The great thing about Twitter is that it’s like being that guy in Starbucks who’s struggling to write a screenplay on his Macbook. The abstract variety of dialogue that surrounds him is motivation to write lively dialogue. I quietly observed the public discourse that took place on Mother’s Day of all days; the perception of a woman who chooses not to have children. For many women, being a walking incubator fresh out of college just isn’t on their to-do list. Sure, we live in a country that’s pro-choice. But we also live in a country that has loftily benefited from the feminist movement. That is to say, women are making decisions for themselves that can adversely affect their male partners.
In an article from Daily Mail (across the pond in the UK), male childlessness is observed through the eyes of a 40 something year old couple. A recent study there revealed that 43% of university-educated women born between 1965 and 1978 are childless, regarding freedom and their careers are reasons why. I couldn’t find an equally definitive study here, but I would imagine it’s much lower; perhaps in the 30% range.
The couple who is the subject of the op/ed, Philip and Sophie, went through the initial rudimentary conversation about children. Sophie explicitly expressed she didn’t want children at that time or any other time. She had no interest in motherhood. Philip was initially okay with the knee-jerk response. Like most guys, we ask these type of questions as more or less a barometer of what the future may entail; we stick a pin in it and mosey on along through relationship bliss with blinders.
Eventually the time came when the desire to have children was an immediate goal for Philip. Yet Sophie’s choice still had not changed. They even fell into the pendulum that newly married couples do. He thought she’d change. He thought he’d be the 1 to spark that change. The banal irony is the traits that made Philip adore Sophie so much became turn-offs; qualities that brought about resentment and frustration.
As a guy, I’ve always recommended asking questions and analyzing the responses at their face value as soon as you know you can see that woman in your future long term. Our own narcissism often sways us to believe that we have some control over the outcomes and direction of a partner’s thinking. We tell ourselves “I’m not like the rest, so this’ll be different.” For example, in the beginning, a woman may tell her boyfriend of 3 years that she’ll never move from her hometown. She went to college a short 90 minutes away from home, all her friends are there, and it’s where she plans to grow old. The 2 of get married and settle down in the quaint suburbs that she wish she could of grown up in. The day comes where her now-husband think to himself, “I got a promotion with more money and better benefits, but we have to move. It’s a great opportunity for me and we’re married now, so she won’t say no”. Until she does. He now has to decide whether to take that promotion he’s worked hard for or to stay behind to be mediocre for the sake of true love.
The propensity to strive to be top earners in their fields correlates with womens’ decreased interest in rearing children. Within the feminist movement is an interesting dichotomy that may seem like the antithesis of a woman’s role in social design. Since the dawn of civilization, men were the hunters and gatherers while women managed the home/hut/cave. Because of that, a majority of men have been conditioned to assume that any woman that chooses not to have children is either selfish or something’s wrong with her. I vehemently disagree with that. Parenthood is a blessing, but it’s also a choice that should be agreed upon by both parties. If you know you want children, regardless of what age you want to start having them, find an equally yoked woman with a healthy reproductive system.
Having children is an ambition that should be communicated even before you pop the big question. And if a woman says no, it’s a 98% chance that she genuinely means no. When love and feelings take hold, is it fair for a woman to make a guy choose between loving her and having the opportunity to occupy a womb? Nah. But that’s evolution for you.