Life and Other Funny Things

Baby Making Machine

I didn’t realize I was a woman until college.

What I mean is, I knew, of course. But it didn’t hit me that there was a major difference between being a man or a woman until someone pointed it out in college. I’d heard mothers say that they wished their daughters had more female role models to look up to. I always wondered as a kid what that meant. I didn’t feel like I had been deprived of anything. I looked up to people like Steve Jobs and Bill Gates, they were my heroes. It didn’t matter that none of these people were women. I didn’t see a difference. They were people and I was just another person. We were the same with one difference, they were successful and I aspired to be.

MaleFemale role modelsWhat’s the difference?

I went to college as business major with a class of all men. They intimidated me, not for being male, but for the ability to legally walk into a bar (they were a lot older than me). A year into the course and I was less intimidated. We all learnt the same things, we were all the same.

One day we were all sitting around doing important business-y college-y stuff (Facebook) when one of my classmates pulled up a photo of a pregnant belly. The picture was photoshopped so that a baby’s foot was pressed up against the inside of the woman’s belly. I didn’t think much of it. I used to take graphics and the effect fascinated me. Another classmate turned to me laughing, “That’s going to be you someday!”.

What?

WHAT?

That wasn’t me. That was a pregnant woman. It was a digitally enhanced photograph. My mind couldn’t understand. How could he look at that photo and only see my future? Had I ever mentioned any intentions of having children? What if I didn’t want babies? What if I wanted to run a Fortune 500 company instead? That was NOT my future! But there was no point in trying to defend myself. I realized that day that all they saw me as was a walking vagina waiting for a man to come along and make me look like the woman in the picture.

I was just a woman. A baby making machine.

He only said it as a joke (I hope). But it hurts. It’s insulting to think that no matter what I do, no matter how much I accomplish, and whether I choose to have children or not, it’s all I’ll ever be seen as:

Baby machine

A baby making machine.

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98 thoughts on “Baby Making Machine

  1. Oh man your doodles are the best, the baby making machine is so funny lol! Well, to a certain type of person, yes, a woman will just be a baby making machine which is sad. But I guess most people worth talking to or being involved with would have a much more broad interpretation of what it means to be a woman, or a man for that matter 🙂

    If anyone comes across all “baby machine” on you, just think “Thanks, one less person I have to talk too”! You can make babies (yay) if you want to, but you certainly don’t have to, and if you did I wouldn’t say it’s your “primary” function as a human being.

    You are right, when we are young we innocently understand the truth. Boys and girls are different but the same. Equal but unique, it’s cool 🙂 But of course we get beaten over the head by lies as we get older and some people even start believing them!

    Love this post. Thankfully there are plenty of good folk who’ll see you as much more than a baby machine 🙂 Though I must say those little Baby Four Eyes are pretty cute ^_^

    Thanks for sharing, nudey, non-baby-machine hugs!

    Rohan.

    • So glad you liked the doodles! Yay! I finally found a way to make posts like this less sad.

      You are absolutely right, I don’t have to talk to these people at all. But I secretly love annoying them “Hey guess what? I’m a woman, and I’m NOT having children!” sometimes their faces turn red to the point that steam almost comes out of their ears, it’s hilarious!

      It was so simple when we were kids! We were all the same, with the same high pitched voices. But like you said, our differences are pretty cool too. (Plus, girls get less wedgies in school which was a relief!)

      There are people that will never think of me as a baby machine, and I am so thankful for them Thanks for being so wonderfully you, Rohan. *nudey hugs*

      • Yes that’s true, your doodles allow you to tackle heavier subjects with grace and humor 🙂 I’m lazy and suck at drawing so I just use pictures I steal from the internet lol.

        Haha, I’ll bet they turn red! Still, I find it weird how someone else’s choices, that in no way effect others, can make someone so angry! Why can’t people just get into “live and let live”? It’s not like the apocalypse happened and we are tasked with re-populating the planet. There are plenty of people already, and lot’s of people making more, I think we’ll be fine for now 🙂

        Yeah the wedgies sucked, so did getting de-pantsed 😦 Ah well girls had to deal with hair pulling and skirt looking so I guess it just about evens out lol!

        *nudey hugs* back Miss 🙂 I’ll bet there were a few nerves posting this one, a bit of WIIS anxiety hehe, well I’m glad you did post it! It’s a great subject and something that should be talked about 🙂

        Rohan.

        pr. I wasn’t a hair puller.

