The “Walk For Life” is anything but. This demonstration/fundraiser is an anti-choice attack on women’s rights, health, and our very lives. The money raised benefits Life Network, which is an organization that attacks reproductive justice and funds FAKE CLINICS to deceive and endanger women. They’re a sick organization with a lot of blood on their hands, with the nerve to call themselves “pro-life.”
Colorado Springs will be the site of this misogynistic spectacle on June the second. It’s 2012 and people can still get away with blatant bigotry and people act like there’s nothing wrong. Not only is this event allowed and with no notable opposition, at least to my knowledge, but local businesses are openly supporting this attack on women without care.
Well, I care, and so should you. Please share this list and don’t do business with those who would oppose reproductive healthcare, STD prevention and treatment, accurate sexual education, contraception, and abortion care – all of which are necessary for healthy men, women, and children.
Also listed were:
No, contrary to popular belief (of mothers,) feminism does NOT mean worshiping the mother-goddess or giving women who breed special privilege above everyone else. It just doesn’t! You do not get to just call yourself feminist, then declare everyone who doesn’t let you have your way at all times anti-feminist. Feminism means equality, not special treatment just for you/whatever group you happen to belong to. Deal with it.
I can’t remember if I’ve written about this before, but something I’ve read recently brought this back to mind. Something like a year ago, I was on a pro-choice, feminist (there’s no such thing as an anti-choice feminist) blog. I forget why it came up, but I remember mentioning that I was planning on getting sterilized. It was then that I was reminded that not all pro-choice people actually are, but many are only pro-choice to the extent that it is still assumed that every woman will and must eventually have children at some point. For it was in a response to my comment where I received one of the weirdest bingos I’ve ever heard in my life. I have yet to be able to locate the post in question, my comment, or the comment of the bingoer. So, here I can only paraphrase what was said.
“You shouldn’t get sterilized. Maybe you don’t want kids, but what if one of your gay friends needs a surrogate?”
Even after all this time, I’m still just astounded by this particular bingo, and not because it’s sensible or convincing at all, far from it. Whereas other, more common bingos are stupid in predictable ways, this one takes a completely different, yet none-the-less ridiculous , approach to reducing me to a mere person-factory, rather than an actual person.
Well, this person first assumes that I have gay, male friends, which it just so happens that I do, not that this person would have had any way of knowing that. The following assumption is that my gay male friends would, first, want children, and, second, view their female friends as vending machine wombs for such a purpose. Not only am I expect to actually consider such a person as a friend at all, but I, as a woman, a friend to gay males, should agree that I am, indeed, a vending machine, and keep myself open for business just in case. The sexism on display is astounding, and especially so when coming from the keyboard of someone who claimed the title of “feminist” who, evidently, didn’t see the glaring problem with his/her words. That is just sad.
I am no stranger to vending-machine-type bingos. I remember that the first time I spoke with an OB/GYN about getting a tubal ligation, he made a point of asking about my partners. I write “partners” plural because he wanted to speak both about my actual boyfriend, as well as a hypothetical “Mr. Right” who could not have been my boyfriend. I was insulted that any man, real or imaginary, should even be considered at all when it came to my body. Yet, I was asked if I was married, then, when the answer was “no,” if I had a boyfriend, “yes.” “And how does he feel about this?” As it just so happened, by boyfriend doesn’t want children either, not that it matters, as it isn’t his decision what I do. Then the OB/GYN asked “What if you meet the right guy, and he wants kids?” As if someone who wanted kids could ever qualify as “the right guy” for me in the first place.
In these bingos, it’s always what he (whoever such a “he” might be) wants that matters most, and I’m a silly girl for not considering him first. The presumption was that what a man, any man, real or not, wants to do with my body is always more important to consider than what I want with my own body. Worse still, this argument is handed to me smugly, as if I really should agree with such a sexist denial and dismissal of my own autonomy. It’s bad enough when this bingo is offered with the man being a hypothetical partner of mine, but now I’m even expected by the bingo first mentioned to find even a hypothetical man who is only even a friend to have more right to my body than I have myself. As a woman, I am to view what I want for myself as less important than what any man wants to do with me, even in the case of men who aren’t even real.
What an awful, misogynistic world.
Edit: My boyfriend read and shared this post. When he and I discussed it, we talked about how to accompanied me to an appointment with another OB/GYN (not the one spoken about in this post.) He was expecting this doctor to ask him what he thought about me getting a tubal ligation. He supports my decision, but would have firmly told the doctor, had he been asked, that what I do is entirely my own business not his (my boyfriend’s.) Happily, this doctor never did asked and was the one who ultimately provided the tubal ligation procedure for me.
