naamah_darling: The right-side canines of a wolf's skull; the upper canine is made of gold. (Default)
Why We'll Never Have Children by Joshua Leseur

Probably the best article you'll read this week. It starts out like a lot of similar pieces, touching on the aggravating and dismissive litany of "You'll understand someday!" "I never knew what love was until I held my baby!" "Just you wait!" Welcome sentiments familiar to all of us who have decided that babies aren't for us, but hardly new, and hardly worthy of note.

Then it takes a turn right down the mineshaft and gets dark.

He talks about the pain of being mentally ill, in a family haunted by mental illness, and how that affected him and his choice not to have children . . . I really can't do it justice. It's just . . . I was the child he talks about not having. It . . . it hurts.

I present it less for the childfree aspect of it, and more for the mental illness aspect. Everyone should read this, parents and not parents and never parents, because it perfectly illustrates one of the less-talked-about reasons for not having children, and does it beautifully.

I don't want to get into any arguments about "How could you inflict a disease/mental illness/red hair on your child?!" That's completely missing the point, and that form of judgment is rarer but just as stinky as the whole "How could you deny your imaginary unborn children a chance at life?!" thing. I just want to point at something that strongly echoes what I and so many people like me feel. It's a personal thing, deeply personal, too personal to judge as right or wrong, to have any moral weight at all. It's a human thing. A very human thing. And, as such, it commands respect.

The last paragraph is a goodnight kiss and a knife in the ribs. Gave me the shivers.
naamah_darling: The right-side canines of a wolf's skull; the upper canine is made of gold. (U HEART MY ICON!)
I'm passing this along because even though I don't live in Iowa, I think this is an incredible offer. I wish like hell they would offer something like this once a year everywhere.

Pass this along to anyone you know who lives in Iowa and might want to take advantage.

Planned Parenthood of Greater Iowa is offering free birth control/vasectomy in December.

Not Ready for a Baby Yet?
Prevent pregnancy today...and for years to come!
Take part in our FREE Plan B, FREE IUD or Implanon, and FREE vasectomy offer!

* FREE Plan B (the morning-after pill)
* FREE IUD or Implanon (long-term, reversible birth ontrol)
* FREE Vasectomy (long-term, irreversible birth control)

Visit your local Planned Parenthood of Greater Iowa on MONDAY, DECEMBER 3 or call 1-877-811-PLAN (7526) for more information.

Stop by any Planned Parenthood of Greater Iowa clinic for ONE packet of FREE Plan B ONLY ON 12/3/07. You must bring your government-issued photo ID. Sign up during the WHOLE month of December 2007 for FREE IUD or FREE Implanon, insertion to be scheduled by 2/29/08. Income guidelines apply for FREE vasectomy...call for details.


Again, details are on the PPGI website here, and please feel free to repost this anywhere it might do some good.
naamah_darling: The right-side canines of a wolf's skull; the upper canine is made of gold. (U HEART MY ICON!)
I'm passing this along because even though I don't live in Iowa, I think this is an incredible offer. I wish like hell they would offer something like this once a year everywhere.

Pass this along to anyone you know who lives in Iowa and might want to take advantage.

Planned Parenthood of Greater Iowa is offering free birth control/vasectomy in December.

Not Ready for a Baby Yet?
Prevent pregnancy today...and for years to come!
Take part in our FREE Plan B, FREE IUD or Implanon, and FREE vasectomy offer!

* FREE Plan B (the morning-after pill)
* FREE IUD or Implanon (long-term, reversible birth ontrol)
* FREE Vasectomy (long-term, irreversible birth control)

Visit your local Planned Parenthood of Greater Iowa on MONDAY, DECEMBER 3 or call 1-877-811-PLAN (7526) for more information.

Stop by any Planned Parenthood of Greater Iowa clinic for ONE packet of FREE Plan B ONLY ON 12/3/07. You must bring your government-issued photo ID. Sign up during the WHOLE month of December 2007 for FREE IUD or FREE Implanon, insertion to be scheduled by 2/29/08. Income guidelines apply for FREE vasectomy...call for details.


Again, details are on the PPGI website here, and please feel free to repost this anywhere it might do some good.
naamah_darling: The right-side canines of a wolf's skull; the upper canine is made of gold. (Alpha Female)
A friend, who has asked to remain anonymous for fear of leg-biting, poses a question about being childfree. It's a legitimate one that I have been asked before, but never seen answered. (And no, dear anonymous reader, I don't find the question offensive. I'm actually glad you asked.)

"I've been wondering why it's necessary to have the label. Why not . . . just not have kids?

"It just seems like childfree is along the lines of being hair-dye-free. If you don't like it, rock on, but since you're not giving up anything that you ever had before, I don't understand why it's different. Another example – applying the label of 'vegetarian' to yourself changes something. There are now things which you used to do but in keeping with that label, you're not supposed to do anymore. Does the act of applying the label of Childfree to yourself change anything? Because it seems that it doesn't . . . you just keep be-bopping along through life, the same as yesterday?"


I'm not a big fan of labels, really, but I make a distinction between labels that are thrust upon us by others, and labels that we, ourselves, choose to assume – and there are a lot of legitimate reasons to assume a label.

One reason is because it just fits better than other words.

When I first heard the word "childfree," I felt a thrill. At last, a word that described me. It is so much more accurate than "non-parent" or "childless," and, in fact, both of these are terms that "childfree" was coined to avoid.

"Non-parent" can apply to someone who doesn't have or want kids. It can also apply to someone who wants children and doesn't have them, someone who wants children and can't have them, or someone who has children but parents them badly. Childfree people do not want to be lumped in with those other people – especially the last, who could be said to be the childfree person's natural enemy.

"Childless" can apply to any of those groups as well, with special emphasis on the person who is having difficulty conceiving or carrying a child. The condition of being childless is not the same as the action of deliberately choosing to remain without children. Childless implies a lack, an empty space, and the childfree person experiences no such lack in life. I'd much rather folks save their sympathy for those who need and deserve it.

There's always "willfully childless" or "willfully barren," terms used by those who believe that a decision not to reproduce goes against nature's law or god's law. I confess, I actually like the term. Willfulness is a vital part of being childfree. People who are not willful don't usually have the guts to go against their biological and societal programming. But since "willful" does have negative connotations, and since the term is meant to be insulting, I don't feel "willfully childless" to be appropriate for anything but ironic use.

See, we wanted, needed, a word that carried no connotations of sorrow, no concealed cry for pity, no hidden barb or sting. "Childfree" is that word. It implies that we are genuinely happier without children, and that we have purposefully chosen to remain without children for the rest of our lives.

The idea that there are folks who don't want kids, ever, is one that blows the brain cells out of many narrow minds. These people in their disbelief often retreat into hackneyed clichés ("You'll change your mind someday, when you meet the right man."), dire predictions ("Accidents happen, you'll see!" "You're going to die alone with nobody to care for you!"), or outright insults ("You childfree people are just a bunch of stupid, lazy, immature cowards!"), not to mention absolute left-field irrelevancy ("If your mother thought that way, you wouldn't be here, and if everyone thought that way, the human race would die out! You were a child once, too!"). We are dismissed. We say "I am different," and the other person says "No, you just think you are, but really, you're just like us."

The only solution for this sort of nonsense is to form a group identity that cannot be ignored. We're naming ourselves as a way of making ourselves more visible, both to others and to one another.

So I return to the original question:

"Why not . . . just not have kids?"


Well, a lot of people do. Or rather, don't.

A lot of people somehow manage to never experience any of the bias against people without children, or they are not bothered by it, and they don't feel the need for a particular label. And that's fine, really.

But many of us do need it. It's validating.

Being childfree is not one action we do not take, but the sum of many we do take, often at great opposition and personal expense. We must fight to obtain birth control, sterilization, emergency contraception, and abortion, often without insurance. There is romantic sacrifice as well; because most folks do want kids, we are drawing from a narrower group of dating partners, and we run the constant risk that the person who said they were okay with our decision suddenly decides they can't deal. Childfree people must often fight to get the same benefits that people with children have. We are dismissed by coworkers, family, even doctors, when we state that we don't want children; we are treated as though we do not know our own minds. The very means to remain childfree are denied us, often, as when sterilization is refused. It's not easy to bear up under the weight of so much disapproval. If it were, more people would do it.

Having children isn't the easy way out, and I don't mean to imply that it is. It is backbreaking work, a huge commitment that dwarfs whatever effort I have had to expend to remain without children. But when one has children, at least one is not usually classified as an unnatural freak for it.

Nobody sane would tell a 30-year-old pregnant woman that she's too young to decide to be a mother, and that someday she will deeply regret having a child. Childfree 30-year-olds hear the opposite of that all the time. Becoming a parent is considered a fundamental right, but in some states a person who wishes to be sterilized must undergo psychological evaluation, and sometimes they must seek the permission of their spouse.

So it is a commitment we are constantly called upon to justify, explain, and defend, and it deserves respect.

All of which is another reason why it is important to me to identify as childfree. We "willfully childless" are all but invisible until we make it known that we are not just part of the crowd who hasn't had kids yet. And if we are invisible, we can be dismissed as crazy or wrong.

"It just seems like childfree is along the lines of being hair-dye-free. If you don't like it, rock on, but since you're not giving up anything that you ever had before, I don't understand why it's different."


But it is different. It is so much different. This isn't a politically and culturally weightless decision like deciding you will never own a dog, or wear blue jeans, or listen to bluegrass. It's more like . . . oh, I don't know . . . deciding to wear pirate clothes. Every day. For the rest of your life. You are giving something up: the perception other people have of you as being normal.

Let's face it: having kids is the default setting. It is normal for most people to have children. There are, in fact, pretty strong pressures to do so. Therefore, anyone who does not reproduce is percieved as abnormal. And anyone who bucks societal standards, whether that is by being gay or being an atheist or being childfree or whatever, is going to catch hell for it sooner or later. Announce your intention to never have children and suddenly you are weird, different, unnatural, other. You are suspect. Dangerous, maybe.

I have been verbally attacked for doing nothing more than politely stating that I do not want children. Others have endured much worse: constant harassment from family and coworkers, sometimes physical violence or outright sabotage to create pregnancy. Until you witness something like that firsthand, or hear a credible first-person account of it, it can be hard to understand the kind of opposition childfree folks can face.

"Another example – applying the label of Vegetarian to yourself changes something. There are now things which you used to do but in keeping with that label, you're not supposed to do anymore. Does the act of applying the label of Childfree to yourself change anything? Because it seems that it doesn't . . . you just keep be-bopping along through life, the same as yesterday?"


