Sex and Quinoa

25 Aug

The other day my boyfriend and I were in Chapters to pick up a sex book. We found one that we both liked and on the way out, I saw a cookbook with recipes for quinoa, a grain we’ve recently discovered and loved. So we head to the check out with a big pink book titled Sex: How to do Everything, and Quinoa 365: The Everyday Superfood. As we are leaving the bookstore, my boyfriend comments about how jealous the checkout guy must have been because my boyfriend just bought a sex book and a cookbook with his girlfriend, so clearly I am awesome.

In this sex book (which is really awesome) we read that the clitoris is the only organ in the human body, male or female, with the sole purpose of sexual pleasure. I found this really fascinating and, of course, it got the wheels in my head spinning. Here we have women with the only organ in a human being that is meant solely to make sex feel good. And yet, many antis believe that motherhood should be the punishment for having sex. How is it that women can have this awesome sex organ that makes us want to have sex, and yet the consequence is motherhood? I have a friend who told me this to my face: if I were to get pregnant in my monogamous relationship, even though I am on birth control, I should have to have the child; sex is for procreation so abortion should not be an option in such a case. The fact that a child would derail the career I’ve been working towards for 15 years is irrelevant. I know the “risks” of having sex, so I should have to live with the consequences. I feel like reconciling this awesome fact of nature with this human moral “risk” is easy, but in the U.S., the fact of nature has no bearing when anti-choice abortion laws are enacted.

One thing that I didn’t bring up to my friend, though I was tempted to, was her daughters. I wanted to ask her if she would deny her young daughters an abortion (or wish for them to be denied one) because they had consensual sex. This type of attitude bothers me quite a bit. I tried to impress upon her that she was imposing her values on other women. Her response was it was just her opinion and since it would never actually affect another woman, it didn’t matter. I suppose she isn’t wrong, but the attitude still bothers me. I know that if I were to need an abortion, I could go to my mother, no matter “how” I became pregnant. I worry that her daughters would not feel that they would have that same luxury. I hope to be a strong feminist role model in their world, and if I am the person they come to in such a situation, I will gladly be there; but their mother should be as well.

I am not sure which kind of anti I dislike more, ones like my friend, or ones like Sharron Angle. I suppose at least Angle is consistent in her imposition of her morals, but is it better to impose a narrow subset of your morals on others rather than all your morals? In my case it doesn’t matter. My boyfriend is pro-choice and would want me to come to him if I were to get pregnant; he knows that it is half his responsibility. We have already made use of the sex book, and tonight I will be making quinoa and goat cheese stuffed chicken breast knowing that I will never be punished with motherhood for having sex. It still makes me wonder how people can impose their morals on me and not understand that it is wrong. Has anybody dealt with similar anti friends? Were you able to help them change their mind?


5 Responses to “Sex and Quinoa”

  1. TiG August 26, 2010 at 12:11 pm #

    My mother had that idea – that if you get pregnant then you “made your bed now lie in it.” I always got the idea that she saw motherhood as a punishment. Consequently, I never felt like a wanted child. Quite the opposite in fact! Everyone suffers from these kinds of ideas about motherhood and pregnancy. Abortion was barely legal (spring of 73) when I was conceived. I’m glad I’m alive, I guess, but maybe it would have been a better life for my mother if she had just aborted. I’m sure she’d have been a lot happier.

  2. Not Guilty August 26, 2010 at 2:45 pm #

    It is unfortunate that you’ve always felt that way. That is one of the best reasons against using motherhood as punishment for sex; it is totally unfair to the child! What about the children who are physically abused because they were unwanted? Ya super, they are alive, but what kind of life is that? It’s difficult to argue with people who believe that motherhood should be the consequence/punishment for sex. I find their brand of unreasonableness particularly infuriating. I am glad you are pro-choice, even though you might have been the unwanted pregnancy that was aborted!

  3. Megan August 26, 2010 at 4:37 pm #

    Similar to TiG pointed out, what also really bothers me about the idea of children as punishment for sex is that I don’t feel we should be bringing unwanted children into the world for the sole purpose of punishing others. That just seems so assbackwards and with complete disregard for the well-being of the children involved. And it’s funny, because these are the same people using the ploys of acting as though they care about these children’s lives being spared. For what? To be used as punishment for someone else.


  4. Shayna August 27, 2010 at 9:36 am #

    One of my college room mates was a very nice, very smart, and very conservative daughter-of-a-minister…who was also very anti-choice. Until she met me and I stared at her in shock, asking “So, you really think that having a baby should be a punishment?” I think that threw things into a bit of perspective – because no, she really was not a monster, and did not think that babies should be some sort of punishment… I think you have to keep patiently, rationally, slowly, digging away at the many “buts” anti-choice people have… things like “but you had unprotected sex” (not necessarily true), “but you could give it up for adoption” (but what about the 9 months as a de facto incubator?), etc.

  5. Not Guilty August 27, 2010 at 9:47 am #

    I think part of the problem is that many antis think that babies are a blessing, etc, and they have a hard time fathoming that a baby might be unwanted. It is the inability to put themselves into the shoes of a woman who doesn’t want a baby that makes many of them antis – until they or somebody they know finds themselves with an unwanted pregnancy. As a general rule, I do not associate with known antis. With respect to my friend, I avoid the topic because it upsets me.

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