Friday, July 29, 2011

good old-fashioned sexism

I'm surprised how many young wives lately have told me their husband's won't let them get pregnant! They have the financial means, and she has a strong desire...but he won't allow her stop birth control. These husbands say that kids are noisy and difficult and would interfere with their recreational activities. So who has the ovaries in these relationships anyway?

I would like to explain to these guys something about women. Despite what you see on TV and movies, most women have an instinctive desire to become a mother. Sure some of us suppress this desire to conform with social ideals, but nothing really can root out what thousands of years of evolution have planted inside us. I would say this maternal desire is equally strong to a man's desire for physical intimacy. We enjoy intimacy too, but often a woman's ultimate fulfillment comes...well, 9 months later. Ideally both partners are generous to the others needs.

These husbands receive their fulfillment and enjoyment, while denying their wives the same. Throughout human history the privilege of physical intimacy is inseparably connected with the responsibility of parenthood. Perhaps artificially delaying parenthood to overindulge in leisure frustrates the order of nature? (To say nothing of what it does to Social Security.) For thousands of years if someone didn't want children, they just didn't have sex.

When birth control first came out 50 years ago, many conservative men denounced it. They feared their wives would take a hint from Loretta Lynn and avoid the pains of childbearing altogether, decreasing their dependence on men, and frustrating all social order. Isn't it ironic that men are now using birth control to exert dominance over their wives? 50 years ago a man couldn't get a vasectomy without his wife's permission, and now she can't restore fertility without his?

Not that this is the real issue, but children are noisy and difficult. They also bring great joy and satisfaction that far outweigh any sacrifice required on their behalf.

Ultimately the decision is personal. I only seek to empower women to fulfill their natural desires and become mothers! The choice to take a pill or other treatment into your body is yours alone. A woman doesn't need her husband's permission to stop. What century are we living in anyway? Definitely tell him what you plan to do. No secrets or surprises! But if he still thinks he's not ready, then maybe he too can forgo fulfillment and abstain.  

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