Getting sterilized isn’t easy, especially if you’re young and/or have no children. But it can be done, if you’re persistent. I got my tubal ligation at the age of 22, and with no kids.
- Be sure sterilization is what you want.If you’re anything less than 100% certain, don’t bother. For one thing, if you’re not totally convinced that sterilization is right for you, then you aren’t likely to be successful in convincing anybody else of this. Everything about you from your words to your body language needs to communicate with absolute confidence that you are done birthing kids or never want any at all.Another reason this certainty is important is because you do not want to be in that small (I stress, very small) minority who actually do regret their sterilization. Not only is that bad for you, personally, but your unrepresentative situation will be used against other men and women seeking the same procedure.
- Research your options.There are many sterilization options (for women/for men,) and it’s important to figure out which one will be best for you. It’s important too to know as much as possible about the procedure you choose, both from a medical perspective and from the perspective of the patient. You need to know what to expect, for your own comfort and peace of mind. It’s also helpful to be able to communicate clearly with your doctor, making sure your both speaking the same language, when it comes to your request for a certain procedure, and also to demonstrate to your doctor that you are knowledgeable about the procedure and understand exactly what you’re asking for.Don’t be suckered in by anti-sterilization scare-tactics. There are a number of unhelpful myths about sterilization procedures, and they’re easily debunked by honest and earnest research and understanding of the procedure. Don’t let medical myths perpetuated by the regretful minority dissuade you.
- Be prepared to stand up for what you want.You should never have to justify your actions, but a doctor will ask anyway. Be ready to give reasons, good ones, for your decision to be sterilized at that time. You should be able to go on and on all day about all the reasons you want to be sterilized, however small and ultimately inconsequential some of those reasons may actually be to you. If it helps, prepare a list.It’s also important to familiarize yourself with popular bingos, and be prepared to counter them. You do this not only to dominate the conversation, but also to demonstrate that you’ve given the matter a lot of though and are completely serious about it.
- Research doctors and hospitals/clinics.
Who even does sterilization procedures? You’ll be wasting your time if the doctor or hospital you go to doesn’t provide sterilization at all, or the particular procedure that you want.It’s also important to check reviews for doctors and hospitals/clinics, just as you would for any other medical care that you seek. You want to know that you’re in the hands of medical professionals that you can trust with your health.
- Know how you’ll be paying for the procedure.Cost varies by type, as well as other factors. How will you afford sterilization? Does your insurance cover it? Does the government? Can a non-profit organization assist you? Can you afford to pay out-of-pocket? If not, you may have to find a way to get insurance that covers the procedure, and/or set up a savings fund. You might even get creative, organizing a fund-raiser or accepting donations from charitable and supportive friends (think of the opposite of a baby-shower.)NOTE: Someone on FaceBook said that this list works well for civilians, but not necessarily military. That’s when I pointed out that I was active duty US Army at the time that I got my tubal. Yes, it’s more difficult for military, but it can be done. And, as it just so happens, TriCare pays for 100% of it.
- If you have one and he/she is supportive, bring your partner to the consultation.It will help you to have support, someone in your corner to lend encouragement and assistance. Additionally, bringing your partner will keep a hesitant doctor from bingos appealing to your partner’s hypothetical intentions (“What if you meet the right man/woman?”) Your doctor may be more convinced if you can demonstrate that you and your partner on the same page, not that you ever need anyone else’s permission to seek whatever medical care you want for yourself. Best off, now there are two people arguing for the procedure, and the doctor is out-numbered.
- Be polite.It’s easy to get angry and defensive if a doctor refuses to cooperate, this refusal often involving unintentional rudeness and condescension as well as sexism and ageism. But yelling at the doctor won’t get you anywhere, except ejected from the building. Be firm, but not hostile. You may still be able to convince this doctor yet. If not, you may be able to at least get a referral to another doctor who might be more helpful.
- Don’t back down.Don’t let a doctor, or anybody else, talk you out of sterilization, or convince you to delay your pursuit until you’ve met some arbitrary requirement like age or marriage or number of children. Don’t let a doctor talk you into other forms of birth control instead (I did take a deal to use an IUD for 6 months before my doctor would agree to give me a tubal, but that was a bargain to get a tubal, not something I accepted instead of a tubal.) You decided on sterilization, and you mean to get one. It’s your body, don’t let anyone tell you want you can and can’t do with it. It’s your mind. Don’t let anyone else make it for you.If your doctor refuses to help, don’t wait for him/her to come around. Find someone else.
