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Response to babylonsister (Original post)

Sun May 19, 2019, 11:45 AM

6. Ursula Le Guin was a great, great woman, of towering intellect and insight...

Here is my story, not of 1950 when I was only three years old, but later, when I was 11 or 12, of a young woman who came to stay with the family across the street for awhile. She was probably 20, and as the pungent saying was at the time, "she had gotten herself pregnant."

Her boyfriend was a Marine who dropped her like a shot when she got pregnant, so she went to the base and found his commanding officer, hoping he would make the young man "do the right thing." She was told she was not the first young woman to come to the CO with that tale of woe -- but the fifth. Let that sink in.

So, there being no alternative either safe or legal, she continued with the pregnancy and stayed with older friends, our neighbors. She had a plan: she would return to the Mainland with her baby and pass herself off to her parents as a widow.

Could the story get uglier? Yes it could. Baby came, birth certificate came, and on it was stamped for all the world to see: ILLEGITIMATE. Let that sink in.

My mother, in her flaming outrage at this injustice, told me the whole story at this point. She told me that damned birth certificate was going to have to be presented every step of the way, including school enrollment. There was no possibility of the fiction of widowhood and respectability -- just lifelong shame for both mother and child. The woman who transgressed and the product of that transgression.

Someone here recently came up with the phrase: "behavior modification for women," regarding abortion bans. I thought that was a good way of putting it -- and it comes wrapped in a whole lot of other behavior mods, like making sure that babies carry shame for having been born at all.

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babylonsister May 2019 OP
malaise May 2019 #1
lark May 2019 #2
Hekate May 2019 #7
lark May 2019 #11
Farmer-Rick May 2019 #3
PufPuf23 May 2019 #12
lunatica May 2019 #14
Taraman May 2019 #4
BlancheSplanchnik May 2019 #5
Farmer-Rick May 2019 #13
LineNew Reply Ursula Le Guin was a great, great woman, of towering intellect and insight...
Hekate May 2019 #6
hunter May 2019 #8
yuiyoshida May 2019 #9
Martin Eden May 2019 #10
Hekate May 2019 #15
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