Karabo Mokoena
Content producer
4 minute read
9 Sep 2019
7:00 am

Are we regulating the right bodies?

Karabo Mokoena

Why are we gaining unwanted weight just to avoid unwanted pregnancies?

I recently wrote a piece on the various options women have for birth control. I re-looked the long list of negative side effects that these options have versus the good, and I started wondering:

Are we perhaps regulating the wrong bodies?

Stay with me.

A woman can only get pregnant and give birth once in 9 months. That is a single pregnancy in one year.
A man can impregnate 9 women every day for 12 months. That’s over 3000 pregnancies in a one year.

There is a long history of birth control for both males and females. One of the first forms of birth control was an old school version of condoms made up of different kinds of materials. Women were also known to insert acid from fruits into their vaginas. They believed, that the acidity will make sperms less potent.

Giant leaps were made over the years to develop commercial condoms made of rubber, for both males and females. IUDs and injectable were also later produced.

1960 saw the arrival of oral birth control. The Enovid was the first oral contraceptive to be approved in the US in the 1960s. We have since seen the development of numerous forms of oral contraceptives with single and dual hormones.

What is the common denominator in all these options?

Women!

That begs the question of whether or not we need to start regulating the men more that we regulate the women. With all these advancements in medical science and technology, are you telling me we cannot produce a contraceptive that decreases the potency of sperm?

Unplanned pregnancies are not, and can never be, the sole responsibility of the woman. So why are we the ones swallowing a pill at the same time every day? Why are gaining unwanted weight just to avoid unwanted pregnancies?

“It’s a small price to pay for a lifetime commitment to another human life”.

This is a reason I was given once by someone I had this very conversation with.

This past week has been a difficult one for the country. Not only did we learn of the brutal killing of a 19-year-old University of Cape Town student Uyinene Mretyana, but we also learned of the senseless killing of Baby Lee. We continued to learn about Janika Mallo who was raped, bashed and buried in her grandmother’s backyard.

Many similar stories surfaced, some recent and some old and we started seeing far too many tweets of women and children that have been abducted.

The lesson we learn from these ordeals is that regardless of how much we teach our girls to protect themselves, they may still get hurt and killed.

Baby Lee was a boxing champion but was still killed by her ex-boyfriend. Which brings me back to my point; we should start investing the same energy towards men. Rather than asking women to be more vigilant, dress more ‘appropriately’ or be less provocative, we should teach and remind men that they do not have ownership over women.

Rather than advising women to leave their current contraceptive for a different one, let’s produce one that men can use.

Then we have the subject of abortion, which has always been quite the controversial one. The 6 weeks’ abortion bill that was debated and implemented in the state of Mississippi is the most nonsensical one of them all.

Not only should men stop trying to decide on issues involving women’s reproductive rights, how many women know that they are pregnant at 6 weeks?

I was 8 weeks pregnant when I found out I was expecting my daughter. If I had decided that I was not ready for motherhood and wanted to choose otherwise, I would have had to keep her if I was living in modern-day Mississipi.

Again I ask; Are we regulating the right bodies?

Does this bill even consider factors such as incest? Rape? Let’s rather regulate that than
invest so much time, energy and money on regulating bodies that have enough sense to
make decisions on their own.


Karabo Parenty Post BioKarabo Motsiri is a first-time mom, over-sharer, lover of life, chronic napper and married to her best friend. She loves a good party because the dance floor is her happy place. She enjoys good food, good conversations, laughs a little too hard, and cries during every episode of Grey’s Anatomy. She started her blogging journey because she wanted to share all the ups and downs of being a young modern mama in South Africa. Her blog Black Mom Chronicles has been featured on Ayana Magazine & SA Mom Blog. She has enjoyed airtime on Power FM and frequently writes for the parenting section of Saturday Citizen. She also works with MamaMagic on their Product Awards, Milestones Magazine, Heart to Heart blog, and the Baby Expo, which is South Africa’s biggest parenting expo. 

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