Open Letter to the Society Eyeing my Womb

Dear society,

I am a woman, and I detest little kids. I do not think I have the maternal instinct to love someone unconditionally. Moreover, I don’t think I want to. To love without conditions is not my idea of love. To leave behind my individuality at the podium of motherhood is not something I am comfortable with.

No, I am not infertile or barren. No, I won’t change my mind when I grow up or marry. These are not ravings of a “witch”. I am not missing out on anything. I do not want to go through labour pains to bring another life in the world. We already have enough life as it is, a bit too much if you ask me. I have not been hardwired to reproduce, it is my choice, not a rule. Let me decide whether I would like to be a mother or not, it is none of your business.

There is nothing wrong with my mind, I am a feminist or getting there, but stupid ideas have not been fed to me. Do I not want to carry forward the name of the family I might marry in? No, I am not marrying a family, I am marrying a man. Won’t the man have a say in it? He will, but not at the cost of my individuality. There is nothing unnatural in being single and motherless, and yes, I do love cats if you want to stereotype. But sanity and insanity are relative, your normal is not my norm.

Thank you!

This article has been published at: Youth Ki Awaaz

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14 thoughts on “Open Letter to the Society Eyeing my Womb

  1. There is absolutely no requirement to be a parent. My wife and I have had over 30 great years together without children, and neither of us has regretted this choice for a moment.

  2. I won’t comment about the west, but here in India, a child is the imperative follow-up of marriage. Women are measured either in terms of children or their husbands.
    Also, some of the happiest couples I have seen are childless as you have also pointed out. Hence my opinion. 🙂

  3. Hi Rigya
    This is a really good article and I am in complete agreement with your views. I believe that women are in no way intellectually inferior and do have the potential to make it big. However many of them drop out of the workforce early in their careers. Many of my female friends who were doing really well in their careers unfortunately have gotten married and now are nursing kids. It is a very tiring experience and does severely damage one’s career.

    Sorry to disagree but I am personally against feminism and masculism both and I believe in the primacy on individuality, regardless of gender. I believe an individual should exist for his or her own sake and pursue his or her happiness. The society has no right to sacrifice him or her for their selfish needs. My views are heavily influenced by objectivism and libertarianism.

    Also here’s a response to your counter-comment on YKA. I think you misunderstood me there :

    The Superstitious Atheist · August 18, 2013 Reply
    I hope you will use contraception or timely abortion if you happen to conceive, because if you don’t, it is your fault Strange irresponsible guy.
    You are fine with having sex with the “strange woman” but not raising a kid if that mistake happens. This guy is what is wrong with the society.

    Raj · August 25, 2013 Reply
    Excuse me, I was talking about arranged marriages in which men are forced into. Kids are pretty much compulsory and the vast majority of men forced into such marriages, actually stay back and take care of their wife and kids. So no, contraception isn’t going to be helpful here when your whole tribe is after you to begin breeding. I’m surprised you completely didn’t catch that. Maybe you should think a bit from a man’s POV too. After all, men are human too.
    On the whole I agree with your article and I praise the independent stand you have taken. Kudos!

    • Raj,

      What you understand is a very negative connotation of Feminism. There was various kinds of Feminism, some worthy of being followed, others can be downright scary. I try to imbibe the best of Feminism, it gets hard, but I try. Typically, I believe in equality for all. Most of the Feminists believe that nowadays. It does not talk of equality for women, it wants equality for all- men, women, transgenders, LGBT, Dalits and so forth.
      I have a lot of problems with the Indian society to the point where I get hostile at the mention of marriage. In the beginning of the month, a “friend” of my father’s mentioned how fortunate he (the friend) was to have two sons who will bring in money (dowry) and how my dad will have to pay for “my wedding”. 2 days later they heard of a death of a colleague’s daughter who was suffering due to a combination of severe Oedipus Rex on the MIL’s part and the whole “dowry” scene after marriage. Also, apparently, she wasn’t “fair enough” to attract a good match so they married her off “below their class”. Now everyone is crying foul. But do you see the hypocrisy here?
      Women suffer a lot, and society conditions them to suffer in silence with suicide as the only way out. There are rebels, there are fake dowry cases, there are even fake rape cases. Try reading “A Suitable Boy” by Vikram Seth, classic book. You’ll get a wider insight. Peace!

