Life Without Baby

Filling the silence in the motherhood discussion

Do We Have a Responsibility to Reproduce? April 27, 2010

I’m sure if you’ve ever told anyone of your intentions regarding motherhood, you’ve heard a response something along the lines of: “Oh, but you’d be such a great mother,” or “The world needs people like you to reproduce.” It comes with the suggestion that if you’re intelligent, law-abiding, relatively sane, and wouldn’t be seen dead on Jerry Springer, you have some kind of obligation to society to contribute your genes to the world. But what is your obligation really?

As women of the 21st century, we still fight the battles our mothers and grandmothers fought. We may not be fighting for the right to vote or for women’s liberation, but we’re still fighting for equality in pay, for the right to marry who we want, and to have full control over what we do to our own bodies. And we still tussle with the wife/mother roles we’ve had passed down to us. Many of us still take on the majority of the household chores and make sure all the family birthday cards go out on time. And yet we’re striving to succeed on our own terms, trying to make a difference, and trying not to be labeled simply Wife/Mother/Grandmother.

But the fact remains that there can never really be equality in motherhood. Women bear children. We feed them. We are naturally the nurturers. Motherhood isn’t a task we can trade with a male partner: “I’ll install the new sprinkler system if you birth the babies.”

So as women, do we have a responsibility to reproduce? The world is overpopulated, polluted, and crowded, but if we all stop reproducing, the human race can’t go on? So what is our responsibility to the continuation of mankind. Tell us your thoughts on this subject.


2 Responses to “Do We Have a Responsibility to Reproduce?”

  1. Nyx Says:

    There are those who should have children and then there are those who shouldn’t have them, and then there are the other people who for what ever reason have chosen not to have them and the small number who can not have them and or have on top of that are pleased that they can’t have them.

    Regardless no women has the responsibility to carry on the blood line for future generations, by nature there will be those of us who wish to have children and who will reproduce, if its a limited gene pool there might be an issue, but as it currently stands that is not an issue.

    The earth can get along without more humans, we on the other hand can not get along without the earth.

  2. lmanterfield Says:

    Nyx, so true. And it’s going to be a long, long time before homo sapien makes it onto the Endangered Species list.

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