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Questions for Men and Women

 

Why do so many women and men treat woman’s fertility as a sickness? Why do so many (oh, so many) people ask a person who is pregnant if she or her husband are planning to get “fixed” after the birth of the expected child, as though her fertility is a sign something is broken?

Why are so many ob/gyn offices festooned with posters, pencils, pens, mugs, clipboards, paperweights, lights, boxes, calendars, and charts manufactured by companies that make contraceptive pharmaceuticals?

Why does Planned Parenthood have the right in many school districts to have “educators” teaching students as young as kindergarten what sex is like using stuffed toys? Why do federal regulations require that minors are allowed to be given contraception without their parents’ consent through Title X funding?

Why was abortion the leading cause of death in the world last year?

Aren’t these things related?

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There are 112 comments.

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  1. Thatcher

    And she’s not called “MAMA” Toad for nothing! The answer is “progressives” control the bureaucracy and the education system. They have won the culture wars.

    • #1
    • April 4, 2019 at 3:46 pm
    • 6 likes
  2. Member

    Related, yes.

    • #2
    • April 4, 2019 at 3:47 pm
    • 5 likes
  3. Member

    The things they expose children to without the knowledge or consent of parents make my blood boil. They’re oh-so-excruciatingly aware of “violence” that they suspend a little boy for chewing his poptart into the shape of a six-shooter, but see nothing wrong with having lesbians read “Heather Has Two Mommies” to 7-year-olds.

    • #3
    • April 4, 2019 at 3:51 pm
    • 12 likes
  4. Member
    CB Toder aka Mama Toad Post author

    Saint Augustine (View Comment):

    Related, yes.

    Related, yes, but not the cause, is that what you mean with your qualified agreement?

    I think it is the cause. I wrote about it in an essay for the Human Life Review titled “Prevention First?” (it starts on p. 72 of the issue).

    • #4
    • April 4, 2019 at 4:30 pm
    • 4 likes
  5. Member
    CB Toder aka Mama Toad Post author

    I volunteered to post on the month’s topic, thinking that I knew what I wanted to say. As I was writing it, I kept thinking about @cliffordbrown‘s suggestion in the OP on this month’s topic to ask questions, and realized I wanted to know what other people think. So asking questions is what I did…

    • #5
    • April 4, 2019 at 4:36 pm
    • 8 likes
  6. Member

    CB Toder aka Mama Toad (View Comment):

    Saint Augustine (View Comment):

    Related, yes.

    Related, yes, but not the cause, is that what you mean with your qualified agreement?

    I think it is the cause.

    It wasn’t a qualification–just a specification to what question I was answering. (I think all the other questions were “why” questions, but I still felt like specifying.)

    Yes, they’re related. One of the best words for this stuff is “ecology”; it’s all interconnected. Yes, I think there’s causality here, although it’s probably complicated and goes in all directions and there may be various other causes.

    • #6
    • April 4, 2019 at 5:03 pm
    • 4 likes
  7. Member

    CB Toder aka Mama Toad (View Comment):

    I volunteered to post on the month’s topic, thinking that I knew what I wanted to say. As I was writing it, I kept thinking about @cliffordbrown‘s suggestion in the OP on this month’s topic to ask questions, and realized I wanted to know what other people think. So asking questions is what I did…

    I agree. The terrible effects on the family started with (Christian) acceptance of contraception — with the mindset that couples’ fertility was a health condition to be managed. That’s how childbearing and rearing became separated from marriage, making intrinsically infertile couples (same-sex) just as entitled to marriage as anyone else.

    Now we’re at the point people view the unborn child as a parasite. This cannot end well.

    • #7
    • April 4, 2019 at 5:10 pm
    • 5 likes
  8. Member

    Does illegal immigration factor into this topic? Now that we have managed to create a country that reduces reproduction has the importation of new people who are more than happy to reproduce on our dime become more necessary? I haven ‘t thought this out very well but there seems to be link.

