veronica_rich: (Default)
Found this article courtesy of a childfree community to which I belong. The link for purists is at http://www.standard-freeholder.com/webapp/sitepages/search/results.asp?contentID=118779&catname=Go!&type=search&search1=child-free but I've also put it behind the cut:

Childfree Women Stand Up )

Fortunately, I can't say I've ever gotten too much flak for my decision to not want children. My aunt bugged me about it when I was in college, with the old, tired "you're not a real woman if you don't reproduce," but I didn't feel particularly pressured - although I was kind of annoyed by her attitude (you'd have to know that my aunt isn't exactly the best mother in the world to know how little her opinion affected me *G*). On rare occasions I'll make the brief acquaintance of someone who goes on about "when you have your own" but I generally let it go through both ears - I much prefer being able to occasionally dote on someone else's kid and then send them home with their mother at the end of the day.

I do know women who've gotten some grief over this decision, but I figure that's from parents who are either miserable with their own decisions and want company, or from people who simply cannot imagine a world large enough to encompass doing more than one thing with one's life. Why else would it matter to a body what someone else is doing that doesn't directly impact the worrier? (Then again, I feel much the same way about people against gay marriage - how does two men marrying affect YOUR marriage? You afraid your hubby's going to up and leave you for his best friend Bob?) Again, fortunately, nearly all the mothers I know are good moms, enjoy their kids, and don't feel the need to justify their decisions by having others around them make the same one.
veronica_rich: (Default)
From my fabulous younger sister, who sent me the CNN news alert this morning along with a personal message ("Well, I wonder how Bush is going to try to screw us now ..."), we have an update on the proposed gay marriage amendment. Why does this matter particularly to the childfree? Think about it (the bolded parts, aside from the headline, are my emphasis):


Direct Link: http://www.cnn.com/2006/POLITICS/06/07/same.sex.marriage/index.html

For the link-impaired: Senate Blocks Same-Sex Marriage Ban )


Do Americans really care who has sex with what for recreation, or how? Porn is still one of the most bottom-line profitable industries in this country. We have a state that has kept hookers legal. Bestiality is a much joked-about (though perhaps not practiced - I really don't know) pastime among college males. The "GGW" acronym continues to get plenty of husbands in trouble when the credit card statement comes in at the end of the month.

Ah, but a friend points out that tolerating sexual preferences does not extend to sanctification of it in society. No society, she tells me, has ever tolerated or recognized marriage between two people of the same sex (though I have to wonder, do the poly male Mormons who force their wives to all live together consider their wives married to one another as well as to them? At least for orthodox Muslims, Mohammed dictated a man should not take more than one wife unless he could afford an equal number of households). Canada now has a conservative PM partly because its citizens are disgusted with that recent legalization, she tells me.

Look at what I've bolded in the article above. I, at least, get the distinct impression that what is actually being hammered on isn't so much sexual preference as preservation of the nuclear family - that is, mother, father, AND CHILDREN. Is it a matter of time before these witch hunters come after those who've actively chosen not to have children, as being "unnatural" too? Yeah, it sounds like a silly persecution complex. I really do wonder, though, if it's simply a coincidence that the two big issues conservatives use to bring out the "emotional vote" at election time are the two geared toward pushing BABIES, BABIES, OMG ABOVE ALL ELSE BABIES: anti-gay marriage and anti-abortion (and, lately, anti-BC). And let's not forget, most conservatives who are anti-abortion are also anti-gay adoption of unwanted children. Because, you know, gays are all pedophiles who want to use all available young meat for fucktoys.

Maybe I'm the last person to figure out this angle on the gay marriage thing. It's simply an epiphany I had. I have no problem with children; shit, I grew up helping take care of my sister and cousins. I don't even have much of a problem with people who try to bingo me with "oh, you'll change your mind, you'll want them" even when I know at almost 34 that I never do. I do have a problem, however, with this "YOU MUST REPRODUCE OR FOREVER KEEP YOUR KNEES TOGETHER" being forced on women through the hammer of the law - social pressure to do something isn't the same as being mandated by law into doing it.

I believe we need limits on marriage to protect social structures like land ownership and inheritance. But I'm thinking of poly marriage, which has a proven tendency in many cases to reduce some of the partners to breeding chattel (let's face it, can you really have more than one favorite?). I do not think the human reproductive drive is going to slow to a grinding halt simply because Susie wants to marry Fern instead of Johnny. There's nothing that says Susie won't still want to pop out six kids. Our society hasn't outlawed single mothers or fathers; why is it worse for a child to have two female or two male caretakers, than simply one?
veronica_rich: (chimpenfuhrer)
This is a tale of one woman's confusion with the state of the world - well, scratch that. The state of my own country, specifically.

I've known a certain LJ friend in real life for several years, since she was a teenager - we'll call her N. She's like my second younger sister. Sooo, I know quite a bit about her medical history, including the fact she suffers from an almost-continual period. There's blood, clots, cramps ... you get the picture.

