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Nature gives us no choice...

The breaking news story in the world of sports right now is the one about Serena Williams announcing her pregnancy. And while this is probably good news, it is not something her fans look forward to. I'm sure it must have been a huge decision for her and something that she must be coming to terms with even now as I write this. The pregnancy means that Serena Williams, the best women's tennis player ever in the open era, who is still at her prime and has just won the Australian Open 2017 will now miss the rest of the season this year. How unfair is that! Why does she have to choose between being a mother and playing tennis when her male counterparts just go through parenthood with a breeze. They never ever have to sit out, never have to make such life changing decisions, never have to contemplate and plan their return to tennis after the birth of their child. 

It is just frustrating that the likes of Djokovic and Federer have been at their prime winning titles with fatherhood only being an additional joy in their personal lives. But the women on the other hand have  had to make the very difficult choice of pausing their careers. Last year the two time Australian Open champion Victoria Azarenka became a mother and started the strenuous comeback process. The former world number 1 is currently ranked 48 and it might take her at least a few more months before she can be back to being where she once was. That's two years of her career gone! Her only salvaging factor is her age. She is still 27 and has at least a few more years left in her career. But, what about Serena, who is 35. By the time she'll be ready to make a come back, she'll be 37 and it will take superhuman effort from her side to even be a shadow of her current form.

I know that nothing really can be done about it. It is what it is. That is how nature works. The responsibility of childbirth lies with women and there is no way around it. But, how I wish there was this perfect world where just like Federer, even for Serena, motherhood was an additional personal joy that did not come at the cost of her career. So yeah, it probably is good news, but I'm sorry that I don't feel that way. Nature really gives us women no choice at all!



  1. /*Nature really gives us women no choice at all!*/ That's not true, every woman exercises a choice when it comes to entering motherhood. Unless we are questioning the validity of free will, I'm to suspect Serena is no less happy with her child than with a grand slam title. imo, a woman gets far richer in experience through pregnancy, though I am aware about the neglectful men who miss each opportunity to participate in her most creative period of life. You've reached a conclusion, perhaps on the basis of the popular narrative about matrimonial alliances and thus motherhood, clearly described by the rebellious Nietzsche:- Everything in woman is a riddle, and everything in woman has one
    solution - it is called pregnancy.

    A psychological conflict, many counsellors believe, is rooted in childhood conflicts. Freud hasn't written a word about a happy child, the idea of insanity exists for children who have troubled childhood experiences. True, motherhood comes to women at the cost of career, often impacting her social status and the rest of it. But if I make that choice, I would rather raise my child in dark anonymity than to outsource a part of me so that I be flattered with supremacy. Not that I'm dismissing the illusions of success and going to places, not that I endorse the fact that men get it way too easy. But the real question, which given your interests and availability, one would be curious to explore is that whether raising children is a function of femininity alone? And is a modern self-sufficient woman doing any better than the subjugated women when it comes to motherhood;

    1. I don't think a mother flatters herself with the idea of supremacy when she outsources childcare for part of the day. It is a mere necessity for a working mother and I'm sure she sees it as such. Both the parents are equally capable of raising children and therefore, I don't view it as a function of femininity. But, it is by nature's design that the mother suffers and enjoys (in equal parts) more.

  2. I agree with your stance that parental care isn't prerogative of women alone. So far we're on the same page.

    My disagreement arises only when career choices are prioritized over human sentiments. I am inclined to believe that career (reputation/wealth/power) constitutes a larger perversion of political economy, of which individual is, at best, only an instrument.
    Keeping my objections aside , what do you suggest one to do so that motherhood doesn't come to women at the expense of career choices?

    1. I am not a mother yet. But, observing my friends and colleagues, I gather that it is possible for a woman to have a career alongside motherhood if the spouse takes equal responsibility of parenting. It is still hard, but doable.


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