Why We Really Need To Stop Asking Women When They Are Going To Reproduce

Why We Really Need To Stop Asking Women When They Are Going To Reproduce

Because we are so much more than our uterus.
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Women have been blessed with the magical ability to grow and carry life. Naturally, once women are a certain age or have reached certain milestones in their life, people start asking things like:

“When do you plan on starting a family?”
“Are you going to settle down anytime soon?”
“But, how will you have time for children?”

You all know what I’m talking about. Now, I am not disregarding how beautiful, exciting and worthy this is of celebrating. I am equally as obsessed with Beyonce's pregnancy photos as you are. I’m also not saying I don’t understand why people ask these things. I’ve even been guilty of jokingly baby-pushing on my family members or close friends. I’d love nothing more than a few more little cousins, or god-children to love.

These questions might seem innocent and harmless. Unfortunately, this isn’t always the case to the woman being asked. These questions can be intrusive, insensitive and even triggering. Some women may feel obligated to tell you what you want to hear, others may feel backed into a corner and forced to disclose things about fertility, sexuality, or their personal life in general.

First, by asking these kinds of questions, you are implying that fertility is not an issue. In the United States, 7.5 million women ages 15-44 battle infertility and about 10 to 15 out of 100 known pregnancies end in miscarriage. Not to mention approximately 1 in 10 women have disorders that can affect fertility and the reproductive system like endometriosis or polycystic ovary syndrome. For those of us that have miscarried, battle infertility, or have that very real possibility looming over us, these questions can be difficult to respond to. Knowing of these struggles but asking anyways, is incredibly insensitive and completely invalidates the severity and heartbreak of the situation. It is also putting these women in a position to have to discuss or acknowledge something they may not be comfortable with. If they are open to talking about it, listen. If they aren't, respect that.

Second, asking these questions puts women in the position to justify their relationships, sexuality, career choices. Just because someone is a certain age, at a certain place in life and in fact, has a uterus, does not mean that they want to reproduce anytime soon- or ever. There have been studies over the last few years showing that about 1/3 of millennials don't even want kids.

Why is it that after I graduated college, several people asked me about my plans to get hitched and have a family, rather than ask me about my career?

Why is it, that starting in high school, when I talked about my career goals and plans to attend graduate school, I was constantly discouraged and pushed towards a more suitable career and adult life to be a mother?

Why is it that when expressing interest in adopting or fostering, I am questioned about that decision, as if it is not a perfectly viable option that can be completely independent of fertility?

Many of my peers and women before me have told of similar stories, starting from adolescence and even childhood on. We should not be teaching little girls before they even go through puberty that their worth depends on their fertility or desire to have children. We should not be belittling their accomplishments and aspirations just because they do not involve reproduction or motherhood.

Yes, most women are blessed with fertility. Many of us will go on to be amazing mothers at various ages. Many of us will use a surrogate, foster, adopt. Many of us will have the ability to choose to make motherhood a priority. But, many of us won't have that opportunity. Many of us won't have that desire. The ability or choice to reproduce does not define our worth, our success, or our role as women.

Cover Image Credit: beyonce.com

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I'm Not 'Spoiled,' I Just Won't Apologize For Having Great Parents

Having supportive parents is one of the best things that ever happened to me.

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When I tell people that I am the baby of my family, there is always a follow-up question asking if I am spoiled. As I was a child, perhaps the situation was a little different because I did not receive material things but instead got my way or rarely was punished. I was most likely spoiled rotten in that sense, especially by my grandparents. Fast forward to the age of 19 and I can say that my parents give me everything that I need, not necessarily everything that I want.

But I still don't think I'm spoiled.

I might legally be an adult, but my parents still provide for me. I may live at school during the semester, but my parents don't charge me rent or utilities when I am at home. My mom still does my laundry. They pay my phone bill monthly. When my mom goes grocery shopping, she doesn't have me chip in to help. She will make sure the bathroom is stocked with tampons or shampoo so I don't have to worry about it. The both of them make sure I have the sufficient needs to not be hungry, cold, or without shelter.

They do all of these things because they want what is best for me.

While they pay my student loans, I give them money to cover it as well as a little extra each month for different expenses. If we go out to eat, I do offer to pay but often get shut down and end up leaving the tip instead. I help around the house and sometimes make trips to the store for food or cleaning supplies, not asking for money to be paid back.

I have a job that gives me decent hours, but my parents understand that money for a college kid is tough.

I pay for my own luxuries such as makeup, cute clothes, even to get my hair cut. Spoiled is typically defined as "damaged by having been given everything they want." Do I want another dog? Yes. Do I have one? No. Do I want a swimming pool in my backyard? Yes. Do I have one? Again, no. That is because both my mother and father still believe in working for what you want and even their daughter doesn't get a free pass unless it's her birthday or Christmas. Do I still have everything I could ever need? Yes.

My parents do the exact same thing for my brother and sister who are older than I am.

I know if I have a problem, whether it be financial or crucial, I can turn to them for help. A lot of people my age don't have parents like I do and I am extremely grateful for them and everything that they do. Thanks, Mom and Dad.

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Summer And Jobs

Working summers doesn't have to be tedious.

Aasayed
Aasayed
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Like many other college students, I was ready for summer but was kinda bummed that I had to work. Its not that I didn't like where I was working, I actually was really lucky to be working in a hospital environment but I just hated being alone all summer from 9-5. I've had this job for a few years now and a few other paid interns came and went but I never really connected with any of them. This year is different though.

I got really lucky to have another intern work with me that was very similar to me. The tasks we got were always simple but they were made to be more fun because I got to do them while talking with someone else. Now I actually enjoy and look forward to going to work.

The key to finding a good job is finding one that you enjoy doing and one that will help you gain knowledge that will help you out with future career plans. Working with friends also make tasks enjoyable! I would be careful with working with your friend however because if your job needs you to be serious and focused, being around your best friends may distract you from that.

Another thing that definitely makes summer jobs more enjoyable are taking breaks! It is your summer vacation after all! I'm not saying don't take a day off just to sit around, but if you make plans with family and friends, take a Friday off and enjoy the warm weather and good company! Employers understand that us college students and on break and have lives, they are usually very lenient with days off!

If you have to do a summer job to make money to live off of or pay for college, the best thing to do is look at the big picture. If you don't enjoy your job but can't afford to quit, remember that the money if going to help you out a lot. Also, this job is probably only for the summer right? So it's not permanent my friend! Get through these annoying few weeks and you will be back at college, taking steps for a bigger and brighter future.

Summer jobs are tough, I know, but make the most of it! And don't forget to enjoy it whenever you can!!!

Aasayed
Aasayed

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