My Nephews

Red, over at Redneck Feminist, is talking about what, if anything, to do about pharmacists who refuse to fill contraceptive prescriptions. She thinks that market forces can fix this problem; that, if women take their business elsewhere, it will force the corporations to force their pharmacists to shape up.

We can’t let the state be involved on either side. Like I said before, most businesses will realize it’s in their best interest to require their employees to sell birth control. Pissed off customers will go somewhere else, and for a lot more than just birth control. They will likely stop patronizing the business completely.

I’ve already said that I think this is unfair to women who don’t have the ability to go to other pharmacies, so I’m not going to rehash that again.

But as I was responding to her post, I realized that this hits me in such a personal way, that I ended up deleting half my post and deciding to address it here instead.

One thing that really bothers me about this debate is that there still is this unspoken assumption that pregnancy is the proper punishment for whores and so preventing pregnancy is somehow letting women off the hook. Why else would this be a big deal? Birth control prevents pregnancy. It doesn’t end pregnancy; it prevents it. In the pharmacies I’ve been in, the pharmacist can ring you up, right at the counter. Do these “religious” pharmacists refuse to sell condoms? If someone hands them a box, do they lecture that person and put the box behind the counter, so that he can’t have it?

No. Because this isn’t simply about preventing pregnancy. This is about making sure that women “suffer” the consequences of their actions. That they are properly punished for being sexual with pregnancies.

I hope that those pharmacists’ consciences are plenty soothed, fuckers.

I swear to god, these “Christians” make me sick. I can’t see Janet Jackson’s tit on my TV for one second without having to endure two fucking years of “Won’t somebody please think of the children?” But apparently we only have to think of the children when it doesn’t get in the way of our zeal for punishing whores.

Yeah, I’m on to you, motherfuckers. How many times in this whole debate have you heard one person talking about the children? Seriously, think about how weird this is: we’re having a discussion about some folks’ “right” to refuse to sell other folks birth control. But, except for loose, vague, terms like “unwanted pregnancy,” no one is talking specifically about kids being born to moms who don’t, at that moment, want kids.

Fuck, this is just what I was talking about. Both anti-feminists and feminists think that women are more moral than men. Everyone’s all busy fighting about the moral implications of birth control and the denial thereof, but no one is talking abut the implications of the births of those kids, because we all just assume that motherhood is the salvation of all women. Even women who’ve “fallen” from their superior moral position can return to being more moral than men through the transforming glory of motherhood.

So, in this world-view, only pregnancy is a “problem” or “punishment”–the kid is the agent of complete fulfillment.

As you all are at least vaguely aware, I have a couple of nephews. They have the same dad, my recalcitrant brother, and two different moms. My oldest nephew’s mom never married my brother and my youngest nephew’s mom refuses to un-marry him.

Neither pregnancy was planned, in the conventional sense–though I’m convinced that the second nephew is a result of my brother and sister-in-law’s most desperate attempt to keep my mom from kicking them out of my parents’ house.

Though the three of them, brother, sister-in-law, nephew’s mother, were all heavily involved with buying, selling, transporting, and using drugs, though they all had sex outside of the confines of marriage, though they “sinned” in all kinds of spectacular and fun ways without giving their god’s wishes a second thought, when each of the girls got pregnant, each of them decided that she should continue the pregnancy and keep the child, because that’s what her god wanted.

Last Christmas, my oldest nephew watched his mom’s new boyfriend beat the shit out of her and put her in the hospital. He’s shuffled between my brother and his grandparents’ and his mom when they all meet up at a gas station and hand him off. Last I heard, he was living in a hotel room in rural Georgia with his mom and that same boyfriend.

My youngest nephew showed up at my parents’ house this last time with a cigarette burn in the middle of his forehead. His mom claimed she didn’t know how he got it. The worst part is that she probably doesn’t. She dumps him with people for days at a time while she’s out drugging it up. She often doesn’t remember where she left him. When she resurfaces, she hands him off to my brother, who hands him off to my parents (because, when it comes to his kids, he’s a worthless fuck), who buy him clothes and heal his ear infections and try to patch him back together.

Anyone who thinks that this, this pile of stinking rotting filth my nephews have to deal with, that they have to try to live through–and not just my nephews, but a lot of kids who deserve good lives and loving parents, who deserve better than the shit this world makes them eat day after day–is acceptable, that, because it’s “life,” it’s a better and more moral outcome than a woman popping a pill once a day or a man sliding on a condom, or even a woman having an abortion, anyone who thinks that has one deeply fucked-up moral compass.

No, every unintended pregnancy does not result in miserable children. I don’t mean to suggest that. A lot of women have kids they weren’t planning on, and it ends up being a great thing for them and their kids.

But denying women contraception, in effect forcing them to have children, is playing a terrible game of chance with those kids.

So, I find it awfully funny that these pharmacists cannot, in good conscience, fill these prescriptions because they may some day have to answer to their great invisible dad (who, coincidently, warned them about hurting kids), but that their consciences seem unbothered by the real-time consequences of their decisions.

The Weird Eye Hair

Sometimes, I get this weird, clear, brittle hair that grows out of my bottom right eyelid. Often, I don’t notice it until it’s about six inches long. That must be pretty damn gross for people who see me every day and yet no one has mentioned it. I pull it out when I notice it, but, obviously, if it can hang down my face and curl up over my cheek before it bothers me, I’m not the best judge of how it comes across aesthetically.

Anyway, the other day I caught it when it was just an inch or so long and yanked it out, and I felt like I’d achieved some great victory over my body.

But it does have me a little freaked out that I might be growing quite a few weird, clear, very long, brittle hairs from some place I never see–say my back or my butt.