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We'll Be Okay

1 min read

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I recently had a conversation with a friend wherein she asked, “Do I want to have a daughter whose rights to choose aren’t in her hands?”

I contend yes. (Under the assumption that the mother wants to have a kid and her only reason for being reluctant is the state of our world.)

I believe this idea of not wanting to have a kid because the world is in peril is fatalistic. It’s as if we’re submitting to a stagnant future. I’ll offer two arguments against this no-kid lens:

(1) History serves as proof.

Humanity has faced detrimental events since its inception. The American Civil War was supposed to end slavery, yet we saw de facto racism (and arguably slavery) since its end. We called World War 1 “the war to end all wars,” yet it was succeeded by World War 2. Roe v. Wade established the right to abortions in 1973, yet it was overturned in 2022.

All of these events were setbacks, but I doubt anyone would tell those people not to have kids.

(2) It’s a better paradigm.

Something about deciding not to have a kid because “our world is bad” feels like admitting defeat.

I believe, regardless of how “bad” our world is, that my kids will make it better. They will accomplish feats that I couldn’t even dream of achieving. They will fight for a better world and their kids will fight for a better world.

These problems aren’t solved in a lifetime. We need to believe that our future generations will solve them.

We need hope when all seems lost.

Would you tell an enslaved person in the 1800s not to have kids? They would’ve been born into servitude with no rights, but they’ve surmounted seemingly insurmountable obstacles. Indeed, institutional racism exists and the scales haven’t been balanced, but the conditions are better now. Better.

We don’t need perfect—just better. Eventually, we’ll get to p

Michel Liao

Michel Liao

Boise, Idaho, United States
Hello! I'm a sophomore studying computer science at Princeton. I like reading, rock climbing, and running.