Tag Archives: choice

Support Matters

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I’ve been looking through old photos recently, and they’ve gotten me thinking about the relationship I have with my father. Our personalities often clashed when I was growing up, and in all honesty, we didn’t get along very well. I didn’t particularly care when he moved out, and with regards to our relationship, I’m a lot happier now.

The thing is, my dad just wasn’t very supportive. He had a good relationship with Tara. She was athletic, and a good swimmer, and enjoyed cycling. But my dad just couldn’t accept that I wasn’t like that. I preferred reading and writing and drawing and singing, to going outdoors and playing sports. But according to him, those weren’t valid interests. He tried to push me with my swimming, and criticised me when I never got any better. Not being very good with confrontation, the only way I could bring myself to tell him my feelings about this was to write him a letter – which he promptly tore up in front of me.

Even now that I’m an adult, he still hasn’t gotten much better. He continually grills into me for not having a job (as though I can control the employment market) or a drivers license (as though his teaching wasn’t what scared me off). And funnily enough, those are the only two things he ever asks me about every few months when I see him. Oh, and one other question – whether or not I have a boyfriend yet. Except for the last time I saw him, when he followed that by asking if I have a girlfriend. Which brings me to my next point.

My dad is a huge homophobe. He goes on about how being gay is unnatural and a disorder, and that he could cure it if he had enough money. Whenever Tara or I call him out for it, he says (and I paraphrase) “[he] can’t possibly be a homophobe because [he’s] not scared of gay people, [he] just think[s] there’s something wrong with them, and anyway [he has] gay friends”. Fine dad, you’re being heterosexist. Whatever you decide to call it, it’s incredibly bigoted. Tara once asked him what he would do if she were gay. He scoffed and told her (and I actually quote this time, not just paraphrase) “don’t be stupid, you’re not gay”. He was right, Tara isn’t gay, but that’s completely beside the point. What if she was gay, and his bigoted attitude was preventing her from safely coming out? What if I was gay, and she was trying to test the waters for me? I’m fairly sure the only reason he asked if I had a girlfriend that time was to appear tolerant with my aunt and uncle in the car, as my female cousin recently revealed to them that she has a girlfriend.

If I ever have children, I am going to try my best to be the most supportive parent possible. It doesn’t matter whether they want to swim, or run, or dance, or sing, or act, or write, or draw. It doesn’t matter whether they like men, or women, or everyone, or no-one. It doesn’t matter whether they are a boy, or a girl, or something else, or none of the above. It doesn’t matter whether they want to be a teacher, or a doctor, or a lawyer, or an actor, or a nurse, or a dancer, or a bartender. The only thing that does matter is how they treat people, whether it be other people or themselves. I vow to accept my children for who they are, because I know only too well how much it hurts when even the small things go unsupported.

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How is this Progress?

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A long time ago, it was expected of women that when they grew up, they would get married and have children, and that their job would be to stay at home and look after them. Women didn’t have careers – the men were the breadwinners. And for a women to not have children was unthinkable.

Nowadays, we have it ‘good’. Anyone can get a job. When a couple has children, sometimes the mum stays at home, sometimes the dad stays at home. Sometimes both the parents are women, or both the parents are men, so whoever stays home wouldn’t make a difference to that aspect. And sometimes no-one stays home, and it’s a nanny or babysitter that looks after the children.

A friend of mine posted something on her tumblr a while ago. When she was in high school, her class had to write down what they wanted to be in the future. My friend wrote down ‘housewife’, and was promptly criticised for it, even being called lazy.

Firstly, wanting to be a housewife is not lazy. Housewives have to cook and clean. They have to look after their children – watch them, play with them, comfort them, wash them, dress them, read to them, patch them up when they get hurt… And if they’re babies or toddlers, then just add change their nappies and feed them to the list. They have to do the household’s shopping, and with the children at that, making it all the more difficult. That is hard work. Housewives are not lazing around at home watching telly all day. They are being chefs, and maids, and baby-sitters, and teachers, and doctors, and chauffeurs.

And secondly, I thought the days were over when people had things expected of them, and couldn’t make their own decisions about the future? Women may not be expected to be housewives anymore, but that doesn’t mean our lives are playing into people’s expectations any less. Instead of being wives and mothers, we are expected to get jobs, and have careers. Nowadays, being a wife and mother is viewed as secondary, and nothing to aspire to.

I am currently studying a Bachelor of Arts at university, with a major in psychology. Not because I have any huge desire to be a psychologist, but because it is expected of me. Certainly, I find the subject interesting, but I would rather keep my house and look after my children than actually apply that knowledge to a career.

