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Motherhood is supposed to bring you joy. But not when it is forced upon you by society! Let this momentous life decision be your personal choice, not a compulsion!
In the society that we live in today, it’s not a surprise for a newly married couple to be asked ‘Any good news or when is the good news ?’. As years pass by and if the couple still doesn’t have any children, the only topic they hear of concerns their baby. Without a second thought, most of the time women are blamed for it.
But why always women? There is a point where the people around her aren’t even ready to listen to the reason, busy as they are complaining about the woman and her femininity. Being feminine is always linked to giving birth to a child. The line marking women and their femininity different from motherhood becomes invisible. It is believed that one of the main purposes of a women’s life is to give birth.
This entire issue can be split into the following aspects.
Firstly, post-marriage, women are restricted from doing certain things, fearing it might affect their ability to give birth. If a woman is truly not able to give birth, then her marriage itself becomes a big question mark. We, as a society, have given enough space for men with the same inability to escape, as they have got their wives to take the blame for not producing a baby. We see this in the movie Parched, where Radhika’s husband makes her feel worthless as she didn’t give birth to a child. Whereas it is due to his inability that they are unable to have a child!
Secondly, it’s a big taboo for couples to choose to spend their married life without having children. In the worst scenario, husbands don’t mind it much, but the people around them make it difficult for the couple. After a certain point in time, the couple that previously had no issue about not having children begins to hate each other. Is it compulsory that as soon as the wedding is done, there should be a baby? Should every marriage always end in a child?
Thirdly, in the worst scenario, people believe that a baby is a solution for a problematic marriage. When couples are not happy with each other, we often hear things like become a mom, everything will be alright. Especially when the guy is not happy with his wife, or the girl is not able to grab the attention of her husband, we hear these clichés. So, for a woman to be a woman, is it necessary that she should be able to become a mother?
From the beginning, women have been told that pregnancy and motherhood are the most important phases in a woman’s life that one can’t afford to ignore. We have been made to believe that this phase is the sweetest phase of a woman’s life. Knowingly or unknowingly, there is constant pressure on a woman to have a child post marriage and if she doesn’t have babies, she is not even liked by her husband. But shouldn’t this be a choice of individuals?
Ghost Stories, a movie partly directed by Anurag Kashyap, talks about the emotional traumas a woman goes through during her pregnancy. Here we see Neha, (played by Shobitha Dhulipala), a young pregnant woman. Neha had a miscarriage in the past and she has insecurities about her current pregnancy. She often stands in front of a mirror and touches her stomach to reassure herself that she is still pregnant. She also has nightmares of having miscarriages, and of her husband throwing away her baby when she is completely helpless.
Unfortunately, she has a miscarriage again. There’s also this event from her past where she breaks a bird’s egg and her mom scolds her saying, ‘…how would you feel if the same thing happens to you?’. In the end, Neha loses grip of reality and visualizes herself as a bird being helpless about her miscarriage.
Numerous incidents in history emphasise the importance of queens to give their kings and kingdoms a prince to carry on the line. Those were the days of the monarchy, where it was important to have heirs to take care of the kingdom. Since then, however, there have been many changes, improvements, and for the fact that India has become a democratic country, and roles of women have slowly changed. But that pressure on women to become a mother hasn’t changed one bit.
The ultimate goal of a woman’s life is not only to give birth to a child. We are worth much more! Respect, love, recognition, and appreciation should not be related to giving birth. To all the women out there, motherhood is your choice, not a compulsion!
Image by soulintact from Pixabay
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