I am the kind of person that needs intellectual stimulation, time alone, and peace and quiet. I need those things so badly that I almost can’t live without them. I don’t really know why this is, except that some of my earliest memories are of my mother taking me to the library. I shared a room with my older sister until I was twelve, and we would while away the hours laying on our bed and reading. I remember my father coming in and saying that I was “like a queen” for laying around reading for hours. Books are part of who I am, and I won’t let anything interfere with that. I was engaged to be married once. I knew the relationship was doomed when he said he didn’t like me reading, because I was not paying attention to him. Reading is a political act for me. By choosing to read instead of follow along with society’s inane entertainments, I am affirming that I am master of myself and my destiny. The patriarchy would prefer that I didn’t educate myself to be an independent, autonomous human being. They want to control my body and my mind, tell me when to have children, force me to submit to mental slavery with their dead religion and tell me who I am. One way they do this is by trying to read to me. I know it sounds bizarre, these men know that I am more than capable of reading and writing on a college level, but they still want to take the books from me and read to me. They say they want to “interpret” the books for me. Of course I would never go along with such patriarchal bullshit. This type of thing is why I am not a christian.
My body belongs to me only; I choose not to have children so I can focus on my own goals, interests, and projects. I also know that the sound of toys being banged about, cartoons blasting from the TV, and screeching and whining would quickly drive me out of my mind. The endless monotony of housework, feeding, bathing, diaper changing would make me snap. So i’m not doing it. Christians have actually told me that their god is going to “punish” me for my choice. That is no god I could ever worship. My mind belongs to me. If I get curious and choose to read the bible, I will be the one doing the reading and interpreting, not a man. I have been accused of “radical individualism”. If a man was doing the things I’m doing he would be praised and privileged. Since I am a woman, what i’m doing is “dangerous” and “against god.”
“And this I believe: that the free, exploring mind of the individual human is the most valuable thing in the world. And this I would fight for: the freedom of the mind to take any direction it wishes, undirected. And this I must fight against: any idea, religion, or government which limits or destroys the individual. This is what I am and what I am about.”
― John Steinbeck, East of Eden
My mother told me when I was little that the reason the government wants us to have babies is to breed workers for the state, and “cannon fodder” for the state’s armies. That doesn’t make me want to have babies. I believe we all exist for our individual reasons, and that the government’s “rights” are secondary to the individual’s. I also believe that the environment has rights, including a right to not be suffocated with a crush of humanity. There are enough babies in the world.
Enough musing for now, I’m going to go sock it to the man by reading a book.