Home > family, feminism, global warming, marriage, motherhood, pregnancy, religion, spirituality > Keep your diety out of my uterus

Keep your diety out of my uterus

So I’m about to put my foot in it. I’m about to talk about religion.

I belong to a mailing list for Waldorf crafters. I like the Waldorf philosophy, for the most part, and I like making things for The Child. And for the most part, the folks on the list are really awesome — they answer my questions about mohair vrs. boucle for hair and other obscure topics and are very encouraging.

Many of them run small Waldorf businesses out of their homes and I try to support them when I can. So when I got a note the other day that one of the women (it’s all women on the list) was having a clearance sale before her baby was born — in three days! — I thought, Hey. I’ll check it out.

Then I saw the URL. It was a “Quiverfull” family. The woman’s email signature was “Wife to L**** and Proud Mamma to 3 – 5, 2, and one in the womb.” She linked to her site and to her blog.

For those not aware of the Quiverfull movement, here’s a synopsis: Women should have as many children as they can possibly crank out to be “arrows in the quiver of God.” All birth control is bad. Women should submit their Biblical role as wife and mother.

And man, I got angry. I got spitting angry and I frothed and I stomped and I made sure I didn’t wake up The Child and I stomped some more. A woman is nothing more than a brood mare to these people, I muttered, smacking at keys and snarling. She even signs off as identifying herself as mother/wife, as if she has no identity out side of that.

And then I sit down and reread my post about how we don’t value motherhood/parenthood and how Mrs. M. pissed me off and I take a moment to think, “Am I being inconsistent and irrational?”

No, I decide.

First of all, I chose to have a child. It was a choice and I chose to have ONE child. I am — for right now — simply a mother and a wife. But I have been other things and I have faith that eventually I will be other things again. This is because I chose to have one child when I was 32 — a choice made possible by birth control. The QF folks would have me get married at 21 and be a mother until my eggs ran out or my uterus fell out.

Secondly, I really feel that thoughtful parenting is more than just cranking up the ole baby-making genitalia. It’s about spending time and energy on your children. It’s about knowing them, intimately, and devoting as much of your energy as you can to them. I can’t see being able to do that if I had six or ten, or, Heaven help us, 20. Fuck it. I can’t see having a second one, but I know I’m an extreme case. (Sleep deprivation will do that to you.)

What’s more, there are some good studies to back me up. Apparently, on average, third and fourth and fifteenth children don’t do as well as the first and second. They don’t get as much of their parents’ time and attention and they suffer for it. (As a general rule, of course. There are plenty of exceptions.) There’s a link to the study on Slate. I’ll post it later if I can find it….

Finally, I take a moment to poke around some sites and make sure that I’m not ranting and raving and railing without cause. And I discover that a lot of the QF sites talk about how important it is to combat the falling of “true Christian” populations and how having lots of children is part of a demographic battle. I can tell that there’s some subtext here but I’m a little dull sometimes and have to read the quotes about “race suicide” to figure out the oblique rhetoric. OH! “True Christian” means “white Christians.”

Reading this occasionally makes me want to have another child — I want to add another thoughtful educated person to the world to counterbalance these hordes of racist sexist zealots.

I won’t, of course. I don’t believe that, “God is…. going to give us another Earth.” I figure we’ve got to work with the one we’ve got.

But I’m SOOO not buying any of her Waldorf stuff.

  1. Curious
    June 19, 2008 at 1:37 am

    Wow. Just…wow.

    We too decided to have just one child. Wouldn’t it be more in keeping with Jesus’ teachings, if you really wanted 17 children, to have one and adopt 16 others who need good homes (or homes, period)?

    (Your second-from-last paragraph, about having another child, is almost exactly what my wife says, too!)

  2. June 20, 2008 at 2:04 am

    I couldn’t agree with you more. I know a couple QFs, and while I try to be respectful of them, my biggest problem is that they don’t seem to be aware of the vastly overpopulated planet we live on. They don’t seem to acknowledge that too many children = lack of resources = starvation and poverty. They think God will provide. Tell that to the children who will go to bed with an empty stomach tonight.

  3. June 22, 2008 at 8:20 am

    i’ve never heard of this before. is it because i’m a big city gal? i think i’m going to vomit. seriously.

    i have 3 girls. and i had 3 miscarriages. AND i had 3 abortions.

    and then the men should wear these little green bracelets so we know they are safe [that way anyway]

    she wants to knock that family with 18 kids out of their perch. does that woman have time to do anything besides deal with her morning sickness? how does her uterus stay in place?

    i really think i am going to be sick.

    if i was young enough (or stupid enough-i had the miscarriages between my 2nd and 3rd), i’d have another. being jewish i find this beyond offensive. i find it scary. because people like that want to kill people like me.

    i think i’m going to pray for strength because i’m shaking.

    shema yisroel, adonai eloheinu, adonai echod.
    baruch shem k’vod malchuso, leolam v’ed.

    [hear, oh israel, the lord our god, the lod is one. blessed is god’s glorious nameforever and ever]

  4. June 22, 2008 at 8:21 am

    and to think i have always supported waldorf education. it makes me wonder who i am in bed with…

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