Friday, June 09, 2006

No Such Thing As Accidental Pregnancy?

I'm sure this letter is familiar to all women, as apparently, we write similar ones whenever we want to have sex.

Today I took part in a discussion about whether or not pregnancy can be accidental. I found it irritating and rather surprising that numerous people said that no, pregnancy cannot be accidental because women know they can get pregnant when they have sex.

This is quite the nonsensical and sexist belief.

What these people are trying to impart is that if a woman knows that consequence B can happen from decision A, than consequence B could not be an accident.

Now, let's apply this logic to something other than the magical sex act (which changes everything in patriarchy land, and if you need an example, check this out.).

I am a woman, and I have my driver's license. I wake up every morning at 9 A.M. to go to my college algebra class, which means I need to use my car and driver's license to get me there. Thus, I make the conscious decision to drive. I do this knowing full well that I am merely in control of what I am doing, so I very well could get blindsided or even make a slip-up of my own. Now, let's say on my way there, a light changes from red to green for my lane, so I continue on driving. However, I am sadly ignorant of the fact that another car is hurtling toward me with no intent on stopping at the red light they have. So, I end up T-boned in the intersection.

According to crazy ass everything is a woman's fault logic, my accident would have been my fault because I made the decision to drive in the first place. Which, as we all know, is why we call car crashes "on purposes".

Not convinced yet? Let's try a heavier topic.

I am 5 feet 5 inches tall and rather slight in stature. I am quite the weakling, to be honest. Let's say I wake up at 4:30 in the morning and think "Hmm. I'm hungry for Krispy Kreme donuts. I think I'll walk to the gas station up the road that carries them." So, I put my hair in a ponytail, slip on some sweats and slides, and get to walking. So, I have just made the conscious decision to walk all alone, in lose clothing, with my hair up, with my weakling body, without any pepper spray or protection at all, in the very early morning, to the gas station down the street. Now, I do this knowing full well that anyone could jump out and attack me and possibly rape me. I mean, I am a woman and not very strong at all, and therefore probably an easy target at any time. So, let's say that such a thing does happen.

According to crazy everything is a woman's fault logic, it would be my fault that I was beaten and raped. Why? Because consent to action A always equals consent to action B. Which is why it's okay to blame pregnancy on women.

So, as I said before, quite nonsensical and quite sexist. This kind of belief is so obviously rooted in patriarchy. A man could have nothing to do with an accident that only involves a woman's body! The hussy should have known what would have happened and been able to control her fertility by asking her ovaries nicely not to release an egg because manly man sperm was hangin' out in it's newly conquered territory!

And so, the letter comes in. Get to writing sluts, because if you choose to partake in an action, your ass is responsible for any and every reaction! So get ready!

Aaaaand I'm spent.

5 comments:

Steve said...

*ding* *ding* *ding*

...AND the Winnnnner and still lightweight champion of the blogs, Megan!

I'm with you on this one.

Arynne said...

I think the argument is not at all about pregnancy being an accident at all. Fault is what comes into play. You're argument is extremely compelling: well thought out, well written, etc. BUT, you fail to take into consideration the fact that just because the outcome qualifies as an accident, that doesn't relieve the decision makers of fault. So, if a man and a woman decide to "bump ugly" (my favorite euphanism for sex, by the way), than if they get pregnant (and, yes, I say they, if a woman becomes pregnant, than the man should think of himself as such) than they are at fault. That doesn't make it less of an accident, it just means that they should take all the responsibility. And, I'm not saying you believe they should skive off (I just got finished reading Harry Potter 6, again) their responsiblities, I'm just thought that this was a point worth making. Oh, and you know I almost always totally agree with you on issues (this happening to be one of them).

Megan said...

Arynne dearest,

I think you missed my point a little bit. Consent to action A does not automaticaly equal consent or responsibility for reaction B. If that were true, then I would be responsible for any and every car accident I ever got into just because I consented to action A, which was driving in the first place. Pregnancy and a woman's fertility is not something she can easily control. She can never fully control it, as no form of birth control is 100% effective (even a tubal ligation has a 0.04% failure rate) just like a person driving, no matter how many safety precautions they take (seatbelts, frequent brake-checks, defensive driving techniques, etc.) cannot control whether or not someone sideswipes them on the highway. So therefore, when you are dealing with reactions that cannot be controlled by person C who first consented to action A and thus fell victim to reaction B, responsibility really cannot be placed as easily as one might think. Consent to an action does not automatically equal responsibility. Now, that it not to say that two people who choose to have sex are not responsible for any consequences that might arise, but it most certainly would not be because they chose to have sex in the first place, because such a claim is illogical. So, if you want to say that two people who "become pregnant" (Hate that phrase, men don't become pregnant whether they think of themselves that way or not. They can think that all they want, they're still not the one carrying eight pounds of fetus, peeing every two seconds, having sore ankles and backs, risking gestational diabetes, preeclampsia, eclampsia, having sore boobs, violent mood swings, DVT, hemorrhoids, morning sickness [which can cause dehydration so bad that the woman needs hospitalization, BTW], weak cervix [which leaves a woman bed-ridden and with a stitched up cervix, the labor pains, a possible need for an emergency c-section requiring lots of recovery and which is much more dangerous than a vaginal delivery, etc. If you need more examples of my men don't get pregnant, I'll gladly provide them.), do so for reasons other than "because they chose to have sex". It's a nonsensical explanation and a cop-out. Not saying you're necessarily advocating it, but your argument fails to note the actual point of mine, and that is that fault is not determined by one's consent to an action that has many uncontrollable reactions, necessarily. When we talk about car wrecks, we don't determine that it was everybody's fault for deciding to drive, the person who made the mistake and initiated the crash is at fault. Therefore, I don't think you entirely took in all of the aspects of my analogy.

