But What If You Change Your Mind?

For several years I have openly discussed wanting to get my tubes tied. The response I get most frequently sounds more or less like the title of this post. This answer comes from people my age as well as people much older (but almost always from women, out of some strange need to self-police their own gender) and I’ve always found it to be particularly offensive. Now, I think a great deal of that comes from the sense of having just been told by a cis person that my dysphoria is just going to magically evaporate one day and I will cease to find the idea of pregnancy and birth frightening and traumatic. That’s not going to happen. But I think its also important to point out that even if my desire to remain childless did not come from a place of dysphoria and gender variance it would still be perfectly fucking fine for me or any other person perceived as female (whether they identify as such or not) to not want kids. It is condescending as fuck to say things like, “Well, aren’t you a little young to know for sure?” or “But what if you change your mind?” No one fucking says that to a pregnant woman, or young women talking about there desire to be mothers.

There is an attitude surrounding motherhood and child rearing in our culture that stigmatizes female perceived people who want to remain childless; it’s perceived as “unnatural”. Hell, I’m still to young for any doctor in my state to give me a tubal ligation and even when I’m what they consider to be “old enough” I will probably still be required to seek counseling before I can get surgery.

The thing is, I see this same attitude directed at trans children when they come out at a young age (and to trans people in general when they try to access transition). People question supportive parents and families saying, “But what if the child changes their mind? How can they know for sure at that age?” This kind of attitude really irritates me not only because its patronizing as fuck, but also because people never ask these questions of others when they are making equally important decisions about their lives that are in line with the status quo, decisions they could just as easily regret. No one ever asks cis kids if they “know for sure” or “how they can know” at such a young age. You don’t have to go to counseling or consider the seriousness or your decision before you get pregnant. No one ever asks you if you’re sure you want to go through with your biological puberty. But for things like transition, homosexuality, abortion or selective sterilization there is a constant stream of “are you sure”s and “how do you know”s. Sometimes, when people ask me how I know, I just want to scream, “THE SAME FUCKING WAY YOU DO, ASSHOLE!”

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