No Wedding, No Womb Nation



When I was asked by my colleagues if I wanted to write something in regards to the “No Wedding, No Womb” I was excited and honored.  I am a Black America mother of a 20-year-old daughter and 23 yr old son that were both born out-of-wedlock.  I am now living in P.R.China with my Chinese husband.

The funny thing about this NWNW movement is that in China, it would not be needed. Having baby out-of-wedlock is not an option. Here they cannot even fathom having a baby without a husband. It just isn’t done. In the rare case that it does happen you would be a disgrace to your family and your friends and the baby would disappear.  The potential shame you would feel would deter it from ever happening. I had a young Chinese girl say to me that I must have gotten married young. I asked why?  She said, because your kids are so old.  I said you don’t need to get married to have kids… her mouth hit the floor. She couldn’t believe this. She continues to ask me “what about your parents, your family, and the government?” In this country the wedding is always first, even living together before the wedding is not permitted.  She told me that in China it is illegal to have a child out-of-wedlock.  The government doesn’t approve of it.

Now… I am not saying that we need to become this extreme, but they do have the right idea. This traditional way of thinking use to be OUR way of thinking, not so long ago. I can still remember my grandmother telling me “the best birth control was an aspirin, hold it between your knees” and then she took my butt to church every Sunday.

Those days were when you thought you would die before you had a baby before the marriage, and your parents would make sure that wouldn’t happen, by being all in your business. You would never see a daycare in the schools, or even special school for the pregnant girls.

What has happened to our morals and our respect for our bodies?  Where are the family rules that we all had instilled in us when we were kids.  Where is the family unit that our grandparents and their parents before had? Something needs to be done. Something needs to change.  As in AAA meetings they tell you…the first step is admitting you have a problem. Well I am telling you America there is a problem, not only Black Americans but all Americans.  America is the most developed country in the world, and the most powerful in the world but sometimes within all the progress we forget the basics…. Education… marriage…. and family; in that order. Come on people the whole world is watching us.

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38 thoughts on “No Wedding, No Womb Nation

  1. Sarah

    I don’t know about this. I’ve always wanted kids and imagined myself adopting or artificial insemination but preferably adopting without being married. Not that I have anything against marriage but I grew wanting to be a mother, not a wife and I don’t think that to have a healthy family you must be married.

    I do currently have a bf that I am thinking a great deal about marrying but I still think that having a marriage means a healthy family. Just like being a single parent doesn’t either but it definitely shouldn’t be forced on people.

  2. Woman

    Very rarely I remember to “like” something. I’ve been here in China for pretty much the whole development of those like things on blogs and social sites, but after only a paragraph, I was speaking to my computer screen while reading your posts thinking, “don’t forget to show some love, don’t forget to show some love”. I cannot remember exactly how I stumbled across your blog, as I feel I should mention that, but I forget.

    So very very very very very true what you have written here. And not only for America, but Canada and England as well. (Not a 100% sure on Australia though) It seems as if it has become acceptable for babies to be making babies, and for people to no longer feel shame in a society for ones actions.

    Many things I agree with you here, and I question why society in the West has allowed this to continue. I’ve read possibly it is because of the lack of fear of what comes next in the afterlife due to the decline of the importance of religion in our day to day lives, I’ve also read that it is the idiocy of the law system and discrimination laws. I have also read that it is the consequence of the equal rights movement where there is no stable role model in a child’s developing years. There are so many more possible reasons given as to what might be the cause. Might I be so bold as to ask your thoughts on a possible reason as to why this is so common in Western countries?

    1. @Woman… “Might I be so bold as to ask your thoughts on a possible reason as to why this is so common in Western countries?” I might get flack from this… But I honest think it is a side effect from the Women’s rights movement. Although I am all for women being treated equally… I do not agree that the women should be so strong that she doesnt need a man. I am a very strong woman.. and I honestly believe I can do things on my own… but I dont want to… and because of that… I let my husband be the man… I had a conversation with a Black women that was very strong… she was president of her own company, president of the NAACP, Strong voice in her church and rubbing shoulders with local royality… and her husband stood right beside her (a black man) .. I asked her one day… How can you be so strong and your husband not feel intimidated. She told me and I will never forget this ” I can be as strong as I want outside the home .. but when I am at home.. I remember my place as a wife, and mother… and I let my husband be the strong one and make the decisions… he is the man and head of the house hold.. and he keeps me inline when I get out of control.” This couple has been married for more than 40 years… to me that is an example of what a marriage should be… and that has changed .. when women start forgetting that … Now i think women say .. hey its okay..if i have a baby.. i am strong enough to take care of it by myself.. i dont need a man… and so they dont get one… just my thoughts.

