“Having Children” Is a Euphemism May 28, 2010Posted by FCM in gender roles, health, kids, PIV, pop culture, radical concepts, rape, WTF?.
Tags: marriage, motherhood, personal narrative, PIV, pregnancy
my mother never wanted children. she married young, was forced into it by her own mother to hear her tell it, and she was on the pill 5 years when she started having side effects from it. so she quit taking it. and my dad, the privileged, entitled fuck of a man he was (and still is) refused to wear a condom, and continued to fuck her anyway i mean they continued to have sex, regardless. and she ended up pregnant with me. (happy times! yay!)
i was 2 months old when she got knocked up again. she went in for a post-natal checkup, and got the good news. did i say good news? i meant soul-crushingly awful news, horrible news, wish you could travel back in time and do everything different news. my sister was on the way. (blessed be! oh beautiful motherhood!)
my brother was conceived under similar circumstances, but his conception wasnt really discussed, as it paled in comparison to the drama that was his birth: as soon as he came out, he turned blue. he was terminally ill, had a congenital heart defect which was supposed to have killed him within the first few weeks of his life. (oh the joy! i am welling up, seriously). but my mom was a nurse, or more specifically, a woman who wanted to be a doctor but never went any further because she got knocked up a bunch of times and got stuck with all the childcare and domestic duties and put my dad through medical school instead. but i digress. she literally saved my brothers life, many times, until the last time, when she didnt. he died when he was 21. my mom had been divorced from my dad for 10 years by then. he was rich. she was poor.
my mom tells me that people her age all talk about their kids. “how many kids do you have?” is a common icebreaker. she didnt mention whether this is prefaced by “do you have kids?” or not, but i think i know the answer to that. anyway, this kind of piqued my interest, since my brother was no longer around. i asked her whether she says she has 2 kids, or 3. she said she always responds “i have three.”
i love my mother, and i loved my brother. i love my sister, and i am sure they all love me. but “having children” is a sick and inadequate euphemism for what happened to my mother, for what my father did to her, in the context of her marriage, and in the grand scheme of her life. it renders so much of her suffering, and so much inequity in so many het relationships completely and utterly invisible. it all disappears, behind a romantic smokescreen we know as “marriage,” wrapped up in a fanciful and improbable lie regarding womens “true natures” as mothers and caregivers. so many women dont choose this, and would never choose this, to hear them tell it. but they live it, regardless.
“having children” is a euphemism for what men do to women, one of many, the almost inevitable result of mandatory PIV and compulsory heterosex. “sex” is a euphemism too. people dont tell the truth, do they, when they are talking about things that affect women, and the reality of womens lives?