Tuesday, 18 April 2017

Asking to be heard is not a threat

Someone said to me last year that some No Kidding bloggers were trying to elevate the No Kidding above others in the infertility community, putting down those who were trying to conceive or those who had resolved their infertility with children.

I was very surprised at this, and obviously disagreed, as what I see is that we are all talking honestly about our No Kidding situations, about how we got here, what we learned on the way about the fertility industry, or how parents or pregnant women relate to us (for example), and in doing so, we are seeking equality, seeking recognition and legitimisation.

It struck me that this comment was the classic example of a privileged group feeling threatened by a minority that is beginning to speak out. It was no different to men saying that they are being downtrodden, as women reach up to them, to members of the white majority that see equality of minorities as being a threat to them, or to those who see gay marriage as a threat to traditional marriage. All any of these groups want is equality – of opportunity, of respect. In the process of any of these movements, I like to think that we learn more about our societies and communities and ourselves.

This is the aim, as I see it, of No Kidding bloggers, who just want to be recognised, to be included in our community and wider society, and most importantly, to be heard.

No more, but definitely no less.


9 comments:

  1. I think it's so crucial to avoid any sort of one-upmanship or superiority between the various cohorts in the community. I have been through so many stages & changing feelings on this strange road that I'd never belittle someone who did it differently to me: it's complex and individual and we're all different - we should definitely share what's good about where we are now but never by casting any sort of aspersions on those who aren't on the same page.

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  2. Oh Mali, seriously?? :( I know there are segments of the childfree-by-choice community that claim superiority to parents -- but I don't know any of us in this corner of the infertility community who "put down" parents or those still in the trenches. Lord knows we've been there ourselves, and wanted children very badly to put ourselves through the physical, emotional and financial stress that we did. If anything, I think it's given us greater empathy for what others may be going through.

    I know some of us have, in retrospect, questioned certain aspects of the fertility industry and whether it truly has the patients' best interests at heart. That doesn't mean we are questioning or judging those who pursue ARTs... we just want to ensure that they benefit from our experiences and hard-won knowledge (good & bad) and receive better treatment than we did from their doctors and clinics -- and, yes, we want them to know that they know there IS a worthwhile life to be had after infertility and failed treatments, however they choose to resolve it. Not better than parenthood, not worse, just different.

    I completely agree with your observations about the parallels between non-parents in this society (childLESS or childFREE, by choice or otherwise) and other minority groups. I don't think most of us would claim any kind of superiority over parents or those still ttc-ing -- we "just want to be recognised, to be included in our community and wider society, and most importantly, to be heard... No more, but definitely no less." Amen!!

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  3. I am surprised at the initial comment too, though I love this response to it.

    I recently saw something (probably on social media) that I think applies here too. Equality doesn't mean taking rights away from anyone, rather giving the same rights to everyone. Those of us who fall in the No Kidding category don't want any special recognition or fanfare, we just want to be heard and valued and respected in the same way that others are.

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  4. I love that -- no more, but definitely no less. There is room for everyone's story online, and I can't see how not hearing one benefits anyone.

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  5. So agree. And thank you for refusing to be silenced by those who are uncomfortable. May this minority continue to find its voice. Everyone should be able to share their story, no matter the road.

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  6. I love this so much. Your response, not the comment, which is strange to me. I feel like the No Kidding voice has often been drowned out by other voices. I mean, there's probably people in all resolutions or stages who deal with things by bringing other people down, but to make a blanket statement isn't so nice. And I love your thoughts about a majority being threatened by a vocal minority, this whole "Silent [beleaguered] Majority" nonsense that came about around the same time as #45, that suddenly it's so hard to be a successful white man, and also the whole "oh thank goodness I don't have to be PC anymore" feeling people seem to have that has sapped empathy from society (or so I feel). I love what Bent Not Broken said, there's that T-shirt that ends that statement with "It's not pie." We can all have a piece. It doesn't take away from someone else's story to tell yours.

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  7. No more, but definitely no less

    Indeed.

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  8. People tend to dismiss or even put down things that make them uncomfortable, challenge their way of thinking, or make them feel less important. It happens all too often. Also, I've said this before - childfree not by choice is an infertile woman's worst nightmare, the worst case scenario in her mind and that's the last thing she wants to acknowledge.

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