Saturday, September 4, 2010
Recently, it occurred to me how hard it would be to make a choice if I were to become pregnant, mainly because I have so many people in my life who are against me making a choice at all. It occurred to me that most of the support that I have (outside of activism world, of course) is incomplete support; most of my supporters will only support me if I do what they want me to do. That works out just fine for me if I happen to want the same things that they want, but if I don't, chaos ensues.
Pressure seems like a normal aspect of a woman's life. "Don't have sex before marriage! Have sex with me, or else you're a bitch! Don't get pregnant (whether she wants to or not)! Don't have an abortion! Don't go through the pregnancy! Don't drink/smoke while pregnant! Don't have a homebirth! Don't breastfeed in public! Don't raise your child that way!" In other words, we constantly have people barking orders at us, telling us to "Submit! Submit! Submit!" This goes far beyond sex, pregnancy, and parenting. No matter what we do, we can be sure that we'll have someone there in the background telling us to do it their way. This holds especially true for women who are not as privileged as others, such as poor women, trans women, women of color. The less privileged you are, the more people you get who will try to exert their power over you. The less privileged you are, the more people you get who will try to get you to submit their wishes and their commands.
What these people are forgetting is that they do not live our lives. They do not have to live with our choices, and if they do, they live it in a very minuscule way compared to how we have to live with our own choices. So, if I get pregnant, how am I going to be able to live with my choice (whether I choose to go through the pregnancy or end it) when the people around me, who are supposed to support me and love me unconditionally, make me feel as if I have no choice at all? What if I do end up going through my pregnancy, and I live the rest of my life wondering if I even made the right choice, or if I just did what I did due to pressure from my parents/other loved ones? How can I live with my choice when I felt that I had no choice at all? What then?