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“Won’t you feel alone when you get older?” they ask.
Jinan Deena’s previous work for Coming of Faith can be found here.
I don’t want kids.
Yup, you heard me. I, an adult woman in this society, do not want to have children. Not just now. Never.
I’ve been through this conversation with so many people. Ever since I was a teenager, marriage and children has always been a difficult subject to discuss. No, I don’t have any physical deformities or health issues, as everyone always assumes. I just personally do not want my own children. Sure, I’m happy to hold your child while you pay for something, or play with them for a few minutes when I visit you. I don’t hate children – I just don’t want any of my own.
Let me tell you why.
I feel that my life is meant for more than having children. And don’t get offended – I don’t mean your life isn’t worth much if you do have kids. However, for myself, I feel that I am meant to do more. I want to change the world, I want to help others. I have such a passion for humanity and changing all that is wrong in this world, and I want to be able to dedicate my time fully to that cause. Having children will force me to choose between the two.
I know I will not be able to balance my work and family. A woman always has to sacrifice part of her career or family life to give focus to one or the other. Maybe you can handle it, but I know that if I’m succeeding in my career, my family life will suffer. Same goes if I focus more on my family – my career will suffer.
Some call me selfish for not wanting kids. I think it’s selfish to have kids that you don’t really want, just so you can please society. And for those who tell me, “What if your future husband wants kids?” Well, it’s quite simple, actually. I won’t marry someone who does not have the same views that I do. The man who will be my partner for life must share the same vision and passion as I do for wanting to help those in need.
If my life turns out the way I hope it does, and I am doing the work I love, I will not feel alone. I will feel fulfilled and accomplished. I will have my sisters’ kids and my friends’ kids to visit. I will have my partner to spend my time with.
It is 100 percent okay for women to not want children. And that does not make us flawed or abnormal. Just because the majority of women in society want kids, it doesn’t mean that those of us who don’t want them are wrong.
You’re living your life the way you want without my interference, so why do you feel you have the right to tell me how to live mine? I don’t go around telling my friends to not have kids. Hey, if that’s what will make you happy, go ahead. I’m doing what will make me happy, too.
We need to stop assuming that all women will be mothers. Not only for those of us who choose not to have kids; but also for the ones who are unable to. It is a very sensitive subject to discuss, and for those who do want kids but cannot have any, talking about why someone does not have kids yet is a sore spot.
So be a little bit more respectful of all women who are childless, whether by choice or not.
–Jinan Deena is a Palestinian American who has used writing as a tool to express herself. Through her writing, she was allowed to create a safe space for expression and dialogue. You can find Jinan on Facebook, Instagram@jdeena and Twitter @j_deena.
Feminism needs its final wave after the previous three waves in the last 200 years. The final wave should be focused to transcend the gender and bring about a balance in the feminine and masculine principles of nature in the evolutionary cycle of humanity. Time has come for the rise of womanhood and the feminine for the creation of a matriarchal society which is based on creative and generative action. Such a society will be guided by the forces of love, compassion, nurturing and a unifying and inclusive model of growth as opposed to reductionism.
The feminist movement should now address issues which are broader and which cover the role of women in the society and the world in a holistic manner. It should now become a movement which is inclusive in nature and which should readdress the relationship between man and woman in every sphere of life. The feminist movement should ask questions regarding an alternative model of society where social and economic development takes into consideration the balance that has to be achieved with nature. Progress and development should not be at the cost of destruction of the nature or at the cost of marginalization and deprivation of certain sections of the society.
Women are still marginalized and exploited in many ways around the world and feminism should address these issues aggressively. The feminist movement should advocate and work for the breaking of glass ceiling for women in the existing social, economic, religious and political structures.
But more than that, the feminist movement should show a new path of creative, generative and constructive freedom. The new wave of the feminist movement should transcend the gender and should focus on creating new structures in the society whether it is in the social, economic, religious or political spheres of life. This can be achieved based on the practice of balance between the feminine and masculine principles of nature.
Such structures created should be path-breaking, innovative and revolutionary in nature and they should aim towards creation of a new order based on matriarchy. Here the structures created should usher in a new way of thinking and doing things and they should strive for the forward movement of humanity in a holistic manner. Therefore the final wave of the feminist movement should give birth to a new age where humanity progresses towards understanding and opening up of the many mysteries of nature.
To make a giant leap in this direction it is also important for us to understand what is feminism, what has been the history of the feminist movement, what is the definition of feminism as applicable in different parts of the world, how is religion and the feminist movement associated, what is the rationale of the feminist theory, feminist philosophy and feminist theology and how is the modern, liberal and global feminist movements taking shape?
An in-depth study of the above questions and a re-synthesis based on the practice of balance between the feminine and masculine forces of nature will give genesis to the final wave of feminism. The final wave will revolutionize human thinking and way of doing things.