I grew up in a household that did not value body autonomy, especially not feminist ideals related to issues of fertility. My father’s favorite thing to say was “die to yourself,” using the example of Jesus dying on the cross and giving up “all his rights” in order to save us. This message translated into the overt belief that “you have no rights, because you are a Christian, and so you have to give up all your rights to follow Jesus.” As an adult I think my dad botched the true message, especially since there’s a difference between being told ‘you have no rights,’ and choosing to forgo your own desires to benefit someone else.
As a child, and teenager, it felt very hierarchical and patriarchal, that I, especially, as a woman, did not have a say in what happened to my body. When I chose to have sex with my boyfriend, at 2 months shy of 18, they believed I was trying to be “like her,” and assumed that my boyfriend took advantage of me. Because I certainly couldn’t make the choice with my own body. And while hindsight shows me that there was peer pressure from the other half of my relationship, it wasn’t anything close to rape, or even date rape. I made a choice with my body, and even if it was a choice I later regretted, it was still my choice.
And so, today I finalized my choice to take charge of my own fertility desires to not have another baby (right now? ever?). Sure I consulted with Boof, but I chose this for my body. And it feels good, although a bit crampy since it’s settling in. Haha. But while I am bodily and spiritually confident in my decision, there’s this niggling back-of-the-mind thought that has entered a few times, and I know it’s based on my childhood upbringing. There’s this judgment that I am an evil-hell-going-feminist. That I have strayed so far from the party line that I’ll be burned at the stake. While a few close friends know of
our my decision to get the IUD, most family hasn’t been let it on that decision. I’m mostly optimistic that they’ll be supportive, but there’s always a little doubt that they’ll still love me at the end of the day. And I worry, will I regret my decision?
I don’t feel completely different. But here I sit, a woman who can have unprotected sex from now until 10 years from now when the IUD craps out, without worry about getting knocked up. It feels liberating, although I’m sure it’ll take a little getting used to…