Here’s a crazy thing: some people choose to get married, and some people choose not to. Also, some people choose to have kids, and other people choose not to. Either decision is fine, and will be what is best for that person. In my opinion, no one will appreciate it if you tell them that they are stupid or wrong for wanting/not wanting marriage or kids. It is a personal choice that has literally not one thing to do with anyone outside of the couple concerned.
“These decisions are not made without careful thought, and its disrespectful to suggest otherwise.”
I saw an article (that I now can’t find, damnit!) about reasons people don’t want to get married, and they all seemed to be implying that people who did want to get married were stupid. One example that stuck in my head was something like “I don’t want to get married because I’d have to change my name and I refuse to be seen as someone’s property”. Ok, let’s unpack this: firstly, you don’t have to change your name; secondly, literally no one thinks that if you choose to change your name that you’re resigning yourself to be property. Now, I am totally cool with someone having that as the reason for not wanting to wed, but the implication from the tone seems to be anyone getting married is setting feminism back 50 years. Likewise there are posts that somehow imply that your relationship lacks commitment if you’re not married, which is wrong too. These decisions are not made without careful thought, and its disrespectful to suggest otherwise.
Kids are another thing. I see lots of posts where women don’t want kids, and you see people trying to convince them that they do. “You’ll change your mind as you get older..” Maybe they will, maybe they won’t, but right now they’ve made a decision and that should be respected. If you are not the person planning to either impregnate the woman or gestate/raise the child yourself (i.e. You have the baby) then you have no reason to have an opinion on it. Vice versa, I have been told, when explaining about my concerns about leaving it too late to have kids, that I should consider just not having them and that I shouldn’t let society dictate to me about kids. Nope, I’m not, I just really like kids and really want to be someone’s mum. Don’t assume that everyone is brainwashed and needs fixing – that’s rude.
“Marriage and non-marriage are both valid choices; kids and no kids are both valid choices.”
Here’s my own personal perspective on this, which is personal to me and good for me, and may not be applicable or good for you. I, myself, want to get married. I want to because for me it is important. When I get married, I want to have the same surname as my partner because we want kids, and I want us all to have the same surname. Probably, it will be his surname, but that bit doesn’t really bother me. I don’t think any of these viewpoints are anti feminist or (to be honest) anyone’s damn business except mine and my other half’s.
Sorry if this is too ranty, but it absolutely winds me up. Marriage and non-marriage are both valid choices; kids and no kids are both valid choices. Always remember that what works for you might not work for someone else. As Amy Poehler says in her brilliant book Yes, Please, “good for you, not for me.” You’re married? Great. Your friend doesn’t want to get married? That’s great too. Neither of you are more right or wrong than the other. We become wrong when we start judging, or worse, belittling, the other person based on their choice.
You know what the moral of the story is – don’t be a dick. Live and let live. It’ll be awesome.