Saturday, October 09, 2004

While much effort has been expended in the third world countries educating women into a range of options that does not limit their role merely to bearing children, well-off, educated, and indulgent American women are clamoring for babies, babies, BABIES to complete their status. They've had it all, and now they want a baby. And women over thirty-five want them NOW. They're the ones who opt for the aggressive fertility route; they're impatient; they're sick of being laissez-faire about this. Sex seems such a laborious way to go about it. At this point they don't want to endure all that intercourse over and over and maybe get no baby. What a waste of time! And time's awasting. A life with no child would be a life perfecting hedonism, a forty-something infertile woman said, now the proud owner of pricey twins. Even women who have the grace to submit to fate can sound wistful. It's not so much that I wish that I had children now, a travel writer said, but that I wish I had had them. I hate to fail at anything. Women are supposed to wish and want and not fail.

Joy Williams, "The Case Against Babies," from Ill Nature (94-95)

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