March 07, 2005

More PP

Panda which has left:

The woman who makes plans is pretty much always a negative stereotype in our culture. Sylvia Ann Hewlett got on all the talk shows by writing a book scolding women not to plan to have their children later in life when it was easier for them for fear that they may not be able to have them, and a great time was had by all on the shows pitying women who got their comeuppance for thinking they could exert control over their own destinies only to be left childless. Even in situations where women are doing their best to fulfill social expectations, taking control is viewed negatively. For example, we adore ourselves a blushing bride, but a woman who manages her own wedding planning is going to be labeled a Bridezilla before all is said and done.

Plans indicate control and plans also indicate desire. You make a plan because you have things you want and you need to figure out the best way to get them. Every time a woman swallows her birth control pill, there's a world of desires behind that decision and the pill is one of the tools she's using to achieve those desires--a job, an education, marriage to the man she really wants not just to the first that got her pregnant, no marriage at all, a smaller family, more income to spend on hobbies, more time to herself, you name it. There's a lot of feminist ink spilled on the discussion of how female sexual desire is demonized in our culture, but even more than that, almost all female desires are suspect, except of course the desire to serve. (One reason that fields like math and science are still underpopulated with women is that intelligent women often turn their talents to fields where service is still emphasized, like medicine.)

And from the excellent post by a blogger I'm not familiar with that the guest-blogger links to:

How fucked up is it, that a woman's ability to choose whether or not to bear a life is so incredibly fucking scary that there's an entire formal and informal institution of fear and shame set up around her body to keep her from understanding it? How fucked up is it, that when I say that out loud, or here in a public forum, that people just dismiss it, pretend talking about women's uteruses is boring and unimportant and not worth thinking or talking about? How can they say that and then spend their time passing laws that directly affect me and my pesky uterus, and heckle me when I try and take control over my body's processes? How can they say that and then tell me that not only is my body not worth discussing (so long as I'm the one discussing it), but that having this body makes me bad at math, too emotional, weak and inferior and flippant and flighty?

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