i read an article yesterday in the Indian Express that pissed me off. well, not the idea in the article itself, just the use of a particular word. the article was a report on how safe sex and the spread of HIV/AIDS awareness is leading to lesser kids being available for adoption. now, i think this is excellent in many ways, two of which i wanna discuss.
first, i believe in pre-marital sex. i have come to believe, through enough literature and some minor empirical research, that a healthy sex-life is necessary for a healthy married life. sex, communication and compromise are hallmarks of a good marriage, though not necessarily in that order (i'm talking about the spouses between themselves only, leaving out the added need to be together for the kids and the like). and let's face it, we're born with the necessary mechanism to reproduce, and also with the propensity to enjoy it, but, for us, and chimpanzees, sex it not just about propagation. in fact, sex is hardly ever for propagation for the better part of our lives. i say that sex is primarily for recreation, for enjoyment. so, considering that the healthiness of the relationship to some extent depends on the sex, it follows that the sex must be good for it to continue to be desired by both parties in a relationship. for the guy, things are simple enough, for the gal, they're not. simply put, the guy's got his job cut out for him if he is to satiate the gal. that takes knowledge, patience, self-control, and above all, (in my opinion) practice. that's where pre-marital sex comes in. practiced partners know their way around better, or at least they should. at the very least, they are less inhibited, and are likely to be more proactive in thier sexual relations, getting the partner to do what they want, and giving what they can reasonably expect the partner to want. that'll take that much longer for virginal spouses to figure out, and if the initial encounters are disappointing, that could lead to the disastrous consequence of less future encounters, or fear of intimacy arising from self-doubt over performance. these are not the only arguments i have for pre-marital sex, but that's not the point of this post. anyhow, safe sex, effective use of contraception, diminished need of emergency contraception, but use of emergency contraception when necessary, and hopefully no need for abortions, these are considerations for those indulging in sexual relations outside (or inside) of marriage.
secondly, i think it's great that there are lesser kids available for adoption. that translates to lesser orphans, lesser kids being abandoned, most of them being born due to unsafe sexual practices anyway. i've never been to a childrens' home run by an adoption agency. i've seen a juvenile justice home ('rehab' home for minors convicted of crimes) and it's no picnic. in any case, i don't think it can be a lot of fun growing up as an abandoned child, your closest hope of leading somthing like a normal life depending on the chance of someone thinking you're cute enough to be adopted. or being chucked out of the children's home after you reach a certain age and then trying to scratch a living. heck, if infertile couples think adoption is their best hope, let them go in for IVF, surrogacy, sperm banks. no harm in reducing the number of orphans, is there?
but anyhow, i'm sorry it took this long, but i'll come now to the point of all this. the article had a sentence which reads as follows - "Most of them (adoption agencies) attribute it (lesser kids being available for adoption) to the HIV awareness campaigns advocating the use of condoms, besides availability of emergency contraceptive pills, preventing unwanted pregnancies and leading to fewer illegal births by unwed mothers." (Emphasis mine)
excuse me, "illegal births"? as in births not in accordance with the law? that's got some rather wide connotations, don't you think? the word "illegal" is being thrown around rather flippantly these days, kinda like the word "love". rape's illegal, human and narcotics trafficking is illegal, driving the wrong way down a one-way street is illegal. giving birth out of wedlock is illegal? hey, it's not like these kids have enough to deal with already. start calling their births "illegal" why don't you? i mean after all, they're bastards anyway, why not tell them that the societal fabric equates them to spitting on the street.
for the record, a child born out of wedlock is "illegitimate" for the purpose of family and succession laws. it means that their rights to parents' family property are either limited or non-existent depending on the context. but courts and legislatures the world over, including in India, have held that the illegitimate child is entitled to certain things from his bological parents, like maintenance. they weren't born out of choice, not their own anyway.
fine, i'm prepared to accept that the express news service didn't 'mean it that way'. but this is a premier newspaper we're talking about. how about a little bit of caution in what you write! even if very few people give a shit about those bastards in the first place, at least we're hypocritical enough to be pissed off at incorrect references to their existence. doesn't that count for something these days?
p.s. if u wanna read the article, it's on the front page of the pune newsline supplement to the indian express dated may 25, 2009, monday.