the farce of it all

She told me about the rapes during a long run.

Although she didn’t call it that.

She was a nursing student on rotation in the maternity ward. She was shadowing a senior nurse who cautioned her that sometimes the nurses walk in on husbands having sex with their wives after they gave birth.

When a woman is raw and swollen and her tissue is held together by stitches. When the blood is still falling out of her in jellied clumps. Before her milk comes in.

“That is not sex,” I said. “Does anyone stop it? Do they call the police?”

She didn’t know.

My mind flashed to six months earlier when I was at that same hospital at 34 weeks pregnant and experiencing complications. My 2-year-old and husband left the room to visit the vending machines downstairs. That’s when a nurse came in.

“Don’t let him make you have sex,” she said sternly.

I laughed because that is not my life. I stopped when she repeated her warning: “Don’t let him make you.”

I forgot about that conversation until the report about the Supreme Court potentially overturning Roe leaked and I began reading more about some of the trigger laws that would ban all abortions, including those for rape and incest. The cruelty of it all is stunning.

“Don’t let him make you.”

The memory sickens me. At the time I didn’t think to ask: Why didn’t she speak up when my husband was in the room? Why didn’t she talk directly to him about the risks? Why are we STILL punishing women?

Mother’s Day. What a farce.

2 thoughts on “the farce of it all

  1. “Don’t let him make you” is something I have been fortunate enough to never have experienced in my marriage. However, I do wish that people in my life would have spoken up in my adolescence, perhaps I would have found my own voice earlier. I cannot for the life of me understand how we are being set up for this madness again. This time, I will use my voice to shout.

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