I’m just so thankful to be an American with a uterus today, because federal agencies have really got all the bases covered for me. (Which is a relief because who has got time to use reason? Also, science is hard. Let’s go shopping.)
The CDC issued a nuanced, thoughtful report this morning with the brilliant recommendation that card-carrying members of the x-chromosome club ought to either be using contraception throughout the entirety of their childbearing years, or teetotaling.
Thankfully, being a simple suburban housewife with little capacity to make reasonable, well-researched choices for my own health and wellbeing and that of my offspring, I can rely on my government to recommend that I pump my tricky, dangerous female body full of class one carcinogens for 3+ decades so that my children aren’t born with Fetal Alcohol Syndrome as the direct result of the tequila shot I took on my honeymoon or the glass of Pinot Noir I drank last week with dinner.
Silly me, I thought that part of adulthood was learning self control, temperance, and even reading the odd bit of medical and sociologic research to back my parenting and lifestyle decisions. Also, all of recorded human history before the year 2016 led me to believe that enjoying a beer during the Super Bowl was probably safe. (And might actually be good for the national birthrate. Who knew?)
But let me be quite certain I understand the issue at hand.
The Center for Disease Control, worried that all women are secretly binge drinking and endangering the lives of their unborn …. fetus …. things… has decided to issue the sweeping recommendation that actually, women have been screwing around with the odds for much too long, and the safest bet is for every woman between the onset of menstruation until the end of menopause to be either sterilized, buying stock in Trojan, or regularly ingesting class 1 carcinogens in the form of oral contraceptives if they’re going to be drinking alcohol. Ever.
I’ll go a step further and draw the logical conclusion that for those fetus things conceived while mommy was enjoying a bottle of wine with daddy, the reasonable expectation would be to abort, since the eventual human might be “defective.”
I’m guessing there’s another layer of causality we can peel back here, because according to the statistics that FAS could be responsible for ADHD and we have something like 1 in 20 children with the latter diagnosis, could it be those irresponsible, unfit females went and became mothers and caused their children’s miseries?
Yeah, let’s definitely put that idea into women’s minds: that you are the reason your child is “imperfect.”
And pro-lifers are the ones who get accused of telling women what to do with their bodies?
What about empowering women to understand their fertility from the ground up, and inviting them to make thoughtful, adult choices about whether and when to engage in sexual activity and how to consume – or not to consume – alcohol?
That would require, of course, seeing women as capable, competent individuals with minds of their own. So maybe better to issue fearful government bulletin.
And what about stepping back from the precipice of This!Life!Is!So!Risky! and admitting that perhaps we don’t have complete, autonomous control over every aspect of our lives, of our children’s lives, and of the ordinary risks of being on planet Earth? Maybe a little nod to all of recorded human history prior to the 20th century is in order, too? Bueller?
I’m just so sick of hearing that the benign gods of government agencies – Planned Parenthood among them – have women’s “real” best interests at heart, when of course it’s all about increasing control, all too often achieved by cranking the volume on fear.
This is propaganda, pure and simple. And it’s damned misogynistic to boot. Women can be trusted to make the right decisions with their bodies, and choosing the right means doing no harm.
I’m sick to death of hearing the line “trust women” getting hijacked by the abortion special interest groups.
How about we trust women to know their own bodies? To know what’s best for their children? To rely on their own brains and consciences and adult intellects to make healthy, reasonable choices?
Women, know this: you are being manipulated at every turn by a culture that doesn’t trust our bodies or, apparently, our brains.
It’s time to take back the mic. Authentic feminism is long overdue for a renaissance of its own.