A feminist perspective on having kids in today’s world
In the wake of this year, if you are feeling terrified about the prospect of bringing kids into this world - I get it. I’ve had an eye-opening year myself. Yet, 2016 wasn’t the worst year ever for me. I found my voice and solidarity with myself, my life goals, and what I need to truly be happy more this year than any before. For that, I am thankful and a bit exhausted because self-discovery is challenging and being honest with yourself about yourself can be brutal. While I won’t say 2016 was the worst year ever, because for me, it wasn’t, I will agree that 2016 left me shook, shocked, wondering, and feeling hesitant about the future.
I’ve heard more women than ever speak against having children because the state of our world. And, I get it.
I was already at the end of my rope when I landed at Trump’s win of the 2016 Presidential election. I was already appalled that in 2016 we were still fighting for people of color and women to be considered, treated, and protected as humans with equal rights.
My heart bled this past year. It bled for unarmed men and women brutalized at the hands of our law enforcement. It bled for the women who suffered another year at the hands of unpunished rapists and misogynists, as we continued to try and carve a place for ourselves in a world that doesn’t want us to rise. It bled for the citizens like me, watching these stories and desperate to help.
And then Trump won the election. It flattened me. I didn’t sleep that night. I didn’t sleep more than an hour or so at a time for over a week. With that single announcement, Trump was the President-elect and this world felt scarier than it had before. Not because I thought Trump was going to bust through my apartment door and grab me by the pussy. Realistically, I will never be in the same room as Trump (thankful for that). But, because he had given permission to people looking to act on their hatred. As a woman of color, I was nervous walking down the streets of New York to make my morning commute. I wasn’t sure what could happen to me. Who would protect me? Who would advocate for me?
As the days post-Trump went on, I noticed something. More and more people were stepping up to help. Offering to protect others. People like to make fun of the safety pin movement, but that was a beacon of hope for me.
To me, that said that I don’t care what our government ignores, as a citizen who allows this government to exist, I will protect the oppressed. I will stand against hate, and I can be counted on in your time of need.
The people have always been more powerful than the government. In modern times, we haven’t had to be. In the U.S. we live moderately happy and free lives, and this is enough to keep up quietly at our homes and jobs without protest and without revolt - this year is changing that.
From one educated woman to another, please keep having children.
If you simply don’t want children, I respect that.
We do not need more women forced to be mothers and we don’t need more children growing up feeling unloved. If you don’t want kids, don’t have them.
If you aren’t ready to put another human’s wellness before your own, don’t have kids.
However, if you are deciding not to have children because of the condition our world is in, I encourage you to reconsider.
We need more good people to make more good people.
I promise that you are smart enough, you are brave enough, and, very honestly, we need you.
I promise you that we can raise happy, healthy, good humans.