From Donald Trump to your grandparents – people are strangely obsessed with what’s going on with your uterus. It doesn’t matter if you’re a woman, a man, a gender non-conformist: if you’ve got a uterus, people seem to want to know what your intentions are with it.
As a child and adolescent, adults will happily ask you what your wedding plans are, and what you’re going to name your children, even though you’ve barely just figured out that you can’t actually grow up to be an astronaut. At this stage, the idea of your uterus producing something is greatly anticipated.
As soon as you actually start dating however, you tend to find that parents and/or relatives become very concerned with ensuring nothing comes out of it for the foreseeable future, and ensure that they nag you regularly so you get the message. A number of months down the line, this will change again and suddenly you need to be popping out little humans on the double.
Even if you do produce children, the expectation then is that you will drop your career and individual pursuits that you’ve worked for in favour of raising the kids – any indication that you’re going to do otherwise will result in you suffering accusations of selfishness. If you choose not to have children then you too are equally as selfish, and likely to hear the condescending remarks of “Oh, you’ll change your mind!” and “You’re thinking immaturely”.
There have been multiple documented cases lately of people being rejected when they request sterilisation (God forbid you control your own uterus), with reasons ranging from “You’re too young” to “Your future partner might want babies”. These people are the single, the married, the old, the young and they’re all denied control of their own bodies. There are still countless countries that will deny you access to contraceptives and abortions should you accidentally conceive.
Frankly, the current approach to the uterus and what it can do is unreasonable. Some women cannot menstruate, some women cannot conceive, some women are born without the uterus and its related genitalia – so stop asking. Stop pressuring people into taking medication they do not want, or denying them procedures that they need. Stop asking children what their future children will be named, stop asking friends who happen to have uteruses when they plan on settling down. Stop calling menstruation products “feminine hygiene” and presenting them in flowery pink adverts where the pads are shown to contain blue liquid because uterine blood is taboo.
It’s not a YOUterus, and it’s not a uterUS. It’s not any tacky pun and it’s definitely not an organ that should dictate a person’s entire life. Most importantly: if it’s not your uterus, it’s not your business.
Words by Charlie Ginger Jones