But by all means, if you disagree, continue arguing. Honestly, I'd like to cement this theory even further into my brain, if possible. :)

Arynne said...

I said they become pregnant to imply that they both should take the responsibility. Male pregnancy, as you have pointed out, can obviously not happen in the physical sense. I do understand, and agree with you, that consent to action A does not qualify as consent to action B, but that does not relieve responsibility of the said consenter. The analogy to the car accident, and even rape, is very loose, because the nature of driving a car, and walking to the store, is not meant to lead to a car accident, or a rape. Sex, however, is meant to lead to pregnancy. Not in a biblical sense, although some believe this, but in a scientific sense. Both the male and female orgasm, the pleasurable part of sex, lead to pregancy. The male orgasm obviously expels semen, and the female orgasm helps to draw semen into the uterus. Sex has a conclusive outcome. The question of control has nothing to do with it. As long as there is knowledge of conclusive action B, then said consenter is responsible. In fact, taking safety precautions to prevent action B, further proves knowledge of action B (and may I also add, is a form of taking responsibility). This, in no way, makes action B less of an accident. And, I don't believe that it does.

Megan said...

I said they become pregnant to imply that they both should take the responsibility.

They can both take responsibility without the implication that the males experience is even remotely the same. Saying "They got pregnant" is doing just that. He did not get pregnant.

Male pregnancy, as you have pointed out, can obviously not happen in the physical sense. I do understand, and agree with you, that consent to action A does not qualify as consent to action B, but that does not relieve responsibility of the said consenter.

I never said it did. I simply said that applying such logic to say that the consenter is responsible and thus action B is "planned" or "not accidental" is nonsensical.

The analogy to the car accident, and even rape, is very loose, because the nature of driving a car, and walking to the store, is not meant to lead to a car accident, or a rape.

The nature of driving a car is to go somewhere. That place could be a wall or another car. The place is not specified in the owner's manual, but I haven't checked in a while. The same with walking. You walk to get someplace. Whether or not anything happens to you on the way there is not specified, but we all know that it is a possibility with both situations.

Sex, however, is meant to lead to pregnancy.
Which of course, is why women have a clitoris which is meant only for pleasure. Not buyin' it.

Not in a biblical sense, although some believe this, but in a scientific sense.

I think you'd have a hard time proving this scientifically, as it's a societal and philosophical question more than a scientific one. Science only proves that both reproduction and pleasure are derived from sex, not which one it is "meant for".

Both the male and female orgasm, the pleasurable part of sex, lead to pregancy.

I would say that's incorrect. If that were true, then wouldn't women get pregnant if they ever masturbated and gave themselves an orgasm? Or, would pregnancy not be a possibility if the woman didn't orgasm during sex? Or if the male didn't? We both know this is untrue, otherwise the pull and pray method would be a 100% form of birth control.

The male orgasm obviously expels semen, and the female orgasm helps to draw semen into the uterus.

However, a woman can orgasm without a penis anywhere near her vulva. What would the point of that be? There's no possible pregnancy there. . .

Sex has a conclusive outcome.

Which would be what? Pregnancy? I wouldn't say that as though it is fact. If that were true, I don't see how we aren't swimming in a sea of babies.

The question of control has nothing to do with it. As long as there is knowledge of conclusive action B, then said consenter is responsible.

I plan on volunteering at Planned Parenthood when I'm at USF, you know. And, having been adamantly pro-choice for going on three years now, I know very well the amount of clinic violence that goes on at every clinic. I know that if I colunteer at a clinic, then conclusive action B for me could very well be getting shot, mugged, raped, blown up, stalked, murdered, stabbed, harrassed, etc.

So, by your logic, because I had knowledge of these things before they happened and I chose to consent to my action of volunteering anyway, that if I were murdered, the murderer should get away because I am responsible for it. Does that seem correct to you?

In fact, taking safety precautions to prevent action B, further proves knowledge of action B (and may I also add, is a form of taking responsibility).

Then hell, I guess I better NOT get my ass any pepper spray for when I volunteer at PP!

This, in no way, makes action B less of an accident. And, I don't believe that it does.

I don't believe that it makes a woman or man responsible for it either, necessarily. The woman knows that having sex could get her pregnant, but she does not have the ability to control her fertility to ensure that not to happen. Therefore, she does not know whether or not her fertility will cause her to get pregnant. Just like I don't know whether my chosen feminist work WILL get me murdered, but I certainly know it's a possibility. If I am murdered, it is not "my fault", and if I have sex and get pregnant, it's not "my fault" either by the same token.