On Feminism, Gender Equality & Single Motherhood
It has been mentioned that the presence of intellectual laziness is evident in considering what is prevalent as normal. Unfortunately, the world follows the rules of laziness. Hence, the world considers identification of a child through her/his father as normal, although childbirth may be considered as almost entirely woman-centric. As there is no biological reason to think that the species Homo Sapiens is different from the rest of the animal kingdom, and the importance of father in a child’s identity is unnatural. The only fact is that it has become a (social) norm.
Well, there exists a long history of this norm. The moment the primitive hunting-gathering population settled down and concentrated on agriculture, the identity of the father became seemingly essential to determine the social status or position of a child. Interestingly, the driving force of Human Civilisation is to fight against primitive forces and also uplift the essence of modernity. Ideally, the situation should have claimed that a child’s maternal identity is sufficient, even without paternal identity, for determining her/his social status. Such a demand has been raised in the last few decades, as the third wave of Feminism revolves around this issue. Of course, the economy has played a big role, with the women becoming financially strong and independent enough in the 20th Century. Many women do not depend on men, financially, for taking care of their children, anymore. On the other hand, the direct biological role of men in producing babies is no longer essential due to the advancement of artificial insemination. Therefore, the demand for Single Motherhood of women seems to be quite normal.
However, the society is still reluctant to accept this normal. Motherhood of a woman, with the paternity of the child unknown, shocks the society. Despite all these, some women have shown the courage to live with their male partners, and to get pregnant out of wedlock. Even some women enjoy having multiple male partners in the contemporary world. It would be a mistake to assume that this is the ultimate reason behind the rejection of Open Relationship by some societies.
Controversy erupts over how a society views women in terms of child production. The Patriarchal Society has always considered women as an instrument to produce babies, who do not have any self-respect, will and consciousness. Their chief duty is to produce children at the will of their male partners and/or their in-laws and/or their parents. The Patriarchy is accustomed to consider the husband or the family as the decision-maker. On the other hand, conscious women demand full rights to their bodies, and the process of producing children is an integral part of a woman’s body. Naturally, the conscious women want the right to control that process.
One of the main demands of the first two waves of Feminism was the Right to Abortion. The Feminist Movements demanded that women have the right not to have children even after getting pregnant, willingly or unwillingly. After many setbacks, that demand has gradually gained recognition. It was an important step in establishing women’s rights over their bodies. In the third wave, women are demanding full rights over their bodies. The demand for single motherhood is significant in establishing that their bodies are not instruments for producing babies as seen by the Patriarchy. This right is also significant for those women who do not want to exercise it, because it is a matter of Ownership. This demand is basically for the transition from an Instrument to a Human Being. It would not be possible for History to deny Women this Right.
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