Apr. 25th, 2008

Attn: Classmates

In case you haven't noticed, we're NOT discussing developed nations in this unit. We're discussing developing and poverty-stricken nations. I agree, whole heartedly: in the United States, Britain, Canada, Australia, New Zealand, Ireland, Poland, and any other developed nation I didn't list here and mean no insult to them by, there is absolutely no excuse for a woman having more children than she can care for. We have access to both family planning resources and contraceptive measures, and BOTH of these things are affordable to ALL women (and men).

No, I will not argue this. If you don't agree, you're wrong. Point blank. Sex education is part of our base education- ya know, the one we all have to undergo or our parents risk jail time? Yeah, that one. If you can't afford a fucking condom, swing by your local Planned Parenthood. If you can't afford to GET to your local PP, keep your trousers on and your skirt down. We ALL know not to have sex if a baby is going to be a devastating event, whether we want to admit it or not. Yes, we do. STFU.

However, we're not talking about wealthy, developed nations. We're not talking about progressive-minded societies that are actively combating misogyny. We're talking about nations in which our poverty level would be considered obscenely wealthy*. We're talking about societies that view women as PROPERTY. As resources. They do not have easy access to family planning. They do not have access to birth control. And even if they DID, they do not have the freedom to exercise the choice to use those things.

They have NO rights. Maybe the right to not be murdered at the whim of her husband; or father, if she is unmarried, or brother if she is unmarried and her father is dead, or her FATHER-IN-LAW if her husband is dead, or even BROTHER-IN-LAW if the father-in-law is dead... GET THE PICTURE YET? If you have tits and a vagina, in those nations, you are an ANIMAL. You do as you're told, or you PAY.

And yes. A woman would be putting her life in danger- GRAVE danger- if she refused to have sex with her husband. For ANY reason. And you know what would happen to her husband?

Probably nothing.

Therefore, your, "I don't get it. Why do these women keep popping out kids when they can't afford them? Can't they exercise some self-control?" officially damns you as an egocentric, stupid American.

Congratulations.

(*I am not saying that poverty doesn't exist in the United States, or in any developed nation. In fact, as soul-wrenching as the situations in nations like Somalia, Congo, Sierra Leone and other such countries are, I believe we need to ensure that EVERYONE in OUR country has a standard of living that WE consider reasonable. That means bringing everyone above OUR poverty level. And I believe that we should be doing this before we attempt to rescue other societies. Because if we can't take care of our own, what makes us think we can take care of anyone else?

That statement was merely intended to point out the severe disparity between what we typically see as impoverished, and what THEY do.)

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November 2010

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