Elan Morgan is a writer and web designer who works from Elan.Works, a designer and editor at GenderAvenger, and a speaker who has spoken across North America. They believe in and work to grow both personal and professional quality, genuine community, and meaningful content online.

If It Doesn't Belong to You, Leave It Alone

Please study the following carefully:

Certain Facts About Schmutzie Proper + Certain Things In And Around Schmutzie's Life ≠ Schmutzie Slavering After Spawn

Certain Facts About Schmutzie Proper

She is biologically female.

She is in her thirties.

She is married.

Certain Things In And Around Schmutzie's Life

A kitten named Oskar.

A random child that Schmutzie is not creeped out by.

Schmutzie uncharacteristically turning down a glass of wine.

An unfinished knitting project.

An apartment with an extra room.

Schmutzie's intermittent attempts to quit smoking.

Schmutzie's desire to change her life in some meaningful way.

Anything fluffy / cute / sweet / endearing / affectionate / soft that Schmutzie acknowledges / cuddles / mentions / owns / looks at / writes about.


I thought that it would be beneficial for all concerned if I produced this simple chart, because lately, it seems that people need some sort of instructional material when it comes to dealing with me and my combined age, biology, and relationship standing. They seem to have this knee-jerk impulse to refer to my making babies. I'm thinking of printing this chart up on standard business cards to give out at social functions in order to ease social interaction.

I could have used this instructional card when: I was volunteering at a breakfast for a Popular Disease, because I'm nice like that, and while I was watching these terribly cute twin boys with impeccable manners, a co-volunteer whom I had just met half an hour before elbowed me and said "you must be getting ready to have a family"; a friend told me, and I mean no offence to the person who said it, that I would be depriving an individual who doesn't even exist yet of great parents if I didn't procreate; another friend asked if our new kitten was warm-up practice for the real thing; I was told on more than one occasion that our spare room is the perfect size for a nursery; I was informed that, apparently, my interest in getting back to knitting or maybe finally learning how to crochet is due to my "nesting instinct".

I know that most of the people who have brought up the subject of my bearing offspring only think of it as friendly conversation. They think of it as an of-course kind of topic, like how it seems natural to comment on your aesthetician's nails or your handy friend's new sconces in their dining room. This kind of of-courseness, though, does not translate to talking to me about the possible use of my uterus, despite my being married and thirtysomething and female.

Fingernails and sconces are on the outside, meaning they are a little less personal than say, my uterus, which is on my inside and could change the course of mine and the Fiery One's entire lives. Babies are cute and nice-smelling and outside of my body, but see, there is no baby outside of my body, so there are no babies to talk about with regard to me. Another way to look at it is this: unless you instigate the conversation, I don't ask you what your plans are for dealing with your anal polyps, so anything dealing with the thickness of my uterine lining and what may be planted in it should be left to the mystery that is me.

See this?

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Do you really want to be asking me about that and what I plan to do with it? I didn't think so.

Yes, I know that I have brought up my thoughts about child-bearing here before, but I brought it up here, just like everything else on this website. Me. I did not bring it up when I was volunteering at the Popular Disease breakfast or when I showed you the spare room or when I introduced you to my cat. I did not bring up whether my period was late or whether the Fiery One and I have been bumping uglies without the proper protective gear. Maybe you brought up your anal polyps, but that's your decision, and I have no problem with that. I also have no problem talking about possible future activities involving my uterus, but these random You must want a baby because you [insert whatever happens to be handy here] kind of conversations have got to stop. It's my uterus / and I'll bring it up if I want to / bring it up if I
want to / bring it up if I want to / You'd bring it up too if it belonged to you / do do do do do.