Cameron Diaz still gets asked why she got married for the first time at 42. Why are we still obsessed with the notion that, for women, a wedding equals accomplishment?
It’s 2017. Should we be surprised that some female public figures and women generally are still victims of pointed fingers and judgement should they decide to get married past 35? Or if they decide to not get married at all. Or if they decide to not have children. You see where this is going. Of all the things that could enrage me of a Tuesday, the fact that actress Cameron Diaz got a grilling from Gwyneth Paltrow for getting married at 42, made me see red.
Appearing alongside Gwyneth Paltrow at the Goop Wellness Summit, one expects insightful questions to be asked of Diaz yet instead Paltrow brought up Diaz’s marital status.
Paltrow asked why Diaz decided to get married for the first time at 42. “I think it’s a matter of I just hadn’t met my husband. I had boyfriends before, and there’s a really, really distinct difference between husbands and boyfriends,” Diaz said of the question.
Yes, Diaz waited until she was 42 to get married for the first time but this is hardly revolutionary. She has previously publically said she wasn’t one bit sorry she waited until she was good and ready to marry her now-husband – citing loving the single life and not being bothered about marriage. The fact that Paltrow asked the question at all is an example of our society’s ingrained sexist attitude towards women and marriage. Any woman over thirty-five is practically rewarded for choosing to wed as though they’ve “made it.”
I see it myself. My twin is due to get married next year, and we’re turning thirty. As soon as some go to congratulating her for this milestone, the head cocks and turns to me and my single status, “Oh. Shame. Don’t worry; you still have Time.”(with a capital T). And I’m not even 30 yet.
So, yes, it’s 2017 and it can seem like my life accomplishments are overlooked because I don’t have a ring on my finger and my sister does. It’s complete BS but the fact is it still makes me feel inadequate; like I haven’t tried hard enough. I’ve done a lot I could be proud of but it all seems to count for less once I reveal that unlike my sister, I’m nowhere near getting married.
Even talking about it makes me feel awful as though I’m robbing my sister of her moment; this is an unspoken pressure the Other Sister often deals with. It’s because spinsterhood remains a stigma; a stigma amplified by a thousand when a sibling “gets there first.”
I do think that this form of judgement is especially bad in Ireland. Irish people are obsessed with weddings; family feuds caused by the lack of a wedding invitation, tears shed because a Plus One can’t come. Oh and then, there’s the Where is MY INVITE? shouty text messages.
And, for the time being, at least, I have to simply grin and bear it – the judgy questioning. But it needs to stop. Ask me anything unrelated to my relationship status and you’ll get brownie points for not making me feel s**t.
How many of you have experienced this BS? Please tell us in the comments (and make me feel better).