        • “your doodles allow you to tackle heavier subjects with grace and humor” Wow, you took something silly that I do and made it profound and amazing. Oh mighty PT King, show me your ways!

          There was definitely a lot of WIIS anxiety on this one. I’m so glad you liked it 🙂

          P.S. Thank you for not being a hair puller. 🙂

    • Rohan echoes my thoughts perfectly. Except for the primary objective of baby making: from a biology perspective it is OUR primary objective to make babies to maintain our existance, however, I would totally respect it if you chose not to.

      That’s a choice that modern society offers. Which is pretty cool IMO.

      • From a Cartesian/Darwinian/Newtonian biological dualism perspective yes, I fully agree. However philosophical traditions like Advaita Vedanta or non dualism might argue that the survival of the human species is irrelevant as the “I am” in all of us is part of a greater, all encompassing consciousness that neither requires nor does not require a human form to exist.

        Funnily enough the latest quantum theory; the latest science on the nature of the universe tends to back this version of reality up over the old clockwork universe theories of Descartes and Newton.

        According to Taoism sexual energy and creative energy are one and the same force. Creating a child or a work of art or piece of music is considered to be equal in value and endeavor.

        As for me? I really don’t know, I like to keep an open mind 🙂 I’m just pointing out that there are many opinions on the subject. I may or may not have children, and I certainly don’t look down upon those who do. I think raising a child is a virtue in an of itself if it is done with dedication and care.

        We can trust the process of science, but we are not supposed to trust the results, if you know what I mean. Today’s scientific truth is different from yesterday’s, and the science of ten years from now will be different still. So I like to remain flexible, enjoy the process of science, the yearning and learning. But I know there is no end game, what is theory and fact is in constant flux and movement.

        The best thing about being human is that we not only get to decide whether to not to have children, we even get to decided what we choose to believe regarding the subject haha. It’s fun right?

        Sorry for the long winded reply, I like these kind of discourses lol 🙂

        Rohan.

        • Yup 🙂 And all my songs are like my little babies, they grow up way quicker too which is awesome! 😉

          Rohan.

        • A very interesting, refreshing reply, Rohan, to say the least.

          Not long winded at all.

          We agree in the basics, and even if we didn’t, it would be okay. We’re human beings after all, and we have OPTIONS! 🙂

        • Yes exactly, being able to see things from another’s perspective while retaining your own opinion is called compassion and empathy 🙂

          Something we could all be working to cultivate more of!

          Rohan.

      • ps. Oh and I definitely do thank scientific advances for making it easier for those who do not wish to have children haha! You are exactly right, we live in an age and a part of the world where we are lucky enough to have this kind of choice 🙂

        Rohan.

        • Yes, it’s your choice, your responsibility, and people should respect that.

          By the way, it occurred to me later, that calling a woman a baby making machine is not only ignorant, it also implies that woman do all the “creating”. It’s a man’s responsibility to make sure the woman is taken care of during pregnancy, to care for her. And when the baby’s born, that baby is BOTH their responsibility, not just the woman’s.

  2. This is an upsetting conclusion to reach. What a thing to say to someone. As if this defines a woman’s destiny. I have had a baby, but that did not define my life. At least I don’t think it did. It was a part of my life, not my whole life. My life would have been much the same whether or not I had this baby (who is now 36 years old, by the way). Whoever told you that was a fool. That’s what I think.

  3. Actually, you have more talents than they do. In addition to running a Fortune 500 company you can pop out little people. Sounds like you have it over them in my book!

  4. I just hear the “ding!” on the baby-making machine when it’s ready. I’m not sure if I envy woman the ability to have babies or not. But if nothing else, you get an option. I appreciate hearing a woman’s opinion on the issue though.

    • To tell you the truth, I never thought much about a woman’s ability to have babies earlier. Do I want it? Do I not want it? But I’m happy to have the option.

  5. You what Miss, I’m with you there.
    However, sadly there are some of woman out there that they see themselves as that.
    I have a “friend” well educated woman, a lawyer, for me was painful talking to her, al she aimed for what’s to get pregnant and have 300 babies. That was her goal in life.
    I kept telling her that in mind there was not way to understand how she would want to go to law school just to finish college and get pregnant?
    She now has 2 babies (both really cute) and is looking for more.
    And like her I’ve met a couple.
    That being said, the guy was a douche.

    • Wow, a lawyer? On one hand, it’s great that she knows what she wants out of life, and her being so educated will be able to raise some fine kids. On the other hand, she could do so much more.

