I just said I don’t want to be a mother
We all know the famous Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan assertion that women should have at least three children. He repeats this on some occasions. Most Turkish women have learned to undermine coercion about the matter.
Well in fact his insistence has a reason. According to a report by the Turkish Statistics Institute (TÜİK), Turkey’s fertility rate decreased to 2.14 children in 2015, from 2.18 children in 2014. It was 2.37 in 2001.
However, probably Erdoğan is incapable of understanding how sexist and discriminatory he sounds. On a recent occasion he yelled, “We will multiply our descendants. They talk about population planning, birth control. No Muslim family can have such an approach.” However, those quotes are mild compared to his latest description of childless women. “The fact that a woman is attached to her professional life should not prevent her from being a mother,” he suggested. Erdoğan has urged Turkish women to have at least three children, saying a woman’s life is “incomplete” if she fails to have offspring.
I could not help but tweet: “I do not want to be a mother. Is it compulsory? It is none of your business. It is nobody’s business.” Well the expected happened; I have been bombarded with tweets of all kind. Most told me that I should not be a mother anyway, while some wished my mother thought like me. Some just cursed, though some supported.
Do I care about the reaction I have been getting? Not at all.
One can call this outdated modernist feminism. But guys face the fact that urban talk about the “body clock” and the “unstoppable urge to have a child after 30\40 years old” are all rubbish. Some women like me never “crave!” to have infants. I don’t envy but pity women for walking around with their always yelling kids.
Mothers bringing their children to their workplaces do not look cool but rather banal to me. I do not find babies cute; I cannot bond with them. I am a healthy woman and this is the way I am. I know many women who, most are hesitant to confess this publicly, regret having a baby right after having one. I see fathers pushing strollers with hollow looking eyes like a dead person. I do not see the “family” as an institution of salvation but rather like a prison that hypnotizes you so you cannot escape.
I am sure there are women who feel satisfied with just being a mother. I do not know, maybe there are some guys who feel satisfied with just being a father. But not all women and men are the same. Some desire more. Not all women are created or rather cut out be mothers; this is not one woman’s sole function.
Women can produce art that will leave their mark on the earth. Women can be really good politicians and change the world. Women can be successful bureaucrats and manage institutions or even states, instead of just one lousy family. Some women do not want to spend nights rocking a cradle, days running after infants, years cooking for kids, etc. Some women can find all this stuff boring and unbearable and this is their right.
Thus, my friend, I say I do not want to be a mother. I refuse to be seen as an incubator. I believe I can do better than just being a mother of a family. I can produce better work for my own satisfaction and also for the public’s benefit. This is just the way some feel.