But really, by that token, why do gays or bisexuals have to use a label? Can't they just fuck whoever, without making such a big deal about it? It's not like the label changes anything.

(All y'all gay folks are laughing ruefully, aren't you? You've heard this one.)

See, it's not that simple. Not when the decision is one that provokes such knee-jerk hostility.

Think of it this way. Without the label "vegetarian," what is a person who refuses to eat meat? They're just a person with an odd preference. They may be annoying, self-righteous twats, they may be perfectly reasonable, cool people, but pretty much everyone understands that a refusal to eat a hamburger now and then isn't going to contribute to the fall of humankind.

Without the label "childfree," what is a person who refuses to have children? They are deviants from the natural course, they are defying god's law, they are a dangerous threat to society because they "refuse to contribute." They are poor human beings, selfish and immature, who reject the mantle of responsible adulthood in favor of frivolity. And they very well may hate parents and children unilaterally, which makes them a direct threat.

Refusing to have children is not a decision with a neutral moral value in the eyes of most of the world. It is a . . . a radical inaction. Ask any vegetarian, and they will probably tell you about being not just teased but harassed about their choice in food. How much stronger is the cultural urge to criticise the views of those who deviate from the norm in even more fundamental ways?

You might ask a gay person about that.

In fact, just try to imagine what gay people would be called if straight people were allowed to label them, but they were not allowed to label themselves. What would people say about gay folks if gay folks could not define themselves? Do you think it would be particularly flattering, or accurate?

I'm not saying being childfree is as hard as being gay, it truly is not, I'm just pointing out that it's usually in a group's best interests to pick their own adjective and define themselves in the way they feel is best.

We get called ugly things when we let others label us. That is why we all feel the need to describe ourselves, instead of letting others describe us. That is why labels applied to us are intrusive, hurtful. That is why labels we voluntarily assume are often meaningful points of pride.

By naming ourselves, we assume an identity, membership in a collective group, which helps to negate the perception of our lifestyle as a temporary phase that we will all eventually outgrow. By naming ourselves, we are sending the message that we are not alone, that there are others like us, that we must be dealt with on our own terms, and that we are not so strange, so few, that we can be dismissed because we have no collective identity.

We do. We are everywhere. And the only way to make people accept that our lifestyle is a valid and respectable choice is to stand up and be seen.
naamah_darling: The right-side canines of a wolf's skull; the upper canine is made of gold. (Alpha Female)
A friend, who has asked to remain anonymous for fear of leg-biting, poses a question about being childfree. It's a legitimate one that I have been asked before, but never seen answered. (And no, dear anonymous reader, I don't find the question offensive. I'm actually glad you asked.)

"I've been wondering why it's necessary to have the label. Why not . . . just not have kids?

"It just seems like childfree is along the lines of being hair-dye-free. If you don't like it, rock on, but since you're not giving up anything that you ever had before, I don't understand why it's different. Another example – applying the label of 'vegetarian' to yourself changes something. There are now things which you used to do but in keeping with that label, you're not supposed to do anymore. Does the act of applying the label of Childfree to yourself change anything? Because it seems that it doesn't . . . you just keep be-bopping along through life, the same as yesterday?"


I'm not a big fan of labels, really, but I make a distinction between labels that are thrust upon us by others, and labels that we, ourselves, choose to assume – and there are a lot of legitimate reasons to assume a label.

One reason is because it just fits better than other words.

When I first heard the word "childfree," I felt a thrill. At last, a word that described me. It is so much more accurate than "non-parent" or "childless," and, in fact, both of these are terms that "childfree" was coined to avoid.

"Non-parent" can apply to someone who doesn't have or want kids. It can also apply to someone who wants children and doesn't have them, someone who wants children and can't have them, or someone who has children but parents them badly. Childfree people do not want to be lumped in with those other people – especially the last, who could be said to be the childfree person's natural enemy.

"Childless" can apply to any of those groups as well, with special emphasis on the person who is having difficulty conceiving or carrying a child. The condition of being childless is not the same as the action of deliberately choosing to remain without children. Childless implies a lack, an empty space, and the childfree person experiences no such lack in life. I'd much rather folks save their sympathy for those who need and deserve it.

There's always "willfully childless" or "willfully barren," terms used by those who believe that a decision not to reproduce goes against nature's law or god's law. I confess, I actually like the term. Willfulness is a vital part of being childfree. People who are not willful don't usually have the guts to go against their biological and societal programming. But since "willful" does have negative connotations, and since the term is meant to be insulting, I don't feel "willfully childless" to be appropriate for anything but ironic use.

See, we wanted, needed, a word that carried no connotations of sorrow, no concealed cry for pity, no hidden barb or sting. "Childfree" is that word. It implies that we are genuinely happier without children, and that we have purposefully chosen to remain without children for the rest of our lives.

The idea that there are folks who don't want kids, ever, is one that blows the brain cells out of many narrow minds. These people in their disbelief often retreat into hackneyed clichés ("You'll change your mind someday, when you meet the right man."), dire predictions ("Accidents happen, you'll see!" "You're going to die alone with nobody to care for you!"), or outright insults ("You childfree people are just a bunch of stupid, lazy, immature cowards!"), not to mention absolute left-field irrelevancy ("If your mother thought that way, you wouldn't be here, and if everyone thought that way, the human race would die out! You were a child once, too!"). We are dismissed. We say "I am different," and the other person says "No, you just think you are, but really, you're just like us."

The only solution for this sort of nonsense is to form a group identity that cannot be ignored. We're naming ourselves as a way of making ourselves more visible, both to others and to one another.

So I return to the original question:

"Why not . . . just not have kids?"


Well, a lot of people do. Or rather, don't.

A lot of people somehow manage to never experience any of the bias against people without children, or they are not bothered by it, and they don't feel the need for a particular label. And that's fine, really.

But many of us do need it. It's validating.

Being childfree is not one action we do not take, but the sum of many we do take, often at great opposition and personal expense. We must fight to obtain birth control, sterilization, emergency contraception, and abortion, often without insurance. There is romantic sacrifice as well; because most folks do want kids, we are drawing from a narrower group of dating partners, and we run the constant risk that the person who said they were okay with our decision suddenly decides they can't deal. Childfree people must often fight to get the same benefits that people with children have. We are dismissed by coworkers, family, even doctors, when we state that we don't want children; we are treated as though we do not know our own minds. The very means to remain childfree are denied us, often, as when sterilization is refused. It's not easy to bear up under the weight of so much disapproval. If it were, more people would do it.

Having children isn't the easy way out, and I don't mean to imply that it is. It is backbreaking work, a huge commitment that dwarfs whatever effort I have had to expend to remain without children. But when one has children, at least one is not usually classified as an unnatural freak for it.

Nobody sane would tell a 30-year-old pregnant woman that she's too young to decide to be a mother, and that someday she will deeply regret having a child. Childfree 30-year-olds hear the opposite of that all the time. Becoming a parent is considered a fundamental right, but in some states a person who wishes to be sterilized must undergo psychological evaluation, and sometimes they must seek the permission of their spouse.

So it is a commitment we are constantly called upon to justify, explain, and defend, and it deserves respect.

All of which is another reason why it is important to me to identify as childfree. We "willfully childless" are all but invisible until we make it known that we are not just part of the crowd who hasn't had kids yet. And if we are invisible, we can be dismissed as crazy or wrong.

"It just seems like childfree is along the lines of being hair-dye-free. If you don't like it, rock on, but since you're not giving up anything that you ever had before, I don't understand why it's different."


But it is different. It is so much different. This isn't a politically and culturally weightless decision like deciding you will never own a dog, or wear blue jeans, or listen to bluegrass. It's more like . . . oh, I don't know . . . deciding to wear pirate clothes. Every day. For the rest of your life. You are giving something up: the perception other people have of you as being normal.

Let's face it: having kids is the default setting. It is normal for most people to have children. There are, in fact, pretty strong pressures to do so. Therefore, anyone who does not reproduce is percieved as abnormal. And anyone who bucks societal standards, whether that is by being gay or being an atheist or being childfree or whatever, is going to catch hell for it sooner or later. Announce your intention to never have children and suddenly you are weird, different, unnatural, other. You are suspect. Dangerous, maybe.

I have been verbally attacked for doing nothing more than politely stating that I do not want children. Others have endured much worse: constant harassment from family and coworkers, sometimes physical violence or outright sabotage to create pregnancy. Until you witness something like that firsthand, or hear a credible first-person account of it, it can be hard to understand the kind of opposition childfree folks can face.

"Another example – applying the label of Vegetarian to yourself changes something. There are now things which you used to do but in keeping with that label, you're not supposed to do anymore. Does the act of applying the label of Childfree to yourself change anything? Because it seems that it doesn't . . . you just keep be-bopping along through life, the same as yesterday?"


But really, by that token, why do gays or bisexuals have to use a label? Can't they just fuck whoever, without making such a big deal about it? It's not like the label changes anything.

(All y'all gay folks are laughing ruefully, aren't you? You've heard this one.)

See, it's not that simple. Not when the decision is one that provokes such knee-jerk hostility.

Think of it this way. Without the label "vegetarian," what is a person who refuses to eat meat? They're just a person with an odd preference. They may be annoying, self-righteous twats, they may be perfectly reasonable, cool people, but pretty much everyone understands that a refusal to eat a hamburger now and then isn't going to contribute to the fall of humankind.

Without the label "childfree," what is a person who refuses to have children? They are deviants from the natural course, they are defying god's law, they are a dangerous threat to society because they "refuse to contribute." They are poor human beings, selfish and immature, who reject the mantle of responsible adulthood in favor of frivolity. And they very well may hate parents and children unilaterally, which makes them a direct threat.

Refusing to have children is not a decision with a neutral moral value in the eyes of most of the world. It is a . . . a radical inaction. Ask any vegetarian, and they will probably tell you about being not just teased but harassed about their choice in food. How much stronger is the cultural urge to criticise the views of those who deviate from the norm in even more fundamental ways?

You might ask a gay person about that.

In fact, just try to imagine what gay people would be called if straight people were allowed to label them, but they were not allowed to label themselves. What would people say about gay folks if gay folks could not define themselves? Do you think it would be particularly flattering, or accurate?

I'm not saying being childfree is as hard as being gay, it truly is not, I'm just pointing out that it's usually in a group's best interests to pick their own adjective and define themselves in the way they feel is best.

We get called ugly things when we let others label us. That is why we all feel the need to describe ourselves, instead of letting others describe us. That is why labels applied to us are intrusive, hurtful. That is why labels we voluntarily assume are often meaningful points of pride.