  3. Mortavia

    I absolutely love your site! More power to you my sister. I too am an African American female married to an chinese man. Hearing about you, your life and your experiences abroad are highly enlightening. One day I hope to be able to travel abroad and experience true chinese culture. My husband was looking into international trade but he didn’t really have any connections and wasn’t sure how to really get started. i am just very supportive and give much praise to this site and the wisdom that you have provided about love, family and relationships. Again I have to agree with you, thats one of the problems with our black people now, we too quick to judge each other and would rather pull our own down instead of lifting them up. Plain out jealousy and hate..yea Imma call it exactly what it is. That is exactly why we can’t prosper here in america as a people. Taking our own-selves out..How Stupid!!!! but anyways I give much kuddos to you and don’t let jealous haters anger you or crimp your style…Peace, Love and Happiness!!!

  4. Wow, this post is interesting. It’s the contrary of what I heard from Chinese people that I meet here. They said that after China open itself to the world, Chinese people just open their eyes and since then on, sex is not a taboo things and a lot of their relatives already lived together before they wed. I will investigate once I reach China and we can discuss this furthermore, it’s an interesting topic ^^

  5. what a great and insightful post — with some great info about China to boot! i find it very interesting that you own the school in China — what a story (I’m a writer), and i bet you could (if you haven’t already) written a book about your experience in China and your love story…i’d buy it.

    i also blogged for NWNW, and please feel free to check out my post here: http://hvmntlst.com/cSWJeZ It’s called “He Blinded Me With Science,” about why some women may feel “addicted” to relationships with less-than-desirable men.

    i love this blog and i’ll be back for more reading…adding you to my blogroll too.

    your story reminds me of my parents’ story…my mother is African-American and my father is Filipino, and they lived in the PI for several years in the 70s where she learned to speak fluent Tagalog. Prior to living in the PI, she was stationed in Japan (she is a Marine) where she learned to speak fluent Japanese.

    in this day when black women’s opportunities and scope of our world tends to be so restrictive, i think women like you are awesome and look forward to reading more about your school.

    1. Thank you so much for your comment.. and I will also add you to my blog roll. I came here to be a teacher have taught for awhile here and found that there are many things that are .. just wrong… in the way they teach. so I met an influencial person.. and he and I decided to open this school together… It is not easy to do in china.. especially if your a foreigner. But i will post my school website when it is finish for everyone to see. It is only a small english school.. not a big university or anything like that.. but it is mine.. As for my book, I will be publishing it soon.. and have it available… hopefully by Christmas..(cross your fingers) … I have found publishing in china much cheaper.. so i may consider opening my own publishing company. I have some connections in that field now. I am very happy to hear about your parents… i know how difficult that time would have been for her. I speak spanish, and my chinese is getting there… (smile) …

  6. pearls

    LBtW…I agree with you and personally stand with you!

    As a divorcee…yeah, I said it…anybody have any problems with it?!!! God loved me before, during and after my divorce…even more so and stronger!

    Over 15+ years ago, there was a rally across the street from my job! The rally was being held by ministers for young people to sign an agreement to be celibate until marriage. Even though I signed the agreement that day which was 2 years after I left my ex, I had already signed that agreement in my heart before signing on paper. Why…because I know my VALUE! That value came from knowing how much I’m loved by my Creator! I wasn’t always aware of my value, yet 7 years prior to my marriage I became aware, and I’m thankful for God’s love through praying, caring people that I came to that understanding! I truthfully can say that throughout the years, I have shared those truths of value with women, not just young women either, all women! If more people come to know the way our Creator sees us and loves us, and give guidance from that perspective, not the way they think love is…more women will learn to value themselves! Oh, by the way, I also talk to men too…all men…age doesn’t matter to me because it doesnt matter to God! Since men are ‘primarily’ the hunters, I believe in getting to them early…with hope that they’ll remember and follow through! I’ll conclude with this. When people are approached with the wisdom of God’s valued love for them…they will listen! Hatin’ drives people away!

    1. pearls

      Wow…a thumbs down! Well, that’s interesting! I’m neither offended nor amazed…I just consider the source!
      Mrs. LBtW…I really am going to make a point with the following!

