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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You May Have Worn The Prom Dress With Him, But I Get To Wear The Wedding Dress

You had him in high school, but I get him for the rest of my life.
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High school seems like the best time of your life when you are in it. You think that all of your friends will be with you until the end, and that you will end up with whoever you are dating your senior year. For very few, that might just be the case. For all others, that is far from true.

You thought that you would marry your boyfriend and you thought that everything would work out how you had always imagined. I don't blame you though. He's great. You wanted everything with him, but you were just not right for him.

I wish I could say that I am sorry it didn't work out for you, but I can't. I can't because he is mine now, and I get to cherish him forever. You didn't do that right, and you were not meant to be together. You will find someone too, but I am happy that you were not the one for him.

Sometimes I have issues with jealousy, and I hate that you got all of the high school stuff with him. You got to go to games and support him. It kills me that I couldn't be there for him because I know I would have actually been there wholeheartedly. I would have done it out of love, not as a popularity appearance.

I hate that you got to go to all of the school dances with him. He got to see you all dressed up and probably told you how great you looked. I'm sure you did look great. Prom dresses were always fun to pick out and so colorful. It was exciting to match colors with your date. I am sure you had fun choosing his matching tux to your dress.

I find myself getting jealous, but then I stop. I am getting to match his tux with our wedding colors. I got to go dress shopping in a sea of white, and he doesn't get to know one detail about that dress yet. He will get to see me walk down the aisle and then every day forever. I get to love him forever.

I try to not get jealous of all of the things you got with him because it is all in the past. You had your time, and now I get the wedding. You got to dress up in high school, but I get to dress up for my wedding with him. He may have put a corsage on your wrist, but he will be putting the wedding ring on my finger.

Cover Image Credit: Jessy Scott

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I Expected It To Have It All Together By 22 And I'm Still Far From That

What we expected and what reality actually is, are two completely different things...

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Oh our 20s, how we expected them to be so different. We expected to graduate college at 22, have a career by 23, be engaged by 24, married with a house by 25, kids by 26-28, vacationing with the family by 30, and retired by 60. We expected college to be parties and cute boys/girls. Instead, we got late nights of studying and crying after a job that barely pays for our car, food, dorm, and textbooks. We get no social life and if we do our grades suffer for it.

Our 20s were expected to be all fun but all we got were struggles and stress. I mean I don't know about you but I expected, to have it all together and I'm nearly 23 and far from it. I had all the scholarships and great grades, and I still don't have any type of degree.

Reality hits after 18. Most of us don't have the help of mom and dad anymore. We have to find our way and make a path for ourselves. Sometimes our dreams and goals have to be put on hold for that. The 20s isn't fun. It's about discovering who you are, who you want to be, and where you want to go. Some of us serve our country, some become incarcerated, some of us parents, some teachers, others cops, others travel or study abroad, some dead, some ill, other managers, others homeless, some still living home, and some even addicts.

The weird thing about your 20s is everyone is doing something different, but yet everyone is confused and comparing themselves to others. People feel if they're not doing what others are doing, in their age group then they have failed themselves. What people forget is that with life comes obstacles and sacrifice and everyone's life and situations are different. You are where you need to be right now, for you, and I think that's something to remember in your 20s.

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Another thing about your 20's is you're free to think for yourself now. No more having to follow a religion you dislike or hold back from things you love. The world is literally yours to discover and learn from. Possibilities are endless! I think your 20's are the years you create yourself to the best version of you and build the foundation for your future. Just remember, we all build at our own pace.

Signed,

The lost 22-year old that believes in you

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