On November 16, 2005, I got spayed. I had it done because I had fibroids. I was 44. It hass been the most liberating and delightful thing in my life. No more periods, no more cramps, no more worrying about *ever* getting pregnant!!
But for years and years earlier, whenever I had sex, I would *always* worry if I would get pregnant. Yeah, I could get an abortion, I lived in California. But even the first trimester fucks with your body. Having erratic menses didn't help, either. I had never sought sterilization previously, because I grew up with the ethic of "If it isn't broken, don't fix it!", and being "baby ready" is the default configuration of the female body.
I came to hate the script, that little "plan" that my socioeconomic caste was expected to follow: college, marriage, house and kids. No matter what field I went into, it would always be pushed aside, along with my self, in the interests of the next generation. Still, I always said "When I can afford it.", "When I have a house.", blah, blah. Buying a house has been out of reach for me for decades in the Bay Area - I wasn't willing to be a gold-digger to get a spouse that could afford it.
The fact is, I knew, deep in my heart, that I didn't want to be a mother. I have only recently, in the last decade, been able to even somewhat control my temper well enough to be responsible for other lives. I hate loud crying, screaming, and whining. I hate the constant "Why, why, why" of toddlers. If I had followed the script, I would have been an abusive, frustrated and bitter bitch, and no kid should ever have to grow up with that for a mother.
So I just... avoided it. Dodged it with a lot of "Well, after I've X, Y or Z." I didn't socialize a lot with people who had young kids - we had very little in common. If I couldn't have a real conversation with the kid, I didn't play entertainer. Fortunately, I didn't get too much flak about it. People who knew me knew I wasn't mommy material, and I stayed away from the type of people that pushed parenthood, including the religious nuts who think it's some sort of mandate from gawd. Avoiding idiots is something I try to have as a fine art.
It's only in the last few years that I've come to embrace the label childfree. Not because my social circle has become a nest of kid-pushers, but because American society has become more and more child-centric. Even my friends that have kids are disgusted at the cult of the brat that has sprung up around the youngest parents and their "precious" offspring. Even the youngest of my friends were raised to be courteous to others. Not most kids today - they're taught that the world revolves around them, the world owes them adulation, that what they want is all that counts. I want to drop-kick a lot of them, with their so-called parents, off a cliff.
The easiest, cheesiest way politicians have of selling some social restriction or establishment of a new victimless crime is "for the children". Helmet laws, seatbelt laws, smoking laws, drug laws, gun laws, decency laws, blah, blah, blah are all passed on the "think of the children", "do it for the children" line. Sorry folks, we old farts were here first, and there are more of us.
The religious right has jumped on the baby bandwagon with both feet. The whole "right to life" thing is just one more front in their religious, faux moral, war on American culture, just like the drug war, the crime war and all their other pet wars. Best way to keep those uppity feminists in their place - saddle 'em with a baby on each hip, "for the future", "for the glory of god", "for the sake of Life™". What about the lives of those who are already here? Oh, that's right, we're only women, nothing more than vessels for the next generation of men to rule the world. Fuck that. Birth control, access to sterilization, and abortion are nothing more than our demand to chose our own destiny, not be merely brood mares for the next generation.
Oh, BTW, why is it okay for 13 year olds to be forced to bear a baby to term, but for a doctor or a state to deny a 20 year old an abortion or a sterilization because they "don't know what they really want" or "aren't old enough to make that decision"? Birthing another life is a lot more life altering and permanent than getting fixed, for two (or more) people, not just one.
So, yeah, I'm childfree, and I blog. I usually don't make a really big deal about it, because I believe in the right of every person to chose their own life path, and the responsibility of everyone to deal with the consequences, both good and bad, or those choices. But when people start assuming that "females with blogs" = "mommy blogging", I've got to set them straight.
This post triggered by Purple Women & Friends.