Life, Love, and Dirty Diapers

Kate and William and the Expectation to have an heir

on May 14, 2011

I want to preface this post by saying, I am not anti-motherhood. I think that being a mother is a special right and privilege given to woman and that God gave us the ability to be mothers for a reason.

That being said. It is wrong that Kate is expected to have an heir. Comments like this, “”If Kate is not pregnant in the next nine months, she will be defying 200 years of royal tradition” and this, “If I’m being brutal about it, Catherine’s duty is to make her husband happy and to produce an heir” are wrong (Source). It’s not because I think that motherhood enslaves women, it’s because I worry about what will happen to Kate if they don’t have a child.

This kind of expectation, royalty or not, could be very harmful. What if Kate and William have trouble conceiving? According to the American Society for Reproductive Medicine, 1 in 7 couples face that difficulty (Source). What will happen to them then? Will the blame fall to Kate? Will the media crucify her? Will they blame William for marrying for love and not marrying a royal?

I have a few friends who struggle with infertility and I see how hard that is for them. But, how much harder would it be for Kate and William if they face infertility on the public stage? I don’t think it’s fair to have such a heavy expectation on her to have children.

I hope for her sake, they are able to get pregnant, because I wouldn’t want to go through infertility under the scrutiny of all the eyes in the world.

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2 responses to “Kate and William and the Expectation to have an heir

  1. Amanda says:

    Part of the “duty” of marrying royalty, liked or not, IS to produce an heir. Even in modern times, I’m pretty sure that Kate understands that this is expected of her. In fact, I’m pretty sure she understands the scrutiny and lack of private life that accompanies marrying a prince. It’s not for everyone. Before they were even married she has been “crucified” for unlady-like mannerisms and un-royalty-like dress, among I’m sure a myriad of media dumbness in general.
    [They’ve been shacking up for a while before the wedding, honestly I’m kind of surprised she’s… not pregnant? Apparently they don’t care about tradition *that* much!]
    And if they *do* struggle with infertility (not that I would wish that on anyone), who better a face to put on the struggle facing so many “common” people?

    • Melissa says:

      I think though that just because it is a duty or expected or a cultural norm doesn’t mean that we shouldn’t look critically on it. There are a lot of cultural practices and norms in places that I don’t agree with, but that doesn’t make it right. I don’t think anyone should ever be expected to have children if they don’t want to. I mean, it’s one thing to get pregnant and take responsibility for that child, but you have a choice whether or not you try for children or you try to avoid children.
      And I know they’ve been shaking up for awhile, so I kind of think she must be on some kind of hormonal birth control.
      And unfortunately, while I like to think she would put a face on it, I think more realistically it would play out like “If he had married a royal, they wouldn’t be having this problem.” Not “This is a problem that a lot of people face.”

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