I was recently made aware of the acronym MILF, which, according to a reliable and outraged source, means "Mother I'd Like to Fuck."
Well, isn't that nice?
One of the nicest things about it, I find, is that it assumes that such mothers are in the minority. Otherwise it wouldn't need an acronym; there'd be M for Mothers, and MIKOOB for Mothers I'd Kick Out Of Bed, or similar. And, of course, there's the implied corollary that women who are not mothers mostly fall into the Women I'd Like To Fuck category, because, well, WILF is just catchy.
And because there are, as we all know, Maidens, Mothers and Whores. And Mothers are the safe ones, who do not come with a load of desirability baggage. This goes back about a zillion years to the dawn of the anti-feminist backlash or whatever, depending on whether you believe certain Golden Age fantasties (when women ruled the world and lived in peace and harmony and never died of STDs or childbirth and celebrated their menses and revelled in their menopause and so on). It's sitting pretty at the back of the general subconscious; people react a lot more badly to "young mother (21) raped in park" than to "young woman (21) raped in park" because mothers are suppsed to be inviolate, asexual, aloof - and that's crazy.
Mothers are sexual creatures, just like they were when they started trying to conceive, and for much the same reasons. There hasn't been an immaculate conception for at least 2,000 years; getting around the sex-makes-babies equation takes quite a lot of science and time and effort (usually, ho hum, effort on the part of women, messing around with thermometers and pills and placebo pills and the indignity of infertility treatment).
So it stands to reason that most women with at least one child have had sex at least once. I'm sure you'll agree.
And women with two children of different ages, that is to say, not twins, have had sex atleast twice. Yes?
And what proportion of the adult (as in, of childbearing age) female population of the planet, until now, has been women who had at least one child?
I don't know, but I bet it's more than half. That's a lot of mothers having sex. Wahey!
But nonetheless we have this big blanket over the whole thing, like the discretion blanket people drape over their babies heads when they breastfeed in public, so that everyone can tell at a glance what they're doing but can't see anything.
(Breastfeeding is not a sexual act. Breasts are not primary sex characteristics. Someday the world will earn to cope with them. There will be no more breastfeeding in this thinking-aloud.)
And the discretion blanket shows everyone that there's sex there, but that it's at the very least extremely private, and posssibly shameful and secret, too.
So when I toddle off to the doctor and say "Hello Mister Doctor Person I had a baby and now I can't have sex," the doctor just isn't programmed to think "Oh goodness, that's appalling, we must try and fix it." No, the doctor is programmed to think "Oh well, sex isn't all that important to people like you, so we'll just send you on your way."
I get a little more sympathy when I say "But I want to have another baby!" - and I admit, that is the truly devestating part of the whole affair, but it's not the ONLY part - because mothers are supposed to want more babies. I get a bit of understanding when I say "And that means that my husband can't have sex," and the Health Visitors all ask me "Oh, dear, how is Rob coping?" - and they mean "Is he being nice to you or does he hate not having sex so much it's ruining your relationship?"
But almost no-one (the most recent Health Visitor is a counterexample) thinks that it's a terrible thing that I, a healthy 26-year-old married woman with no hormonal problems or disease problems or anything like that just cna't have sex.
Even when I want to.
Possibly ever again.
Because I'm a mother, and because I'm a woman, and I'm not sure which of these is the primary reason.