The Ambivalent Pregnancy May 28, 2011Posted by FCM in gender roles, health, PIV, politics, radical concepts.
Tags: debate, PIV, pregnancy
i have written many times about “unwanted” pregnancy versus “wanted” ones, and in fact this is the way the issue is always framed when discussing pregnancy isnt it? as if there is no in-between ground, where women are impregnated and carry the fetus to term, and “welcome” a “growing family” or whatever, but they dont necessarily actively desire the pregnancy, or another pregnancy. but in actuality, the ambivalent pregnancy is very common, and women self-report this experience all the time, if you ask them. “not trying but not protecting” is the way its been described to me, for example.
translation: we are having
unprotected unmitigated PIV-centric sex, and i probably wouldnt have an abortion if i got knocked up.
but this is not the same thing as “wanting” to become pregnant is it? and even if the woman would not classify herself as having incurred an unwanted pregnancy if she became impregnated this way, there are those who would say it was wanted, as if she had been wishing upon the stars and praying to god to bring her a desperately-wanted child. but this isnt the case is it? in fact, the “desperate longing” imagery we are faced with in pregnancy-related discourse probably only applies in a minority of situations, where a couple is experiencing fertility problems. everyone else can become pregnant pretty easily cant they? this is the default for all species, so far as i know: not to be sterile.
so while we have men and transwomen who cannot tell the fucking difference between a wanted pregnancy and an unwanted one because they dont care (women as “natural mothers” on the one hand, and oh how i wish i could have teh baybees! those women are so privileged! on the other. ie. all pregnancies are wanted, because men imagine that we want them, or they themselves desire “wanted pregnancies” which is extremely redundant, since women desire wanted-pregnancies too…desire being what makes them wanted. DUH!) we also have a problem of framing the pregnancy-issue to specifically exclude the untold millions (billions?) of pregnancies occurring over time and place, where the woman would have been just as happy without becoming pregnant, but she was subjected to PIV-centric sexuality anyway and her number came up. what about those women?
their pregnancies are just as dangerous as all pregnancies are…ambivalent, wanted and unwanted pregnancies can all kill you. all pregnancies put women at serious risk for a number of complications, and women who desperately long for wanted babies are known to do crazy things, completely disregarding their own health and lives, and the wellbeing of their existing children too, to carry one (or one more) fetus to term. but ambivalent pregnancies are “crazy” too, arent they? to literally risk your life, for something you dont really care about, one way or the other, or about which you are conflicted or cannot decide? who does that?
indeed, who does do that, and why, are questions that need asking. its time to change the frame of pregnancy-related discourse to include the experience of the ambivalent mother. this desperately-longing versus desperately-dreading trope is kinda all played out.*
*especially the desperately-longing part!