Arranged Marriage in Modern Society: What’s Changed? Essay
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Many cultures believe in arranged marriages. Arranged marriages occur all over the world and in some parts, it is popular and compulsory and in others not admired. It usually exists in the country of these cultures, such as India, Japan, and Nigeria. According to Gagoomal P. J, “Arranged marriage is broadly defined as unions in which people other than the bride and groom, typically parents or other family members, play important or decisive roles in determining who marries whom.” Many of these cultures bring these practices of arranged marriages to the United States, and they force their American raised children into marriages with people whom the children do not love.
There are many people who are against arranged marriages, especially in the United States. On the other hand, there are many people who believe that arranged marriages should exist in America. Arranged marriages should not exist in the United States because it’s a free country, depression could occur, it prevents true love.
First of all, love marriages offer more independence and freedom compared to arranged marriages. Knowing someone before marriage allows partners to have a better respect and understanding for each other’s needs and desires. In India where many arranged marriages happen, women have been known to stay in abusive relationships. I am against arranged marriages in the United States because they take away the freedom that America has to offer. Every person in America has the right to choose what he/she wants to do and with whom he/she wants to be. In the words of Oshon, “India missed with arranged marriage; the west is missing with free love. India missed love because parents were too calculative and cunning”. If people are forced into marriages, regardless of their culture, then it goes against everything that America stands for, which is freedom of choice.
For example, a woman who is part of Indian culture, but American raised. Although her parents live in America, they still forced her to marry against her free will. Well, the freedom that America offers did not apply to her parents, and she did not have the chance to experience the freedom other women experience. Arranged marriage removes the right of a woman to choose her future living conditions for life in many cases, and can subject a woman to unimaginable abuse through their parent’s selection.
Furthermore, arranged marriages should not exist in America because they could cause depression. Depression prevents someone from living a mental and physically healthy life. People wedded to arranged marriages lack ownership of the nuptials. When in an arranged marriage, a person rarely feels in control of the institution as everything about it, including, who to marry, when towed and the type of wedding to have are a choice and plan of their family. When a person is with someone they don’t naturally love, they become unhappy. According to the New Internationalist article, A prisoner in the house; “From bride to slave overnight—such is the faith of hundreds of women brought into Britain under the smokescreen of arranged marriage”. To illustrate, a woman who is in an arranged marriage explained that she is very depressed because she did not marry someone she loved, and she was never depressed before this marriage. As a result, she never leaves the house, and she always looks frail. Perhaps if she did marry someone she loved, she would not be depressed. The thought of someone having to go through a violent relationship, which they did not get to choose themselves, is sickening to many. Arranged marriages take away the rights of an individual to make the most important decision of their life. If women do not have a choice, they are oppressed, and that is not right.
A final reason why I am against arranged marriages in America is that true love is prevented. When true love is prevented, it becomes challenging to find or be with your soul mate. When a person does not have a soul mate, he or she tends to feel alone and incomplete. For instance, a movie was about two families who immigrated to America. These two families arranged that their kids would be married when they grew up. When the kids got married, they were not truly in love; they both loved other people. They lost their true soul mates, and they spent their entire marriage feeling alone, lost, and incomplete. As Jefferson M Fish noted, “We have institutions like dating that give young people a chance to accumulate relevant experience over a number of years so that they can make an informed decision. In a way, dating offers the kind of experience with intimate relationships that summer jobs and the internship provide for youths in making the career decision.” Life is more fulfilling when you marry the one you love. Marriages should have love, empathy, care, trust, and understanding between the two and that is not guaranteed in the arranged marriage. Arranging marriage is an insult to the very nature of marriage, which should be about creating a loving and lasting partnership and family.
In conclusion, an arranged marriage takes way numerous benefits that pave the way for a long-lasting successful, happy marriage for many couples. There may be specific reasons why arranged marriages exist; however, I am fully against them existing in America. Arranged marriages rob off individuals of their right to choose. Arranged marriages cause depression, and prevents someone from finding their true soul mate. The girl from India never got a choice to choose her own spouse. The woman in an arranged marriage suffers from depression and loneliness because of her arranged marriage. Finally, the two characters in the movie would have been with their soul mates, feel fulfilled and complete if they had not had an arranged marriage. America offers many choices, and one of those choices should include being with the person who you want to spend the rest of your life with. Arranged marriages should not exist in America.
Gagoomal, P. J. “Margin of appreciation” for “Marriages of Appreciation”: Reconciling South Asian Adult Arranged Marriages with Matrimonial Consent Requirement in International Human Right Law. The Georgetown Law Journal, 97 (2) 2009.
Osho, “Love, Arranged Marriage, and the Indian Social Structure. Journal of Comparative Family Studies, 7(1), 75-89.
“A Prisoner in the House” New Internationalist 01 Nov. 2013.
http://newint.org/features/2013/11/01/prisoner-in-the-house/ Jefferson M Fish. “Looking in the Cultural Mirror” Psychology Today, 27 April. 2010.