No uterus, no opinion

This one’s for Jamie, in response to his war on career women in regard to this article.

I have a career because I want one. I have a career because it is my sole means of support right now. I don’t have a family (yet) because it is not within my financial and, let’s face it, emotional capabilities at this given time. That is not to say that when/if I DO have a family, that I will not make said family my No. 1 priority, because I fully intend to.

That said, I was on the pill for a long time, both to regulate my cycle (which went berserk for a spell, whereby I bled for three solid months — try living with THAT situation and still have to function as a human being!) as well as to serve as a backup contraceptive method. Yes, note the word “backup” — you seem to blast the Pill for its temporary fertility blocking, but it ain’t the only product on the market for that.

I s’pose I was most offended by the insinuation that careers are what is preventing women my age (mid-to-upper 20s) from reproducing. Look, if my job paid me to be on maternity/parental leave (which it doesn’t) or if the government found a way to pay stay-at-home parents a salary, then sure, I’d consider that a viable option. Further, I am “all for” workplaces allowing paternal leave as well, as said father should be allowed the early-days bonding experience oftentimes allowed solely to the maternal units. This could very well even the playing field at work — you say with such disdain that women want equal pay and that they want equal consideration for high-powered jobs — perhaps by allowing men time to bond with the new baby (and the woman going through post-partum as well as handling this new little pink crying creature), you will find yourself in favor of having women with families in well-paid, high-level positions in the workplace.

You talk of NOW as an organization that “talks of gender in terms of power and money.” Their message is right, but sometimes their delivery is wrong, but organizations as such are lobbying for choice (and not just for abortion) — the choices they want are for women to choose to stay at home and parent, or to choose to work and parent, or to choose to live their lives however those existences unfold without feeling an immense guilt or pressure to be something else. And even NOW, et all, have succumbed to the society in which I was reared — that careers are supposedly more important than having a family — but it’s more in rebellion to the notion held by many (men) that women can’t have careers like men do.

And we can’t have similar career tracks — your bodies are a constant — you do not have raging hormones for seven days out of the month. You do not bear children and feel your very being at war with itself, confounded over the new growth inside of it that it just doesn’t know how to handle right away. I have two pregnant friends who throw up morning, noon and night and are expected to function normally during the workday — tired, hungry, sick and miserable — so as not to inconvenience their colleagues. And they work BECAUSE THEY NEED THE MONEY AND BENEFITS!!!

Hey, I’m 28 and know my clock will be ticking soon, and I fear not having children until I am in the high-risk age range. But I do hope that when my time comes, I have some money in the bank, some good skills acquired so that I can run a work-at-home business, and some feeling of readiness to deal with the body-and-life changes that bringing children into this world incites. OCs help keep sexually adventurous teen-agers as well as people my age in consensual sexual relationships from taking on the commitment of parenthood at a time when they might just be unfit to perform this incredibly important responsibility. I spent five years working with children whose families abused/neglected them, as well as kids with disabilities because of mothers who smoked crack or drank themselves senseless, therefore not giving their offspring a fighting chance. And just because I sleep with somebody doesn’t mean I want to — or should — bear their children. The whole purpose of dating, mating and relating is to weed out those with no long-term potential and find those who do. I know you don’t dig the whole birth-control biz, but it’s a reality that isn’t going away anytime soon — it’s population control for a generation of undoubtedly unfit parents. If I had a kid today, we’d live in poverty (like I do on my own, BTW — just because I work harder at my job doesn’t mean I get paid any more, and I can’t work to pay daycare costs and afford nothing else, and society won’t pay me to be a good stay-at-home single mom).

‘Tis a shame that OCs can’t prevent the spread of disease, but I hope that will come in time. We live longer, but our fertility still remains peak in the mid-20s. I’ve passed that point, but if I’m living longer, why can’t I safely have children at a later age? Mother Nature needs to update her rulebook, but until that happens, science is helping the crotchety old bitch along.

At any rate, if you’re against a woman changing her Pill ingestion to better accommodate the current pace of her life (like, do you REALLY want your bride to have the Red Tide on your wedding night?), then I’d suggest you come over to Tiff’s and my place when we’re both in the throes of pre-menstrual backaches and crying fits … and trust me, Midol is no match for a torrent of my tears after a particularly heinous workday!

In this instance — no uterus, no opinion. 😉

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