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View Full Version : Pressure to breed from men.



Lágnætti
07-13-2010, 07:32 PM
Saw this article (http://community.livejournal.com/ontd_feminism/218396.html) over on LJ and thought it was somewhat relevant here.

The men featured mostly - not all, but mostly - make my skin crawl. Sizing up every woman as a potential brood mare? Check. Endless fertility checks, reducing sex to a clinical act? Check. Trying to pressure her to come off the pill and let 'fate decide' (huh, right, fate). Check. Not possibly believing your wife when she said she didn't want kids because all women change their minds when they meet the right dude, right? Check. Calling your wife selfish because she doesn't want to give up everything and produce your offspring on command? Inevitable.

I wonder quite how enthusiastic some of these idiots would be if they had to go through pregnancy, be the primary caregiver and sustain irrepairable damage to their careers? Not so much, I think.

ontheindianside
07-14-2010, 01:55 AM
Weird. I was thinking about this topic (kind of) this morning. I've always felt like my male friends cast more aspersions on, are more condescending about, and more often disbelieve my lack of desire for children. Most of my female friends - aside from the ones I call "uber-adults" because they're so bent on this notion of being married or in a serious relationship, responsible in this odd way I can't explain, and conventionally adult - don't question my motives or commitment; they at least understand. I mean, yes, many of my male friends share my feelings and/or don't think I'll "change my mind" or need to "meet the right guy" or whatever. But a lot of the guy friends with whom I've remained relatively close since high school and acquaintance-friend-y types just don't get it. And then there are the ones who have kids or get their girlfriends pregnant and just become DAD DAD DAD the way so many moms are.



This precisely why the "should we or shouldn't we discussion" must be broached before you get married - and that also includes the "what happens if someone changes their mind" conversation.


Totally. I've never gotten to the point where this conversation would be appropriate (though I did have a partner - a 22 year old junkie when I was 18, mind you - who really wanted to have kids and a little house with me, despite all the things that would have made that impossible and the fact that I knew I was getting out of that one at some point) because I'm relatively young and just not really the relationship type, but I don't think I'd get remotely serious with someone without having that conversation. I'd hate to get to the point where I really liked or actually loved someone and then figure out he wanted children.

Cuddlefish
07-14-2010, 02:06 AM
Um, you are simply "fated" to have a resentful wife who refuses to have sex with you because, NEWS FLASH, she doesn't fucking want to get pregnant right now! Also, a baby doesn't make anyone's world "complete". People think it will, but it never does. Completeness is an awful lot of pressure to put on a newborn. I have many friends who wanted babies to "complete" them, and a lot of those first time moms have had to give up friends, work, etc. to do it, and aren't feeling so complete at present.

I also really don't understand what is so wrong with waiting 5 or 6 years if that's what the woman wants. Or not having them at all. This precisely why the "should we or shouldn't we discussion" must be broached before you get married - and that also includes the "what happens if someone changes their mind" conversation.



;l ;l WHO DOES THAT?

This TOTALLY reminds me of Hari in the first season of Mistresses!!! He was like, "Are you ovulating, did you pick up folic acid, etc, etc."

Chalk
07-14-2010, 02:09 AM
If I'd have known Kate never wanted kids, I wouldn't have married her. I'd never met a woman who didn't want children, or if they said they didn't, I always assumed it was because they hadn't found the right man. I realise now this is naive. I just thought that maternal instinct was something all women have."

I know it's redundant to say this...but what an idiot.

sara
07-14-2010, 02:52 AM
^ My gf has a coworker who said that she'd want kids when she's older because all of his friends changed their minds when they got to be around 30. If I were her, I would've laughed in his face and called him an arse.
I hate when people think that woman=future mother, no matter what.

fox in socks
07-14-2010, 11:23 AM
luckily i dont get this from my friends--male or female, but ive seen it happen. in some ways i think its even worse than woman on woman bingoing.

i have a friend who was just about to finish the masters part of her phd trajectory when she got pregnant--partly because of her husbands desire to "have it all". now their kid has some medical issues that take up part of moms time. the parts she has when she isnt working on her dissertation or working part time. husband wants another kid because theyre "not getting any younger'. in fact he'd like 3. the other fact is that her life change drastically when she had kid one--medical issues or not, and his really didnt change more than 3-4 weeks when the kiddo was first born and they were shell-shocked parents.

