June 6, 2012

Clockwork Angel: Do Girls Have to Get Married?

Clockwork Angel (The Infernal Devices Series #1) 

Magic is dangerous—but love is more dangerous still.

When sixteen-year-old Tessa Gray crosses the ocean to find her brother, her destination is England, the time is the reign of Queen Victoria, and something terrifying is waiting for her in London's Downworld, where vampires, warlocks and other supernatural folk stalk the gaslit streets. Only the Shadowhunters, warriors dedicated to ridding the world of demons, keep order amidst the chaos.

Kidnapped by the mysterious Dark Sisters, members of a secret organization called The Pandemonium Club, Tessa soon learns that she herself is a Downworlder with a rare ability: the power to transform, at will, into another person. What’s more, the Magister, the shadowy figure who runs the Club, will stop at nothing to claim Tessa's power for his own.

Friendless and hunted, Tessa takes refuge with the Shadowhunters of the London Institute, who swear to find her brother if she will use her power to help them. She soon finds herself fascinated by—and torn between—two best friends: James, whose fragile beauty hides a deadly secret, and blue-eyed Will, whose caustic wit and volatile moods keep everyone in his life at arm's length . . . everyone, that is, but Tessa. As their search draws them deep into the heart of an arcane plot that threatens to destroy the Shadowhunters, Tessa realizes that she may need to choose between saving her brother and helping her new friends save the world. . . . and that love may be the most dangerous magic of all.

Topic of Choice: Marriage Non-optional For Women

"That woman has nothing. She has no kids, no husband,  and no life. When she dies, she will die alone."

What my mother said that day has haunted me for a long time. There was something in that moment, in what she said that has struck home with me.

The woman was single. She had to be in her late forties. Yet, I didn't see that she had nothing. I saw she had everything.

Maybe I'm obtuse in my way of thinking. Maybe I am wrong. But when I see a single women at that age, all I think of is freedom.

That single women didn't have to sacrifice her life, her body, her everything to become a wife and later on (hopefully) to deliver kids into this world.

Every single day, back when I was student teaching, I heard these women talk about children and married life and I have to wonder sometimes if it really is worth it. It just seems like the women gives up on her dreams, her goals in life to provide and take care of a family for the rest of her life.

Now granted, my mother didn't give up on her life to birth my siblings and me. She still has her career, still has her love of nursing and providing for her family. But there are times where she has broke down because of family problems.

Don't get me wrong. I think family is a great thing.

But is it really for everybody?

Perfect example is in Clockwork Angel. During the time period that it is set in (1893, I think). it is expected for women to get married to men. The characters (at least most of them) accept this expectation without a hitch.

Yet in the book, the characters find out ways to build a family without the conventional ways deemed by marriage, blood and sacrifice.

Additionally, this whole nuclear family structure and expectation is still dragged out and expected today. Not of men, apparently, but of women most of all. We are expected to find a man, get married then have kids.

In that order would be fine, but it getting more and more acceptable to have that out of order.

Anyway, we are also expected to have a huge wedding and plan it since we were little girls with barbie dolls and beautiful plastic houses to demonstrate our devotion to this marriage plot.

Then moving forward, we are given rules and guidelines as to how to attain that special someone. What categorizes moving too fast or too slow. How to pose questions that will discover the true personality of a man behind the beautiful mask of deception.

We are taught, brought and practically forced into this cultural contract that we are bred to be married off into happily ever after.

When my mother made that statement it just made me pause: Why are we doing this?

Why are we being brought up to believe that we cannot have a great life without a significant other?

Why are we being persuaded, goaded and shoved into this culture that believes that without a man, without a significant other we are worthless.

Worthless and unsatisfactory is suppose to be our lives without marriage.

Yet when I look at marriage, I see the potential of the great things that marriage can be.

Everlasting love.

But does the positives outweigh the negative? Should girls have to get married? Should our culture bend to the whim of women or continue on its way?

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