Your children were vexation
To your youth,
But mine shall be comfort
To your age.
— Shakespeare, Richard 111, IV, 4
GONE are the days when children could be relied on to be a comfort to their parents when they got old and could no longer take care of themselves. Back in the old days, people had many children in order to secure a sort of pension. And the children then did take care of their parents, as grandma and grandpa used to be fixtures in many households.
Sure, they were miserable, but we loved them nevertheless. Not so nowadays, as many children turn their backs on their parents, and often can't even wait until they die before they plunder what spoils they can get from them, leading people to say, "Dem pickney nowadays can't wait til yu dead fi tek way yu tings. Dem will even throw yu out of yu owna house."
Because of this, and other reasons, many women opt not to have children, a fact that some people cannot fathom. But more and more women are going that route, as children prove more bother than a benefit. So no children, please, right after these responses to 'Why women go bad'.
Some women/wives go bad for no reason, get pregnant, give baby father/husband a jacket. What amazes me though, is the acting talent of the women who can sit and watch every day, a man loving and playing with a child he believes is his own flesh and blood, but is that of another of her lovers. In Jamaica, 34.5 per cent of the men tested are not the father of the child (Family Court figures)
However, a private DNA lab reports a 75 per cent rejection rate. Who is the real cheater here?
You were right when you said that for every action there is a reaction, but not always equal. Most women go bad because some man did them wrong. Sure, there are some women who are just plain bad, but they are in the minority. Most women would prefer to be in a loving, stable relationship rather than risk losing it all for a meaningless fling. When they do decide to step out of the circle of fidelity, it's usually because of something that the man did.
But men don't see it that way, and are blind to their misdeeds, but have clear vision to the deeds of the women who decide to beat them at their own game. Women don't go bad, they just get even, that's all.
There seems to be some unwritten law that says that all women must have children. This is often taken further, as some say that not only must women have children, but they must have as many as they can.
"Have out yu lot," "Go forth and multiply," "Spread your seed all over the land," "Procreate, breed, have plenty pickney."
Well, who really said so? What authority decreed that all women are supposed to have children? Well, okay, in the past, having children meant some sort of insurance for the future, and that worked for a while. But as more and more women have become financially secure, this need to have children may not be as powerful as in days gone by.
Of course, many women still yearn to have a baby of their own, but let us not forget that not all women who have children make good mothers. Some just have the child for selfish reasons, or to satisfy their man, or succumb to peer pressure. Remember, in certain quarters, if you haven't had a child by age 14, you are considered a mule, barren, cursed.
Take away this pressure, give the woman a choice, and you'd be surprised at how many women do not want children. This fact is lost on many mothers who just cannot understand why a woman would not want to experience the joys of motherhood that they experienced.
"Something must be wrong with her why she don't want children," they may say. But we have to face the reality that the choice not to have children is very real, and these women should be respected for this choice. They may be career-oriented, and simply wish to reach the top of their game in their field of choice.
There are many female managers who chose this path. Some may even dislike children and cannot stand being around them for any long period of time. I'm sure that you've seen how some kids behave, and are happy that you have none of your own, or that yours have grown up and gone their merry way.
I have addressed this before, that many children are deemed children only because of their age, but they are as evil as demons and will do you grave harm if they got half a chance. See, one was reported to have even slapped a judge while in court the other day. And based on the news report, her mother was right there.
Now I'm sure that if the police were to drop two licks on her to subdue her, the human rights people would come down hard on the authorities, saying that she's only a child who needs nurturing and care. All children need that, but when they're out of control in that moment you had better take strong steps to control them.
Unless you have experienced that sort of behaviour it's very easy to talk about nurturing and child care if you haven't been attacked by a child bent on doing you bodily harm. I know some policemen who are genuinely afraid of some of those children, as talking and soft words will not soothe their savagery.
Some kids make a good case for birth control. I know many women who are genuinely happy not to have children, and take pleasure out of interacting with their nieces or nephews instead. "At least I get to go home without them after I visit." It's akin to leasing a car rather than buying it.
But with this choice comes many criticisms, questions, snide remarks and even hurtful statements. I read this blog that addressed the issue of childless couples and what people often said to them. Because each person thinks that their custom is the law of the universe, their view is that they are right and the other person is wrong.
I'll always remember this statement that a woman told me years ago when I mentioned that a lady friend of mine was always tired at night. "But she doesn't have children, so how come she's tired?" was her reply. She could not comprehend that it's not only kids that can exhaust you, but many other factors as well.
Some people can be downright insensitive as they ask childless women, "So when are you going to get started?" Hello, who says that she wants to get started, and what if she really wanted to have children, but couldn't, wouldn't that question not pressure her even more?
Or they'll say, "You'll understand when you become a mother." That's another thing, mothers tend to think that women without children know nothing about parenting, which is so far from the truth. Having a child does not necessarily make you a good mother, and many childless aunts have raised their nieces better than the mother ever could.
There was even a news report of a father who took his daughter from her mother and raised her, making the mother concede that she could not have done a better job. "To tell de truth, me cudden do what him do, I just don't have the patience." That happened right here in Jamaica, too.
Usually, when couples get married and a few years have passed without a baby, friends or relatives may say, "No kids as yet, just relax, you'll get pregnant soon." How dare they? What if the people do not want children or what if they cannot? Whichever way you take it, that remark really sucks.
Then some women will have the temerity to say to a childless woman, "Don't worry, you'll change your mind about having children in a few years."
"Hello, I have seen your brats, and they are spawns from hell, so I'll take a pass on motherhood," is what the lady may think, but not reply out loud.
Somehow, many women tend to think that the world revolves around their children, and without them, money would flow and life would be perfect and peaceful. Of course, children are expensive; school fees and such will put a dent in the bank account. But that does not mean that a life without children will make you rich.
"Since you haven't got kids, you can afford a new car and travel frequently." Or, "It must be nice to have leisure time and do what you want to do when you want to do it," are some of the statements made. There is a sort of ignorance and arrogance that some women display over other women who have no children.
They have this feeling of superiority, even as they feign sympathy. Some may even suggest sex positions that are guaranteed to make the women become impregnated. "Have you tried standing on one leg while holding a mango in one hand and hanging from the bedpost?"
Women should have a choice, and if they choose not to bring a child into this world, it should be respected. Their reasons may be valid and justified. Even Shakespeare said, "How sharper than a serpent's tooth it is, to have a thankless child."
Many women with children have deep regrets. "First they break your pocket, then they break your heart." I know mothers whose children have abandoned them, leading people to think that it must have been something the mothers did for the children to have treated them that way. But that's so far from the truth; they were good, caring mothers.
It takes nothing for kids to reject their parents nowadays. Still, kids can be wonderful and bring great joy, but others can be disastrous. Women should have the right to choose whether they want to take that chance, and be able to say, No children, please.
Footnote: Leroy Brown of boxing fame, and his media practitioner wife Doreen, and I had a very spirited discussion about media women and their application of make-up. Mrs Brown is an experienced media person in both TV and radio, so her words carry weight. The subject of make-up has been addressed before, but it just won't go away as more and more people are sharing the same view that many of our TV presenters are too heavily made up.
As Mr Brown said, "I can't even hear the news anymore as people around me are constantly speaking about the presenter's make-up rather than listening to what she is saying."
It is a distraction that takes away from the importance of the news. Not all presenters, mind you, but most of them plaster on the make-up like they're on stage. Don't just take my word for it, see for yourself, then compare them with the foreign newsreaders and see the difference. Make-up should be subtle, understated and not jump out at you like a painted doll.