A Modern Ye Love Story: We’re Still Saying “Out of Wedlock”?

Do you guys know what year it is? Just checking, because sometimes I write the wrong year still and my boss is like, “Jess, it has not been 2011 for almost an entire year, so can you pay attention when you are recording our money in the bank book?” Ugh, fine, I just lose track sometimes, you know? You know when childhood felt like yesterday, but it was really 15 years ago? You know when someone says something like Jurassic Park 3D is coming out to celebrate its 20th anniversary, and you’re thinking, “Nah, that isn’t true because I saw that movie three times in the theatre when I was…oh.” Or you know when someone is like, “Kim Kardashian doesn’t deserve to be pregnant, what about her sister who is actually married?” and you think…wait, what year is it?

Let’s take it from the top.

In case you don’t have a Twitter, Facebook account or, you know, the Internet and missed this groundbreaking news, Kim Kardashian, the star of Keeping Up With the Kardashians, and her rap artist superstar boyfriend Kanye West announced tonight that they are expecting their first child together.

In my/our defense about celebrity gossip, etcetera: we all have our guilty pleasures, this we know is true. Sometimes, as human beings, we become overly interested in lives that are so unlike our own that we cannot help but dive in and observe, mindlessly. When certain celebrities are living their lives particularly for us to be there with them–like with a “reality show” called Keeping Up With the Kardashians and the other Kardashian spinoff shows–it is not the most ridiculous notion to maintain an interest in other people’s lives. Escapism comes in many forms. Sure, it is probably a lot more appropriate to lose yourself in the depths of a novel written by John Steinbeck or Mark Twain, but Kim Kardashian is about as fictional as Tom Joad, am I right?

As we already know, we love trainwrecks. Though I personally believe in my heart and soul that Kanye West is a phenomenal musician with an intelligence and edge that I truly appreciate, I will also give it up for his outbursts and humble myself in admitting that he is quite the character. As for Miss Kardashian, well. She is fun to watch for all the reasons that you like mocking your least favorite coworkers over a happy hour margarita the size of your head. But I do genuinely believe she loves her family, and I think that is pretty darn sweet.

Now that we got all of that out of the way, no matter how you feel about West or Kardashian respectively, I noticed something among the swarm of news sources, entertainment websites, facebook statuses and tweets dedicated to what we, as a society, have dubbed #kimyebaby or #yebaby for short.

Kardashian and West are not legally bound to one another. This was the last thing I thought of; in fact, I still do not think much of it, for it is the year 2013. Women have the freedom to decide whether or not they want to marry, whether or not they want to have children, whether or not they want to have the father of their child present in their baby’s life. Call me crazy (and I am so certain some of you will), but I can guarantee you that a child born out of wedlock is born with the same chance to survive–even to excel–in life that a child born to a married couple has.

I was born to a married couple. Shortly after I was born, my dad’s severe addiction got the best of him and he decided to be an alcoholic, not a father. My mother worked three jobs, struggling constantly to raise four children entirely on her own. She now boasts when she speaks of her daughter, her only girl, the one who helped raise the younger kids, who put herself through college, who now uses her voice for good and for good ol’ fun. I am a wise young woman, born to two people with a signed marriage certificate.

My littlest brother was born out of wedlock. His father also suffered severely from addiction issues, unfortunately succumbing to them and passing away when my baby brother was too young to lose a parent. At 18 years old, Levi is smarter than I am. He debates more thoroughly than I do. He has opinions stronger and deeper than I have. He taught himself how to read music and play the guitar and he is now a key member to an up and coming band that I believe will go places. If not all of them, Levi will.

The only difference between the two of us is the fact that Levi has an insane amount of talent (he also draws, reads quickly, can spell any word you throw at him, has perfect grammar/punctuation and has a biting wit), whereas his older, born-into-wedlock sister has very little. I am not being modest. Trust me, I’m a regular Kanye West. I am being honest.

Me: born to married parents, grew up without a father.
Brother: born to unmarried parents, grew up with a father, for at least some of his life.

There are thousands of scenarios. Some kids were born to married parents that divorced when they were ten and left them torn and confused for the rest of forever. Some people were born to married parents who loved each other and stayed together forever. Some people were born to unmarried people who loved each other and stayed together forever. I could go on forever.

So what does the legal act of marriage have to do with it? Absolutely, I believe that a child can truly benefit from having two parents that love each other in his or her life, but again, I must ask: what does marriage have to do with it? We have plenty of couples that are still not legally able to marry throughout most of our country, and I guarantee their children will differ in no way than a heterosexual married couple’s children.

Marriage is an agreement solidified by the law, and nothing more. You can love without a legal contract, and in fact, I kinda think you should.

You can raise a child without a legal contract, and plenty of people do. Judge Kardashian and West for being the utmost lavish people you can think of, but do not judge them for deciding to have a child together without a marriage license.

In fact, let us rid of the word “wedlock” altogether. It leaves a creepy taste in my mouth.

Congratulations to Kardashian and West! Please consider either naming the child after yours truly, or at least think of me when you need someone to nanny your babe. Or shine her diamond rattles or something.

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