     

    • #8
    • April 4, 2019 at 5:19 pm
    • 4 likes
  9. Contributor

    Well, I suggested posts that would ask questions. @cbtoderakamamatoad certainly has come through, so let’s see if the April comments bloom.


    This conversation is part of our Group Writing Series under the April 2019 Group Writing Theme: Men and Women. There are plenty of dates still available. Tell us about your favorite couple, witty or tragic observations between the sexes, or perhaps the battles and truces. Or do something entirely different. Maybe a musical or dance post! Our schedule and sign-up sheet awaits.

    May’s theme will be blossom midway through April’s showers.

    • #9
    • April 4, 2019 at 6:07 pm
    • 2 likes
  10. Member
    CB Toder aka Mama Toad Post author

    Sweezle (View Comment):

    Does illegal immigration factor into this topic? Now that we have managed to create a country that reduces reproduction has the importation of new people who are more than happy to reproduce on our dime become more necessary? I haven ‘t thought this out very well but there seems to be link.

     

    Cardinal Robert Sarah, who is the prefect of the Congregation for Divine Worship, commented last week in an interview with a French newspaper that he sees that migration is “a new form of slavery.” The British paper The Tablet also reported on it so you can read about it in English here.

    “It is better to help people flourish in their culture than to encourage them to come to a Europe in full decadence,” he said. “It is a false exegesis to use the word of God to promote migration. God never wanted these heartbreaks.”

    • #10
    • April 4, 2019 at 6:08 pm
    • 11 likes
  11. Member
    CB Toder aka Mama Toad Post author

    Men and women! We need to work together! Contraception drives us apart! Abortion kills our children! 

    • #11
    • April 4, 2019 at 6:17 pm
    • 8 likes
  12. Moderator

    CB Toder aka Mama Toad: Why do so many women and men treat woman’s fertility as a sickness?

    I know this is never the answer people really want to hear, because it’s not an answer that goes with the other answers, but many treat it that way because women feel sick during menstruation and pregnancy.

    Definitely not all women. And even those that do feel sick don’t have to be incapacitated by it, though some are. But we would consider diarrhea, which is painful and messy, a sickness, and it’s pretty common for menstrual pain and messiness to be comparable to diarrhea (and not exceptionally rare for it to be worse). And the “morning sickness” of pregnancy has sickness right in the name!

    People who are sick have a good reason for not functioning as well as most normal people function, and if their sickness isn’t mental, we expect there to be physical symptoms to (at least partly) explain their difficulty functioning. It’s not uncommon for pregnant or menstruating women to struggle to function as well as they would otherwise, and that struggle goes along with certain physical symptoms. That fits into the social category of physical illness.

    • #12
    • April 4, 2019 at 8:46 pm
    • 8 likes
  13. Thatcher

    Because there is no ROI on children and having them will destroy your life. So unless you are a responsible adult and understand the risks, cost and commitments, one should not have them.

    • #13
    • April 4, 2019 at 9:39 pm
    • 2 likes
  14. Member
    CB Toder aka Mama Toad Post author

    Fake John/Jane Galt (View Comment):

    Because there is no ROI on children and having them will destroy your life. So unless you are a responsible adult and understand the risks, cost and commitments, one should not have them.

    Return on investment! On children! 

    Thank you, FJ/JG for making the point so perfectly with this culture-of-death argument.

    Children will ruin your life! No one wants to punish someone (thank you president obama) with a pregnancy. Etc. etc.

    So many people agree with this death-cult thinking that we now require open borders to make up for the loss of population, right?

    • #14
    • April 5, 2019 at 1:44 am
    • 9 likes
  15. Member
    CB Toder aka Mama Toad Post author

    Midget Faded Rattlesnake (View Comment):

    CB Toder aka Mama Toad: Why do so many women and men treat woman’s fertility as a sickness?

