(This video will expire on June 4th.)
In this episode, the baby conversation between Arizona and Callie reaches a breaking point. Callie desperately wants a big family and Arizona, despite being a pediatric surgeon, doesn't want any kids. This is obviously Not a Good Thing. They've been arguing about it for a while, with Callie suggesting that Arizona is basically screwed up, and Arizona telling her that she likes her life the way it is. From the episode (about 10 seconds in):
Callie: No! It doesn't make any sense! And everybody wants a kid, and you of all people--you wear roller skates for shoes! I don't get it!I sort of hate Callie at this point, though I really shouldn't. They're not fighting because Callie is being unreasonable. They're fighting because they don't agree on what they want in their future, and that's a Big Fucking Deal. And while her little fantasy of smushy baby smell grosses me out a little, it's not a bad thing in itself. What is bad is that she assumes that Arizona is a fucked up person for not wanting it, too. What's bad is that she automatically deems Arizona's Spain fantasy as deficient, and shallow, and frivolous in comparison to her own. And it gets worse (about 31:15 in):
Arizona: You know what, I don't know. Maybe there's something wrong with me. (Callie scoffs.) 'Cause it's not natural. It's not womanly. Maybe I'm cold and heartless and dead inside.
Callie: No, I'm not saying that!
Arizona: Well, yeah, but a little bit, you are.
Callie: No. No. (sits on the bed with Arizona)
Callie: You know what, just humor me for one minute, okay? Close your eyes. (Arizona hesitates.) Close your eyes. (Arizona closes her eyes) Picture a baby. A warm, smushy little...baby. Wrapping its chubby little arms around your neck. And breathe in that...that intoxicating baby smell. Doesn't it just melt you?
Arizona: (Raises eyebrows) Nope. You know what melts me? Spain. The beach. You in a bikini. Me holding a sangria. (Callie scoffs some more.) Oh. Wait. What's that I hear? Oh, the baby's crying. We can't go to Spain!
Callie: A sangria? That's why I don't get a kid? I can make you a frickin' sangria.
Callie: I get it. You watch parents go through horrible, unimaginable pain. Every day. And, you went through horrible and unimaginable pain when you lost your brother. And your parent's never got over it. But if we had a baby...our baby's not gonna be one of those kids in your NICU. Our baby won't be your brother. I mean, knock on wood, but--Do you know how happy our baby would be?Hot damn. It's been...well, never, since I've seen a sympathetic and not-pathologized childless woman by choice on television. Women who don't want kids are usually portrayed in our culture as bad employees (because they're immature, cold, and a little crazy); selfish (either for not doing their nationalistic duty or for wanting to focus on themselves); or victims of feminism, elective abortion, and birth control. Callie's instinct in this episode (and Mark's)--to diagnose and pathologize Arizona's thought-out decision not to have children--is perfectly normal. And perfectly reprehensible. I applauded Grey's Anatomy when I watched it last night, for allowing a childfree-by-choice lady character to forcefully resist pathologization of her decision. Yay!
Arizona: I'm gonna say this once and then I'm not gonna say it again. I'm not broken. I'm not some psycho trauma. My lack of interest in having a child is not some pathology that you can pat yourself on the back for having diagnosed. I like me life. I like it the way it is. I don't want it to change! I thought I liked it with you in it. I hope I'm not wrong. (Stands up to leave)
Callie: Wait. (Grabs her arm. Arizona walks out.)
I'm young (23), so the reactions I get to my own decision not to have children are usually of the "Well, you'll change your mind" theme. I can't tell you how frustrating this is. Very few people I know take this decision seriously, or believe that I've spent any time at all thinking about it. (Over three years, if you're curious.) I'm starting to wonder at what age I'll finally be taken seriously about this decision. From what I've read on the internet, NEVER. So, yay about that.