My Body is the Battleground You Step On

Artist: Barbara Kruger, 1989. Photo taken by me at The Broad Museum in Los Angeles, Ca.

As a woman, I am constantly fighting against all odds to reclaim my body and to have full ownership of it. The woman’s body has a herstory of being treated as property. Is that a thing of the past? Heck no! This is an ongoing issue that persists in our imperialist capitalist society. Social inequality is a real thing that has manifested itself in my experiences. When I speak of social inequality I am speaking to the fact that women are seen more as property than human. I am speaking to the reality that the state believes and does whatever it can to control the woman’s body. If the state can control us then men can control us. Now, let me just clarify that I don’t believe that every single man controls women or that every man is out to get us. I’m not trying to create a gap or rivalry between women and men. I am only addressing the policies and conversations that never seize to remind me that

My Body is a Battleground.

I’m 26 years young. I’ve been on birth control for five years now. I realize that having access to birth control is a privilege of mine because not every woman in the world has that opportunity. However, I live in constant fear of losing that right. Reproductive rights are relentlessly being contested by the state, policies, religion, friends and family. I’m pro-choice. I believe women should be able to decide for themselves if and when they want to have a child. I believe women should be able to have an abortion for whatever reason it may be. I believe women should have access to all sorts of birth control regardless if they use it or not. I believe women should have control of their own bodies. These are all natural human rights that are continuously in question because someone in power (and their minions) perceive the woman’s body as property that should be controlled. This ridiculous obsession stems from a structural level to the protestors standing outside of Planned Parenthood to our social groups and our households.

I’ve never really dreamt of getting married or having children. I honestly don’t feel that getting married will make my committed relationship more legitimate. I don’t think that having kids will make our family of two more real than I already consider it. I’m not saying I will NEVER EVER do either of the two but that’s just not on my To Do List at the moment. I am not devaluing motherhood, parents or marriage. I’m just saying, it’s not for me. Not right now.

This leads me to a conversation that I had with a very good male friend of mine. Whom I thought would be open minded and understanding of something that hits so close to home for me. This is a person that I have had multiple controversial conversations with and somehow always found a common ground. I don’t expect him to share all my values but I also didn’t expect him to force his on me. After our friend’s wedding we got into the topic of the “future” and what that looked like for each of us. Of course the two questions that never fail to be asked came out of his mouth. “When are you and lucky (my partner and childhood friend of his) getting married? When are you having kids?” First of all, I found it interesting that the question was a matter of “when” as if it is something that I HAVE TO DO. Anyway, I replied with something along the lines of “I don’t know if I want to get married or have kids.” One thing led to another and by the end of the conversation I was labeled “selfish” for not wanting to have kids. Also, according to him having children is the only way I could build a legacy. This made me feel some type of way because it discredits all of the hard work I have put into my personal achievements. It literally says that I am nothing more than a reproductive organism that needs to reproduce to be taken seriously. What if I’m infertile? Why isn’t that ever considered? I mean seriously. Think about it. At the end of the day my body is a battle ground to society, friends and family. I will never stop defending it.

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