I am writing this because I have had enough. A story recently made headlines detailing a shiny new ‘perk’ provided by Apple and Facebook. This shiny, innovative perk is that Apple and Facebook will now contribute up to twenty thousand dollars to cover the costs for their female employees to have their eggs frozen. Presumably so that they don’t ‘waste’ their time and talents on pregnancy and children. I have one thing to say to you society who thinks this is an excellent idea… I am so done apologising for my fertility and I am so done with this stupidly schizophrenic attitude to women having babies. In fact…
How dare you make me feel guilty about my body. Fertility is AMAZING. Women can make an entire, new human being in their body. Let’s see you try and do that Zuckerberg. You can make some revolutionary media product but it would be nothing but for the MILLIONS of women who created the people to populate the damn thing and make you squillions in the process.
I’m going to take aim at you, old-school 70s feminism and you too Margret Sanger, Marie Stopes and all those other birth control people. YOU HAVE CREATED THIS WHOLE MESS BY TURNING WOMEN’S FERTILITY TO BE A BURDENSOME DISEASE THAT NEEDS TO BE MEDICATED. ALL IN THE NAME OF WHAT? Liberation? Freedom?
Tell me, exactly what is ‘freeing’ about having to take a pill everyday even though I am perfectly healthy? Diabetics are not free. HIV positive people are not free. People with high blood pressure aren’t free either. PEOPLE WHO TAKE MEDICATION ARE NOT FREE. They are dependant on medicine to stay healthy and to stay alive. Yet why are millions of healthy women around the world on medication? BECAUSE THEY ARE FERTILE. OH THE HORROR!
Children are so gross and annoying. Women could be doing so much better than sitting at home and caring and nurturing the next generation. Women could be doing real world changing things like being CEOs and politicians and doctors and lawyers etc. Oh right, because creating, giving birth and raising A NEW, UNREPEATABLE HUMAN BEING IS NOT WORLD CHANGING… Not even a little bit.
Don’t get me wrong. I have no issues with women being any of those things. In fact I am grateful for the women who fought to ensure that I have the opportunities I have now. In the process however, they have insisted that women are just like men and can do everything men can do and in order to do it, we have to medicate the reason that makes us different out of existence until we are ‘established’ and ‘productive’. Then we can take a couple of years off to ‘do the necessaries’ and then get back to ‘productivity’ as quickly as possible.
Since when did women have to earn the right to have children? I see this story, and all I hear is ‘Dear women, if you want to work for us, your fertility is annoying and in the way. WE want the best years from you so we’re gonna reschedule nature so that you can be productive for us first and then we can wear the cost of you taking maternity leave and flexi-time etc.. Oh look, none of your frozen eggs survived? What a shame, at least you’ll still have a meaningful, productive life working for us.’
You know what?
I am so done. MY FERTILITY IS NOT A DISEASE! IT IS NOT AN INCONVENIENCE.
IT IS ME.
Yes, it’s messy. Yes, it makes me cry sometimes. Yes, it has a narrow window of opportunity. So why do I have to work men’s career timetable? Why can’t I work with MY BODY in the way that nature intended it to?
I’ll tell you why. Because there is this attitude that women who have children and (God forbid) stay at home to raise those children also start taking stupid potion every morning and continue to do so. Why bother going to university, heck educating women at all if all your going to do is be a stay-at-home mum? Because it’s not hard or intellectually challenging to stay at home all day and play with children.
Seriously? If this is all Feminism has to offer, I’m done. I’m not going to be part of a movement that tells me the very thing that defines me as a woman is useless and unworkable. Do you want to do something truly revolutionary Zuckerberg and Cook? I can guarantee it will be cheaper too. How about you make your entire workplaces flexible? How about you actively support the women in your workplace AND their fertility? How about you work with nature instead of against it? How about you make life easier for women who have been out of the workforce get back into it WHEN THEY ARE READY? How about you stop looking down your man noses at my fertility?
Let’s face it, you need people to buy your stuff. You’re not going to get more people by locking women into a physically unworkable system. What are you going to do when all those women who bought into your little scheme find that the dangerous process of egg harvesting makes them sick or renders them infertile anyway? What are you going to do when, despite all the technology and effort, all those eggs don’t make it? Who do you think they are going to hold responsible for their infertility and their heartache? Why not create a system that does justice to women and their fertility as nature intended it to be? Why is that so damn hard?
A young woman who is sick of this crap