About 10 years ago, I was watching The Golden Girls’ episode, “Accurate Conception,” with my mom. She turned to me and asked,
“Don’t you think you need a man to help raise the child, too? Don’t you think Blanche’s daughter should wait to get married and then have a baby like a normal family? What would you do?”
I was a naïve girl and just nodded my head and went along with my mom so she would stop talking to me so I could continue watching. You see, I love The Golden Girls just as much as they love cheesecake, but that’s a whole different story. In that episode, though, Blanche’s daughter wanted to take control of her life by choosing to start a family without a man. Blanche was devastated, and practically disgusted, that her daughter wanted to be artificially inseminated. Back then in the 80s, that was a controversial issue: being a single mom.
Even now in the 21st century, it’s still a controversial issue. Mind you, raising a child now as a single mom is not a taboo as much as it was back in the 80’s, but it’s still a head-scratcher to some. Including me.
I don’t question whether if it’s a good or bad thing to willingly choose to be a single mom, but rather if girls in my generation have what it takes to do what Blanche’s daughter, my cousin, my aunt and countless other women I know have done. They all come from different walks of life, but they have two things in common: they refuse to depend on a man and they’re strong.
FEMINISM AND FAMILY
I truly admire my cousin and aunt for breaking barriers by choosing to take control of their lives and defying societal norms. Movies, books, tabloids and countless other types of media subconsciously tell us that we need to find our prince charming in order to have that Town & Country magazine life. However, the powerful force called feminism is throwing a curve ball on the classic fairy tale by urging us women to quit our dependence on men to create this “perfect life.” Movie and show characters like Lagertha from Vikings, Merida from Brave, Sarah from Terminator 2, Mulan from Mulan and Elle from Legally Blonde prove that women don’t need to have the ultimate life aspiration of finding the love of her life and then procreating.
Choosing to be a single mom doesn’t mean vilifying and loathing men. It just means that we women are devoting faith in ourselves rather than another person to confidently start that family we want. It also requires an abstract mindset when making this permanent, life-altering choice because after all, you’re going to be
“…a pioneer in the women’s rights movement by single-handely dragging your family into the 21st century by refusing to be thought of as property,”
as Dorothy from The Golden Girls said. On a side note, that is one of my top favorite Golden Girls quote…ever.
I told my mom that I wanted to change my answer to her question she asked me 10 years ago. I told her that I am strongly considering being artificially inseminated when the time comes rather than waiting to find a man to marry and then starting a family with him. She didn’t react as badly as Blanche did when her daughter said the same thing to her, but she still was not pleased. But it’s my life, my femininity, and my family.