The problematic question women are asked WAY too much
As a woman progresses in her 20s and 30s, she will almost definitely be asked the question at least once. In fact, it’s likely that she’ll be asked the question more times than she can count.
The question: “When are you having kids?”
It may seem like an innocent and even conversational inquiry, but it can leave many women squirming in their seats for a multitude of reasons. That’s evident based on a Facebook post on the topic that has been going completely viral.
Last Sunday, Michigan-based freelance writer Emily Bingham shared a picture of an ultrasound. Of course, when you see a picture of an ultrasound on Facebook, you assume that it’s personal news someone is sharing with their friends — a pregnancy announcement, or an update on how far along they are. However, Emily’s was neither of these things; in fact, it was just a random ultrasound photo she found on Google.
“Now that I got your attention. . . this is just a friendly P.S.A. that people’s reproductive and procreative plans and decisions are none of your business,” she wrote. “NONE OF YOUR BUSINESS.”
She went on to explain that it doesn’t matter if you’re a well-intentioned family member, or a friend, or you just want your kids to have your grandchild. It doesn’t matter if you’re asking a couple who’s been married “for seemingly forever,” or a single 30-something woman, or a couple who already has a child. It’s still not an acceptable question for so many reasons:
Instead, ask them about their day, or talk to them about what they’re excited about, Emily continued. “If a person wants to let you in on something as personal as their plans to have or not have children, they will tell you,” she wrote. “If you’re curious, just sit back and wait and let them do so by their own choosing, if and when they are ready.”
The post has since been shared over 40,000 times, with dozens of people commenting in total agreement and appreciation. After all, so many women in their 20s and 30s have had to deal with the awkwardness of that question — Emily certainly included. “I had had dinner with some of my boyfriend’s family, and someone had made a joke about grandkids, pointed at me, and it wasn’t the first time I’d had somebody make a comment like that,” she told USA Today. “I’m 33. I’ve never been married. I’ve had people say things like, ‘You’re getting older, do you want to have kids? Your clock is ticking.’ I think I finally felt mad enough about it to say something.”
Another reason for her post was illuminated in the comment section, where Emily explained, “This rant was inspired in part by hearing from a friend who had to go through a stressful and heart-wrenching year of fertility treatments before conceiving her son, only to begin fielding ‘When’s baby No. 2 coming?!’ questions within a MONTH of his birth.”
We could not love this post more. Of course, much more often than not, asking about future kids is well-intentioned, but you never know what is going on in someone’s life, and it’s time somebody spoke out about how invasive this line of questioning can get. “It’s a sensitive topic,” she told USA Today. “People aren’t intending to be hurtful, but the questions can be insensitive and cause people grief.”
It’s time we stopped treating women’s personal lives—and especially their reproductive plans—as casual conversation. Of course that’s not to say we shouldn’t talk about these issues with each other, it just has to be approached in the right way, at the right time and with a heaping dose of sensitivity. And if you’re the person being asked a question you’re not comfortable with, it’s totally OK not to provide an answer. It’s your life, it’s your body and it’s your choice to share—or not share—what’s on your mind.
(Image via Facebook/FOX)