“Parking for Women with One-Footed Dogs Over the Age of Six” Only”
It started out simply enough. I needed some coke, chips and pop tarts, the three basic food groups, and there it was; a new sign in the parking lot. The sign read Parking for Women with Infants Only. It was the first spot right in the front by the door. I laughed and promptly pulled into it. Now don’t get me wrong. I heartily agree with the parking up front for the physically handicapped. I think it makes things a bit easier for them and shows kindness, but this new sign strikes on a nerve.
This country deifies motherhood in a way that I find borders on just plain silliness. Human beings, for all we disdain the comparison, are in fact nothing more than animals. We’re the top of the food chain, yes, but still, we are animals; mammals to be more precise. The fact is that the drive for sexual fulfillment, the drive to strive to reproduce, is one that is built into the fiber of our beings. It’s nature. It’s not something we have taught ourselves to desire for the good of the human race, or the betterment of all mankind. It’s inborn. The knowledge of how to achieve this feat, is also inborn. I do believe we have elevated it to more of an artform, which I’m thankful for, but even someone totally untaught will figure out the way to perform the act of procreation. It’s like the natural seeking of a baby for something to suck on. It’s inborn.
Somewhere along the line, the act of procreation has become something that is akin to the sort of miracles that lead to cannonization. The fact of the matter is . . . you can be passed out drunk, in the back of a pick-up truck, and wake up the next day pregnant. You can be a teenager with your boyfriend fumbling in the dark when you’re parents aren’t home and come out of the exploration pregnant. You can be as rich as Rockefeller or as poor as the proverbial churchmouse and become pregnant through the exact same basic procedure. It’s not a miracle; its the law of nature in action. Did you know that there are women who have lain in a coma and medical science have enabled them to maintain their pregnancy and deliver the baby when it was time? Seems to me the effort there was all on the doctor’s part.
Are there those who cannot become pregnant? Yes, but we aren’t discussing the aberrations of nature that lead to those conditions. The fact remains that every animal in the animal kingdom, from the majestic lions to the lowest cockroach, and even the unseen cells of any organism, have the innate ability to reproduce. So why do human beings elevate it to something that should be viewed in the same light as the resurrection of the Christ?
I know some of you by now are gasping; shocked and appalled by this heresy. That reaction rather proves my point. It’s not enough that women, for all we pride ourselves on how far we’ve come in our evolution as women, are the first ones to deride and demean any woman who actually makes the decision to choose not to have children. It’s not enough that those who choose not to reproduce are looked at with pity and sympathy without even finding out if its a state that was chosen. Now, we have to go to the supermarket, and have it further shoved in our faces that somehow, through an act of primal nature driven desires, these women are better or more special than we are.These women, who choose a lifestyle without having consulted us for our opinion on it, have decided they outrank us and rate a parking space for no other reason than that they did indeed choose that particular lifestyle.
I’ve made choices on my lifestyle as well. I choose, for instance, to own a dog instead of a cat. I choose to drive a wagon instead of a van. I choose to have long hair instead of short. What of all the other lifestyle choices that others make? Let’s take this a bit further, for if we are going to give special treatment to a woman simply because she allowed nature to have its course, then let’s give special treatment to everyone based on the same flimsy reasoning.
What about the fathers who have infants? What about grandmothers who have infant grandchildren with them? How about the women with dogs spot, or the men with cuddly kittens spot? Maybe we should consider the truly oppressed. What about the fathers who are babysitting their five children and have no idea what they are doing parking spot? Or how about the women who don’t have children but have huge purses to wrangle with parking spot? The choice to not have a toddler to haul in and out of a car does not make those who have chosen that of less value, or importance, than the woman who chose to have one.
Do I park in those spots? Yes. And when some inevitable arrogant, spoiled woman who didn’t want to tote her offspring 10 more feet demands to know where my infant is, I smile proudly, and reply, “In my trunk, but don’t worry there are airholes” and continue on about my day, a warm feeling in my stomach that I have stood up for my non-breeding sisters in just one small way.