“Do you want to get married?”

I am finally able to form an explanation—in words—for why I cannot seem to ever answer this question despite being asked every two weeks. The question of whether I want to get married is not the same as whether I want to go to law school or whether I want to …I don’t know, be taller (I’m out of examples). It is not a fixed state of desire because marriage is not… wanting to buy a house.

Marriage is a person.

When there is no one I want to marry, I don’t want to get married. When there isn’t, I do.

(There is inevitably someone who is going to say that this is the same as wanting to buy a certain house and not a different house. First of all, gross. Second of all, no it isn’t, even if I accepted that chremamorphic analogy, because houses can be designed and built and that’s why I can answer that question, whereas I have no interest in inventing a person.)

How could I possibly answer a question that changes depending on whom I know when I am asked? Especially since the given answer would betray a state of which I am rather protective—I suppose no one knows what my response implies, but I know. My answer will never be as general as the question. It will be very. Specific.

This can never be a general question to me, and so I can never answer it generally. It’s been disconcerting to me when I don’t seem to function the same way as other people toward this question. And, a feminist issue when I can’t communicate the way I am expected as a woman.

It’s as ludicrous as other questions, like when people ask me if I like children. What kind of question is that? Children are people. Subsequently, I am sure I like some and not others. Just like I probably like some people and dislike others.

The question of whether I want to “get married” is one that doesn’t… mean anything to the understanding in my little world. I only think of the concept in terms of whether I want to be married, to a specific person, all of the time. And when I don’t, I don’t. And when I do, I do.

It is too bothersome to recite this entire post every time someone asks me this question, and it would be easier if society stopped. It’s a meaningless question. Though perhaps that is unfair. Maybe it is not meaningless to most people. It is a meaningless question to me (by this I mean it literally has no meaning, not that it has no value—quite literally that it’s gibberish) because it is not compatible with my perception/understanding of marriage. You might as well ask, “Nahida, blue fifty goldfish six?”

Just kidding. I’m not a robot. (I checked.) But it is one of those subtly exhausting questions that can’t function with your being because you have to uproot it entirely, like, “Would you kill someone to save the world?” or “Didn’t I give you rights?”

4 thoughts on ““Do you want to get married?”

    1. I’ve mentioned this somewhere before, but one of my problems with philosophy is how presumptuous the “quandaries” are. e.x. “Would you kill one innocent person to save the world?” It is evident from this question that this is not my decision (but the victim’s) yet everyone answers “yes” which I consider transparently immoral.

      It’s also demonstrative of how much of philosophy is based on colonialism/whiteness because of these unspoken premises that misplace agency. I had a professor who uttered the words, “But if we don’t kill this butterfly, we’ll learn nothing about it.” It was the whitest thing I’ve ever heard.

      This immorality is evident at national and international levels, when citizens vote for their own welfare by deeming it the “lesser” of two evils, essentially enabling international war at the cost of civilian life abroad when it’s not their decision to make or find “less” evil. And by virtue, killing Others to save (their perception) of what merits “the world.”

      That’s the long answer. The short answer is no, I would not, because it is not my decision. It is the decision of the person who makes the sacrifice of their life. This is why the question “doesn’t exist,” because it can only exist on a faulty premise.

      Liked by 1 person

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