I just came across this interesting article on Helen Mirren and the topic of childlessness. Since I am childless, it caught my attention.
Is female childlessness a taboo topic? Yes, it is. Mostly I think because people don’t know what to make of a woman’s childless status. But, you have ovaries and a uterus, and you mean you won’t be using them? But, don’t you have a maternal instinct you must fulfill?
Yes, I come equipped with certain female parts. But they don’t define me. And neither does having or not having a child. Perhaps the ‘problem’ with me is that I first and foremost see myself as human. Not the opposite of man. Not a man’s other half. Not a woman. A human.
And the maternal instinct. It’s there – a latent potential. Oh she must be cold hearted. No, I am not cold hearted. I am quite empathic actually. Must I exercise this maternal instinct to become a self-realized human? No, absolutely not.
Sometimes people will try to encourage me when I say, I probably won’t have children. Oh sure you will, they say. But I don’t understand why I would need encouragement. I don’t view childlessness as a personal failure – nor marriagelessness. Take that society!
What is wrong with me? I simply don’t wish to participate. I have the freedom to make a choice and I am enjoying it. It seems that increasingly more women will be making a similar choice. Here are some interesting stats from this article:
“An ONS study in 2010 found that just one in nine women born in 1938 remained childless, rising to one in five women born in 1965. It is projected that a quarter of 45-year-olds will be childless by 2018.”