So, my dad seems to think that Ross Douthat has acceptable opinions on anything at all, which means sometimes I READ Ross Douthat, which is not good for my blood pressure, at all. And then I came across this while reading a piece ABOUT Ross Douthat, and now I’m just f-ing fed up.
Yes, people, it is the fault of THE PILL that women are waiting until they are in their forties to have children and then finding out they are infertile. If we just didn’t have THE PILL, then they could get accidentally knocked up at 20 when their boyfriend failed to pull out in time, and hopefully their boyfriends would “do the right thing” and marry them so they didn’t have to have the baby (gasp!) out of wedlock! And that always worked out AWESOMELY for everyone involved. Right?
Isn’t it true that most women put off having children because they want to grow their careers? And career-growing is still – and increasingly so – an anti-family sort of project, because corporate America remains – and becomes increasingly so – anti-family? I mean, what do I know, I have two useless Masters degrees and no career and a two-year-old before I’m thirty, so I haven’t had to deal with this shit, but isn’t that at the heart of this issue and not THE PILL? I know I seem to be drifting farther and farther to the left as I age, so that pretty soon I am going to be a card-carrying commie, but when, WHEN, will we call corporate culture on its bullshit and start demanding a reasonable work-life balance?
I have to admit, it was a bit of a shock when I started getting non-Pill periods. I think being on the Pill did keep me out of touch with my body a little, because I went on it when I was eighteen, and went off it in order to get pregnant when I was twenty-six, and I’m not going on it again (although apparently I am in the minority among still-menstruating moms – I had to send away to England for a diaphragm because they were unavailable over here), and then I breastfed for two years so I didn’t get my “real” period for a while and when it came . . . wow, did it suck. I had forgotten how much it f-ing sucks.
But I wasn’t under the delusion that I could get pregnant at forty just because I was on it. That’s sort of ridiculous. And plenty of people who are not characters from Sex and the City need the Pill. Like people who have kids and don’t want to get pregnant again right away and don’t want to go non-chemical in their methodology, like I did. And maybe if the U.S. had better support systems for families, like single-payer health insurance for everyone under the age of 18, and expectant mothers, and subsidized day care, and had decent school systems everywhere, and college costs that weren’t ballooning out of control because no one wants to put their kids in dorms that look like barracks anymore for some reason, people wouldn’t have to wait until they were super-financially secure to have children and therefore wouldn’t have to wait until they were infertile to start having kids.
I’m not even going to get into the Ross Douthat right now. It’s not even like I think he’s exactly wrong. It’s just that he’s so condescending in his language. And so . . . emotional. None of his arguments seem to rest on reason or intellect; they’re all “But don’t you FEEL like we should love babies some more?” (Or heterosexual marriages, or tea partyers who hate Muslims.) I just can’t stand him.