Lately, I have been wondering why every woman in the United States is not making more of a hue and cry about her individual right to decide her own life path. About her right and freedom to choose. To make her own decisions about her body. She is after all, an adult.
Why you ask?
Well, to begin with, it appears some women in the United States are not allowed to decide when and if, they want to have children. Because in certain states now, they have to proceed with their pregnancies despite the circumstances. And more states are imminently following suit.
Apparently, in these states, her impregnator, aka sperm contributor, has a lighter burden of responsibility compared to the woman. In fact, when the sperm contributor reneges on his responsibility and the poor lady realizes she has very little means to bring a life into this world and to ensure that new life is raised humanely, she cannot take matters into her own hands.
Potentially, there are hordes of people who will get into trouble if they help her to make a choice which is best for her. And hordes more who, more horrifyingly, will hunt her down. Indeed, the woman is unable to receive products in the mail without facing great danger.
Clearly, women are oppressed in these regions.
Her Right to Decide
Secondly, there are all sorts of dangers plaguing the American woman once she does decide to go ahead with a pregnancy. Everything from poor nutrition for her pregnant body to eye-watering health care costs. And then, there is the very high risk that the mother might die in the course of her pregnancy or in childbirth because of discriminatory practices and poor care.
Thirdly, once the child is born it is at risk of not being nourished or cared for enough. You see, the mother has to work in order to make ends meet. Which means, the baby needs childcare. And the mother may not be entitled to paid maternity leave.
However, childcare costs are expensive. Yet, the pandemic has driven childcare workers away because of poor pay and risky exposure to serious germs. Who can blame childcare workers who are mostly women themselves?
The child has to be taught moral, ethical and life lessons. And the mother is frazzled and is near a nervous breakdown because even working from home, for her, means work and children together. And all this time, the American woman has to look after her own physical and mental health.
Of course, women do not receive equal pay, in order to afford children and help to raise the children. And in addition, men tend to get promoted faster than women. In the United States, domestic helpers are not affordable except for the wealthy. So cooking and cleaning is also the lot of the American woman. And maybe even the care of other dependents as well.
Don’t get me wrong. I have met enough women who are lazy and complain all the time. They never get a job once they get married and their children have grown up, despite the need. And there are men who make excellent care-givers and providers. But this is not the scenario I am addressing now.
Luck or Wealth
Now, if a woman is lucky enough to have men in her life who help in caregiving or contribute financially, the burden is eased.
Otherwise, only the wealthy woman can afford to have children.
Despite a weak sperm contributor in my life, I had other men come in and support me. I was lucky enough to have my father, who generously gave his time and resources. Later, I met a loving man who actively helped in babysitting, housework and care-giving. I am now married to this same man.
No Voice, No Choice
Is the American woman represented by people who will speak up for her and advocate for her? I do not know. All I know is that women make up 50% of the population of the United States and the future of subsequent generations depend on women. I wonder if enough people are listening to women and their needs. Do enough people care to propel change, to make women more empowered, more supported and less enslaved?
What is putting such thoughts into my head and inspiring such radical questions, you ask? Laundry and lots of it. Dirty floors and dishes. Meal preparation and managing a household.
Yes, this is the breeding ground of such radical questions and presumptuous thoughts. Perhaps the powers that be, should realize that such thoughts germinate in these environments. And remove women from such dangerous activities. Maybe, get men to do all these tasks instead?
Just to be safe.