It seems as though yet another person has decided I am not married. I cannot be married. I will never be married. This, of course, surprises my husband, my extended family and the roughly 300 other people who attended our wedding. I think it would also surprise the State of Indiana, which so kindly provided us with a marriage license. I know it surprises the four women who had to pay money for a burgundy dress made by the most difficult and rude seamstress in the world.
Alas, sadly, marriage is for procreation. This would seem to me to mean that you can’t be married unless you have children.
When I was a kid I would often make it through the more boring parts of church by reading the more thrilling parts of the Bible. (Hey, it’s the Bible! Who’s gonna yell at you for reading the BIBLE in church? ) Genesis is far better than most movies and television shows. I was eight when I stumbled across the story of Lot’s incest with his daughters. Boy, was that more interesting than the Offeratory! So I had this childhood steeped in those Old Testament stories, and soon enough my biggest fear became barrenness. In the stories of the OT a woman’s only true currency seems to be as a vessel for offspring. Babies are better than any type of wealth or intelligence. A baby was the only thing standing between a woman and poverty, starvation and death. Tamar was so desperate to secure her place in Judah’s household with a child that she dressed as a whore, seduced her father-in-law Judah and became pregnant with his child. Babies were a big deal, and barrenness was worse than blindness. So of course I feared barrenness and of course–lo and behold–I’m as barren as the high desert. My womb may as well be a steel bowl for all the good it does me.
As I’ve grown older I’ve realised that despite society, God loves and values barren women. But it still ticks me off greatly when some politician or armchair wannabe politico blogger announces that they’re in step with that fertile crescent bigotry. That they’ve determined me unworthy of marriage, ready for the ice floe of modern society to carry babyless me out of their sight.