In case you haven’t clicked the page “Lessons for Girls” on the top, left side of the home page of Historiann, check it out, because we had several worthy additions over the past week. I want to highlight one contribution in particular, You don’t have to be a mom, by Squadratomagico.
The barriers in place before a girl who decides she does not want to become a mom are formidable. . . . Coming to terms with the fact that one does not want to be a mom, like one’s mom, can be a difficult psychological maneuver — particularly since the weight of cultural pressures are strongly against this choice. And once a girl or woman decides that she prefers not to have children, she must defend herself over and over and over again. I can say from lifelong experience that no one believes a girl who claims not to want to be a mom. It’s very frustrating when perfect strangers presume to know one’s innermost desires without even asking! As a child, I recall adults asking my brother what he wanted to be when he grew up, then turning to me and declaring, “I know what you want to be: a MOMMY!” And when I denied this desire, I have always been told, with a patronizing “what-a-silly-girl!” smile, “Oh, you’ll change your mind!” I was told I would change my mind when I grew up; then I was told I would change my mind when I met the right man; then, that I would change my mind when I settled down; that I would change my mind overnight when my “biological clock” suddenly started ticking; that I would change my mind when my friends had babies; even that I would change my mind after I had tenure. When confident assertions of my hidden maternal nature proved inadequate, the appeals to conscience began. I was told that I must have children for the sake of my future old age, for the sake of the human race, for the sake of perpetuating progressive values, for the sake of passing on my own intelligent genes (this last from my mom).