I will, soon enough, be writing a whole bunch of posts as to why I hate what I term the wifenmummie (or wife-n-mommy) culture. I don’t have the energy to tackle that task right now, but I will give you an example of why I find it so outrageous.
I was browsing my timeline on Facebook. I came across a post from a relatively new friend. I like her a lot. This isn’t a criticism of her. She is trying to be a sympathetic friend and she also, like many young people, is wrapped in her life, her life, her dreams. But we must stand our ground and tell the truth…even, and especially, to our friends.
This friend, who shall be called Suly, wrote a post advertising a GoFundMe for a friend going through hard times. Some of those hard times, for example, the loss of her cat, tugged at my heart, and I sympathized. I wanted to help…but those few sympathetic causes were not the focus of this Facebook post. The primary hardship the recipient faced, and the primary reason for soliciting donations, stopped me from having anything to do with this project.
It turns out this friend of Suly, the recipient of Suly’s beneficence, is a wife and aspiring mother who recently went through fertility treatments and failed to get pregnant. She wants to try again, because she wants to have a baby so badly and she feels so guilty and so useless because she can’t give her husband the family he wants (not the exact wording, but very similar language). Only…she doesn’t have the money right now to go through another course. So Suly wants us to donate money so she can throw wifenmummie a Harry-Potter themed party to make her feel better, which is innocent enough, AND/OR…wait for it…a loan to pay for another course of fertility treatments.
Hold the phone, lady!
No way no how am I spending my hard-earned money on that!
The party, like I said, is innocent enough. I wouldn’t have given money, but I might have given supplies, a small gift, or a card…maybe even a gift card. After all, wifenmummie has endured some real losses besides failed fertility treatments, such as the aforementioned loss of her cat. I don’t believe all fundraising needs to be for destitute people, people in dire circumstances, dying people, or only for serious ventures or basic needs. For example, I have no problem donating to the Special Olympics, to Make-a-Wish, to my local nursing home for a new activity center, to a school’s performing arts field trip, etc. One of my proudest moments was donating a big bill on a street corner to the boys’ Little League Team so they could travel out of state to a big game. With that said, I do expect people who are *able* to do so to do their part, and I expect the project to a) be a legitimate need or goal and B) to reasonably require the funds and resources being requested in order to get the project done in a satisfactory and timely manner. Granted, these judgments are subjective, but suffice it to say, this party didn’t even come close to meeting my relatively loose requirements.
I mean, anyone who can afford fertility treatments can afford recreation…and Suly was more than able to fund her own generosity. This is a woman who can afford multiple big ticket events, such as a trip to Disney World, a year, is buying a house, and has all kinds of money to spend on clothes, makeup, merchandise from her favorite fandoms, etc. And she lives, and shares assets with, her fiance who is also doing very well for herself. There is nothing wrong with that, of course, but…wht are you asking us to fund a party that you are more than capable of throwing yourself? I’ve thrown big parties with much less wealth. Skip a few shopping trips, Suly, or dip into your vacation money, and do it yourself. Seriously.
As irritating as this is, though, that’s not my biggest problem. My biggest problem is, you guessed it, the fertility treatments.
There is no way I will take even the remotest chance that my money will go towards fertility treatments. Such treatments aren’t medically necessary in avoiding death, disability, or disfigurement. They’re not healthy for mother or baby. They’re very often unsuccessful, which amounts to wasted money and time, and most importantly, they’re unethical. They entail playing God in one of the most misogynistic and heterosexist ways imaginable.
By the way, Suly and wifenmummie live in England, where their health care is largely paid for by the state. A huge chunk of the audience for this post is American, a group of people that is a) struggling economically, b) has a minimal safety net, and c) has to PAY for healthcare that they actually NEED! All too often, people are paying large sums of money that they don’t have and ruining whatever credit or assets or security they had for care that they truly can’t live without. Yet these women think nothing of asking this same population of people to fork over their minimum wage incomes to find what is essentially a cosmetic procedure for a well-off couple.
How dare you? The gall of such a request!
And of course, no one calls this out for what it is, nor do they call out this woman’s husband, for whom the woman feels “guilty” and “useless” as a wife. NO ONE told this woman that her lack of fecundity wasn’t het fault, that she had no reason to be guilty, and that there is more to being a wife than being fucked and being pregnant. NO ONE called Dear Hubby out for being selfish, sexist, and entitled. No, they reinforced this woman’s feeling of failure and now are trying to finance the means to “fix it.” Hate the oppressive housewife role? Take Valium! Hate sex role stereotypes? Change your sex! Hate being targeted for your weight? Go on a diet! Hate your lack of fertility? Get treatment? Hate your inability to be the wife your husband wants? Change yourself!
What’s curiously absent is the real solution to all these problems…change expectations. Change priorities.
I suppose I should consider the source: Suly and Alma (fiancee) are a lesbian couple who want to pursue artificial reproduction…so perhaps they’re a bit biased? Ya think? They mourned the Brexit decision, in part, because they thought their rights, namely their reproductive options, would take a hit. That’s right…a nation’s success, identity and sovereignty must be suppressed because someone somewhere wants a designer baby. And the thousands of people that want their country back will just have to be content to serve wifenmummie’s baby fever. Even if you do not support, or are not affected, by Brexit, you have to admit that the reason given here for opposing it is mind-blowing in its self-centeredness.
If this doesn’t ooze privilege and entitlement, I don’t know what does. If you don’t see what’s wrong with this picture, there’s nothing I can do for you. If you still don’t understand why I hate wifenmummie culture, there’s more where this came from.
As you can imagine, I declined to participate in this endeavor. My money went to Alley Cat Allies instead.