Stigma

Stigma

A woman (and, to a lesser degree, a man) or a couple without children are always regarded as an anomaly; they generate conflict. Of all the outlandish things… not having kids and daring to defy the social norm?! These individuals find themselves having to constantly explain why they don’t have children, although no one would ever ask a mother why she does have them (and demand valid reasons as response), even if she happens to be the most infantile and irresponsible woman ever. On the other hand, a woman who is voluntarily non-reproductive has little chance of escaping the lamentations of her parents (she is denying them the chance to be grandparents), the incomprehension of her friends (who want her to do the same thing they did) and the hostility of society and the State – natural proponents of procreation, by definition – that have many very subtle ways to make you pay for not having fulfilled your duty. It requires an iron will and a lot of character to laugh in the face of all this pressure and, moreover, to bear a certain degree of stigmatization.

Translated from: ELISABETH BADINTER. La mujer y la madre. Publisher: La esfera de los libros, 22.

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