- Remember that you’rethe boss.You aren’t seeing doctors to ask permission to be sterilized. You’ve already decided to be sterilized, a decision which is exclusively your own decision to make. You’re simply looking for doctors to hire for the job. With that attitude, no doctor can deny you sterilization, but simply refuse to take the job. It’s the doctor’s loss then. Take your business elsewhere.Keep the trail warm. Every time you’re told “no,” by a doctor, try to at least get a referral. Don’t be discouraged. For every time you’re turned down, you build a history of pursuit. It’s hard for new doctors you see to deny your certainty when they see appointment after appointment with previous doctors in quest for sterilization. Giving up certainly won’t help, as doctors won’t just come to you.
- Whenyou do eventually find the right doctor, celebrate!Revel in your impending infertility and all the benefits it will bring you. And rejoice that all the time and effort you spent on your hunt, all the arguments and aggravation, has finally paid off for you. And don’t let anyone rain on your parade. Don’t rain on it yourself with nervous worry. Everything will be fine.Have a plan for when the day comes. If you’ve researched the procedure, you know how it will affect you. You may miss work for a few days, or you may just have to sit on some ice for a day. Make sure that you’ve made arrangements for a ride home, if you’ll need one, as well as someone to help you out for a day or two, if needed. It might also be a good idea to have easy food and entertainment prepared at home if you need to spend a few low-key days recovering.
Update: Dr. Berger has assured me that he has nothing to do with the spam bots.
I recently checked my blog’s automatic spam filter. It seems a number of not spam comments were falsely flagged as such. They are now up. I apologize for the delay to those comment authors. But as I was checking my spam notices, I discovered something weird. I have a disproportionate amount of spam related to infertility, including IVF and tubal reversals, the latter of which specifically advertising one, Dr. Berger. Yeah, kind of barking up the entirely wrong bush on a childfree blog. What’s weird is a lot of these spam comments are on posts completely unrelated to my tubal ligation, or fertility, or childfreedom, or children. Weird! This was on my Sticky: WARNING! OPINIONS AHEAD! post. It contained no pictures and no mention of children. And yet:
Hi Julie,I found your blog via Wendy’s class. I’ll be in it also.Love your photos. Such an aalodbre little boy you have. You have so much good info on here. I’ll come back frequently to check it all out.-Carol
I’m not currently in any classes and I don’t know any Wendys. I’m no photographer, most of the pics on this site are from my phone or just taken from random sites. I certainly don’t have any children, let alone any boys. Imagi-Gary is not real. I can’t think of who she might be talking about, or what photo. WTF?! It gets weirder. This was on My Childfree Rules Re-Write: About Being Childfree. Anyone who read that would have no doubt about my childfree status, and yet this was posted, apparently to me (and not to anyone else.)
Congratulations on your beautiful bludne of joy and the relief of problems from your tubal ligation. I too have have so many problems of the same nature since my TL 13 yrs ago. I received my TR surgery on my birthday 4/28/2009 and turned 41. I did it due to having the same problems and to also be able to conceive again if possible. I am kind of skeptical due to my age, but I am very healthy otherwise. My husband was concerned due to my problems and is hoping I will be better than before. He is more excited now than he was before my TR surgery to be able to conceive. He is so anxious he can’t hardly wait for me to heal to try and conceive. We both have children from a previous marriage but none together. We believe it will be wonderful to have a child together and raise it together. Thank you for your encouragement.Annmarie M.Tennessee -Gina
My only “bundle of joy” would be my adorable dog, Molly. And I have had NO problems with my tubal ligation as “post tubal ligation syndrome” is likely not even real. I’m sure as hell not encouraging anyone to pollute this already horrendously overpopulated world with more children, especially when they already have some, and especially when their advanced age is likely to result in children with health problems, because such actions are selfish and stupid. On the note of not giving a crap about any Infertile-Myrtle’s non-problems of infertility, I got these two nonsense spam messages. Both of these were on Sterilized On World Population Day, which, as you might guess, was about how I finally triumphed in obtaining permanent sterilization, and just happened to do so on a day that serves to remind us of our growing overpopulation crisis.
I am so glad to see this post. I’m 45 yrs old and had my tubes tied (cauterized) 11 yrs ago after my third child was born. Same as Penni, the fertility cilnic I went to would not perform the reversal because of my age. IVF is apparently my only solution. I’ve gone through all the hormone test (FSH, sonohystogram, etc.) and I was told that there’s follicles we can work with.I have finally decided to go ahead with my original plan to have my tubes reversed. My current partner doesn’t have any children while I had 3 with my first marriage. I would really love to have another child and I hope that someday, I can have another one. I am planning my reversal for September of this year. -Austin
Weirdly, this comment was in response to Beth, who wrote:
Just wanted to say a very sincere thank you for sharing your thoughts and experiences pre- and post-TL; honestly, several of your posts have been the most helpful things I’ve read so far. I’ve got a TL scheduled in a couple of days, and was doing a bunch of web surfing to try to make sure I have a thorough understanding of what it will be like and what (if anything) I need to worry about for afterward. I found it refreshing to read something that’s not borderline hysterical. -Beth
Yeah, I don’t think Beth and Austin are on the same page here. Here’s another comment on the same post, evidently posted to me.
