Don’t ask women when they are having children

I was reading an interesting article earlier about Jacinda Ardern, New Zealand’s now pregnant PM. In this article it detailed the last time she had been asked by a journalist when she was planning on having children, and how she had shut the conversation down and refused to respond- stating that it would never happen in a job interview under normal circumstance.

I was reading this with such admiration as what she said makes an incredibly good point. Why do people feel it is their fundamental right to judge or question women on what their current plans for their reproductive organs are?

I know that it’s embedded in our DNA to feel like it’s a human right to be nosy- but it’s something that has happened to me on more than one occasion as of late- and probably will continue to happen throughout my life.

It seems that despite it being fucking 2018, some people cannot shake the idea that once engaged and married or when you’ve hit the ”ripe age” of 30- your next move is to pop out a little sprog of your own. I can say from personal experience that I’ve been asked it twice since I got engaged in September – both times jokingly, but all the same, making jokes just perpetrates the stereotype.

It’s unacceptable that even in this day and age it’s a choice that is still questioned and outcast by other people- and it still shocks me that journalists rely on this information to talk about a woman, rather than her politics, her character or her actions.

It’s not just the questioning that bothers me, it’s also the expectation. I’ve had conversations before with people where I shared my fears and potential doubts about becoming a mother and it feels like that is still such a taboo subject and something that can’t be breached.

Motherhood and having children, although we’re given so many options- is still questioned or scorned when people decide that it isn’t the path they want to take- instead embracing the other wonderful aspects of life like travel, work and relationships.

Don’t get me wrong- I love babies, I think being a parent is a fantastic thing to do- but I’m so sick and tired of it being the expectation all the time- and something that I’m still seeing in the media, being contemplated and debated. These are literally women just trying to crack on in the world without the judgement placed on them.

The other thing this raises is asking why women who don’t have children have made that choice. Of course, there’s the potential that they actively decided and are happy with that- but think of the women struggling with miscarriage, fertility or being unable to have a baby that they desire. Think about how painful it must be to have to justify something out of your control to a stranger.

Sometimes pregnancy and being a mother isn’t interesting tabloid news, it’s a life altering decision and we need to stop talking about women like it’s their main drive in life.

Women are so much more than their ability to carry a child- and there needs to be a better discourse around that.

Rach

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