Pseudo-Tolerance

peace-love-and-tolerance-ellen-paulsonApparently, part of being pregnant in modern times is opening yourself up to constant critique from anyone you come into contact with. This disgusts me. Especially when it’s the self-proclaimed “tolerant” people passing the judgments. The very same people who claim to be open and accepting to any system of beliefs are often the quickest to share their criticisms about me. I’m not passing judgment on tolerant people. I think a lot of the world problems could be solved with a little more tolerance and respect. However, there’s a difference between being truly tolerant and calling yourself tolerant when what you really mean is, “I’m only open to ideas or customs that are modern or liberal or stem from religions found elsewhere in the world.” Present these pseudo-tolerant people with an idea or custom that is either traditional or conservative or Christian and watch their heads spin. They can’t being to fathom why anyone would embrace such values and they’re quick to tell you so. It seems to me if you’re “tolerant” you should respect what I believe and act on, whether it’s left or right or anywhere in between.

One particular situation that really irks me is when pro-choice people comment on my pregnancies. These people believe that I have a right to choose to allow the child growing in my womb to be born or choose to “terminate” him/her instead. Yet, somehow, they feel that they have a right to comment on my right to choose whether or not to conceive a child in the first place. Explain to me how an individual would find it perfectly acceptable to go with me to a clinic to end this child’s life, but the same individual finds it perfectly acceptable to ridicule my “choice” to conceive a child in the first place. Where exactly does my “right to choose” begin and end? If you’re moral stance is “it’s my body and my choice” who are you to tell me otherwise when I choose life?

It further baffles me that the same people who would welcome me with open arms if I were involved in a bisexual polygamous relationship (obviously a little dramatic, but you get the point) are so quick to shake their heads at my heterosexual procreative relationship. Why is it that some people are only willing to extend their tolerance in one direction? People have been involved in heterosexual procreative relationships since the beginning of time. More than likely, its how the very person who stands in judgment of me came to exist. Yet, as of late, that’s no longer the trendy thing to do. In fact, if I insist on being heterosexual, it’s unthinkable that I should also be willing to procreate. At least not more than 1 or 2 times. Which brings me to another favorite that I’ve heard several times lately.

“How can you possibly consider bringing another child into this world when there are so many starving children in it already?” Explain to me how this logic works? The child in my womb is not currently starving, nor will he/she be after he/she is born. Yes, many people in this world are impoverished and hungry. May I ask what you are doing to help with this problem? Does your choice to contracept somehow help feed, clothe or shelter them? I do contribute to causes that help feed, clothe, and shelter these people, but that has nothing to do with my willingness to reproduce. Those are two very separate issues. Or perhaps you’re implying that instead of having my own children, I should adopt those children? Did you ask me if I was open to adoption or did you just assume that I’m somehow too selfish to consider that? It’s funny that I’m the one who regularly passes up nights out or vacations to anywhere in favor of having and supporting a family, while you choose to do everything in your power to avoid having to sacrifice growing your shoe collection in favor of having a child. Yet, I’m the one you somehow assume is selfish. It’s been a while since my clinical psyc class, but I’m pretty sure that’s called projection. The funnier thing is I didn’t randomly walk up to you and ask why you would consider wearing a designer outfit when there are so many starving children in the world. That, however, would have been a much more logical question.

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2 thoughts on “Pseudo-Tolerance

  1. I think that the two questions are actually quite similar. The person wears a designer outfit because it gives them happiness from feeling rich, well dressed, beautiful, or maybe superior. You are pregnant because it gives you happiness perhaps from feeling connected to your husband, the joy of knowing a baby will soon be in your arms, or maybe satisfaction that you’re bringing in another servant to do God’s work.

    I can’t say for sure, but I feel that most people’s actions are motivated by a search for happiness. While some believe that money or fancy things will result in happiness, others look to relationships and community service. But it all boils down to searching for happiness, and though I don’t know your motivations, it’s possible that both you and your designer clothed counterpart both chose not to adopt because you don’t think it would bring about happiness.

    Finally, one line if your post struck a chord with me: “I think a lot of the world problems could be solved with a little more tolerance and respect.” I agree with you completely. Despite the fact that I cannot imagine ever sharing some of your beliefs, you often present valid arguments that I respect and that make me think about my choices. You often either cement my own seperateb beliefs or lead me to more research and pondering. I just think that at times you could have a little more respect as well. When you have the word “baby killers” in posts, I feel that you are not showing respect. Whether or not you believe that abortion is killing babies is irrelevant. I’m sure you wouldn’t teach your children to point and yell “You’re fat and ugly” to people on the street even if, in truth, they were overweight and unattractive. So even if you feel that something is the truth, there are more respectful ways of putting it.

    Congratulations on your third baby, and good luck with the delivery!

    • Thanks for your thoughtful comment and well-wishes! You are absolutely right that phrases like “baby killers” are neither respectful nor tolerant. I must say that when writing in my own blog, I don’t find what I believe to be “irrelevant.” That’s the whole reason I have a blog, to write about what I believe. I do fully understand your point and agree that my arguments would be better made using less devise terms. Have a great day!

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