Wednesday, July 30, 2008

What are they ashamed of?

The discussion over at Jill Stanek's Weekend Question is very interesting. Let me highlight what jumped out at me:

.... I have heard a LOT of women say that they aren't ashamed of their abortion but they're ashamed of being pregnant in the first place -- and the abortion, obviously, signifies that you were pregnant at a time when you did not want to be. So I think a lot of women are ashamed about that. .... Alexandra

This was a familiar theme to me as well. (Please submit examples! I trip all over them when I'm not looking for them, but now they're eluding my efforts to find them via search engines.)

Alexandra went on to clarify that it's a matter of getting pregnant at the "wrong" time, but still, something struck me.

If you're ashamed that you're pregnant, you're ashamed that you have a perfectly functioning female body.

Talk all you will about it being the "timing". Your body knows nothing of savings account balances and investment portfolios and mortgages and educational plans. You have sex, you get pregnant. One follows the other naturally. It's only when we introduce artificial contraception -- when we start throwing chemicals and gizmos into the mix -- that this perfectly natural thing becomes in and of itself something to be ashamed of.

It's only when you start to think that somehow you should be something other than what you are -- a healthy young woman -- that pregnancy becomes this horrible, hideous shame, a shame to hide in an abortion that you are not ashamed of except in that it reveals the shameful pregnancy.

In the past, a woman might have been ashamed of having had illicit sex. The pregnancy was shameful only as evidence of that. But in the era of "Sex and the City", the modern woman is only ashamed if she's NOT having sex. It signals prudishness, backwardness, or -- Gasp! -- not being "hot" enough to get somebody into bed with her, if only some sleezebag she met in a bar.

No, in our modern world it's not the illicit sex women are ashamed of. They're proud of that. It shows that they're "hot" and "desirable" and "sexy" -- the three things we seem to value most in women anymore. It's not killing their children that they're ashamed of. They buy t-shirts and attend rallies to boast of that. It shows that they're "progressive" and "modern" and "irreverent", unsaddled by convention or traditions.

No, it's the fact that their bodies functioned as they were designed to do, be it by Mother Nature or by God, that they're ashamed of.

That's not a pretty picture.

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1 comment:

ashli said...

Right on!