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Dear Society, The Choice To Reproduce Is Mine Not Yours

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By Rigya Singh:

Dear society,

I am a woman, and I detest little kids. I do not think I have the maternal instinct to love someone unconditionally. Moreover, I don’t think I want to. To love without conditions is not my idea of love. To leave behind my individuality at the podium of motherhood is not something I am comfortable with.

No, I am not infertile or barren. No, I won’t change my mind when I grow up or marry. These are not ravings of a “witch”. I am not missing out on anything. I do not want to go through labour pains to bring another life in the world. We already have enough life as it is, a bit too much if you ask me. I have not been hardwired to reproduce, it is my choice, not a rule. Let me decide whether I would like to be a mother or not, it is none of your business.

There is nothing wrong with my mind, I am a feminist or getting there, but stupid ideas have not been fed to me. Do I not want to carry forward the name of the family I might marry in? No, I am not marrying a family, I am marrying a man. Won’t the man have a say in it? He will, but not at the cost of my individuality. There is nothing unnatural in being single and motherless, and yes, I do love cats if you want to stereotype. But sanity and insanity are relative, your normal is not my norm.

Thank you!

You must be to comment.
  1. sweety


  2. Raj

    Dear Society, The Choice To take care some strange woman and her kids, is mine not yours
    – Sincerely,
    An independent man

    1. The Superstitious Atheist

      I hope you will use contraception or timely abortion if you happen to conceive, because if you don’t, it is your fault Strange irresponsible guy.
      You are fine with having sex with the “strange woman” but not raising a kid if that mistake happens. This guy is what is wrong with the society.

    2. Raj

      Excuse me, I was talking about arranged marriages in which men are forced into. Kids are pretty much compulsory and the vast majority of men forced into such marriages, actually stay back and take care of their wife and kids. So no, contraception isn’t going to be helpful here when your whole tribe is after you to begin breeding. I’m surprised you completely didn’t catch that. Maybe you should think a bit from a man’s POV too. After all, men are human too.
      On the whole I agree with your article and I praise the independent stand you have taken. Kudos!

    3. The Superstitious Atheist

      Firstly, I am a woman so I can ONLY write from a woman’s perspective. If I pretend to write for men, I would be no better than Chetan Bhagat pretending to be the voice of Indian Youth. Epistemic violence is what I will be committing. Read Spivak’s “Can the Subaltern Speak” for more elaboration on what I am trying to say.
      Secondly, even women are forced into arranged marriages too. (Read some of Ismat Chugtai’s stories). I can say you are completely overlooking a woman’s perspective but as a man, you cannot know a woman’s condition, I know that. Instead of going on commenting on my article, I suggest you pen down your opinions and send them to YKA. Bigger reach.
      Men are human, women are not always victims but you need to understand that patriarchy is not always in favour of men. Sometimes, men fare worse than women, I am aware of that but again, I can’t even begin to pretend that I know what a man goes through. Visit the link, pretty good website.

  3. ANAND

    Love this article

  4. Aditi Thakker

    Cannot agree enough. Never understood people who have a few spare ‘baby years’ in their life plan. Also never understood the saying, ‘A woman isn’t complete till she has a baby!”

  5. deepa

    you are very aboveboard.. no signs of reluctance!! that’s the sweet cream of your personality!! by the way yeah radical feminist..hehe.. remember??

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An ambassador and trained facilitator under Eco Femme (a social enterprise working towards menstrual health in south India), Sanjina is also an active member of the MHM Collective- India and Menstrual Health Alliance- India. She has conducted Menstrual Health sessions in multiple government schools adopted by Rotary District 3240 as part of their WinS project in rural Bengal. She has also delivered training of trainers on SRHR, gender, sexuality and Menstruation for Tomorrow’s Foundation, Vikramshila Education Resource Society, Nirdhan trust and Micro Finance, Tollygunj Women In Need, Paint It Red in Kolkata.

Now as an MH Fellow with YKA, she’s expanding her impressive scope of work further by launching a campaign to facilitate the process of ensuring better menstrual health and SRH services for women residing in correctional homes in West Bengal. The campaign will entail an independent study to take stalk of the present conditions of MHM in correctional homes across the state and use its findings to build public support and political will to take the necessary action.

Saurabh has been associated with YKA as a user and has consistently been writing on the issue MHM and its intersectionality with other issues in the society. Now as an MHM Fellow with YKA, he’s launched the Right to Period campaign, which aims to ensure proper execution of MHM guidelines in Delhi’s schools.

The long-term aim of the campaign is to develop an open culture where menstruation is not treated as a taboo. The campaign also seeks to hold the schools accountable for their responsibilities as an important component in the implementation of MHM policies by making adequate sanitation infrastructure and knowledge of MHM available in school premises.

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Harshita is a psychologist and works to support people with mental health issues, particularly adolescents who are survivors of violence. Associated with the Azadi Foundation in UP, Harshita became an MHM Fellow with YKA, with the aim of promoting better menstrual health.

Her campaign #MeriMarzi aims to promote menstrual health and wellness, hygiene and facilities for female sex workers in UP. She says, “Knowledge about natural body processes is a very basic human right. And for individuals whose occupation is providing sexual services, it becomes even more important.”

Meri Marzi aims to ensure sensitised, non-discriminatory health workers for the needs of female sex workers in the Suraksha Clinics under the UPSACS (Uttar Pradesh State AIDS Control Society) program by creating more dialogues and garnering public support for the cause of sex workers’ menstrual rights. The campaign will also ensure interventions with sex workers to clear misconceptions around overall hygiene management to ensure that results flow both ways.

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MH Fellow Sabna comes with significant experience working with a range of development issues. A co-founder of Project Sakhi Saheli, which aims to combat period poverty and break menstrual taboos, Sabna has, in the past, worked on the issue of menstruation in urban slums of Delhi with women and adolescent girls. She and her team also released MenstraBook, with menstrastories and organised Menstra Tlk in the Delhi School of Social Work to create more conversations on menstruation.

With YKA MHM Fellow Vineet, Sabna launched Menstratalk, a campaign that aims to put an end to period poverty and smash menstrual taboos in society. As a start, the campaign aims to begin conversations on menstrual health with five hundred adolescents and youth in Delhi through offline platforms, and through this community mobilise support to create Period Friendly Institutions out of educational institutes in the city.

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A student from Delhi School of Social work, Vineet is a part of Project Sakhi Saheli, an initiative by the students of Delhi school of Social Work to create awareness on Menstrual Health and combat Period Poverty. Along with MHM Action Fellow Sabna, Vineet launched Menstratalk, a campaign that aims to put an end to period poverty and smash menstrual taboos in society.

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As a Youth Ki Awaaz Menstrual Health Fellow, Nitisha has started Let’s Talk Period, a campaign to mobilise young people to switch to sustainable period products. She says, “80 lakh women in Delhi use non-biodegradable sanitary products, generate 3000 tonnes of menstrual waste, that takes 500-800 years to decompose; which in turn contributes to the health issues of all menstruators, increased burden of waste management on the city and harmful living environment for all citizens.

Let’s Talk Period aims to change this by

Find out more about her campaign here.

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A former Assistant Secretary with the Ministry of Women and Child Development in West Bengal for three months, Lakshmi Bhavya has been championing the cause of menstrual hygiene in her district. By associating herself with the Lalana Campaign, a holistic menstrual hygiene awareness campaign which is conducted by the Anahat NGO, Lakshmi has been slowly breaking taboos when it comes to periods and menstrual hygiene.

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