Saturday, April 14, 2007

Undergraduates in the School of Life? Ha!

Not all of them do it on purpose. Some really do take care not to step on our toes. Then there are those that can’t wait to use every single opportunity they get. But most of the time they can’t help it, it just happens.

It’s that old thing about Fertiles vs. Infertiles again. It will never end. But something has to be done to educate those imbeciles that keep on treating me like a dumb ass when it comes to children.

The fact that I couldn’t get pregnant again after failing to bring a pregnancy to fruition and become a parent did NOT affect my intelligence. There was nothing wrong with my brain to start with, thank you very much!

Fertiles have this (mostly inadvertent) condescending way of treating Infertiles as if they are not adult enough or even responsible enough to handle children. And it doesn’t stop at children. Some of them think that if you’re not a parent, you don’t know what it means to have responsibilities, and that you’re not quite as grown-up as those people having children.

I do agree that having children and being a parent (two different things mind you!) brings a whole new set of responsibilities to your life, but it’s so unfair to view anyone without children as lesser beings. They don’t say straight into your face that they think you’re incapable or irresponsible (read: not responsible enough) but you get the vibes.

Don’t you DARE say it’s my imagination and that I’m super-sensitive.

When we were little our own parents or teachers always had these arguments starting with: “One day when you’re all grown up with your own children and…” It’s a way of thinking that we’re taught from before we even know what’s important and what life is all about.

It’s an unconscious way of thinking and I’ve had enough of it.

You know what irks me even more? When I’m short-changed as a teacher because I don’t have children of my own. And believe me it happens! It doesn’t matter that I studied hard for 6 years, have 2 technical diplomas to show for those years AND graduated with honours on my final one. Oh no, I’m still not seen as understanding or capable enough because I'm childless.

They don’t say it like that, they don’t need to. It’s in everything they don’t say and don’t do. And then, in church, at social events or wherever, those sentences starting with: “Those of us with children would know…”.

THAT’S when I want to jump up screaming and start chewing the paint off the walls.

The problem with this you’re-still-an-undergraduate-because-you’re-not-a-parent attitude is that it’s very seldom in your face in such a way that it gives you the opportunity to set things straight. It’s mostly just innuendos. You can’t quite put your finger on it, and only when you look back, you see the evidence of another you’re-not-there-yet episode.

I’ll never be able to throw my cap into the air, shouting with joy on “graduating” in this way. But believe me, I’m going to do everything I can to educate the so-called graduates.

Parenthood does NOT equal wisdom.

Samual Smiles said: We learn wisdom from failure much more than from success. Boy oh boy, if that was all it took to have wisdom, we’d all be a bunch of Solomons by now, right!

A little tongue-in-da-cheek disclaimer: Don’t take the ranting above personally if you’re a Fertile. There are exceptions to every rule. Being Infertile doesn’t automatically bring wisdom, just like having children doesn’t make you a more responsible human being.


Pamela Jeanne said...

I'm very behind on visiting my favorite blogs so I'm starting where I left off. This post is so right on. It's as though the world classifies infertiles as overgrown kids since we never "graduated" to parents. It's a condescending attitude that comes especially with the phrase that really makes my blood boil, "As a mom..." As though any one who isn't a mom is somehow incapable of having a full range of emotions, or understanding about the innocence and vulnerability of children. I have a full post I'm going to dedicate to this topic sometime soon. I'm collecting examples (which aren't hard to find -- in fact they're too pervasive). Who among us would ever start a sentence, "As a human being..."

Ellen K. said...

Great post!

pluto said...

> Some of them think that if you’re not a parent, you’re not quite as grown-up as those people having children.

I know you're right in this, and it must piss you off so badly! Especially when you see every day how many of the terminally immature specimens of adulthood are also parents.

Inconceivable said...

KUDOS !! Can you have this printed as pamphlets. I'd like to pass them out