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Old November 25, 2009, 11:53 AM   #97
Join Date: May 16, 2000
Location: Washington state
Posts: 7,438

Good and terrible post.

Originally Posted by Phoebe
Have you asked her if she would shoot someone to defend a child? I think some women can envision that far more easily than they can shooting in self defense.
I hate this meme on a personal level, and utterly reject it for myself. MY life would be worth defending even if I never had children. My life was worth defending on the day I was born, it was worth defending on the day before I wed, it was worth defending the day before my first child was born, and it continues to be worth defending even as my children grow up and leave the home, not needing me as the primary caregiver anymore. My life is worth defending!

And so is yours.

So that meme, "it's for the children..." just simply does not resonate with me. I seem to be missing whatever-it-is that's hardwired into a lot of women, to refuse to claim her own worth & value unless and until it is tied to childbearing in some way.

Nevertheless, I too use that meme sometimes, because it is so deeply engrained in nearly every other mom I've ever known. I think my failure to resonate with it is a lack in me, not a strength. Undoubtedly it means I have less natural talent at being a mom than most.

But as I said, I do use that meme sometimes, because it's a powerful one.

"Growing up without a mom would harm your children..." is one I've used, both in conversation and in writing. This one helps a woman begin to claim her own value, I think, when she first begins to realize her tremendous worth in the eyes of her children. (It saddens me; why can she not see that worth for herself, with her own eyes? And yet so many can't...)

Another: "Would you protect your child from a kidnapper who entered your home? If so, then how would you do that? With everything you had? Or would some tactics be completely off the table?" Obviously all these questions are not strung one after another rat-a-tat-tat-tat, but rather dropped slowly and carefully into a reflective conversational pool, one at a time, watching the ripples spread slowly from the center, allowing the implications of each to sink in until the tiny little wavelets come rippling back to shore, one after another, inescapable and plain to see.

But for myself, the reasoning is foreign to me. My life is valuable and would be valuable even if I had no husband, even if I had no child, even if I were barren and unloved and unwanted by the rest of the world. My "go" switch, the thing that motivates me to respond, is the value of my own life, not my children's need for me. (And thank goodness for that; they'll be out of the house soon and my goal has always been to teach them to be independent and without need of me.)

Human life is worth defending. Even when it's your own...

Kathy Jackson
My personal website: Cornered Cat
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