Saturday, September 17, 2011

Why It's Insulting to Tell a Woman "You'll Change Your Mind" When it Comes to Kids

In case you haven't read earlier entries, I'm going to tell you this right now: I, The Angry Redheaded Lawyer, am childfree. As in, I do not have kids & I do not WANT kids ever.

To familiarize yourself with childfree lingo, see this earlier post. I was checking Facebook earlier and saw a friend's status update concerning an issue of pregnancy. One of her friends decides to bingo her with the old "maybe you'll change your mind" line, implying that because she's not met her future husband yet and is under 30, somehow her declaration of childfreedom is invalid.

I, being a childfree person the words didn't apply to, could not let that one slide. If you are a decent childfree person & you see this happen to someone else, you won't let that slide either.

So for those of you who say "But I'm just passing on worldly advice!" and think you're being well-meaning when you say something like that to someone, let me explain why it's considered a "bingo":

1. You're infantalizing the person. You may as well say "Oh, you're just a little girl. You don't know anything!" and pat them on the head. Guess what? I've heard that statement myself & I find it just as insulting to my intelligence as when doctors claimed they would "try to talk me out of" getting sterilization.

For that matter, if the law says an 18 year old is an adult then stop infantilizing 20 & 30 somethings. Otherwise, why not make us property one again & then we'll never be punished for our crimes?

2. You're butting into an area you know nothing about. Do you fuckers LIVE my life? Do you know how to read minds? Do you know anything about my household income, career prospects, the space I inhabit in the world? Do you live in my household? You don't? Then shut the hell up!

Your life does not = my life. What works for you doesn't work for everyone. Just because YOU changed your mind DOESN'T mean I will. Furthermore, even if you couldn't adopt or get fertility treatments, we have plenty of kids in this country who could use an adult mentor or some mother/father figure to spend time with them. Plenty of organizations have big brother/sister programs so if you really want to be around kids badly enough & to shape/mold their lives, it doesn't require demanding a woman to destroy her body with pregnancy. You could even be a teacher if you so choose.

If someone's telling me this crap, I know they're an idiot. It would be insane & sheer lunacy for me to give up my career & my marriage for some baby-rabies stricken man who'd demand me to be barefoot and pregnant.

3. You have no respect for the person's choices. You are attacking their way of life. I've not heard about gay people saying this stuff but if you were a gay person telling someone this, how would you feel about me not recognizing YOUR relationship or saying "Don't say you'll never date a (wo)man!"? You don't hear gay people saying "I was gay when I was younger but when I turned (30-35-some higher age than the person they tell this to), I met & married (Opposite gender name here). Now we have 2.3 kids & still live in wedded bliss." Unless maybe they were in one of those stupid "we'll make you straight" camps or saw some scumbag where they "pray the gay away." It doesn't come up in normal conversation.

Gay people would find that disrespectful. Same thing for doing that to a childfree person.

So, well meaning person who espouses this stuff? How would you feel if I said to YOU that your low paying/status/prestige career that you loved was simply a faze and you'd eventually change your mind to take a higher paying/status/prestige career? What if I told you you should stop having kids since the first one was part of a faze? You'd almost never hear someone say that stuff. If you did, everyone would instantly say "Oh, let that person be happy. It's not affecting you. Have some respect for their choices." You'd also get some of that if you attack someone for being gay (amount varies on where you live).

Why the hell can't you get more people to do that with women who don't want kids? Is it part of a Republican conspiracy? They do want to outlaw abortion, you know (go read some recent actions by some politicians [twerps, if you want to be accurate], especially in the red states) & I haven't seen the same whackjobs stand up for voluntary sterilization.

By the way, if you say this as a total stranger, count on me not dealing with you again or doing you any favors. BWBN5JRMHZ98

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