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Sexism in wanting a child free womb

I read an article today about a woman, aged 30, who sidestepped her doctors and went directly to a gynecologist who did the procedure for her, the procedure being sterilisation.

I wish I’d thought of that.

But her story so closely resembled my own. Her fury was my fury. I felt it all and I knew where she was at.

Since I was age 19 I knew something was messed up with my insides. I rode my doctors ass about it until at age 24 they finally decided to do an internal ultrasound which showed in that instead of small ovaries mine were about 10 times the size due to cysts. Finally, they tell me I have PCOS (Poly Cystic Ovary Syndrome).

Hormones man, apparently it’s all in the hormones.However in the meantime they put me on the pill and told me I’d never have children. The more I took the pill the heavier I got, the more doctors told me that it was PCOS causing my rapid weight gain and subsequent issues. When I was told that children were not an option because of the disease I thought all my dreams had come at once because I’d been pestering my doctors every year since I was 19 to have my uterus removed. It caused me pain, there was no reason for me to keep it. Plus, I didn’t want children.

I threw the pill away gleefully. I started to drop the excess weight without even trying. I got back to closer to what I used to weight and I didn’t give up on asking for my sterilisation.

I was consistently and routinely told no. Every. Single. Year. Apparently I wasn’t allowed to make this decision for myself until I was about age 35. At which point if I still wanted to rip my insides out then I may state my case and they may agree to it.

Apart from the rage I felt at being turned away, year in year out, I felt rage that men on the other hand could go get a vasectomy without being told they weren’t allowed to incase they ever changed their minds.

Is this not my body? Do I not have a say in what procedure I want done to it? Just like I have a say about whether I let anyone impregnate me. I knew early on that children really weren’t on the cards for me. I never thought I’d grow up and live happily ever after with a white picket fence and 2.5 kids with the perfect husband. Actually the thought made me want to rock in a corner and take copious amounts of drugs. Plus the following reasons:

a) When I was a teenager I was gay
b) The thought of children turned my stomach and to some extent it still does

Do I regret not having children? Truthfully some days I hear my body clock ticking and wonder if I made the right decision. Then logic kicks in and I know I made the right decision. I then think if I would have ever gone there and maybe with the right partner I might have contemplated it. But like romance, twue love and happily ever after – there’s a long list of things I don’t think I’ll ever experience. It might just get tacked on the end.

I once contemplated being a surrogate mother. Because I wanted to experience child-birth. The alien feeling of carrying around a parasite that grew inside you into something that would come out and become this other thing independent of you. I never wanted to keep it afterwards so I honestly looked into surrogacy. But surrogacy in this country is really fucked so I never went through with it.

My mother is beside herself. She wants me to have a baby so badly that she’s still pushing sperm banks at me in an effort to change my mind. Yet I think about children and I think of the responsibility. The effort. The loss of self, life, social life… Of being chained to this thing that I have to look after for 18 years. And I couldn’t think of a worse fate. Not to say that I don’t think it’s a bad decision for those that did want to reproduce. It’s all about personal choice.

But I’m glad that I have the choice not to.

Because I’d be miserable if I did. I don’t want to stay at home and look after children. I don’t want to wipe arses, noses, scrapes and bruises. Yet I love my niece, she’s my little princess and I adore spending weekends with her. But the best bit about her… is the bit where I get to hand her back.

So why then, when it comes to our reproductive rights over men’s – we are told we aren’t allowed to. For anyone saying that feminism is no longer needed need only ask questions like this and then sit there and tell me that we don’t need feminism. Sure I might have some control of contraceptives but if it were up to our government they’d be taking away all reproductive rights of women because for some reason we aren’t allowed to govern our own body.

I am not a walking baby maker. I refuse to be. That is my choice. Whether anyone think it selfish of me, or that it’s a great mistake I’ve made.

At the end of the day I am ok with my decision. And that’s all that matters.