By naming ourselves, we assume an identity, membership in a collective group, which helps to negate the perception of our lifestyle as a temporary phase that we will all eventually outgrow. By naming ourselves, we are sending the message that we are not alone, that there are others like us, that we must be dealt with on our own terms, and that we are not so strange, so few, that we can be dismissed because we have no collective identity.

We do. We are everywhere. And the only way to make people accept that our lifestyle is a valid and respectable choice is to stand up and be seen.
naamah_darling: The right-side canines of a wolf's skull; the upper canine is made of gold. (Default)
Well, after the Animals post about abortion, I said I would present a followup. And here it is, uncut and rambling and profane as it may be. There is probably more to come, on ethics vs. legality, on right vs. privilege, and such like that. But that is later.

Right now, I tackle the myth of the "irresponsible woman."

Before I fire my opening salvo, I want to direct you to this heartwrenching post from a blogger who was brought face to face with the reality of abortion as a necessity when his wife almost died from complications of pregnancy.

It is a worthy and painful post, one that I feel it is important for people on both sides of the debate to read, and while it does not directly have any bearing on the myth of the irresponsible woman, there are remarks in the comments that most certainly do.

First, I present this little gem:

There we were in the bathroom with the home pregnancy test kit in hand reading positive for pregnancy and she gets all histerical, crying and raving on and on about how her life is now ruined and how she can't go through with being pregnant, etc.. I told her it's her choice, but if she kills my baby (has an abortion) that I would divorce her in a heartbeat and I would never speak to her again. I thank God that I was able to sway her foolish and immature, emotional and illogical thinking, and she decided not to kill our baby girl. We are still married to this day and my wife and I both love our baby girl more than anything. In fact, if we did not have our baby (if my wife never got pregnant), I am pretty sure we would not still be married . . . having the baby has brought my wife and I closer in our marriage and has given us something greater than our love for each other (which is very strong), but now we are a family and we mutually love our daughter. If I had allowed my wife to abort our baby or I had not cared enough to take a firm moral stand based on what I believe is right, then today (1 yr and 9 months later) I would have been robbed of the single greatest joy I have ever known in my entire life.but if the child can be saved at the loss of the mother then I would choose the child.


Right below it, we find an almost alarming message, delivered in bullet points:

- Sex is an act aimed at creating life. The recreational use of sex could be seen as an abuse of the act.
- If you want a baby, have sex. If you don't want one, don't have sex.
- Having risky sex thinking that, if an "accident" happens, abortion will be a solution is irresponsible.
- Saying that the condom/pill did not work is no excuse.
On the other side:
- Someone owns his body.
- Rape victims becoming pregnant should be allowed to have abortion.

Also, there are thousands of couples who cannot have children and who would be happy to adopt one! There are baby "drop boxes" in many cities . . .

In the end, people should be RESPONSIBLE human beings! If they do something/anything, they should assume their responsabilities!


I'm sure it makes me a twat of some variety to use the comments these idiots have posted to DDB's intensely personal and affecting story to illustrate a point, but boy does it ever make my point. This is not something you can choose for anyone but yourself. And, much as they like to pretend otherwise, the pro-life faction does indeed contain people who view women as nothing more than ambulatory baby machines. Many of them see people who don't want to be pregnant as irresponsible if they have sex.

Any sex at all.

Sex with protection, sex without it, sex with their spouses, sex with strangers.

Irresponsible.

All of it.

You don't want babies? Then having any sex at all is irresponsible, even if you're taking measures to prevent getting pregnant. Are we clear on that? Because that is what so many of these people think.

[livejournal.com profile] commanderd adds more fuel when she posts about a particular message she received via email:

Why don't you get married? That will stop you needing an abortion! . . . Marriage is a sacred bond between a man and woman for the sole purpose of making babies! You shouldn't need contraception at all if you are married because that's when you WANT babies. The only reason you would still need contraceptives or abortion services if you are married is if you are cheating on your husband.


Mmm. Interesting.

So, I guess the rationale is that "You shouldn't be having sex, even sex within marriage, if you aren't prepared to deal with the consequences." Add to this a heaping helping of bullshit comprised of equal parts "all people/married people/women want babies" and "marriage is for babies, not adults" and you have a recipe for some truly self-righteous asshole casserole.

Don't get me wrong. I agree that people should take responsibility for their own reproductive capacity, beginning with choosing when and with whom to have sex and when and whether to produce offspring, continuing through all forms of birth control, and ending with abortion. I also believe people should deal responsibly with the consequences of their actions. And yet I seem to mean something different by all this than the anti-abortion people do.

To me, abortion is a perfectly reasonable and ethical approach to "dealing with the consequences." To me, abortion is responsible.

I find it ironic that the same people who insist that all children, even unwanted children, are "blessings" are usually among the first to insist that a woman be punished for her "sins." And the punishment, these "consequences" that they would so smugly visit upon us? Why, they are the very children they insist are gifts from the divine!

On further contemplation, that does not indicate a very high opinion of either women or children, does it?

We are expected to "deal with" the consequences of our actions. We are expected to suffer for our sins. But children are not a consequence, and sex is not a sin.

Yet there is a persistent and Puritanical belief that women who get pregnant out of wedlock are immature, promiscuous, etc. A child is seen as a means (usually God's means) of enforcing moral rectitude on a person dwelling outside of accepted sexual bounds (i.e., having sex for pleasure and/or out of wedlock).

Once the "gift" is given the woman, no matter how reluctant she was to give birth, will come around and see the error of her ways. She gains not just responsibility for a human life, but the maturity and self-sacrifice necessary to care for it, and the willingness to do so. It's a daydream in which even the most unwilling and desperate women are all secretly good mothers on the inside, and are only waiting for the magic of parenthood to awaken them.

Even a woman who elects to put her child into the arms of the adoption system has at least paid for her crimes in pain and blood, and has proven that she cares more about all human life than her own convenience; hopefully next time she will think better of having irresponsible, thoughtless sex for fun, and will carry her subsequent children (because there will be more) to term within the confines of a stable, heterosexual marriage.

Why should people who believe any of this see forced birth as an evil thing? After all, it's good for women to become mothers. It's what all women want anyway, and if they don't want it, it's because they haven't tried it.

See, many of those who dream this dream honestly believe that being a parent makes you a better person. And even those who don't believe it still see childbirth and motherhood as the only way to control sexually adventurous women.

In this fantasy of universal motherly love and hidden punishment, women who seek abortions are cast as ingrates or immature fools incapable of understanding their duty and unable to appreciate the gift they have been given. Those who choose to carry to term are seen as responsible, moral, and most of all, contrite. They have changed their ways. They are no longer the dangerous wild card, a sexual woman without attachments. They are now comfortably in a closed and locked sexless stereotype, that of the Mother, and their individual needs can be ignored now that they are filling the role society has prescribed for them.

The myth of the serial aborter plays into this entire tableau. It is so pernicious that it can be found in even the most liberal circles. It's batted around like a stubborn urban legend: somewhere out there is a woman who goes in to the clinic every two months to have her uterus scraped out like a cantaloupe, just in case a rogue fetus has set up housekeeping since her last public-access blood orgy. And she does it all on the taxpayer's dime.

Without this mythical "irresponsible woman" who is both promiscuous and morally evil (because of her lack of regard for human life and also because she refuses to stop fornicating) many of the arguments against abortion begin to crumble. Without this shibboleth, this lurking hag, there is no villain to chase down with pitchforks and torches. There is no stereotype to plaster onto every woman. There is no hidden monster whose existence will justify withholding a basic right.

Without the specter of the irresponsible woman, there are only individual women, making individual choices.

This stereotype, that of the irresponsible woman, casts women who seek abortions as villains at worst, and irresponsible dumbasses at best.

She needs to go. She needs to be put into the same coffin with the money-grubbing Jew, the priapic black man who lusts for white women, and all of their ilk. We need to abandon her as a model for our theoretical debates, our assumptions, and our legislation. We need to stop treating all women like her, and we need to stop insisting that the burden of her blame and her stereotype be shouldered by all women. We need to stop casting women as guilty until proven responsible.

Yes, I'm sure some women have multiple abortions because they are too irresponsible not to get pregnant in the first place. That seems like a shame, but if a woman is so off-kilter she cannot manage her own reproductive processes I would honestly rather she have a series of televised abortions than have children; and while I cannot begrudge a woman assistance for a child she was not allowed to prevent, I certainly do not want to pick up the tab for her multiple offspring if she is denied the opportunity not to have them. I don't want to see our barely-functional system strained by children we insist be born just to "punish" women who are irresponsible. Because who does that really punish? The woman? No. It punishes the child, and nobody wants to see that happen.

If a woman is irresponsible, do you really think forcing her to give birth is going to make her more responsible? Do you really think it's going to make her a good parent? Do you really think it's going to teach her a thing?

Do you really think that a woman who does not want a child will care for that child?

Do you really?

A woman who has multiple abortions may be committing folly (so might a woman who elects to keep a child she cannot care for), but it's a personal risk to those women only, rather than a moral outrage.

The moral outrage would be to deny all women the right to choose what they do with their bodies, simply because a few are dimwits.

I cannot imagine using the folly of a few women to justify denying abortion to all women.

I cannot even justify using human folly to deny abortions to fools, because there is no way to define folly or a fool that does not diminish people's humanity.

Should our society deny medical care to someone who was "fool" enough to drive without a seatbelt, or in the rain? Should it deny counseling to an alcoholic who is "fool" enough to pick up the bottle in the first place? Should it deny intervention for the woman who was "fool" enough to marry an abusive man? Should it refuse to take care of disabled children whose "fool" parents chose not to abort them? The answer ought to be no, but there are people who will argue for all of these things . . . even when the "fools" are not fools at all, but are simply human beings doing the best they can with what they have been given.

So do you consider a person's folly to be adequate justification for causing permanent harm?

Do you really?

Because all of us, all of us, are fools of some kind. And there is nothing morally wrong with that. It is not an outrage, or a hideous tragedy, or any of that. It's just how people -- you, me, everyone else -- are.

The idea that abortion is a tool that can be misused is a dangerous one, and most dangerous of all is the belief that it needs to be kept out of reach of certain people, or all people, because they cannot be trusted with important decisions.

Never mind all the human reasons it happens. How sure are you that you know the whole story behind every single woman's choice to terminate her pregnancy? Is it possible that she knows something you don't know, something she is not telling anyone else because it is painful or even dangerous for her to do so? How sure are you that she would be a good mother, that that kid would end up in a good foster family, that pregnancy and childbirth wouldn't psychologically or physiologically scar her for life, or kill her?

