical rejection.

I also saw a link to this post in another blog about how a newly married person was suddenly treated differently when she appeared in society wearing a several thousand dollar hairpiece. I wonder if that’s true. I don’t think I get treated with less respect because I’m single. But then again, sometimes you can’t notice something until you’re on the other side.

Are there any other newly married readers who can verify or deny this?

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21 thoughts on “Friday Repost: On Being Grown Up

  1. In the professional world, you are treated with more respect once you’re married because you look older in a sheitel, so people assume you might have years of experience in your field.

  2. I totally noticed this when I got married. People looked at me differently, spoke to me differently, and I think I even acted differently. I think the tichel on my head made me feel more frum and made me feel like I had to act more frum. Maybe it was because I was holding myself differently that people saw me differently.

  3. I really don’t feel a lack of respect. I think if a person has confidence and appears sure of him/herself, then others will respond accordingly.

    I guess I’ll have to find out later what the wig gets me.

  4. People treat married people differently because they look at unmarried people as immature and childish. Or perhaps I should use the word inexperienced.

  5. Simply put if I had a wife I wouldn’t be thought of as a “boy”, whereas a guy younger than me whose got a wife is a “man”. Having a wife makes a man for us men, having a husband makes you a woman for the female gender.

  6. When you are 20 and unmarried, people look at your uncovered hair and wonder what is wrong with you. When you are 25, married and have not yet had a child, people look at your stomach and wonder what is wrong with you, when you are 30, married and only have 2 children, people look to see if your diamond is still on and wonder what is wrong with your marriage and it goes on.

    People are always looking to other people to find something, some way to lower the other person as it brings them higher. Ignore it, be confident in yourself and happy with the blessings you have and daven that Hashem will give you more blessings. Confidence in yourself breeds respect. If a single 20 year old (or older) places her singleness in the forefront of her life and walks around seemingly desperate, then it is harder for those who see this desperation to giver her respect. (To be fair – I do believe that single girls are in a real catch 22. If they walk around confident in themselves and seem to proud of their career or accomplishments then they become a girl not really interested in getting married. It does seem like yeshiva society prefers its girls to be humbled by their singleness.)

  7. Anon 99 – I don’t think it has to be a catch 22. Confidence does not have to be based on career or extracurricular activities; if I am confident, smile politely, chat pleasantly, people don’t classify me as being above marriage. They classify me as being fabulous and want to set me up. 🙂

  8. This reminds me of a line I read (I think maybe in a comment on this blog!) in which a girl said to an engaged friend, “You’re not planning on covering your hair? What’s the point of getting married then?”

  9. “I was single at 26 would I want to be treated like an 18-year-old seminary girl because there is no shaitel atop my head?”

    This is one of the reasons I oppose the hair covering for married women social convention. It does nothing to increase modesty, but does have the effect of differentiating between higher status married women and lower status single one.
    Proof: It is far more acceptable for a married woman to be seen with an uncovered head, than for a single woman to be seen with a covered one, although no halacha according to anyone’s opinion is violated

  10. bad4 I’m shocked that you could post that you have not experienced disrespect as a single when you’ve posted elsewhere not only about disrespect but outright illegal discriminiation in employment and salary.

  11. Kisarita – well, that would be the only case. And I was also pretty young then, so although I was told that marriage was a factor, it probably wasn’t the only one. Of course, I do not often deal with folk in the frum community, so I don’t have much opportunity to feel disrespect.

  12. As a single man, I experience significant (and frustrating) discrimination as well. But the same goes for being in my 20’s, not yet having an advanced degree or licensure, etc.

    People assume I’m less mature, that I know less and/or have less experience. That authority comes though specific training/experience/age/milestones. To a certain extent, perhaps. But instead of being able to hear my words or thoughts for their content I am often dismissed.

    There’s a quote somewhere about how the young overestimate the power of knowledge and the old overestimate the power of experience; what brings true wisdom is weaving the two together. Unfortunately, most people just pick milestones as ways to assume where people are (developmentally speaking).

  13. Lol goodness, that was an old blog post! I haven’t blogged in three year. Wow that was a blast from the past! Can’t even remember feeling that way. I am 24 now, though, so got a bit more life experience and maturity under my belt. Also, my friends who are single are officially “older” and that’s a whole different kettle of fish.

  14. In the Yeshivish world, there is slight discrimination for those unmarried floaters.People assume that if you are not married, you are not as mature or wise as the married folks. Although marriage can place a person in a maturity jumpsuit , singlehood is not necessarily a life without opportunity to grow and mature.
    In addition, the married world is something difficult to connect with as much as you try…you just don’t really fit in.

  15. As someone who got married about a month ago, I kind of hear both sides. On the one hand, I have noticed that I am treated differently (not necessarily better) by many of the married ladies in town mostly because they believe I now have more things in common with them, even if it’s something fairly insignificant, like discussing hair coverings or what to make for dinner.

    However, I also have noticed that a lot of people start to act differently when they get married. Like, somehow the fact that they are married and the different set of responsibilities they see themselves as having makes them now a different person, and therefore they act in a different manner and thus are treated differently.

    I don’t think I act differently then I did a month ago (and I try very hard not to be one of those shana rishona-ers who say “my husband” every thirty seconds. :)) so I think that while there may be some truth to being treated differently because I am married, I do think that how you act after you are married can affect that as well.

    I’m not saying anyone is acting better or worse, before or after marriage, I just think that while it may be societal, it may also be a subconscious new behavior exhibited by newlyweds.

  16. nothing like walking into the beis medrash with a talis over my head to gain some respect lol nothing to do with learning or actual accomplishments now that ive got the talis im a baale baas not just some punk yea rite lol

  17. I think that especially in the Jewish communities, getting married is more of a status than a union between two people. As a single girl with many married friends, I do notice that the “marrieds” as I like to call them, are treated differently. It is kind of like they are on a higher level because they have seemingly accomplished their purpose in life and look down on those who are not married. The best lines I have heard were “you’ll understand once you are married”- It makes me want to punch them in the face with my ring-less fist. Marrieds should be sensitive to the shidduch struggle and not act all high and mighty.

  18. In 2.5 weeks of marriage, the only difference i’ve noticed is that instead of people telling me to grow up, they tell me how happy they are that I haven’t now that I’m married 🙂

  19. I notice on the crown heights community council controversy involves marriage discrimination no less then gender.
    To summarize- only men may hold office, and only those that either a. have been married, whether in the past or present or b. are age 30 and above
    what this seems to be saying is not that actually the challenges of married life makes one more mature, but only the act of getting married. If you’re twenty five years years old, holding a wedding is supposed to instantly add 5 years worth of maturity to you, even if you break up in a month.

  20. i don’t notice that i’m treated differently now that i’m married, but i’d say for girls it definitely forces you to become more mature. for guys, i don’t think they really grow up until they have kids. they go from being ‘taken care of’ by their mothers, to ‘taken care of’ by their wives.

    the only difference i see is that now i have more in common with the married women in my parents shul because i can talk about recipes and cleaning, and baby stuff, but who really wants to spend all day talking about that anyway? i still have other interests

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