Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Say what??

Fellow twitterbugs will know this already but this is a conversation that happened yesterday.

Sitting outside for lunch yesterday and a colleague - who is a little strange - and she asks if I have any kids. I briefly explain that I lost a child last year, but that I am now 5 months pregnant. She responds with sympathy to the loss and then says....wait for it..... "So have you decided if you are going to keep this one?"


Ok so abortion is legal in SA. Since 1997 abortion, or the ever euphimistic "termination of pregnancy" has been pretty much legal up to 20 weeks. There seems to be a belief that the kindest thing to do is to abort if you don't want / can't afford a child. Some believe that thousands of SA orphanages are filled with kids wishing for families. Actually, that's not entirely accurate. If, for example, you were wanting to adopt a white kid in SA you would have to wait 5 - 8 years. White women in this country abort. Now don't get me wrong: we have orphanages, but I'd guesstimate that the majority of kids in these homes are Aids orphans or else have been removed from abusive / unhealthy situations. This last sentence is my impression and I stand to be corrected but I think it's true.

I am close to a few people who are adopted and I also have friends with adopted children. I can't see that any of these people believe it would have been kinder to have been killed in utero than to live a good life with people who have actually chosen them. Ok, granted, I am perhaps simplifying the situation quite a lot, but it's just that abortion has always been a heartbreaking thing to me and NOW! WOW! now I see those disgusting quickie "same day abortion" signs on Cape Town street poles and it makes me feel ill. There are so so many of us who would give anything for our child to live and all the while people are "terminating" pregnancies.

Anyway, of course abortion is its own entire debate and people will inevitably say "yes, but what if this and what if that". But what if, as I suspect, most abortions don't fall into the incest, rape, etc categories. They simply fall into the "Oh ****, that's not what I had planned!" category.

Back to the lunchtime conversation. WHY ON EARTH would a woman - who is a mother herself - EVER even legitimise a person like me - earning a good salary, married, fairly established - having an abortion?
I mean lets not even go near the fact that I've lost a child fullterm on top of it. But how on earth could it possibly be ok in her mind for me to consider abortion?

I thought about it a bit and realised the reason... this lady is particularly militant when it comes to feminism. A few examples: don't dare say "spokesman" or the "average guy on the street" or refer to people as "man" (like as in "fellow man"). It's all sexist in her eyes. I have a t-shirt that says "the incredible shopping with reusable bags woman" and it really upsets her! ("It's not like shopping is a woman's job!" nope... but I am a woman?!)
Anyway, you get the message. And so the only thing that makes sense to me is that her saying that is her just making the point that I do, in fact, have a choice.

It's got to be that, surely?

Yes, I have a choice. It's called condoms, the pill, abstinence, whatever. A middle income, 27 year old, married woman with a perfectly healthy baby on board choosing to have an abortion is not CHOICE, it's sick. If that's women's lib you can count me out.

(Besides at this stage I really need my bra and ain't nobody gonna be burning it!!)


Kristen said...

I agree with you 100% - well written!

Caz said...

Thanks lady - managed to lose this post or lose my changes at least 3 times so was very close to canning it!

Anonymous said...

Well written.

B said...

that is one of the most f'd-up things i have ever heard in my entire life.

and i'm a feminist and pro-abortion. even after losing my baby.

i'd NEVER DREAM of asking someone who'd lost a baby (LOST A BABY! AT FULL TERM!!!! can she HEAR the words coming out of her mouth?????) whether she'd 'decided if [she is] going to keep this one?' or, indeed, ANY HUMAN BEING. that is so, so horrible.

some people are completely crazy. what on EARTH did you say? how can you respond to such a horrible question????

if you didn't punch her you deserve a medal.

possibly even if you did punch her.

The Blue Sparrow said...

Ahaha!(To the bra statment not the conversation) Perfect! I agree compeletly!

Champagne Heathen said...

This woman sounds like what you would call a "FemiNazi" - as explained to me this weekend. Love the term!

Femonazis want every women to subscribe to how they believe women should be, not towards the Feminist objective of women having freedom: of choice, of movement, of dreams, of who governs them, of if they want to shop, of if they want to cook & clean while the hubby mows the lawn, of if they want to marry & have babies & a white picket fence & stay at home to raise their own children, of if they want to work fulltime etc.

What I might choose might not be what you would choose, but as a feminist, I am supposed to respect your choice to do so. Not frown that the choice might be "outdated" or "a form of oppressing yourself". Like it seems she has done to you.

I worked in an orphanage - one that has been going for over 100 years. The minority of babies have HIV and/or were AIDS orphans. Babies & toddlers have ended up for so many reasons. Why, though, was not supposed to be our issue.

Those 1-day Abortion places, and their ads, are not legal. They would be up even if abortion was illegal. The legalisation of abortion is to prevent women risking their lives at such places to get abortions.

"Women's Lib" is about allowing a woman choice. One choice is reproductive choice.

I have occasionally wondered, especially as I have gotten older, what would I choose if I fell pregnant today. I am now 29, which means I am responsible & mature enough to raise a child, what if I am never afforded the honour again, but particularly now my partner & I are flat out broke. And we have so few means to increase our salaries for the next few years. What would I do??? And that is why I pop that little pill religiously every morning. I never ever want to be faced with that situation/ choice. Because I want a child more than anything, one day.

I do not think that the majority of women faced with the situation make it lightly at all. Or ever consider it lightly for the rest of their lives.

Anonymous said...

That is shocking! I can't understand how anyone could say that. What business is it of their in the first place?
Shame, you seem to have attracted a lot of insensitive people recently. I personally have had my fingers crossed you guys and the Kernel since your big announcement!

Tamara said...

The issue of abortion will always be contentious, but I can't get over this woman's total lack of sensitivity!

cassey said...

Gah, insensitive people suck.

Anonymous said...

Wow.. how incredibly insensitive - and just plain weird! Sheesh ... !Have an awesome Easter weekend. Ciao. Lisa.