The no kids club. Not the book by Talli Roland (although that may well be worth a read). Following on from my post on C-Section Shame, another thing I don’t understand (there are many) is why choosing to not have kids is considered by some to be unacceptable.
It’s not so long ago that women would usually marry whomever their father chose (if they were rich) or whoever they could get (if they were poor). Few women remained unmarried by choice, because their options for supporting themselves were so limited and staying single meant no sex or children. If their marriage was unhappy, they could either stay and endure, or leave and be left destitute and lose their children. And they had no way to prevent children coming, even if the family couldn’t afford to feed another mouth, or their own health was failing to the point where pregnancy put their life at risk.
In the UK, we’re in the run up to a general election and there’s various things going round prompting women to vote, because other women endured so much and sometimes even gave their lives in campaigning for it. But it wasn’t really about the vote. The right to vote was, as much as anything, a symbol of equality. What they were really campaigning for was for women to have choice and control in their lives. For them not to be forced to enter or remain in situations that made them miserable because they had no good alternative.
Some people claim that it’s a betrayal of those brave women to be a housewife and mother, or to enter a traditionally-female occupation such as nursing or teaching, or basically do anything that women could always expect to do. That’s nonsense. We really betray them when we criticize another woman for exercising her freedom to choose a certain lifestyle. By implying that she should care more about what other people think that what her own heart tells her is right for her. If her actions are not directly harming others then they are none of our business. Even if we fear she is making a decision that she will come to regret, we have to let her make it anyway. We cannot see the future anymore than she can, but unlike her we also cannot see inside her head.
This post has been part of:
Skip the Housework Link Party @ Reasons to Skip the Housework