The ghost of motherhood

I can clearly remember the day I came to a full conscious decision that I don’t want to procreate or become a mother. My mother was having a full blown argument with my grandmother and I just stood there like I always did when moments like this occurred, and in the silence of my mind I could hear myself saying, “I don’t want this, I don’t want to be a mother, I don’t want to have children”.

A sense of relief overcame me as I let that silent testimony take place. I was between the age of 12-14 at that time, and for the longest time I remember not being interested in the “Baby” doll range, where most came with diapers and feeding bottles and would coo and cry, while other girls aspired to get them as gifts my skin would crawl at their sight, I hated even looking at them, the idea of a doll the “poops” freaked me out. I would find myself in the bike section of the toy shop, or crying over the latest 500+ piece jigsaw puzzle or begging my parents for an arts & crafts machine. I loved constructing my toys, carefully putting together my jigsaw puzzles as I braided my friendship bracelets.

“You will change your mind”, “Your maternal instincts would take over”, “You’re too young to make such decisions” and so on and so forth…but as the years passed my feelings grew stronger. The maternal wind never blow me over, as a matter of fact most of my post-maternal related arguments ended up with me having nightmares of monster babies ripping me from the inside or birthing deformed blood hungry beasts. I would wakeup with cold sweats and tears.

Pollution and over population plague the world yet people still continue to drain natural resources and inflect pain and suffering upon each other from chemical warfare to GMO’s and everything in-between, what’s so appealing about bringing a new life into all of this? When we have nations that suffer from -literally- overeating themselves to death to nations that can’t even find a scrap of dried bread to survive a day on. If aliens were to survey for inhabitable peaceful planets, ours would be their very last resort!

Now lets put that aside and try the half-full glass approach, what if I simply do not want to be a mother? is it so hard to grasp? Maybe I don’t want the responsibility of another human, a human which would bound me in one way or another with a partner that I may or may not get along with in the long run.
If children were somehow refundable I would consider it, but unfortunately they aren’t.

With child abuse support groups and campaigns, don’t you think that I might not be alone when it comes to the notion of not wanting kids? I just wasn’t drastic enough to give birth to one before changing my mind, not to say that I will abuse my child but how many cases are out there of children being born into poverty and suffering and catastrophic marriages and abusive parents. How many “mothers” regret becoming one due to peer or spousal pressure?

People push you to get married, push you to have kids then scold you for being a “bad parent” (which might range from simply pursuing your career and/or not beating your children up as a form of discipline). Funny enough 99% of the time those people are not even part of your inner circle or even your family yet they feel entitled and obliged to instruct you how to lead your life.

Well guess what, I’m done arguing, I’m done justifying and I’m done accommodating. My life, My body, My rules.

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The ghost of motherhood

She’s asking for it!

I recently recalled an article by the Emirati columnist Ayesha Almazroui, in her article she spoke about harassment and I can very much relate to everything she wrote about, the instances where guys chase you in the car just to force you to take their number.

Growing up I was taught that a women must dress in a certain way to avoid harassment, otherwise she will be simply “asking for it” if she dresses otherwise, and I must admit that when I was younger I firmly believed that to be very true. However I came to meet many different people from a variety of races, religions and backgrounds and I can honestly say that you should never judge a book by it’s cover.

During my conversations with my friend in Australia (Hey Izzy!) she was telling me about how women go out in groups and make a pact to stick together all the way till they get back home, and in between our chat she was talking about how women shouldn’t be shamed for dressing a certain way and how men shouldn’t use that as an excuse to harass/abuse/rape them.

And our conversation really got me thinking about that, and a few days after I was going to a mall and parked my car at the far end of the parking lot and I was fixing my hair when a car passed right in front of my car and there was a man driving it, he looked 50+ and he was alone and apparently he was following my car and he had his window down and he drove past very slowly almost stopping completely as he stuck his head out of the window and stared at me in a dirty way as I was fixing my hair, I was so tempted to honk at him or scream as he passed by but I knew that might actually “encourage” him more. I ended up being so upset that I left the parking space and drove to another mall because it looked like he was attempting to take a second turn to come back and stare at me some more.

When that happened I wasn’t dressed “provocatively” nor was I “asking for it” as I purposely parked at the furthest end of the parking lot to have some privacy. This really struck something inside me, who defines the standard of “asking for it?” or “provocative” to some men it can be a skirt over the knees or a tank top, but to some other men it might be a glance from a women that he could use as an indication that she “wants it” but to others the mere instance of a women being in a certain place at a certain time of the day, or just by simply being outside of her house alone and/or with female friends means she’s “asking for it”!

Women in Kabul are harassed and raped and they are all dressed from head to toe in the unified blue traditional outfit, was her outfit a lighter shade of blue than her counterpart when she was harassed? And in some other countries just walking in the street after sunset can lead to harassment, rape or even murder.

Some argue that the way she dresses or the time/place a women is at is an indication that she’s asking to be harassed, no she isn’t, and no one should assume that unless she verbally states “Please harass/rape/murder me”!

And as Ayesha stated in her article:

We can either move on in our lives, pretending that harassers are just “being boys”, or we can face the reality and act firmly to change it.

She’s asking for it!