It’s A Sex Outcome, Not An Airborne Virus

Personally, I don’t care about politics. Never have and never will. The topic bores me half to death. That said, I do know the meaning of some political words and phrases, like “conservative” and “traditional family values”.

It’s hard not to know what those since, while my family’s not particularly political, they certainly believe in most of what’s associated what those terms. However, they’re certainly not the type to practice what they preach.

I’ve had a boyfriend and very happy relationship for the past eight months, and I learned my sister has a circle of friends who are men closer to my age than hers. Neither of us are sexually active at the moment, but we know about birth control, contraceptives, and abortion (although my sister is opposed to that last one).

Unfortunately, my mother and grandmother are of the old opinion that pregnancy is an impossible thing to avoid. They seem think of pregnancy as an airborne virus, believing it’s inevitable for any young woman who spends a lot of time around a man, and that men and women are incapable of being friends and nothing more.

Yes, my sister and I are aware many children are born out of wedlock. It’s hard not to be when we were both children born out of wedlock, as was our mother. Neither our mother or our grandmother were ever married. My mother became pregnant with me by my father in about half the time I’ve had my relationship, and the same is true for her pregnancy with my sister. We spent all of our teen years hearing about how awful teenage boys are and while I would agree with that opinion, bullying was my problem with the boys, not being tricked into sex. That, and teenage girls are just as awful.

Knowing that does not make what my mother and grandmother do any less frustrating. They’re free to hold their beliefs. What’s bothersome is when they treat my sister and I as if we’re too stupid to know better, or acting as if methods to prevent pregnancy don’t exist. I don’t live with them, so I don’t hear the brunt of it, but I do know they refer to us as “sluts”, “whores”, and other mean-spirited words for that we merely speak to men. Yes, I understand many parents often want better for their kids, but I think insisting it’s “slutty” for a young woman to speak to a man in an attempt to prevent them from getting pregnant out of wedlock is too much.

I suppose the upside is my sister and I are at ages where, thankfully, we can determine and maintain our own relationships, though it doesn’t feel good to have your family be so against your friends or partner. I sometimes wonder if they’ll really hold up those opinions for the rest of their lives or if they’ll loosen up as my sister and I reach our mid-twenties or perhaps thirties. Who knows? I may not even have contact with my mother by that time.

I’m Gonna Date. Get Over It.

Some people like to be babied. I am not one of them.

We came to see extended family for a reunion. For the first day and night, we stayed at my great-grandmother’s house. We left about 5:30 for the reunion and on the way out, one of my relatives made a little joke:

“Don’t go finding any boyfriends, Kaye!”

And my grandfather responded with:

“Oh, she won’t! I’m her boyfriend! She won’t be getting any boys! She’s my baby!”

Truth be told, that’s paraphrased, but it’s close enough. Everyone thought it was funny and since I didn’t want to kick up a storm, I said nothing. But in reality, it’s not funny at all.

Sure, it’s only an innocent comment, but with the exception of the “I’m her boyfriend” part, he was serious. I’m 18 years old and my grandfather still considers me too young to be dating. I’ve only gotten a slight interest in dating since 17, but that is besides the point. That joke might be “cute” now, but I doubt it will be so cute in three years when I’m 21 years old. Hopefully, I’ll have moved out by then.

Not to mention this was said to family. What if this was said in front of my summer camp? Or at school? I’m certain they wouldn’t take it as a joke. The (grand)papa wolf might be interpreted as “he just loves you” to everyone else, but to me, it’s smothering. If he doesn’t want me to date – now or later – that’s his problem, not mine. It’s really just going to force me to hide more things from him.

Whenever I find a relationship, that person will not meet my grandfather. Not until he can accept that I am 18 – or 19 or 20 or older – and not a baby anymore.