Apr. 16th, 2009

jacktellslies: (Default)
I have two friends who have been dancers. One made herself stupid with drugs every night to force herself on stage to be watched by men that she believed were nothing short of evil. She was drunk and sobbing on the sidewalk when she admitted it. It broke her, and years later her wounds are still raw. But in the middle of it she spit, suddenly angry rather than broken, "but the money was good, and I needed it, so I did it." It sickened me, that capitalism can so easily demand our rape, that so often we acquiesce. And yet it was incongruous, almost disappointing. Something in the way that she said it, far more than the words themselves, implied an untruth.

The other was a burlesque dancer in New York in the seventies. Her close friends dated Iggy Pop, started doing heroin with Sid and Nancy when the Sex Pistols fell into town. She kept dancing and ingested many a fascinating poison, but abstained from the needle. Eventually her friends died, or she had no choice but to leave them as empty shells, only learning upon the release of Please Kill Me that some of them actually survived. But she kept dancing; she liked it. Then she got pregnant, so she stopped. She said she wasn't going to be one of those mothers who blamed their children for forcing them to dance. She wasn't going to wait for it to stop being fun, and she wasn't going to blame anyone else for a choice that was entirely her own. She took a long series of simply appalling jobs, but she never thought of going back. She knew the traps of her profession well. She knew her own boundaries better than that.

At my fencing lesson today, I listened as the more experienced women discussed another fencer who had gone into labour today. She'd prepared for a natural birth, but two hours in requested an epidural. Last I heard she was still at the hospital, and they expect she won't birth until morning. One of the younger women was disappointed for her, and perhaps actually disappointed in her as well. One of the older women, who, unlike the first, seemed as if she may have actually experienced childbirth herself, almost slapped her. Thus far I've not heard many stories in which women give birth without the assistance of drugs in hospitals, whatever their original intention. I never want to get pregnant, and I certainly never intend to stay pregnant. But in the event that a massive failure of birth control, a complete lapse of judgement, and my occasional heterosexual experiments should all converge, please note that I'll require the following: a large jacuzzi, an extremely attractive and capable midwife, the presence of at least three of my lovers, and a strong waterproof vibrator. Barring any serious complications, it will not happen in a hospital. And if I ask for drugs, I get the fucking drugs. Because, as I understand it, the point of a natural birth is respecting a person's choices about their body.

Earlier today my partner sat in a cafe, politely sipping hot drinks with a friend who was three centimetres dilated and quite calm.


jacktellslies: (Default)

August 2009

23456 78

Most Popular Tags

Style Credit

Expand Cut Tags

No cut tags