When was the last time you asked your kinda distant cousin if she has an orgasm every time she sleeps with her husband? Or the other day when you were grabbing a coffee with your co-worker, did you question her about whether she likes to spit or swallow after oral sex?
Chances are, these aren’t questions you’re likely to be asking — not, necessarily, because you aren’t curious, but because you are clear on the fact that they are none of your damn business.
Yet, the eggs, ovaries, sex lives and menstrual cycles of married women or women over 35 seem to be open discussion. That is when everyone from the Facebook friend you haven’t seen since second grade to the person who does your mom’s nails feels free to look at you sympathetically and say, “Soooo….when are you going to have a baby?” Or, “You know, you’re not getting any younger. It gets harder to have a baby after 35. You need to get to it.”
Guess what? No woman who is not a mother got there by forgetting to have a baby the same way you neglect to pick up milk from the market. That woman has spent money and time on birth control, meaning she knows how babies work and how to have one or not. And after she got married or as she gets older, she has decided if she is going to keep using that birth control because she does not want to be a mother (her choice, not yours) or if she isn't ready. If she is ready, there are apps, doctors and sperm she is not asking you to help her procure that will facilitate her getting pregnant. Or maybe she can not get pregnant and this could be a painful topic she does not want to discuss.
So while Tyra Banks may go down in history for teaching us to smize, there is another, way more important lesson that she can impart: #StopAsking. It’s the hashtag she posted on Instagram, along with a lengthy message that said things like: “As women we shouldn’t feel ashamed or pressured to talk about plans for a family. But we shouldn't feel pressured to either…The questions hurt. Why? Because you never know what someone may be going through. So you know what? Let’s #StopAsking.”
Listen to Tyra. She dedicated a segment on her new show Fab Life to discussing her and co-host Chrissy Teigen’s fertility challenges. They didn’t get so personal to snag ratings, but so that other women would know they weren’t alone. They also brought it up to tell nosy people what it feels like to constantly be peppered with questions about your baby-making choices.
So, instead of asking a woman about her baby plans, ask yourself this: If she does, in fact, have a child, are you going to be there to take care of it, change diapers, stay up sleepless nights and give money for the next 18 years to the raising of this person? Probably not, right?
And that can only mean one thing: You are absolutely not a factor in any of this. Doesn’t it feel good to have your answer?
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