So, as part of the Job Centre’s campaign to irritate the crap out of me I’ve had to go every day this week and last. It’s called intensive job search, apparently.
I get on quite well with the advisor; he’s one of the few decent advisors at Immingham Job Centre Plus. The rest are twollops; bad mannered, bigoted twollops at that. Unfortunately, my advisor made a mistake today, other than being half an hour late for the meeting. If I’d been half an hour late because I forgot I’d have been sanctioned, but they can be late and nothing happens…
Back to the advisor’s error. We were looking at a job and he pointed out the benefits – 28 days holiday, discounts at major retailers, childcare vouchers.
Advisor: ‘Do you have children?’
Me (incredulous): ‘No.’
Advisor: ‘Well you never know, you might change your mind in the future.’
Really? Funny that, because I’ve always said I don’t want children, and I can’t see that changing because a job offers childcare vouchers.
Obviously, the jobcentre advisor isn’t the first person to suggest that at some unknown future date I’ll go against a lifelong aversion and agree that I really want children. You’d have thought that by now people would have given up; I’m thirty-one, if I was going to have kids I’d have done so by now.
I mention this because I’ve noticed a few posts, mostly on Facebook, lately about choosing not to have kids. There’s posts about what not to say to childless women all over the place. I never knew it was such a big deal, but it would seem that it is in certain circles. I feel like throwing my two pence worth in to the discussion.
The attitude that everyone wants to reproduce is ridiculous; it takes no account of individual preference. I’ve never wanted children. I have no intention of having children. I dislike people assuming that I have children or will have at some future date. Don’t pity me because I’m 31, single and childless; don’t assume I’m selfish; don’t tell me there’s someone out there for everyone and when I meet them blah blah blah…; don’t intimate that I must be unfulfilled or not contributing to society; don’t assume there’s some medical reason. Don’t think my general dislike of other human beings would disappear if they were my own.
Just accept that not everyone wants or can have the 2.4 children ‘ideal’/’norm’/social stereotypes/whatever other bullshit assumption you’re carrying around.
A woman isn’t defined by her body’s ability to gestate; that’s just something that some women’s bodies can do, along with all its other biological functions.