Letters to a Natalist World: No, I don’t have sympathy for the infertile.

Dear Natalist World,

Guys, I need to rant. A friend of mine wrote a post on FaceBook complaining about something unrelated to my rant, but did so while making a comparison along the lines of: “If you were childfree, you wouldn’t tell an infertile person that you envy them.

I commented that yes, I actually would say that. Getting fixed wasn’t easy. In fact, it’s extremely difficult to accomplish. Society and the medical establishment at large like to throw up all kind of barriers to permanent sterilization (hell, even just temporary birth control. )I WISH I was naturally infertile. And I’m betting she wouldn’t have had a problem with infertile people have no problem saying that they envy the fertile (CF or not.)

Am I the only one who has no patience for infertility whining? These people aren’t martyrs or victims or anything of the sort. It’s not like anyone needs kids. I mean, what’s the worst real affect of not having kids? No macaroni pictures? Too much money to spend? OH, boo-fuckity-hoo. You know, if someone really wants kids, they could still adopt. What does that tell you if they won’t?

People like to get all dramatic and say that these people are “suffering.” No, no they’re fucking not. People which chronic pain are suffering. People who are starving are suffering. Not getting some petty want in NOT suffering. Who would say that I’m suffering because I can’t have a Ferrari? (at least transportation is actually a practical need.

The way I see it, anyone who bitches about being infertile has some serious growing up to do. They remind me of toddlers throwing tantrums in stores because mommy won’t buy cookies. Seriously, it’s more than just the infertility that I envy. It’s the ease of existence someone would have to have to complain about it. If not being able to breed is really all someone has to complain about in life, then I’d envy them for having no real problems.

And anyone who actually gives these people undeserved sympathy is feeding into the drama. You’re not helping. In fact, you’re making it worse. Stop feeling sorry for people who aren’t actually suffering and maybe they’ll stop feeling sorry for themselves and maybe even realize breeding is not actually as big a deal as our natalism-obsessed culture likes to pretend. Maybe if you stopped pretending that there was anything wrong with being infertile  infertile people wouldn’t get so dramatic about it.

I would say this whether I was CF or not, but apparently, saying this while CF makes me the devil.

Posted on 2013/02/03, in childfree, Diary and tagged . Bookmark the permalink. 10 Comments.

  1. The same people who complain about these kinds of things are the people who try to talk someone out of an abortion because “there are a lot of people who would take the baby (sic).” (Sic because it’s a fetus, not a baby, but that’s never what they say). The same people who look at adoption like there is a shortage of children, when what they really mean is a shortage of “white able-bodied newborns from decent backgrounds who have no other special needs.” These are the same people who are opposed to abortion because they can’t have children, so everyone who can is personally offending them by attempting to choose something other than parenthood. And as someone who is trying to obtain a tubal ligation, I do fantasize about discovering I’m infertile. Hell, I’ve fantasized about have ovarian cysts rupture and damage everything so badly I can’t have children, and I’ve fantasized about having a non-cancerous tumor in that region so that everything can be removed (though I would have sympathy for people in those situations, because it is physically painful to go through, and I wouldn’t say that I envy them, just that I’ve thought about it happening so that I don’t have to go through the constant fight of trying to convince the doctor that I really mean it when I say I never ever want children).

    • I have been thinking about this and I realize that I actually do feel sympathy for the infertile, but not the sympathy they want. I don’t feel sorry that they can’t have children, but I do feel sorry that they live in a world where that is treated as a tragedy rather than a minor disappointment. I feel sorry that they feel that their worth is tied up with the ability to have children. I feel sorry that society doesn’t just allow them to wallow in their grief because they cannot have children, but basically demonizes anyone who discovers they are infertile and doesn’t wallow. I feel sorry that we still view adoption as second rate parenthood and so people spend tens of thousands of dollars on IVF for years until they realize that they are too old to be parents when they could have given homes to children who need it all along. I’m sorry that when someone says “I want children of my own or (worse yet) REAL children,” (and I really really secretly hate anyone who says that) we are expected to be understanding and not upset that they have such attitudes toward adoption. So yes, I feel sorry for people who are infertile, but not in the way they would ever want.

      • Julie Was Here

        You know what? You’re absolutely right. That’s for the well thought out comment. It really is a shame that we live in a world that values people based on breeding ability. It hurts everyone.

  2. I have to admit I’m still hoping menopause kicks in early. It would save me the hassle of trying to find a doctor that’s willing to sterilize me (something that really needs to be done). But yes, infertility “discussions” really bother me, and I will leave the room if one gets started. Why? The other options usually involve some sort of social alienation, and I already have enough problems with that.

  3. It sounds like they’re throwing a temper tantrum. In times past, infertile people just shrugged their shoulders and went on with life, like anyone else with a physical limitation. Blind people learn to be happy, and enjoy a range of hearing that is stunning. People in wheelchairs can be very happy and optimistic. Why can’t infertile people learn to do the same things these days?

  4. Cf kumbaya

    Bravo. Ivf should be illegal, not covered by insurances…and banned. Scientifically making more humans for this planet is absurd! These people are mentally unstable and shouldn’t be allowed to bring kids into the world anyways.

  5. I couldn’t agree with you more… When I was 18 I went to my first gynecologist to ask for birth control “until I could get my tubes tied.” I was laughed at and told I would change my mind. I calmly replied that I wouldn’t. I took the pills that were offered to me and became horribly ill and called the same office for advice. They changed my prescription. I tried again and not only began throwing up two hours after I took then but began rapidly gaining weight. Another phone call, another appointment and this time a nurse laughed at me and said “I could either gain weight from the pills or from having a baby.” I resisted the urge to slug her. I once again inquired about getting the ol’ tubes tied and was told no. I tried two more times with two more doctors. I KNEW I would never ever ever willingly give birth to a child but no one would hear me out so I gave up… And then something curious happened, I got sick. Very sick. Bleeding non-stop for months sick. Critical anemia sick. Blood transfusion sick. Five doctors later it was determined that I could NEVER have children. They told me this news in the gravest of tones BEFORE they told me what was actually wrong with me, because clearly it would devastate me. I said okay and began asking other questions because finding out if I was dying was kinda more important to me and soon I learned that if only someone had listened to my request for permanent birth control I wouldn’t have almost died. There isn’t a day that goes by that I’m not grateful for my inability to have children, I only wish it hadn’t almost cost me my life to get to this point…

  6. I agree with some things you have said just not all. And to be honest if it wasn’t for these infertile people there would be twice as many un-adopted children and orphans.

    • Julie Was Here

      Actually, there are already a shit ton of unadopted kids, even in the US. No one adopts. People would rather wallow in self-pity or try IVF.

  7. slantedenchanted

    You rock! Just discovered your site and now follow your blog. Keep it up!

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