Women, Not Baby Factories

Jun 29 , 2019
By Kidist Yidnekachew ( Kidist Yidnekachew has degrees in psychology and journalism and communications. She can be reached at kidyyidnekachew@gmail.com. )

A woman has a choice to not give birth. A woman’s purpose isn’t tied to procreation. Women, just like men, have the right to pursue their dreams, travel, be adventurous and explore. Women are not baby factories, and our sole purpose in life is not reproduction.

I am not saying women who give birth are women who have no dreams and aspirations; being a mother is a wonderful thing. And I don’t hate children. But I hear "Your time is running out, have kids" or "You still have not gotten married, and you do not have children; what are you waiting for?"

Well, a husband would be a good place to start. I don’t know why people assume you can find a spouse at the tip of ones fingers. It doesn’t work like that. Even after finding the right person, circumstances may keep a couple from tying the knot.

And then having a baby has its own procedures. Sometimes it takes couples years before having a baby. Here is the comment that pisses me off the most: “What is going to happen to her, she is neither married nor has children? It means nobody wanted to be with her or she must have had some kind of repulsive behaviour, Then the lip service continues feeling sorry for the woman who ended up single. So what if she is single? It certainly is not the end of the world, and it doesn’t mean she is miserable.

Women are more vulnerable to these comments than men. If a man is not married by the time he is 40, then it simply means he is weighing his options and is probably successful enough that he didn’t get the time to pick a wife. And if he does not have children by the age of 60, well either he is sterile or he just does not want kids. And he still has time, 10 years and more. But if a woman is 40, and she isn’t married then she has failed as a woman and failed her purpose.

And people often say, “She didn’t get married, because she is not attractive to the eyes, difficult to live with, picky, lacking in manners," or these days, "she wasn’t educated or born into a wealthy family.” How about: because she was dedicated and worked hard to see her goals through, she put off starting a family.

How about: she did not find the man she wanted to spend her life with and did not want to settle for anything less than she deserved. Keep in mind, if she had a baby out of marriage, she would have been considered a hooligan or ‘Dureye’ and her child would have grown up without a father.

But if men have children out of marriage, then they are just being men. What does that even mean? Trying to justify a double standard by giving a circulatory explanation.

A woman should not be condemned for either not having a husband or having children. Just like that, a woman should not be pressured into giving birth. In a similar vein, a husband and wife can have a loving and caring relationship without children. Children do not come before a husband and wife, they come after. If a couple's relationship has a strong foundation built on love, then either or both of them not being able to have children shouldn’t come between them.

Life goes on and not being able to have a baby is not the end of the world. As science and technology progress, there will be many options. Of course, there is also the option of adoption. Similarly, women can choose to lead their lives the way they want, be it single or married. They can also have kids when and if they want, not because it is what society demands from them.

PUBLISHED ON Jun 29,2019 [ VOL 20 , NO 1000]

Kidist Yidnekachew has degrees in psychology and journalism and communications. She can be reached at kidyyidnekachew@gmail.com.

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