Sisterhood Blog

When Women Hate On Women

By Chanel Dubofsky

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I’m not really sure how else to put this, but Janine Kovac, you are my worst nightmare. Your claim — that women who know they want kids but don’t have them yet because they feel unready are cowardly and selfish — is the most pernicious of attacks. But I suspect you’re already aware of this.

As someone who has known my entire life that I seriously, absolutely do not want to be anyone’s mother, and as someone who has to defend that decision more than I want to admit, I would like to thank you for being another person (a woman, no less) who purports to know me better than I know myself.

I wish there was a way to make you understand how completely exhausted I am by this conversation, and yet every time it comes up, I’m ready to go back in for the fight, even at the risk of sounding like a broken record. I’m not going to have a child because it will make people like you feel better about who I am, both as a woman and a human being. Believe it or not, I believe that I have, and will continue to have, value as an individual, regardless of my (presumed) ability to give birth. I have worked hard for the life I live as a journalist, a friend, a colleague, an activist and a Jew, and for the space, energy and time I have to cultivate all of those roles. To you, these beliefs are “short-sighted” simply because my future does not include a willingness to give birth to or raise another human being. Excuse me, but I think that the fact that I’m not interested in doing something I know I’ll regret later shows a more complicated long-term vision.

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