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Marriage. Having a child. Having a child only inside a marriage. These are forced upon women. Let the women decide for themselves. Their body, their choice, their life.
Besides forever being stalked by the same question, “When are you getting married?” there’s another offensively invasive bugger that trails a woman for life, irrespective of the marital status, Motherhood. It just changes connotation depending on the presence of a husband in her life. Between “when” to “why” swings the note.
An unmarried mother has always been a societal stigma in our country. You need to secure a husband whether you’re willing to or not, but a child without the matrimonial validation is a big fat negative.
There are women like Sushmita Sen who has propagated the feasibility of single motherhood by adopting two beautiful girls. Now we don’t even remember those two gorgeous girls being anything else than Sush’s daughters. But at the time she became their mother, there was more negative than positive buzz about it. The busybodies got working into analysing the decision, trying to find a catch within.
Neena Gupta, like her role in Badhaai Ho, got acquainted with quite a few eyebrow-raises at one time in her real life too. Yet, amid all the rumpus she proudly became a single mother. Her indifference to the fact that what a big deal it was, when physical intimacy in the movies was conveyed through no more than the flirtation of flowers, made her even more magnificent. Feminism had yet to be explained properly to the unknowing throng during the time. A fistful of feminists were struggling to stay over social ignorance, and the rest were in the long process of brewing inside. She was called bold when all she did was to follow nature’s order. She was brave – yes, but why bold, a term largely used as censure than commendation?
Karan Johar and Tushar Kapoor have trodden a new path [in India] of single parenthood by fathering children through surrogacy, making headlines. I admire them for the gesture as it has opened a new avenue for them who were uncertain of the idea of parenting without a partner.
As I said before, parenthood should not be reserved for the married only. At the same time, what do you think would have happened if a woman has a child likewise, without a husband? Would she be spared by the scandalmongers even in this feminism-aroused time? Hmm… I wonder that!
There is this other category of the casualties of incessant prying and criticism, women who after a long time of pestering by the people who really can’t mind their own business, have settled down with a husband thinking that maybe now they will be left alone.
But alas! You have still not escaped the invasion of the nosy parkers, ladies. The matter of your ovarian business is now their business too, and they will even more zealously come after you until you concede or show them the door, and probably then some. Moreover, if you try telling them about your decision of setting aside the “family-planning” until further notice, as you have other (life sustaining) plans to sort out, then God save you from the tsunami of the inquisitive inquiries and unsolicited counselling. They won’t accept the simple logic that you are just not ready to be a parent and that doesn’t make you selfish. And even if it does, that’s okay. You aren’t running away with someone else’s baby or abandoning one at God’s mercy, which would have been the real matter of concern.
The women who don’t want kids are lectured by almost everyone how they are missing out on one of the bigger miracles of nature. The miracle that hinges upon the existence of a husband to make it so, otherwise is labelled as a curse.
Irony though, isn’t it! According to them if you are not giving birth you are not complete as a woman. You should experience the beauty of motherhood which is how and predominantly why women are made, or else you will end up “regretting” later. On that thought, which I have heard multiple times in my life, I can’t help wondering, what if women, the reluctant bunch, explore it and “regret” later! Are the so-called well-wishers gonna take care of the baby in their stead? Worse still, wouldn’t it be unfair to the child?
She and she alone has the right to make decisions about what she is going to do with it; excluding the exceptions of self-harm or medical conditions of mental health. The parents, who bear and bring us up with love and nourishment, can be the ones besides us to participate in the process of decision making, but thrusting their decision upon us like a verdict wouldn’t be fair of them either.
So people, can you please… kindly… back off! Live and let live. There are far more pressing issues in the world than a woman’s reproductive system. If you are an awful lot bored, you can come up with some solutions for those issues, or even better, go watch a television series showing women in retrogressive plots. Aren’t there a lot of them to last you and your next generation!
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