Female Fertility In Patriarchy
The experience of fertility in patriarchy is interesting and simple. Although the effect of patriarchy may be more obvious in developing countries, it greedily wraps itself around the collective female body. All over the planet.
As women, we learn about our fertility, sexuality and existence through the eyes of the masculine - whether that happens in the back of a car or a biology lesson. We come to believe, in part at least, that the patriarchal ideas and expectations about us are accurate, appropriate and morally right.
As children, we are subtly trained into giving power to patriarchy so we don't feel it as a shock when we enter womanhood. But sometimes, the patriarchal bellows bawl in a way that makes no bones about the fact that the function of female fertility in patriarchy is to continue the status quo.
Fertility In Patriarchy
In a previous article, I explored how patriarchal language affects fertility and have also offered feminine advice to Meghan Markle trying for a baby with Prince Harry. (Because even if a woman can be queen in the United Kingdom, Meghan's motherhood journey still unfolds in a modern version of a patriarchal institution).
This audio and article below, however, came about in response to an article I read in the Business Insider sharing how different countries are trying to increase fertility rates. The following is an extract:
"There are few things more important than fertility in determining a nation's future viability.
Demographers suggest that a country needs a fertility rate of just over two children per woman to hit "replacement fertility" — the rate at which new births fill the spaces left behind by deaths"... (by Chris Weller)
Pressure To Perform!
Allow me to share samples of what encouraging fertility in patriarchy looks like. Italy has given birth to a Fertility Day (September 22nd), for example, because birth rates have dropped significantly there in the last few years. Official advertisements include messages such as:
DON'T LET YOUR SPERM GO UP IN SMOKE!
The people of Denmark were encouraged to procreate with the following words:
DO IT FOR DENMARK!
And just in case, we are left in any doubt about the experience of female fertility in patriarchy, I leave you with this gem. In 2012 Singapore, which has experienced extremely low birth rates, invited its population to expand with these words:
LET YOUR PATRIOTISM EXPLODE!
Taking it a step further perhaps, one sperm bank in Bejing requires prospective donors to swear loyalty to the Communist Party.
"(The donors must) love the socialist motherland and embrace the leadership of the Communist Party," April, 2018).
A few things come up for me when I read these. (FYI, I have not researched the exact translation of these ads and am trusting the source of this article). The first is that much of the messaging seems to be aimed more at men with the clear implication that having sex is good for the country. It's a positive contribution from which the entire nation can benefit.
Sure enough sex and parenthood can be wonderful things. But promoting the idea that sex is a positive contribution for a man as a national truth is a dangerous thing. Why so?
Because in doing that we exclude, yet again, the feminine from the creative process by ignoring her desires, her own vision and her very personal rhythm.
This kind of messaging, whether deliberate or not, reinforces the right that the masculine has to a woman's body. It condones, in ways, putting pressure on women to have sex. And at the very least, it is a powerful reminder of the purpose of female fertility in patriarchy. That is: to maintain things as they are so that the patriarchal line and ideas perpetuate.
Your Feminine Wisdom
For me, these advertisements and the intentions behind them demonstrate the wider context and reality of female fertility in patriarchy. Women's creative energy has been directed almost entirely into what serves the male-dominant status quo.
Encouraging women to have at least two children ensures that women are tied up in their patriarchal duties of child rearing. Unless resourced adequately, it prevents us from having the time to engage our feminine wisdom, reflect on how we really feel and discern what we truly want. For ourselves and our children. So things continue as they have been and our hopes and dreams remain on the back burner.
How can we change this? By Engaging the Feminine® in our fertility even if father government (and the wider society) is encouraging us in another direction. Even if he has decided already on what your most valuable contribution could be. Because, although he doesn't understand it yet, there is huge evolutionary value in your deepest desires.
Your Creative Feminine
To have a goal of maintaining the status quo is a reflection of arrested creative development. But it's familiar territory in patriarchy - in which the feminine has been excluded from the creative process.
Female fertility in patriarchy has been all about producing and this has worked really well to achieve patriarchal goals.
It's time for a change now though. So that female fertility belongs to women. Together we can create an experience of fertility and in patriarchy (and beyond) that honours us as women. One that honours our children and the beautiful men in our lives too.
I'm inviting you to add your creative feminine to this movement by joining the discussion and commenting below. Because your contribution here really, really matters!
Fertility In Patriarchy - Audio
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