|The future of American women if the crack-brained fundamentalist state legislators have their way? Bet on it. (Wiki Commons photo)|
I refused to get serious with a Roman Catholic boy I dated in my late teens because I didn’t want to die in childbirth.
Together, we had seen the movie The Cardinal. In that movie, the Cardinal’s sister becomes pregnant with an unsavoury character and carries the foetus to term. However, it was early days in modern obstetrics―the 1920s or so, I seem to recall―and the Cardinal is called on by the doctor to make a decision: Only the mother or the baby can be saved, but not both. Naturally, the Cardinal chose to save the baby.
I got cold chills, removed my date’s arm from around my shoulders, and determined never, ever to marry a Roman Catholic man. Frankly, I didn’t want to die if I experienced a difficult birth and a similar decision had to be made.
By now, some readers are saying, “How selfish. A mother should want to die for her baby.” Possibly, or possibly not. Looked at logically, if the mother dies, then who is to raise the child? We no longer have extended families living under one roof; there is no longer always room for one more. Nor did it make sense to me to end the life of an adult woman who was fully conscious rather than the life of a not-born baby who may or may not be fully conscious, and whose soul―for those who believe in such―would reasonably be taken back by god and given a more viable body to manifest within. We are not our bodies; we are souls that take physical form. (There’s a ton of theology, mainstream and other, on the subject which I won’t revisit here, but it informs my personal belief system.)
I have never been pregnant. So no, I don’t know what I would actually do. I suspect, if the choice were mine, I would give up my life for my child. I’ve long known that if it came to a situation in which one of two people had to die and I was the elder, I would choose to die to allow the younger continued life. Or at least, I think I would. None of us can know until faced with such decisions. I do know I have gone to great lengths to protect and nurture children in my care for one reason or another (relatives’ children, kids I taught to ride horses), going out on a limb at times to buck the system and get for them what they needed. So perhaps my beliefs would hold firm under extreme duress. As I said, none of us can know absolutely what we would do.
But there’s this to consider: I would have been a good mother. I am well-educated, I do―as noted―fiercely protect the rights of children in my purview and nurture those who come my way. I learned this from my own mother, who was a sort of reluctant mother in fact, preferring the business world. But she nurtured me and my brother, demanded all the excellence we were capable of, fought for our rights, protected us, and died in a most courageous manner far too young. But I never became a mother. I was the first generation to have The Pill available from the onset of menses, so I really had a choice previous generations had not had.
My first husband was Jewish, but he was more a secular than observant Jew. So there was little chance he would make a Cardinal-style decision if it came to that. Still, he is a man. So we divorced, mainly because he badly wanted children and I refused to bear any. When I married him, it was a scant three years after I saw that frightful movie. It ruled my sexual life; it ruined my relationships.
My second husband was Presbyterian, a Type A careerist who didn’t care to have children. Whew! Double whew! Because, as good as he was at his job, I think he would have been a horrible father.
I didn’t marry my current and final husband until after the biological clock had run its course. He had grown children, so his need for family had long been satisfied, and I was off the hook.
But now my husband’s youngest has had a child, and is about to have a second. Her little girl is the cutest, dearest, sweetest, smartest thing I’ve ever seen. I worry about vaccinations doing her harm. I worry about her young life getting derailed from all it can experience of good, as have the lives of two of her aunts, badly. (You see, my mothering instinct is there…but something interfered with it.) But it won’t happen; my stepdaughter is a good mother, and her husband is a good father. It will be OK. But still, I fret.
So what, then, derailed my willingness to be a mother? The Cardinal. Nothing else. It was the spectre of having my body subjected to the crack-brained concepts of men who had no business deciding where to have dinner, never mind what happens to my body―the one that is animated by my sovereign soul and which is mine, and no one else’s―to operate as I see fit that did it.
Do I think my first husband would have decided in favour of the child over the mother? I don’t know. I doubt if he knows. But we are actually still friends and he did have two children with his second wife. They are successful humans; he did well.
The second husband probably would have said to croak both of us. And no, we are not friends.
The third? There is no doubt in my mind that, as hard as it would have been for him, he would have chosen the mother―whether me or his late first wife―over a child in a life-or-death decision situation. I say that although he is of a family chockfull of Episcopal (Church of England) clergy, high-church men (and they are all men) who are more Anglo-Catholic in reality. But I will never have need to find out. I can tell you, though, that if he were in charge of his beloved daughter’s life as the Cardinal was of his beloved sister’s, he would choose his daughter. I have no doubt of that.
I didn’t have children because it scared me to death. I didn’t want any man―any man―in charge of whether I lived or died if it came to that. And, as it happens, childbirth has been troublesome for my mother’s line, so I had reason to believe there might have to be a decision. I spent my childbearing years in a blessed environment of The Pill and, in my twenties, Roe v. Wade. So I really was fairly safe from the depredations of unmanly decisions by unmanly men. But that movie? It chilled me to the marrow and beyond.
And now we’re back to that stage and worse. Men―ignorant and useless and vicious and unethical and selfish weak men―have opened war against women’s bodies. I wonder how many women will, consciously or not, make the decision I did and refuse utterly to get pregnant, lest they be violated in essential ways by the aforementioned men.
The Islamicization of American women
Rape victims will be victimized twice; perhaps it will come to women refusing to leave their house without a male escort they trust, like women in Afghanistan do. If a woman in America is raped in future, she will have to carry the baby to term, giving a gift to the man who violated her by casting more of his foul genetic material into the gene pool of humanity, and probably being ostracized―or worse―as so many Muslim rape victims are now. Maybe this is the way western civilization is going to be Islamicized; women will become not the Biblical helpmeet of early western civilization, nor the equal partner of a small part of the late 20th century, but a useful but rarely respected beast meant to carry the gene pools of the aforementioned men on into another generation of fools.
For a truly chilling roundup of what's going on in state legislatures as throwback men attempt to wrest control of women's bodies--and thereby the gene pool for generations to come--read this.