Now if only the world would grant me permission to own my body I’d be really appreciative.

22 Comments

  1. I completely empathize with everything you’ve said here and I always think we should have the choice of what to do with our bodies. That said, it’s not quite as easy for guys to get sterilized as you imply, at least it wasn’t for me. My wife at the time had just gone through a child birth that almost killed her, was told by doctors to never get pregnant again, and I still spent three months jumping through dozens of hoops to get my tubes cut. I had to get waivers, notes from doctors, etc. They all thought I was crazy to get sterilized at 23 despite everything above. So, I think it’s less a “feminism” issue and more a human issue. Just my two cents.

    Good post! 🙂

    • Thank you, for your male perspective! Being that I don’t have the right plumming I don’t know what is like for you guys 🙂

      Granted I would have preferred the hoops than the continuous shut down that I will want children because I have a womb and that’s what females do.

      I think we should all be able to choose whether we want these procedures for ourselves instead of pushing the breeder programs. Not everyone wants kids and that’s ok.

      I hope the world catches up at some point.

      • Oh, I would have been completely shut down if I hadn’t had a doctors note that said “wife will die if impregnated”. Granted, I could still have had it done at 25 without a note, but that’s because the male version is simpler and usually reversible. So, it was’t a “permanent” solution if I changed my mind later on, which might be one of the reasons that it’s more difficult for some women to get them. It’s far more difficult to reverse a woman’s procedure if opinions change, which might be why they put a higher age limit on the procedure. Just a couple thoughts on it.

        We should all absolutely be able to decide what to do with our bodies. 🙂

        • I totally get what you mean yet at the same time think that whether it’s reversible or not doesn’t meant it shouldn’t happen.

          I would like to believe that those of us that have decided we don’t want children actually mean it. I know I have for a very long time. But it should be up to me when and where.

          If I later decide I made the worst mistake of my life then that is my burden to bear. I think doctors shouldn’t just offer them at a drop of a hat.

          But I also think that we shouldn’t be dismissed.

          Part of the reasons I don’t want children is because of over population. There are so many kids that are wanting. I would hope that if I ever changed my mind I’d adopt because those kids need love. Yet even then I’d still prefer furkids. But I guess that’s my choice 🙂

          • One of the big questions asked by the docs what what happened if I wanted more kids later on. I told the docs that if I had to have another kid I would adopt. There are plenty of kids around that need parents, why leave them hanging just because they aren’t mine by blood.

            I agree completely, it should totally be up to the person. That said, there are a lot of dumb people out there, not nearly as self aware as yourself, that might think one thing one day and change their mind a couple years later. If it’s reversible for guys and not for most women, that might be why there’s a difference. I’m not trying to justify the difficulty you faced, just playing a little devil’s advocate. 🙂

          • Devils advocate away, I know the urge, I do it often too!

            I don’t think the be all and end all of my life is to procreate. It would be a rather sad life if I thought my existence was based on if I had children or not.

            Yes, you are right that there are idiots out there. But you know what? If the doctors made them jump through hoops like they did for my abortion, and then later if they changed their minds at least the doctors are covered and the only person they can blame are themselves. We make decisions every day and live with the consequences.

            My uterus and how I do or don’t want to use it is just another decision 🙂

            And to be honest, I think there’s a huge chunk of the worlds population that should be sterilised anyway. Just between you and me lol

          • Oh, I totally agree. I would be fine with everyone having temporary sterilization performed at birth and then having to apply for a birth-waiver in order to have a child later on. But then I’m a pretty cynical, anti-social guy that thinks most people shouldn’t procreate and cloudy up the gene pool.

            Choice is definitely the post important part of the topic. People should definitely be able to choose for themselves, especially erring on the side of less procreation. That’s definitely the safer option.

          • Oh yes, or a parent test of some kind that they have to pass in order to be allowed to have a child. I’m not anti-social – I just think there’s way too many idiots reproducing and I’ve seen the results after working in a women and girls shelter for a while. It wasn’t pretty.

