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» Scarleteen Boards: 2000 - 2014 (Archive) » SCARLETEEN CENTRAL » Sexual Ethics and Politics » 'I'm 24 and I want to be sterilised before my wedding'

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Author Topic: 'I'm 24 and I want to be sterilised before my wedding'
Ecofem
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I came across this article in the Daily Mail online the other day and wanted to share it. While I realize the Daily Mail isn't exactly top journalism, I do think the author does a good job of explaining her decision how she came to it. (Of course, no one should really *have* to defend or even explain personal reproductive decisions to others!) While I may hope to have my own biological children one day, I support every individual's reproductive decision. (None of my business!) It makes me angry to see how people feel they have the right to doubt what I feel is right. I could write more but I'll just share the article now and ask what do you think of it, either this particular woman's story or such reproductive choices/rights in general? [Smile]

I'm 24 and I want to be sterilised before my wedding

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BDuBoisFan
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I think that woman is well within her rights to get a tubal ligation, and it's rather insulting to her to presume she hasn't thought it through.
Me, if I had my way, potential lovers would get vasectomies, but that's not exactly realistic, is it? I'm worried about how realistic it is for me to hope that whoever I marry is willing to get a vasectomy and have that be our form of birth control.

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Ecofem
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quote:
Originally posted by BDuBoisFan:
Me, if I had my way, potential lovers would get vasectomies, but that's not exactly realistic, is it? I'm worried about how realistic it is for me to hope that whoever I marry is willing to get a vasectomy and have that be our form of birth control.

I think, well, know there are men who would like to get vasectomies and would be delighted to have a partner who felt the same way. I think the key is both people wanting it before they meet/start the relationship versus one feeling like s/he has to compromise or settle for something they don't want. I had always assumed that some people had children and others didn't, just something neutral and matter-of-fact. It's really sad that people have to worry so much about finding a partner who feels the same way and then deal with family, friends, and random people (like the caterer!) who feel the need to comment or even complain.
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Jill2000Plus
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Another thing that irritates me is that there's a lot of handwringing about white, middle class women who don't want to have children and choose to get sterilised while the same individuals who engage in said handwringing often have little to no concern for racial minority women who are subjected to forced sterilisation/abortion or the history of such violations.

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Always knock before entering my room when I am in there alone, as I may be doing all sorts of wonderfully thrilling things that I'd rather you didn't see.

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Heather
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Jill: I think that is a very, very important observation and point and one which (grotesquely) is backed up by a LOT of history.

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Heather Corinna, Executive Director & Founder, Scarleteen
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eryn_smiles
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Jill,
Your comment also made me think of the history around young women with intellectual disabilities and developmental delay who underwent forced sterilizations to prevent them from menstruating and reproducing. That's also an issue of concern.

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"Caring for myself is not self-indulgence, it is self-preservation and that is an act of political warfare."

Audre Lorde

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Jill2000Plus
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Thanks for bringing that up, eryn_smiles, you are absolutely right that that is an issue of concern as well, and part of a broader issue of disabled people being treated as if they had pathological or non-existent sexualities.

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Always knock before entering my room when I am in there alone, as I may be doing all sorts of wonderfully thrilling things that I'd rather you didn't see.

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Ecofem
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I agree with you, Jill2000Plus, Heather, and eryn_smiles. [Smile] I first hesitated from even posting this article in the first place for that very reason: the history of forced sterialization of so many women makes me rather uncomfortable with the term. (I find "tubal ligation", like BDuBoisFan used, to be more comfortable.)

It makes me think about how about debates on population growth can quickly head into some shaky ground. While I can understand arguments on both sides, I find it very disturbing when people talk about how "women in 'developing' countries shouldn't be having so many children" or how certain citizens (namely, teenage or low-income women) of 'industrial' nations "shouldn't be allowed" to have [so many] children. I think of the forced sterialization (inhumane, a form of genocide, and what have you) and get so angry when these often so-called liberal people say such things that are racist at worst and ignorant at best. Granted, the author of this article is not coming from that angle at all but it can be a fine line at times.

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eryn_smiles
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I think that anyone who feels that women in the developing world (and poorer women in the developed world) are having too many children could first advocate for free universal access to safe family planning services and womens' haalthcare. It's just not an equal playing field for us to be making judgements like that.

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"Caring for myself is not self-indulgence, it is self-preservation and that is an act of political warfare."

Audre Lorde

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Jill2000Plus
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I'm not in favour of judging women for how many children they have even if we did have universal health care and an equal playing field in all other respects, women's uteruses (or whatever the correct plural is) are their own and I'd rather try and distribute whatever resources we do have fairly and look at how to make things more sustainable (without reducing quality of life by attacking the very existence of technology and fun) instead of telling everyone how many pregnancies they're allowed, I agree with you that the absence of universal health care is wrong for many reasons though, one of them being that it stops women from being free to choose whether, when, and how many times they want to be pregnant.

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Always knock before entering my room when I am in there alone, as I may be doing all sorts of wonderfully thrilling things that I'd rather you didn't see.

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