By Siouxsie Q Wednesday, Jul 29, 2015
Now that I’ve turned 30 and I’m about to get married, I know the questions about babies will start coming. Isn’t my biological alarm clock supposed to go off any day now?
Older women have been telling me since my early 20s, “Even though you don’t want babies now, it’ll happen soon.” But it’s yet to happen, and I am probably OK with that.
As a kid, I was allowed to watch almost any scary movie I wanted. Poltergeist, Jaws, and Alien were some of my favorites. I’m sure my mother hoped that being exposed to a badass female like Ripley would be good for her budding feminist daughter, but Sigourney Weaver’s moans and pleas for someone to end her life during the chest-burster nightmare in Aliens looked a lot like videos I had seen of women giving birth, giving me a lifelong, irrational fear of pregnancy.
But there are other, less irrational, fears that also prevent me from getting too serious about family planning.
I was at another sex worker’s wedding earlier this month. It was a small affair, since the bride’s family is no longer in her life, partially due to her profession. The groom’s family wasn’t exactly ecstatic about her profession either, but family members had come to the wedding anyway. In the days before, the groom’s parents made a request to spend an afternoon with my friend’s two young sons — alone.
That’s probably a reasonable request for future grandparents to make, but when I caught wind of this while putting on mascara before the ceremony, I launched into a full-blown panic attack.
“They’re going to try and take the babies!” I cried into my fiancé’s arms, rubbing my mascara off on his pearl snap shirt. “I just know it. They’re going to say she’s an unfit mother because she does porn and they’re going to try and take them away.” Though my reaction may have been based in paranoia, my fears are rooted in reality.
According to the Global Network of Sex Work Projects, a Swedish sex worker and activist who went by the name Petite Jasmine lost custody of her children because of her job. They were placed with her abusive ex-husband and Jasmine was denied protection from the state, despite her husband’s history of violence and harassment. On July 11, 2013, Jasmine’s ex-partner stabbed a social worker supervising a visit with her child and killed Jasmine.