The other day my boyfriend and I were in Chapters to pick up a sex book. We found one that we both liked and on the way out, I saw a cookbook with recipes for quinoa, a grain we’ve recently discovered and loved. So we head to the check out with a big pink book titled Sex: How to do Everything, and Quinoa 365: The Everyday Superfood. As we are leaving the bookstore, my boyfriend comments about how jealous the checkout guy must have been because my boyfriend just bought a sex book and a cookbook with his girlfriend, so clearly I am awesome.
In this sex book (which is really awesome) we read that the clitoris is the only organ in the human body, male or female, with the sole purpose of sexual pleasure. I found this really fascinating and, of course, it got the wheels in my head spinning. Here we have women with the only organ in a human being that is meant solely to make sex feel good. And yet, many antis believe that motherhood should be the punishment for having sex. How is it that women can have this awesome sex organ that makes us want to have sex, and yet the consequence is motherhood? I have a friend who told me this to my face: if I were to get pregnant in my monogamous relationship, even though I am on birth control, I should have to have the child; sex is for procreation so abortion should not be an option in such a case. The fact that a child would derail the career I’ve been working towards for 15 years is irrelevant. I know the “risks” of having sex, so I should have to live with the consequences. I feel like reconciling this awesome fact of nature with this human moral “risk” is easy, but in the U.S., the fact of nature has no bearing when anti-choice abortion laws are enacted.
One thing that I didn’t bring up to my friend, though I was tempted to, was her daughters. I wanted to ask her if she would deny her young daughters an abortion (or wish for them to be denied one) because they had consensual sex. This type of attitude bothers me quite a bit. I tried to impress upon her that she was imposing her values on other women. Her response was it was just her opinion and since it would never actually affect another woman, it didn’t matter. I suppose she isn’t wrong, but the attitude still bothers me. I know that if I were to need an abortion, I could go to my mother, no matter “how” I became pregnant. I worry that her daughters would not feel that they would have that same luxury. I hope to be a strong feminist role model in their world, and if I am the person they come to in such a situation, I will gladly be there; but their mother should be as well.
I am not sure which kind of anti I dislike more, ones like my friend, or ones like Sharron Angle. I suppose at least Angle is consistent in her imposition of her morals, but is it better to impose a narrow subset of your morals on others rather than all your morals? In my case it doesn’t matter. My boyfriend is pro-choice and would want me to come to him if I were to get pregnant; he knows that it is half his responsibility. We have already made use of the sex book, and tonight I will be making quinoa and goat cheese stuffed chicken breast knowing that I will never be punished with motherhood for having sex. It still makes me wonder how people can impose their morals on me and not understand that it is wrong. Has anybody dealt with similar anti friends? Were you able to help them change their mind?