Saturday, February 24, 2007

A.S Byatt on Contraception

My attention is drawn to the bravery of the challengingly named Enoch Kibunguchy, who apparently wants to take on the wolves on Kenyan women's behalf:
Assistant minister wants Abortion Legalised

A.S Byatt can be hard to read, but her latest on contraception (and by implication abortion) is perfect for Kenya: "... the Church's interference in processes he wanted to believe were human and natural. (That included contraception. Human beings were not animals. They cared for children for perhaps a third of the normal human life. They needed to have the number of children they could decently and responsibly care for. Their sexual desires were unfortunately not periodic in the way of cows and bitches. Women were perpetually on heat unless, as in the case of his wife, the heat had been turned off. It followed that contraception was natural.)" - A.S Byatt, Little Black Book of Stories.

I agreed with this strongly, although I doubt that it will get a rational audience in Kenya. Kenyan men have too great a stake in keeping women cowed about abortion, and I have a theory about why. It relieves them of responsibility, and releases them from the dire threat of natural selection. It means that the most carelessly sown seed has a chance to become a baby, because it will be someone else's burden. As long as the anti-abortion brainwashing goes on, then the pregnant girl will hesitate over it long enough to make it too late; and a man is successfully launched on a career of fatherhood which will include turning up occasionally to beat some money out of their baby mothers, and maybe attending a graduation if one of their offspring gets so far. What easier method of reproduction could there be?

If abortion were an option for most women, men would have to behave a whole lot better if they hoped to reproduce at all.

This is such a misuse of the Church, such a missed opportunity. If ever any act needed a sacrament to support one through it, then that act is the decision to have an abortion. I used to think of it as a bitter joke, the saying that if men could get pregnant abortion would be a sacrament. But it's true.

It's a such a huge thing someone's asking of you, the chance to be born; the decision to turn them down is so difficult. At very few other points in life is one so in need of moral support, and at every other such point a ceremony is available to reflect the seriousness of your undertaking. Baptism. Death. Marriage. Why the savage trivialisation of Termination? It would be understandable in the aftermath of a holocaust when Earth was desperately trying to rebuild population - but today! When we have the opposite problem! Money and effort is thrown into IVF, which is surely counter to the current needs of the planet, in recognition of the fierce human need for it. We need more women to get more power, so the world must recognise that everyone's needs should be met.

Girls - go out and get rich and powerful.

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At Saturday, February 24, 2007 , Blogger mama shady said...

hmmm, i think the problem with the world todsy is everyone wants to be right. people confuse needs with wants and theres no way aroudn the tension that will arise because of this. personally, i dont believe that abortion is a need for any woman. yup, i know you disagree. i also dont think men will be any less reckless if women have the power to abort. chics are aborting left, right and centre already and the men know it. it hasnt changed anything.or has it?many dont give a second thought about their seed, and if abortion is legalised they wont even give it one thought.but then again , it takes two to tango. most of the time anyway.

At Saturday, February 24, 2007 , Blogger Acolyte said...

I for one think that the main obstacle to legal abortion in Kenya is the church and other traditionalists (male and female).
I think it would be logical for men to support abortion and I think many of them do. Why? It relieves them of responsibility absolutely. I mean many men are still pestered by the mothers of the children they tried to abandon on a regular basis and the number of cases in family court in Kenya has been rising slowly and a the Act that deals with such issues (Children's Act) is being challenged by women legislators in Kenya. I think more men than you think support abortion as a means of birth control because come to think of it dont you think that many abortions in KEnya are funded by the girl's boyfriends?
Yes I know that makes it that men support abortion for all the wrong reasons but the fact is that quite a few of them esp those who arent part and parcel of the church actually do, but me thinks they arent too vocal about it.


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