Not your average granola (crunchymama) wrote in tell_herstory,
Not your average granola

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mothers can be feminists too

The previous post linked to a post by Cherie Priest.

quote from her post:

There are people in this world who very firmly believe that this is the natural order of things: men have orgasms, and women have babies. This is a sacred balance, whereby a man is made happy for two minutes and a woman spends the next nine months serving as host to a life-threatening parasite, then the next eighteen years held legally, morally, and fiscally responsible for the health and well-being of that parasite ... while the man is free to wander off or stick around at his leisure."

That really bothers me. Pregnancy and birth are not life threatening illnesses. Babies are not parasites. To be a mother is not to be a victim. To be a mother is not to be used. To be a mother- even if you choose not to keep your child- is not to play host to a bloodsucking tick for 9 months. Motherhood is the totally natural consequence of sexual activity.

We all started life as babies. We are all here because our mothers chose to give us life and our fathers chose to give the seed. I am so tired of women who claim to be feminists putting down pregnancy labor birth breastfeeding staying home to raise your kids. That makes it really hard to call myself a feminist.

And honestly. A woman in this country can choose to have an abortion. Does the man get any say over whether she gets one? No. He also gets no say over whether she keeps the child or not. If she chooses life, she also chooses whether she remains responsible- she can give that baby up for adoption. Even if he doesn't want that baby, if she chooses to keep the baby, he is fiscally tied to that child for life. Ever heard of garnishment? How fair is that- she can opt out- even if he wants the baby- but he can't. And yet the author is arguing that it is every man's agenda to make babies and deny access to birth control? Pshaw. When a man makes the decision to have sex with a woman, he is opening himself up to a lifetime of payments, even if he chooses to have no relationship with the child. Her whole premise is off. And wouldn't we all be healthier and better off if we just quit fucking around? Honestly.

The purpose of sex- biologically- is to create life. ONLY a woman can do this. ONLY a woman can do this. ONLY a woman can do this. How great is that? HUGE. We are co-creators with nature/God. How about celebrating women's fertility instead of treating it like this horrible fucking burden?
By embracing sterility as the only viable form of feminism we cut off a huge part of our lives. Why not just go get a hysterectomy and be done with it.

I'm not arguing that birth control isn't important to many many people, or that it should only be a woman's responsibility, I'm saying that:

Everyone who ever lived on earth is here today because of a woman.

Mother's day should be a feminist holy day.

unshaven unschooling mother to 4
all birthed at home, exclusively breastfed, etc.
a Barbie-free home
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I was bothered by her terminology as well, but after that we part ways.

It's not in the best interests of individual men to keep women tied to childbearing-and-raising, but it IS in the interests of those who think patriarchy is a fine idea and needs to be shored up instead of broken down. It's ultimately not about men vs. women at all, but about power, rewards, status, and control...and those on top socially and economically are the only ones who really reap the rewards.

Women have 100% of the choice of whether to carry a child to term because they bear 100% of the consequences. That's as it should be. When that changes, we can talk about making that "fair". They have more choice afterwards because they still bear most of the burden, and also because "I didn't want to" is too easy of a cop-out.

Also, sex for humans and our nearest relatives at least, is not only for reproduction but also for social bonding/connection purposes. If it weren't so, we'd have oestrus cycles and mating seasons like the majority of other creatures, and a female would *only* be receptive to sex when she's physically fertile. Instead, we are capable of having sex all the time...which means that "sex-for-fun" has adaptive value for us as a species.
"Women have 100% of the choice of whether to carry a child to term because they bear 100% of the consequences."

Here I disagree with you. In my state, 21% of a man's disposable (net) income goes for child support on 1 child. That's over a 5th of his income. And that's the minimum amount for 1 child. It's not a small thing. Yeah, it's not being on call 24/7 for 18 years and believe me I know how hard that is, but it is something- it's not 100% on the woman (provided you know who the father is and want to give them parental rights, which is a whole nother kettle of fish.)

I read recently that the #1 killer of pregnant women is homicide.

I don't think that "I didn't want to have a child with this woman, so I shouldn't be held fiscally responsible" is anymore of a cop-out than an abortion. Certainly being able to opt out would be better than murder. I think making it possible for men who are not in a committed relationship (say 1 year or more of seeing each other) to opt out of parenthood during early pregnancy is reasonable.

I just don't see this patriarchy that is interested in keeping women tied to childbearing. Maybe I have blinders on? The fact is women are tied to childbearing, through biology- and until the uterine replicator of Lois McMaster Bujold is invented, we might as well stand up and make it part of our POWER instead of part of our BURDEN.

What I do see is that women who choose to become mothers, by and large, do not have the option to enjoy it. They are not supported in staying home with their children. If they are wealthy or willing to live in what is considered as poverty in the US- and even women who choose to stay home on welfare are being forced into work. Even if you can afford to stay home without significant financial sacrifices, don't expect any applause. Despite tons of atachment research, anthropological data, and just common sense, you're going to be told that your choice is at best equal to the choice of a woman who chooses to work full-time and put her kids in day-care, public school and after-care. Your time investment and sacrifice don't count, there is no benefit to them. If you do choose to work outside the home, children are not being welcomed into the workplace in significant numbers, on-site childcare is rare, maternity leave is a joke- 6 weeks is barely enough time to get to know your baby- there is no paternity leave for fathers- and almost everything in our culture is aimed at fewer kids and distancing yourself from those kids. Teen mothers are not given the option of finishing school AND being a present and attached mother, and many universities have rules that prevent you from taking even small infants into the classroom. You can't even get a job delivering pizza without childcare. Women who are able to opt out of the workforce for their children do not accumulate pensions or IRA or even social security pensions, have no insurance programs, work benefits, short-term disability, paid vacation, etc.

The emphasis is birth control. The emphasis is sterility. The emphasis is on putting women into a man's world, instead of changing that world to incorporate both of them and their children. I want to see (paraphrasing someone- I can't even remember who) congressional delegates on the floor with their babies in a sling- men and women.

Sex is fun. Not having kids is fun. Having kids can be fun too- even without the support of society and government. But it sure would be nice to have that support.
You're ignoring my point, which is that 100% of the burden of PREGNANCY falls on the woman, so SHE gets to decide whether to carry to term or not.

People can already sign away their parental rights. But the vast majority of deadbeat dads DON'T want to give up parental rights...they just don't want to have to be *responsible*.

Funny how you can nail exactly why child support is so high...because it diverts so much of the primary caregiver's earning potential....but don't see the connection.

And, abortion is not a cop-out. There's no personal physical risk to a man from fatherhood, but there is a significant risk of permanent injury or death from childbirth (I had a seizure and was in a coma for three days after my son was born, and I still have spots in my vision from where blood vessels in my retina burst). Plus abortion itself is a very difficult decision. If you think it's not, you have no imagination, no empathy, or both.

Discussions of abortion online, however, tend to devolve very quickly. Since you've already equated it with murder, I think this conversation is over.