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In Medan, getting married early (20–22 years old) to rich businessmen 10–20 years older has becoming a trend lately.
An extremely beautiful, smart friend of mine, decided to marry when she was 21 years old, to an only, mentally-backward son of a wealthy tycoon. She did not make a big deal of it because the guy is extremely rich and is enjoying his parents’ huge amount of inheritance. To be precise, she got married for the sake of financial security. Before getting married, she studied in the USA, thanks to the guy’s parents who paid for everything, including her lifestyle. Up until now after she is married and blessed with a child, apparently, she seems enjoying her life, wearing luxuries that her parents can never provide. But everybody know, the mental torture is real. Despite traveling to anywhere with luxurious car and business class airplane seat, everyone would stare at her with wonder: How could a pretty woman like her being together with that idiot? It’s not that other people look at her feeling amazed, fascinated, or envious. On the contrary, they pity her for selling her lifetime, her pride, and herself for luxury.
Deep down in her heart, she is aware of the huge contrast between herself and her idiotic husband, and often feels very embarrassed.
To be honest, with such quality, she could marry someone better, although not that rich— but at least someone who is ‘normal’, caring, mature, and responsible. If wealth is what she seeks for, not all wealthy people are idiotic. She could have found a normal rich guy tho. She deserves a better life.
Another person i know (22 years old) got married to an extremely wealthy widower who has the same age as his dad. Why did she do so? For the purpose of money, of course.
It’s ironic, I know
But in my city, Medan, getting married to a rich despite the huge age difference and background, is considered as sagacious. The society regard them as intelligent and lucky because they are able to find the rich men to marry.
In big Indonesian cities like Jakarta and Surabaya, women are very independent, alpha-type. They earn their own money and many women have very high positions in government and company. Most of them don’t even need men for their financial security.
However, in a small city like Medan where conservative Confucian value is strongly upheld in every Chinese families, many parents teach their daughters not to pursue high education because at the end, they will become housewives after all: do laundries, cook and take care of their children. Besides, many parents are afraid if the education degrees their daughters achieved can make guys feel insecure.
Meanwhile, although opposed by some activists, some Muslim organizations in Indonesia support early marriage because they believed that dating is prone to commit adultery (many couples have premarital sex nowadays). The recent famous case is Alvin (17) and Larissa Chou (20) who got married very early and made early marriage campaign Early marriage campaign gains ground
“The trend has raised concerns that many young Indonesians will fail to see the risks of early marriage, which remains one of the most daunting youth and reproductive health problems in the country, as pregnant girls run a variety of health risks including potentially lethal pregnancy-related complications.” (Jong, Hans Nicholas)
It can’t be doubted that the patriarchy culture in my city is very strong. Women are being undermined as the result of their shallow life goals and thoughts. Some of them got abused or despised by their husband because they have nothing to be valued other than the fact that they are women and human beings. I believe independent and strong women who can earn their own money and get things settled by themselves are more respected by men. Men become complimentary, not a primary necessity in life.
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