In many ways the rhetoric behind discussions and debates over women’s ‘life choices’ remains a completely false one.
For most women the notion of ‘Choice’ has become analogous with the idea of choosing whether or not to become a working mother.
As the writer of this blog post from http://newsofthetimes.org/2012/05/29/why-cant-we-all-just-get-along-dividing-women-does-not-serve-anyone/ so eloquently states.
“I can’t help but feel that all of the seemingly fabricated conflicts trying to pit stay-at-home moms against working moms or against working women who are not mothers, feels like an intentional effort to divide women…The truth is that most women do not have a choice.”
Hidden within this context is a more insidious notion regarding the concept of choice that is still not openly being talked about.
Women, by their very biological makeup , have no choice but to be the gender that creates new life.
This is true in any and all circumstances regardless of relationship status, time frame, or socio-economic conditions.
There is simply no avoiding this factual observation.
Yet avoid it we do.
But what about contraception ?
I hear you say.
Doesn’t that now allow women to make the choice as to whether or not to become mothers?
No. What contraception allows many Western women to do is to ‘put off’ having children at a young age.
Contraception merely enables some women to (hopefully) make a willful choice concerning when and with whom they choose to have a child.
It does not however, in any way, shape or form, stop them from being women.
To me the notion that women now choose their own path based entirely on contraception is an incredibly hollow one.
Especially when you consider the consistently high rate of unplanned pregnancies still occurring in the Western world.
And that’s without even trying to take into account the millions of women living in third world conditions who have no access to the so-called contraception of ‘choice’.
So what is it that is wrong with the way society paints the picture of ‘choice’ for women ?
It avoids the very real truth that all women have no choice but to carry all the expectations, tags and labels that society heaps on them specifically because they are the gender that produces children.
And while as a society we verbally give voice to the sanctity of creating new life, in reality, we ignore the extremely limiting ‘life choices’ that biological inheritance still creates for women.
Yes I know the argument, women in the modern era can and do work, and that things are getting better.
But just what sort of better is it exactly?
Women are still being criticized for making their own genuine choices.
Perhaps now even more so than ever before.
Yes women are able to choose career’s but what’s the number one reason why career women loose they’re status?
What’s the number one reason why women who want to work often can’t?
The number one reason is still being the gender biologically charged with creating new life.
It seems to me that too often we are ignoring this one glaringly obvious and indisputable fact within our modern societies.
Yes men can and occasionally do choose to stay home and look after the children so the Mother can go back to work, but this idealized argument is so far from the norm as we know it, that house husbands are still being considered ( let’s face it), a rarity.
So women, in addition to always being the gender that creates new life, are also now routinely being both expected to, and criticized for, going/not going off to work.
Yet we all live in age where, regardless of gender, we are forced to deal with the reality of living in a capitalist world that requires everyone , to make their own way.
Increasingly it seems to me, that these days, women are simply being criticized for retaining their femaleness within a man’s world.
So with that idea in mind, we just might ask ourselves, what new biological of socially driven roles, are men being required to take on?
The world has not changed as much for them.
So the next time the issue of ‘women’s choice’ is being bandied around, you might just want to stop and consider just which socio-economic or biological choice is it exactly, that women are being critiqued for now.
Having children and working?
Having children and staying home?
Not having children and working?
Not having children at all?
Or for simply being a woman?
I mean really, when was the last the time you heard of a man’s ‘life choices’ being broken down and critiqued in such an unrealistic and entirely unforgiving way?
- Feminism. Ay or Nay? (eurekanaija.wordpress.com)
- Questions about owning our choices as women (dowhatuluv.wordpress.com)
- The Cost of Birth Control (everydayfamily.com)
- Can Women Have It All? (everydayfamily.com)
- ‘The Feminist Housewife’ Is Such Bullshit (jezebel.com)
- Why I need feminism (jmuwomensstudentcaucus.wordpress.com)
- Gender Selection. A Problem? (pj30blog.wordpress.com)
- Is This What It’s Come To? (1fleshoffranciscanuniversity.wordpress.com)