Birth control is a girl’s best friend

This ring is more valuable than any diamond.

Along with men, women all over the nation are locking their gun cabinets against the threat of gun control. However, many of those same women are oblivious as their true greatest form of self defense is at risk of being stolen right out of their purses and bathroom cabinets.
The fact is, babies–those bouncing bundles of joy– aren’t always a blessing; an unplanned birth can be the most effective shackle of all. Quicker than anything else, a baby can derail a woman’s career–or whatever other pursuits shave may have that involve the dedication of many hours–often permanently. Birth control, particularly “the pill” and other forms that women issue to themselves, allows women to have control over their own bodies, and therefore their own lives. They can decide when to have a baby, or to never have one at all.  It allows them to pursue a career with nothing tying them to the house, free from the obligations of a child or needy infant. It allows them to be free.
The women’s movement would have been nothing but wishful thinking without the introduction of the pill in the 60s (long before the sexual revolution, mind you). Women were increasingly expressing dissatisfaction with their lives, which revolved mainly around their home and children. Women wanted to enter the workforce, but they were kept caged by unplanned for pregnancies, and then the obligation to raise the resulting children. The pill was the key that unlocked that cage. At that time, abortion and full-time childcare weren’t likely options for most women, but finally preventing pregnancy all together was an option. Not only that, but it allowed women in poverty to better their situation, without the addition of more crying little mouths to feed. The birth control pill was the magic little pill that freed women from their homes, soothed the headache of the the impoverished, lessened unwanted pregnancies and made equality between the sexes a conceivable (no pun intended) future. And yet there are those who want to limit accessibility to or ban completely this miracle cure.

The real problem with birth control

There are so many straw man anti-birth control arguments floating around these days that the entire nation has hay fever. I’m sure you’ve heard most of these:

  • Birth control encourages promiscuity
  • Birth control is a threat to the family structure (just like feminism, homosexuality and that damn rock and roll music)
  • Birth control violates religious freedom (because it’s mandatory for everyone to take it, you know)
  • Women can take birth control if they want, we just don’t want to pay for it

What do all of these arguments have in common? They’re all camouflage for true, single reason why anyone has a problem with birth control, the same reason why women should love it– it gives women control over their own lives.

So ladies…

Your freedom is at stake, but it’s not because America has been poisoned by socialism, or because Obama wants to take away your guns. It’s because a percentage of your countrymen want to take away your control over your body. Even if you have a partner who is willing to take on the main role in child raising, or you can afford full time childcare, a pregnancy alone is enough to break some careers.

The introduction of birth control made women’s liberation possible. Taking away access of birth control could bring the entire movement to its knees. Don’t be fooled by the red herrings out there. Know what’s at stake and fight for it.

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Happy Fathers Day to all the single moms

By Cedar Goslin

Fathers Day is here. It’s time for us all to become living embodiments of outdoor grill advertisements and cook up some burgers in the backyard, with a cooler full of beer nearby. It’s time to honor our fathers and thank them for being there… well, if they were there, that is. But what about the 24% of us who weren’t raised by our fathers? Whether they died, left, or never even knew we existed, some of us had fathers who just weren’t there. So what is Fathers Day to us?

Having grown up, for the most part, without the presence of a father figure, I’ll admit that I’ve spent my fair share of Fathers Days feeling sorry for myself… but now I see that to do so is to waste a perfectly lovely holiday. The point of Fathers Day is to honor that person who filled the role generally associated with a dad, but for some people that person is a step father or an uncle… and for some of us, that person is our mother. Should the fact that our paternal figure happens to be one in the same with our maternal figure prevent us from honoring her on Fathers Day? I think not.

Though a single mother is obviously a woman, she nonetheless fulfills the role of father. She talks to her sons about puberty and teaches them how to shave, and she scowls at the boys her daughters bring home, instilling as much crippling terror in them as any man could. She goes to sports games and recitals, offers advice on all matters from getting a date to dealing with a difficult teacher. She cries at weddings and gives her daughters away (not that I have any love for that tradition, but that’s another blog post entirely).  The single mother teaches her sons and daughters to be strong and responsible, to respect themselves and demand respect from others. She teaches them to work hard. Really, unless you want her to pee standing up, there’s nothing more you could ask for from a mother before conceding that Fathers Day should be a day in her honor.

Really, what traits are we supposed to learn from our fathers? Courage? Strength? Work ethic? I can think of no one who displays these traits better than the single mother. It’s hard enough to fulfill the role of one parent, let alone to fulfill the role of two all by yourself. It’s a hefty challenge that thousands of single women tackle every day. I imagine it’s a lonely job, raising children without a partner with whom you can share the joys and mind-melting irritation, but they manage to pull through for the sake of their offspring. As for work ethic, who works harder than a single mom? To be sure, it’s hard work to support a family and to be in charge of raising one, but imagine doing both jobs all by yourself. Essentially, that’s working two full-time jobs, one of which you never get to clock out of. Sons and daughters of single moms, if you didn’t learn the importance of dedication to your job, whatever it may be, by watching your mom be both bread-winner and home maker then you weren’t paying enough attention.