What an inspiration to read your story. I will be 46 in Sept. Had my fsh tsteed and it came back 2.9! Thats when I really beleived maybe my eggs werent to old yet -like all the other websites statistics and Dr. tell us they are at our age! Like many of you I already have 4 wonderful boys 26-11 yrs old and my fiance has none. I am torn between invtro and TR. I also want to experience getting pregnant the natural way not through invitro. Thanks for posting your story of encouragement for all of us. Many blessings and prayers to all!! -Auth
Not only is this, again, a story bout a happily childfree person joyfully obtaining a tubal ligation, and doing so on World Population Day, but his is also the blog of a borderline anti-natalist and outspoken atheist. Ok, now I start getting ads for Dr. Berger tubal reversal. Oddly, they don’t even seem to be on the post where I dismiss “post tubal ligation syndrome,” as little more than a medical myth, according to current medical research. This was on Sterilized On World Population Day.
I just finished the first and prlobaby last IVF treatment that resulted in 45 shots over 10 days, surgical retrieval of eggs, only 2 fair to poor embryos that were transplanted, and a negative pregnancy test. I was told because of my age 45 that IVF was my only true hope of having another baby (I have 3 children already and my husband has 1 from a prior marriage). My husband is 12 years younger than me and we both want children together. After getting a phone call today from my doctor on the heels of the bad news, she doesn’t think I should try again because of my age. While devastated at this news, I am taking heart and hope from the testimonies on this page that all will be well for us. We will get pregnant the old fashioned way after a little help from Dr. Berger and his team. It certainly should be a heck of a lot more fun than what I just went through. -Miranda
IVF, it’s selfish, stupid, narcissistic, wasteful, and disgusting. I hope it fails every time. Stop breeding more people into this overpopulated world and adopt if you really must have kids. And stop wasting medical resources so your narcissistic asses can have your genetic replicants. This was posted to me on the post, Kids and Soldiers, which is about soldiers in my company, including myself, volunteering to help out in child-related activities. The comment below has nothing at all to do with the content of the post.
I just want to thank Dr. Berger and staff for helping my couisn Pamela and her husband to having a baby. She tried for the longest time after she had the surgery to have a baby and had 2 miscarrages(sp) and then she got pregnant with Baby Jesus (aka Porky as we call him) he is the sweetest lil baby. Pamela and Jesus are the loving parents of this beautiful baby boy. I speak for the whole family when i say THANK YOU for helping them get pregnant and having this miracle baby. We are greatful for what you done for this family. To all the women that want to have babies beileve in Dr. Berger and his staff at Chapel Hill Tubal Reversal Center they will help you in anyway possible to make a miracle come true for you!!THANK YOU GUY!!!! -Sachin
This next one was posted on A Kid Visited My Home. Nothing Broke. I’m Not Surprised, which is a diary post, which is mostly about how I actually don’t hate kids, and how the stupid advice given in various child-proofing articles is completely unnecessary when parents actually parent. So, again, the comment has nothing to do with the post.
Dr. Berger, I am a 28 years old woman hoping for anohter chance to have anohter baby. I have two boys and they are 14 and 11 years old. I had my tubes tied when my youngest was 5 years old Now I am with someone that doesn’t have any kids he loves my kids and is very good to them, but I would like for us to have our own .he is a good guy and at the beginning I was afraid to tell him about my tubes tied, but god helped me and I told him ..he was sad but then we found your website and we are very excited about meeting you and hoping you could help us !!!
I am not Dr. Berger. If it were up to me, none of these idiots would get reversals. If they can’t be bothered to think through decisions like permanent sterilization, then they aren’t responsible enough to be trusted with children anyway. Think through your actions, bitches! Worst of all, these thoughtless idiots make obtaining sterilization harder to obtain for people who actually are responsible enough to think their actions through very carefully. So thanks a fucking lot, assholes. As for infertility, get the fuck over it. It is not a tragedy, or anything anyone “suffers” from. No one needs children, especially not in an overpopulated world. If infertility is someone’s biggest complaint, I’d like to congratulate them on having no real problems in life. If you really want kids, adopt.