            But yes, choice. The ability to choose is definitely the be all and end all here.

            Plus I don’t think guys realise that their sperm err ejaculate tastes way better after they’ve been snipped 🙂 Bet more of them would be lining up if they knew they’d get more blow jobs!

            See, I could think of plenty of selling points for this. Hah!

          • Oh, wow. I was totally.going to say good post and drop the subject, but you’ve blown my mind. It tastes different after? No way. The only woman in my life who could confirm the before and after taste is my ex-wife and that would be an interesting, awkward conversation. Seriously, it tastes different?

          • Oh yeah, much different!!

            hahaha probably not the best conversation to be having with your ex wife. However!! It does.

            To me it even tasted sweeter. Granted I’ve only ever been with 2 guys that had the snip before so it’s not like I have a huge pool to be stating my facts with. But with those two it sure did.

  2. Even though I’m a guy I agree with you. Reproductive rights should be equal. I’m also sorry for you for the physical difficulties the PCOS has caused. I’ve known a few women with it and I know it’s not easy.

  3. Since America was technically founded by individuals seeking religious freedoms, much of what our society deems “normal” comes from a religious frame of reference. I think that is why there is so much stigma associated with marriage and kids and not conforming to the “norm.”

    Do we really think a piece of paper will make people love each other and stay faithful? Why bring kids into the world if you don’t want any? I think we have enough unhappy married couples and parent-less children to disprove those outdated modes of thinking.

    I applaud you for choosing your own destiny and defining yourself by your standards and not by the dictates of society.

    • Thanks Vic.

      Although I don’t live in America I think being that we’re both descended from British ancestry the whole societal norms and what’s expected of genders is pretty universal.

      I do agree with you though, a piece of paper is never guarantee of anything… which explains why I’ve been so hesitant with marriage. I don’t need a scrap of paper to show my commitment to someone.

      But I also think that we should all be able to be who we want to be and if we don’t want to reproduce then I think we should be treated as adults and be allowed to make that decision.

  4. I think I read the same article. I was so angry about the fact that doctors didn’t want to agree to the procedure. Our bodies are our bodies, why can’t we do whatever we want with it?
    Long ago I have also decided not to have children. I don’t really like them very much, but I know that if a right man comes along, I might consider having kids with them. But that’s a big MIGHT.

    • I hear you on that.

      I think the same thing. I think it’s our decision and it’s a consequence that we live with if we need to make that decision.

      And to be honest, my choice to have kids was taken away from me. So I just don’t understand why I still get told no on a next to nothing chance of me conceiving. Which isn’t ever going to happen because for that I’d need a partner and to date none of my partners have lasted longer than a few years.

      I do hear your anger though. It makes me livid too.

  5. A toast, a virtual high-five, and an empathetic sigh, all for the crap you must deal with for making that simple decision. I’ve made the same decision, and get about one grocery-bag worth of crap for it, 95% from my mother. My sister made the same decision, and has to back up the SUV to load up the crap she gets for it. Double the empathetic sighs and triple the high-fives.

    [And in not-entirely-unrelated news, I just got back from Venezuela where it was me and four women: one in her 20’s still in school, and three in their 60’s or 70’s who never had kids, and instead have worked with illegal immigrants, taught English in El Salvador, and who knows what else, prior to deciding on a whim to wander over to Venezuela, just cuz.
    I know, I know, a parent could do all those things too…probably. They also all seemed like remarkably happy people.]

    • I’m sorry for the crap you guys are getting served too. And thank you!

      I think there’s a very deep understanding that comes with the decision to not procreate. And I’m glad that you actually met some old people who didn’t have children and were still deeply happy with their lives. I want to be like that 😀

      My best friend and I were discussing running away to south America and opening a cat orphanage lol but welcome home. Hope your trip went well 🙂

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