Thursday, November 10, 2005

The Courage to Say 'No'

There is a debate raging in the UK media about whether or not girls who are under the age of consent should seek parental consent before undergoing an abortion. A mother is asserting that they should. I have some sympathy with this view on medical grounds alone. Abortion is a fairly complex medical procedure that can have long term emotional and physical consequences. But, then I am prepared to concede that my view is affected by the fact that I was brought up as a Catholic and I suffered some sexual abuse in early childhood. I prefer to regard sex as more than the mere fulfilment of a physical need. It is a kind of union of souls. The loss of one’s virginity should be an experience to treasure yet I know many women who lost their virginity as a result of a careless drunken encounter or worse, they have been emotionally blackmailed into relinquishing it by boyfriends who say: ‘If you loved me you would…’

Self loathing and a lack of confidence lead some women to succumb to all kinds of emotional blackmail. I have the confidence to tell them to take a long walk off a short pier but many women don’t Many men expect sex within a few weeks of the initiation of a relationship but it is the women who are required to take responsibility for their rampaging fertility, it is the women who are required to take responsibility for the contraception. There are both oral and slow release contraception via slow release injection available for men but they do not avail themselves of it. Why? Because of the long-term health consequences. So why aren’t people concerned about the long term consequences the pill presents for women? Shortly after the pseudo-messiah attacked me I went out for a drink with my rescuer who has four children by two different women. He held his fertility aloft like some kind of medal of honour. Sex without love is for many a depressing and empty experience. It’s about time some women grew a spine and learnt to say ‘No’ more often.


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