There may be an appropriate time to mourn the lack of a male parent in one’s life, but if there is Fathers Day is not it. Because for many of us, growing up fatherless didn’t mean that we missed out on an important role model or life lessons, and we have our long-suffering, hard-working mothers to thank for that. I urge you to take Fathers Day as an opportunity to show those mothers the appreciation they deserve. Sure, there’s Mothers Day to honor them, but if they’re fulfilling both parenting roles shouldn’t they get both days of recognition? Besides, Fathers Day sales kick the crap out of the ones they have for Mothers Day. On Mothers Day you can get a bouquet of flowers for half off, but for Fathers Day they have rib steaks for two bucks a pound. Don’t make mom miss out on that. She deserves it.

So to all you single mothers out there, including and especially my own, thank you.

For teaching and guiding your children

For providing a safe and stable home

For being a role model to your daughters and sons

For thriving in a society that is unsympathetic to the struggles of a single parent

For your strength

Thank you and happy Fathers Day.

Babies aren’t always a blessing, and that’s okay

Angelic bundle of joy or screaming, squalling life stealer?

No doubt about it, Western society has a love affair with infants. Personally I don’t get it, but there’s nothing wrong with baby fever if that’s your thing. The problem arises when those in pursuit of the dirty-diaper dream try to shame those who are not. As someone who doesn’t want kids, I’ve heard every argument against being childless in the book, and they range from trivializing my choice to insulting my character. Why some people react so negatively to others not wanting to contribute to the world’s over population problem, I have no clue. But so far, every single argument against choosing not to have children that I’ve heard is not only illogical and insulting, but frankly idiotic.

For today’s blog, we’re going to look at three of the most common (and idiotic) incentives to have children. Hopefully by the end, we’ll all have accepted that different lifestyles are for different people, and one person’s blessing could be another person’s projectile vomiting hell.

“You’ll Change Your Mind Eventually”

Oh, well isn’t that nice and condescending.

Yes, it’s always a possibility that people who say they don’t want children might change their minds, though it certainly isn’t a sure thing. And the same can be said about any decision or opinion; that doesn’t mean it’s logical or polite to go around telling people they’re going to have a change of heart.

In this well drawn comic, a logical person has made a decision about her life. Meanwhile, a skeptical ass hat provides no evidence to support her claim that the logical person will change her mind.

Insisting someone will change their mind about not having kids makes as much sense as saying they’ll decide against a well thought out career choice. Both are certainly possible, but not necessarily likely. If anything, people who have decided not to have children have put more thought into it than people who do want kids. Parenthood is the default decision; to decide against it takes thought and consideration. Not to mention, it’s incredibly rude to trivialize someone’s life decisions, and we certainly don’t want to be rude, do we?

“That’s So Selfish”

This response makes perfect sense. Personally, when I think of selfishness I immediately imagine a woman* who, in order to ensure her life isn’t miserable, makes a decision that impacts no one but herself. Right. I’m not sure why this ridiculous statement is taken seriously, when it would be scoffed at in any similar situation, and rightfully so. Let’s revisit the career choice example, shall we?

* I refer to women specifically because this particular response is more commonly directed towards women who don’t want children.

In this comic, an ass hat calls a logical person selfish for following her dream, even though it impacts no one but herself.

Choosing not to have children is no different than following your career path of choice. True enough, both are self serving, but the term “selfishness” implies disregard for the well being of another person. Neither of the aforementioned choices have an impact on anyone but the person pursuing them.

Choosing not to be a parent is not selfish, but you know what is?

  • Having children when you’re not in the position to properly take care of them.
  • Pressuring your sons or daughters into having children because you want grandchildren.
  • Having the means and resources to adopt a child, but choosing to give birth to one instead.
  • Pressuring others into having children because secretly you wish you never had and if you have to suffer, so does everyone else.

Ironic, isn’t it?

It’s Different When It’s Your Own Child; It’s Impossible For A Woman Not To Love Her Own Child

This is exactly what was once said to me.

Andrea Yates, Casey Anthony, Susan Smith and Marybeth Tinning are all women who brutally murdered their children.

Each year, more than 2000 are killed by their own parents.

Clearly, it is possible for men and women not to love their own children. There is no excuse for murdering a child, and I’m not removing any of the blame from anyone who has ever done it.

At the same time, you have to wonder how many of those 2000 children had parents who never wanted kids. How many were pressured into giving their own parents grandchildren, or were told that if they didn’t have kids they could never be fulfilled? How many of these admittedly horrible people already knew on some level that they were unstable, but let someone convince them that it was impossible for them not to love their own child?

Don’t get me wrong, I’m not saying that people who don’t want kids are unstable child murderers. Most people who don’t want children would probably make perfectly adequate, though unhappy, parents. What I am saying is that it’s possible that if someone who is already unstable is pressured into something they don’t want to do they will eventually snap.

I’m also saying that it says something negative about a person when they try to pressure someone else into something they don’t want. Why would you want someone to have a child that they won’t love?

In short…

Babies aren’t always a blessing. To some people, they’re the complete opposite, and that’s fine. Not everyone is cut out to be a parent, and there are even some people who would make great parents who don’t want to be. That’s their choice, and it’s a legitimate one; it’s no more fickle, selfish or ignorant than the decision of those who want kids.

Parenthood is a big responsibility and a lifelong commitment. It’s unfair to expect someone to dedicate the rest of their life to something that they don’t even want. If you think children are a blessing, then have as many as you want and cherish them. But let other people make their own decisions about parenthood.

Don’t be an ass hat.