When I was a teenager in medical school, one of my professors told me I didn’t look “happy” and suggested that maybe I shouldn’t be a medical student. I retorted that I wasn’t attending medical school to be happy, I was attending medical school to be a doctor, which is not quite the same thing.
Back then, women in medicine were rare, and I actually had a classmate who was praised for her decision to “drop out” and get married. But I was not as “happy” as she was, (read stubborn) so in those days of happy desperate housewives, I was the one considered as “rejecting my female role model”.
Duh. My “female role model” was my mother, who was a master mechanic in World War II. Fancy that. Like me, she grew up with brothers and didn’t figure being as good as they were at math, science and mechanics meant she wasn’t feminine.
When the upper class “feminists” movement came along, I was already a doctor. But as a working class woman, I just didn’t fit into their man hating blame other people anger. I just never did passive aggression, so when the feminists turned it into aggressive aggression, it just seemed…silly to me.
So now many of the  “pioneering” feminists are now single women in their fifties with no children, and “any are just as happy as if they had kids”. Right.
Yet is this poll telling the whole story?

You see, the dirty little secret about feminism is that it “came of age” at a time when there just weren’t enough men to marry. These women, born after the war, usually would have married men two to three years older–but due to World War II, these men don’t exist. Were these women “childless” by choice, or because they didn’t find a husband, and made the best of it?
Similarly, women who had children early might be less happy because they were from working class or lower class homes, and the early marriage ended in divorce and poverty.

Without taking class into consideration, the entire poll is questionable.

And, of course, the poll ignores the fact that by the age of fifty, the sorrows of childlessness is replaced with a satisfaction of making due with the life that was given to you.

Ah, but satisfaction with fate suggests that maybe these women have outgrown ideology and are starting to find wisdom.

Hmm…maybe there is hope for the narcissistic boomer generation.


Nancy Reyes is a retired physician living in the rural Philippines. Her webpage is Finest Kind Clinic and Fishmarket 


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