6 thoughts on “The Two Choices Women Make that Are Routinely Met with Skepticism

  • June 22, 2019 at 10:48 pm

    “Informed choices are better choices.”

    REPEAT, please: “Informed choices are better choices.”

    Tempted to type thrice.

    A Pew study found that Atheists and Agnostics scored highest on possession of biblical knowledge, with Jews and Mormons trailing behind. The results shocked some but resonating well with me. Those living thoughtfully, outside societal norms, tend to draw their conclusions after conscientious research and deliberation. Those in this religious text study who scored at the bottom are often positioned as ‘our’ culture’s most religious. What these results revealed should be no surprise: sometimes uncritical commitment to an ‘institution’ can inhibit critical analysis, depth of account of individual experience, or existential evolution. The antiquated can remain unexplored to the detriment of societal advance – under the illusion of ‘tradition’ maintenance.

    Might we, most respectfully, with utmost compassion, propose a suggestive analogy:
    unintentional spouses(parents) are to the institutions of marriage(parenthood) as uninquisitive parishioners are to established faith institutions.

    https://www.npr.org/sections/thetwo-way/2010/09/28/130191248/atheists-and-agnostics-know-more-about-bible-than-religious

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  • June 23, 2019 at 3:51 am

    I am a 53-year-old atheist woman who has never wanted heteronormative marriage and children. I have never regretted it.

    When I was a teenager my mother told me, in a rare moment of honesty, that she had never desired marriage or children, but growing up in the 40s-50s, she said, women had no other options. She married my father because he was her first serious boyfriend. (They should have divorced, or never have married.) So she essentially told me that I was unwanted and had “ruined her life.” Imagine hearing that from your mother. I don’t know if she ever admitted this to my brother.

    She worked a series of dead-end secretarial jobs to help support the family with nothing to show for them. Now she’s in a nursing home. We have never been close for a number of reasons, but her admission to me was part of it.

    I am sorry she felt that she had no other choices. That’s why she was so miserable all the time.

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  • June 26, 2019 at 7:35 am

    People who do not want children should not have them, and pressuring them to have unwanted children is sick. Why would anyone advocate for a situation in which a child is regretted or resented by its mother. Part of the problem is the social structure which requires mothers to be 24/7 caregivers for the rest of their lives too. When many women are so selfish and immature they can’t even begin to meet a child’s emotional needs or nourish a growing body, and will just poison the child with junk food and toxic behaviors like they do themselves. And then there is what happens when that baby becomes a teenager. People have no idea what they are getting themselves into. And the ones that do have the foresight and opt out before it starts should be respected. There are enough fucked up people in the world.

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  • June 26, 2019 at 2:29 pm

    I’m living happily single. I’m only 33, but I don’t want a husband or children.
    That doesn’t mean I never doubt myself. I think it’s OK to make a decision even though you still have some doubt. If they ask me if I’ve ever had doubts I’d say “Of course. But that doesn’t mean my decision was wrong.”
    And of course I’m sure that many married people and people with children doubted their decisions at the time or still do. Doubt is part of human nature.
    What I think is important is to be able to tell others who question our decisions that they have been made based on our individual personalities and circumstances and that we have thoroughly considered our options (this holds true for all of us. Not just the single and childless). As my therapist would say, that is what “adulting” is about. Considering all options and opinions and circumstances and deciding what is right for you.
    And yes, many of us (married, single, with and without children) regret our decisions. But as long as we can honestly say that it’s what we considered to be best, I don’t think that even that needs to be shameful. (Of course if you’re a parent it would be more complicated. It is possible to regret having children but to love your child all the same.)
    I don’t think I’ll ever make a decision I don’t at some point doubt or regret. So in 20 years when someone asks me whether I regret not marrying or having children, I hope I will be able to say “sometimes” or “yes” but also “but I accept (and even celebrate) myself and my situation despite my doubts and regrets”.

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  • June 26, 2019 at 7:21 pm

    I married very late, and don’t have children. I didnt think i had any choice in the matter—-no boyfriend, no husband, no health insurance most of the time, so no kids. In my 40’s i was sad about this sometimes, but that was just my life.I had to watch everyone else getting married and having children, when i barely had a date. I didnt want to do anything crazy or outrageous to have a child alone; i was not that desperate about having a child under my circumstances. So to me, there wasnt much choice.
    It was only later on that i thought that maybe having children just “wasn’t meant to be” for me, ever. My husband never wanted children and never had a doubt about it. he felt that way for many good reasons. So now i am perfectly okay with never having a child, even tho sometimes i wonder what it would have been like to do such an awesome thing. I don’t think i was meant to do all the work of raising a child, or children!

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  • June 26, 2019 at 7:36 pm

    The way girls are raised sometimes leads them to believe that they really have no choice but to have children. I am glad this is gradually changing. I guess it depends on what ethnicity or subculture you grow up in, or how educated your parents or mother are.
    It is true that in the 40s-50’s it was really hard. It seems like the pressure to couple up was huge in this country. Mymother in law was a foreigner and new to the country, and when she was about 31 she was set up with an American man of her ethnic group.That was already considered old to get married. She was so desparate to get married i guess, that she married him after only 2 or 3 dates, and regretted it the rest of her life! She is 94 now, and we are still hearing about it. But she always wanted children, so she was atleast happy for having them.

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