  4. Actually I know in-depth about both feminism and masculism. I have debated with both (and also been abused by both). I could take your defence of feminism word-to-word and use it to defend masculism. In fact you can talk to them and see for yourself. But my opposition to both of them stems not from personal experience but on the basis of my philosophy. I genuinely believe that all individuals should be treat as individuals and not as men/women or black/white or Hindu/Muslim. I do not believe that all those who share a commonality with the perpetrator are guilty, nor do I believe that all those who share a commonality with the victim are also to be victimized.

    I sympathize with you and your friend. But you have to see this from the guy’s point of view too. We (young men of marriageable age, myself included) are under tremendous pressure to earn as much as possible, so we can support our future wives and kids. Many of my friends have given up on the careers that they love but instead are gravitating towards management and finance, because that’s where the money is. The jobs are crappy 80-90 hour/week paper-pushing work. Why are they doing this? Because unlike an unemployed maiden, nobody is going to marry an unemployed man. They need to earn a lot since they believe it is their job to earn for their family and also their parents. They by themselves don’t need that much money and would be able to live in relative discomfort. But for their wife and kids, they want the best money can buy. So they drive themselves crazy and are always worried about not being able to provide for their families.

    Also I would like to point out that married men commit suicide twice as more often then married women. http://www.thehindu.com/news/national/india-saw-135445-suicides-last-year/article4849710.ece
    71.6% of 79,773 men who committed suicide were married whereas 67.9%of 40,715 women who committed suicide were married. In absolute terms, 57,118 married men and 27,646 married women committed suicide last year in India.
    My heart bleeds for any individual who has undergo so much pain and suffering that he or she would commit suicide, whether man or woman. You highlighted the plight of women and I’m presenting the other side of the picture, I think men being freed of such societal shackles(along with women of course) would be beneficial for the society as a whole.

    By the way, my disagreements with you go far beyond feminism. As a objectivist and a libertarian I am strongly opposed to socialism and am very pro-free market capitalism . Maybe we’ll debate over that sometime 🙂

    • What about murders? I am talking of dowry murders. I understand your point where you want me to see from a male’s perspective, but try to understand that I am a woman, since I mostly write from experience with no research, I cannot comment from a male’s perspective. I do not have the experience of a man, so cannot do justice to it. In one of my comments, I asked you to read Spivak. I absolutely love her views.

      As a feminist, I have a huge problem with someone opening the door for me, but I won’t go apeshit on the person. He/she did it out of courtesy, not malice. I am a huge believer in individualism, hence I have problems when somebody asks me to change. I resist and get called arrogant.

      I don’t have a problem with male rights, what I have a problem with is that you are taking a attacking stance on a pro-woman article, so you came across as sexist. I have no problem with anybody’s view and as I now understand, you don’t have a problem with mine. I am not taking a swipe at men, just at society at large. You accusing me of overlooking men is pointless in this case. Had I been writing on arranged marriages, I might have mentioned something about males, but again, I would like a male to write about male.

      When you put a problem in numbers, it will trivialise it. 1 dying is as bad as 10 dying. True marriage seems like an easy way out for girls, but you fail to understand that it is not. You feel the pressure to earn more due to the society, patriarchy. Check matrimonials once in awhile. Fair, tall, convent educated homely girls are preferred. Believe it or not, it is harder for girls to escape marriage. And now women are expected to earn and be housewives. Again, I can cite examples. The thing is that I don’t have to look online for examples. I even know of 2 people who were falsely accused in dowry cases. This is the reality around me.

      I am pretty tired right now, if you feel like commenting, please do it tomorrow otherwise, I’ll feel compelled to reply.

  5. I disagree that you can’t see things from a male perspective. I on the other hand can see from a female perspective reasonably well, just as I can see from the perspective of a poor person, even the perspective of a muslim person though I am an atheist, the perspective of a Pakistani though I’m an Indian etc.

    Harry Potter was written by a woman, Zero Dark 30 was directed by a woman and both did brilliantly in capturing the perspective of their lead characters who happened to be males. Men loved these pieces of art and could very well relate to it.

    I really don’t agree with this notion that men should keep to men’s issues, women to women’s , hindus to hindus etc.. I feel it is an excuse given by people who want to pursue their narrow agendas beneficial to their tribe and ignore others. If you took this idea further, then hindu women shouldn’t speak for muslim women -> hindu women of Mumbai should not speak for hindu women of Pune -> Old hindu women of Mumbai shouldn’t be able to speak for young hindu women of Mumbai -> and so on till no person can speak for any other person 😛

    I tend to have an objective view of things, probably given my sci-tech educational background and also my interest in objectivist philosophy. I reject the notion that there is some stuff out there but is unknowable and will forever will be. Reminds me of religion

    Yes I’ve gained some idea about Spivak’s writings although I haven’t understood it that well yet. I agree that victors tend to write in a manner glorifying themselves but I can not understand in what subjective context can sati be justified. Or is she implying that Sati was in fact voluntary and the women were not oppressed?