So tell me, how is it progress, when all we’ve done is swap one expectation for another?

Piercing Babies’ Ears

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I haven’t posted in a while. Probably because I haven’t thought of anything upsetting or awesome enough to post about. But that’s over now.

The other day I stumbled across something on the internet. A woman was asking about the best age to get her newborn baby’s ears pierced. A newborn baby. Being forced to have holes stabbed in her ears just because her mother thinks it will look pretty.

Now there are several things wrong with this idea. The least serious being “why does a baby need earrings to look pretty?!”. Babies are cute. Period. They don’t need little gems or baubles in their earlobes to make them look nice. They’re not going to look in the mirror and think “Ooh, look at those lovely stones in my ears!”. They’re going to look in the mirror and think “Ooh, a play-mate!”. And to be honest, I find earrings on a baby quite creepy. Babies with earrings remind me of toddlers wearing make-up.

I remember when I got my ears pierced. I was about six years old, and had been begging my parents to get them done for a while. I wanted earrings because I thought they were pretty, and I wanted to be able to pick out and wear all sorts of different styles of them. But no matter why I wanted them, in the end, it was my choice to get them. Babies don’t have that choice. And that’s really what my opinion all comes down to. Choice.

Imagine being small. So small that people can pick you up and take you wherever they want. Now imagine that you can’t even speak. You can’t ask any questions, or voice any protests. And on top of that, you have almost no control over your limbs. Now imagine that someone is about to stab a needle through your earlobe. You don’t understand what’s going on, but you can’t ask. The thought of the needle terrifies you, but you can’t say anything about it. You try to push the needle away, but your arms are too floppy. So what do you do? You cry. You cry because that’s all you can do. But still no-one prevents the needle from piercing your earlobe.

But if imagining something like that is a bit beyond your reach, then try this: You’re bound and gagged, and strapped to a chair. Someone comes toward you with a needle in their hand. Unable to do anything, you’re forced to sit there as they stab the needle through your earlobe.

How did that feel? Do you think you would enjoy that? Having no control? Not being able to do anything as someone pokes holes in your body? I know I wouldn’t enjoy that. I chose to have my ears pierced. If I didn’t choose it, and someone pierced them anyway, I would have been terrified! Babies don’t get a choice. Please, oh God, please, just wait a few years until they do.

Abortion

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Abortion. One of the most controversial issues out there. I know my views on abortion. And as much as it may seem otherwise, I don’t want to be forcing my opinions onto others. But I do want people to understand the reasoning behind my argument.

People who are in favour of abortion are labelled as pro-choice. Why is that? Because women should get to choose what goes on with their bodies? Yes, that is true. But the thing is, regarding most pregnancies, the woman already made a choice. She made a choice to have sex. She made a choice not to use protection. She already had two chances to make her choice. But now, because of her choices, there is another human being in the picture. And what about their choice?

But of course, unfortunately, there are some instances in which women don’t get these choices. Contraception can fail, and women do get raped. Which is why I am not against a woman having an abortion, if their pregnancy resulted from rape. If a woman were forced to bear the child of the man who raped her, then her mental health would most likely suffer greatly. And as much as I care about the rights of the unborn child, medically, the health of the mother is always put first.

Which is why I also believe abortion is acceptable in instances where the mother’s health is at risk in other ways. If being pregnant, or giving birth, is a danger to the woman’s health, or prevents the treatment of present medical issues, then abortion may be necessary, in order to save the woman’s life.

But in most other situations, when a woman simply makes a stupid decision, or changes her mind, then I believe abortion should be illegal. Because in my opinion, abortion is still the murder of a human baby.

However, it is still debatable as to whether aborting a fetus is still the same as killing a human child. People are still yet to reach an agreement about that. I guess it’s up to you. But is killing an intern still killing a doctor? Is killing a pregnant woman still killing a mother? If you go back in time and kill Jeffrey Dahmer before he murdered anyone, is that still killing a serial killer? In my opinion, the answer to all three of those questions is ‘yes’. But whatever you decide; whatever opinion you may form – that’s up to you.

But if you are considering abortion, just remember – while you may not be able to provide for your child, or give them the love they deserve, there are millions of people out there who desperately want a child of their own, but are physically unable to have one. What to you, is a curse, would come as a huge blessing to those people. So remember, if you have to make a choice, adoption is the better one.

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I apologise if any part of this post seems as though I am forcing my opinions onto anyone, or trying to guilt anyone into changing their opinions. That was most definitely not my intention, and remember, I did post a warning on the about page.