19. Writer. Vlogger on YouTube.
13th grader.//LGBT rights activist, intersectional feminist//LIKES: AFI, The Used (met), Panic!, HIM, thrash metal, classic rock, Lana, Marina.//Whovian. Supernatural. Hunger Games.//
'Believe it or not, there are still large portions of the population that are surprised that people with disabilities have babies. They may even be surprised that wheelchair users who have babies want to go on walks or run errands with their babies with them.'
A design made in conversation with wheelchair users, really intuitive. The stroller can be lifted over curbs and stand alone when needed.
Young women are often discriminated against when seeking sterilization. Many doctors ask offensive questions (“What if you met a billionaire who wanted to have kids with you?”), state categorically that their patients are too young to consider the surgery, and generally act as though, as one woman who tried unsuccessfully to be sterilized at the age of 21 in the U.K. put it, ”just because I was a woman, I’d reach a point where an urge to breed would overcome all rational thought.” (Perhaps unsurprisingly, that woman’s 25-year-old husband faced no such presumptions when he asked his doctor for a vasectomy. The procedure was quickly approved.)
Say that at 18 I slap down enough money so I could have my whole body covered head-to-toe in tattoos, piercings all over myself, a mountain of cigarettes, plastic surgery, and plan to have like 20 babies… but if I try at all to safely make it impossible for me to breed for the sake of my health suddenly its like WOAH THERE SLOW DOWN MISSY YOU’RE NOT READY FOR THIS KIND OF COMMITMENT YET
I have stage III Endometriosis, which means I have to get my uterus removed because I literally have terrible cramps ALL THE TIME and not just when I’m on my period. Now, I’ve always said I don’t want any children for personal reasons and I don’t need my uterus, really. I am not worried about that surgery and I don’t feel any kind of nostalgia over an organ I won’t ever use.
The thing is, my doctor is a ‘man’. This ‘man’ told me I had to get pregnant right now before it’s too late. I told him I didn’t want to get pregnant and explained the multiple reasons but what, do you ask, did my doctor have to say about this? 'Well, better have a kid now because just imagine how depressing it must be being a thirty-something woman without children and a husband?'
I was diagnosed a year ago. I should have gone through surgery six months ago and I still can’t find a doctor that will perform the surgery without trying to force me to have children first. Basically, if you’re a woman you don’t have a say in what can and cannot be done to your body without a shitload of people getting in the way AND I’M FUCKING SICK OF IT.
Women are getting non-consensually sterilized in prison but no doctors in my area while tie my tubes at 24 because I might regret it? Fuck you, doctors. I have more purpose in life than dropping babies. Some of those women in prison are probably great moms and I have no interest in parenting. Let us have a say!
A dear friend of mine wanted to have her tubes tied. She was about to give birth to twins and the doctors wouldn’t consent because she wasn’t 21 yet. She had already had children and they still refused to let her have the procedure.
My friend got a vasectomy a week after asking his doctor for one, no problem. He was 25.
Me? I’ve asked 4 different doctors for some kind of permanent sterilisation—tubal ligation or Essure or whatever—and I get a pat on the head and a “You’d regret it if you did.”
Oh, DIDN’T REALIZE YOU HAD A DIRECT LINE TO MY BRAIN.
On the flip side, as a vagina-having person who had her tubes tied at the age of 26 (after having 4 children, however):
MY HUSBAND HAD TO SIGN A CONSENT FORM IN ORDER FOR ME TO HAVE THE PROCEDURE DONE.
How many times have we heard stories about husbands having vasectomies behind their wives backs and never telling them, letting those wives wallow in guilt and misery, thinking it’s their fault that they can’t get pregnant?
And yet I had had to get my husband’s permission to have my tubes tied.
(Obviously this was a decision we’d talked about extensively beforehand, so it’s not like he was about to say no, but we both couldn’t believe the fucking audacity of the hospital, asking HIS permission for ME to do something with MY body. In fact, he said as much to the nurse that brought in the forms.)
I am 36. I’m single, I don’t have kids and I don’t want kids.
I also had horrendous, frequent periods. When I went to the gynaecologist, she recommended that we try a Mirena. I let her know that I’d had menorrhagia on a previous form of low-dose, oestrogen-only birth control (implanon), and that I was apprehensive that it wouldn’t work.
She said “Well, after that you’re out of options.”
I was incredibly upset. I was willing to try, but what if it didn’t work? Was I literally condemned to a life where I’m bleeding and in pain more often than not and I just have to put up with it?
I rang my parents. My Mum listened to me and said “That doesn’t sound right” and put my Dad (who’s a doctor, and a qualified obstetrician/gynaecologist) on the phone.
Apparently I was not out of options and she shouldn’t have said I was. The next option is a surgical D & C to see if that fixed it, and if that didn’t work, an ablation, which would have left me permanently infertile. If that didn’t work, a hysterectomy (although Dad warned me that I should do what I could to avoid the hysterectomy, it comes with a horde of other side effects.)
I don’t know whether it was fear, I don’t know whether it’s because I was a public patient. I don’t know what it was. But the gynae was so scared of female infertility that she wouldn’t even give me information about treatment options. I had to ask my father.
