I am expected to have a child… but what if I choose not to? Does that make me unkind? Unlovable? A monster? Of course not, it is my choice. Why should women conform to this out of date stereotype? Oh yeah, it’s because we are female…
This ideology that is ever present in our society screams out a modern-day tale of Margaret Atwood’s The Handmaid’s Tale (I mean, have you seen America recently?!) where the female body is belittled to its biological function. Whilst Atwood depicts an extreme version of American society, it is an issue that affects females in every nation. How long do we really have until this dystopic nightmare becomes a reality?
It is no secret that women have been repressed – just look back through history – but the expectation to have a child purely to fulfill a role is just as bad. You could be a gifted businesswoman, or artist, or engineer, forever shamed for not having a child and being labeled ‘selfish’… but how is it? Tell me, why should females conform to gender roles, why should we not reach our full potential? It’s about time that each gender became equal in their potential as all can achieve.
As of 2015, The Telegraph reported that ‘the average cost of raising a child in the UK (to the age of 21) is £230,000’. I can hear the heart attack you are having right now! I’m not trying to put you off from having children, but you must be rational about it – that is a lot of money. Would you prefer to live a comfortable life where you can give your children everything or worry every day that you will not be able to feed yourself and your mini-me?
Furthermore, raising children is hard, period. Having a bundle of energy running around, being chatter-boxes and crying means that you are going to have to channel the young person you once were to keep up with them. There is no book that can ever prepare you fully for raising a child, you must learn through experience.
It will be a rollercoaster of emotions for all involved and whilst I personally want to put off having kids to gain more experience in life, it does not mean that I look any less forward to it. Women have the choice to have/not have children when/if it feels right.
We have a choice. We have a future. We are not concubines. And finally, we refuse to be walking wombs.