Tuesday, October 2, 2012

"Ain't I A Woman?"


Something I heard on libradio recently reminded me of something I thought about a while back and might have mentioned in a previous blog. There's long been this whole issue of "teenage pregnancy" and girls giving birth at a young age. People and organizations are constantly pushing abstinence, latex condoms, and "safe sex" for young girls throughout their teen years. However, when they hit 20 and are no longer teens, no one comes to them and says, "Ok, you're now out of the teen pregnancy statistic zone. You can start making babies." Therefore, in essence, the whole push to prevent teenage pregnancy has the potential to become a lifelong phenomenon where the girl, as she grows into a woman, never realizes that it's "ok" to have a baby.
I can relate this to my own life. Here I am at 25 and I still feel like I'm too young to have a baby. When I was a teenager, so much fear was instilled in me when it came to getting pregnant, and when I was out of the teen zone, that fear never went away. When I turned 20, no one ever came to me with the same determination and concern that they had when I was young and encouraged me to start having babies.
As a teen I saw one of my close cousins get pregnant at the age of 16 and heard how everyone was all over her case about it. One of my good friends got pregnant at 14 and I heard everyone in church tear her down. One of my "play cousins" who was a lead singer in the church choir also got pregnant at 14, and I heard everyone talk down about her and her parents. My dad gave me a lecture when one of my cousins on that side of the family got pregnant. And the killing part about it is that she was no longer a teen. But since I was still a teen at that time, he wanted to let me know that I'd better not come up pregnant (funny, cause at that time I was a major tomboy and could care less about doing the do.) My mom had me at 17 and I know how hard she had it. And it goes on and on. All this coupled with all the "well-meaning" commercials and lectures from random people resulted in me having a literal fear of pregnancy. And I can honestly say that at 25 it hasn't completely vanished.

All this is not to say that I'm ready to have children. I know I'm not ready right at this moment, but some day I would like to have some little ones. Or maybe a little one. :-) But it's absolutely insane to me how I still carry part of that same mentality regarding pregnancy (for myself) that I did when I was a teen. The other day a lady approached me with some pamphlets that she wanted me to read. One was concerning "ethnic integration" or something like that and the other was concerning raising a family. Well, when she went to give me the one about family, she said, "Well, you're too young to have children, but I'll give it to you anyway." Now I know that sometimes I have a tendency to appear younger than I am (and often feel like I'm about 10), and I'm sure the woman meant no harm by the comment, but it just made me think about this whole thing all over again. It's like, at that moment when she made the comment, I reverted back to when I was 15 and thought, "I am too young to have a baby." It's brainwashing for life, I tell you!!

Now anyone who listens to libradio knows that keidi speaks on the subject of population control and eugenics to a great extent. The day that this whole teen pregnancy issue was being discussed he was relating it to the eugenics movement, basically saying that the fertility of black women in the US and other countries was not and has not been something that's necessarily been promoted or supported. Rather, there has been and apparently still is a deliberate movement to prevent the increase of the black population (Planned Parenthood, Margaret Sanger, etc.)

I'm not gonna get into that whole discussion right now, but I can say that if young black girls have the same fear towards pregnancy that I did when I was their age and carry it over into their latter years, then we might have a problem.

I'm glad to say that my views toward "teen pregnancy" aren't the same as they were when I was a teen…back when, in my mind, it was synonymous with the plague. Yet, as a woman in my mid 20's (eeek!) I still need to release some of those mental shackles where *me giving birth* is concerned.

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