this is my thing--if these guys were saying "im ready to give up my income, freedom, time, career, and social life for this baby" rather than "our spare room looks empty honey. we could be like the beckhams!" i might lend them more credit. but honestly, as things typically are, women are the ones to sacrifice more. i have further opinions on the impact of motherhood, pregnancy, etc on the way women are (still) viewed and treated in the workplace, but i'll save that for another day!

eta: those who say "i dont want to be an old dad/mom" make me insane. again, the logic behind having a kid and taking on a lifetime of responsibility even if youre not financially or emotionally ready because you dont want to be 40 with a newborn is just crazy.

sara
07-14-2010, 02:42 PM
eta: those who say "i dont want to be an old dad/mom" make me insane. again, the logic behind having a kid and taking on a lifetime of responsibility even if youre not financially or emotionally ready because you dont want to be 40 with a newborn is just crazy.

When my friend told me that he and his wife were expecting, I said "really? You never said anything about being ready for kids now". He replied with "well, Amanda is getting up there, so...yeah" (she was 28 at the time). I just kind of went "...um ok" and left it. I love him and his wife dearly, but I have a very strong feeling that she is one of those people who would say "I have to be married, own a house and have a child before 30". They got married in September, bought a house in January, and she was pregnant within 6 months of them moving in.

JayPeaches
07-14-2010, 04:15 PM
They got married in September, bought a house in January, and she was pregnant within 6 months of them moving in.
That's just ridiculous to me. You get married to be a COUPLE, not a threesome. Or a foursome. I understand that some people want to have kids and that's all fine and dandy...but I really think it's important to live as a couple for at least a few years.

T and I have been married for 7 years and were together for 5 years before that...and I'm lovin' it! He's not pressuring me to have kids, but he is like super-omg-ready, while I'm contemplating not having any at all. I said in the beginning (when we were dating/engaged) that I definitely wanted kids *eventually* and now I'm not so sure I want them at all. I got pregnant last year (oops) but ended up miscarrying. It was an eye-opener for me because when I found out I was pregnant, he was genuinely excited and emotional about it and I was all, "WTF?! I don't want to be pregnant! I don't want to have this baby! This is going to ruin my life!" Really it was then that I realized I might not want them at all, while it had the opposite effect on him. :(

sara
07-14-2010, 07:22 PM
^ They had been living together for years (at least 5) so it wasn't like a shotgun wedding or anything. I just found it bizarre that she was almost "too old" AT 28 to have a kid. I was like ...wut. Another friend of mine is saying the same thing about age. She's getting married in a few weeks and has said repeatedly that she's going to start trying for kids a few months before she's done school so she won't be "an old mom" (sidenote: she changed careers, went back to school, dropped 5 figures on an education for said career, and plans to not use it once she starts popping out kids. Is it me, or is that mental?)

JayPeaches
07-14-2010, 07:25 PM
People are having kids at 35 and up these days, how is 28 "too old?" It's not 1863, sheesh.

Lágnætti
07-14-2010, 07:48 PM
I think some people have a really odd idea of what 40 feels like in terms of energy levels etc. It's the same as 30 as long as you keep reasonably fit and healthy. People act like you reach some arbitary age milestone and crumble like a vampire in sunlight. Perhaps I should blame the media? Anyway, I have no idea what this fear of being an 'old mum' is about.

JayPeaches
07-14-2010, 07:52 PM
Not to mention, how many grandparents are raising their grandkids because their kids suck as parents? If a 60-year-old can do it, a 40-year-old can do it.

eurotrash
07-14-2010, 11:50 PM
I was with a guy for 6 years in my early twenties. He had a son, and at the time I wanted a kid someday (far down the line) but I always knew that if I had any, it would only be one. Singular. He knew that. Everyone knew that. Well known fact about Kristen.

It was only fairly recently that I realized I didn't want to be a parent at all. Even when I was considering it, EVERY single boyfriend I had (OK, that's 3) admitted at one point or another that they figured I'd change my mind if/when we got married. Admitted that they'd be able to pressure me once I had one. I was so shocked and hurt. I had been so careful my whole life to tell potential partners (even when it's way too early to talk about kids) that if they want a big family, they should move on. None of them did. Thank fucking god those relationships never worked out anyway.