When she was about 19, she told me her doctor determined she had a condition which made her more susceptible to uterine cancer than the average woman, but that she couldn't have a hysterectomy until she was at least 21. After she turned 21, I figured she'd rush right out and have it removed, but she said her doctor wouldn't do it. This flabbergasted me, especially since I know N has no interest in being a mother and has a very REAL interest in being rid of pain and the inconvenience of continuous bleeding. I thought perhaps she hadn't made herself very clear to her doctor; why else would he refuse to remove an organ giving her so much trouble? This is the 21st century - there's hormones that make it quite easy for a woman without a uterus to continue with life as normal.

It wasn't until I had surfed the Internet a few more years and was exposed to a wider world that I understood N was not alone, and I realized it wasn't a misunderstanding that has kept a malfunctioning, renegade organ in her body at least six years longer than normal: It's plain old sexism.

How do I figure? Today alone, I've had to read four posts on my LJ f-list from frustrated women pulling their hair out over the inability to get doctors to listen to their reasons for wanting tubal ligations, IUDs, and other forms of birth control. This isn't the first day I've had to read this, and I know it won't be the last.

I'm tired of it. I'm tired of me and every other woman being treated like a uterus with a hairstyle. Worse yet, I'm tired of this bullshit coming from other women! A man who tromps all over a woman's rights - at least I can safely presume he simply doesn't know what it's like being female, and I have a hope of educating him. But a fellow woman - that's fucking treason, sister.

I'm tired of hearing "we can't do that because we might get sued." Well, guess what? Viagra makes men see blue! Not that that's stopped many of them. Viagra can KILL some 70-year-old, and yet, not only can other old farts keep getting it, they can have it paid for by the same insurance that WON'T cover birth control, abortions, tubal ligations, OR mammograms until age 40. (Because we all know no woman under age 40 has ever died from breast cancer.)

I'm tired of my body and the bodies of my female friends being treated as shrines for The Almighty Clump of Cells. Yeah, women can gestate babies. Yeah, they're the only ones who can do it. Many men - and far too many women - act like this is some unfair advantage women have in biology. Well, let me tell you what: I'd happily trade it tomorrow for a body that doesn't bleed at least once a month for days at a stretch for 40 years. Do you know what a menstrual cramp feels like? Imagine someone getting their hands inside your lower intestines, SQUEEZING AND PULLING AND TUGGING AND FOLDING THEM FOR SEVERAL HOURS STRAIGHT. At least.

I'm tired of the dominant cults in this country - Catholicism and various branches of fundamentalist Christianity - having more say over what happens to my body than I do! I say FUCK YOU. You want control of my body? Fine. Feed it. Keep it in clothes. Keep it properly examined and medicated (I haven't had health insurance in five years because it costs too fucking much). And while you're at it, don't require me to work, pay taxes, and be sure to properly lobotomize me, because contrary to the opinion that drives this sort of behavior, I DO POSSESS A WORKING BRAIN. (No, I don't have a penis to house it, but I've managed somehow for almost 34 years with that handicap. Incidentally, if I did have a penis, I'd have little to no problem getting the little tubes from balls behind it snipped. No, there's no sexism in regulated medicine.)

I'm REALLY really tired of pharmacists who won't dispense properly-prescribed birth control or the morning-after pill, because it goes against their beliefs. I've been in the workforce since I was 15 years old - nearly 20 years now - and I've had to do a LOT of things for customers and clients that I personally wouldn't do myself. I've had to help people do things I don't even believe in - legally speaking, of course - in the interest of getting a paycheck that is a mere fraction of what a pharmacist gets to take home at the end of the week. Wah, cry me a river - fucking just shut up, suck it up, and save your prosthelyzing for Sunday (or Saturday) morning.

This trend of treating women like they don't know which end is up is demoralizing, demeaning, and illogical. To ban abortion, for example, is to treat every woman the moment she gets pregnant like either a child to be ordered around or slave property to be watched and controlled at all times. She who is forced to gestate against her will is no longer a person, but an incubator. She who is kept from having a harmful, inflammatory LARGELY UNNECESSARY body part removed to improve her health is basically being told her life isn't worth the shit that comes out of it.

Apparently it's okay for us to work, pay taxes, and contribute to society, but not to govern our own life choices. And I find it wholly ironic that legislators and religious folk have no problem treating women like they don't know much when it comes to their own bodies, but they're instantly acceptable to raise the next generation once they roll out of the birth canal. But as I stated above, what really twists the knife is hearing any or all of this bullshit being seriously spouted by fellow women. I mean - damn.

Of course there is no organization to this. It's a rant, bitches. There's a lot more I could say. But do I have to?


(EDIT: Because this thing is getting more traffic than I expected, I removed my friend's specific tag; I'll just call her N for her privacy.)

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