Do you think that a woman who desires an abortion for reasons you personally disagree with should be punished severely by denying her that choice? Do you think she should be barred from having further abortions and forced to be a parent? Or should she be forced to give birth, and then be sterilized, the child taken away? Should we have any pity at all for a woman who may be a little foolish, but who would be foolish and miserable if she had a child that she could not financially or emotionally care for? Do you feel qualified to decide how she should be punished for being such a stupid, thoughtless, open-legged whore? And what about the child? Do you presume to know what is best for it?

Do you really?

If you do, I don't fucking want to know you. Get the fuck out.

Nobody should be forced to justify or defend their need for birth control or abortion in any way, to anyone. The idea that abortion should be restricted to people who are "responsible" places women on a par with children: moral grade-schoolers who cannot be trusted to make their own decisions, and who must from time to time be punished for their foolishness. It is infantilizing, patronizing, diminishing.

The also-common assumption that women who use only one form of birth control are irresponsible is likewise faulty.

Due to uncooperative biology, I was stuck until recently with only one form of birth control that I could safely use -- and an unreliable one at that. Yet I am occasionally criticised by people like [livejournal.com profile] commanderd's commenter for taking the "risk" of having sex without also taking on the "responsibility."

Well excuse the fucking shit out of me for foolishly assuming that I, a grown person, ought to be allowed to decide what risks I am and am not willing to fucking take. Excuse the shit out of me for assuming that if I became pregnant, I should be allowed to decide how to deal with it by myself, without interference from busybodies who think they have a right to tell me how I may and may not conduct the most personal part of my life. Excuse the shit out of me for assuming that, by making informed decisions about my sexuality and my parental status I am being responsible.

I have been told to my face that if I "really" didn't want kids, I'd use double or triple methods so that I could be sure I would never need an abortion. The implication is that there's no need for abortion to remain legal, because all pregnancy is preventable if only people were more responsible. Even in the childfree community, where you would think the staunchest supporters of pro-choice values would be found, some regard abortion as a morally inferior, irresponsible, or wasteful choice, and they will verbally shit on women who don't have a platoon of armed guards in full-body condoms protecting their vaginas from invasion by rogue sperm.

I cannot describe how offensive it is to imply – or state outright, as in the second anonymous comment to DDB's post, above – that women who turn up unexpectedly pregnant are stupid and foolhardy at best, or worse, were all secretly hoping it would happen. Worst of all is the implication that people who wind up pregnant somehow deserve it as a punishment for their folly or their promiscuity.

To say I resent this point of view is an understatement. It fucking enrages me.

As an adult human being I am entitled to conduct my sexual affairs as I see fit without seeking permission or approval from anyone but myself and my partners. If I turn up pregnant as a result of deciding that my sexual fulfillment is more important to me than being able to straddle some nonexistent moral high horse (which is apparently a unicorn accessible only to virgins), the only people who have even a potential ethical investment in that pregnancy are myself, the father of that child, and possibly the medical professional who is providing the termination.

Even if I'm the most irresponsible slut in the world, the collective judgement of the masses does not enter into it. I do not need to justify my reasons for wanting to abort my child or defend my choice to do so in any way, to anyone. I would not be asked to legally justify my reasons for wanting to keep it.*

And I absolutely do not need an inquisition into how I got pregnant in the first place to decide whether or not I "deserve" to be allowed to exercise bodily autonomy. It does not matter how it happened.

It doesn't matter if I was using three forms of birth control plus two safewords and a hand signal.

It doesn't matter if I was asking for it by standing on a streetcorner in a gold lamé bikini with a giant sign around my neck that said "KNOCK ME UP."

It doesn't matter if God himself shot his ectoplasmic wad up Tom Welling's ass and had him deliver it to me, Incubus-style, like the archangel Gabriel showing up at Mary's place in nothing but a boner and a smile.

Nobody, nobody, has the right to grant or deny me birth control, up to and including abortion, based on their opinion of my behavior.

The assumption that all women who use only one form of birth control are irresponsible casts a woman who is seeking an abortion as a villain at worst, and an irresponsible lackwit at best. The truth is a complicated thing, and even in the cases where it is not, we should not interfere, as truly villainous or irresponsible people make tragic parents.

It's fine to support adoption as an alternative, but it would be unacceptable to insist that a woman bring a child to term; for some of us, it's not the idea of being parents by itself, it's also the idea of not wanting to be pregnant or give birth. Nobody should be told that they must endure that to satisfy another's conscience.

I am left enraged at those who cannot see that the choice of when to become a parent, or whether to become one at all, is not one that should be legally enforced -- under any circumstances.

I am left in awe of the ignoramuses, like [livejournal.com profile] commanderd's charm school graduate, who would deny us the tools to prevent pregnancy in the first place, and then have the nerve to suggest we should have to "deal with" the consequences of our actions.

Guess what? Birth control, up to and including abortion, is a perfectly valid and responsible way of "dealing with" it.

And the world is just going to have to deal with that.

Abortion facts.

* Unless I happened to be disabled, mentally ill, fat, gay, promiscuous, not Christian, not wealthy, not the right race, or any of a number of other things that might make me a "bad parent." Or if the fetus had any appreciable chance of being or not being any of those things; that's bad too.

ETA: If you want to link, feel free. It wouldn't be here if I wasn't going to stand behind it.
naamah_darling: The right-side canines of a wolf's skull; the upper canine is made of gold. (Default)
Well, after the Animals post about abortion, I said I would present a followup. And here it is, uncut and rambling and profane as it may be. There is probably more to come, on ethics vs. legality, on right vs. privilege, and such like that. But that is later.

Right now, I tackle the myth of the "irresponsible woman."

Before I fire my opening salvo, I want to direct you to this heartwrenching post from a blogger who was brought face to face with the reality of abortion as a necessity when his wife almost died from complications of pregnancy.

It is a worthy and painful post, one that I feel it is important for people on both sides of the debate to read, and while it does not directly have any bearing on the myth of the irresponsible woman, there are remarks in the comments that most certainly do.

First, I present this little gem:

There we were in the bathroom with the home pregnancy test kit in hand reading positive for pregnancy and she gets all histerical, crying and raving on and on about how her life is now ruined and how she can't go through with being pregnant, etc.. I told her it's her choice, but if she kills my baby (has an abortion) that I would divorce her in a heartbeat and I would never speak to her again. I thank God that I was able to sway her foolish and immature, emotional and illogical thinking, and she decided not to kill our baby girl. We are still married to this day and my wife and I both love our baby girl more than anything. In fact, if we did not have our baby (if my wife never got pregnant), I am pretty sure we would not still be married . . . having the baby has brought my wife and I closer in our marriage and has given us something greater than our love for each other (which is very strong), but now we are a family and we mutually love our daughter. If I had allowed my wife to abort our baby or I had not cared enough to take a firm moral stand based on what I believe is right, then today (1 yr and 9 months later) I would have been robbed of the single greatest joy I have ever known in my entire life.but if the child can be saved at the loss of the mother then I would choose the child.


Right below it, we find an almost alarming message, delivered in bullet points:

- Sex is an act aimed at creating life. The recreational use of sex could be seen as an abuse of the act.
- If you want a baby, have sex. If you don't want one, don't have sex.
- Having risky sex thinking that, if an "accident" happens, abortion will be a solution is irresponsible.
- Saying that the condom/pill did not work is no excuse.
On the other side:
- Someone owns his body.
- Rape victims becoming pregnant should be allowed to have abortion.

Also, there are thousands of couples who cannot have children and who would be happy to adopt one! There are baby "drop boxes" in many cities . . .

In the end, people should be RESPONSIBLE human beings! If they do something/anything, they should assume their responsabilities!


I'm sure it makes me a twat of some variety to use the comments these idiots have posted to DDB's intensely personal and affecting story to illustrate a point, but boy does it ever make my point. This is not something you can choose for anyone but yourself. And, much as they like to pretend otherwise, the pro-life faction does indeed contain people who view women as nothing more than ambulatory baby machines. Many of them see people who don't want to be pregnant as irresponsible if they have sex.

Any sex at all.

Sex with protection, sex without it, sex with their spouses, sex with strangers.

Irresponsible.

All of it.

You don't want babies? Then having any sex at all is irresponsible, even if you're taking measures to prevent getting pregnant. Are we clear on that? Because that is what so many of these people think.

[livejournal.com profile] commanderd adds more fuel when she posts about a particular message she received via email:

Why don't you get married? That will stop you needing an abortion! . . . Marriage is a sacred bond between a man and woman for the sole purpose of making babies! You shouldn't need contraception at all if you are married because that's when you WANT babies. The only reason you would still need contraceptives or abortion services if you are married is if you are cheating on your husband.


Mmm. Interesting.

So, I guess the rationale is that "You shouldn't be having sex, even sex within marriage, if you aren't prepared to deal with the consequences." Add to this a heaping helping of bullshit comprised of equal parts "all people/married people/women want babies" and "marriage is for babies, not adults" and you have a recipe for some truly self-righteous asshole casserole.

Don't get me wrong. I agree that people should take responsibility for their own reproductive capacity, beginning with choosing when and with whom to have sex and when and whether to produce offspring, continuing through all forms of birth control, and ending with abortion. I also believe people should deal responsibly with the consequences of their actions. And yet I seem to mean something different by all this than the anti-abortion people do.

To me, abortion is a perfectly reasonable and ethical approach to "dealing with the consequences." To me, abortion is responsible.

I find it ironic that the same people who insist that all children, even unwanted children, are "blessings" are usually among the first to insist that a woman be punished for her "sins." And the punishment, these "consequences" that they would so smugly visit upon us? Why, they are the very children they insist are gifts from the divine!

On further contemplation, that does not indicate a very high opinion of either women or children, does it?

We are expected to "deal with" the consequences of our actions. We are expected to suffer for our sins. But children are not a consequence, and sex is not a sin.

Yet there is a persistent and Puritanical belief that women who get pregnant out of wedlock are immature, promiscuous, etc. A child is seen as a means (usually God's means) of enforcing moral rectitude on a person dwelling outside of accepted sexual bounds (i.e., having sex for pleasure and/or out of wedlock).

Once the "gift" is given the woman, no matter how reluctant she was to give birth, will come around and see the error of her ways. She gains not just responsibility for a human life, but the maturity and self-sacrifice necessary to care for it, and the willingness to do so. It's a daydream in which even the most unwilling and desperate women are all secretly good mothers on the inside, and are only waiting for the magic of parenthood to awaken them.

Even a woman who elects to put her child into the arms of the adoption system has at least paid for her crimes in pain and blood, and has proven that she cares more about all human life than her own convenience; hopefully next time she will think better of having irresponsible, thoughtless sex for fun, and will carry her subsequent children (because there will be more) to term within the confines of a stable, heterosexual marriage.