    I know this is never the answer people really want to hear, because it’s not an answer that goes with the other answers, but many treat it that way because women feel sick during menstruation and pregnancy.

    I am aware of this fact. Through five of my six pregnancies I puked up until delivery. It was not morning sickness but all-day vomitousness.

    Midget Faded Rattlesnake (View Comment):
    It’s not uncommon for pregnant or menstruating women to struggle to function as well as they would otherwise, and that struggle goes along with certain physical symptoms. That fits into the social category of physical illness.

    I think “person with a physical illness” is a social category.

    A pregnant woman can be a person with a physical illness because of her pregnancy, such as high blood pressure or pre-eclampsia. She could have gestational diabetes.

    She could be perfectly healthy and simply very very exhausted because she is waddling along with forty extra pounds on her and her stomach muscles stretched out to there. I know this.

    I like people being kind to pregnant women because they are vulnerable.

    A healthy functioning fertility is different from endometriosis, or debilitating PMS. 

    Those are signs of sickness that may require medical care. 

    The vast majority of women who treat their fertility with drugs are either trying to turn it off (contraception) or to turn it on (infertility). 

    In contraception, healthy fertility is treated with contempt.

     

    • #15
    • April 5, 2019 at 2:00 am
    • 3 likes
  16. Thatcher

    RightAngles (View Comment):

    The things they expose children to without the knowledge or consent of parents make my blood boil. They’re oh-so-excruciatingly aware of “violence” that they suspend a little boy for chewing his poptart into the shape of a six-shooter, but see nothing wrong with having lesbians read “Heather Has Two Mommies” to 7-year-olds.

    Let me see if I get this right. Liberal schools will bring in Planned Parenthood to demonstrate sex with stuff animals to children, but prohibit the NRA from bringing in the Eddie Eagle program to teach kids about gun safety: “If you see a gun, stop. Don’t touch. Run away. Tell a grownup.”

    One program can save lives, the other can ruin lives by stealing the innocence of childhood.

    • #16
    • April 5, 2019 at 6:17 am
    • 6 likes
  17. Member

    Stad (View Comment):
    One program can save lives, the other can ruin lives by stealing the innocence of childhood.

    The Left ruins everything!
    You will know them by their fruits.

    • #17
    • April 5, 2019 at 6:56 am
    • 4 likes
  18. Thatcher

    CB Toder aka Mama Toad (View Comment):

    Fake John/Jane Galt (View Comment):

    Because there is no ROI on children and having them will destroy your life. So unless you are a responsible adult and understand the risks, cost and commitments, one should not have them.

    Return on investment! On children!

    Thank you, FJ/JG for making the point so perfectly with this culture-of-death argument.

    Children will ruin your life! No one wants to punish someone (thank you president obama) with a pregnancy. Etc. etc.

    So many people agree with this death-cult thinking that we now require open borders to make up for the loss of population, right?

    You do not view a 16 year old girl getting pregnant as a bad thing? A thing that will alter her future and change her life? A thing to be avoided until a bit older, smarter or well established?

    On the other hand I come from a class where teenage pregnancy is a goal. A way out of abusive homes and into government moneys and freedom. I just think it should be the goal.

    • #18
    • April 5, 2019 at 8:43 am
    • 2 likes
  19. Member
    CB Toder aka Mama Toad Post author

    Fake John/Jane Galt (View Comment):
    You do not view a 16 year old girl getting pregnant as a bad thing? A thing that will alter her future and change her life? A thing to be avoided until a bit older, smarter or well established?

    As I dislike negative questions, I shall pretend you asked the questions, Do you view a 16 year old girl getting pregnant as a bad thing? and answer that instead.

    I view a 16 year old girl having sex as a bad thing that will alter her future and change her life, and is a thing to be avoided until she is older, smarter, and married.

    • #19
    • April 5, 2019 at 8:52 am
    • 6 likes
  20. Moderator

    CB Toder aka Mama Toad (View Comment):

    Midget Faded Rattlesnake (View Comment):

    CB Toder aka Mama Toad: Why do so many women and men treat woman’s fertility as a sickness?

