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Archive for October 3rd, 2016

children-of-men

by Brandie Ashe

“As the sound of the playgrounds faded, the despair set in. Very odd, what happens in a world without children’s voices.”

Three years ago, when I was thirty-three years old, I was diagnosed with uterine cancer. Truth be told, it wasn’t an entirely surprising diagnosis, based on my health at the time (though I was rather young to have gotten that particular disease, according to my doctors), and neither was the proposed treatment—a total hysterectomy. My oncologist asked me beforehand if I would like to freeze my eggs; my mother wanted me to, “just in case,” but I decided against it. For one thing, the procedure is offputtingly cost-prohibitive. And, more importantly, on some level, I’d decided years ago that I just didn’t want children. I’d never had the maternal instinct, never had any kind of drive to reproduce or to “mother” a child that wasn’t of the four-legged variety. The decision I made that day was an easy one for me, but I’m here to tell you, everyone and their mother (and mine) had an opinion about it. It made me somewhat of an aberration within my own family, who didn’t quite know what to do with that decision, and even a bit of an outlier in a society that still judges those “women of a certain age” who haven’t reproduced, as if it’s their duty to do so.

And yet, much as we may not want to admit it to ourselves, on a biological level, that’s somewhat true, isn’t it? The purpose of a species is to propagate itself, to flourish and thrive and ensure the survival of the species for centuries and eons to come, as long as life is viable. Science has made it even more possible for humanity, as a species, to do this. But what happens when every effort—both natural and scientific—fails, when women simply stop getting pregnant for an extended period of time, threatening the very existence of the human animal? (more…)

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