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My great aunt reportedly had 17 children, only 14 of whom survived childhood. Her situation wasn’t unusual. Birth control was forbidden. The family worked a farm to feed everybody. I don’t know how they came up with the necessities of living for 16 people, necessities you can’t grow or raise as livestock. They must have been far better at slaughtering animals that had come to feel like pets than modern families, who may not even have a yard much less pasture. Lots of women sewed the clothes for themselves and everybody else—instead of working a job that developed their talents.
Parents with more children than they can afford to raise are still common today. How would parents fit 17 children into an apartment or condo…or even a three-bedroom bungalow? Not many couples can afford more—and in many locations three bedrooms are an extravagance. I read that kids may sleep in all directions on one bed—the bed-wetters with the others. Ah, family bonding.
Women in the sepia photos often look weary, even angry. Can you blame them? Their lives were drudgery, even if they had married someone who was a good provider. They were property. Then, as now, women often died in childbirth, sometimes because a failed fetus couldn’t legally be removed. Men think suffering is the price women pay for being fertile. As is rape.
Women are supposed to enjoy rape, although men or boys who are raped don’t have the same requirement. They can feel violated and humiliated, because, well, they’re men. They can’t get pregnant, which is divine punishment for being female in the first place, according to some male legislators. Children without legitimate fathers are often ostracized and mocked, as though they had a voice in the matter. The children of rape need support groups and therapy, as do children abandoned to the streets and children who are trafficked. I can’t imagine giving a rapist visitation rights or denying a pregnant child relief from the nightmare, and I wonder about the humanity of anyone who can. Unborn souls know there are worse fates than death.
Traditionally, zealots thought they should control the behavior of women everywhere in every situation. They promoted a fantasy that women who enjoy sex are evil—a fantasy that has been dressed as gospel. In the fantasy, female instruments of wickedness play with sex indiscriminately and then want to murder babies (not fetuses) that result, when that’s the point of birth CONTROL. They can’t imagine a woman sharing intimacy with a man who swears he’ll wear protection but doesn’t or did use protection that failed. They don’t care if women die from dysfunctional pregnancies—even married women who had high hopes for their precious baby. They don’t care if women are poor because they have too many mouths to feed but their husbands/companions are too egotistical to use condoms or believe it’s against God’s will.
Perhaps we need to outlaw sex altogether. Couples should only be able to copulate with an appointed religious leader (who claims to know what’s right or wrong) on site to approve their choice to have sex and the way in which the couple performs the act. Of course, sex must be ONLY to make more and more people—regardless of the warnings of the planet.
This election women may finally be forced to act independently of their husbands/lovers to take back the human dignity they enjoyed before men altered the Book (to suit various doctrines) so the words would keep women subservient. Women are human beings, created equal if not the same. With the means to command their own lives according to their own values, women can face Judgment taking personal responsibility for what they’ve done in their lives—just as men must. Believe what you think is right and act accordingly, but please give other women the option to do the same. Please vote for female adulthood.