    I know this is never the answer people really want to hear, because it’s not an answer that goes with the other answers, but many treat it that way because women feel sick during menstruation and pregnancy.

    I am aware of this fact. Through five of my six pregnancies I puked up until delivery. It was not morning sickness but all-day vomitousness.

    I’m aware you’re aware of it, and it’s why I mentioned it. If anything other than pregnancy had caused that, would it be worth trying to describe that thing as not a sickness?

    Midget Faded Rattlesnake (View Comment):
    It’s not uncommon for pregnant or menstruating women to struggle to function as well as they would otherwise, and that struggle goes along with certain physical symptoms. That fits into the social category of physical illness.

    I think “person with a physical illness” is a social category.

    The “physical illness” category is a category for people, so I won’t quibble differences between the categories of “physical illness” and “person with a physical illness.”

    …A healthy functioning fertility is different from….

    … fertility that causes women to feel sick, for if we could only identify additional factors other the fertility itself causing the feelings of sickness, we could neatly separate those factors from fertility as such, and blame the factors, not the fertility. It’s important to find ways to keep fertility as such innocent.

    I get that. I just don’t think epistemology works that neatly. Or that theology does. Eve’s curse included a curse on her fertility — a curse so obvious women for generations have called the pains associated with fertility “Eve’s curse”. We are shapen in sin, in sin do our mothers conceive us. In an Edenic world, fertility may be pure blessing; in a fallen world, it’s a mixed blessing, and that blessing includes some curse.

    I was reading something by pastor Daniel Hill, a Willow Creek alum, lately, on the difference between triumphalism and lament. Triumphalism expects “success” and treats unresolved problems as a threat: under triumphalism, when suffering cannot be fixed, it’s very easy to “challenge the very premise of the suffering” — that is, explain the suffering away as not really existing, or, if it does exist, as being only incidental. For example, trying to explain away the suffering of female fertility as not being intrinsic to fertility, but surely having additional causes, if only we knew what they were.

    Many of us here know how limited medicine still can be in correctly identifying what causes symptoms. Often, medicine cannot really say why some women’s fertility causes them more symptoms than other women’s does. We can’t work with the knowledge we wish we had, only the knowledge we have — which is, as far as we know, that “fertility itself” can be a pretty painful curse for some women. That doesn’t mean it’s not also a blessing. Just that trying to separate the blessing from the curse, call the blessing “real fertility” and the curse “not really fertility” is pointless in many cases.

    Lament “sees suffering not as a problem to be solved but as a condition to be mourned”. I know people in this thread understand lament and suffering. I just believe heroic efforts to “keep fertility as such innocent” from the common curse of humanity has, as a logical consequence, a prohibition against lamenting the way fertility really is cursed in this fallen world. Hill adds that lament is what saves us from self-hatred and condemnation in the face of problems we haven’t solved. Ergo the absence of lament…

    If we taboo ourselves against lamenting fertility as such, will those of us who experience fertility as suffering turn to self-hatred and condemnation in order to “explain” the “suffering”? My sources say yes, though I suppose others’ mileage may vary.

    • #20
    • April 5, 2019 at 8:52 am
    • 2 likes
  21. Member
    CB Toder aka Mama Toad Post author

    Midget Faded Rattlesnake (View Comment):

    If we taboo ourselves against lamenting fertility as such, will those of us who experience fertility as suffering turn to self-hatred and condemnation in order to “explain” the “suffering”? My sources say yes, though I suppose others’ mileage may vary.

    Who is tabooing? Lament away.

    Just don’t expect me to stop trying to push the point of view that fertility is not a curse.

    Just because some people experience sex as painful does not mean it is not a gift. Just because some people have problems related with their fertility does not mean that fertility is a sickness.

