This is a guest post from Dr. Kimya N. Dennis originally published December 11, 2016.
The above image depicts a man appearing annoyed with a woman who wants a kid but in actuality the man feels he has the woman “wrapped around his finger”. This image stands out to me because it can be interpreted in many ways. I interpreted the image in two ways: (1) Men, generally speaking, are socialized to behave disinterested when they are really quite interested in reproduction; and (2) women and men can use reproduction as a signed contract to presume a permanent connection with a “romantic” partner regardless of whether the “romantic” partnership is healthy and even lasts. While this might seem exciting, unavoidable, and inevitable to some people, I consider it exhausting and stressful. It sounds filled with conformity and “word games.” I want such conformity and “word games” to be challenged because it perpetuates the presumption that people are conniving and even mindless fertility drones.
Perhaps unintentionally, this highlights why many people who do not have children (by choice, circumstance or “on the fence”) have issues with dating and romantic relationships. There is apprehension based on dishonesty, distrust/mistrust, and miscommunication. There is fear to date someone who depicts themselves in one way while hiding unexpressed expectations. This can include a