      This is to the ‘perfect’ folk who never told a lie (no matter what color or size you chose it to be…its still a LIE), did something for a boss that went against your conscience (but did it anyway to ‘keep’ your job), never cheated on a test or at a game, never talked behind somebody’s back (mmmhmph)…never stole something from someone (including borrowed/returned without their permission) or somebody’s boyfriend (including just a little flirting)! Who never had a lustful thought…who never looked down on someone…who never wished something bad on someone (remember, there’s a real law of reciprocity waiting for you when you do)…who never whined, complained, or threw a tantrum…who never sassed their parent(s) under the guise of voicing their opinion…who never went somewhere with someone or somewhere when your parents told you not to (you know-sneaking)! Well, TRUTH NEWS FLASH…everyone living on this earth will partake of or has already, one or more of what was mentioned because we’re human and need correction
      from others, even as adults! I’m not trying to convince you, I’m revealing the truth so you can snap out of this much needed exposed self-righteous act!

      I’ll conclude with this…since the naysayers are above making mistakes and above needing correction…I’m curious to know if any of you have ever talked to females or males you didnt’ know…like strangers, people outside of your cliquish comfort zone group, about maintaining their chasity and why? That’s the whole point of this article! Because, if not, you’re part of the problem…so, just keep on living…and get ready…you’ll find out soon enough!

  7. pearls

    LBtW. I must say that this post really brings out the judges! I’ll touch on the article later…

    Now, from one church folk to another…this is a reminder! As one who not only knows the Bible, but lives it…I will step in and remind those who forgot…that when you judge, you will be judged! Having said that…I’ll continue! I can understand people needing clarification about this article and your stance in relationship to your openly shared precursor to your marriage of which I commend you for sharing! But to start giving their personal views about you not heeding your grandmother’s (elders) words and leaving your children behind as if you’re going buck and butt wild in China just clearly CROSSED THE LINE!

    Now, about etiquette, what’s proper, and valued traditions…since this is pretty much the gist and vein of the article, until the negative parts of their responses took the article out of its arterial flow, I’ll further comment! First of all, it would have been proper and a good gesture if they had ‘ASKED’ you ‘IF’ you had talked to your children before going to China. To me, that would have been a stretch, yet knowing you…you wouldn’t have mind answering them. But to keystroke their views without asking you, is inappropriate and is known of their ludicrous business!

    As one who personally has a relationship with God (the Triune)…those are definitely not our Creator’s views towards you and your past Mrs. LBtW! With remarks like this…no wonder its continually hard to get people to go to church in order to celebrate collectively the joy of knowing and coming to know our Creator’s love for us…then take that love and compassion to share with others! The problem still remains…it’s not with Jesus…it’s with people and their 4-walled minds…its the Me, myself, and I, repeat syndrome which God hates from Genesis to Revelation! The repeat makes 4! Be continually Blessed!

  8. Anniegirl

    Love, love, love your post!! My only issue was that it was too short. The attacks against you are unwarranted. Asking young girls to wait to have children and respect their bodies, is that really controversial?? Some black women are soo quick to pop off at the mouth that they are missing the point. Or maybe the topic hits too close to home.

  9. Lala Jenkins

    Hey Girl,
    I’m going to repost my question over here.

    I love reading your blog. Coming at you from Detroit. You have such an exciting life over there in China. Can you tell us a little more about your husband? Is he a teacher like you are? What are some of the things you too have in common? Keep blogging 🙂

    PS: That man is cute!

    Lala

    1. Sorry it took me a minute to get back to you… the time difference. No my husband is not a teacher he is in international trade. He has a degree in English, and is 27 years old. He is very funny and kind hearted … and becoming more and more American every day. (smile) … As for things we have in common.. well… we actually have the same views concerning life and the same goals for the future. He is what you call an old soul… and I am young at heart so we match. He is a little traditional in some ways .. and … very non traditional in other ways. We both like people, and traveling… we both like enjoying our time together. The big thing is we laugh… and are not afraid to be crazy together. And thank you so much for reading my blog… and …yeah.. he is a cutie isnt he…LOL….. In one of my earlier blogs .. i told the story of how we met…. under personal category… Blasian Love .. is the title. Thanks again

  10. Aubrey

    Hey Jo! Great post – I was wondering if you have any thoughts about the 1 child limit and female feticide and how they impact this NWNW movement?

