Time to change world… again.
My youngest daughter shocked me this last weekend. We were having a casual conversation and she asked me if she was a bastard.
She didn’t say it in any negative way at all. She was just wondering, given the fact that “bastard” is usually meant to mean child born out of wedlock. Which she is. But is she a bastard? HELL FUCKING NO!
Bastard traditionally meant a child born out of wedlock to a woman who slept with a married man that was not her husband. Usually a man of some political stature, like a king or nobleman. The child may have been born to a man with stature but the child was typically not acknowledged and didn’t inherit any titles, or anything at all for that matter. Both the child and the mother were scorned and shunned and were not talked about or acknowledged in any way.
This is a subject that is bantered about frequently but never really addressed. If a man has many children with more than one women he is looked at as a player and stud. Maybe a dead beat dad if he doesn’t support all his children but the stigma surrounding the man isn’t nearly as daunting as it is for a woman who has more than one child with more than one man.
And that needs to change.
There is NOTHING wrong with a woman who chooses to have more than one child with more than one man, whether she was married to any of those men or not. Nothing!
In fact, there were cultures where inheritance went through the mother, not the father. It didn’t matter who the father was, only who the mother was, and THAT was never in question. Women had the freedom to procreate with any man they chose to and the man didn’t impose claim on the child. If the father was known and acknowledged he felt blessed. But he also wasn’t forced to only be with that one woman, nor was he forced to share in the raising of the children nor was he required to provide for them. The mother did all that, from the moment of conception in her womb to the caring and raising from an infant to an adult.
Since the inception of the idea that inheritance needed to go through the father, women have been subjugated to the role of baby maker for the man. To insure that the man knew the child was his the woman was controlled and “kept” as his and his alone. She was his property. The children were his property. And should she stray she was punished for potentially calling into question his claim on said property.
This has led to women today still being chastised and demeaned for having more than one child with more than one man. A choice she should be able to make. “Have a child with man and you should stay with that man for the sake of the child!” What if that man is a HORRIBLE person? What if she leaves and finds another man who helps her raise her child and she has one with him? And then that one dies? And she finds another? Wouldn’t matter. Doesn’t matter. The stigma still applies.
A woman with children from more than one man is a whore. Plain and simple. A man with children from more than one woman is a player. Maybe not looked on fondly, but not denigrated to being a whore and shunned in society.
Women need to claim their rightful designation as the life giver, life bringer, life nurturer. The awesome, deific role of motherhood that is inherent in the role. A man is needed to spark the life but that, really, only takes a moment of his time. Carrying the child not only takes nine months of the woman’s life where she has to be concerned about what she does and what she eats, but also years after that. She carries them her whole life. She will always be that child’s mother. A bond that no man can truly usurp and should never have been able to do so.
Women everywhere should be proud to say they are their children’s mother, without shame of who their father may be. I have three amazing daughters, and they each have a different father. For reasons that don’t belong here, I did not stay with those three men. But I was given a gift that none of them can take away. My beautiful, amazing, wonderful, intelligent, strong, independent daughters. They are not “bastards”. They have inherited from me all the gifts I could impart to them and I am proud to say I am their mother. Blessed to have been given the change to BE their mother.
And no one, not any man, not their fathers, nor any other woman will ever take that away from me or them.
Society needs to stop labeling and chastising women for being women. For being mothers. For being the strong, independent other half of humanity. It’s time to take back our roles and realize that we were NOT made to stand behind or below a man. We were made to stand side by side, or even alone, all by ourselves, and we are perfectly capable of doing so. Our children are acknowledged, regardless of being born out of wedlock, or in wedlock, or as one of many with different fathers. Or even as one of many to a man with many children from many women.
I’m not saying that we need to go back to a time when the father doesn’t have to help, it was unbalanced then and would be more so now, but the concept that women, and their children, are less in society’s eyes because she had more than one with more than one man needs to end. Now. Women can make that decision and our children are full fledged members of society, as are the those of us who had them.
I refuse your label, as all women should. It is our born right to choose. My children are mine and I never let them forget it. I love them fiercely, fully, unconditionally. They are my lineage and my blessing. I will not be ashamed that I was blessed with them, no matter how that blessing came to be.
And shame on anyone who would sully that blessing with your ignorance and intolerance.