This is the post in which the viewing public decides whether they will continue to read what I write or shake their heads at my misinformed, naïve and “you’ve never been a mother, you don’t understand” perspective on the subjects of abortion and contraception. Frankly, one could argue that those things are true. However, I’m not going to make that argument, because debating with myself is like riding the Gravitron from the county fair. Not only do I know exactly how it is going to end (peeling myself off the wall, feeling nauseated), but the velocity at which I’m traveling defies most laws of physics and only reminds me that I shouldn’t have considered it in the first place.
Extended metaphors notwithstanding, my inner monologue regarding contraceptive practices and abortion has had many incarnations since I started thinking about it as a young adult. I grew up in a Roman Catholic household and attended a church that chose not to address fairly controversial topics like gay marriage and sexual practices. My first foray into learning about sexual intercourse was freshman year of high school, where my gym teacher taught us that it’s very easy to contract sexually transmitted diseases, and that the safest way to avoid pregnancy and disease is abstinence. This was a public high school, too. That was the sexual education of my formative years — abstinence, STDs, and viewing Greco-Roman statues and Renaissance artwork at the museum as an excuse to see any interpretation of the male and female genitalia. I was terrified that my parents would see my search history on the computer for things like “masturbation” and “female condoms”, so I relied on ancient art pieces instead. #shelteredandscared
Something tells me that I don’t need to explain any more of this journey to you all. Attending college away from home did wonders for my sexual education, and forced me to develop things like opinions and perform things like research for said opinions. Mind = blown (hehe).
I support a woman’s choice to have an abortion. I am also an advocate for healthy sexual education and teaching methods for safer sex to all sexually active individuals.
There was a time in my life when my parents had the last word on what I could or couldn’t do, and typically it was for my own good. I wanted to stop playing flute, and also stop practicing martial arts. They said no. I am now good at flute and can break a board with my hand. I am glad that they made those decisions for me, because I didn’t have the most well-formed brain as a 12-year-old.
As an adult with more education under my belt and now capable of providing consent, I am now realizing that, short of committing a crime, there is little that I want people to monitor and control, like my body. I’m very much not comfortable with someone telling me that I “should have the child” and “you can’t have sex unless you are willing to bear the responsibility of having children”. Newsflash, people: condoms have been assembled from the intestines of animals since the 17th century, proving again and again that people made the distinction between sex for pleasure and sex for babytimes, like, 300 years ago. The Pill was created by at least one practicing Roman Catholic. The same women who fought for the right to vote in the United States of America also went to jail because they were arrested for teaching birth control practices to women who seemed to be birthing an entire village on the regs and who did not want to expand their village, if you get my meaning.
Here’s a thought: I think that puppies are cute, but literally don’t have the time or resources to get a puppy. Does that mean that I should go to the store and get a puppy the next time I pet a dog? No. Because at this stage in my life, I’m responsible enough to know that I don’t want a puppy, and that I couldn’t provide the love and care that it deserves for a wholesome life with me right now. Am I going to stop playing with dogs and watching animal videos online? Hell no! There are some things in life that are not going to hurt the ones I love and are also not going to unduly harm myself. Cat videos are also on this list.
Why can’t women be responsible enough to know that they don’t want to have children AND also have access to the resources that can ensure that reality? Why are Americans so comfortable with violence in the media, which is a manifestation of destruction, and so uncomfortable with sex, which at it’s very core is an act of creation, whether it is the creation of another human or the creation of intimacy and pleasure between consenting individuals?
This post doesn’t exactly have a formal ending, but perhaps that is because this conversation hasn’t had a formal ending, either, at least not in my lifetime. I’m almost certain that at this conversation will not have a formal ending, and it is actually okay with me. Because having a society that refuses to find tacit agreement on a subject encourages its members to keep thinking about it, keep debating it, and keep reevaluating their perspective and values on the issue.
Ever your Lady,
Pro-Choice as F–k
P.S. For more information about the future of contraceptives, check out this nifty website.