I’m Still Human.

It’s funny how people can make you feel less than human about not having children. Like it is a choice that I don’t have kids, or people assume I just don’t want kids because we have been married almost 4 years and don’t have any. Countless times I have had to say through clenched teeth ” no, no kids yet, but we want them.” I do hair for weddings and it seems like I have been getting the question a lot lately about having not having kids. {already society has an ideal of how life’s order should go. date, get engaged, get married, have babies.} What I really want to do is scream at them and say “well since you asked, we have been trying for almost 3 years with no success. I have gobbled countless meds, spread my legs to a handful of different doctors, been pricked with God knows how many needles and I am still here with no baby! Thanks for asking. Oh yeah. I suggest you start trying immediately because who knows how long it will take.”

I have been trying to put into words for months about how society has been making me feel about my “situation”. I could not pinpoint it until I read a couple of articles from fellow bloggers. Then it hit me. It’s perfect. What I am experiencing from society and even close friends is called the “Fertility Privilege”. Privilege is any societal advantage you hold because your skin color, your gender, your sexual identity, your able-bodiedness, your age, your class, your education, your language, or your religion are accepted and prioritized by dominant culture. Privilege means that there are benefits you enjoy – whether consciously or unconsciously, and that part’s really important – because of something about you that society values more than something else. Frequently these are things you were born with, or into.

So, that’s privilege. Now let’s talk about fertility privilege. Breeder privilege? I-can-get-knocked-up-and-carry-a-baby-to-term-and-successfully-push-it-out-of-my-vagina privilege? Or possibly I-can-knock-up-others-so-that-they-carry-and-successfully-deliever privilege? I can only express to you what it feels like to not be privileged in any of these categories. All around us commercials are telling us you aren’t complete until you get married, get a dog, have a baby, and then another. A constant stream of babies smiling and pooping fill my Facebook feed every minute. Friends and family make me feel like I have to have children to complete my life with my significant other. That just being happy in my marriage with our dog isn’t enough. I don’t want a baby to complete my family. I feel complete now. I want children to add to our family. To add to the joy and happiness we already posses with each other. It feels like the norm and the end all be all to happiness and value is baring a child- unless you are incapable of doing so, then those thoughts are what preoccupy your mind for most of the day.

So why are we making it the norm to put infertility on the backburner as if it is not a privilege to be able to birth a child? Why do we act like infertility doesn’t really exist and someday, yes someday, don’t worry you too will have a baby and be “normal”. People are really insensitive. Think about it… if you even had a few friends on Facebook who were severely disabled by missing limbs, you might think twice before you posted daily pics of your arms and how awesome and full of love and mystery and delight they are. You wouldn’t consistently ask that friend with no legs, “Hey did your limb grow back yet? Did you go to that great place and get a mani/pedi?” You might think twice if someone important to you had recently lost a spouse and you really wanted to post all your wedding pictures. Now I am not saying women should not be able to celebrate their children or pregnancies on an open podium, but I am trying to bring to light how things like this never really occur to us when it comes to infertility because fertility is an unexamined privilege.

So what should we do with unexamined privilege? We should examine it, to start with. We should take a look at what we’re putting out in the world and think about how it might effect others– those small, unconscious acts of verbal violence that we deal out without meaning to that make other people feel invisible, invalid, inhuman. We should not examine it and then say, “I have examined my privilege! Now stop being all disenfranchised at me! It’s making me uncomfortable!” We should continue to approach people with humility, empathy, and the firm understanding that we do not know what their experience is, just because we once had a brief moment of the same experience or we know someone who did.

So lets make a pact. Maybe we can all be a little more sensitive, a little more understanding, a little more aware.

Source: schrodingerscatbox {Thanks for being amazing.}

 

 

Advertisements
Standard

3 thoughts on “I’m Still Human.

    • Oh good! And thanks! I can’t take full credit for the limb analogy- but it was too amazing not to use! I am glad I found you too 🙂 I am loving the growing community here!

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s