My husband and I got married in 2007 which was a big step for me since I argued against the institution of marriage and told everyone I would be a spinster for life. Shortly thereafter, I took a different position in another profession in order to gain more experience prior to returning to school. While I was working at this new position, I met several people from many walks of life. In my mind, I had our future plans devised. I use the word “our” to include both self and other as my husband and I serve as a witness to each other’s lived experience (yes, my worldview as changed quite a bit from my spinster years). These plans consisted of me eventually returning to school, receiving my degree, and then giving birth to a child. The plan seemed reasonably feasible to me at the time. I lingered on the idea that several women over 30 today are giving birth to healthy children all over the world. In fact, someone shared with me not too long ago a story of a woman in her 50’s who just gave birth. I felt confident about our plan until the day I met a member who I worked with and highly respected in this new position who share with me her thoughts about my husband and I’s current situation. She said, “You and your husband had better settle down and start making babies. You are not getting any younger and if you don’t try soon your eggs will get old.” My immediate reaction was to tell her to ***. After some time to cool off, I could not help but wonder if there was any merit to her argument. I think in a lot of ways bell hooks is right, “words impose themselves; they take root in memory against our will.” I remember talking to my mother about this conversation. She rattled off some statistics about women, age, and birth—basically telling me to not concern myself with what this woman has said to me. I like to feel that I am strong about these issues most of the time; however, I still cannot help but feel ambivalence about this comment I endured.
Young comments again on the issue of the split subjectivity—but during pregnancy. The story I had just shared was a phase in my life where I felt disembodied without even being pregnant. On one hand, I felt empowered for embracing a destiny that I could call my own. On the other hand, I felt shame for not fitting into the mold of normativity or as Moore discussed god’s plan for reproduction. The “first comes love, then comes marriage, then comes…” seems to be engrained within our society that fails to provide a space for alternative ways of being. I often feel ambivalent even about the pictures of children that women from my high school post on Facebook. I am a liberated deviant. This is a tension that I attempt to reclaim because deviant in the way that I have come to address my own sense of being is confirming even if it starts out in a disconfirming position. Being deviant by redescribing what that means to me can be liberating.
To some extent, I expect pregnancy to be a similar experience. I am sure I will experience some of the issues that Young discusses; however, I hope to have the opportunity to redescribe this experience on my own terms. Young discusses this “doubling of the pregnant subject” as entrapment yet potential to experience the world differently. One of the examples she uses is the lack of “a firm sense of where my body ends and the world begins” (p. 50). This is the type of tension that can ultimately lead to different ways of embodying being in the world today.