I just love this picture. It shows just how insidious secrets can be. I also love the article it accompanies about STD's and Infertility.
We get a lot of very nasty comments from the general public, as well as those who have a stake in our criminalization, about taking the "responsibility" for the loss of our children to adoption. You've heard them all, I assume..."you didn't have to spread your legs," "you could have said no (what about rape?)," "no one held a gun to your head (they might as well have)," etc., ad infinitum! Well guess what? A lot of infertile people, who think they are more deserving of our children than us bad, old, unwed mommies didn't keep their knickers on and their chinos zipped, either! GASP!
It has long been known, by the medical community, that STD's, along with bad lifestyle choices such as smoking, obesity, prior drug use, etc., account for an appreciable number of infertility cases. Rather than a bundle of joy, these unfortunates received inability to produce those little swimmers, scarred and impassable fallopian tubes and other such goodies for their early sexual activities. Who is holding THEM responsible? On a personal note, I know one contemporary of mine, now the wife of a dentist, who was always raring to go when the boys suggested a trip to lover's lane. Yes, she adopted. Now I am saying, "Hmmmmmmm?"
Don't get me wrong. I do know that there are some infertile people who just were struck by lightening and are not responsible for their infertility. There are also many of us who were raped, molested and intimidated by older men or used by inconstant lovers and were not solely responsible for the results of those actions. For many of us, it was a matter of loving, not wisely but too well, believing in our beloved's constancy ('coff, coff') and being young and impulsive. This has been happening since the beginning of recorded history. Those that didn't get pregnant were the "lucky" ones, I thought. Well, looks like old Mr. Chlamydia might have had something to say about that along with The Great Applauder (clap).
The assumed sainthood of the infertile adopter grates on my sensibilities. Being called a slut and a tramp when you are nothing but a disillusioned and frightened girl who has values just like everyone else, can make you a bit resentful of the secrets and lies that put us in that position. We weren't sluts...we were PREGNANT..a perfectly natural condition for healthy, young women. Now, if I can get this straight, a girl can get pregnant in a committed (on her part, anyway) relationship with ONE partner. But contracting an STD usually occurs when the activity, on the part of one or both, has included MANY partners. Now who's a slut? Hey...just postulating, that's all.
In any event, I doubt that adopters who fit into this category will ever come clean (yuk, yuk) about it. I just think this knowledge gives us all a good, object lesson about judging, name-calling and assumptions. Before anyone else jumps, when they see a natural mother, to the conclusion that she was loose and immoral, remember these medically documented facts and think about it. It would be just as wrong to assume that we were sluts as it would be to label every adopter as an STD carrier.
What goes around.........
07/08/2009 *As a good friend pointed out in the "comments" section, I neglected another leading cause of infertility which is delayed childbearing. In the battle to "have it all," many women put off having children until they had/have attained some vision of what they consider success. The thing that chaps my bootie on this one is that these women then turn and predate on their sisters, using the desperation that comes when a woman has no other choice than to surrender their child against them. So, what I have learned from this is that childbearing is for the young and that the sisterhood of feminists flies out the window when it comes to the old "give me a child lest I die" syndrome. This is one HUGE women's issue that is ignored by NOW and anyone else who would be an advocate for the rights of all women.