On the positive side, during the last week to week & a half, I've been feeling better.
While I know it seems superficial, my biggest complaint right now is about clothing.
There has been an increasing level of organisation and activity in the UK from politicians and pressure groups who are against comprehensive sex education, even lobbying against the basics like teaching body parts to primary school children and ever more increasingly speaking about abstinence. The tactics are versions of what US sex educators have been battling against for a while.
Physically, I'm feeling much the same as I was last week. Although the fetus is around an inch and a half long now, I don't think my look has changed much yet. I have switched over to maternity pants because it is simply more comfortable. The nausea and tiredness are still there, as is the anxiety. But hopefully some of that should wane in the next few weeks.
This week, I've been thinking more about the social implications of pregnancy and I'd like to talk a bit more about that.
Last December, we began our end-of-year fundraising for Scarleteen with a goal to raise the minimum we needed from online donors for 2012, $35,000, a very modest ask compared to other organizations or projects of or near our tenure and level of service.
I think I feel more pregnant this week. It's amazing the impact that something the size of a grape can have on a woman's body & life.
There seems to be the almost universal belief among North American parents (I'm sure this is a phenomena found elsewhere as well, but I'm just talking about what I've personally seen) that their kids, whether these are theoretical future children or actual kids, and whether they have yet to reach their teen years or not, will hate or at the very least dislike them. Teenagers hate their parents: everyone knows that.
It looks like such a small sentence, but in reality it is not small at all. Pregnancy is a big deal. It changes lives, both during a pregnancy and afterward. Bodies change, relationships change, lives change. It can be exciting and terrifying all at the same time. So I start this with a small statement with big implications.
In Lebanon (or at least, in Beirut) the joke is that it is equally likely to see a woman in a mini skirt as it is to see a woman in a hijab.
In Lebanon (or at least, in Beirut), European tourists feel at ease that the Lebanese still speak a post-colonial French, and let Beirut be called the Paris of the Middle East.
In Lebanon (or at least, in Beirut), tourists and Lebanese alike flock to the beaches and the nightclubs, openly drinking alcohol, smoking hookahs, and belly dancing to both popular western and Arabic music, creating a strange moment that many see as cultural influence, and many others see as cultural infiltration.
Still—despite the post-colonial familiarity and acceptability of Lebanese culture—Lebanese women remain in many ways decorative objects, openly ignored, slighted or discriminated against in legislation.