WARNING: Occupying Myself blog entries may be triggering to some readers. At times I address the abuse in my childhood with humor, irony and sarcasm; this may offend many. Comments will be read and moderated.
My body was conceived on Valentine’s Day night, nineteen hundred and *mumble mumble*.
Sounds romantic. Most people take it that way. After they get over the Huh?What? of learning something about me that they don’t want to know about themselves. Visitors to the World of West find this quirky factoid in keeping with the general theme of Me, celebrating in a fun, love-child-worshipping way.
I’d like to tell you what really happened.
Kid #1 was one year and one month old. Mom wanted more children. Just not another pregnancy, labor, delivery and nursling right away. She had been prescribed a diaphragm; she used it without fail to protect herself.
The man she married, trusted, and for whom she gave up any number of career paths her three university degrees might have netted, decided to trick her. Trick her into a pregnancy he knew she wanted to put off.
He planned a night of hour-on-end entertainment. Starting with a big meal at an expensive restaurant. Ending with maneuvering her to the bedroom. No pit stops. No diaphragm. And, as surely as I’m here today, he got her onto her back and kept her there past the point of no return.
I know that this was all planned because that is the unequivocal way the story has ever been told. Not two young people carried away by romance and passion: one person getting over on another to get his way. No one bothers to tell what he thought when he first looked down on that newborn body he had engineered. A body which his religiously-based culture gave him ownership over. Which some glitch in his psycho-sexual development caused him to crave.
I’d gladly have supported Mom exercising autonomy after the fact. Ending the body-building process before anyone else got hurt. Which, at the time, men did not permit women to do legally, privately or safely.
Anti-autonomists like to argue their oppressive position by praising their own mother’s acquiescence. As though what they worship needs help. Or is insufficient to provide more than one way into the world. Their deity seems, in fact, so confoundable that men must engage in coercion to insure our species’ survival.
But I say again that I would gladly have given up this vehicle of existence, would have rather waited for another opportunity to open into this world. Because what happened as a result of the loss of one woman’s agency was the sustained suffering of one hapless child. Mom deserved respect. Failing that, she deserved the autonomy to correct the disrespecting.
Yeah, I’m over evangelicals and other “social conservatives” (who do only what they can to damage our species’ social constructs) distracting everyone with the tired trope that abortions stop intended babies from being born. What makes ME alive cannot be hindered or thwarted. Those of us who mean to be here will arise. And those of us arising as female mammals (and some large-brained birds) are gifted with the genetic code to manage tough fertility issues. Including code for engaging in infanticide when absolutely necessary. Which in our species can fortunately be managed before a living offspring’s suffering ever begins.
It is only the facts about nature, religion, and agency that can restore some balance to the frantic public and private discussions about female identity, autonomy and birth control. It is only silence that propagates abuse of women and their children. The bad people are counting on the silence.
I sincerely hope and urge that my friends go on telling their version of the Story of Me in their zany-factoid fashion. ‘Cause I like their story and their love better than those I grew up with.
Be well – your Westie loves you!