Challenging Gender Stigma: Why Woman Isn't Synonymous With 'Mother'

Challenging Gender Stigma: Why Woman Isn't Synonymous With 'Mother'

It's time to question why exactly there is such a strong social stigma against women adopting children, or not having children at all.
288
views

“So, how many kids do you want when you grow up?” “What do you want to name your children?” Questions like these are not uncommon to come up in conversation with friends. However, having children has become such a tradition, and this has created a stigma against women who don’t want to have children, or don’t want to birth their own children.

Adoption has been something that has, in the past, been seemingly restricted to women who want children, but are not able to have their own — usually related to medical issues. But why does adoption have to be restricted to this? Yes, going through adoption can be a long and difficult process, but many women are willing to go through this. And, if anything, pregnancy is probably an even longer and even more difficult process. There are so many children in this world who don’t have parents and would otherwise grow up their entire lives without parents. In a 1995 National Survey of Family Growth, it was found that at least 500,000 women were seeking to adopt at that current time, and the numbers of women taking concrete steps towards adoption are increasing each year.

So, is it selfish to only want your own children? No; plenty of people in this world want to be able to birth their own children with the same genetic inheritance to pass down to the next generation. Many argue that they would love their child no matter what, but what they don’t consider is that even if someone were to adopt, that adopted child becomes their own, and they will love that adopted child no matter what as well. Adoption is a viable option for those who cannot conceive, but why can’t adoption be for all? Regardless, there should not be a stigma against mothers who adopt children, or even choose not to have children, regardless of if this is because of medical reasons or not.

Well, why is there such a strong social stigma against not having children of your own? Whenever you see someone with adopted children, the first thoughts that come to your head are pity, perhaps a, “oh, she must not be able to have children, how sad.” Yet, almost half the US population of women choose not to have kids. According to the US Census Bureau Population Survey of 2014, 47.6% of women between 15 and 44 have never had children.

It seems as though one of the biggest hesitations against adopting is the idea that your genes are not passed on. Perhaps this stems from our human social tendencies of a fear of death, fear of end, and fear of being alone.

On the other hand, women who choose not to have children at all, otherwise known as childfree, biological or adopted, are seen as cold-hearted, in a way. Does this stem from a traditional belief that all women are motherly and nurturing? We have come so far in fighting for change in gender roles and the singular idea of the woman as the nurturing, caring being who belongs at home, yet women who choose to put their careers first before children are still stigmatized.

Many men often choose not to have children until they are older — even in their 40s, when the peak age for women is in their upper 20s. These men who choose to not marry or have children until they are older are seen as independent, career-driven, smart, and successful entrepreneurs, driven by their passion. Yet, women who choose to put their careers first are seen as selfish women who are bound to be “cat ladies” in the future. Why can’t career-driven women be seen in the same light, as independent and successful? Why are women still expected to put their own careers and lives on hold to have children at a particular time and age? In addition, why does having children mean having to settle down?

So, why is it okay for men to be “selfish” but not for women? This strong link between women today and this old mother stigma leads us to be so stuck in this backwards idea that we cannot move onto a new way of thinking — that women can be independent, career-driven women. That women can have the choice to adopt children. That women can have the choice to not have children at all, and not seen in a negative light. It’s 2016, and it baffles me that this way of thinking still isn’t universal.

Popular Right Now

6 Things You Should Know About The Woman Who Can't Stand Modern Feminism

Yes, she wants to be heard too.

91451
views

2018 is sort of a trap for this woman. She believes in women with all of the fire inside of her, but it is hard for her to offer support when people are making fools of themselves and disguising it as feminism.

The fact of the matter is that women possess qualities that men don't and men possess qualities that women don't. That is natural. Plus, no one sees men parading the streets in penis costumes complaining that they don't get to carry their own fetus for nine months.

1. She really loves and values women.

She is incredibly proud to be a woman.

She knows the amount of power than a woman's presence alone can hold. She sees when a woman walks into a room and makes the whole place light up. She begs that you won't make her feel like a "lady hater" because she doesn't want to follow a trend that she doesn't agree with.

