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I cannot respect a woman who doesn't have a ring'



I work all through the week,so I mostly find time to do my hair, manicure and pedicure on Saturdays.Beauty parlours are noted for the gists that one hears there, but there is this one I will hardly forget because it reminds me of the prejudice unmarried women in this part of the world are subjected to.This faithful saturday, I got into this saloon and met my stylist with two of her female friends who from their discussion I understood were teachers.One of them a nursery school teacher of about forty years narrated to her friends how she once discovered two of her pupils  (a boy and a girl) cuddling while lesson was on.The other women laughed and expressed worries over how 'smart'children of nowadays are.I followed keenly without offering a word until when the storyteller remarked that such things are common amongst children of 'Free Women.'(the phrase used to describe an unmarried woman in Bamenda).Pretending that i didn't understand what she meant by that, I quickly asked what she meant by 'Free woman' and her reply was,'A woman who isn't married.' I felt bad because i couldn't decipher how someone will quickly attach a child's bad attitude to unmarried women without first investigating to know the marital statues of his/her parents.Then it brought to mind my personal experiences as a single woman-How severally people had told me how much respect i would get if i'm married that i can't get as an unmarried woman-How I'm expected to allow anyone trample on me because I don't have a man's surname to mine.I also remember vividly how in the course of a squabble with another woman, a friend of mine give me a thousand reasons why I had to put up with her behaviour because she's somebody's wife.I got really angry in this case and told her what is bad is even if it's coming from a married woman-How I'm expected to allow anyone trample on me because I don't have a man's surname to mine.I thought I was the only one in this until in the course of a conversation with another single female entrepreneur she narrated to me how a guy in her driving school had categorically told her that he doesn't respect a woman who doesn't have a ring.This is someone who contrary to the tutor's instruction was occupying a seat that had been reserved for the ladies during the driving practicals simply because the Woman in question didn't have a ring to prove she's married ( mind you the lady in question has a rich academic portfolio and is making strides in her Profession but had to be spited by someone who might have achieved far less than what she has in her lifetime because of her marital status) I could cite many examples where I've been judged and considered capable or incapable of certain actions by mere fact that I'm unmarried.Why a woman's intelligence,strength,beauty,successes and failures are attached to her marital status,is something I'm yet to understand,despite the narratives I've had.I'm sharing my story on world Pulse to let every unmarried woman know that she can be whatever she wants to be without being married.I denounce the mentality that says marriage is a yardstick to measure a woman's morals.I believe a vile woman doesn't suddenly become good because she is married and a good woman isn't bad because she's single.My fellow single women your reason for doing or not doing something should never be influenced by your marital status.Laugh, play, invest if you have to, go after your dreams like a lion does after a prey and keep being the amazing woman that you are while you rock singlehood.With love from Mercy 

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