Why should people who believe any of this see forced birth as an evil thing? After all, it's good for women to become mothers. It's what all women want anyway, and if they don't want it, it's because they haven't tried it.

See, many of those who dream this dream honestly believe that being a parent makes you a better person. And even those who don't believe it still see childbirth and motherhood as the only way to control sexually adventurous women.

In this fantasy of universal motherly love and hidden punishment, women who seek abortions are cast as ingrates or immature fools incapable of understanding their duty and unable to appreciate the gift they have been given. Those who choose to carry to term are seen as responsible, moral, and most of all, contrite. They have changed their ways. They are no longer the dangerous wild card, a sexual woman without attachments. They are now comfortably in a closed and locked sexless stereotype, that of the Mother, and their individual needs can be ignored now that they are filling the role society has prescribed for them.

The myth of the serial aborter plays into this entire tableau. It is so pernicious that it can be found in even the most liberal circles. It's batted around like a stubborn urban legend: somewhere out there is a woman who goes in to the clinic every two months to have her uterus scraped out like a cantaloupe, just in case a rogue fetus has set up housekeeping since her last public-access blood orgy. And she does it all on the taxpayer's dime.

Without this mythical "irresponsible woman" who is both promiscuous and morally evil (because of her lack of regard for human life and also because she refuses to stop fornicating) many of the arguments against abortion begin to crumble. Without this shibboleth, this lurking hag, there is no villain to chase down with pitchforks and torches. There is no stereotype to plaster onto every woman. There is no hidden monster whose existence will justify withholding a basic right.

Without the specter of the irresponsible woman, there are only individual women, making individual choices.

This stereotype, that of the irresponsible woman, casts women who seek abortions as villains at worst, and irresponsible dumbasses at best.

She needs to go. She needs to be put into the same coffin with the money-grubbing Jew, the priapic black man who lusts for white women, and all of their ilk. We need to abandon her as a model for our theoretical debates, our assumptions, and our legislation. We need to stop treating all women like her, and we need to stop insisting that the burden of her blame and her stereotype be shouldered by all women. We need to stop casting women as guilty until proven responsible.

Yes, I'm sure some women have multiple abortions because they are too irresponsible not to get pregnant in the first place. That seems like a shame, but if a woman is so off-kilter she cannot manage her own reproductive processes I would honestly rather she have a series of televised abortions than have children; and while I cannot begrudge a woman assistance for a child she was not allowed to prevent, I certainly do not want to pick up the tab for her multiple offspring if she is denied the opportunity not to have them. I don't want to see our barely-functional system strained by children we insist be born just to "punish" women who are irresponsible. Because who does that really punish? The woman? No. It punishes the child, and nobody wants to see that happen.

If a woman is irresponsible, do you really think forcing her to give birth is going to make her more responsible? Do you really think it's going to make her a good parent? Do you really think it's going to teach her a thing?

Do you really think that a woman who does not want a child will care for that child?

Do you really?

A woman who has multiple abortions may be committing folly (so might a woman who elects to keep a child she cannot care for), but it's a personal risk to those women only, rather than a moral outrage.

The moral outrage would be to deny all women the right to choose what they do with their bodies, simply because a few are dimwits.

I cannot imagine using the folly of a few women to justify denying abortion to all women.

I cannot even justify using human folly to deny abortions to fools, because there is no way to define folly or a fool that does not diminish people's humanity.

Should our society deny medical care to someone who was "fool" enough to drive without a seatbelt, or in the rain? Should it deny counseling to an alcoholic who is "fool" enough to pick up the bottle in the first place? Should it deny intervention for the woman who was "fool" enough to marry an abusive man? Should it refuse to take care of disabled children whose "fool" parents chose not to abort them? The answer ought to be no, but there are people who will argue for all of these things . . . even when the "fools" are not fools at all, but are simply human beings doing the best they can with what they have been given.

So do you consider a person's folly to be adequate justification for causing permanent harm?

Do you really?

Because all of us, all of us, are fools of some kind. And there is nothing morally wrong with that. It is not an outrage, or a hideous tragedy, or any of that. It's just how people -- you, me, everyone else -- are.

The idea that abortion is a tool that can be misused is a dangerous one, and most dangerous of all is the belief that it needs to be kept out of reach of certain people, or all people, because they cannot be trusted with important decisions.

Never mind all the human reasons it happens. How sure are you that you know the whole story behind every single woman's choice to terminate her pregnancy? Is it possible that she knows something you don't know, something she is not telling anyone else because it is painful or even dangerous for her to do so? How sure are you that she would be a good mother, that that kid would end up in a good foster family, that pregnancy and childbirth wouldn't psychologically or physiologically scar her for life, or kill her?

Do you think that a woman who desires an abortion for reasons you personally disagree with should be punished severely by denying her that choice? Do you think she should be barred from having further abortions and forced to be a parent? Or should she be forced to give birth, and then be sterilized, the child taken away? Should we have any pity at all for a woman who may be a little foolish, but who would be foolish and miserable if she had a child that she could not financially or emotionally care for? Do you feel qualified to decide how she should be punished for being such a stupid, thoughtless, open-legged whore? And what about the child? Do you presume to know what is best for it?

Do you really?

If you do, I don't fucking want to know you. Get the fuck out.

Nobody should be forced to justify or defend their need for birth control or abortion in any way, to anyone. The idea that abortion should be restricted to people who are "responsible" places women on a par with children: moral grade-schoolers who cannot be trusted to make their own decisions, and who must from time to time be punished for their foolishness. It is infantilizing, patronizing, diminishing.

The also-common assumption that women who use only one form of birth control are irresponsible is likewise faulty.

Due to uncooperative biology, I was stuck until recently with only one form of birth control that I could safely use -- and an unreliable one at that. Yet I am occasionally criticised by people like [livejournal.com profile] commanderd's commenter for taking the "risk" of having sex without also taking on the "responsibility."

Well excuse the fucking shit out of me for foolishly assuming that I, a grown person, ought to be allowed to decide what risks I am and am not willing to fucking take. Excuse the shit out of me for assuming that if I became pregnant, I should be allowed to decide how to deal with it by myself, without interference from busybodies who think they have a right to tell me how I may and may not conduct the most personal part of my life. Excuse the shit out of me for assuming that, by making informed decisions about my sexuality and my parental status I am being responsible.

I have been told to my face that if I "really" didn't want kids, I'd use double or triple methods so that I could be sure I would never need an abortion. The implication is that there's no need for abortion to remain legal, because all pregnancy is preventable if only people were more responsible. Even in the childfree community, where you would think the staunchest supporters of pro-choice values would be found, some regard abortion as a morally inferior, irresponsible, or wasteful choice, and they will verbally shit on women who don't have a platoon of armed guards in full-body condoms protecting their vaginas from invasion by rogue sperm.

I cannot describe how offensive it is to imply – or state outright, as in the second anonymous comment to DDB's post, above – that women who turn up unexpectedly pregnant are stupid and foolhardy at best, or worse, were all secretly hoping it would happen. Worst of all is the implication that people who wind up pregnant somehow deserve it as a punishment for their folly or their promiscuity.

To say I resent this point of view is an understatement. It fucking enrages me.

As an adult human being I am entitled to conduct my sexual affairs as I see fit without seeking permission or approval from anyone but myself and my partners. If I turn up pregnant as a result of deciding that my sexual fulfillment is more important to me than being able to straddle some nonexistent moral high horse (which is apparently a unicorn accessible only to virgins), the only people who have even a potential ethical investment in that pregnancy are myself, the father of that child, and possibly the medical professional who is providing the termination.

Even if I'm the most irresponsible slut in the world, the collective judgement of the masses does not enter into it. I do not need to justify my reasons for wanting to abort my child or defend my choice to do so in any way, to anyone. I would not be asked to legally justify my reasons for wanting to keep it.*

And I absolutely do not need an inquisition into how I got pregnant in the first place to decide whether or not I "deserve" to be allowed to exercise bodily autonomy. It does not matter how it happened.

It doesn't matter if I was using three forms of birth control plus two safewords and a hand signal.

It doesn't matter if I was asking for it by standing on a streetcorner in a gold lamé bikini with a giant sign around my neck that said "KNOCK ME UP."

It doesn't matter if God himself shot his ectoplasmic wad up Tom Welling's ass and had him deliver it to me, Incubus-style, like the archangel Gabriel showing up at Mary's place in nothing but a boner and a smile.

Nobody, nobody, has the right to grant or deny me birth control, up to and including abortion, based on their opinion of my behavior.

The assumption that all women who use only one form of birth control are irresponsible casts a woman who is seeking an abortion as a villain at worst, and an irresponsible lackwit at best. The truth is a complicated thing, and even in the cases where it is not, we should not interfere, as truly villainous or irresponsible people make tragic parents.

It's fine to support adoption as an alternative, but it would be unacceptable to insist that a woman bring a child to term; for some of us, it's not the idea of being parents by itself, it's also the idea of not wanting to be pregnant or give birth. Nobody should be told that they must endure that to satisfy another's conscience.

I am left enraged at those who cannot see that the choice of when to become a parent, or whether to become one at all, is not one that should be legally enforced -- under any circumstances.

I am left in awe of the ignoramuses, like [livejournal.com profile] commanderd's charm school graduate, who would deny us the tools to prevent pregnancy in the first place, and then have the nerve to suggest we should have to "deal with" the consequences of our actions.

Guess what? Birth control, up to and including abortion, is a perfectly valid and responsible way of "dealing with" it.

And the world is just going to have to deal with that.

Abortion facts.

* Unless I happened to be disabled, mentally ill, fat, gay, promiscuous, not Christian, not wealthy, not the right race, or any of a number of other things that might make me a "bad parent." Or if the fetus had any appreciable chance of being or not being any of those things; that's bad too.

ETA: If you want to link, feel free. It wouldn't be here if I wasn't going to stand behind it.
naamah_darling: The right-side canines of a wolf's skull; the upper canine is made of gold. (Angel Spaz Dance)
In the tradition of internet TMI:

Well, the second test came back clear, and it's official. Sargon the Terrible is now Sargon the Blissfully Sterile.

Now if I can just convince him that using this as a selling point is probably not going to help him pick up college chicks. . . .

Anyway. Dancing icons, accolades, internet cookies, cute pictures, whatever. This is the place for congratulations!

He went balls-out for this marriage. I love him sooo much.
naamah_darling: The right-side canines of a wolf's skull; the upper canine is made of gold. (Angel Spaz Dance)
In the tradition of internet TMI:

Well, the second test came back clear, and it's official. Sargon the Terrible is now Sargon the Blissfully Sterile.

