Microaggressions

“When are you going to have some kids? You know you’re not getting any younger.”  This is what a co-worker said to me after learning that someone we both know is expecting a child. What if I can’t have children? What if I don’t want children? Why don’t people think about that before speaking?


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March 31st, 2012 | Comments (6)

6 Responses to “”

  1. Donny D.:

    It’s amazing how many people have a brood sow mentality about women, and think it’s their business to say stuff like this to women, including those they don’t know all that well. From what I have heard, these kinds of remarks come particularly often from other women, though I could imagine something like this might be particularly unwelcome from a man.

    (I understand this is worse some places than others. This is the kind of thing that causes many women to leave the Midwest and move to the more liberal parts of the West Coast.)

  2. ZKR:

    For whatever its worth, this is also less common on the east coast of the US than how I’ve heard it can be in the Midwest. (I don’t have the experience to compare West coast vs East Coast, though). Here on the east coast, I do occasionally get asked if I/my partner/we have children, but usually it’s in a “getting to know you” context and NOT in the sense of “what’s wrong with you for not having children? doesn’t everyone want them”? kind of tone. And I’m 42, so I’m right about the age where many women have already had their children and are busy raising them.

    I have one cousin-in-law who apparently was in a Midwestern US town for a while and had people act surprised all the time that she wasn’t already married and starting to have children, as if there was something abnormal about not having done either by her age. She was only about 22 or so at this time and not ready for either marriage or children. So, yeah, she moved away from that town partly to get away from those assumptions.

  3. Feh:

    Must be nice to be so well-adjusted that this is annoying

  4. Jerin:

    One of my feminist friends and I discuss this all the time, especially since we both love children and will stop to say hi to them. Because you know – the only purpose women have is to have babies and we couldn’t possibly like children as much without wanting our own.

    In my personal experience, there are not more women making these comments than men.

  5. T2H2O:

    I believe it’s a fair question given the circumstances. A mutual friend just had a baby so it’s on everyone’s mind. Think about her situation too, maybe she’s excited for you and the mutual friend because SHE can’t have children. She then, lives vicariously through others. Don’t get offended, it’s just like asking if there will be a next season of her favorite T.V. show.

    • Kenocka:

      Person One’s got every right to be offended when the follow-up to the question, “When are you going to have some kids,” is, “You know you’re not getting any younger.” That seems to very simply imply that Person Two (who’s asking the question in the first place) thinks that Person One should have children, regardless of whether or not Person Two can or cannot have them themselves, because Person One is a female.

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