There are plenty of books in this world you can read, books that can excite, anger, provide insight or give a new perspective on a topic you thought all had been said and done; however, DON'T SAY I DO! Why Women Should Stay Single by Orna Gadish manages to do all of the above at the same time.
DON'T SAY I DO! is a powerful book that challenges the institution of marriage and its restrictive effect on women, and proposes new forms of relationships, and alternative family settings, with the sole aim of empowering women with choices and opportunities in an age where there are so many.
Author Orna Gadish genius lies in her deconstruction of marriage as a choice among many, not a mandate from god or state that women are consigned to obey. According to Gadish, women can choose to enter various types of relationships and family settings, or actively decide not to. Social expectations for Gadish are a distant second to the freedom of choice of women across the globe.
However, this book is not so much about marriage as about the choices now open to women realizing that their marital status does not have to define or confine them. Thus, the real achievement of DON'T SAY I DO! Why Women Should Stay Single is not its strong arguments against women limiting their choices with regards to the form of relationships they enter, but the trends in modern culture that make such choices viable.
We live in an age where choice is widespread for women with regards to work and relationships, yet, it looks like the same arcane social expectations are guiding us today. DON'T SAY I DO! serves as a well-argued reminder, that social expectations are what you make of them. A woman can marry, stay unmarried, be in a relationship with a man or not, bear a child, raise a child, adopt a child, and live together or apart from her partner with or without a child, if that is her choice.
Motherhood options are also abundant today to women without marriage. And marriage is definitely not a prerequisite for creating a family nest today. According to Gadish, there is a sea of options for single women, unmarried women, unhappily married women, and divorced women, where marriage need not be perceived as the best choice, but rather as one of the choices for women, for [post]modernity offers no limitations at all.
Despite its suggestive title, DON'T SAY I DO! should not be read as a book against the institution of marriage or a militant feminist tract, but a heartfelt letter to women suggesting there's more than one road to happiness and success. Therefore, the arguments made in DON'T SAY I DO! are commonsensical in light of the high divorce rates and frequent infidelities in the global age that lead to question of the necessity and efficacy of matrimony in the face of the modern changes.
With all statistics and facts in place, DON'T SAY I DO! smartly challenges marriage as the first choice for unmarried women today; asking if marriage is really the most feasible option among many others that may make more sense to a woman's particular situation in regards to her busy lifestyle, career, motherhood, friendships, and family needs.
In sum, DON'T SAY I DO! Why Women Should Stay Single is a well written and well-argued book, which in light of the damning facts about marriage, dares to ask not only sensible questions about the institution of marriage, but those necessary that might save it.