People are endlessly fascinating, don’t you think? We are the same everywhere–each a seething mass of contradictions. So many of us hold completely opposite thoughts and opinions at the same time–and manage to believe otherwise.
Individuals may vary, but society at large has a huge amount of functionality that it expects of women. Society as a whole expects women to take care of everyone. The elderly, our spouses, our children, each other. We are expected to schedule, organize, transport, accommodate, arrange, and evaluate for the people around us. And with those expectations come a lot of heavy responsibilities and hard decisions. About our children’s education and health and development. About our ill family members illnesses, attending doctor’s visits and making hard decisions about medical treatments and care, as well as ensuring it is carried out. Caretaker roles are still overwhelmingly being fulfilled by women, often with little or no pay. Even if a particular household shares tasks differently, it is nearly always the woman whom the schools and hospitals call first.
Women are expected and relied upon to make decisions and take care of other people’s bodies ALL THE TIME– and expected to keep the best for those they care about in mind as they make the myriad of hard, messy, real life choices they are in charge of every day. We expect them to do so–but we don’t believe them capable of making decisions about their own bodies at all.
As soon as a woman gets pregnant, all bets are off.
Apparently a fertilized egg in a woman’s uterus shuts down the ability of her brain to process information and make decisions–but only for herself and the pregnancy. She is still expected to continue such work for everyone else.
As the political newsfeed continues to demonstrate this contradiction over and over again, I am continually boggled by the lack of trust and overwhelming judgement we apply to the same people we rely on to keep our society functioning.