    I don’t believe in male rights or female rights but rather individual rights for all humans. I also dislike the usage of the term patriarchy and I reject the idea since it enslaves vast majority of men too. To me the fact that those dominating evil individual were male is as irrelevant as Hitler, Stalin and Saddam having moustaches. But let’s leave that for now.

    No, by giving numbers I am not trivializing it, rather giving you objective proof that married men are facing severe pain that is causing them to commit suicide. Now please don’t say ” Oh but I’m not a man, so I don’t know what suicide means to a married man. It’s bad for a married woman but maybe he enjoys it, who knows” 😛

    Yes you rightly pointed out that tall, lovely women are preferred for marriage but isn’t a man’s salary also a huge factor when hunting grooms? Arranged marriage is a cold game of statistics and I despise it.

    The pressure is great for men to get married, even though they are more than capable of supporting themselves (since they are expected to have and keep having a job) . Apart from the usual coaxing from his family and friends, he too feels that not marrying will doom him to a life of loneliness. Our laws pretty much ensure that single men can’t adopt children, so he isn’t going to have kids either. Beyond that they feel they will not get any companionship, since most women would already be married and if they desire intimacy, they will have to go to a brothel.

    And yes I can guess what women go through when they don’t get married. The snide remarks for not being able find a man, rumours of her being infertile or promiscuous (or both), the loneliness etc. She can have her own baby though, but she may not have anybody to take care of her while she is pregnant. perhaps she can hire a nurse but I doubt if the nurse will be able to provide the emotional support needed. Adoption too would be difficult for a single mother.
    (Yeah I don’t like kids but I can see things from the POV of a single mother / father )

    It’s OK take your time to reply 🙂

    • Didn’t read you comment, nor I intend to for sometime. I would like to reply to all the allegations, but there is nothing more I can say. You completely miss my point on epistemic violence, so just one thing- compare Jyotirao Phule’s stories with Premchand’s, maybe you’ll understand what I am saying.

      • If you didn’t read my comment then how do you know it has allegations? 😛
        And why are you asking me to read unrelated stuff? Have I ever asked you to read Ayn Rand, Milton Friedman, F.A. Hayek, Murray Rothbard, Warren Farrell etc. ?
        Religious people often ask me to read their half-assed books when I confront them about their religion. You know what, you should be able to defend your viewpoint by bringing in and explaining the relevant concept as and when required in the discussion. And not by asking your opponent to do first do a Phd. in your pet field and then get back to you. I’ve argued with people on YKA over issues involving nuclear energy but I never asked them to first be nuclear scientists themselves while arguing with them.
        Any how, I did read some of the stuff you asked me to 😛 I really can’t see how Spivak’s work on subalterns relates to this. It isn’t like we had men-only and women-only societies. Men and women both had roles which they were better suited(but not uniquely suited for ; both can do each other’s work to a good extent) for and thus both were slaves of the society. But today many of those things aren’t relevant anymore, so we must start looking at men and women as individuals.
        And I don’t know how we got on this topic. The point of my initial comment was to clarify that “strange woman” did not refer to the man’s mistress or a prostitute, but in fact his own lawfully wedded wife. She is a strange woman because he has never met her before his wedding night but now must now provide for her,also have kids with her and not have consensual sex with other individuals. I was just saying that marriage sucked for the man too. And I was in full agreement with your article.

        Anyway ignoring or replying is your prerogative. On an unrelated note, why did you leave Delhi? I did a part of my schooling in Delhi and despite its flaws, it is a very happening city(I mean state :P). I wouldn’t have left it for any other place except Mumbai which is decidedly more awesome 🙂

        • I would love to counter or provide explanations for all that you have said, but unlike you, I happen to have a life offline, also, I know whatever I say won’t have an effect on you. So, I don’t really care. Go back on YKA.

  6. Children should be wanted. Without love how can a child grow up to be someone who could be unafraid to speak her mind, to say to the world, I don’t want a child, and still be respected, and loved. That truly, would be a scary place. You have the right to make the choice that you declare, but I thank God, every day for my children, while at the same time, I respect your decision. Be well,

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