Irrational Fear Theater

This morning I woke up and the first thought in my head was : “oh crap, I’m gonna be 32 this year”.

Really.

I know that 40 is the new 30 and 30 is the new infant or something but…I’m not feeling it.

I’m not exceptionally worried about losing my looks (le black, it don’t crack or something), I’m not really pressed about gray hair (thats what dye is for), and I’m counting on modern science to have finally perfected a hover round vehicle that shall assist my mobility when I’m old (as soon as they are finished studying my kind, of course. Priorities).

What worries me? Well, I’ll let this alarmingly timely Jezebel (ugh yes I know) article tell it:

Young People Totally Think They’re Infertile

According to a study by the Guttmacher Institute, 13% of men and 19% of women ages 18-29 think they’re probably infertile. Actually, only 6% of women in this age group are likely to be infertile, so women are overestimating their risk quite a bit. People who identified as Hispanic were more likely than those of other races to think they couldn’t conceive; guys were less likely to think they were infertile if they were college-educated, had taken sex ed, or, interestingly, were single. And at least among men, presumed infertility was linked to a cavalier attitude towards birth control — guys who figured their sperm didn’t work were more likely to say they’d probably have unprotected sex in the next three months.

First: guys who think they’re infertile? Shut the fuck up and put on that condom you whiny baby. Stop knocking up girls because of wishful thinking. WRAP IT UP. Maybe you’ve tempted the fates a few times and no one is calling you daddy (yet. You never know when Maury will come a callin’) but there is this thing called HORMONAL BIRTH CONTROL. And the Plan B pill. And abortions. And adoptions. All things that you can ignore if you feel so inclined. So. No. Unless your swimmers didn’t make it past the Olympic trials (i.e. a fertility test) stop going around telling broads your junk is special needs. And ladies? Stop falling for it.

Moving on: for women, I don’t think this is simply a matter of misinformation, or not knowing how the female body works. I think that for a lot of women (or just me) these thoughts are borne out of paranoia. Plain and simple. You look around and what do you see? Friends who want to have children trying over and over to conceive. Celebrities popping out In Vitro-twins every five minutes. People looking at your empty womb and constantly asking when you plan on popping out a genetic match? Stumbling to the bathroom in the morning and looking at your own empty womb and asking YOURSELF that same question.

It can make a girl a little crazy. Years ago, I remember hearing the term “hostile uterus” on tv. I do not remember which show it was* but that phrase stuck with me. Thats how it started.

When I was on hormonal birth control I wondered if I would eventually have some sort of build up that would stop me from getting pregnant one day (apparently my uterus is a man made island of pill sediment). Every time I feel a weird pain in that general area? Its one of my tubes collapsing. Occasionally when I wake up with a full bladder (oh shut up. We’re all adults here) I get a little pain when I roll over in the morning. Clearly I just blew out an ovary. Heavy cramps? Probably because I’m purging all my eggs at once.

Really, I’m not uneducated. I’m just…influenced.

What we do have is a lot of yelling: don’t have sex ever! But start now and have babies right away! Have a baby ASAP, even without a partner! But single moms are selfish and horrible! Add to that the economic and social realities that make it hard to just decide to have kids one day (for every lady who’s like la-di-da I have plenty of time, I’d wager there are several who would like to procreate right now but lack the right job/health insurance/home/savings/partner), and you have an extremely confusing and difficult environment for anyone who might ever want to spawn.

Despite the fact that I have had regular checkups since I turned 19, have engaged in no risky behavior, never had an STD (being ignored by the opposite sex DOES pay off in peace of mind), and have enough cousins running around to attest to the general “fertile” stock I come from (to say nothing of the fact that my mom popped me out at 17. I wonder if dad told her he was infertile…), I still engage in this self-inflicted mental terror.

Having a kid would be just…the worst right now. I live in a one bedroom apartment. I don’t have a DOG for fear that I can’t care for it properly. I’m single. I don’t love my career. My “savings” are a joke. I like to drink. So. Really. Bad timing. If I got pregnant would it probably work out? Sure. I mean, I turned out ok. Its possible. But as much as society puts pressure on women to procreate, it also puts equal pressure on doing things the “right” way (see: the almost masturbatory need of her fans to point out that Beyonce, once of the richest women around, did it the “right” way by marrying Jay-Z and THEN having his kid. *eye roll*). Its an insane order to insist that young women spend a decade or so (going by average ages for first sexual experiences) shouldering the majority of the burden in not getting pregnant, only to then turn around and tell them they are screwing up by not having children once they reach some arbitrary (to their actual lives/circumstances) age.

So where does that leave me and other women like me?

Actual gift received by the author. No. I'm not kidding.

* A quick Google search tells me that the ol’ “hostile uterus” has been used on SEVERAL tv shows:  Sex and the City (Charlotte, which is surely the one I remember), Monica (Friends), Robin (How I Met Your Mother), and Meredith (Grey’s Anatomy). But yeah. We’re just crazy for internalizing this craziness. Ladies be trippin’.

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