Social pressure

  • The best thing in life

    There are lots of people who genuinely believe that the best thing that has ever happened to them was having a child, but I am also under the impression that there are many who have had children without planning to, or with some misgivings, who have to convince themselves that the best thing ever was to have kids. Why is it so imperative that having children be viewed as the greatest experience ever? Many women dare to admit that raising children was unexpectedly hard, traumatic or difficult and that it required them to make many personal sacrifices. While conducting my research, I was surprised to discover just how many women stated that they wished someone had forewarned them about what being a mother would imply.

    Interview with Lina Meruane in By Jaled Abdelrahim.

    ecografia-2d (2)

  • NOMO women

    Several friends of mine are Nomo Women.

    Their number has increased over the years.

    I’ve lived with one for nearly twenty.

    I’ve had many conversations with them, and I must say that the more I listen to their viewpoint and absorb their vision of life (as much as the limitations that come from being a man allow me to), the more I admire them.

    I’m talking about women who’ve decided to not have children.

    The deep sympathy that I have for NOMO women—as the label, in these times of compulsive labeling, designates them with the English abbreviation of No Mother—does not stem from some shrouded contempt of motherhood. Nothing of the kind. I have been first-hand witness to beautiful examples of mothers who wanted to be just that, and were ideally so. I have known mothers who have fought against hell and high water to have a child; others who have overcome financial hardship in order to find a way to provide for their child, and still others who, admirably, wished to be mothers and set out on the happy quest to find a biological father without it being a concern that he would be a means of financial support for that child thereafter.

    But I must add that these women, who have weighed and measured their options with detail and a deep sense of responsibility, are a stark minority.

    The majority of the women that I know become mothers out of a certain inertia, which stems from social mechanics and, over the years, boils down to some type of imperative: if you’re female, you grow up, you get married, and you have children.

    And I don’t mean that they head towards motherhood as though they were heading towards the scaffold. Of course not. But in many cases their decision has an air of unconsciousness that’s frightening. And that’s just what I’m referring to. Conscientious motherhood. A thorough understanding of what being a mother means to the mother herself and to society. To be stow oneself the right that, for the first time in history, a woman has: to ask herself whether or not she really wants to have a child.

    And that’s why I am an ardent admirer of women who decide not to reproduce.



  • When are you going to get to it?

    How about you? When are you going to get to it? The clock is ticking. Don’t you like children? You’re missing out on the best thing in life…’ The chain of questions and comments that women have to listen to when they say they don’t want children is nearly always the same broken record. And what is more, they are often required to offer their excuses when they announce the (still) controversial decision they’ve made. The Spanish actress, Maribel Verdú (1970), declared some five years ago that she had no intentions of ever having children, and she’s been asked why not in many interview since then. Sociologists and psychologists who are experts in the field admit that there is social pressure for women to choose motherhood, but not necessarily for men to choose fatherhood. However, given the decline in birthrate and the results of several studies on the subject, an increasing number of women renounce having children.

    The British journalist and writer, Helen Croydon, affirms that she feels like she’s in ‘a big trial’ when she states in articles and conferences that she doesn´t want children. “However, when a man says that he doesn’t wish to be a father, it’s acceptable; one assumes that he wants to advance in his career or has simply not found the right woman to have a family with’, she postulates. With women, she says, ‘people expect an explanation.’