Now if I can just convince him that using this as a selling point is probably not going to help him pick up college chicks. . . .

Anyway. Dancing icons, accolades, internet cookies, cute pictures, whatever. This is the place for congratulations!

He went balls-out for this marriage. I love him sooo much.

Okay. FINE.

May. 6th, 2006 04:34 pm
naamah_darling: The right-side canines of a wolf's skull; the upper canine is made of gold. (Naamah Bitch Please)
I give up. Does someone out there have a copy of the Justice League Season 1 theme song in MP3 format? Or is there a way I can get it?

Sargon is fretting over wanting it to put on a mix album of cheesy superhero music, and there is no soundtrack available. I fear he will try to install some kind of software on the computer in an attempt to copy it from the DVD, and that would probably kill this old machine.
Got it!

He's fine today, by the by. We both slept like drowned rats last night, and he's only a tiny bit sore this morning. Overall, negligible discomfort. He hasn't even used any of the prescription pain meds. A couple Tylenol seemed to do just fine.

I confess I am disgusted at the amount of trouble I went through to do this myself, all the pain, hair-pulling, embarrassment, and discomfort, all for nothing; and he's in and out in less than an hour, and requiring no more comfort or tokens of goodwill than cartoons and some hot pizza. No, of course I'm not upset with him. I'm just put out that we didn't just do this first, and save me a whole lot of bitterness.

So I'm passing that advice on to you: gentlemen, it's next to nothing. You get treated way better than your womenfolk when it comes to sterilization. My own husband, who is the one with holes in his scrotum, declares that he has had pimples that were more painful. Not to mention that this is costing less than a third of what it cost to attempt to sterilize me, with far fewer risks of complications. If you as a couple are thinking about permanent birth control, you might have pity on the woman in your life and think about trying the less invasive, expensive, and painful thing first. I promise, the pity sex will be worth it.

Edit: Aaaand, I just got a package from the wonderful [livejournal.com profile] bifemmefatale, containing Jill Tracy and Dresden Dolls music, and some yummy-looking sleep tea! Thankyouthankyouthankyou! I imagine I will test them both tonight!

Okay. FINE.

May. 6th, 2006 04:34 pm
naamah_darling: The right-side canines of a wolf's skull; the upper canine is made of gold. (Naamah Bitch Please)
I give up. Does someone out there have a copy of the Justice League Season 1 theme song in MP3 format? Or is there a way I can get it?

Sargon is fretting over wanting it to put on a mix album of cheesy superhero music, and there is no soundtrack available. I fear he will try to install some kind of software on the computer in an attempt to copy it from the DVD, and that would probably kill this old machine.
Got it!

He's fine today, by the by. We both slept like drowned rats last night, and he's only a tiny bit sore this morning. Overall, negligible discomfort. He hasn't even used any of the prescription pain meds. A couple Tylenol seemed to do just fine.

I confess I am disgusted at the amount of trouble I went through to do this myself, all the pain, hair-pulling, embarrassment, and discomfort, all for nothing; and he's in and out in less than an hour, and requiring no more comfort or tokens of goodwill than cartoons and some hot pizza. No, of course I'm not upset with him. I'm just put out that we didn't just do this first, and save me a whole lot of bitterness.

So I'm passing that advice on to you: gentlemen, it's next to nothing. You get treated way better than your womenfolk when it comes to sterilization. My own husband, who is the one with holes in his scrotum, declares that he has had pimples that were more painful. Not to mention that this is costing less than a third of what it cost to attempt to sterilize me, with far fewer risks of complications. If you as a couple are thinking about permanent birth control, you might have pity on the woman in your life and think about trying the less invasive, expensive, and painful thing first. I promise, the pity sex will be worth it.

Edit: Aaaand, I just got a package from the wonderful [livejournal.com profile] bifemmefatale, containing Jill Tracy and Dresden Dolls music, and some yummy-looking sleep tea! Thankyouthankyouthankyou! I imagine I will test them both tonight!

PWNED.

May. 5th, 2006 05:32 pm
naamah_darling: The right-side canines of a wolf's skull; the upper canine is made of gold. (BTiLC Lo Pan)
We're back!

The doctor says the vasectomy went really well. Sargon says it wasn't too bad at all, and is currently watching the Justice League kick the shit right out of some goddamned Martians. He also claims not to be feeling any pain.

And that's all I have time for right now, since I'm on step-and-fetch it duty for a while, but I'd like to thank everyone for their advice and for their kind words. It appears that the painful part, at least, is done.

I'll be catching up slowly over the next couple days, so if I miss something, forgive me. And now, I must go switch out the frozen peas and watch cartoons with my husband.

PWNED.

May. 5th, 2006 05:32 pm
naamah_darling: The right-side canines of a wolf's skull; the upper canine is made of gold. (BTiLC Lo Pan)
We're back!

The doctor says the vasectomy went really well. Sargon says it wasn't too bad at all, and is currently watching the Justice League kick the shit right out of some goddamned Martians. He also claims not to be feeling any pain.

And that's all I have time for right now, since I'm on step-and-fetch it duty for a while, but I'd like to thank everyone for their advice and for their kind words. It appears that the painful part, at least, is done.

I'll be catching up slowly over the next couple days, so if I miss something, forgive me. And now, I must go switch out the frozen peas and watch cartoons with my husband.
naamah_darling: The right-side canines of a wolf's skull; the upper canine is made of gold. (Scientology - Ever Smothered A Baby)
Warning: Vitriolic Childfree-Related Rant. Readers are advised to assume that I bear parents no ill will. It's the fucking government, this time.

Oh, my god.

So pissed off. Soooooo incredibly pissed off now.

Being without insurance, my first thought is to see if I can pick up some sort of stopgap state-funded coverage just in case I slice my fingers off with a rotary saw while opening the skulls of those who have defied me.

And what do I find? Golly. I might be eligible for some assistance from Medicare or Medicaid . . .

if

I had a baby.

That's right. The only health care given to people my tender age and in my tender income bracket is given to pregnant women and to parents, because the babies are our future.

If I recall the documents right (I was looking at them through a crimson haze at one point) a pregnant woman has to bring in less than 185% of the federal poverty level to qualify. A housewife-type person like myself? Gosh. I can only get away with 36%. A working person gets 45%. The income level defined as "poverty" for a two-person family is anything below (hold your breath) $12,490 per annum. If I make more than 36% of that, golly gee whiz, I can clearly afford to pay out the ass for shitty insurance. Oh! Wait! This form actually says "Non-Working PARENT." I guess I'm shit out of luck, even if I AM poor.

So the insurance companies regard me as a cash cow because I am smart enough to take care of myself, and because I don't have resource-sucking dependents to funnel away all my benefits.

The state regards me as a non-being unless and until I rent out my uterus to some loathesome squatter, and sees no reason to provide me with even minimal assistance maintaining my excellent health, while it turns right around and helps out those people who were less resourceful, careful, and conscientous than I by caring for children whose parents often knew they didn't have the resources to pay for a child.

All I can say is thank goodness I'm not an unmarried man, or I might cease to exist as anything other than a potential prison inmate.

And all I can do is opt out of the whole charade and pray, pray, that I don't develop a bad case of brain worms or something.

Oh, seriously, I am so fucking livid. I mean, I knew it was a social faux pas to fuck and forget to have babies, but I hadn't realized that the defining criteria for mattering was whether or not I've had a child. I had no idea that my value as a human being in the eyes of the state depended on my ability to foist my genetic mistakes on a new generation of unwitting little victims. I guess I've been wrong all these years I thought I was doing the smart, responsible thing by not breeding and putting a strain on my system -- or the state's. I could have been sponging off the government tit this whole time, and using my children as a tax shelter! Stupid me!

Oh, wait. I can't. I'm just as biologically ineligible for their pity as a single man. Guess I'm fucked!

Don't get me wrong. I'm very glad programs like this exist. They help out women and kids who really need it, and they help out old folks, too. We need to take care of everyone, because healthy people don't make other people sick. Healthy people also don't die and smell up the place. So I'm all in favor of healthy people.

And I know that the government breaks given to parents are much-needed and very helpful to a group of hardworking, diligent people who often need that help a lot. I also know that in many cases they are woefully insufficient. I'm aware, too, that many parents can't afford insurance, either. We're all fucked.

But that doesn't change the fact that my husband's taxes go for schooling, for health care, for social programs, just as much as any parent's, and we get less out of it compared to what he puts in. My husband is the one who covers shifts when someone has to go to a ball game or recital, but he doesn't get time off to do things that he wants to do. I am the one who has been busting my ass to make sure I don't need medical care, baby-related or not, and I'm the one who has to forego it, because the only way his job or insurance or the government cares about me is if I have a kid.

I'm sick of feeling marginalized just because I'm not "contributing" more human capital to this cesspool. As though adult human beings are a commodity, and children nothing more than a future investment.

I don't mind these programs. I'm glad they're there.

But where's the program for people like me?

I wouldn't be bitching at all, but for the cost of health care in this fucking country. If it were reasonable, I'd have no worries. But it's not. A goddamn gyno exam runs me seventy bucks, and that's not counting another hundred in lab fees. And that's really, really cheap. They charged my insurance $53 for an antacid at the hospital. I was lucky to wake up with both my retinas.

I'd get different insurance, but guess what? It's fucking expensive! A thousand bucks a month to cover me, if it's not through Sargon's employer. Well. Color me shocked. It's either take the shitty insurance we're offered, or have nothing.

Cocksuckers.

The average person needs to be able to afford either insurance, or health care. Not neither, for Christ's sake.
naamah_darling: The right-side canines of a wolf's skull; the upper canine is made of gold. (Scientology - Ever Smothered A Baby)
Warning: Vitriolic Childfree-Related Rant. Readers are advised to assume that I bear parents no ill will. It's the fucking government, this time.

Oh, my god.

So pissed off. Soooooo incredibly pissed off now.

Being without insurance, my first thought is to see if I can pick up some sort of stopgap state-funded coverage just in case I slice my fingers off with a rotary saw while opening the skulls of those who have defied me.

And what do I find? Golly. I might be eligible for some assistance from Medicare or Medicaid . . .

if

I had a baby.

That's right. The only health care given to people my tender age and in my tender income bracket is given to pregnant women and to parents, because the babies are our future.