2. She wants equality, too

She has seen the fundamental issues in the corporate world, where women and men are not receiving equal pay.

She doesn't cheer on the businesses that don't see women and men as equivalents. But she does recognize that if she works her butt off, she can be as successful as she wants to.

3. She wears a bra.

While she knows the "I don't have to wear a bra for society" trend isn't a new one, but she doesn't quite get it. Like maybe she wants to wear a bra because it makes her feel better. Maybe she wears a bra because it is the normal things to do... And that's OK.

Maybe she wants to put wear a lacy bra and pretty makeup to feel girly on .a date night. She is confused by the women who claim to be "fighting for women," because sometimes they make her feel bad for expressing her ladyhood in a different way than them.

4. She hates creeps just as much as you do. .

Just because she isn't a feminist does not mean that she is cool with the gruesome reality that 1 in 5 women are sexually abused.

In fact, this makes her stomach turn inside out to think about. She knows and loves people who have been through such a tragedy and wants to put the terrible, creepy, sexually charged criminals behind bars just as bad as the next woman.

Remember that just because she isn't a feminist doesn't mean she thinks awful men can do whatever they want.

5. There is a reason she is ashamed of 2018's version of feminism.

She looks at women in history who have made a difference and is miserably blown away by modern feminism's performance.

Not only have women in the past won themselves the right to vote, but also the right to buy birth control and have credit cards in their names and EVEN saw marital rape become a criminal offense.

None of them dressed in vagina costumes to win anyone over though... Crazy, right?

6. She isn't going to dress in a lady parts costume to prove a point.

This leaves her speechless. It is like the women around her have absolutely lost their minds and their agendas, only lessening their own credibility.

"Mom, what are those ladies on TV dressed up as?"

"Ummm... it looks to me like they are pink taco's honey."

She loves who she is and she cherished what makes her different from the men around her. She doesn't want to compromise who she is as a woman just so she can be "equal with men."

Related Content

Connect with a generation
of new voices.

We are students, thinkers, influencers, and communities sharing our ideas with the world. Join our platform to create and discover content that actually matters to you.

Learn more Start Creating

Hey Donald Trump—The Media Is A Pillar Of Democracy, Not The Enemy Of The People

An attack on the media is an attack on the people.

454
views

If you know anything about Donald Trump, you know that he can't stand being criticized or bad-mouthed. He loves anyone who supports him and despises anyone who doesn't stand by him.

Trump is known for his contempt for the media. He has repeatedly labeled them as the "enemy of the people" and has claimed that approximately 80% of the "fake news" media is "dangerous and sick."

He claims that he is providing a "great service" to the American public by discrediting the media and exposing their lies. That claim is not just divisive, but incredibly dangerous. Discrediting the free press is discrediting the people. The government is always going to be criticized and the people have a right to report what is going on in the world. Any news reported that criticizes him or disagrees with his ideas is his definition of "fake news." Silencing the news and labeling anything that hurts his reputation as "fake" is an attempt to censor what the citizens are told. Once our intake of information becomes censored, we can no longer call ourselves a free nation.

News reporters and editors are human, which means that they are naturally biased. This doesn't excuse blatant false news being spread in an attempt to trick the people, but it doesn't mean that reporters should be silenced. Doing so would be detrimental to our democracy. There is misconstrued information on both sides of the political spectrum. People should think critically about the news they hear and be hesitant to accept statements without proof. However, when there is proof, you can't just call something "fake" and pretend like everything is a media-fabricated lie. We deserve more from our nation's president than slandering reporters without explanation or facts.

The president of the United States should not condone hostility toward the press. It would be acceptable to challenge what the press is reporting or provide facts to prove otherwise, but it is unacceptable to discredit them as a whole just because they say something that makes him look bad.

Bringing up the president's past and reporting the horrible things he has said is not just bogus "fake news" trying to sabotage his campaign. If you're in a position of power, people are going to hold you accountable for your wrongdoings whether you like it or not. Instead of playing the role of the victim and discrediting the press as a whole, respond to their statements respectfully. You owe it to your country to be better.

Related Content

Facebook Comments