Yes. It. Fucking. Is.
This was said to me after I’d answered her “Do you have children?” with a very curt “No.” I didn’t know this woman. It was a work-related phone conversation. She didn’t mean any harm, she was just making conversation.
And that’s what needs to stop. Our conversations. Our assumptions. Our ridiculous idea that we have the right to know about someone else’s body and whether or not someone has used it to reproduce.
Why? Because whether we mean to or not, the next thought we have after getting a “no” to this question is “Why not?” Whether it’s said out loud or just thought, we can’t help ourselves. And believe me, there are plenty of people out there who think it’s well within their rights to say it out loud. Countess Drusilla has one or two things to say about those people.
So here’s what I’m envisioning right now:
- A world where making small talk doesn’t automatically include asking about children and whether or not you have any. Instead we ask “How do you spend your time?”
- A world where a woman without children is respected just as much as every mother out there.
- A world where we don’t make assumptions about people who seem to be different from us. Trust me, they probably aren’t that different
- A world where we don’t beat ourselves up because we don’t have children, for whatever reason.
- A world with less Depression, less anxiety, less stigma and discrimination
Sounds nice, doesn’t it? And I’m aware that these are very lofty ideals, but I do believe that the world I envision is possible to create. But it’s going to take work.
So, here’s how I’m going to do it:
- I’m going to be the best damn role model for making a different lifestyle normal, that ever lived
- I’m going to stop being so hard on myself, celebrate my weirdness and celebrate other people’s weirdness too
- I’m going to keep talking, loudly and in your face, about what it’s like to be childless by circumstance and not by choice
- I’m going to keep defending every woman’s right to make her own decisions, her right to not have to defend those decisions, and her right to say “None of your business.”
- And I will never. Ever. Stop valuing myself and my opinions. Mother or not. Click To Tweet
Have I made myself clear?