In talking with a co-volunteer the other day something of glaring relevance occurred to me.
It surprised me that as much as I speak out about every woman’s very private right to choose whether or not to have children, this idea was one that I had not spent much time pondering.
We were discussing the overwhelming irony of strongly conservative Christians protesting a woman’s right to abort a fetus while at the same time fighting for the privilege to corporately deny women birth control.
If you think about it it is not really ironic at all.
Conservative Christian groups are some of the most misogynistic organizations in our society.
Their agenda strictly pursues the cause of keeping women subservient to men, just like they are in the bible.
Do you know what makes a woman more vulnerable than any other thing on earth?
Having a child.
A woman with children is by far more easy to control than a woman who is not a mother.
Mothers adhere to more conservative rules of society so as not to draw negative attention to ourselves and our children.
We often seek out religious institutions to frequent with children in our lives that we would not have sought out before.
A good HALF of our daily presence of mind is occupied with thoughts of caring for and protecting our children.
Keeping women preoccupied with the health and welfare of one or more children is the most perfect way to keep the entire female sex in a state of oppression.
Our venerability may wane as our children become adults and are more equipped to look out for themselves, yet the majority of us, still dedicate an intense amount of energy to caring for them, and even for their children when they are born.
“Keep them barefoot and pregnant.”
This is how men CONTROL us.
This is how the church CONTROLS us.
When we are far more concerned for the welfare of our offspring than we are for our own, (as most good mothers are), we are sitting ducks when it comes to manipulation.
Thousands of women all over this country remain in situations of domestic abuse because they don’t know how they would care for their children if they were to leave the abuser that is holding them hostage.
So, whether or not you have children of your own, for the love of god do not deliver the same manipulation to the next young woman you meet that women have been echoing for hundreds of years.
When are you going to settle down?
Don’t you want to have kids?
You’ll regret not experiencing the miracle of motherhood.
Do you want to grow old and die alone?
You’ll be a great mom, it will just come to you naturally.
How can you be so selfish?
If you so much as catch notice someone doing this to a woman, I suggest that you intervene as politely as possible.
And when you meet a young woman who has decided not to have kids, respect her decision, dammit.
While you are at it, you might bother to actually take the time to let her know that you admire her courage to do what she knows is right for her in her own life, and helping to move feminism forward at the same time.
There are SO MANY reasons that we do not need to be adding children to our population. We aren’t taking good care of the ones that we have in this country today.
Some states are so desperate for foster homes that they are housing children in groups in motels with only state employees to care for them.
I adore my own kids, and motherhood was the absolute right path for me, but many women in our population who choose not to be mothers are doing a hell of a lot for the rest of us, while we often ignore or even shun their immense contributions.
Choosing not to have kids is a true sacrifice and a privilege at the same time.
I am grateful to the women in our society who have chosen not to submit to the control that is put upon us by the act of becoming mothers, and I predict that we are going to see more and more young women stand up and make this choice.
Sometimes I wonder if many of us secretly want for other women to suffer the same challenges that we have been through with our own children…but I believe the true root of it is the control.
We envy the freedom that women without children earn for themselves, and we need to stop it.
Ladies, you have my complete and grateful support.