Sunday, 15 May 2011

Liberty for all. Even my womb...?

Had a fantastic time at the Rally Against Debt yesterday, though am hugely irritated (but not surprised) by the BBC's report of the event.  Of course we all want to confiscate wheelchairs and kick puppies, and it's not at all about being sick of seeing money we don't have being pissed away on EU bailouts...

Bit nervous at being told that certain other lovely inhabitants of this here blogosphere are on about publicising my ramblings a bit.  Probably ought to attempt to up my game, then...

One thing did get under my skin yesterday, however.  It's an issue which I've been battling for, it seems, my whole life...  The notion of: I'm a woman, therefore I must have a desperate desire to procreate.

I'm mostly stunned that this assumption was made yesterday (and also at the Blogger's Bash), as it seemed to be so in opposition with the central principles of libertarianism.  The response to my saying that turning thirty hasn't bothered me, due to no tick-tock biological clock led to responses of 'I don't believe you', from a variety of people.  Apparently by virtue of being born female, my life plan has to involve raising children.  Not for me.  I've had this response from people for the entirety of my twenties, and fully expect it to get worse between now and forty.  Each time I'm completely confident that it's not coming from a sexist place, and so I don't scream and shout, I simply attempt to get across that I am totally serious in my attitude, and that it is a valid life choice, and possibly even, dare I say a natural instinct for me.

The thing which appeals to me about libertarianism is the idea of personal freedom, obviously.  It would be nice if this could be extended to a woman's right to choose.

I wish that I did have a maternal gene, as I would like to think that I would raise children who wanted to contribute to society.  I fear that there are perhaps too many people like me who have decided against having babies.  But a resentful mother can never be a good one, and with this in mind I shall remain childfree (not 'childless', which I try to remind people implies that I wanted to be a mother but couldn't).

The other aspect is that I fear losing face.  If, for example, I ever accidentally fell pregnant in the future and discovered that, actually, I can't face a termination, would I then be faced with people smugly saying 'aaaah we told you so, we knew you'd change your mind', etc etc?  Quite probably.  I guess this is another reason for my continuing to be extremely careful.

Also, considering the law on abortion allows termination up to 24 weeks, but pro-life campaigners continually attempting to have this reduced (in some cases down to just 16 weeks), fills me with terror - the last two generations of women in my family didn't even know that they were expecting a baby until they were well into their fifth month of pregnancy.  So therefore my body would no longer be my own, my actions would be dictated to me by both the life growing inside my belly, and the law.  This to me is the very embodiment of loss of personal freedom, and anathema to everything I believe in.

Although I do reserve the right to change my mind about any of this, of course...


  1. "It would be nice if this could be extended to a woman's right to choose."

    Absolutely, I don't think we were saying that at all. Perhaps it was the shock of being told that a good 'un like you refuses to replicate herself. Bit of a shame, really. ;)

  2. Well when you word it like that, how could I possibly be cross at you? ;-)

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