My biggest problem about this pressure is that it is mostly (only) adressed to women and that nobody even think that a woman may not want to give birth while it is normal to a young men not to have this kind of idea.
I don't want kids but since I am not in a relationship and I look 22/24 (I'm 29), no one has ever asked to me if I had kids or plan to (except for doctors but in my case, it's understable). But even in this case, they mostly don't say "if in the future, you want to bear a child, we will adjust your treatment" but "when you will want ..." like it's obvious. I didn't want kids when I was 20 and still don't want, I can change my mind, or not. "if" is perfectly accurate.
It's true that men don't suffer from this injuction. Take a 50 yo single woman and a single man of the same age.
People reactions towards the woman : "oh she's probably sterile" "she couldn't find the right person", "how is she going to do when she will 80 and no one will care after her" etc etc ...
People reactions towards the man : "well, he chose to give his life an another purpose. Who are we to judge ?"
And I think it's because men are not enough empowered with the being a father's stuff. I hope you will understand me (it's is something I have a little trouble to say in french so in english, it's harder). But I will give examples to illustrate my words.
We all agree that you need sperm and egg to conceive a child and except for the lesbian/gay couples or single women, you have a man and a woman who BOTH decide to have kids or NOT to have kids. It's is not something one person decides and the other follows (well, it shouldn't).
Birth control : in many couples, men do nothing about it. Well, they can take the pill instead of us but they can go get it at the pharmacy, they can remind us it's time to take it or go with us at the doctor, etc ... Sadly, it's often the woman's business and only her business but if she get pregnant, this is not Immaculate Conception, her partner is 50% responsible of that.
Being a parent : you probably have heard about mental load. Nowadays, men do more chores but who checked if there is any planned appointment for the kids, if clothes need to be washed, if school's papers are signed ? etc .. it's mostly woman and it seems that men are here to help. No ! This is your kid(s) and your home, you are not here to help. So go to the kid's room or the bathroom and check if there is any dirty clothes on the floor and start the washer if needed. Do not wait your SO to tell you to do something. This is not your mother.
Today, I saw this twitter account : https://twitter.com/chargementale
I think that men, from their childhood are taught they can relie on woman to remember them they have something to do or think. One actual exemple : a mother ask her teenage boy to vacuum the house. He does it but forget a place and his mother vacuum right after him. What can he thinks at this moment ? I am not a seer but I think it's something like "why she asked me to do something if she redo it just after it ?" or "why I should take time to do something right if someone is ready to redo this stuff"
Next time his mother ask him to vacumm ? Well, 2 possibilities, he tries to really pay attention at what he's doing or quickly vacuum because he knows his mother is here to revacuum.
How come a man who since his childhood is assisted regarding chores by his mother or any other feminine figure, can be fully responsible regarding his kid(s) ?
It seems that society want us to think men are genitors but woman are the one who truely raise children.
It shouldn't be remarkable that a man changes his kid's diaper or take him to the doctor (and know his/her medical history), sometimes I can see people online who said speaking of that "wow, great father" No, he's acting like a father should, he does not deserve a medal or congratulations.
There is A LOT to say about it but I stop here. And I say again that this does not represent every men and every couple but a very large part. I'm too lazy to reread my messages so I hope I don't forget huge mistakes.
@mt I agree to be corrected when you spot any mistakes, I am here to progress
@Khyra you really well explained the women's pressure ! And I am surprised about doctors who, in my opinion, aren't really processional since they also put pressure on you to be pregnant one day or another and don't even think you might not want it...
@Khyra your insight's really interesting. In particular the part about doctors: this is so true, although I've never had really paid attention to it. Whereas actually, you're right, this something recurring within various testimonies I've heard
This is so anchored within representations, that women are first and foremost mothers. I think we're raised with the idea we are meant to become mothers later but that we're slowly moving forward on the path to change representations about that. Sarcastic time: women really work (outside the house) for about a century, French women can only vote since 1944 ... so this evolution is not to happen now