I never considered any of those men to be controlling or condescending; it seemed so out of character that they would just assume that the big family would follow marriage, no matter how "unconventional" we were as a couple. Are men taught that there's some magic time where you settle down and automatically become an adult by following Lifescript(tm)?

fox in socks
07-25-2010, 08:11 PM
i guess i figured man-bingo was more of rarity but i guess not. as i have more friends who are currently pregnant or new moms or whatever, i have more people coming clean about how they really feel about motherhood. i had a recent conversation with a friend who's pregs telling me she never pictured herself as a mom, hasnt really enjoyed this pregnancy and is terrified what parenthood will do to her independence. so why is she a mom? her man "really wants a family". when they first dated they had the kid talk and both of them were on the fence about it. cut to years later when her husband gets the daddy desire and she feels she wants to put his desires above her own.

i know everyone says "talk about it before you get married", which is obviously smart advice, but people change their minds yeah? like "maybe" to "no" or "no" to 'yes yes yes". its a real bitch. relationships are cunty enough with people sometimes growing their own ways, but it got to be hard when someone or both change their mind. then i guess it comes down to the question "would you give up the person you KNOW you love, for someone/something you dont even know, but hope you'll love". for some people, two is enough. im sure many a breakup or divorce involves this issue. more than i probably ever thought.

it does make me sad for reluctant parents-mom or dad. im sure there would be some resentment along the line at some time. and like marriage, i can imagine parenting is cunty enough without that issue. but im guessing its more common than the bingoers would like you to believe.

Lágnætti
07-25-2010, 09:14 PM
cut to years later when her husband gets the daddy desire and she feels she wants to put his desires above her own.


I think this happens a hell of a lot more than people admit and I think it's the most self-negating and foolish thing for a woman to do to herself. It really is a horrible red flag for the future.

fox in socks
07-26-2010, 12:15 AM
indeed. i mean seriously on nights when your man is out or even just at work and your kid is being a total fucking nightmare (as they are wont to do) even that little flash of "fuck, this wasnt my wish, but it his" cant be all that healthy. but agreed helen, i think it happens a lot. a lot a lot. it just makes me sad when i see this woman, dead brilliant, dead ambitious, put her life on hold for something she never really wanted. i think id rather be alone than that, but you know, sometimes we're really good at lying to ourselves.

SweetPea
08-30-2010, 07:58 PM
This isn't exactly OT, but the husband decided to spring on me (last night as we were going to sleep) that he "thinks I would be a great Mom.." uh, thanks? So I of course ask him what brought that up and was there something he wanted to share with me? See, we had just gotten back from a birthday party for a dear friend and I spent some time with that friend's nieces and nephews (they love me for some reason... and they're generally well behaved little munkeys) and apparently this stirred something in the husband's loins... because this was not a fun conversation. I have ALWAYS been up front about my desire to NEVER have any crotch-spawn. I can deal with my friend's kids (when well behaved) but the thought of child-birth is the most disgusting thing I can think of and I know that raising a child would break my mind... ANYWAY, I always thought that the husband and I were on the same page! But he suddenly thinks he wants to be a dad (someday... we're in our early 30s) and wants me to "be open to the possibility"... uh, what. the. fuck... now I feel like shit and can't help but think that he wouldn't have married me if we had had this discussion before the wedding. *sigh*

He swears up and down that it changes nothing and that all he wants is me... but I can't shake this feeling of being "not what he wants" because I won't be popping out any babies for him.

fuck.

/rant

SweetPea
08-30-2010, 08:31 PM
Thanks, Kari, you are 100% right. I was pretty certain that we had this discussion before we got married and were totally on the same page... until last night... He says that he will be OK if we never have a kid and I really want to believe him. Right now my insecurities are getting the best of me. Especially since my depression/manic-ness has been on the rampage lately.

I'm sure this topic of discussion is not over just yet... as much as I would love for it to be... so I'm hoping that everything works itself out.

Octopussy
08-30-2010, 08:53 PM
I scrolled the front page really fast and thought this was about barebacking, in the LGBT forum.

SweetPea
09-03-2010, 10:16 PM
http://jezebel.com/5629485/what-can-be-done-about-reproductive-coercion

This just makes me sick. I will never understand people's desire to control another human's body/life. :mad:

Some of the comments make me sad.

I'm pretty sure I'm experiencing a mild version of this. Mr. Squid is violently opposed to abortion and we agreed that I would never abort any of our babies. This doesn't bother me because while I support keeping abortion legal, I would not choose that option for myself.

