The girls who get thrown away

Though it seems inconceivable to many men, there are sometimes women who simply aren’t expected to marry and yet ultimately do.  One of the reasons “nice girls” or “Christian girls” or “nice Christian girls” have a hard time getting married is that some of them were thrown away by their subculture.  They were never expected to marry.  The reasons are usually not related to sexual practice, for such women aren’t even really thought of as possessing a real sexual impulse.  They are considered freemartins, girl-shaped but essentially sexless and only valuable for the services and/or money they can provide to their immediate family or local community.

It’s interesting to me that so many refuse to accept the reality before them of mostly celibate single women working at modest jobs, giving much of the money to family members directly and often also volunteering tons of unpaid labor at church/school/etc.  They are tossed aside and not taken seriously except as mere labor/resources.

It’s hard for such women to marry, especially since they often never really learn that they were thrown away, or find it out too late to respond.  Yet, some do, and then the difficulty of social interaction with people who are weirdly offended at such women not being totally available anymore becomes a straining point in the marriage.  Not a fatal one, but still quite real.

On the other hand, since such women are given no useful advice on catching a husband, they recognize that it is quite obviously God’s will if they do happen to marry and are correspondingly most excellent wife material.  So their marriages can handle the social stresses that come when their labor is desired but no longer available for exploitation.

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5 thoughts on “The girls who get thrown away”

  1. My lovely mother was one such disposable girls, the 5th of 7 children, and the one her mother didn’t love. When she would speak of her father, there was so much love in her voice, and so much yearning when she’d speak of her own mother. I once told her (my mother) that I was glad I never knew the miserable bitch who was my grandmother; got myself an earful over that; my mother was ever loyal. I’m not nearly the woman she was.

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  2. I’d say those girls need to learn the power of NO but I understand why they don’t do that.

    I don’t know: in a lot of those cases I think it’s less that they got willfully thrown away and more that they internalized the rules too much and no one really knows what to say when that happens. The group, of course, pushes The Rules pretty hard in the unspoken expectation that you will push back in your own self-interest and some implicit functional balance will be reached. When people don’t push back, everyone’s nonplussed. What do you do then, pull them aside and TELL them to rebel and stop taking this thing so seriously? Water down the rules, so that the more naturally resistant/selfish will have too much leeway and the whole thing falls apart? Lay out a lot more extremely detailed rules for areas of life that most people seem to navigate without formal instruction and would find intrusive and extremely off-putting if codified? None of those seem quite the thing, so *shrug* casualties happen. Failure to read between the lines, basically.

    I’m reminded of Slavoj Zizek’s take on military culture and the important of individual ironic detachment in actually making communities function: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_nI_qFj4Tsk

    (Scenes from Full Metal Jacket, schoolboys whipping each other, cussing, weird Slovenian guy snorting every 15 secs, etc)

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  3. “I’d say those girls need to learn the power of NO but I understand why they don’t do that.”

    Because “You don’t have anything else going on in your life. There’s no reason for you to not use your time doing [activity].”

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  4. @Feather Blade, yes, and they’re actually good girls who take that kind of exhortation to heart instead of blowing it off long enough to GET something else going on in their lives.

    I mean, it’s been an unspoken church expectation for a quite some time that young people left for a few years to get themselves established. “Y’all carry out that raucous business of young-adult wheeling, dealing, dating, mating somewhere out of our sights, plz. Come back when you’re ready to plan your weddings!” 😀

    I used to read those surveys about church attendance declining among Millennials and people would say, “well, look, it’s always been true that people dropped out for awhile in their teens and 20s. They’ll be back when they start families of their own.”

    (Seems to me that churches only started freaking out when people STOPPED returning after they’d had a kid or two.)

    Serious-minded religious girls who actually stay through thick and thin miss out on that whole window, though. I remember my auntie joking that the singles group at church “was about the same as the senior center” by which she meant that it was like 3 girls to every (weird) guy. Anyone even remotely passable had long since been snapped up!

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  5. “they’re actually good girls who take that kind of exhortation to heart instead of blowing it off long enough to GET something else going on in their lives”

    The really funny thing is, if a girl actually expresses that exhortation herself when she volunteers for church tasks, the people she’s talking to react with horror that volunteering is not something that the girls are “called” to and “enthusiastic” about.

    “I see a job needing doing, so I’m doing it” is somehow not a good enough reason anymore.

    … and don’t get me started on people’s reactions to a girl calling things she’s volunteered to do a “duty” or “obligation”.

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