Another triumph of feminism I suppose.
Three weeks ago, I bought a pregnancy test. As a single, childless woman in my late 30s, my exact thoughts while I was waiting for the result were as follows: ‘If I am not pregnant, then good. I’m happy.
Life continues as before. Panic over. If I am pregnant, then that’s terrifying. But thrilling, too. A happy accident that was meant to happen, whether I stay with the father or not.’
The test, as it happened, was negative which means, for me, another narrow escape or a lost opportunity – depending on which way you look at it.
But my life could so easily have gone one of two ways that day, and I couldn’t help thinking of that when I read about a new book on late motherhood called Accidentally On Purpose.
The author – single, 39-year-old Mary Pols – got pregnant as a result of unprotected sex on an ill-advised one-night stand, and the book is all about her emotional journey to single mumdom, not to mention her heroic attempts to forge some sort of relationship with the stranger who fathered her child.
In the book, she asks herself whether she conceived ‘accidentally on purpose’. The sex in question, she insists, was purely for pleasure. But was there a secret agenda at work?
She was, after all, like the rest of us maturing singletons, in the last-chance saloon as far as her fertility was concerned. True love, marriage and all that was passing her by.
Maybe she didn’t deliberately set out to ensnare the guy. But there was no way she was even going to consider an abortion once she discovered she was expecting, and now the child is five and the light of her life.
The truth is that there are thousands of other ‘accidental mothers’ out there. You have only to look at the statistics to realise that.
More than half of all conceptions are outside marriage, for a start. Couple that with the fact there has been a sharp increase in the number of children born to those in the 35-39 age group, and you get the picture.
Some of these women approach the task in a far more ruthless manner than Mary Pols did, purposefully going out and sleeping with men when they know they are at their most fertile.
In America, they even have a name for this – they call them ‘gotcha’ pregnancies. Many of the women involved deliberately avoid birth control and have no intention of letting their unwitting bedfellow know this.
There is another term too, ‘keep a man baby’. This is when a woman, afraid of losing her boyfriend, deliberately gets pregnant to try and trap him.
Here is the chestnut;
And much as I think it is immoral to set out to get pregnant in such a calculated way, sometimes you are just so bored with trying to find the perfect nuclear set-up that a small primitive part of you just thinks: ‘Ooh, let’s just see what happens with this one, and if this leads to a baby, then so be it.’
And women wonder why men avoid them (when they’re not blinding throwing ad hominem attacks, desperately trying to shame them into compliance). The other negative to this is, due to the sexist laws in the West, a whoops-a-daisy bitch can sleep with another guy and lie about it, getting another man to pay, and the State will do nothing, also sperm donors are sued for child support. Any more proof as to the non-existent rights of men to children can be seen here.