Two years ago, Mr. Squid became convinced that the pill is an abortifacient. I dug up all the proof I could that the pill prevents ovulation (aka no Death Star for the X Wings to attack). No matter how many studies I showed him, he's still convinced that the "hostile endometrium" theory checks out. I think it's complete shite.

I was on the pill because of how awful my cramps are when I go all-natural. He wanted me off. Lots of fights later, I went off the pill and suffered through my periods for almost two years just because he wanted me to. We used FAM/ condoms during this time.

About two months ago, I decided not to suffer anymore. I'm back on the pill and he doesn't know. I'm kind of scared of the fight we would get into if he found out. He's never been violent. But all the drama kills me.

Chalk
09-04-2010, 03:55 AM
^^ Now if she could find the balls to leave the husband.


I think it's sad thatdomestic abuse is such a non-issue in our society. People should know that coercion of having children is another way of controlling your partner.
There was a study here a couple of years ago about abusive relationship, and it was shocking the amount of young women, even in their teens, who said that they had been physical or verbally abused at least once.
We get sex ed and everything, but I think people should wake up and see that knowledge about domestic abuse for most people is very scarce. Specially young people who is in such situation but either don't realize it or doesn't know what to do.

Lágnætti
09-04-2010, 07:41 PM
Look, I don't have any tact left in me, so let me just express me astonishment and sympathy that you feel you have to live that way. To have to conceal something as vital to your health and wellbeing as contraception from someone who is meant to love and support you and to live in fear that he ever finds out because of the consequences ..... I don't know what to say. Stories like this just confirm my whole allergy to the concept of marriage though. If this is ok, or part of the much-vaunted 'compromise' of marriage, I want no part of it. I couldn't live a single day of my life telling myself someone loved me yet still being scared to death of them too and all over use of a perfectly legal and safe medication.

devnull
09-05-2010, 02:20 AM
Look, I don't have any tact left in me, so let me just express me astonishment and sympathy that you feel you have to live that way. To have to conceal something as vital to your health and wellbeing as contraception from someone who is meant to love and support you and to live in fear that he ever finds out because of the consequences ..... I don't know what to say.

This. But...


Stories like this just confirm my whole allergy to the concept of marriage though. If this is ok, or part of the much-vaunted 'compromise' of marriage, I want no part of it. I couldn't live a single day of my life telling myself someone loved me yet still being scared to death of them too and all over use of a perfectly legal and safe medication.
The problem is not with marriage or committed relationships, it's just a matter of people who make terrible choices. That woman probably has major issues and thinks she deserves no better than that control freak of a husband.

Steve SFM
09-05-2010, 03:31 AM
I'm not feeling particularly tactful at the moment, either.

Dump the sonofabitch.

Yesterday.

devnull
09-05-2010, 07:10 AM
Sweetpea is quoting a commenter on Jezebel.

Steve SFM
09-05-2010, 07:32 AM
I knew that! I knew that!

No, I didn't. Sorry, SweetPea. :o

SweetPea
09-05-2010, 09:51 AM
No worries. I should have made it a little clearer that it was a quote :)

Nancy
09-05-2010, 10:06 AM
This. But...

The problem is not with marriage or committed relationships, it's just a matter of people who make terrible choices. That woman probably has major issues and thinks she deserves no better than that control freak of a husband.

Exactly. Healthy people in relationships are allies, they don't lie to each other and try to sabotage each other.

fox in socks
09-05-2010, 12:12 PM
i had lulz at helens use of marriage "compromise", as it is frequently used, abstract language as it is, re: marriage. when i think compromise, i think "he wants to go to bermuda, i want to go to belize, barbados is a compromise".

obviously its not as trite as that, but when it comes to baby making, it seems that often like men get to exert their role as household leader or summat and the woman confides in her friends on jezebel or at starbucks that she wasnt really into it, but "it makes him happy/its what i should do"/etc.

I dont necessarily take everyone at word when they state their childfree stance, only because it IS such a hard decision and a real decision. some people are dead set, some people waver, but certainly a kid shouldnt be used as a compromise. its such an insane commitment and you'll probably end up hating the kid as much as you love him.

i can respect that people change their life-plans, change their thoughts, and even if you say no kids when youre 25 and thoughts change at 35, its understandable and happens as paths change, etc. a heavy discussion is sure to follow, but i often feel that if babies/no babies are a deal breaker, then a) something was not clear at the beginning (e.g. one partners undying resolve to be or not be a parent or b) maybe that relationship wasn't really so solid if that partner would desire the unknown over someone they apparently love and respect exponentially.

as for the blog commenter, she has more problems than baby or not. im sure if probed, she could give other examples of her husbands "influence".

