Saturday, September 4, 2010

Peter's View on Society wanting Us to be a Certain Way..and my own reflections

"Please understand that I am not against family, marriage, children, or even romance. I am merely against the idea that we should all be herded into that mode of relating when there are viable, satisfying alternatives"  ~ Peter McWilliams
First I'd like to give props to my new friend Bob Stevens for landing this quote in my lap this morning. I was so inspired by this quote I just had to write my reflections about it here.
Everyday and in every little way I am learning something new about what Peter said or did. It's a wondrous discovery.
This quote in particular speaks to me. In fact, it roars!
Society expects that we fit into some neat little shiny box complete with a brilliant bow on top, wrapped up neatly, and sized-up neatly.  The 2.2. kids. The two car garage. The house on the hill with the gleaming white picket fence. Medicinal marijuana? Forget about that! Finding natural cures for depression? Why on earth would you want to take them when there are so many wonderful drugs out there with such wonderful side effects (she said, sardonically).  You're gay?'s okay for you to have a "union" but "marriage?" Let's save that for the straights. You're fully expected to be a heterosexual living in a very heterosexual world. Oh, you're overweight? Well we need to get you to Jenny Craig immediately!  You can't love yourself unless you're a size 4!
As a young, single woman, I am often barraged by the question,"So when will you settle down and find a nice man?"  People are very uncomfortable with my telling them I am single by choice. Believe me, for the longest time I felt I wasn't "okay" unless I felt something romantic. 
Forget about the part where I tell people I don't want to have kids.  They can't understand I am just not a "kid" person.  When I see a baby, I run the opposite direction.  I don't "dote" on kids.  People don't like to hear that from a woman because all women are supposed to be nurturing and motherly.  I am motherly towards the homeless, senior citizens and animals. I am just not motherly with kids. Not every woman is, and it's about time society accepts that. I feel it's not selfish to choose not to have kids-I feel it's selfish to have kids and then not want them. There's nothing wrong with women who dote on kids, and are super moms, etc. But please don't look down on me because I'm not like you!
This quote from Peter stirs my soul's insides.  His soothing voice speaks to me, telling me I am all right, and I am beautiful, just the way I am. Boxes are for Christmas gifts, not for people to made to be forced inside and suffocate.


  1. As a man I feel pressure too by my peers and family. I won't date a woman with kids, and I have had failed relationships because the woman expects me to want to become a Dad. I am upfront with them in the beginning but somehow they think they can fix or change what I don't feel is broken.

    My Uncle is gay and he wants to marry his partner of 13.5 years. They don't understand why that's not "moral" and I don't either.

    Thanks for this blog. Just what I needed after a hectic work week.

  2. Recently I found these words from Gary Zukav that seem to echo some of Peter's concepts (for myself anyway) "There comes a time when the pain of continuing exceeds the pain of stopping. At that moment, a threshold is crossed. What seemed unthinkable becomes thinkable. Slowly, the realization emerges that the choice to continue what you have been doing is the choice to live in discomfort, and the choice to stop what you have been doing is the choice to breathe deeply and freely again. Once that realization has emerged, you can either honor it or ignore it, but you cannot forget it.
    What has become known can not become unknown again."

  3. Some people say it's just too much hassle to have kids, sometimes marriage is OK if you really want it, as long as it's with someone you really love. I think people should just live their lives and let one event lead to the next. Screw what society says!

  4. Anon @ 4:56 pm:

    Eloquently and beautifully put. It kind of reminds me of what Benjamin Franklin said the definition of insanity is--doing the same thing over and over but expecting different results. We have to be able to learn when we get hurt, and not keep hurting ourselves again through the same damaging patterns. Well put! Thanks for your comment and I am glad you're part of the conversation :)

  5. John B: Amen and Hallelujiah. I second that emotion!!

  6. Anon at 10:33 am:

    Very sorry your Uncle and his partner are encountering the horrible, deplorable prejudice that exists. Gay people are still considered "less than." Peter would never stand for that kind of intolerable and blind hatred. It's ignorance at its lowest. Good for you about being honest with women. You're right-there isn't anything at all broken about you!