I have been soliciting effective STFU responses to one particular angle that's been grating on me: the Moral Imperative to Reproduce imposed upon those of us with a pair of X chromosomes and a terminal degree. You know, the "educated women are reproducing at lower rates than uneducated people!" exclamation followed by an accusatory eyebrow waggle in your direction. (Is it just me? Does this happen with alarming regularity to other women out there?)
First of all, who the fuck cares? Is this really a problem on a planet facing overpopulation in the very near future? Is it possibly symptomatic of the fact that some educated women might wonder if bringing more bodies into the world is not a long term solution?
Secondly, even if we assume that it is a problem and that it is apocalypse-smashing-critical that more educated women start popping out sprogs, is it specifically MY job to save the world? 'Cause you know, I'm pretty sure superhero savior is not in my job description. I didn't sign up for this.
Thirdly, if children of educated parents really are some kind of panacea for all the world's ills, why are you going on and on about how educated WOMEN have some unique responsibility to reproduce? Are you telling educated men the same thing? Why not? I mean, I'm a pretty good biologist, but even I have not yet developed parthenogenetic abilities yet.
So in response to this particular uterus-hijacking tactic I propose a couple of smackdown retorts:
- Oh, and how many children do you have? Only two!?!? Well, that's only replacement rate for you and your spouse! You have not increased the proportion of educated people in the world, only maintained the status quo. You're an educated woman; you should have MORE children. And while you're at it, maybe you could have a few for me, since I'm kind of busy with other things.
- Oh, and how many children do you have? Only one!?!?! Gosh, that's below average. I think the average number of children per couple is now 2.3. You'll need at least two more to be better than average. Where does that put you on the curve? If C is average, this earns you, what?, a D in Reproduction? tsk tsk. As for me, I can't fail a class I'm not registered for.
- I also like Zuska's method.
(To be clear, I am not stridently opposed to women reproducing, whether educated or not, as it suits their fancy. By necessity, I am also not stridently opposed to men reproducing, again regardless of their educational status. I am merely stridently opposed to people gettin' all up in my uterus - or anyone else's - because my fancy re: reproduction doesn't suit them. I'm actually stridently opposed to people gettin' all up in my uterus for any reason whatsoever, fancies and suits aside. So there.)