This article is being written by someone who does not want to be childfree. But that’s not the greatest irony here.
Rollicking feminists have been really busy taking the social media by storm advocating a variety of women’s issues, including a very radical trend among the new-age women to be childfree. They were tirelessly, and quite explicitly, trying to spread awareness on a core women’s rights issue- Women Taking Back Control of Their Bodies. They saw that what was not being discussed about openly, remained unknown at large and naturally misunderstood.
It clicked with me: if a man has the freedom to say, “I am not going to do this, it’s my choice,” a woman has too.
So when a woman says, “No, I do not want to be a mother, I want to be childfree,” please do not be shocked. It’s her body, it’s her choice. Motherhood is not a natural stage of growth for women, it is a choice. If it was so au natural, women would be growing babies on their own, like self-pollinating plants. How difficult is it to understand that?
Let me tell you how insufferable such a choice can sound to the nitwits who think every woman should be a mother. Google ‘childfree couples’, or ‘childfree women’ and you will see. No, our maternal instincts are socially constructed, they don’t just kick in like adrenaline. And no, having a baby by force cannot make anyone fall in love with the idea of motherhood. It’s not trying a new brand of detergent or eating sushi. It’s a BABY.
In an interview, Cameron Diaz had to declare, “Stop staring at my stomach people, I am not getting a baby right now [not sic] !!” Sad. No matter who you are, if you are a woman, you have to explain your whys, whos, hows. It’s 21st century people, why do talented strong women need to explain their choices to everyone?
There are many strong talented men who don’t want children either. They escape easily with half the trauma. #Ironical.
Research says that statistically childfree couples have a happier marriage than couples with children do. Children strain marriages by limiting time, space and expenditure between them. You cannot disagree very much with quantified scientific evidence. But you can ask here, why?
Here’s my presumption: because many many many of the couples who have children, were not ready. Child rearing is a mean business. We grow up to think that the natural progression to living a life is to get a degree, get a job, get married, get children, get them degrees and jobs and married, and then, die.
So inversely, REBEL? “My choice, my rules, my life!!!”
Take it easy, it’s neither extremes.
We are taught about having choices in life without much practical knowledge about how to really exercise them. Know what being childfree really means, it’s not feminist rebellion. If your partner wants to be childfree, and you don’t, will you coerce them otherwise? Know that a childfree life is not the key to a happy life, it depends on whether you are ready to jam in some parental instincts, and make huge sacrifices to enjoy parenthood. Many want to.
I have seen people deciding to go childfree mock people who choose to have babies , “Why would anyone want a baby? It’s awful.” Well they too need to know this – it’s a different kind of happiness, just not necessarily for everyone.
Childfree or not, it’s a choice. Don’t diss what you don’t understand. I stand in solidarity with people who choose to be childfree because I know that many of them would make amazing parents, and they are not doing a disservice to themselves or the society to choose otherwise. Many love children, just rather not have any of their own.
The biggest irony thus, is this: when I say I choose to be a mother, people assume biologically. But I can choose to raise an adopted child, and needless to say, people will traumatize me with the same questions they’d ask a childfree couple. It’s MY body, it’s MY choice, nobody gets that.
In the greater context, thus, it’s the rhetoric of choice that people misunderstand. It’s time people get educated about what choice, parenthood, and maternity really stand for.
Also, don’t blame feminism, it’s not an epidemic.
P.S.- I googled ‘childfree Indian couples’, didn’t find many pictures of people smiling. That speaks for itself.
Still angry about feminism? Some clarification here: