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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17 Empowering Bible Verses For Women

You go, girl.
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We all have those days where we let the negative thoughts that we're "not good enough," "not pretty enough" or "not smart enough" invade our minds. It's easy to lose hope in these situations and to feel like it would be easier to just give up. However, the Bible reminds us that these things that we tell ourselves are not true and it gives us the affirmations that we need. Let these verses give you the power and motivation that you're lacking.

1. Proverbs 31:25

"She is clothed with strength and dignity and she laughs without fear of the future."

2. Psalm 46:5

"God is within her, she will not fall."

3. Luke 1:45

"Blessed is she who believed that the Lord would fulfill His promises to her."

4. Proverbs 31:17

"She is energetic and strong, a hard worker."

5. Psalm 28:7

"The Lord is my strength and my shield."

6. Proverbs 11:16

"A gracious woman gains respect, but ruthless men gain only wealth."

7. Joshua 1:9

"Be strong and courageous! Do not be afraid or discouraged. For the Lord your God is with you wherever you go."

8. Proverbs 31:30

"Charm is deceptive, and beauty does not last; but a woman who fears the Lord will be greatly praised."

9. 1 Corinthians 15:10

"By the grace of God, I am what I am."

10. Proverbs 31:26

"When she speaks, her words are wise, and she gives instructions with kindness."

11. Psalm 139:14

"I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made."

12. 1 Peter 3:3-4

"Don't be concerned about the outward beauty of fancy hairstyles, expensive jewelry, or beautiful clothes. You should clothe yourselves instead with the beauty that comes from within, the unfading beauty of a gentle and quiet spirit, which is so precious to God."

13. Colossians 2:10

"And in Christ you have been brought to fullness."

14. 2 Timothy 1:7

"For God has not given us a spirit of fear and timidity, but of power, love, and self-discipline."

15. Jeremiah 29:11

"'For I know the plans I have for you,' says the Lord. 'They are plans for good and not for disaster, to give you a future and a hope.'"

16. Exodus 14:14

"The Lord himself will fight for you. Just stay calm."

17. Song of Songs 4:7

"You are altogether beautiful, my darling, beautiful in every way."

Next time you're feeling discouraged or weak, come back to these verses and use them to give you the strength and power that you need to conquer your battles.

Cover Image Credit: Julia Waterbury

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There Is No 'Right Way' To React To A Shooting

Everyone is different.

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After the shootings this year in New Zealand, Brazil, and close to home for some of us Aurora, people have been reacting in different ways. With some offering their thoughts and prayers, donating money to help pay for the funerals of the victims, fighting for action in regards to ending gun violence, candlelight vigils basically anything that can help them in this time of grief.

There is no right or wrong way to react to a shooting — everyone grieves in their own ways. We should not judge one another for how we grieve in a tragedy.

People have been saying that thoughts and prayers won't do anything. However, maybe it can be a comfort to some people—a way to let people know that they are thinking of them and that they care.

Sometimes people may want to donate money or blood to help out any survivors who may have suffered from blood loss or create GoFundMe accounts to either help out with medical expenses or to pay for the funerals of the victims or even start charities like Islamic Relief USA. Donating your time and money is a good way to help out because you are making a difference that is a form of action you are taking.

There is also grieving in the form of vigils. One example of a vigil is this guy who makes crosses every time there is some kind of tragedy. Vigils are often a good way to remember the victims, to pray for the healing of the survivors, to talk about what they were like as people.

Some people even want to take action by demanding that the laws change a good example of this would be March for Our Lives, which happened after the Parkland shooting last year. This march was fighting for gun control or should I say changes in the gun laws America currently has.

Some people also do acts of solidarity, for example, wearing a hijab like the prime minister of New Zealand did when she went to go visit the Christchurch shooting survivors. My community college had something a couple of years ago called Hijab Day to help show solidarity with our friends. I participated, and it was quite an experience—no one should ever be afraid to be who they are.

There is never a right or wrong way to react, and no one should ever criticize one another for how they react. It's not a test where there is a right or wrong answer—everyone is different and that is okay.

No one should ever have to be afraid to go to school, go to work, or go to their place of worship or wherever they decide to go. Whatever we decide to do to make a change, as long as we are taking some kind of action, is good enough for me.

Nothing ever gets done by sitting around and doing nothing, so whatever it is you do, get out there and do it. As long as you are showing support it doesn't matter how you show it.

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