Personally, I am fortunate enough to possess the bodily anatomy to conceive and carry a child if I were to ever choose to do so. However, experiencing motherhood is one of the very last things on my list of personal goals I hope to one day accomplish. In the eyes of many, that makes me a very selfish individual.
What many people fail to understand is that just because we can doesn’t necessarily mean we should or that we have to.
We live in a society that, as it has been made even more evident across the United States this week, desperately clings to this ideology that a woman’s primary purpose is to be a mother, simply because her body possesses the ability to make it so, whether she wants that or not. While I agree that the ability to create is an absolute miracle, what I don’t understand is why the only thing I am expected to create in my life is another human being.
Why does my baby have to have a pulse?
Why can’t the miracle that I summon into existence be a 250 page hardcover, something that you can hold, something that you can take with you, something that will carry you through some of your most difficult moments? Why can’t I create a beautiful painting or a sculpture to adorn an otherwise dark room? Why can’t my creation be spray painted across a canvas of broken buildings, a source of beauty and hope in a neglected environment? Why can’t my baby be my art?
Why do I have to create another human life in an already negligent country, on an already overpopulated planet, to be seen as a valid human being? Why does my ability to give birth to a child have to take precedence over all of the other beautiful, useful necessities that I could contribute to humanity instead?
There is more to life than being somebody’s parent. My ability to reproduce does not define me, and it never will.