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Friday, October 5, 2012

You're Right, I Can't Get Pregnant

Think of the future matching this face.
(Courtesy of

The title formed my initial response to the person who posed to me a question that seemed easy enough to reply when I was first asked this:

"Bakit ba feel na feel mo ang topic ng RH, di ka naman mabubuntis, diba?" (Why are you so passionate about the RH Bill, it's not like you'll get pregnant, right?)

And, yes, as someone born biologically male, I won't get pregnant soon. Or ever.

On the surface, it seems like a fair question: why would someone (1) who doesn't have ovaries or a uterus, (2) who doesn't know what it feels like when the "regular visitor" comes every month, (3) who will never have to endure the intense agony (to understate it) of giving birth, and (4) will never have to feed anyone off one's body at the oddest hours, be utterly concerned with the right to decide how to plan one's family or the need for sex education to prevent teenage pregnancies?

The more I mulled about this seemingly innocent question, the more it dawned on me that this comprises a big component on why we are having difficulty passing the RH Bill. The question itself is laden with the very sentiment I was having a hard time pinpointing, but which became crystal clear once I spent time trying to answer it in any satisfactory manner.

It's not going to happen to me, so it's not my concern, and it shouldn't be yours, as well.

So, I would like to give a better response to the person who asked me this question, and it starts out with this: Just because I don't know what childbirth feels like doesn't mean I have to make it more difficult - and sometimes even fatal - for those who have to go through it.

I do not have to be a woman to know that they are still marginalized, cast aside, and ignored, their voices largely made out to be shrill when they are screaming in pain, and accused of being bitches whenever they instinctively draw their claws in a desperate attempt to be heard.

It is in the same vein, when I stand with people of color who are still discriminated on the basis of that uncontrollable quality, because I do not have to share color to know what being judged on something uncontrollable feels like.

It is in the same vein, when there is this gnawing ache in me when I hear children are abused - physically, sexually, emotionally - because I was a child once, and while it was not a "perfect" childhood, I was able to experience it without wondering when my very person would next be violated upon in ways that we should not even be thinking of inflicting on adults.

It is in the same vein, when I was told that there is only one "true" religion, that anyone outside of it was to be considered filthy and one who has chosen to wallow in debauchery and insatiable evil, that I found myself intolerant of intolerance, and I could not, in good conscience, call someone "evil" just because they happened to have chosen a different set of guidlines to live their life by.

The sum total of my life experiences - thus far - has led me to many realizations that have strayed far from the lessons that were taught to me as "indisputable" when I began my journey.

We each get one life - this one - and it would be the most hideous of tragedies if you would choose to spend it trying to live up to someone's belief of how you should run it. We are all distinctly, and amazingly unique. Until we realize the gravity and magnificence of that idea, we will still feel the need to belong to the herd, just because it has the cocoon's warmth of safety.

Not everyone will undergo both the joys and travails of childbirth - I am told that it is a package deal - so it is but right that when it does happen, you are prepared, in all ways. This is not a designer bag that you can just return whenever you don't "feel it", and it's certainly not something you can discard and replace it with next season's offering. (Technically, one could, but at a steep emotional cost.)

A child is to be treasured and loved, not someone seen to be contributing to the family income while other children are in school.

A child should never be made to feel like a curse, the heaviest of burdens, the bane of a family and its reason for not making any headway into economic relief.

A child is not to be seen as an extra pair of hands asking for alms.

How can a child be brought up, cared for and provided for, when the parents cannot even do the same for themselves?

It is time to eradicate this cultural insistence on bahala na (let's leave it to fate). Anyone who applies this on an individual level is free to do so - it is your life - but it is terribly unfair and unconscionable to force that world view on someone who is in no capacity to refuse it nor support him or herself.

We do not live in a vaccum.

We should act accordingly. All of us.


  1. We do not all have to be in the same situation to be empathic of each other... Sana mabasa itong blog mo nung nagtanong sau joey. -chie

    1. That is so true, Chie :D I am sure that the commenter will read this :)

  2. it still takes a man and a woman to make one beki

    so we should be somewhat concerned.

    1. Regardless of sexual orientation, ability to conceive, socioeconomic status, etc. we should feel a burden to help those who need it most. :)

  3. Well said! I am happy to know that there are people who would like good things to happen without thinking of what personal benefits it will give them.

    Mabuhay ka!

    Grown-Ups For A Day!

    1. Thank you, Rose. Mabuhay ka rin! I sense a kindred spirit in you :)

  4. Tama ka. sana lahat ng lalaki ganyan mag-isip. sana lahat ng tao bukas din ang isipan RH Bill. sana mas marami pa ang makabasa nito.

    Hindi kita kilala pero nararamdaman ko mabuting tao ka.

    rad orejol.

    1. Salamat, Rad Ojerol. Ang karanasan ng ating mga kababaihan ay makakaapekto sa ating lahat, kaya naaangkop lamang na gawin natin ang lahat - lalaki man o babae - para guminhawa, kahit papaano, ang hirap na dinadanas nila tuwing nabubuntis sila.

  5. So much for those who cannot get pregnant but what about those handful (very few number)of ladies who DO NOT WANT to get pregnant? I feel sorry (wish I don't) that childless couples are being alienated (and ostracized in extreme cases) in the Philippine society. They're being framed up in different sorts not so much in "missing out in the joys of having kids" but in certain negative things. I got dismayed with most Filipinos who don't have a broad sense of thinking & perspective over the issue of childless coupling. I hope nobody "salutes" those couples with the middle finger... -counterlevel

    1. I completely agree. It should be a couple's choice to decide for themselves that it will just be the two of them, regardless of pressure from outside that tells them they will somehow be "incomplete" without children.

      The RH Bill is supportive of all choices.

  6. You feel so strongly for the passage of the RH Bill because you are a decent human being. How can people not understand that? I salute you, sir!

    1. Thank you, LZN. All it takes is an ability to look beyond one's own needs to know that the RH Bill should be passed.

  7. The RH bill, whose reason for existence should be crystal clear to anyone, unecessarily became an issue because of bobo people. Like the one who asked you that question.

  8. You somehow made me think and rethink about how I was raised and led me to question, or gave me the courage to ask even just on my mind and analyze many a thing. Overall, your blog has opened up my mind to many aspects and sparked the desire in me to learn more and read more. Thank you!