I just want to echo Bookslut and say, “Fuck Daphne de Marneffe and her new book Maternal Desire: On Children, Love, and the Inner Life.” (original entry here and explanation here)
Warning: hugeass rant below. Reading Bookslut’s post sort of reminded me about how much this topic pisses me off.
Why is society so damn fixated on children? It’s not bad enough that when I mention a friend who’s not quite engaged to her bf that my mom says “what, she’s not married yet?” because my friend is in her early 30s.
I have to hear all the time about how horrible it is to give birth and how terrifying small children are and what brats middle schoolers are and how atrocious teenagers are… and then be expected to reproduce, regardless of my marital status or interest in motherhood.
If I mention that I don’t really think I want kids in the hearing of any female over the age of, say, 25, I have to listen to a longass diatribe about how wonderful kids are. Or worse, how it’s my responsibility to have kids. What about my responsibility to not contribute to overpopulation?
More importantly, what about the other things I have to contribute to society? it’s as if somehow, because I’m a woman, the most important thing about me is my ability to produce offspring. What is this, the 50s? What happened to the feminist movement? Can’t a childless woman be as highly honored and as worthwhile a member of society as a childbearing one? I mean, come on, people. The fact that I don’t really want to be a mother is no worse than the fact that I don’t really want to be a doctor. Both are honorable, worthwhile professions, but not ones I’m interested in.
Yes, it’s entirely possible that I’ll change my mind. But right now I have zero desire to give birth or raise kids and wish I could get almost any reaction to that besides a guilt trip.