Seriously. I am the first woman my roommates have EVER MET who openly and unapologetically does not want to (and has never wanted to) have children.
They can’t imagine it. Like my dad, they keep telling me I’ll “grow out of it someday.” Like … are they trying to put me down, or cheer me up? Are they trying to do something along the lines of telling a thirteen-year-old, “Don’t worry, sweetie, someday you’ll be a big girl and you won’t need to wear braces anymore”?
Because that’s patronizing enough as it is (even to a thirteen-year-old, especially to a twenty-five-year-old), but it doesn’t end there: what they’re really saying is, “Someday you will grow out of your silly desire for personal independence. Either that or it will be crushed out of you until you just cave in. Isn’t that sweet? Think of what lovely babies you will have when you are too worn down to keep resisting.”
I never plan to stop resisting.
Happy to see I’m not the only one. You gotta love it, since you never see men facing the same type of bullshit. I don’t want kids. I don’t even want to have sex. Yet for both, I’m told “you don’t know the future, don’t talk like that.”
…”Don’t talk like that”? What am I saying that’s so self-harming? That I…want to be in control of what comes in and out of my body? What is perhaps more exhausting is when I say I’m skeptical about marriage, and if I did get married, I never plan on changing my last name. That’s when the patriarchal defense goes high gear, and I’m made out to be some ridiculous crazy-talker.
Oh, that too! Definitely experience the marriage pressure as well. I get perhaps less of it because my mother was not married when I was born, so my family knows better than to get hypocritical on that part. (She’s also heard me disparaging the idea of marriage since I was a little child, and she’s used to it now.) But the rest of society makes up for her, when they find out I’m getting away with being single and not being hopelessly sad and all!
My father, for example, is concerned that I’ve “given up on love.” Like, wtf does that even mean. I am not looking for a date or a sexual partner, I don’t ever want to get married, so I’ve “given up on love”? I wouldn’t go that far. I’d just take that to mean I’ve given up on patriarchal institutions, not “love” itself. Apparently what he is saying, as are others who say the same thing, is that the idea of love is inseparable from patriarchal institutions in most people’s minds.
Of course, it makes them feel really sad that I’ve “turned my back on” love, but I feel pretty good about all of it. My happiness has never been based on the notions of finding a partner and/or procreating, so I’m pretty freaking happy. I love my cat. I eat good things. I listen to a lot of really nice records. I have wonderful friends. Existentially, I think I’m a lot better off than a lot of people, and anyone who talks to me can figure that out (unless they think I am just in denial).
So really, all I can deduce from it is: when we resist, even in small ways (like deciding what goes into and comes out of our bodies, or deciding we don’t want to be legally bound to someone else for the rest of our lives), it makes other people feel insecure in their own decisions. It makes them wonder if maybe they didn’t sell out. And therefore it’s their most fervent hope that we all get so worn down, so crushed, that we just fold our cards and give up too.
(Source: whoneedsfeminism, via tonyhawkstrider)