Get back inside your Box there, Lovely Girl.
"I could've, I'd have liked to have, done that! That would have been something really cool...interesting... to do?"
The boss and I watch 'Victoria' on Television, who, newly crowned, is busy signing documents from The Box. We know all about The Box having watched 'The Crown'. I figure that the Boss would have insisted on reading everything first, on giving the Prime Minister a thorough grilling before she signed any papers, if she had being doing that.
The Boss and Victoria are on the cusp of eighteen years, both on them on the cusp...
I say we watch, but its way more interactive than that. The Boss likes to compare, contrast, relate, run her TV viewing though her various mental apps as she watches. She likes to talk talk talk while she's at it it. It's pretty much Instant Feedback fired out to myself, struggling all the while to keep up with two eighteen year old women. Yeah.
We move on fairly quickly to the fact that it wasn't supposed to be Victoria on the throne at all, at all. Oh no. The ghost of poor Charlotte shimmers. Poor Charlotte, dying in childbirth, clearing the way for Victoria. Her shade thickens, darkens, as Victoria is impregnated by pretty boy Albert. (Oh how I miss Lord M). The Boss mulls over how that would feel...love, virginal sex, and pregnancy with an even chance of being a mother or dead...
Bloodlines, Jeans and Refugees.
But first, there was marrying your cousin.
"So okay, they wanted to marry only other Royals, but your euuugh, like, first cousin? Hello?"
"Um. Depends on the cousin, darling?"
"No! It doesn't!"
"Well now, it's all in how you look at it, isn't it? I mean you have to remember the Bloodlines!"
"Yeah, the Bloodlines. You want to hear some Irish families talking about that, the bloodlines!"
I mean, like, not just funny anachronistic Royals care about Bloodlines, ye know."
"Yeah, but, it's genetically like, a really bad idea marrying your cousin isn't it!!"
"Yes and no, my darling" I say, warming to my theme.
"In Ireland not so long ago, down on the farm where most of us were, lots and lots of people got married to their cousins! Well, their second cousins, anyway..."
(I'd say now they'd say sure it never did 'em a bit of harm either. (Like being whacked at school or forbidden to have, speak or think of sex)
"Also it preserved the Bloodlines, the good old family genes?"
"Jeans? Genes? Why would anyone care about that. Who would care about that?"
"Very many people baby, then and now. Enough to treat women as breeding vessels to control outcomes. Enough to treat the Browning of this end of the world as a tragedy and a very bad thing.
Enough to watch refugees drowning out there in the ocean, or corralled in offshore camps to exist, just about. (Protecting us from the the distressing sight of the drowning children)
Down at the Graveyard / all the Lovely girls.
"Well anyway, back then I would have done something else, avoided baby making. Like, I mean, Jane Austen?" the boss offers, tired now of the Bloodlines.
She's finished Sense and Sensibility, moving on to Emma. She filters it all through her own female experience, snags on the cognitive dissonance between biology and individual being.
She loves the romance, the will she won't she get the guy. She has been briefed (by mother) about the graveyards back then crammed with first wives, killed by childbirth. She has been left with no illusions about the liklihood of being married off to a monied old man (on his third wife), on how you might come to the graveyard on your sixteenth child, your body giving way at last.
She knows that no one questioned that.
"I guess poor Tom could've got himself a fresh faced eighteen year old if he's only lived a hundred years ago" she remarks, interested. (Victoria's been forgotten in the conversational back and forth). Quite. She heard me on the phone on that one. Talking to (poor) Tom, middle aged, alone again and swearing no, nay, never, internet dating (for the middle aged) no never no more... Yeah.
She definitely would have dodged that Bullet so she would...
She tells me, cheerful now, thats she's off to bed, clutching the book, shrugging off graveyard shades, tragic girl brides, death by childbirth, as she goes. Clearly thinking that that was then and this is now, and anyway she would have been Victoria! or Jane Austen! or somehow anyhow bucked that trend, if she had lived back then. And also that that has nothing to with her as a girl/woman. Not. Anymore.
Biology being Destiny (not)
But not so fast my pretty. Is there a world of difference in fact between being a breeding machine bought and sold, and a girl obliged to give two hours and counting every day to making up her face, conceding comfort to tiny dresses, thongs! Girls do that in a a far more driven, focused way now than back then when we were marrying our second cousins. Our girls are subject to Expectations (of acrobatic sexual titillation) from boys weaned off Mummy's breast (finally) via internet pornography. Biology no longer destiny? Think again sister. The struggle to be a person, individual, is as bitter as ever it was I say.
I think about that as I listen to the media storm about the HPV vaccine. Ah yes, the HP virus, spread by sexual activity. The vastly increased exposure of girls, young women, to cervical cancer as a result. We used to be told to have regular smears, and that the early stages of cell mutation was easily treated. You had to take responsibility for that, but it was easily treatable. You had to take personal responsibility if you had sex! Oh.
There are some halfhearted proposals to inoculate the boys now. Ah yes, the boys, who are also at risk of cancer of the penis and other cancers from the same virus, as it turns out. They haven't been in the firing line to date. I guess they're home free if the girls take that bullet. Unless you are gay indeed. I wonder, and hope I'm wrong here, but I do wonder if there would be the same refusal to consider/acknowledge adverse reactions to the vaccine if we inoculated the girls and the boys. Just sayin'.
Hysterical women / Uterine.
Now, and yet again, we have a medical establishment arrogant and adamant that there are no adverse effects from the Gardasil vaccine. Despite the actual experience of girls and parents, the reports and lived experience of women. Nope! They don't accept it, won't believe it. So, there are maybe 800/900 young women out of 250,000 (or so) reporting adverse effects? Well, you will get that! That's no reason to refuse! Refuseniks! So, the reporting of adverse effects is not monitored, collated? Well, so what! Had anything been wrong we should surely have heard. From rational folk. From doctors and such like. Yeah.
There is clearly a cohert of young women who are vulnerable to adverse effects from this vaccine. If that was even acknowledged by the medical establishment we might see an effort to pin point who might be at risk and and why. Instead they insist all take a chance. And rush to shut you down if you don't accept that position.
It's a Cost Benefit Calculation Stoopid!
The good doctor is the one who admits to the limits of medical knowledge. Owns failures and harms occasioned by some medical treatments, initially based on certainties. There has been many such catastrophic failures. Thalidomide anyone? Narcolepsy following on the Swine flu vaccine (which, is at least is under investigation) The second rate close their minds to argument, opposition. And who is on the receiving end of this blind and lumpen arrogance? Why women, yet again, that's who. Women, who can't be trusted to have a view on this, can't be permitted to criticise, to question the medical sacred cows. Women, who can be bludgeoned with statistics about cancer deaths. Women, who have been driven like cattle from all the early graves to the hospital wards and over-medicalised childbirth.
The Medics have your Uterus, Lovely Girl.
It is a hazardous business, being a woman, Always was and always will be. It must be driven by women's voices, women's lived experience. We have to listen to what those girls and their families have to say about the HPV Vaccine. We have to explore all and alternative options to counter the threat of cervical cancer. We have to discuss why the virus is more prevalent now. Contrary to Minster Harris's toadying suggestion that only doctors, the medical establishment be allowed to speak, we have to open up this debate.
We could push the medics firmly back in their Box, find the best way for women to manage the hazards, traps, enigmas of womb, sexuality, and gender.
a girl is not an (empty) vessel, instrument, fool, only green is all. A girl is green and being...