My views on birth control somehow blissfully line up with the rest of my religion. This is a wonderful thing, but it almost certainly would not have happened for another 50 years were it not for the fact that my Church’s teachings lined up with my feminist views.
Wait, you think that feminism is synonymous with contraception and abortion? That liberating women means freeing us from our bodies, from ourselves?
Feminism for me means refusing to accommodate men by being less of a person.
From my early teens I had only thought about how this applied to sex in terms of my mind. There was no way that I was going to separate my brain from my sexuality for the majority of guys who were interested in my body but not my mind. Holding true to this principle was easy because I was not sexually attracted unless I was intellectually attracted. Who wants someone to “buy me champagne, because they say that they admire my brain” when one can actually have both a sexual and intellectual connection?
But then I took a class on feminist philosophy during the same semester that I first really heard Catholic teaching on contraception. And I realized that separating my fertility from the rest of my sexuality was simply stupid in light of my goal of being uncompromisingly woman.
My sexuality is composed of my ability to be a mother as much as it is my ability to be a lover. Why should I insist on maintaining the unity of my mind and body, only to tear my sexuality apart and suppress half of it in order to please a potential lover?
I determined to live by a very simple rule: if I am fertile, and not desirous of pregnancy, then I do not engage in sexual intercourse.
It seems silly to others, after all, why not just suppress the fertility that I do not desire to use in order to engage in the pleasure that I do desire? The answer is that I do not want to use any part of myself. My fertility, just like my mind, is a part of who I am as a woman. It is not something which I engage or disengage as needed. I am not a mind which uses my body, nor a body which uses my mind. I am a person. And I refuse to be less of a person in order to accommodate men.
And that is why authentic feminism and fertility awareness are inseparable for me.
- I am thankful 7/25/2010
- How has NFP worked for you? -Part I