June 21, 2008

Excited Delirium Book: Chapter 38 (FAB: Female & Barren)

By liam

Author’s Note: The following is Chapter 38 of the my online book "Excited Delirium". Please post comments. Please tell your friends about this story. If you’ve missed a chapter, please click here for Chapter 1 (Prelude) or here for the full index .

In Manhattan, a small group of women who call themselves “FAB”, short for “Female and Barren”, meet at a designated location the first Tuesday of every month.

At their meetings, they discuss victories and more often, defeats, associated with facing a life of being barren. The format of the meetings is similar to AlAnon (although without the religion), where people introduce themselves to the crowd, talk about their history, describe their situation and end with the question: “Does it matter?”

For most of these women, they’ve moved beyond the notion that childbearing and breeding are important facets to their lives. “Does it matter?” is the leading question that was intentionally institutionalized as part of the structure in order to open a discussion about the need to bring more children into the world.

Some might think that it would be like a gathering of people who have suffered a bout with cancer and now they’re all telling war stories about chemo treatment, physical therapy, hair-loss and the like.

Surprisingly, the meetings are oddly uplifting. On occasion, some women find it hard to shake the yoke of shame that they think should be associated with their inability to give birth to children, but as they meet, greet, talk and learn, the early somber moods turn to revelry, usually ending in many empty bottles of Sauvignon Blanc and discussions about who’s running for the Presidential nomination or favourite artists.

On some occasions, the attendees would chat about zero population and how not having kids is good for the environment, whereas on others, conversation might revert to some of the challenges, like abusive husbands incapable of understanding that having an heir would just not happen.

The organizer originally had dreams of quarterly or rare gatherings where women could get these issues off their chests, but even in her wildest estimates would she predict how the FAB movement would jump from city to city, Facebook group to Facebook group and country to country, like a flame seeking oxygen. Within just three years, there were more than 10 million women worldwide who were official members, speaking fifteen languages, on five continents.

They ran magazines, public web sites and social organizations, did member drives that would fund therapy and other support programs, all the while remaining below the radar of the mainstream media.

Diana was well aware that as people shared their ‘war stories’, they’d break the ice, have some fun and realize that being a breeder just doesn’t matter.

Diana realized that what she started to cure her woes would ultimately challenge the mindless devotion to creating hungry mouths and angry teens.

(Note: "Excited Delirium" is a work of fiction. Any person, place or thing depicted in this work of fiction is also a work of fiction. Any relation of these subjects or characters to real locations, people or things are an unintentional coincidence.)

Read more with Chapter 39

Did you miss a chapter? If so, click here to see all chapters or click here to go to Excited Delirium: Chapter 1 (Prelude)

Creative Commons License
Excited Delirium by Liam Young is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 2.5 Canada License .
Based on a work at www.exciteddelirium.ca .