    I disliked being asked if I plan to get fixed after I had my baby much more than I disliked puking morning noon and night for forty-five months.

    • #21
    • April 5, 2019 at 8:57 am
    • 5 likes
  22. Moderator

    CB Toder aka Mama Toad (View Comment):

    Midget Faded Rattlesnake (View Comment):

    If we taboo ourselves against lamenting fertility as such, will those of us who experience fertility as suffering turn to self-hatred and condemnation in order to “explain” the “suffering”? My sources say yes, though I suppose others’ mileage may vary.

    Who is tabooing? Lament away.

    Just don’t expect me to stop trying to push the point of view that fertility is not a curse.

    OK, you will push the POV that it’s not a curse. I will lament that it is a curse (in addition to being other things). Sounds like a plan!

    • #22
    • April 5, 2019 at 9:45 am
    • 1 like
  23. Podcaster

    I’ll make a run at the first couple of questions:

    Why do so many women and men treat woman’s fertility as a sickness? 

    It’s not a “sickness” but always a medical issue… even if there’s nothing wrong it will lead to visits to the doctor.

    Why do so many (oh, so many) people ask a person who is pregnant if she or her husband are planning to get “fixed” after the birth of the expected child, as though her fertility is a sign something is broken?

    People are nosy, that’s why. It’s the natural state of humanity.

    Why are so many ob/gyn offices festooned with posters, pencils, pens, mugs, clipboards, paperweights, lights, boxes, calendars, and charts manufactured by companies that make contraceptive pharmaceuticals?

    Because if the posters, pencils, pens, mugs, clipboards, paperweights, lights, boxes, calendars, and charts were all pertaining to your teeth or your toenail fungus it would just look silly.

    • #23
    • April 5, 2019 at 9:53 am
    • 2 likes
  24. Member

    Fascinating discussion @midge and @cbtoderakamamatoad. I wish to offer some points in support of both your cases. 

    First, people having a skeptical view of pregnancy as a medical complication shouldn’t seems unreasonable. After all I am quite sure that until the modern era death from birth complications was one of the leading causes of death among women. Life is a miracle but the medical risks of pregnancy are certainly real too, and historically have been more acute than they are to us today. So truly the case for lamenting pregnancy was I think historically very strong. But, times have changed. Modern medicine and medical practices have done much to remove the traditional dangers, and are even working of reducing the less lethal but still serious physical discomforts associated with it. Epidurals and C-sections can remove the pain of birth (the curse laid upon Eve) and medications and modern comforts can alleviate the other symptoms. More so today than any other day we should be looking less at pregnancy as a curse.

    Modernity is freeing us from the constraints and oppression of nature. Biology may dictate morning sickness, and pain (more so than God does, I feel, Genesis being more allegorical than literal), but science and technology can counter act this. I think our attitudes should adapt to our improved circumstances. We don’t need to fear what we can master and control. 

    • #24
    • April 5, 2019 at 10:39 am
    • 5 likes
  25. Thatcher

    CB Toder aka Mama Toad (View Comment):

    Fake John/Jane Galt (View Comment):

    Because there is no ROI on children and having them will destroy your life. So unless you are a responsible adult and understand the risks, cost and commitments, one should not have them.

    Return on investment! On children!

    Thank you, FJ/JG for making the point so perfectly with this culture-of-death argument.

    Children will ruin your life! No one wants to punish someone (thank you president obama) with a pregnancy. Etc. etc.

    So many people agree with this death-cult thinking that we now require open borders to make up for the loss of population, right?

    Not really sure how you get this one. We would have open border no matter what the birth rate is. Our betters want as many low income people as possible to fleece money from and for. Their very number give political class might to allow political stealing. American women could be birthing children by the dozen and the open border crowd would still be wanting what they want. So tossing this in is not really relevant to the subject at hand.

