I have just been doing my daily research on birth control/family planning in the news. I come across all kinds of interesting studies and articles. Today I found one called, “My Big Fat Feminist Pregnancy.” I debating taking the time to read it, but decided to see what this feminist was writing about. It all centers around control: control of one’s body, control of ones decisions, control of one’s fertility, control of one’s career after children… CONTROL. She is not combative about it, but I read it feeling sad for this woman. Sad that she sees the only way of “controlling” fertility is the pill, sad that she fears her beloved career suffering because of her baby. Here are my responses…
Article: “What has been feminist about my pregnancy? For starters, being in control of my fertility and being able to decide the timing of it.”
Response: Why does being on chemical contraceptives make women feel in control of their fertility? They are taking the one medication designed to mess up a healthy, functioning person. They are not in control- they are putting control in the hands of a medication. What’s more, this medication was originally designed to have one function (to prevent ovulation), but it was found that controlling that function of a woman’s body was too detrimental to other bodily systems, so they decreased the effectiveness of this function and added fall back functions. Even so, the pill still fails to “control” fertility with a average user fail rate of 8%.
Control of your fertility doesn’t mean trying to destroy it until you think you are ready for kids. Inherently, control of fertility means KNOWING your fertility and making choices accordingly. If you want control, keep it in your hands, don’t shove your faith toward a medication.
Article: “Being able to determine the number and spacing of children for women is key to our empowerment. If we lack decision-making power over our bodies, we pretty much lose control over everything else in our lives.”
Response: Determining the number and spacing of children actually becomes harder when trusting contraceptives. Many women take contraceptives for years assuming that as soon as they are ready, they will get off, have a baby and all will be well. Did you know that every year you are on the pill, your cervix ages 2 years? Stunting your bodies ability to produce natural hormones and cervical mucus makes these functions atrophy over time. We only have so many child bearing years as it is, and many women are devastated to find out that they cannot conceive naturally after getting off the pill. With more and more girls starting the pill at 14 to regulate “irregular cycles” or acne, the occurrence of women being on the pill for 15 years is common! Do the math- this is a real issue.
“Decision-making power over our bodies.” This reminds me of a cartoon I saw once. The woman is telling her friend about how she was attracted to a man, and his advances made her throw caution to the wind, she just couldn’t stop herself! The passion carried her away! Now, she was pregnant and wanted an abortion because, “A woman should have control over her own body, right?”
Again, by taking the pill, you are not making any decisions about your fertility. You are trusting in a medication, and still know nothing of your own fertility. Most women have no idea what their body does every month. The extent of knowledge, is “oh shoot, I started my period again…” This is not knowledge, this is not control.
Article: “As my husband and I make daily decisions centered around our growing family, these links could not be more glaringly clear to me. It frightens me to think of how many women have this choice taken away from them.”
Response: Daily decisions? Why not have the knowledge to make daily decisions based on knowing your cycle? And the lack of chemical contraceptives does not equal choice being taken away from women. Taking a pill takes the real choice of managing fertility away from women. It tells us, “You are not smart enough to handle anything but taking this pill at the same time every day, let me decide how your body is to work.” Let’s empower women by giving them the knowledge of their bodies! Natural fertility management has come a long way in the last 50 years. Did you know you can tell if you have a vitamin D deficiency, a hormonal imbalance, PCOS, peri-menopausal symptoms, return of fertility postpartum, ovulation, infertility symptoms, low progesterone, etc etc etc, just by charting the Billings method? By paying attention to ONE symptom throughout the day and writing it down? Then you can make true Choices, you can be in control of decisions to space and plan children.
Article: “Society not only does not support childbirth, women are actually punished for having children. We lose out on promotions and jobs all the time because we have kids…It is insane to think about how women are systematically punished instead of being rewarded for raising the next generation of the human race.”
Response: She is right in this regard. Women who choose to have a career and be moms do not have the advantage in the work place. But it makes me sad that she is so concerned with her career suffering because of children… what about the children who suffer because of a woman’s career? I know I am old fashioned, but I wish all women could see the joy and honor of motherhood as vocation.
She goes on to talk about her wonderment of pregnancy, and the fascination of it all. I can’t help but thinking, if you are fascinated by the complexities of how a woman’s body was made to nurture a little growing person, you would be floored to learn how we work the rest of the time!
Dump the contraception and start discovering real empowerment, control and decision making power through natural fertility management.