Tuesday, April 15, 2014

Motherhood: Whose business is it anyway?

Motherhood and the talks of it for me, are synonymous to the Plath poem 'Barren Woman'. Everytime someone brandishes me for not possesing the 'motherly' traits, I read the poem and it comforts me. It is insane when I realize why women in this part of the planet think that every woman should be a 'mother in making'.
Ironically, women here know nothing about reproductive rights, and their wombs are regulated and controlled by the society and their families, both birth and conjugal.
Here are the excerpts from a conversation I had with a lady acquaintance a fortnight ago that left me startled and thinking.


I would call her 'L' in the conversation and use the initials 'R' for myself.
L: "So,how are you doing?"
R: "I am doing well."
L: "What about marriage? Aren't you planning to settle?"
R: "I don't know."
For the starters, 'settle' is a sedentary word which hasn't found favor with me. And I do not like discussing about my marriage with every Tom, Sick and Harry.
L: "Don't you think time is ticking away?"
R: "I don't know."



I didn't want to stoop down as low as her and that's why I decided to answer her with caution. To comment about someone else's life is a cultural culling for many people in our country.
L: "If you avert marriage, don't you think it would be difficult to have kids?"
R: "Isn't that a personal decision?"
L: "But why don't you want to have atleast one kid? Isn't having a kid the most beautiful phase in a woman's life"
R: "I have no motherly instincts. And I want to keep doing research, and some day become an entrepreneur."
L: "But, you can have atleast one kid."
R: "May I take that decision for myself? It is my body after all."


I was dumbfounded at her public display of ignorance. Why did she have to pass a judgement about my choices and most of all my womb? I fail to understand why is a personal decision about a woman's body and life a matter of concern for the society?
Meanwhile, in the midst of a heart attack in triplicates and three nervous breakdowns, which her insanity had instigated, I decided to wiggle out of the conversation.

R: "I got to go. Have to finish a report."
L: "Sure, but think about what I said."
R: "I'll decide what is best for me. Thank you for the wisdom."


As sisters of a species, that faces discrimination at the hands of a society plagiarized by patriarchy shouldn't we despite all our differences support and encourage each other. Rather than take a dim view of each other's most intimate choices.
And trust me, this was not aimed to take a dig at all the mothers in the world. Motherhood is a choice and not a stereotype that is "not" destined for every woman. 

The irony with patriarchy is that it has successfully pitted women against women, since most women in this part of the planet get their privileges in the society from a man, a father, brother, husband or son!

2 comments:

Kajal Kapur said...

Superb thought! I think motherhood is a very personal choice and no one should be allowed to affect/influence that decision for someone. Great that you held your ground...Stay wise :)

Kajal Kapur said...

Superb thought! I think motherhood is a very personal choice and no one should be allowed to affect/influence that decision for someone. Great that you held your ground...Stay wise :)