Why does children’s question have nothing to do with selfishness?


Why does children’s question have nothing to do with selfishness?

Women who do not want to have children often have to face the criticism that those around them find this decision selfish. This accusation is a sign of deep-rooted sexism and makes it clear that women still play a leading role in many minds: that of the mother. Only recently did the head of the Catholic Church personally speak out about this egotism.

Pope Francis said the following in a public audience on the child issue: “We see a form of selfishness today. We see that some people don’t want to have children. Sometimes they have one and that’s it, but they have dogs and cats who take the place of children. This may make people laugh, but it is reality. This practice is a denial of fatherhood and motherhood and demeans us, robs us of our humanity.”

selfish women
The Pope and the Catholic Church received a lot of criticism for this statement. legitimately. After all, the statement is in a way an attempt to intervene in the lives of people, especially women, and to dictate their path. Where is the physical self-determination? Where is the emancipation and the understanding that different lives are different? And where is the understanding and compassion for people who may not be able to have children but desperately want them?

Of course, while this criticism is directed at couples, it is particularly relevant to women, since they remain the main individuals whose lives, opportunities, and financial situations are profoundly altered by the decision to have a child.

death for the climate
But not only women who decide not to have children are shamed. At the same time, there is always criticism of women who decide to have children. In the current phase of our world due to overpopulation and climate change, this is irresponsible and selfish, they say.

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Especially in the western world, a child would produce enormous amounts of CO 2 and according to statistics and calculations by scientists, there is hardly anything that helps climate change more than growing up fewer children. Thus, an overall problem that politics and business should solve is passed on to the individual. But that’s nothing new.

More selfishness for everyone
What is exciting about the whole discussion is that in both cases selfishness is accused. But why is egoism the killer argument that is supposed to discourage women from continuing on their current path? Why would just the threat that a decision is selfish make women change their minds?

Psychologist Noam Shpancer explains this phenomenon to Psychology Today : “A man will find it easier to ward off charges of selfishness. After all, part of society’s definition of masculinity is the pursuit of self-actualization, ambition, competition and aggression. For women, the charge of selfishness hits harder , as an ethos of caring is seen as the foundation of the concept of femininity.The desire not to be seen as – and not to feel – selfish seems to motivate and shape women’s lives more than men’s lives. ”

So what, then we’re just selfish!
But how should we women deal with this accusation of selfishness and egotism? In principle, no one is helped if a woman does not have a child because of climate change and is then very unhappy because she would like to have one. Conversely, it would be unwise for women to follow the Pope’s wish, even though they have no need to be mothers and are also unhappy. In the end, women have to make their own decisions about their lives. And the accusation of selfishness will come from society one way or the other. Until it finally stops, we have to endure it.

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