We live in a culture addicted to the idea of weddings, marriage, and babies. TLC is just one of the smorgasbords where we are encouraged to stuff ourselves silly on a veritable buffet of shows touting white poufy dresses and perfectly planned pregnancies.

The other evening, a quick exchange left me reeling. “All my daughter wants is to get married and have babies. It’s all she talks about,” a mother told me as we chatted during a concert intermission. Said daughter is eleven. ELEVEN! It is bad enough that each semester so many of my female women’s studies students share in their introductory speeches something of the variety “Yeah, I’m in college, but my real goals are to get married and have kids. I dream of being able to be a stay at home mom.” But – ELEVEN? Makes me want to move to another planet.

Now, far those of your raising your pitchforks in the air and shouting “Shut up you feminist baby hater!,” step back. I do not hate babies. I had two of them. Still love them both even though they are far beyond the gaga baby phase our culture fixates on. I don’t hate stay at home mom’s or see them as feminist sell-outs. This fabricated “mommy war” (so fabulously explored in Susan Douglas’ work) is yet another tool of the patriarchy that hammers away at women, keeping them firmly divided and conquered.

If you wanna have you some babies, fine. If hetero monogamy is your slice of pie, eat up. These choices are not the problem. The problem is that our culture does not present them as choices, but as imperatives. We live under what I have elsewhere called “the woman as womb paradigm.” If you don’t got or don’t want a baby and hubby, you ain’t squat.

Perhaps nothing more vividly captures our accelerating descent into this regressive paradigm than the final book of the Twilight saga, Breaking Dawn. Bella, our intelligent, klutzy heroine drawn to danger and adventure, mutates into a pregnant cyborg, her body bruised, battered, and broken from the parasite within. Gone are her college plans, her motorbike-riding-self – in their place, a fetus-incubator fixated on how much she loves, loves, loves the growing BOY inside her. Of course, said boy turns out to be a girl, but how typical that she transfers her fixation on Edward to what she envisions as mini-Edward! Like a good patriarchal daughter, she envisions the perfect child as male. When the baby is female, she then names it after her mother and mother-in-law, combining Renee and Esmee into Renesmee. Ah, what a potent symbol of this human/vampire hybrid’s future – she too can be a mommy, her name a metaphor for her future role! And, as she ages so far beyond her years, maybe she can aim for mommyhood at 11 rather than Bella’s 18. She already has a wolf-boy to call her own to help her produce the pups. Yuckety yuck yuck yuck.

11 thoughts on “What if you don’t want a bundle of joy let alone a man to call your own?

  1. Of course women’s “real goals” are to get married and raise a family

    That’s what life’s all about

    And it is most certainly imperative; without the family unit…no babies

    No babies, no future generations

    You were born. Good thing your mother was one of these women who…gasp…thought family was imperative

    If she hadn’t, you wouldn’t be here to complain about the oh-so-horrid idea that other people dream of raising a family. Lots of people. Lots of women. Most women.

    All anti-family feminists end up the same. They die alone in their house with their 500 cats as they clutch their “I hate men” coffee cups

    No children, no grandchildren, just an empty house and bragging rights to a career that added more stress to their life than satisfaction

    1. Tonya,
      Pardon my error. I was thinking it took men to reproduce the species too. As you correct me, it’s only mothers.
      And thank you for enlightening me about all those “anti-family feminists.” I will get to informing my many feminist friends with kids that they really hate their kids, their parents, and their partners (if they are male).
      In seriousness, the ignorance you display is typical of those who have no concept of what feminism is. Do you personally know any feminists?
      Let me introduce you to one, me: I a have two kids, a long term male partner whom I have been with for 17plus years and love dearly. I do not hate men, I love them. I have one cat, not 500. I am not lonely. I usually drink from mugs with peace or social justice slogans, not ones spewing hate. My career as a professor causes me far more satisfaction than stress. What does cause me stress is people who make hateful comments with little to no knowledge of what they are talking about.

    2. If my mother handn’t had me, she would have come to the united states and become a dentist. Or she would have finished the nursing degree she always wanted.

      She would not have aged 10 years because of the stress raising children brings. Women who are single report greater happiness, and more wealth. Very few are homeless and hungry. Unlike the many languishing in nursing homes because family does not gaurantee those kids will even like you…. My mom can tell you. That’s where she works partime.

      Remember, you have a choice to have a famiy and raise generations, and no one ridicules you for it. Other women deserve that same curtisy. They are not taking away from you.

      1. Asada,
        So true — and so sad how the MSM fails to cover all the successful women like those you mention. Instead, the non-married, non-mothers are held up as some sort of tragedy, or as not having complete lives. Gag.

  2. I absolutely loved this article, hilarious!! The last part about the twilight saga was pure genius, and is completely true. But to be honest, I don’t think its the brooding mommys that are the sell-outs, I think it is most likely the feminists

  3. This article is fresh air for me!

    “If you wanna have you some babies, fine. If hetero monogamy is your slice of pie, eat up. These choices are not the problem. The problem is that our culture does not present them as choices, but as imperatives.”

    sums up my feelings exactly. It seems family is not a choice anymore.

    Another example I would like to give is this media interest in unmarried blackwomen ( usually in thier 30′-40’s). These women have degree’s, careers, higher incomes and even expertise but it has not translated into greater and better political power. It has not made them leaders in our communities. It has made them media parasites. Why?

    Only with women does a higher education, more income and better opportunites turn into public scrutiny. Why aren’t ya’ll married, where are the kids? Don’t you care about the future of our race, marry a man like yourself! Ugh…..

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