abortion

Botswana to pregnant women: “You’re either a mother or a murderer.”

Currently, the average sexually active Tswana woman’s choices are rather grim should she fall pregnant and not want to keep the baby, for whatever reason:

  1. Have the baby
  2. Have the baby and give it to someone to take care of
  3. Have an unsafe abortion
  4. Resort to whatever comes to mind to “fix” the situation

All of which are rather damaging emotionally, physically or both.  These women feel powerless and misinformed, and society tells them “You’re either going to be a mother or a murderer.”

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Mama said

  1. Never show a man you love him too much. They will see this and take advantage of it knowing you won’t leave.
  2. Never love a man too much i.e more than yourself. He can never give you more than you can give yourself for as long as you can.
  3. When you cook maize meal, add a bit of salt and oil.
  4. Your marriage won’t be worth much if your partner isn’t worth much. If you insist on settling down, let your partner build you.
  5. Take care of your body. Especially your figure and your skin. Your whole appearance as a Woman shows how you feel about yourself and has the power to give you the confidence you need.
  6. Buy attractive lingerie for yourself, not to show it off to someone else.
  7. Family is everything. Friends come and go but if you find those worth keeping, do so. 
  8. Never let another person steal your joy. 
  9. Buy pretty bedding.
  10. Sometimes you need to pray. [Or as I call it, Talk to the Air.]

 

Sound advice, she’s tried.

 

But as I found myself thinking about my future children, especially my daughters, I grew distressed trying to figure out what to teach them and how.

See, I believe my mother didn’t teach me what I feel my daughter should know. And I understand why. For her, some of the greatest lessons have come about through trial and error and being reactive to certain situations which, probably could have been avoided had one of us been proactive, but I understand because she isn’t as vocal as I am and hope to be by the time I have kids. 

She didn’t tell me that boys would lie until I’d already been lied to and led down undesirable paths in the name of Love.

She didn’t prepare me for the emotional Beast I’d become once a month when my hormones kick in.  The Education system failed me here too. Y’all just made it seem like a bit of bleeding, not cramps that feel like a kick to the vagina resulting in what looks like a Spartan battlefield on a good/bad day. The anger, emotional texts to Ex’s [although that could just be me] none of that.

She didn’t tell me that as a female, you’re a walking target. I guess I understand why. My mother doesn’t really see things the way that I do. She still victim blames, I admit, but a lot of her generation does. Also, I doubt she would have wanted me to grow up looking over my shoulder expecting to have something happen but, I feel it’s something every girl should know. Rather rob them of their childhood with honesty than have them end up in a situation far worse because they were naive.

Pregnancy scares. We don’t discuss those obviously. I doubt we ever will, but I want to with my daughter. I guess we’ll squeeze it into the Sex Talk.  One of the few times we discussed pregnancy I brought up abortion and my mother was mortified. “We don’t kill what God creates” she said. I laughed and said those are her views and we’d need to be logical and consider whether bringing a child into the world would be the best thing. She said I was speaking like the Devil, which amused me. I know though that I don’t want my daughter feeling obligated to keep a child because of emotional blackmail. I want her, should she find herself in that position, to make an informed decision.

She never told me to know when to leave a man, I found that out the hard way.  

I learned that one should avoid patriarchal men like the plague out in the world too. My daughter will know the same. Although I guess the “Have a partner who builds you” part covered that.

Cook because you want to, not because you have to, for someone else. I hate that. Having to interrupt your time of doing Peaceful Nothing to fix a meal for someone who’ll probably decide it’s not worth it and sleep by the time you’re done. 

I believe Sundays are peaceful. For solitude and everything else you want. Sundays are Selfish days, to be worshiped. I’ll tell my daughter. 

Mama always wanted a happy family that bonds over dinner and cooks together and laughs all the time and such. We are the exact opposite. She knows her children love her but I always tell her, personally, I don’t feel the need to always be in my family’s presence. I spend a fair amount of time alone and there isn’t anything wrong. She says it’ll lead to me being in an unhappy household, I tell her I don’t want to raise kids  who are dependent on another person for comfort, it’s simply how I am. 

I drink quite a bit. I drink when I’m sad, when I’m happy and when I’m excited. No, it isn’t as often as you may think, but beer, wine, straights, they all get a pass with me. And no I don’t get sloppy drunk unless I’m home and with close friends, and even then, I never want to because I always want to know everyone is alright. My mother drinks a few glasses of wine every two months and thinks I’m an alcoholic. Dear Future Daughter, drink if you want to, just don’t be a fuck up.

Religion. If you haven’t figured it out by now, she’s religious. Christian. I was once, and then I read too many books and thought too much to continue believing in a White man in the Sky and virgins giving birth to Saviors. I hope my daughter isn’t religious, I won’t lie. Spiritual, yes please. But that’s her choice to make. 

Sexuality. I’m guessing you can figure out mother’s views on that. Marriage, monogamy, kids, the basics. I still have to explain to her how gay people have sex sometimes when she’s drunk and curious but thank god she’s not a homophobe. I want my daughter to do with her body as she pleases, to own herself.

I will stress the importance of an education. Not just degrees, they’re nice, but to be smart and know the world, understand people, understand yourself. Nothing’s more depressing than a person with a degree and an empty head, there’re too many running around.

I want her to know she’s always stronger than she knows and sometimes, than she wants to be, and her mother was too. 

I want her to know that Love is everything. And true Love, for anything or anyone, should never leave you feeling Less Than in anyway. 

And that mistakes happen and there is no shame in Living. 

