Saturday, August 1, 2009

Just Because I Don't, Doesn't Mean I Can't

Lately I've been pondering the instances where people assume that others can't do something just because they aren't doing it. Here's a few examples:

When a couple doesn't have children, traditionally they were believed to have a biological reason that they couldn't.

When people don't have sex, others assume they can't- whether they can't find a willing partner or they have some sort of sexual disfunction, etc.

When a person isn't in a romantic relationship (or married) over a long period of time, people assume they are embarrassed by their sexual orientation or unable to find anyone willing to partner with them.

When a person doesn't own a new car, large house, etc. others assume they aren't capable of obtaining such things. Others think either don't they have enough money or couldn't they get a job that earns them enough money to buy all of those things?

I think it's wrong to assume that people want OR SHOULD WANT these things. What makes society think it's okay to judge people this way?

It's okay to NOT want kids or a large house. As much as it's against my nature, I'll even admit that not wanting sex is okay.

I've seen people flabbergasted when they hear that a couple doesn't wank kids. I've seen utter disbelief and confusion when a person says they don't want a large house full of expensive furniture.

There is an increasing number of people making the decision not to have children. The few authors who have voiced this decision have been attacked as being unnatural, un-Christian, and immoral. That disturbs me.

Not only because I feel similarly, but also because society is pressuring against a choice that was just won in recent history. Am I the only one who remembers Women's Lib, the recent acceptance of birth control, and the highly contested right to an abortion. (That's right- I said abortion, instead of 'choice'- I'm a realist.) Women have the right to choose against children, marriage, huge mortgages, etc. So do men.

These choices are all closely tied to environmentalism. These against-the-grain choices all can have huge positive effects on the planet. Having children and building a home are the two biggest ways people negatively affect the environment. Perhaps we should be applauding people who stand up and make these changes.

I'm not arguing that everyone has to make these decisions - I'm arguing for the choice.

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