  6. I never thought of myself as a kid having person – I didn’t think of what I’d name my children or anything of that nature. I didn’t think I would or would not have kids – I just did what I did. I eventually had a kid – it was kind of cool that we can make a person – but I know what you mean.

    I think a great comeback might have been to pull up a picture of a limp dick – and say “that’s gonna be you some day!”

  7. Even with all the “advancements” in our lifetime, we really are still viewed as “a walking vagina waiting for a man to come along”. I’d like to think that most of us aren’t just waiting for a man to swoop in and make our lives peachy-keen. I know I’m not.

  8. I agree with ROHAN. Your doodles really are amazing, and so are you! You are one of the most talented, skilled and innovative people I know…SOOOOO much more than just a baby making machine. Although, if you do ever have children, I think they will be exceptionally cool.

  9. A large majority of the women in my circle are not popping out kids and have no intention of doing so, so don’t let yourself feel like you’re weird for not having baby fever. Get a pet, instead. 😉

    • I like these women already.
      I have a dog. I don’t consider her to be my baby or anything, but she definitely doesn’t let me feel like I’m missing out. 🙂

  10. As a woman of fifty who never had making babies as a plan, I have no regret about it now that that window of opportunity is just about over — good gracious when the hell is menopause coming!? It has irritated me that men and women have expected that this is what I would automatically want to do. What’s scary is women, men, who take a path that people expect them to take without considering what they really want.

  11. Don’t forget that after you pop the baby out, you get to give it milk too. I know it’s supposed to be natural, but the idea made me feel like a cow and since I’d given my body over for 9 months already, I figured I’d done enough sharing. So obviously I became a BAD MOTHER because of this.

    How come no one says “Hey, bud, you know you’re going to stick some of your spermies in a girl some day and become a Daddy! Yay, you!” But cheer up – you won the Fruitcake award. See my blog for details.

    • I never thought about that. It’s like we’re cows!
      You are not a bad mother. I know this because nobody makes Twilight funnier than your kids. Parenting brilliance, I say.

      The Fruitcake award? This sounds fun! Coming right over to see it!

  12. Hey there, first of all that is a insensitive comment by some dude who never really thought about it again. Anyone who has read your work and seen you wit and intelligence would never think this about you. I hate it when I am stereotyped in any way, so I try never to do it to someone else. Those insensitive comments by that person will have just as much power as you want to give them. I suggest none! There are many people I have worked with over the years and I never judged their ability based on their gender. An idiot is an idiot no matter what gender they happen to belong to.
    You are a freakin’ genius and I will duel anyone who says differently. (wet noodles at five paces) Have a great day and remember, you are a great and powerful human soul who can do anything you set your mind to! 🙂

  13. I really resent people persisting in their questioning about my decision not have children. I get that some people want to ask because “it’s the natural thing to do” but to continue pushing the issue is insulting. It’s as though you can’t be whole and happy without having a child.

    • I don’t see how it’s a natural thing to do. You don’t see men being asked that, do you? People need to understand that it’s a person’s choice, and that person’s choice alone. You’re right though, it’s as if people think you can’t be happy without children.

      • Actually, I get asked when I’m going to have kids all the time. And so did my other male friends… until most of them had kids. Oh wait, and so did my female friends… until most of them had kids. I’m pretty sure everyone I know who doesn’t have kids gets asked when they are going to have kids– and gets asked it far more often than they would like. It knows no gender in my world…

        • Also, I have heard this pestering from men and women and I have got it myself and seen it given to other men in four different states in the U.S. and on two other continents (involving first world and third world countries).

  14. Excellent post. This should be Pressed! This line of thinking is along the lines that say women go to college to find a husband. I can’t tell you how many times I look at a “Who’s Who” of a company and see all white men. Times have not changed that much. I’m quite sick of it.

  15. If I had a time machine I’d kick his ass!
    But seriously, partner, you know who you are and what your destiny is, right?
    And by the way, I’ve reblogged this on You’ve Been Hooked.. but in my own fashion.
    I hope you approve.

    • Haha! And I’d love to see that 😀
      I saw it! I was so surprised when I saw my name in the title. I know you said I don’t have to say it, but really, thank you.
      Hugs

  16. Pingback: A Guest Post (Kinda, Sorta) From Miss Four Eyes. | You've Been Hooked!

  17. Ran over from Hook’s (he always points the way to great bloggers)
    What’s worse is everyone/parents saying “you can be anything” and then when you choose an anything besides getting married and having kids, they go nuts. Empty words.
    SO just be who you are. Set goals, work hard, be determined- and have a sense of humor. Let them wring hands. Ignore the blockheads ( and there’s a lot of them out there with this attitude)
    She who laughs last, laughs best.

