It Is Always The Woman Who Is Left Holding The Baby

It is always the woman left holding the baby


Recently the results came back for Mr M’s sperm count. He scored zero. He has successfully been “neutered”. Good thing because there was no way in hell I was going to get him to go back under the knife for a second go at the vasectomy! Apparently, it’s like taking a swift kick to the balls. Truthfully I could not, in good conscience, make him endure that again.

This vasectomy thing has been on Mr M’s mind for a very long time, so while my unwillingness to spawn did not affect his decision, it did perhaps encourage him to go through with it. He is very squeamish and I can’t say I blame any man who hesitates. You can’t go boldly into an operating theatre when there is a chance the scalpel may slip. However, I digress.

I would have gone this route myself (a tubal ligation not a vasectomy, just so we’re clear) but thus far, each and every discussion regarding my own “spaying” with various doctors has resulted in the very same response; “You have not had children, you are too young and there are no health concerns to justify sterilisation at this time.”

From female doctors, no less. You’d expect there to be a fair amount of empathy, or sympathy at the least, from a woman who has seen enough babies born to very young, unprepared and unwilling mothers to at least entertain the thought of sterilising a woman who has made the choice to remain childless.
Though by the same token, they would also have seen many women who’ve struggled to have children. Still, I suspect they are the same breed of women who insist I will one day “Meet Mr Right” and “change my mind”.

In any event, the deed is done, the vas deferens has been severed and the stitches have dissolved.

There is a lightness about both our steps and we are a lot more carefree in our affections. Crack the champagne and bring on the oysters!
More importantly, I am no longer pumping my body full of hormones.

I could whinge on about the patriarchal nonsense that prevents women from making decisions that affect their own bodies, but I shall spare you. While the rhetoric seems spoken and written of to death, little seems to have changed for the every woman.

And now here’s the seeming contradiction: I am a pro lifer. I do not advocate abortion but I cannot in good conscience mandate how or what a woman may or may not do with her body. There are situations where, were I myself in the position, I would want the choice and I would want access to licensed medical doctors, clean hospitals and after care. Those instances are rape, incest and endangerment to the mother’s life. I am in complete disagreement with abortion as a method of family planning or convenience. I support the right to life of the innocent, not the guilty.

I am a proponent of sexual education aimed at girls and access to birth control. I firmly believe every woman should be able to make this choice for herself, free from the dogma of society, pressure from her partner (and/or her family) and religious institutions–be they Christian, Islamic or other.

I believe woman should take the bulk of the responsibility for birth control. Before you organise the lynch mob, allow me to quantify that statement.
We need parents to talk more openly with their children about sex, the responsibility that intimate relationships involve and the life long consequences thereof, especially for girls.
We need to instil in girls from a young age that her body is hers and hers alone, that she is the captain of her future.

Because the glaring reality is that it is always the woman who is left holding the baby.

There will always be mistakes and bad choices. We all make them. This is how we learn. I am advocating arming our girls with the facts, unbiased and unashamed, as well as access to contraception to minimise the fallout of impulsive decisions.
The argument that this is like handing your children the license to have sex is moot, especially if you look at where we are today.

Because of the double standard that exists in society between male and female sexuality and what we consider acceptable, or not, in terms of sexual activity, I am in favour of providing as many tools to girls as possible. Because in the end, she is the one who will suffer the lion’s share of the consequences, not her partner ‘in crime’. It may not be fair but it is reality.

So having said all of that, I do not believe this is where the responsibility ends, on the contrary this is where it begins.

Sexual education for boys requires a vastly more honest, responsible and frank approach with regards to the female perspective. The more we teach boys how precious and valuable women are in society, the vastly better off we will be. The less we malign, denigrate and subjugate women, the healthier our society will be.

It is NOT a woman’s responsibility to ensure she dress a certain way to avoid being raped, it is not her responsibility to behave in a certain way to avoid being groped in a night club or leered at on the street. What a man does with his penis is NOT her responsibility nor should she bear the weight of consequence.

So what do we do about the scourge of violence and oppression?

Start with your own children.