Editors note: This article is a piece of satire.
With the wage gap between men and women still large and strong, it’s important for women to feel confident taking control of their work situation and negotiate their pay. One of the largest sources of income for a woman is her dowry – men are willing to pay top dollar for the newest, sleekest, and most eye-catching female model in the marketplace. If you find yourself in the lucky situation of receiving a dowry, don’t forget to take control and negotiate up with the help of these tips.
1. Know the market
There is a whole host of young, marriage material, intelligent, beautiful women out there so the market has seriously grown and inflation isn’t the only cause of rising dowries. A bowl of dates just won’t cut it anymore! Ask around your newlywed friend group to see how high you can push the envelope. Also look at demographic research – if you’re living in an Arab or South Asian country you have a higher dowry earning potential than in the Western world.
2. Prepare a brag sheet
Regardless of whether we’re born with it or it’s Maybelline, we all have our strengths. Take a moment to objectively evaluate yourself and make a list of all the great things you offer. Humility is for sheikhs – call it like you see it and let him know how lucky he is. Wide birthing hips? Write it down. Light colored skin? Write it down. Ripe and fertile womb? Write it down. No diabetes in your family? You’re probably lying but write it down. Perfect tiny feet for modern day foot binding (stilettos)? Write it down. Soft hands despite your constant dishwashing? Write it down. If you’re unsure if any of the items on your list are actually strengths don’t worry – talk up your abilities like you would on a resume.
3. Plan the right time
Maybe it’s right after fajr when he’s weak and vulnerable, maybe it’s before he tees off and he’ll say anything to get you off his back, maybe it’s after a home cooked meal and a hot cup of spiced chai. You know your man best – so figure out when he’s at his happiest or most vulnerable then plan your attack. Also, keep in mind other marking strategies – numbers ending with 99 are more appealing, using foot in the door or door in the face techniques, etc.
4. Use the right pronouns.
It’s all about us and we. WE need me to be happy and excessively rich. WE need to ruin our future financials in order to satisfy OUR new parents and their traditions. WE need a new Aston Martin for OUR happiness. This makes it seem like you’re a team and somehow both of you want a higher dowry.
5. Ask for more than you want
You might think you already have everything you need and that marrying the man of your duas is good enough for you but trust me it’s not. They say God helps those who help themselves so take the reigns and ask for at least 40% of your fiancé’s savings. And if you picked a real, manly, winner you won’t have to worry about bankrupting him.
But actually, women have difficulties negotiating their salaries and there is a wealth of resources online to help us learn how to effectively negotiate our salaries without coming off as harsh or arrogant. Also, sidenote, Islam is all about the modesty and moderation so let’s not let culture force us into unnecessarily high dowries and excessively expensive weddings. If you’re actually looking for fun ways to enjoy the dowry in Islam, check out this article.