If I recall the documents right (I was looking at them through a crimson haze at one point) a pregnant woman has to bring in less than 185% of the federal poverty level to qualify. A housewife-type person like myself? Gosh. I can only get away with 36%. A working person gets 45%. The income level defined as "poverty" for a two-person family is anything below (hold your breath) $12,490 per annum. If I make more than 36% of that, golly gee whiz, I can clearly afford to pay out the ass for shitty insurance. Oh! Wait! This form actually says "Non-Working PARENT." I guess I'm shit out of luck, even if I AM poor.

So the insurance companies regard me as a cash cow because I am smart enough to take care of myself, and because I don't have resource-sucking dependents to funnel away all my benefits.

The state regards me as a non-being unless and until I rent out my uterus to some loathesome squatter, and sees no reason to provide me with even minimal assistance maintaining my excellent health, while it turns right around and helps out those people who were less resourceful, careful, and conscientous than I by caring for children whose parents often knew they didn't have the resources to pay for a child.

All I can say is thank goodness I'm not an unmarried man, or I might cease to exist as anything other than a potential prison inmate.

And all I can do is opt out of the whole charade and pray, pray, that I don't develop a bad case of brain worms or something.

Oh, seriously, I am so fucking livid. I mean, I knew it was a social faux pas to fuck and forget to have babies, but I hadn't realized that the defining criteria for mattering was whether or not I've had a child. I had no idea that my value as a human being in the eyes of the state depended on my ability to foist my genetic mistakes on a new generation of unwitting little victims. I guess I've been wrong all these years I thought I was doing the smart, responsible thing by not breeding and putting a strain on my system -- or the state's. I could have been sponging off the government tit this whole time, and using my children as a tax shelter! Stupid me!

Oh, wait. I can't. I'm just as biologically ineligible for their pity as a single man. Guess I'm fucked!

Don't get me wrong. I'm very glad programs like this exist. They help out women and kids who really need it, and they help out old folks, too. We need to take care of everyone, because healthy people don't make other people sick. Healthy people also don't die and smell up the place. So I'm all in favor of healthy people.

And I know that the government breaks given to parents are much-needed and very helpful to a group of hardworking, diligent people who often need that help a lot. I also know that in many cases they are woefully insufficient. I'm aware, too, that many parents can't afford insurance, either. We're all fucked.

But that doesn't change the fact that my husband's taxes go for schooling, for health care, for social programs, just as much as any parent's, and we get less out of it compared to what he puts in. My husband is the one who covers shifts when someone has to go to a ball game or recital, but he doesn't get time off to do things that he wants to do. I am the one who has been busting my ass to make sure I don't need medical care, baby-related or not, and I'm the one who has to forego it, because the only way his job or insurance or the government cares about me is if I have a kid.

I'm sick of feeling marginalized just because I'm not "contributing" more human capital to this cesspool. As though adult human beings are a commodity, and children nothing more than a future investment.

I don't mind these programs. I'm glad they're there.

But where's the program for people like me?

I wouldn't be bitching at all, but for the cost of health care in this fucking country. If it were reasonable, I'd have no worries. But it's not. A goddamn gyno exam runs me seventy bucks, and that's not counting another hundred in lab fees. And that's really, really cheap. They charged my insurance $53 for an antacid at the hospital. I was lucky to wake up with both my retinas.

I'd get different insurance, but guess what? It's fucking expensive! A thousand bucks a month to cover me, if it's not through Sargon's employer. Well. Color me shocked. It's either take the shitty insurance we're offered, or have nothing.

Cocksuckers.

The average person needs to be able to afford either insurance, or health care. Not neither, for Christ's sake.
naamah_darling: The right-side canines of a wolf's skull; the upper canine is made of gold. (Naamah Malfoy)
There comes a certain point at which you really have to take a break from writing porn, no matter how well it pays.

That point, for me, was reached today when I was surfing my usual news sites, and discovered myself trying to finish the headline or story whenever I had to click through to get past an ad or to a new page.

"Jim and Molly Jones have opened a new pet-care store with a special focus on . . ."

"Ponygirls!"

"Police say the criminal entered through an open window and assaulted the victim with a . . ."

"Foot-long double-ended dildo! SEXY assault!"

"The teenage carjacker was apprehended after an hour-long chase through downtown, after which . . ."

"The hunky cops forced him against the car and administered some butt-swattage and deep dickings."

"Authorities say that the power should be restored to the storm-damaged area within 24 hours, but . . ."

"Not before Michelle mistakenly sleeps with her best friend AND her husband's brother, all because she went into the wrong room! Will he stop the double penetration in time!?"

"Dolly Merkins looks like any other ordinary twenty-year-old, but her pretty face hides a dark secret . . ."

"Nipple-piercings the size of shotgun shells!"

My brain is way, way out of line.

In other news:

ARRRRRRRGH!!!

Jesus fucking Christ! It's that time of year again: time to sign up for medical insurance. Stop me if you've heard this one.

First, they raise our deductible by 200% to $1,000 (that's $1,000 for each of us, not jointly), then cut in-network coverage from 90% to 70%. Then they double all copays, including those for prescription medication (meaning that the drugs I take for my thyroid cost the same as the copay, rendering it useless). Next, they remove the optical plan from the program completely, barring one eye exam every two years. And last but not least, they jack the price of this "coverage" up to $350 a month. For two healthy people with no children.

Now, let me do some math for you. That's $4,200 for coverage per year just for the basics. That, plus a $1,000 deductible for each of us is $6,500.

My medical expenses, assuming two trips to the doctor per year for exams and bloodwork, plus lab fees for these exams, plus prescription costs, plus an additional bonus of a couple hundred dollars for things like a visit to the urgent care facility or for fucking vitamins or get well cards is still only $860. My deductible is more than that! We'd be paying $4,200 for no benefits whatsoever.

Are you getting the picture? It's nothing but an ass-ream.

I am fucking disgusted that we were essentially forced to choose between having health coverage until the beginning of next year and meeting our bills for little things like water and power. It just fucking makes me sick. No goddamn joke.

I have been spitting nails about it all day. I keep hearing the doctor from The Ghost and the Darkness. "Welcome to the hospital. My advice to you is don't get sick."

Indeed.

Dropping that coverage is equivalent to giving my husband a dollar-an-hour raise. That, my friends, is ridiculous. That money will make the difference between subsisting and being able to save for retirement. And that thought should make you want to fucking puke. Because it makes me want to fucking puke.

No, I don't feel good about it at all. But it's done, and I don't really want to argue about it. I just want to find the person responsible and pummel him until he needs reconstructive surgery.

Surgery, by the way, that is excluded under the new policy.

Ahem. In other news, we got a new window installed today (you might recall that the old one just fell out about a month back), and it's beautiful and clean and shiny, and it cuts way down on noise, and it even does other window-type stuff like open and be transparent, which the other windows could not apparently manage to do without flinging themselves to the concrete in fits of suicidal depression.

So that's my good news. I have no health insurance, but I now have a window that opens, so should I choose to defenestrate myself to stop the progress of some incipient horrible disease I can do so with ease. Maybe I can make some spare cash by renting my side yard out as a toxic waste dumping ground. Then I might at least get a cool mutation.

As it is, I guess it's pimples and a really dirty mind.
naamah_darling: The right-side canines of a wolf's skull; the upper canine is made of gold. (Naamah Malfoy)
There comes a certain point at which you really have to take a break from writing porn, no matter how well it pays.

That point, for me, was reached today when I was surfing my usual news sites, and discovered myself trying to finish the headline or story whenever I had to click through to get past an ad or to a new page.

"Jim and Molly Jones have opened a new pet-care store with a special focus on . . ."

"Ponygirls!"

"Police say the criminal entered through an open window and assaulted the victim with a . . ."

"Foot-long double-ended dildo! SEXY assault!"

"The teenage carjacker was apprehended after an hour-long chase through downtown, after which . . ."

"The hunky cops forced him against the car and administered some butt-swattage and deep dickings."

"Authorities say that the power should be restored to the storm-damaged area within 24 hours, but . . ."

"Not before Michelle mistakenly sleeps with her best friend AND her husband's brother, all because she went into the wrong room! Will he stop the double penetration in time!?"

"Dolly Merkins looks like any other ordinary twenty-year-old, but her pretty face hides a dark secret . . ."

"Nipple-piercings the size of shotgun shells!"

My brain is way, way out of line.

In other news:

ARRRRRRRGH!!!

Jesus fucking Christ! It's that time of year again: time to sign up for medical insurance. Stop me if you've heard this one.

First, they raise our deductible by 200% to $1,000 (that's $1,000 for each of us, not jointly), then cut in-network coverage from 90% to 70%. Then they double all copays, including those for prescription medication (meaning that the drugs I take for my thyroid cost the same as the copay, rendering it useless). Next, they remove the optical plan from the program completely, barring one eye exam every two years. And last but not least, they jack the price of this "coverage" up to $350 a month. For two healthy people with no children.

Now, let me do some math for you. That's $4,200 for coverage per year just for the basics. That, plus a $1,000 deductible for each of us is $6,500.

My medical expenses, assuming two trips to the doctor per year for exams and bloodwork, plus lab fees for these exams, plus prescription costs, plus an additional bonus of a couple hundred dollars for things like a visit to the urgent care facility or for fucking vitamins or get well cards is still only $860. My deductible is more than that! We'd be paying $4,200 for no benefits whatsoever.

Are you getting the picture? It's nothing but an ass-ream.

I am fucking disgusted that we were essentially forced to choose between having health coverage until the beginning of next year and meeting our bills for little things like water and power. It just fucking makes me sick. No goddamn joke.

I have been spitting nails about it all day. I keep hearing the doctor from The Ghost and the Darkness. "Welcome to the hospital. My advice to you is don't get sick."

Indeed.

Dropping that coverage is equivalent to giving my husband a dollar-an-hour raise. That, my friends, is ridiculous. That money will make the difference between subsisting and being able to save for retirement. And that thought should make you want to fucking puke. Because it makes me want to fucking puke.

No, I don't feel good about it at all. But it's done, and I don't really want to argue about it. I just want to find the person responsible and pummel him until he needs reconstructive surgery.

Surgery, by the way, that is excluded under the new policy.

Ahem. In other news, we got a new window installed today (you might recall that the old one just fell out about a month back), and it's beautiful and clean and shiny, and it cuts way down on noise, and it even does other window-type stuff like open and be transparent, which the other windows could not apparently manage to do without flinging themselves to the concrete in fits of suicidal depression.

So that's my good news. I have no health insurance, but I now have a window that opens, so should I choose to defenestrate myself to stop the progress of some incipient horrible disease I can do so with ease. Maybe I can make some spare cash by renting my side yard out as a toxic waste dumping ground. Then I might at least get a cool mutation.

