What are your thoughts on women who do not have children? Are women still defined by motherhood?
Yahoo Parenting reported
In an Allure interview, Jennifer Aniston addressed the motherhood issue: “I don’t like [the pressure] that people put on me, on women—that you’ve failed yourself as a female because you haven’t procreated. I don’t think it’s fair,” she said. “You may not have a child come out of your vagina, but that doesn’t mean you aren’t mothering—dogs, friends, friends’ children.”
Melanie Notkin, author, stated she was: “childless by circumstance—I’m waiting for love before motherhood.”
*Has the women's movement gone nowhere in reality? Are women defined by motherhood?
As a woman without children, I've only ever felt pressure from my mother, who once told me I was being selfish by not providing her with grandchildren. (I'm also an only child.) I've never felt any desire, or any need, to have children.
I think women should do what is best for them. Children don't define a woman. Plenty of women birth children and are crappy humans. The women who don't have children help balance out the planet.
With that said I do believe once a woman does have children, the way she parents does define her as a woman. Being a mother is then her role and should be her first priority. I am defined in a lot of ways by being a mother. That is what I took on when I began having children.
I think the best thing for women to do is follow their instincts. If they want to go the path of no children they are no different than those of us who take the other path.
I am a bit of a hypocrite though, because as a mother of a girl, I can't wait for the day she responsibly gets pregnant. I hope she chooses the path I did, not to define her as a woman, but for my selfish desire to pass down the things I know.
Sadly, in this pronatalist culture, women are still judged by the motherhood parameter. Women who have children are seen more positively than women who elect not to have children. Motherhood is to an extent deified in our society. Mothers are seen to be feminine, mature, responsible, and other positive adjectives. There are those who strongly insist that a woman is not a woman until she bears children.
As a result of this incessant inculcation, there are women who have children for the sake of parental and other societal approval. Many much to their regret later on. If one goes to a store, he/she will see mothers regularly shouting and screaming at their children. One would also see mothers state that they will be glad when summer is over and the children are "out of their hair". Also, one would see mothers rejoice at the fact that their children are in boarding school so they have can have time for themselves. This is indicative of women being reluctant mothers.
There are women who clearly are not cut out to be mothers; unfortunately, they yield to motherhood because of outside pressure. Only a small percentage of women are unapologetic in not wanting children. They stick by their decision, withstanding societal and other pressures and suggestions. Ms. Aniston should tell her distractors to --------- off and mind their own affairs. Not to digress, if more women taught carefully before having children, the majority of societal problems would cease.
Women who are childfree are not selfish in the least. One can say that they are the most unselfish of all. They thought long and hard before making their decision. There are very selfish women who are mothers e.g. Michelle Duggar who have children to satisfy her ego, wants, and needs, not caring one iota about the welfare of her children. Women who are childfree, if they have maternal needs, can express such needs through volunteering with disadvantaged/homeless children and/or caring for the more vulnerable elements of society. Another inane myth is that childfree women hate children. Well a few do, most do not. I am a childfree women who see all children as my children.
I don't see anything wrong with women who have no desire to have children. It's usually (other women) who pressure these women.
Having children doesn't make a person any better than someone who does not. True equality would mean women get to live their lives on their own terms.
The only thing that can hold back the women's movement is other women who prefer holding onto traditional roles for themselves who speak out against progressive women that want to live differently.
Women are far more likely to (put other women down) for their clothing, hairstyle, and sexual promiscuity then men would do towards other men. There is no true feeling of "sisterhood".
A woman who elects not to have children shouldn't have to explain herself. Hopefully one day women won't concern themselves with what other women think of them with regard to their personal lives.
I feel its a woman's choice and none of my business. Life don't work in the ways you expect and just because you are a female doesn't mean you have to have kids or even want kids. I do feel women are defined by motherhood. Its annoying but I see this mostly in the dynamics of marriage. A husband expects a women to cook, clean and do laundry (aka do things his mom used to do). Plus in today's world, these wives/women probably have a full time 40+ hour job. I also notice that mothers never taught their sons to do these things (aka to basically take care of themselves). It's like when women marry they are pushed into motherhood before they even get to be a mother. To be a good wife, mother, or even a woman you must do these things. I think its BS and unfair.
Overall though society does define women by motherhood, I don't think they should. Having children/ being childless, being a prune/promiscuous, etc. doesn't define you as women or make you a good or bad person. People need to stop worrying/commenting about others and their personal lives/choices/values/beliefs.
Nothing is wrong w/women who elect to be childfree. It is THEIR choice. However, there are SOME who strongly maintain that all women should have children whether they want to or not. It is totally futile to convince such people that not all women want children.
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