(FYI, the Mirena worked and I had a shouting row with the gynaecologist where I accused her of having her objectivity and medical judgement biased by the religion of her employers.)
natural—blues, I think this is a post you might want to chime in on.
The BUT BABIES argument needs to fucking die. If men can decide they don’t want to ever be able to breed, women can decide that too.
I really need to show this to my fucking mom because her and I got into an argument just the other day about about whether it’s the man or woman’s responsibility in a relationship for the woman to not get pregnant and her argument was that it’s easier for women to get their tubes tied so they have to be the responsible one
Science is on my side now! Go fuck a duck
Most of the laws in the US on female sterilization generally round out to: 25 or older, 2 children, written consent from the husband.
Like, thats the average requirements. Its bullshit. Yes, show this shit to your mom.
You’re damn right I need to chime in on this bullshit. I have stage 4 Endometriosis. It doesn’t just go the fuck away even when we get hysterectomies, either. It is forever. But they are so essential for those with Endo above a stage 2. I went through 14 surgeries lapro and cyst/scar tissue removal in 3 years time just because of the way my body was trying to destroy itself. Because that’s what the hell Endometriosis does. I’ve had my appendix removed from a cyst bursting and it causing a cut and giving me sepsis. Do you know how hard I’ve had to fight just to be taken seriously about it?? Years and years of being told I was crazy, having doctors roll their eyes and go “It’s just PMS.” My mother was accused of feeding my ‘hypochondria’. In and out of the hospital in and out of screaming pain, unable to eat, able to eat, unable to walk from pain, uncomfortable in my own skin. It didn’t matter — every doctor I saw was a man and every one of them downplayed it.
Do you know what it took to be taken seriously?? It wasn’t the dysmenorrhea so bad I lost the ability to walk some days. It wasn’t telling them of my pain. It wasn’t even a period that lasted over a year and a half. It was when I, finally so severely anemic due to the previous two things and in so much pain due to cysts and scar tissue all over my fucking kidney that I passed out in the gym showers at school and they were unable to wake me up. Turns out — shock time — that a lack of medical attention when it first began flaring up made way for endometrial cancer.
Finally, after seven years of medical treatments, being put on twelve different types of birth control (including mirena, which put me in the hospital), surgeries, medicines, and fighting this, I was tired. My body passed exhausted ages before. I was twenty fucking two and I was ready to die. I had been begging doctors for years — I kept getting cancerous cysts, I just wanted to have a total hysterectomy. Each time I was told ‘But what about babies?? Don’t you want children??” Sad part: OF COURSE I DO. But I can’t have them because my uterus is literally trying to kill me. How was I supposed to support a life in there when all of that shit was happening?? I had a doctor tell me, honestly, that Endometriosis above stage 2 have so many miscarriages. Even if I managed pregnancy (year long periods made it a laughable concept) and somehow lived to term (the rearranging of your internal organs to make way for baby — something natural that happens to all pregnant mothers — can be deadly for women with Endo 2+ and PCOS), the pressure exerted from labor would cause enough internal damage to kill me. I would also get the joy of passing this piece of shit disease on to the poor child too.
So I beyond didn’t even consider wanting to get pregnant. I just wanted to live. I just wanted to survive, maybe have some form of control over this disease and some quality of life. But every male doctor I asked turned me down. I got told by one doctor “You do realize it’s exactly like a man asking me to cut off his testicles, right??”
EXCEPT IT FUCKING ISN’T.
I was told that “Washington State law says that a woman, to get a hysterectomy, must have a child already, be 25+, and have her husband’s permission.” Excuse you?? I wasn’t going to live to age 25 at the rate my body was going. I finally found a doctor who willingly performed it, and he asked me what I wanted. He took my pain seriously. He also got called before a med board for it, and had to fight and struggle for clearance to save my life. Finding a doctor who treated me like a human being instead of a potential baby incubator only took me ten fucking years.
Women should have equal access. Women deserve the bodily autonomy to be able to say “Hi, I’d like this part of my body that is completely useless to me removed.” If men can decide they permanently don’t wish to be parents at age 18, women sure as shit can too. At worst, women definitely deserve the right to say “This unnecessary body part is trying to kill me. I’d like to live, cut it the fuck out of me.” and not be spoken down to.
Women deserve doctors who don’t look baffled and shocked by a woman’s reproductive system. They deserve to have their concerns taken seriously. We have the ability to tell when it isn’t just period pains. We know what the hell PMS is. We’re not stupid. We deserve doctors who don’t talk down to the little women or treat them like potential incubators. Treat us like human beings and give us the bodily autonomy to make our choices for any reason we so choose. It’s our bodies. No one should have to be put through this shit.
This is part of why the pro-choice movement is so fucking important. It isn’t just the right to abort. It’s also the right to choose to never have a child ever at all. It’s the right to choose what we do with our own uteri and everything in between.
And this is why I tagged you. :3
The “BUT BABIES” argument … if it isn’t valid for men, it shouldn’t be valid anywhere else.
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