    1. Living in china.. and seeing the extreme amount of people .. i can see.. why they have this limit. as for the female feticide… due to the new government ruling…. no one can find out the sex of their baby…. so … it is helping to improve the female population. I dont agree with the cause of this female feticide.. but living here.. and seeing the the issues with retirement and no welfare programs… i can see how it started and understand they are thinking. But i No way find that as an excuse or reason for what has happened in the past here.

  11. Monique Jackson

    WOW Jo, I didn’t know you owned the school! Can you tell me how you started a school in China? How long have you owned it????

    I was thinking about coming just to teach ESL, but…WOW! You’re an inspiration!

  12. Observant Negress

    Hi Jo,

    Like E. Moon, I too was confused by your post regarding NWNW…and reading your response, I still remain so.

    First:
    “I had my children… after I was out of high school and not a child having a child… and did get married to their father 2 years later… so.. in my case .. yes, the cart did come before the horse.. but I did marry my babies daddy… ”

    Does it matter when one has children out of wedlock? I mean, “out of wedlock” is just that – no matter how old the parents are. Quite frankly, when you stated that “yes, the cart did come before the horse,” you have already lost the game. It would seem to me that a person who “advocates for traditional family values” doesn’t change what “values” means just because they are in violation of said values – in this case, having children without being married. To further confuse the issue, traditional family values also don’t include divorce, which seems to be something that had to occur for you to meet and marry your younger Chinese husband.

    Traditional values also include the idea that the family unit is physically together, and those who rely on such a definition would not rely on “a phone call, video cam, email, or airplane ride ” In fact, measures would be taken to preserve a physical closeness. In other words…your children would be living with you.

    Finally, I don’t know if I understand your response about the Church and your upbringing…fine if you were forced to go or whatever, but how is it that you ignored your Grandma’s colorful advice on how not to get pregnant? As a a upholder of traditional family values, one would not only not be pregnant without marriage, but also give great respect to the wisdom of an elder….

    Perhaps “traditional family values” is poorly defined in your post. What do you really mean when you say this? It seems to me that your definition varies widely, and to some extent is an attempt to not necessarily promote NWNW as much as something else that only you can name.

    I read your posts with great interest and look forward to hearing from you.

    Watching from San Diego, CA…
    The Observant Negress

    1. You know.. you guys can attack me all you want… and say that my views are wrong or what ever… but I support this cause.. and just because I am not the prime example.. doesnt mean.. I cant support it….

      I just became a grandmother last night… from my son who is married and has become a great person, husband and father.. because of my upbringing.. so i really do not think my background has anything to do with how I raise my children. As for my divorce.. since you dont know me… you wouldnt know that my babies daddy is gay… so .. that would throw my traditional values out the window… in that marriage wouldnt it.

      As for my grandmother .. no I didnt ignore her.. nor would i have ever…. before she died .. she was the only one that stood by me.. when I did have my son… and told me.. that life doesnt always happen like we plan.. but that doesnt mean i dont believe in what she wanted for me.

      As for my children.. my son is married and is living his life.. my daughter is in University and living hers… and I am here living mine…..we are okay with it… So… hate on me if you want… but … Chris.. is doing a good thing here… and it can help a lot of people… instead of trying to drag me thru the mud you should be trying to help….

  13. great perspective on this issue. Though I am not in favor of government directed behavior. However, family and social influences do matter. But special schools for pregnant girls have been around for a while now. At first they were like boarding schools – young women were whisked away and returned home ‘from study’ several months later. Children were often given up for adoption.
    By the the 70’s, some public schools had segregated facilties for pregnant girls. Was it a good idea? I don’t know. But I do know it must have been a far cry from the celebrating squeals of young teenage girls today in the hallway. They seem to jump for joy when one of their classmates gets pregnant. That’s some mess that needs to stop.

  14. great perspective on this issue. Though I am not in favor of government directed behavior. However, family and social influences do matter. But special schools for pregnant girls have been around for a while now. At first they were like boarding schools – young women were whisked away and returned home ‘from study’ several months later. Children were often given up for adoption.

  15. E. Moon

    Hi another great post! I have a few questions.

    1. “Even living together before the wedding is not permitted.” What does that girl mean? How can this be true when you mentioned earlier that you lived with your husband before you two got married?

    Not clear. Please clarify…

    2. You seem to advocate this notion of ‘traditional values’-

    * “the best birth control was an aspirin, hold it between your knees” and then she took my butt to church every Sunday.”