I hope I raise a little Warrior. A beauty. An Amazonian Princess honestly. A woman who could have held her own had she been born in Sparta. Someone like Cleopatra. One who walks with pride and is firm in her knowledge of Self and depends on no none, needs no one, who isn’t worth it. I hope I raise a Queen who unfortunately, will know loneliness because those of her kind will be rare in society, but I know she will seek out and find comfort in like minded people.

I know a fair amount of the lessons will come about as me being reactive too. I realize that with parenting. I appreciate what my mother has taught me and what she kept from me, she was doing the best she could and I will do the same. Maybe one day my daughter too will point out what I could’ve taught her but didn’t. And that’s alright.

The whole point of relationships is to learn. My mother has taught me and I have taught her. Lessons I hope we both spread out into the world. 

Lessons of Love. 

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“Only stupid women fall pregnant”

..And to think,I used to agree with this statement. I didn’t quite understand how one can have an unwanted baby in this day and age. I’m not sure if I was naive or just plain dumb. But you live and you learn. Things happen and just as everyday mistakes happen and questionable choices are made, the same occurs when it comes to sex.

I know a lot of intelligent, responsible women who’ve slipped up. Whether it was unprotected sex with a partner, drunk sex with a friend or that one time the condom broke and they ignored it. It doesn’t diminish their intelligence. Maybe they didn’t react swiftly enough. Maybe they hoped for the best. Maybe they simply ignored it. It happens. 

To be quite honest, you have no idea how easy it is to fall pregnant until you do. And when it does happen, it’s up to you to see how you’re going to go about it. Those who chose to have abortions, I respect.  It takes courage and strength to make that decision and live with it. As it does to keep the baby.

I know teenage mothers who kept their babies. Some dropped out of school to take care of their children and have become wonderful, supportive mothers. They understood the fact that once you bring a child into the world, you yourself are no longer a child. They are women in every sense of the word. Regardless of whether the father’s there or not, and most of the time he isn’t, they’ve done what they needed to do. 

Those who made the decision to get an abortion often get the question “Well how did you get pregnant if you didn’t want one?” Imagine dealing with putting your life in order and getting that question. Really. I don’t even think it’s any of our business how this happens, but we tend to forget that we don’t have a say in the next [wo]man’s life. 

I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again, I’d rather you get an abortion than bring a child into the world you don’t want/can’t handle. People like to call it murder and hide behind morality, well I think it’s wrong for you to bring a child into the world you can’t love. Nobody likes a selfish mother, but if you’re no one’s parent, by all means, be as selfish as you please.

You bring your child into the world, stay home all of one month then you’re back to drinking and partying, leaving YOUR baby to those around you, making your responsibility theirs, you won’t breastfeed because you’re more worried about the fact that apparently your breasts will sag if you do and having men find you attractive is much more appealing to you than your baby’s health..And you still have the audacity to judge those who know they aren’t ready to be mothers?

You don’t get that right. You really don’t. 

Pro Choice = Anti Life? Bitch, please.

I feel a certain way about being told what to do with my vagina.

I feel a certain way about people imposing their beliefs on me.

I feel a certain way about being judged for making a decision based on what I know and feel.

I feel a certain way about abortion, Life, choice, rights and the government.

While having a conversation with a friend she told me that there’re places that use Dettol antiseptic liquid for abortions. As in, they basically pour that into your vagina and wait for the rest to happen. I know of people who drink water boiled with 5 thebes for this too. Some women use coat hangers, others drink poison. It’s all just a fucking mess.

Now,I’m from Botswana, and here abortion is illegal.  People bring up such issues as It being murder, it being immoral. It’s a child.. If you didn’t want the baby you shouldn’t have had sex..Oh so what if you’re dirt broke and won’t be able to support it? Bring it into the world. So what if you were raped and will possibly hate the child? Bring it into the world.

Because all humans have rights, including those who haven’t seen the light of day, except for women who want to decide what to do with their bodies and their lives.

Listen.

Sex gets messy. Life gets messy. Sometimes, you end up in situations you didn’t bargain for.  We know this.

You believe Life begins the moment the sperm fertilizes the egg, someone else believes it’s when the limbs form and another, when the child is born. We do not think alike, but many are on a bid for us to.

Now, I don’t have an issue with us viewing things differently. I have an issue with people forcing others to be like them and not respecting the fact that they have the right to make their own decisions, as seems to be the norm.

You don’t know nor understand WHY these ladies do as they do. And you don’t seem to understand that in fact, no, abortion is not a luxury. It’s not cute. It’s not like deciding to blow your nose. These women know there’s a baby inside them, a life growing, and choosing to terminate that for whatever reason is NEVER an easy decision to make.

Don’t you think there’s shame at some point,maybe? Indecision? Fear? Guilt?

I think a lot of people throw their judgement around because they think other people lack a conscience. No. We have consciences just as we have rational thoughts and emotions. And you..you are a bunch of cows really.

Being a “Christian” country I assume it’s illegal here for the above stated reasons. Hypocritical leaders are a problem. I promise you, it’s not that THEY don’t get their lovers to abort the children they make, they do..It’s just that making it okay here would anger the people and despite the fact that we know the people never really have a say in shit at the end of the day, we don’t make it happen.

I don’t understand why, to appear morally correct and “fair” to society, you want others to bring children into this world who may be unwanted, may grow up to be abused and will probably lack the things other kids have [affection, resources,etc].

Why force someone to care for something they view as an inconvenience?  You know how people react in situations they don’t like..Plus, in an overpopulated world anyway, where people are starving and shit is just all kinds of fucked u…just, why?

People don’t think. Nor do they respect those who do.

It’s fucked up that a group of people who are only a fraction of our population get to tell us how to live and we think they’re superior to us.

It’s fucked up that there are women dying because a few still wanna hold on to their “morality”.

And the judgement..Is stupid.

The situation is sad.

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