Over the past 3 years, I have lost many friends, and several of my own family members have completely cut off communication with me. I now know that these are “adults” who just cannot handle the fact that I have the right to make choices, and that these choices ultimately hardly even affect them.
1/17/15 – Editor’s note: Due to the large number of interview requests, I have extended an invitation to the author to post her response to the comments and general negative feelings towards her. I will post an update as soon as she responds.
In the spring of 2012, I found out that I was pregnant. I had a good idea who the donator was, but money wasn’t really an issue, and I knew that I would be a good mother-like figure for the child by myself. I have always believed in the right for all women to have a choice in terminating their pregnancy, but when I confirmed the diagnosis about a month into into it, I decided that I WAS ready to have this child.
My journey has taken me to many different places fighting for women’s rights and carrying the banner of the Feminist Movement, even to the point of eschewing a career. One of the more prominent themes that I saw in these places was that men generally would look down on us, refuse to help us, or hardly even lend an ear so that we could air our grievances. This didn’t surprise me, the patriarchy has been well entrenched since the dawn of time, but here I was, here I am, ready to change it.
One of the more alarming incidents happened while I was on my way to San Francisco to participate in an Occupy Wall Street rally. I sat down in my seat on the plane, which happened to be extra full for that day, and a particularly well dressed man happened to be sitting in the seat beside me, in the aisle. After takeoff, he asked me what I was going to San Francisco for, while I generally wouldn’t talk to a man sitting next to me on an airplane, I told him I was going to the OWS rally.
The man literally scoffed when I spoke those words and leaned in and quietly said to me “B****** like you need to learn their place”. Stunned, I screamed “ASSAULT!” while other passengers looked at us, the woman across the aisle from him immediately told him to get away from me, but not 5 seconds passed before a flight attendant had rushed over to intervene. [sociallocker id=”86″]
As I explained to the flight attendant what had happened and I demanded to move seats, I was told that there were only 2 other open seats available, both back in Economy.
*Trigger warning* – Extreme patriarchy
By this time, a male flight attendant was on the scene and I told him to have the man moved. The woman-hater just laughed as the flight attendant continued to press me on if he made any physical contact with me. For a moment, I contemplated bending the truth in order to get the woman-hater away from me. His words had violated both my feelings, and my trust, perhaps as much of a violation as actual physical touch. In the end, I confirmed that no physical contact was made, to which both flight attendants told me they couldn’t make him move.
I was flabbergasted, and then betrayed as they recommended that I move to one of the empty seats. This left me in tears. I knew the only way to get away was to move seats so I did so tearfully and having felt as though I had been verbally and emotionally raped.
By the time we landed, my outlook had changed, I could no longer depend on men to be an ally of the cause.
As spring turned into summer and my belly started to grow, my mind ran wild with the thoughts of teaching my daughter from a young age tolerance and feminist ideals. Choosing the right all-girls daycare, then elementary school, all so that she could grow up and thrive in an environment where women are told that they can do anything that they want to do. No man will be around to hurt her progress, no boys there to demean her or call her names.
I had already started buying gender neutral clothing since I did not want outside influences affecting what gender she would ultimately become. My research on nannies one day came to an abrupt end when my cell phone alarm went off – time for my 5 month appointment. These early appointments had gone well enough, my baby was progressing in a healthy manner.
Today, my doctor, who I will call “Sandy” did an ultrasound and everything appeared to be fine. “Would you like to know the gender?” Sandy asked. I thought to myself “That machine is an ultrasound, not a crystal ball, you couldn’t tell me the gender of my baby even if you wanted to”
“Sure” was my response.
“It’s a boy”…..
“What?” I managed to sputter. Sandy then showed me on the ultrasound how exactly my body had betrayed me even worse than the misogynistic suit jockey on the airplane so many months before. I was in shock, I started crying, weeping at the thought of what I was about to curse the world with.
On my way home, my driver asked if I was ok and if I needed anything. “JUST STOP RIGHT HERE” I yelled. Deciding to walk the 4 blocks back home. My home became my prison and my fetus became my warden the next 48 hours. Crying, sobbing, uncontrollable weeping, mental anguish the likes of which may only be experienced by those who have had their lives destroyed by war, I was a refugee, and my home was my refugee camp, an unfamiliar place that was just….sheltering me.
By the third day, I started regaining some of my mental strength and knew what I had to do. I couldn’t bring another monster into the world. We already have enough enemies as it is. It didn’t matter that I would be raising a son, he would still come into contact with boys, men, perhaps even the suit jockey who would inevitably twist his carefully constructed upbringing with their kindness. He would think “These men aren’t so bad, why would mom say that they are holding me down?”
Not all men are bad, my driver showed genuine concern for my well-being that day and I may have taken my anger out on him. That may have been uncalled for. But I knew what I had to do.
A few days later, I went in for the procedure, as it was fairly later in my pregnancy, I was aware there were certain risks, but it went off without a hitch. My body’s betrayal was no more, I was free, and for the first time since the airplane incident, I felt strong. I had done something positive, something that would actually make a difference, something good, even though as I would find out, many others wouldn’t see it that way.
Today, I have a beautiful 1 year old female who will hopefully grow up to be just as strong and driven as her mother. I have endured a lot regarding my first pregnancy, but I don’t care. Sometimes, even allies will turn on you, but I don’t care.
I stand by my decision to abort my baby because it was a male.
I don’t hate men, I hate the patriarchy, what men, and even some women, turn into, I wasn’t going to let that happen with my offspring. The chances were greater that it would with a male, it was unacceptable.
If the curse returns, I would do the exact same thing all over again.[/sociallocker]