My Outrage is ‘Dun Worn Out

I was questioning why the recent Supreme Court rulings on anti-abortion protestors being able to harass women entering clinics that give abortions (it never occurs to anyone that women go to those clinics for other reasons) and companies being able to deny medical insurance coverage for birth control to women based on the owner’s religious values (even if the business itself had nothing to do with religion) have not sent me through the stratosphere.

It’s because after three years of the conservative Right’s War on Women, it comes as absolutely no surprise.

DuckDuckGoose

Now, I do not like subscribing to blanket labels like this. It was years and several incidents before I accepted that there was an element of racism in the Far Right’s objection to the sitting president. But ever since 2011, women’s reproductive rights, their rights over their own bodies, have been attacked dozens of times at the state and federal levels. And not only in the case of right to have an abortion, but the right to get access to affordable birth control. (And I would like to point out that the committee that refused to hear Fluke’s testimony, that was making the decision on whether Obamacare should mandate employer-insurance covering birth control, was comprised entirely of *men.*) Which is yet another piece of evidence that proves this has nothing to do with protecting babies. Especially since the conservative Right does not give a damn about what happens to babies after they are born. (I live in a state that cut ALL natal food support to poor mothers.)

This has entirely to do enforcing an evangelical right “christian” morality on women.

That they never consider that women take birth control pills for reasons other than birth control is not surprising. For them to accept that, they would have to conceptualize women as something other than walking wombs.

But what amazes me is that they *never* consider that married women use birth control as well in order to not have more children than the family can support. After all, aren’t they always complaining about poor parents “irresponsibly” having too many children? I guess they must think that women have sex for procreation only. Or at least women should have sex for procreation only. Men can sow their wild oats wherever they want, but the women they sow with, well those women are just sluts and get what they deserve.

And then there’s how the Republican Party looks at rape.

Which is just vile.

This is not some fringe group or odd nutcases, these are the people making policy!

Of course, the SCOTUS Hobby Lobby ruling opens up an entire can of worms. What happens is someone works for a company owned by Jehovah’s Witnesses who do not believe in blood transfusions? According to this ruling, they can argue it’s against their religious values to cover the insurance for your kid’s major surgery. Basically, our employer is now a factor in our medical decisions. Joy.

Though I can’t wait for the shitstorm when Christians are told by the Jewish or Muslim employers that they will not cover the their heart valve transplants that use pig valves. Or a Jehovah’s Witness employer saying they will not cover the transfusion for an employee’s child’s lifesaving surgery. Or a Hindu boss telling an employee that they will not cover their bovine derived insulin.

This “corporate person-hood” nonsense is killing our individual liberties.

No, I Really Won’t.

Today this article popped up on my Facebook feed. (Yes, I know I have damaged my geek cred admitting to using Facebook.)

5 Things You Shouldn’t Say to Women Who Don’t Want Children

By the bullet points:

1. “You’ll regret it when you’re older.”

2. “You just haven’t found the right guy yet.”

3. “Choosing a childfree life is selfish.”

4 . “You’ll have a harder time finding someone who wants to be with you.”

5. “Who’s going to give me grandchildren?”

I don’t normally identify as a “feminist’ because I believe in equality, not female superiority which sadly the feminist movement is full of despite all claims to the contrary. Men and women are not defective for being their gender. Different is not bad. It’s often fun, interesting  and sometimes even enlightening so long as people respect each other as human beings of equal validity.

But this article struck a chord because I am a woman who has decided to not have children and have encountered these arguments and accusations, even from other women.

I could go into the argument about the exploding population and dwindling global resources (which is totally valid), but the truth is when I was 16, I realized that having children was was a very tenuous “if” in my life. *If* I found someone I wanted to spend the rest of my life with (which was always tenuous in and of itself, I take marriage *very* seriously) and *if* he wanted to spend the rest of his life with me and *if* we both wanted kids and *if* we were in the right place financially. That’s a lot of “ifs,” too many to make plans around having family.

As I got older I realized that being emotionally in the right place was as much, if not more, important as finances. In a realistic evaluation of my character, I realized would be a crap mother. I had a crappy childhood and have issues connecting with people. I am self involved. I am bi-polar II. (And studies have shown the bi-polar women have a 25% chance of having a major episode during and after pregnancy, right when you should be bonding with your baby.)

And to be honest, I’m just not interested. At 42, I have never seen mommy-daddy-and-baby-makes-three and thought, I want that. I don’t see children or pictures of them or watch YouTube videos of them and desire to have one. I rarely even find them cute. (Though obviously for politeness’ sake I agree with the parents they are adorable.) I have five nephews. Still nothin’. And I like my life as it is. I don’t hate kids. I respect people for having them. That is an incredible responsibility to take on and I admire anyone who does so with care and conscientiousness.

I just don’t want one.

A few years ago, I went into my nurse practitioner and tried to talk to her about a tubal ligation. Immediately I got #1 and #2 arguments thrown in my face.

At 37, I think I knew what I want out of my life. And part of that is knowing that the right man for me does not want to have kids, or at least does not want to have any more kids. I’m aware my dating pool has a majority of divorcees who probably have already have children. So there is #4 dealt with too.

But she prattled on about how I didn’t know what I really wanted and that a man would change my mind.

Look bitch. I am an adult. This is my body, not any man’s. This is my life, not any man’s. Now shut up and tell me what I need to do before I shove that speculum down your throat. (No, I did not say that to her face, but I was thinking it really loud.)

I have also gotten the accusation of selfishness thrown at me. I have a friend whose mother has bi-polar disorder so badly she was refused adoption in the U.S.. She went to China and adopted three children and she has made those girls’ lives a living hell. Not all parents, but some, have children as accessories, or to have something to love them (the parent) unconditionally, or to trap a man into marriage, or when they can’t afford a child or are simply too immature and/or screwed up to care for them properly. The hundreds of thousands of children overcrowding our foster care system shows this. And for being self aware and not wanting to put another human being through hell, *I’m* selfish?

Fortunately, I have not has #5 thrown at me, thank for Gods for siblings, but it’s not our job to give up a significant portion of our lives to provide entertainment for our parents.

I remember my mother told me that when she had my little sister at age 40 in 1979, there were multiple complications with her birth that required a C-section to save my sister’s life. My mother asked the doctor, “While you are in there, can you just..*snip*snip*?” (She probably did not put it that way, but you get the drift.)

“I’m sorry, but we will need your husband’s permission to perform a tubal ligation.”

My mother said she almost stood up on the gurney to throttle him. Forty years old, four children, and she did not have any reproductive rights over her own body. That’s why I am pro-choice and pro-birth control: *That* is the end result of curtailing a women’s reproductive choices because a certain portion of American society still believes that women don’t know any better.

Hypocritically, the same portion of American society likes to blame rape victims for  being raped. Women can’t be trusted to be responsible for our own bodies, but we are somehow responsible for what a rapist chooses to do with his (or hers, there are female rapists as well).