Realizing Reproductive Time

This week we talked about Judith Halberstam and her critique of reproductive time, which was surprisingly relevant to my life at the moment. The relationship I was a part of for the last 2 years ended about a month ago and there’s been a lot of realizations after the breakup. You know how it goes, the typical post-relationship thoughts: he didn’t understand so-and-so, how did I not notice XYZ, and the other things you don’t notice when you want something to work out. Well during these thoughts to myself (and rants to my friends), I realized how I focused a whole lot of attention on the relationship, enough so that I put more effort into my romantic life that I pushed aside a lot of my friendships, unfortunately.

Here’s where Halberstam gains relevance. During our conversation in class about reproductive time, we got on the topic of people valorizing relationships to the point where they feel it’s the most important aspect of their life, which follows the normalization of reproductive time. Hearing this really stuck with me because I had that problem in my own relationship, as well as many past relationships. I didn’t realize the investments I placed in reproductive time and how I have a habit of placing relationships on a pedestal that I don’t let other things reach.

I think it’s interesting because this was a huge realization to me, but I’m really casual about my relationships. I have so many other friends who heavily invest in their relationships, to the point where I literally don’t see them when they’re in a relationship. And thinking about how society places love and relationships on the top of a social hierarchy, to the point where we’re told that your worth is far less than those seemingly happy in their pairings. I guess the gravity of my own investment, as well as that in relation to others, in reproductive time was a real eye opener for me.

-Lucas Zigler

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