Wednesday, May 17, 2006

take this baby, shove it up your ***, squeeze it back out, and then see if you still like it

[Series of angry/sad posts today. Be forewarned.]

My livejournal friends list contains the both the ever-relevant Maladaptive and the occasionally snarky, mostly helpful Feminist Community, and both of them today gave me a chilling bit o' news.

Preconception! It's all the rage! -the CDC report on a new tactic aimed at ALL women of reproductive age to improve their chances of healthy pregnancy. I am not too concerned with this direct source- albeit creepy, it seems to mean well enough. Better health care for women! Hurray. Still, why do women only get attention for better health care when it's actually their reproductive health at risk? Can't we just get better care on the basis of our being HUMAN BEINGS and not just baby machines?

Take it one step further:

Pre-pregnant! It's like pre-crime, only without twitchy bald girls!- The Washington Post article on the CDC report. Now we're getting closer to Gilead.

Seriously, pre-pregnant?

I don't think I've ever been so nauseous in my whole life.

So, in honor of this, because I just spent the weekend having this conversation with acoupla other people, and in light of the excellent article in Bitch about being child-free, here are the top reasons I will never bear a child of my own flesh:

1. The World is Over-Populated
Newsflash: people are starving, our lifestyles are not sustainable, and we're not doing anything substantial to deal with it. There are children born who have no families or food, and that's not just in Africa. Take a look at America's own foster and adoptive system and tell me something's not terribly wrong here.

2. Just Because I Have a Womb Doesn't Mean I Want to Use It
Don't give me this 'woman's right' or 'woman's special gift' crap. Yeah, birth is a beautiful thing. I am glad all of you who read this were born, loved, and continue to life and enrich my life right now. Do I want to put up with the bullshit attitudes this country has about motherhood just so I can make use of some piddly organ? Carry it around for nine months giving it nutrients and my own flesh and then have it storm out of the house screaming 'I hate you Mom!' fourteen years later? No thank you!

3. Gender Roles, One Size Fits All
You're pregnant. Great. Are you married? NO? Well, get ready for a fuckin' hard time ahead of you. Welcome to your own personal judgment day. Did you get pregnant, unmarried, on purpose? Well, too bad. You're still a dirty, dirty whore, but you'd better have that kid, dammit. Newsflash #2: American society really only cares about your kids when the little parasite is in your womb. Pop it out and need some extra cash to help raise it? You burden on society you. Better get married and stay at home while you still can, so you can protect little Jimmy and Sally from all the mixed messages they're gonna get about sex, drugs, and education. Try this one on for size: Let's say the average female becomes fertile at about 13 or so. Today's 13-year old is by no means mature enough or financially stable enough to have a child. Take her to the doctor, though, and tell him or her that Susie Q Sunshine just had her first period, and she'll start getting subtly fed information about how to have a child. Meanwhile she'll receive no education on how that actually physically works, what kinds of resources she has to prevent or postpone that happening, AND she'll be under tremendous pressure from the media and her peers as to what's sexy and what's cool. How's that for preconception?

4. I Have Thought This Through- Don't Fucking Tell Me I'll Change My Mind in a Few Years
Here's an anecdote from my personal files. When I was 17, I was made a bet by both my aunt and my mom that by the time I finished my undergraduate degree I'd be drinking coffee. I didn't at the time- thought it was gross tasting and worse for you. I was so pissed off that they'd assume something about me in the future that I vowed never to drink coffee- ever- just to show them. And I don't. And I won't. So, I have an opinion- no kids coming out of my body. Does this mean I won't ever adopt? No- it's still not likely but I'm not saying never. But what it does mean is just what I said. I will not intentionally produce spawn of my own flesh. Ever. I have the potential to get pregnant, yes- and what I do if that happens will be a decision based on my situation and my desires. But ethically, I will not let that happen. I am a stubborn, stubborn girl and please stop trying to tell me differently.

Yes, I am trying to talk people out of having kids- at least consider adoption, please. Kids are great- I love interacting with children and I consider it a valuable part of my life. Just- why have more? There are so many that need help as it is. And why stereotype? Why frame what might be a perfectly reasonable attempt to provide women with better healthcare in the idea that it all boils down to a sack of amniotic fluid? Reduce a woman to her parts and products and she's just another commodity. I want to be something more than that, and I want other people to understand that my humanity is not up for grabs here. What's it going to take to get the word out?