    * “What has happened to our morals and our respect for our bodies? Where are the family rules that we all had instilled in us when we were kids”

    Yet you mention that “both” of your children were “born out-of-wedlock.” I am confused. By your own admission you were indoctrinated with ‘values’ yet they did not work for you. Taking your “butt to church every Sunday” did not work for you; Providing you with “rules” when were a “kid” did not work for you; Evidence “a 20-year-old daughter and 23 yr old son that were both born out-of-wedlock”.

    Not clear. Please clarify…

    In addition, you extol families yet it appears you have abandoned your family(children) to gallivant around the streets of a nondescript Chinese city.

    Not clear. Please clarify…

    1. @E.Moon –
      I want to make sure and answer each and everyone of your questions…. so i will list them okay…?

      1. “Even living together before the wedding is not permitted.” What does that girl mean? How can this be true when you mentioned earlier that you lived with your husband before you two got married?

      Okay… when I say not permitted.. I mean by families…(not government) and is not condoned..the community frowns on it…… OF COURSE… people can do what they want .. but it is not going to be looked at as the right thing to do. As for me and my husband… he has to be a little non traditional .. or he wouldnt have married me…. Right?

      Not clear. Please clarify…

      2. You seem to advocate this notion of ‘traditional values’-

      * “the best birth control was an aspirin, hold it between your knees” and then she took my butt to church every Sunday.”

      * “What has happened to our morals and our respect for our bodies? Where are the family rules that we all had instilled in us when we were kids”

      Yet you mention that “both” of your children were “born out-of-wedlock.” I am confused. By your own admission you were indoctrinated with ‘values’ yet they did not work for you. Taking your “butt to church every Sunday” did not work for you; Providing you with “rules” when were a “kid” did not work for you; Evidence “a 20-year-old daughter and 23 yr old son that were both born out-of-wedlock”.

      In regards to myself…. You are assuming that I was not born out of wedlock… as we know.. history tends to repeat its self.. my mother had me at 15 years old… and went thru hell for it… and my grandmother did her best to take care of us… I had my children… after I was out of high school and not a child having a child… and did get married to their father 2 years later… so.. in my case .. yes, the cart did come before the horse.. but I did marry my babies daddy… and My children were raised better than me. My son is married and just having his first child with his wife.. and my daughter is not married and doesnt have any children.

      We are talking about our children… and the future of our children….. and my children have been set on the right path.

      In addition, you extol families yet it appears you have abandoned your family(children) to gallivant around the streets of a nondescript Chinese city.

      Now.. with this statement.. you kind of pissed me off… I have not abandoned my children, nor would I at anytime do such a thing. And I am not gallavanting around a Chinese city. I live here and own a school here. It is called living abroad and working. Before I moved to China i discussed it all with my children to make sure they would be okay with it. I also made sure that my extended family was near them for any support they might need. I send my children financial support, mental support, and give them my words of wisdom constantly. With the technology today… I am only a phone call, video cam, email, or airplane ride away.

      I am an advocate for traditional values and family.. however, I wasnt lucky enough to have these giving to me. That doesnt mean others should not have the opportunities for a better life. As for Church… I am not a strong advocate of church.. never have been… I told you.. i was forced to go…. there are all kinds of things you can say .. to try to make what I say not valid… but the point is … the future needs to change… and if you dont try to help the problem … your apart of the problem….

  16. pearls

    I totally agree with you about grandparents! I valued the time that I spent with my paternal grandfather and grandmother! The stories he told alone about growing up in the south were worth more than the weight of pure gold!

    1. actually… most mothers would get an abortion rather than bare that embarrassment. It is legal to get it “taken care of” if they do have it… the child will be shunned, outcast, and you will get no support from the family or friends. Most people will not want to go thru that.. so they will not let it happen. they are very hard on people that break tradition or rules.

  17. jim

    We recently started taking our three year old son to day care. While we like the fact that he has more social interaction and a break from Mom and Dad, but we really had a difficult time leaving him with non-family members. Although we know the care-givers personally, and trust them, we miss the days of familial support and care. If only we could just drop him off daily with grandparents…If only the grandparents were more respected, revered, and allowed to relax and not have work through their golden years…

    1. @Jim….That is one thing the Chinese do well is take care of their children when they are young. the grand parents play a major role in the raising of the child. Actually.. when my mother left me and my brother to be raised by my grandmother… that is exactly the chinese way… and I should be very thankful for the stability that it gave me. You and your wife will do wonderfully… especially with you as a father…. just teach him the values you both have … and give him the love he needs. Our grandparents are very important… and my children know that.

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