    • Hi! Any reader of Hook’s is bound to be awesome.
      Thanks for that. All of it. I’m going to do just that, be who I am. Make doodles about these blockheads and have a laugh about it 😀

  18. An old lady once told me I’d grow up to feel like a bank teller: I’d always be handing out money.

    Since then, I’ve never enjoyed the introduction to The Jetsons.

  19. While what was said was really insensitive and coming no doubt from someone who didn’t know any better. There is also nothing wrong with being a baby making machine AND having it all.

    • But that’s just it, you aren’t just a baby making machine. You’re a woman who chose to raise some wonderful children, and you’re incredibly happy doing it, which is great.

      • Ok, I was being slightly tongue in cheek, which didn’t come across so well. It seems a lot of people are really sensitive about it, but as women, we are BMM’s. it’s our choice own whether we want to utilise it.

  20. Or you can think of it that way: you can run a Fortune 500 company and/or have a baby, but that guy doesn’t have all the options you have. Being able to create another human being – it maybe it’s common, but it’s still something of a miracle. Well, that guy just doesn’t have the capability to create miracles, and, most likely, his chances of running a Fortune 500 company are about the same as him giving birth to a baby.

  21. Things like that can be so annoying…
    On the other hand, a minister in our government said all women should work, and women who don’t are lazy. She just sees women popping out babies and slouching in front of the telly somehow, while most people here who do not do paid work, try to find it, or do a lot of volunteer work, including the women. I think that is the same kind of stupid thinking…

    • I agree with you, it’s the same kind of stupid thinking. The point is that no matter what we have a choice. Whether a woman wants to work or sit at home watching a bunch of tv is her choice, and it always should be.
      Really great about the volunteer work though, you’ve got good people there.

  22. Eeesh. Statements like that get under my skin because they’re an example of someone who didn’t mean to cause any offense, and didn’t realize they were causing offense, because they have the fundamentals of life wrong. It’s like a tiny symptom of a huge disease. … Like having a chunk of hair fall out. Sure, it’s bad enough on it’s own, but it represents so much sickness in the core.

    I see more than a baby-making machine in you, my naked blogging friend. 🙂 I loved the story and doodles… so much so, I suggested it to Freshly Pressed on twitter. Erm, not to get your hopes up or anything, I have exactly 0% sway with the powers that be, but just to say how much I loved the gentle way you shared the story. 🙂

    *hugs*

  23. I agree with Rohan about the doodles!

    I think we are baby-making factories in the biological sense only. Just because we have that baby-making factory doesn’t mean it has to be open for prouduction or that it’s all we’re good for as women.

    I, too, would be upset by the assumption that “that’s going to be [me] someday.” What if I don’t want or cannot have kids? …What if I die before then? It’s an asinine comment to make. Just because it could be me, or you, or anyone, doesn’t mean it will.

    • Thanks, Katie!

      You are absolutely right. Just because biology says we can make a person, doesn’t mean we have to. And even we do, we are capable of doing so much more.

  24. We are baby making machines?? Really??? Wow. Well I don’t have kids, so that makes that assumption totally wrong! Ha! Serves that person right, being wrong.

    You are much more than your ovaries kiddo. All women are. Don’t let it bother you. When I was young the first thing people would ask me. You got kids?? My answer nope! They would look at me like I’m some freak of nature. I got over it. I started to enjoy the looks they gave me. Like you said they get all red in the face and steam comes out their ears! Really funny.

    I love you doodles and I really love the sidebar button that says “May have been Freshly Pressed, but wouldn’t know”! hahaha! I want one like that!!

  25. I think the baby making machine expectation is probably the worst in the corporate world. It’s pretty bad in the medicine world too. However, we are looking at a fairly even split of men and women in training, so there is more respect for the desire to have children. Interestingly, I don’t know many women in my profession who don’t want to have kids, they just have no idea when to do it. Damned if you do want kids and damned if you don’t….

    • I always thought the corporate world wouldn’t want women to have children. But it’s good to hear that there is more respect for the desire to have children in the medicine world.