    • #25
    • April 5, 2019 at 10:46 am
    • Like
  26. Thatcher

    CB Toder aka Mama Toad (View Comment):

    Fake John/Jane Galt (View Comment):

    Because there is no ROI on children and having them will destroy your life. So unless you are a responsible adult and understand the risks, cost and commitments, one should not have them.

    Return on investment! On children!

    Thank you, FJ/JG for making the point so perfectly with this culture-of-death argument.

    Children will ruin your life! No one wants to punish someone (thank you president obama) with a pregnancy. Etc. etc.

    So many people agree with this death-cult thinking that we now require open borders to make up for the loss of population, right?

    Maybe, children can ruin your life. Having children too early or when not wanted will destroy your current life path. A young girl having a child before she is an adult and care for herself and it is not a punishment, it is a tragedy. It is a tragedy for her and for her new child. Children having children does not work well from what I have seen.

    • #26
    • April 5, 2019 at 10:53 am
    • 1 like
  27. Moderator

    Valiuth (View Comment):

    More so today than any other day we should be looking less at pregnancy as a curse.

    I agree with this. It also means that women who, for whatever reason, experience their pregnancies (or menstruation) as pretty cursey, will be judged more harshly for it, as their experience is considered increasingly deviant.

    None of which is to say we shouldn’t rejoice and give thanks for the very real advances made, which have improved lives for so many. It’s just that the expectation that something can be improved also tends to come with judgment against those who fail to have the expected improvement.

    Modernity is freeing us from the constraints and oppression of nature. Biology may dictate morning sickness, and pain (more so than God does, I feel, Genesis being more allegorical than literal), but science and technology can counteract this. I think our attitudes should adapt to our improved circumstances. We don’t need to fear what we can master and control.

    It looks like there’ll always be some residuum we can’t master and control. The “irrational surd” DB Hart calls it. It is great — awesome! wonderful! thanks-inspiring! — that this residuum has gotten smaller, but it simply seems to be human nature that, as the residuum shrinks, those who do get stuck with the residuum get judged more harshly for it. For surely, given how much we can master and control, those who claim our mastery and control hasn’t worked for them are ever-more probably lying, those lazy, malingering bastards!

    • #27
    • April 5, 2019 at 10:55 am
    • Like
  28. Member
    CB Toder aka Mama Toad Post author

    Who are the lazy malingering bastards? Who is judging harshly those “stuck with the residuum?”

    • #28
    • April 5, 2019 at 10:59 am
    • Like
  29. Moderator

    CB Toder aka Mama Toad (View Comment):

    Who are the lazy malingering bastards? Who is judging harshly those “stuck with the residuum?”

    You haven’t run across doctors whose attitude is, “If my All-Powerful Medical Science hasn’t helped you yet, then you, the patient, must be Doing It Wrong. No reasonable explanation for your troubles remains except for patient non-compliance” (or patient delusion, or some other form of patient immorality)? Or friends, neighbors, and family who reason similarly: “If you were really listening to my advice / trying to live a moral life / following the home-remedies I gave you, you wouldn’t be having these problems anymore”?

    These judgments are so common that I agree it’s best for those continually judged in this fashion to just tune the judginess out if they can. But that doesn’t mean it isn’t there.

    Such judginess has always been there, of course, but back in the day when we could fix comparatively little, it was harder to deny the existence of unfixable problems, making it easier to recognize unwarranted judginess. Now many more problems are fixable, which quite rationally increases people’s suspicion that your problem should be fixable, too, and if so, why haven’t you fixed it already, you lazy, malingering bastard?

    • #29
    • April 5, 2019 at 11:24 am
    • 3 likes
  30. Member
    CB Toder aka Mama Toad Post author

    Yes I have.

    Not over my fertility, because I was fotunate to avoid them much as possible, but I’ve met plenty of doctors like that.

    I have to tell you that it sounds as if you are complaining that I myself am treating you like a lazy malingering whatever, not some doctor not present in the conversation.

    • #30
    • April 5, 2019 at 11:42 am
    • Like
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