This Tedtalk by Christen Reighter is about women not having children and how bizarre it seems to a lot of people. She understood at a young age that her role in life was to have a baby, and to get married. But she knew she didn’t want that.
When she would respond to her relative’s comments on her not wanting to bare children, they would question her and say that she is selfish for abstaining from motherhood. No one explained to her all of the risk factors of having a child. The risk of passing on hereditary illness, danger of having to stop life-saving medication during pregnancy, over population, and access to recourses. If that wasn’t enough there is 415,000 children already in foster care for probably one of those reasons listed.
Many of these reasons helped her decide to be surgically sterilized. Christen began to do research on getting her tubes tide. She learned that she wasn’t alone. 1 in 5 women will not have a biological child by choice or by chance. Kristen stated that woman had reported “medical practitioners as condescending and dismissive of their motivations”. Many woman appeal to OB/GYN’s but were most often turned down for the procedure with disrespect. Doctors mainly said that they were too young, didn’t have enough children, or that they should get married before making this decision.
On Christen’s first dr. appointment she had dressed up in a professional manner and she had told the Doctor all of her credentials and all of her research so he could take her serious, but that was not the case. Instead, biased questions were thrown at her, it almost felt like she was being interrogated for a serious crime. The doctor wanted her to think about all of the future possibilities, basically trying to talk her out of it and trying to belittle her. “But what if you want a child 20 years from now?” Christen replied with, “Truth is, I only removed a single path to parenthood. I never needed biology to form a family anyway.”
She had went to the doctors for more information and support instead was insulted. She would soon have to be seen by 5 doctors before she got the approval for her surgery. Christen stayed persistent with her decision as she signed her consent papers. The doctor nodded his head as she signed the papers, saying, “You’ll change your mind”.
Christen didn’t realize how strongly society clings to this “woman will be mothers” roll. She was appalled by society not being able to distinguish her from being a woman and not a mother. A statement that stood out to me is when she said “Being a mother is the extension of womanhood not the definition. Woman have this amazing ability to create life. But when we say that that is her purpose, that says that her entire existence is a means to an end.” “I wanted woman to know that there absolutely is a choice behind maternity, and it is yours, and yours alone.”
Questions: 1. Do you think doctors should stop putting their own emotions into your life choices?