Uncensored Feminista

Changing the world one letter at a time.

Glamorization of Marriage/Children

with 5 comments

I have a big problem with mainstream media, mainly in the sense that they are brainwashing women to want to marry and have children with the recent glamorization of weddings and pregnancy and the way they portray it as if it’s wrong not to want these things, or how they make you feel as if you’re a failure if you haven’t achieved these things by the time you’re a certain age, like you’re late 20’s.  It seems almost reminiscent with the 1950’s and how the women were considered spinsters if they hadn’t married by the time they were 23.

Let me start by saying I’m 31, and will soon be 32.  I was married and divorced two years later and have been living with my current boyfriend and his son for two years now.  It’s been wonderful!  We have your typical best friend/lovers type of relationship that a lot of people envy, and I personally have never been happier.  We live like we’re a family yet according to society and our laws, we’re not a family yet since we’re not married yet.  Yet, there’s been this uneasiness within me.

With the current glamorization of marriage I feel inadequate as a woman simply because I was divorced in my late 20’s and have not had children yet and am in my early 30’s, which is leading me down a cycle of depression, anxiety and an almost obsession with marriage and kids.  I know I shouldn’t pay any attention to the media (I should just turn the freaking T.V. off and read!) but it’s everywhere!  I can’t walk down the street and look at the newspaper racks because someone is talking about who’s pregnant, who’s engaged, who’s adopting, etc.  I go on the internet, and BLAMO!  There it is.  It’s as if there is this crazy obsession in the media with family and procreation and it’s creating a lot of uneasiness within me.  

So why don’t we simply get married?  Well, it’s not that easy, and frankly it’s a bit personal, but what it comes down to is that we’re simply not ready right now.  As for the kids portion, same thing, but why do I have to be made to feel as if I’m inadequate as a woman because I feel my children and my relationship will benefit if we were to just wait a little while longer?

I have to wonder though, is it just me or do other women feel the same way about this?  I’d love some input on this.

Edit:  This is a good reference to what I’m talking about.  

Advertisements

Written by Lissette

July 15, 2008 at 12:53 pm

5 Responses

Subscribe to comments with RSS.

  1. While I did marry young (and just 2.5 weeks ago), I never viewed marriage as an accomplishment. In fact, not even as icing on the cake. I consider finishing my M.A., landing a great job from 1,500 miles away, and moving cross-country to be accomplishments. Marriage? That wasn’t nearly as time-consuming or difficult. And honestly, it wasn’t “rewarding,” not in the way that finishing my M.A. was. Not that I don’t love my husband or anything. Being married is great. But it was never a goal in life.

    My husband and I are not going to have children. I’m incredibly conscious of the various pressures telling me to have children. But I don’t want to and I’m not going to. I don’t view children as an accomplishment any more than I view marriage as an accomplishment.

    It frustrates me that I have a great job, a nice apartment, an advanced degree, and there are people who go, “yes, but WHEN ARE YOU GOING TO HAVE BABIES?” Sorry, I have other things to do. Like do great things at the nonprofit I work for, write a book, and get certified as a yoga instructor.

    earlgreyrooibos

    July 15, 2008 at 2:41 pm

  2. People also seem to think that if you don’t want to have kids – and now, already! – that you don’t like kids. Why is that? I love kids (well, most of them), but still I don’t plan to have children any time soon.

    From the conviction that you don’t like kids, some people try to make you feel less ‘womanly’ because you don’t have the same sort of burning desire to have children that other women do. It’s insane.

    And then there is the concern that I might wait too long, and miss my chance, to which I reply that I could adopt. Not the same, I’m told – I should want to be pregnant…

    The myths about what being a good woman, or a good mother, go on and on. Why can’t we just except that women aren’t monolithic in their thinking – not even about motherhood?

    habladora

    July 15, 2008 at 4:03 pm

  3. Did you see this?

    http://www.npr.org/templates/story/story.php?storyId=92278298

    It’s about studies that show that parents are not necessarily happier than those of us without kids. In fact, kids (understandably) tend to cause a lot of stress.

    It also talks about parental depression, which is something we don’t talk about enough. What happens when women live their whole lives believing that having kids will bring them pure joy, and then reality hits and there’s more to it than joy. They feel guilty for admitting these other emotions besides joy.

    Noticed

    July 15, 2008 at 5:40 pm

  4. I love this article Noticed!!! Thanks for sharing it with me!! The part I particularly like is where they say:

    “Part of our cultural beliefs is that we derive all this joy from kids,” says Simon. “It’s really hard for people who don’t feel this to admit it.” Social pressures to view only the positive aspects of child rearing only make the problem worse, she says. “They’re afraid to admit it because it runs so counter to our cultural beliefs that children make you happy.”

    As a custodial stepmom, I could see how a mother becomes depressed about being a mother. Being a mom is not easy at all, and you constantly have this little person who is understandably self-centered and is needing you all the time, even during a time when what you really need is another understanding adult to hug you and talk you through a rough patch, yet the child is incapable of understanding that.

    I want a child of my own, and I think being a custodial stepmom has pushed this issue even more for me, which is a bit bizarre but it has. I think having to take care of another woman’s child has made me want one of my own pretty badly, but at the same time I’m terrified that once I do have a child of my own I’m going to regret the decision and then find myself depressed over my decision, regretful, and guilty over feeling these negative things.

    In a way I feel that way a lot now with my stepson. I love him immensely, but sometimes I wish he wasn’t around and I could have a normal conversation with my boyfriend without this little person trying to butt into a conversation that he’s really doesn’t understand in the first place, or being able to go to the movies on the fly on a real date with my boyfriend without have to inconvenience someone to babysit him, etc.

    But I wonder, where does my urgency to have children come from? Is it some kind of inert biological, “holy shit you’re running out of time hurry up!!!” thing, or is it caused more by the media and the community at large?

    Lissette

    July 15, 2008 at 6:51 pm

  5. Um yeah the Newsweek article basically said that having kids DOESN’T make you happier (duh) but that “parenting brings you joys that are unmeasurable.” Hmmm… not exactly a good case for breeding, in my opinion.

    Well, as a happily married and childfree 29-year-old, this is how I summed up my choice on Portland On Fire: “Are you sure you don’t want children? Well, it’s no fun to second-guess yourself all your life, so I have to say: Yes, pretty sure. I’ve heard all the arguments for it and have yet to hear one that tips the scales in favor of reproducing. I don’t mind being perceived as selfish or uncaring—I am selfish but my husband and dogs can vouch for the caring part. Basically, I only have so much time and energy and I prefer to spend it how I want to. Also, I like to sleep in.”

    April

    July 24, 2008 at 12:39 pm


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

%d bloggers like this: