mysticalchild_isis: (hedwig & the angry inch)
[personal profile] mysticalchild_isis
For a very large number of reasons, I do not want children. I have never once in my life wanted children. I am very pleased that my parents chose to have me, and I adore my nieces and nephew. I did an Americorps year working as a reading teacher with second and third graders, and I loved it. I have no problem with children, I have no problem with other people having them, and I frequently enjoy their company.

But I, myself, do not want to have children. However, because I am a woman, I constantly run into people who take serious umbrage at this fact. I cannot even tell you the number of times I have been told "you'll change your mind!" (Pretty much any time the fact that I do not want children comes up, at least one person informs me that I will change my mind, from my parents to random strangers.)

For one thing, I find it really offensive that people believe that I don't know my own mind, especially now that I'm thirty. I still think it's obnoxious to tell a teen that she'll change her mind, but hey, there are a lot of things I've changed my mind about since adolescence. But I am an adult. I am an adult who has over many years very thoroughly and deeply considered all the pros and cons of procreating, and I have made an informed decision that it is not for me.

But still people tell me that I'll change my mind, that I don't know what I want, that it is the best thing I could ever do with my life, that I will regret it if I don't, that my biological clock will start ticking, that I'll meet the right person and they'll convince me, or that I'm a crazy, man-hating feminist. (Feminist, yes. Man-hating, not usually.)

I know sometimes that it is a knee-jerk reaction from someone who thinks that my choice not to have children is somehow a criticism of their choices. But it isn't, and they shouldn't take it that way. Usually, I can identify the people that are having this particular reaction, and generally, I find it less offensive. On the other hand, men who condescend to tell me that I don't know what I want/that I will be unfulfilled/that I am a man-hating feminist/etc are the ones that make me want to pull out my motorcycle boots and start kicking heads. Especially, because on the whole, men who don't want kids don't get the same sort of negative reaction.

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