As human beings, we need not agree with each other on every topic. Differences of opinion arise and that is only natural. Most definitely, when I disagree with someone, I refrain from making comment, lest it turn into an argument, and I suck at arguments, irrespective of whether I am right or wrong. Because my should-have-been-used-in-that-argument statements come to my mind only three days after the argument!
Hence, when I saw a certain tweet, though I disagreed vehemently, I said nothing about it to the person. Cos what is uglier (and stupider) than a loud public argument? A loud public argument on social media! I do not remember the handle that tweeted it (it was retweeted by someone I used to follow) nor the exact words (and even if I did, I would not post it here without the permission of the said person), but it was along the following lines:
“I do not understand women who do not want to have babies. A woman’s purpose on earth is to have children and without that she is incomplete.”
Now before all of you reading this turn into sword-wielding warriors with your gaalis and your “Saale male chauvinist, teri toh #$^%&^&“, take a step back while I tell you – this was tweeted by a woman. I went something like this:
But after I got over the initial trauma of reading that tweet and swallowing a lot of anger that came with it, I started wondering if all women thought this way and why is it that a woman is considered complete only if she has a child, whereas a man can get off the hook by simply wearing a Raymond suit.
I do not need to repeat this, but as a country, we are embarrassingly hush-hush about the “activity-that-must-not-be-named.” Despite that, whenever heavy jewellery-laden auntijis meet a newly wedded couple, their first question almost always is, “Did you do the activity-that-must-not-be-named and are you going to carry forward the human race shortly, in say, nine months?” What if the embarrassed couple replies, “We do not want children.” This happens:
Once their collective breaths are released, the relatives are quick to blame the woman. She must be career-oriented, she must be barren (what a lovely word!), she must be this-that, he must not love her! And the boy is advised, insensitively, to marry another “homely” girl.What if it was the man’s decision to not have kids? No one asks him and he does not need to bear the brunt of the asshole who refused to take the family name forward. It must be the woman.
Called colorful names by everyone she meets and the husband is portrayed as the victim influenced by this corporate bitch!
Then there are couples who love children and really want to have them. But for whatever reasons, they cannot. This is extremely sad, because as fate would have had it, these are the people who would have made great parents, simply because of their shared love of children. My heart goes out to these couples. But – in situations like this, the only explanation is – the woman is barren. The man in question is irreproachable, faultless, (invincible, even!) with an enviable army; but the woman is probably shooting down the army and winning the war.
Insulted by everyone she meets and the husband is told constantly what a disappointment of a woman he has married.
Are children only a woman’s concern? Must children compulsorily be a concern? Do women have no identity outside of slaving for their kids (without complaining, but getting a truckload in return)? Is a woman only worth the children she bears (though the children take the father’s surname)? Is a woman without children “incomplete” as the lady I mentioned at the beginning of this post pointed out? When a woman declares she does not want to have children, why is the only sound in the vicinity the chirping of a distant sparrow?
Isn’t an individual, whoever he/she is, the one with the liberty to decide what completes them – children, dogs, art, whatever! Why the stigma of “Have kids or remain an adhuri kahani for the rest of your miserable life?”
What I don’t understand is, dear lady whose Twitter handle I don’t remember nor care to, in the over-populated world we live in, that may collapse any time, is choosing to not have children really such a bad idea?