Motherhood and on women being gatekeepers for “culture”


The otherness

A friend and reader reminded me of this article on a writer and her husband who both decided against having children and it reminded me of a conversation I had with a workmate. (Back story: We work together for the same company not the same projects and stuff like that and we have only ever had conversations around the coffee machine and stuff like that.)

So she found out I am married (how little she knows me, anyhu!) and then asked when I got married and whether I have kids so I say, nah. I am only a newly wed. So she asks again, no kids at all. I was like no. So I am smiling but she has this look of utter disgust on her face and tells me how women that don’t have kids are impatient and so selfish she is looking at me like she can’t even believe she is having to interact with one. And suddenly, all her earlier thoughts of me were usurped by this knew knowledge.

My Aha! moment is the fact that either being married or being married in Africa has meant that so many women (strangers and known, alike) are so invested in my womb.

Always the question, when did you get married gets followed by, when is the baby coming with a pointed look at my stomach. Very intrusive. I cope by giving lengthy timelines, to saying never, to talking about how we shall adopt dogs and the like. But I do get taken aback at the fact that this is a very sensitive topic because couples can fail to conceive for numerous reasons but such flippant questions could be hurtful and emotional for some other folk. More than that, is the fact that the concern is only with me and they don’t grill men half as much.

child-laughter

In the words of Janelle Monae “get off my womb”urrggh!

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