Listen, My Children...

Every Little Helps

Friday, July 04, 2003

Expecting Adam

Reading a book called Expecting Adam. Basic story, it's about a Harvard woman expecting a baby with Down syndrome. Wider, it's about the Harvard training that made it impossible for people to accept that she wouldn't instantly want to kill the creature who wasn't perfect, and it's about her experiences both spiritual and temporal during the pregnancy. It's in no way a mushy book on a woman who rose above it all and became perfect. (I hate those.) It's not a book about Christianity. What it is, is wonderful.

And, everything she says about Harvard rings so true. People's responses to various things (fainting in class and morning sickness being a psychosomatic capitulation to oppressive patriarchy trying to create a weak woman, a child not destined for academic achievement being not worth having, etc.) seem quite expected to me. Maybe in a few years I'll wake up.

And one bit which rang true to me, not for feminism but for culture and religion in my case: A woman has just told her that by being pregnant and physically weakened by it, she is ruining everything for all of womankind (ok, so I get that too, for knitting and cooking, but it doesn't really hit me personally), and she says:

"I felt a sense of panic, not so much because I truly believed I was ruining every woman's chances for a fair shot in life but because I knew somebody thought I was."

Good book.


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