on being told to be pregnant...

a couple of years back, i wrote an entry about the many questions women are asked in their lifetime. as i re-read it again, there are some things i may take back. like men not suffering the same questions as women do. i have come to understand that the issues they face are different from ours, so i really can not say that one or the other has a harder time.

i still stand by my belief though, that women, especially here in the philippines are subject to expectations at certain ages in their life. this is called life course theory in sociology. it is actually an interesting study especially in a society like the philippines which seem to have a set idea what people should achieve at a certain age. for the individual and/or those surrounding him/her, there is the tendency to be alarmed if they have not achieved the indicators of the life course.

what do i mean by this?

here at home, there is the tendency that there are just two options in life when one becomes an adult -- either one gets married or one enters the religious life. the idea of remaining single is alien to many people. to many, it does not seem possible for individuals not to want to get married. there is concern when people hit their 30's and are still single, especially for women. (these concerns have yet to cover those who are gay, single parents or common unions... for me that would be a separate discourse i dare not get into)

"settling" is the expected life course for adults. it seems that society dictates that the point of getting an education, getting a job is to prepare for family life. and many choose that path. but society has to realize that things have changed so much in just a few decades. technology and globalization has given people more options with their lives. getting married or having children is not the sole purpose of living. while sushmita sen may have said that the essence of being a woman is motherhood, women of today have now more options open to them. it is not always the most obvious choice anymore.

why this particular rant today?

i just somewhat received a lecture from a stranger (a person i encountered twice and hardly even talked to) that i should be pregnant already because i'm already 31.

since i returned home, jan and i have been asked when we plan to have a baby. but these are friends and relatives so i don't mind. it is an expected question though not necessarily a welcome one. i choose not to take offense and rather choose to be amused... it is a valid question just one we do not have an answer to.

but when a complete stranger tells you that... it is intrusive. does she even know me for her to even merit the license to be a commentator of my life? nee. i wanted to throw so many retorts at her. 'and this is important for you to know because?' or 'if i give birth, would you spend for all my child's needs since you seem so excited about it?' instead i just smiled and let her keep talking.

and in my head, i was doing a discourse analysis of the exchange. might as well put what i learned to good use and practice my already rusty brain than waste a good day on people that don't matter.