Friday, November 9, 2012

Texas is Reminding Me I'm Just a Baby Vessel Again

So I saw a commercial three times this afternoon for Texas' latest health initiative. It's called "Someday Starts Now" and it's all about how I should be taking care of myself because I plan on being pregnant someday.

Not that I should take care of myself for me. Nope. It's about the future baby.

I wish I could find the commercial online, because it is deeply annoying to me, but all I have is the website. Here's the text from the women's page:
Healthy choices now mean a healthy life later.
Maybe you’re planning for a baby someday. Or maybe you don’t see children in your future. Either way, as a woman, it’s important to focus on your health now. The information and advice here can help you be as healthy and well prepared as possible — for whatever is down the road.
Did you catch that? The site is pretending to be about health for women generally, but it really boils down to the fact that you might someday be a fetus cooker, so get that baby vessel in shape, you silly womern!

At first glace I thought, hey, maybe the site isn't so bad because it at least offers a page for men too. Except when I clicked through, I realized the page for men is actually for real expecting fathers...check it:
Be a great dad before your baby is even born.
Your partner is pregnant. But this isn’t just happening to her. The truth is that everything you do over the next 40 weeks matters a lot to your baby. Stay informed and stay involved throughout her pregnancy, and you’ll be giving your child a great chance at a strong and healthy start in life.
Oh hey, heterosexism! And not only that, but the idea of the overall purpose of the site is that ALL women are pre-pregnant, but men use this resource when there is an actual pregnancy involved. It's annoying and insulting and takes a reductionist view of women.

Ok, this isn't the worst thing Texas has done to women, I get that. But, you know...I might not be so sensitive and annoyed by this initiative if this wasn't such a deeply anti-choice state all around.

I might think that this was a helpful resource for people who want babies, if it felt like the state was supporting us in our ability to actually CHOOSE when to reproduce. But instead, I live in a state where things like the women's health program are in constant jeopardy, family planning services are almost always under attack, every conceivable obstacle to abortion has been put in place, and daily life reminds me that I'm just a baby vessel.

To put it simply: It's all annoying the shit out of me. So forgive me if I don't get warm fuzzies at this new program.


  1. I think you're right to be miffed. There's ample evidence that men's poor diet, bad health habits, and exposure to drugs and toxins can affect future offspring. So why isn't the great state of Texas encouraging men to stay healthy for their future children in the same way they are women? There's a whole field of study called epigenetics that focuses on how a person's health and exposure to chemicals may cause genetic mutations that could be passed on to multiple generations.

    1. And yet, time after time, the only thing that we're told is that women need to prep their bodies for child bearing. Like it's their ultimate duty.


This blog has strict comment moderation intended to preserve a safe space. Moderation is managed solely by the blog author. As such, even comments made in good faith will be on a short delay, so please do not attempt to resubmit your comment if it does not immediately appear. Discussion and thoughtful participation are encouraged, but abusive comments of any type will never be published. The blog author reserves the right to publish/delete any comments for any reason, at her sole discretion.

TL;DR Troll comments are never published, so don't waste your time.