As it is, I guess it's pimples and a really dirty mind.
naamah_darling: The right-side canines of a wolf's skull; the upper canine is made of gold. (Maniacal Laughter)
For those who missed the memo, on the fifth of next month, Fates willing, Sargon will join the ranks of the snipped. We've got him scheduled for a no-scalpel vasectomy, the lowest-impact kind available.

I'm filled with an appalling sense of dread, largely stemming from the fact that thus far all of our attempts to ensure that we will remain blissfully childfree have met with resoundingly negative results. And so it is out of a sense of obligation that I write this entry, which is less about the event itself and more about me deliberately forcing myself to step on mental cracks and walk under psychological ladders in an effort to train myself to really believe that talking about a thing will not fuck it up.

Fate can fuck things up all on her own, and does not need to read my livejournal to know when I am looking forward to something.

The doctor was totally cool about it when we went in to speak with him. We politely emphasized that my life would be in danger if I did get pregnant, and he agreed that this was by far the best thing we could do for ourselves. I was expecting much more of a fight, but he wasn't an asshole about it at all. It was refreshing in the extreme. I mean, wow. Imagine that. A medical professional actually allowing two adult human beings to make the choice they feel is best for them. Incredible.

Really, it's only sensible to pitch the ball into Sargon's court, given that I've exhausted the non-invasive procedures available to me.* It's so much simpler for men.** Two tiny punctures, and it's done. There's none of that squelching around in the depths of my plumbing. No pre- and post-op checkups. No "please piss in this cup to prove you aren't pregnant, you vapid whore" tests. No pain and bleeding for a week, a month if you count sex. No hormone pills beforehand to make sure I'm absolutely shitting out my forebrain with terror because of estrogen poisoning.

Just one consult. Then the operation. And that's all.

Did you know that men get a Valium to take before they go in, as well as a local anaesthetic? I had whole chunks ripped out of my cervix with no painkillers whatsoever, and I did not get so much as a fucking lime lollipop to calm me down beforehand.

What the fuck is that about?

Is it because we're women, and thus will someday have to go through labor, so it's only seen as right and proper that we learn to suffer because it somehow builds character?

In the words of the Foulmouthed Broad, FUCK THAT SHIT.

Oh, I realize that the pedantic assholes among you are probably tempted to pizzle on about how it genuinely is necessary for a guy to be relaxed in order to perform the procedure, and that it's not at all necessary to be sure a woman is relaxed before you go perforating her unmentionables, but that just goes to show how little regard medical professionals have for the psychological state of their patients. They've brainwashed you into believing that how you feel about what they do to you is unimportant. Oh, and there's still the part where women are expected to endure any amount of pain the physician deems necessary simply because we're female. It's "unavoidable." Yeah. That's what we in the snarky bitch industry like to call "bullshit."

Fucking barbarians.

Really, I should have gotten him to do this years ago. Would have saved me much bitterness, spite, and drama. I swear . . . I still can't believe the shit I have to deal with because I fucked up in some egregious way in a former life and was born a female with no desire for children. Yes, I'm still hoping my uterus just shrivels up and falls out like an old lava rock one of these days. Spiteful fucking thing.

Anyway, having this done will be like closing the book on a very painful and very unpleasant phase of my life, and I'll be free to just put it out of my mind thereafter. Provided it all goes as planned, I'll feel a great deal safer and more comfortable.

That's all I've ever fucking asked: the right to be allowed to follow through on a choice I made when I was six years old. After twenty-two years, I doubt I'm going to change my mind.

I'm really lucky to have a husband who is with me a hundred percent.

* I ask that you all politely refrain from offering birth control advice or asking me if I've tried this method or that method. I've tried everything short of abdominal surgery and crocodile dung. I have done everything I am willing to do to rid myself of my fertility. Nothing has worked to my satisfaction, and a great deal of it has been destructive to my life. It's his turn.

** I didn't say it was a cakewalk. I said it was easier for men than for women. I have sympathy for the precious nuts, okay? But you guys are just way, way easier to sterilize.
naamah_darling: The right-side canines of a wolf's skull; the upper canine is made of gold. (Maniacal Laughter)
For those who missed the memo, on the fifth of next month, Fates willing, Sargon will join the ranks of the snipped. We've got him scheduled for a no-scalpel vasectomy, the lowest-impact kind available.

I'm filled with an appalling sense of dread, largely stemming from the fact that thus far all of our attempts to ensure that we will remain blissfully childfree have met with resoundingly negative results. And so it is out of a sense of obligation that I write this entry, which is less about the event itself and more about me deliberately forcing myself to step on mental cracks and walk under psychological ladders in an effort to train myself to really believe that talking about a thing will not fuck it up.

Fate can fuck things up all on her own, and does not need to read my livejournal to know when I am looking forward to something.

The doctor was totally cool about it when we went in to speak with him. We politely emphasized that my life would be in danger if I did get pregnant, and he agreed that this was by far the best thing we could do for ourselves. I was expecting much more of a fight, but he wasn't an asshole about it at all. It was refreshing in the extreme. I mean, wow. Imagine that. A medical professional actually allowing two adult human beings to make the choice they feel is best for them. Incredible.

Really, it's only sensible to pitch the ball into Sargon's court, given that I've exhausted the non-invasive procedures available to me.* It's so much simpler for men.** Two tiny punctures, and it's done. There's none of that squelching around in the depths of my plumbing. No pre- and post-op checkups. No "please piss in this cup to prove you aren't pregnant, you vapid whore" tests. No pain and bleeding for a week, a month if you count sex. No hormone pills beforehand to make sure I'm absolutely shitting out my forebrain with terror because of estrogen poisoning.

Just one consult. Then the operation. And that's all.

Did you know that men get a Valium to take before they go in, as well as a local anaesthetic? I had whole chunks ripped out of my cervix with no painkillers whatsoever, and I did not get so much as a fucking lime lollipop to calm me down beforehand.

What the fuck is that about?

Is it because we're women, and thus will someday have to go through labor, so it's only seen as right and proper that we learn to suffer because it somehow builds character?

In the words of the Foulmouthed Broad, FUCK THAT SHIT.

Oh, I realize that the pedantic assholes among you are probably tempted to pizzle on about how it genuinely is necessary for a guy to be relaxed in order to perform the procedure, and that it's not at all necessary to be sure a woman is relaxed before you go perforating her unmentionables, but that just goes to show how little regard medical professionals have for the psychological state of their patients. They've brainwashed you into believing that how you feel about what they do to you is unimportant. Oh, and there's still the part where women are expected to endure any amount of pain the physician deems necessary simply because we're female. It's "unavoidable." Yeah. That's what we in the snarky bitch industry like to call "bullshit."

Fucking barbarians.

Really, I should have gotten him to do this years ago. Would have saved me much bitterness, spite, and drama. I swear . . . I still can't believe the shit I have to deal with because I fucked up in some egregious way in a former life and was born a female with no desire for children. Yes, I'm still hoping my uterus just shrivels up and falls out like an old lava rock one of these days. Spiteful fucking thing.

Anyway, having this done will be like closing the book on a very painful and very unpleasant phase of my life, and I'll be free to just put it out of my mind thereafter. Provided it all goes as planned, I'll feel a great deal safer and more comfortable.

That's all I've ever fucking asked: the right to be allowed to follow through on a choice I made when I was six years old. After twenty-two years, I doubt I'm going to change my mind.

I'm really lucky to have a husband who is with me a hundred percent.

* I ask that you all politely refrain from offering birth control advice or asking me if I've tried this method or that method. I've tried everything short of abdominal surgery and crocodile dung. I have done everything I am willing to do to rid myself of my fertility. Nothing has worked to my satisfaction, and a great deal of it has been destructive to my life. It's his turn.

** I didn't say it was a cakewalk. I said it was easier for men than for women. I have sympathy for the precious nuts, okay? But you guys are just way, way easier to sterilize.
naamah_darling: Intentionally hilarious cutesy illustration of a super-adorable anime girl with blood pouring from her crotch. (Menstrual)
"I'm a grown-up, goddammit!" I holler. "My feelings are not dictated by my hormones! Everything I feel is legitimate, and my feelings are like all those fiddly little controls and blinky lights in the cockpit of an airplane: they damn well are there for a reason, and they all mean something! I demand that all of you take me seriously."

Less than two seconds later a horrible pain suffuses my groinal area, and as I get up a polite female voice emanates from my lady parts informing me that there is about to be a failure in the containment vessel. I get to the bathroom before the reactor core melts down, but it's a near thing. And I'm left with this sense that my uterus is trying to undermine my authority.

I'm not saying my temper was just PMS; that crap's been building for a couple of weeks now. It does mean that my uterus, useless blob of flesh that it is, still thinks it has An Agenda. This is what it wants me to believe: someday, we're going to come to an accord. Some peaceful morning the color of peach iced tea, probably in early April or late September when the seasons are turning, I'll wake up and I'll feel that sense of profound movement in the universe that means my soul is stirring slow and deep within me, and I'll think to myself: "What I really need to feel complete is to get out of my nice warm bed, clean up some vomit, get crapped on, and then listen to constant squalling for the next 20 hours!"

Not even life with four cats prepares you for that sort of nightmare.

No offense to those of you who were at one time babies, or who have them, or who want them, but that ain't my cuppa. The only squalling I want to hear had better be coming out of Orlando Bloom, and if he ralphs, the deal is off and he's going back to [livejournal.com profile] crevette's.

I honestly thought about honoring LJ Rabbit Hole Day with a post detailing how I had changed my mind about all that hateful childfree crap and was going to try a few rounds of IVF in the hope of racking up a couple dozen embryos that I could cull to earn some prime hot-ass angel babies in heaven. Someone had better be ready to wait on me hand and foot when I get up there, and I doubt that, what with entries like this, I rank the howevermany doe-eyed virgins package. I'd merit maybe one virgin, and she'd have, like, three nipples or something. (Whether that third nipple's a value-add to you or not is between you and your God.)

WARNING: CHILDFREE RANTING AHEAD. )

At any rate, I suppose you can all tell that I'm feeling just a little bitter about my gender of birth today, and wishing mightily that I'd had the sense to be born a man. Considering there's not much to be done at this point, I've decided to just muddle along as best I can while trying not to bleed on anything. Don't get me wrong -- I'm not against other women being women. There's nothing inherently wrong with being female, and I even admit there are a few small perks to my personally being female and attractive, one of those being that I haven't had to pay for a drink, ever, if I didn't want to.

Now if you'll excuse me, I believe I need one of those drinks right about now. If you need me, I'll be standing over here, sampling this fine ruby port and discussing the arrangement of ships at the Battle of Trafalgar.

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