  26. This story sums up one of my experiences in college ..but now when I look back , I thank those as I left them far behind and still walking towards my dream happily..Awesome post 🙂

  27. Your doodles are awesome.

    I don’t regard any woman as a baby making machine. Except, now that I think about it, the Octomom, that Kate woman with the eight kids and the reality tv-show, and the Duggars mom, with the 19 kids. But then, my opinion of these women as baby factories was solidified *after* they’d already confused their vaginas with clown cars.

    Every other woman I’ve met is just a person. Some are niftier than others, but that’s life.

    I suppose my failure to perceive women as baby making machines is colored slightly by the fact that I’m incapable of baby making (by choice and design), and I much prefer to spend time with women who have lives outside of their children. Seriously- I know far too many who were interesting people with vibrant lives and fascinating hobbies… and then they had children. Their hobbies were put away, their vibrant and interesting lives were shuttered, and every conversation became about the child.

    So, SO boring. And a little sad. I know it’s possible to be a mom and still retain coolness- I’ve seen it done, just not very often.

    • Thanks, Steven!

      Ok, the Duggars….whoa. 19 kids?! That’s all I have for that. And, ouch. Clown car seems about right.

      I know what you mean. One moment they’re fun people, the next it’s “Little Timmy said goo goo today!” and “Have you seen little Timmy’s pictures? Here look at little Timmy’s pictures!” Hey lady, it’s great that you have a kid, really, but come on!
      I guess I get it, it’s all new to them. I compare it to a child with a new toy. Maybe they’ll be different with baby #2?

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  29. Certain men need to suck it. No baby-making machine here in my corner, just a person ready to show the world who’s boss!

    In all seriousness though, I totally get where you are coming from and it’s unfortunate. One of the owners at the business where I work is a middle-aged woman who is unmarried without kids – her own choice. She got so pissed off on mother’s day when people kept wishing her a happy day and feeling bad that she doesn’t have kids. Not all of us need to go down that road but by default we are put in that box for having ovaries. 😦

    • I love that- Certain men need to suck it! Yeah!

      I can see how upsetting that would be. Nobody goes around on father’s day wishing every man in sight. It’s wrong that we’re all put into the same box, but we are. I guess all we can do is, like you said, show the world who’s boss!

  30. Load of bollocks! They’re just jealous that you have the choice to make, or not make if you wish, a baby. You’d probably already scared the pants off them by refusing to be intimidated in any way other than their ability to be older and walk into a bar (had a good laugh at that one). Give a thought for the poor, dear souls. They used to providers, rushing off hunting and other such manly stuff, to feed and protect their women. Then they got to have their way (after pulling said woman into cave by hair) and voila – they felt like they made a baby. Now we have supermarkets and sperm banks. Leaves them at a bit of a loss, really

    • Haha! You’re absolutely right! I guess I never thought about the poor souls. Those sperm banks must really make them uneasy.
      You cracked me up with this 😀

  31. Wow, this is an incredible post, it really is. Glad you got your writing mojo back, the drawings are perfect additions!!

  32. Great post, fantastic drawings. This reminds me of a few months ago, when I was literally called a “babymaker.” Now keep in mind as I tell you this that I work in an unconventional business (by which I mean it somehow manages to make money but I have no idea how since my boss is the most unorganized and sporadic person I’ve ever met).
    I am a graphic designer and I work in advertising, but five months out of the year I have to work a monthly antique shows. I am the only girl in advertising, but that doesn’t really bother me. So at one of our last shows, I am helping the boys load the van when suddenly I hear my boss shout across the parking lot, “BABYMAKERS SHOULDN’T CARRY HEAVY THINGS!” at me. The box I was carrying at the moment was ungainly and a bit awkward to carry, but not heavy. Still I was like, “is he talking to me?” Well, I shouldn’t have questioned it, because my boss came right over and informed me and the boys that I shouldn’t carry heavy things because I was a babymaker and someday I would have to have babies. WHAT?

    That in mind, I do someday want to have children. But I don’t see how that is any business of my boss, and carrying “heavy things” certainly isn’t going to affect that. The guys thought it was funny, but I was offended that my boss, who is supposed to be a professional would say something like that, in a crowded parking lot, no less, to one of his employees.

    • Whoa. That….I really don’t know what to say to that. You are right to be offended. I can’t believe he said that in front of all those people, or at all for that matter.

  33. Hm… I don’t have kids. I like other people’s but didn’t have any myself. And I kinda know what you mean… I remember when I was in my late teens and I was fat and this guy said to me “when is it due?” and I couldn’t really decide which was worse, the fact that he thought I was pregnant or that I’d have to own up to being fat… ! I did the latter.

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