By: Reya D
As Mother’s Day passed and we all cherished the everlasting love between mothers and their children, grandchildren, etc., did anyone think about the decisions made before mom became mom? As in did “mom” want to become “mom” at the age of 20? Did she have any other aspirations or things she wanted to accomplish before motherhood? Did she have a choice or know about family planning practices? Did she know about birth control?
I know that birth control is still a topic that I do not openly discuss with my mother, aunts or grandmother because I know that they think sex only happens after marriage. Moreover, I was never talked to about sex from my relatives, female or male; I learned about sex outside of my home through TV shows, movies, music, peers, etc. Thus, my knowledge about birth control was limited to either abstinence or a condom. It was not until a white girlfriend asked me, “Are you on the pill?” that I became introduced to another option of birth control, an option of birth control that I would control. Being introduced to a form of contraceptive that I would control allowed me to have a fuller understanding of my sexuality.
The misinformation and silence surrounding the South Asian women’s sexual activity has a clear impact on women’s health. South Asian women’s sexuality and sex should be areas where women control their health experiences, contraceptives provide avenues for this. I remember that condoms were readily available and free throughout high school and university, and birth control pills were not. It begs to question if the pill were free or made more readily available if more young women would pick it up and take control? As a young South Asian woman, I see the pill as being just one more way of taking our sex life into our command. I feel empowered by having access to a form of contraceptive I control. It is my hope that birth control options become more readily available and accessible so that women can make informed choices about their health and safety.