Main Mandatory Motherhood Discussion

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08:00:43 AM Apr 26th 2014
(Just in case, these could include spoilers for anyone not up to date with Bones)

So there's no Trope for when a character who has always vehemently rejected the idea of having children suddenly changes their mind, with little to no character development? Such as Brennan in 'Bones', who suddenly declares she wants a baby in order to continue her superior genetic material (Quote Sheldon!) and later joins bestie Angela in Mum-dom and marriage, subsequently becoming more appealing to her intended partner - rather like Gabrielle Solis from 'Desperate Housewives', who is actually featured on this page despite the lack of dire consequences. Kind of hand-in-hand with an abrupt switch from anti-marriage to yes-marriage. 'Sudden' and 'abrupt' being the keywords, not just a character who changes their mind realistically over the course of time.

Thanks in advance for any thoughts.
02:26:38 AM Apr 27th 2014
You might want to ask in Lost and Found.
05:10:41 AM Sep 27th 2013
The Old Testament is frequently misinterpreted. The stories about individuals are generally made up but are used to illustrate the point of Jewish Law. The point of a man marrying his brother's widow is Ancient Social Security. Even today, there are cultures that regard women as "property" equal to a goat, but not a cow. Cows are worth ten men. Before the 20th century women could not own property because they were property of their husbands or their father. So the weird rules of the OT were just Rabbis trying to find away around the laws and customs of whatever country they were in and provide for their mothers and sisters. The "people" in the stories surely did not exist and as there was no other entertainment at the time, was for entertainment purposes only.
05:02:39 PM Jun 30th 2016
Sorry, but this is almost 90% inaccurate, including your references to the Old Testament. At best you are painting with too broad a brush.
11:23:24 AM Dec 28th 2012
edited by QueenofSwords
Why was the name changed to Mandatory Motherhood? There are plenty of men who don't wish to procreate, after all, and the media doesn't often allow men who explicitly don't wish to become fathers refrain from doing so, either.
08:03:05 PM Oct 16th 2014
edited by
Yeah, I think Mandatory Parenthood is a much fairer trope name. Was it just for the Added Alliterative Appeal?
12:01:00 AM Oct 17th 2014
By all accounts, Mandatory Motherhood has always been the name of this trope.
05:40:37 AM Oct 17th 2014
^ According to the discussion below, it was called Childfree Is Not Allowed.

I feel like a guy being trapped in parenthood would be different enough to qualify as a separate trope.

For a woman, the issue at hand is that she has to go through pregnancy and carrying the child to term.

For a guy, the issue is that he has responsibility for the baby but no power over the fetus' fate.

"Pregnancy" is one of those tropes where I feel like a separate trope for men and women.
06:20:43 PM Nov 29th 2010
Archived discussion moved from the old name, Childfree Is Not Allowed:

Nornagest: Is this really a trope? I'm not seeing any common thread other than "didn't want to have children, then had children". A more specific set of topics would probably work better (I'm pretty sure The Broken Condom is a trope), and anything having to do with the "childfree" movement is flamebait gold.

Machiavellienne I think there might be a trope here, just with a poor name. It just really needed to go through ykttw. I think the childfree reference would have been nixed pretty fast if it had.

Anonymous Mc Cartneyfan: I clicked to delay the deletion, but it looks like The Law Of Inverse Fertility has the necessary parts covered.

Meta Four: That sounds right.

Rann: The description is made up almost entirely of linking to a bunch of other tropes that "contribute" to it, and the rest essentially adds up to just some grumpiness about characters in shows having children. When there's more blue text saying "See blahblahblah" in the description than there is black text actually giving a description, it's either an indicator the trope is unnecessary or all the ones it's linking are. The page doesn't really seem like a trope in itself, but rather the specific Child Free group complaining that it's not being represented enough on television... at best it's unnecessary, at worst it's Complaining About Imagined Persecution You Dont Like. (As an addendum, it seems like more than one of these are just talking about some random, one-shot characters who are part of the plot of a single episode. Again, the whole "imagined persecution" angle.)

Kizor: The debate seems to have petered out on the 21st of July. It's now mid-August, and the issues are still relevant. I cut-listed the thing, and hit "wait" unwittingly. Sigh. I say fire away. Redundant, very much not in accordance to the Rule of Cautious Editing Judgement (as with most groups that effectively define themselves by hate, the term "childfree" is a firebomb), crying "persecution" is central content.

Anonymous Mc Cartneyfan: Even if it isn't cut, it needs reworking. I think there may be the seed of a legit trope (other than the Law of Inverse Fertility) here, but to get at it will require a POV change. What would need to be stressed is the not allowed part; the universe or the society finds that character not having children absolutely unacceptable, even though she doesn't want kids. Perhaps it's a world where the Law of Inverse Fertility doesn't apply; society pressures everyone to have children, and most people do, but not her. Perhaps the society is trying to recover from a class 2 apocalypse, and she's refusing to cooperate. Or perhaps she's been prophesied to be the mom of the Chosen One and is trying to Screw Destiny she's putting her own freedom and happiness over her society's freedom and happiness, or even its survival. There would then be a basic plot, or subplot, of getting her to change her mind.... Maybe the trope I just described exists somewhere else. But if it doesn't, here is a reasonable place to put it.

Anonymous Mc Cartneyfan: In other words, it shouldn't be just any character who doesn't want kids but is pressured to have them. It should be limited to characters who in theory could have kids, who will face serious social, legal, or moral consequences if they remains childfree, but who still actively fight it.

Anonymous Mc Cartneyfan: And the seriious consequences need to happen if she doesn't have the kid. The pressure to bear the anti-Christ to full term has to seem almost as strong as the knowledge that, well, he's the anti-Christ if he's born. If the child would kill the character, there must be threats of Hell or fates worse than death if she doesn't carry it anyway (think of the "save the child" Catholic doctrine)... Anyhow, if this can be a trope at all, then Childfree Is Not Allowed should use "not allowed" as in "forbidden"!

Fast Eddie: Regarding the cut request: It looks like some rework is needed, but the case for there being a trope a common dilemma or complication eliminating the childless option does exist.

Anonymous Mc Cartneyfan: Thank you. I'll see what I can do here. Better add this to the Needs More Love page soon...

Anonymous Mc Cartneyfan: Retool started. (Quite a few of the original examples carried over smoothly, but I think I left a few Square Peg Round Tropes in.) Let's hope this sticks.
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