It is rude and it is none of your business.
If you are a childless woman, especially over the age of 30, such insulting questions and “biological clock” instructions hold a prominent place.
Many relatives, friends and acquaintances actually believe that your whole existence lacks substance, without childbearing. No woman owes you explanations and answers to improper questions that do not concern you.
Well…There are women who want to focus first on achieving goals that they have been working on for years.
There are women who may want to travel around the world before starting a family.
There are women who struggle to have children with no success.
There are women who do not feel the need to have children and are not selfish, they will not “end up old maids with ten cats” and all this does not make them “less of a woman” than the others.
Moreover, the fact that some women do wish to have children at some point in their lives does not automatically give you the right to ask them about it constantly, reminding them that their years go by, lest you lose the first place of information since the time of conception.
No woman is obliged to explain her choice to you; stop putting her is such a difficult position.
I will never forget that day, a few years ago, when I was at a baptism (the “hive” of all “it’s your turn now” fans) with a friend, when an indiscreet “well-wisher” approached us and asked her “When will you finally get on it and have a baby? You have been with that guy for years!” It was then she replied to him that unfortunately she could not have children. He was speechless; he was not prepared for such a sincere answer to the extremely indiscreet question he had asked. He apologized and walked away ashamed. Then my friend replied, “This is what you get when you get involved in other people’s personal lives, and at some point you may learn to keep your mouth shut.”
I will also never forget the first time I was told that if one does not experience motherhood, one cannot be called a woman. I had so many questions. How many children should I bear, to be entitled to coupons in the mothers’ club? If I end up childless, will you burn me in the town square or do you prefer a boat at sea to remind you of a ritual? Am I allowed to live happily or do your rules require you to give me the first cat and lock me in a cabin in the woods? If I do wish to have children, can I decide on my own time frame or will you put pressure on me until my ovaries explode?
If you want to start a family, it’s great. If you don’t want to, it’s great again. Have children, travel, work, fall in love … Live the life you choose and don’t forget that you don’t owe answers to anyone. Remember this. And when you have children, teach it to them as well.”
Written and submitted by: Alkioni Christodoulaki,
Journalist- Activist for women’s rights, living in Greece