Posted by: mzbitca | April 25, 2009

FML FAIL: The new catch-22

Today, my mother called me downstairs to give me what I assumed was going to be “The Talk” (About four years too late). So she sits me down, holds my hands, and with the gentlest, most motherly expression on her face tells me, “Honey, if you ever come home pregnant, I’ll kill you and the baby.” FML

 

I’ll be honest, my first instinct was to laugh.  1. because I’m kinda fucked up like that. 2. I’m pro-choice and you know that means I kill babies for fun in my free time.  But this statement just highlights the catch-22 girls are in all the time when it comes to their bodies.  In today’s world, the worst thing that can happen to a teenage girl is pregnancy.  You get your period and it’s like, congratulations, here’s a wad of cotton and don’t get pregnant. 

We beat into our girls heads to become terrified of being pregnant but we give them NO means to avoid it other than “keep your legs closed”.   We shame those who have abortions and call the ones that are confident and prepared in their sexuality, sluts and whores.  Teenage girls are consistently walking a tightwire between denying their very real and normal desires and becoming a cautionary tale to other girls.  

All this mother is telling her daughter is that: if you do get pregnant I am not going to be a supportive person for you in that time.  You should not feel you should come to me with questions and if you do expect me to be angry and disappointed.  Sure mom, that’s the way to strengthen the bond between you and your daughter. All this does is drop down another shroud of secrecy between child and parent where there should be open armed acceptance and loving guidance.  

Pregnancy is viewed as a horrible situation that should be avoided at all costs but then, when a teenage girl decides to terminate her pregnancy, she is not appreciating the special gift that God has given her.  That is the true sign that the anti-choice movement is not about babies, it’s about controlling women’s bodies.  A pregnancy shouldn’t be a consequence and a child a gift.  Those two do  not make sense when put together because it’s not truly about the child. It’s about making girls ashamed and detached from their bodies.  Girls start to connect their body to the ability to get pregnant and either celebrate or hate that aspect of them.  It creates a situation where women and girls tie their bodies and their feelings about it solely to the place where their view on reproduction colors any experience they had.  

As a sexually active teenager, every period was met with anxiety, although I enjoyed sex with my boyfriend, the fear that something went wrong every time was always in the front of my mind.  Pregnancy was the worst fear even knowing my stance on choosing an abortion. Girls need to be aware of the imprtance of safe sex but they also need to realize that if an unintended pregnancy happens they have options and they have people they can go to to evaluate those options.

 

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Responses

  1. That mom is classy.

  2. Good post.

  3. Once, when I was in college, my mom told me that she’d rather I die in a car accident than become pregnant. I was appalled, and told her so. When I announced my first pregnancy (23 years old, married at 22), the first thing she said was “you’re an idiot”.

    Fast forward 10 years, and she was bugging me to have another baby. She “forgot” the earlier conversations. Apparently, there are “acceptable/borderline compulsory” ages to get pregnant & “unacceptable” ones.

    Suffice it to say that I’ll NEVER treat my daughter that way.

  4. My best friend in high school (sadly, she died our freshman year of college, boy I miss her) became pregnant our Senior year. Her father, a widower, had that same mentality. At the time I was a very different person, church going Christian, and very much anti-choice. When she turned to me for help, all of my resolve melted, and I found myself lying to her parents and my guardians to protect her. Then, I got in huge trouble when my guardians found out I lied, b/c she left a message on my machine telling me not to worry she had just been pushed back on the schedule, and traffic back from Indiana was bad. When I found out that people would have rather her father beat her than understand her abortion, my whole opinion changed.

    It’s parents like that who made me see that abortion is sometimes necessary. I never judged her, I never tried to talk her out of it. I held her hand, and when it was over, she was safe and happy, right up until she died.

    No wonder teenagers are afraid to ask for help or talk about sex w/ their parents. I hope that if my daughter finds herself making this choice some day and she doesn’t feel she can come to me, then I hope she has a friend like me to not judge her and to help her as much as she can.


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