Lágnætti
09-05-2010, 02:32 PM
Yeah, ok, can we use the quote function properly next time kthx?


Healthy people in relationships are allies, they don't lie to each other and try to sabotage each other.


This. But...

The problem is not with marriage or committed relationships, it's just a matter of people who make terrible choices. That woman probably has major issues and thinks she deserves no better than that control freak of a husband.

True, she likely does, but it's not exactly that uncommon for me to hear women talk about concealing endless shit from their wonderful husband in case he does ... oh, something but he's not violent, he might just be angry and that would be extremely bad for some reason. There does seem to be some built-in imbalance in a lot of hetero marriages in this regard, reflecting the general gender power imbalance in society in general. I dunno.


when it comes to baby making, it seems that often like men get to exert their role as household leader or summat and the woman confides in her friends on jezebel or at starbucks that she wasnt really into it, but "it makes him happy/its what i should do"/etc.

Hell, we've seen that on here over the years on more than one occasion. Like I said, concealing things (and buckling under social pressure to conform with the social structure of marriage) isn't that uncommon.

Frangipani
09-05-2010, 05:08 PM
Someone in my family married this guy who comes from an insanely wealthy family. Like ohoooooold money. I really feel like she was pressured into having a kid. She knew it's what the family expected her to do so she did it. We see them around the holidays and I visit every now and then and I know this guy is abusive towards my cousin. He pinches and pokes her when she says something wrong and its NOT cool. We don't know what he's doing to this kid and the whole thing is really scary.

There's also this whole other aspect that is more in line w/the thread topic about her assuming this identity she's been pressured into. Everything is super self righteous, organic, dolphin noises and natural because it's what her husband wants. She's basically assuming an identity he is financing. It's the strangest thing to see.

What also boggles is the fact they are trying to come from this high end organic-luxury-upkeep but it isnt translating into a healthy relationship between the couple or to the child.

sry lj/tmi

SweetPea
09-05-2010, 07:25 PM
Holy crap, SweetPea. I'm sorry. I thought you were talking about yourself. My apologies.

The first post from me was about me :) The second post, from Jezebel, was just a further instance of "check out this fucked up shit" but wasn't about me (although, I now realize that I failed at using the "quote" function for that comment from the site, oops). But I still appreciate your insight (and everyone else's, for that matter :) )

SweetPea
09-05-2010, 07:33 PM
I should note that my husband isn't all "have a baby or else"... he realized how much I really am set against the whole "kid" thing and we've talked about why and all that... I really think that he just gets all baby-eyed when he sees me with our friend's kids because I do love those little guys and so it comes through in my interactions with them. But he forgets that I can be that way with them because it's a short amount of time and I don't have to deal with poopies/puke/screaming/etc and I can send them to their parents if those things do happen. I'm not a total baby-hating person, I like seeing cute (well-behaved) children and interacting with them. HOWEVER, (and I've said this before) the thought of being pregnant (eww) and giving birth (gross) are so totally foreign and mind-numbingly terrifying that I could never even consider doing it myself.

Since he hasn't brought it up since we last talked about it... I think we're good. And he knows that bringing it up again will result in a one-way ticket to marriage counseling town. So, we're ok.

Charles
09-08-2010, 09:18 PM
Um, you are simply "fated" to have a resentful wife who refuses to have sex with you because, NEWS FLASH, she doesn't fucking want to get pregnant right now! Also, a baby doesn't make anyone's world "complete". People think it will, but it never does. Completeness is an awful lot of pressure to put on a newborn. I have many friends who wanted babies to "complete" them, and a lot of those first time moms have had to give up friends, work, etc. to do it, and aren't feeling so complete at present.



Just wanted to comment on this. Amy (the ex) and I had differing ideas about kids. She wanted more as she felt it was her destiny to be a mom...to complete her life. Flash forward 10 years and she calls me on book club night, tipsy, whining about how her life is lacking, no job (well technically she does payroll for a company about 3 hours a week), just kids (2 plus Tristan) and a husband..how she has zero intellectual stimulation. Def not saying that's the way all women like that are, but it's def a possibility.