Unprotected sex – not single-parent benefits – causes unintended pregnancies

Dear Madam/Sir,

I respectfully disagree with “Unequal benefits for single unwed mums a matter of deterrence” (Aug 3).

The writer argues that benefits for single parents is an incentive for people to have children out of wedlock.

Children are not born out of wedlock as a result of benefits for single parents.

It is unprotected intercourse between heterosexual couples which causes unintended pregnancies.

As a matter of public interest, unprotected sex occurs for myriad reasons.

It ranges from the thrill of making love in the raw to ignorance about reproductive cycles.

Unprotected sex can also inadvertently take place when prophylactics fail.

Couples most assuredly do not have unprotected sex while thinking about the benefits that single parents will obtain.

It is the furthest on the average person’s mind before and during the deed.

Unplanned conception can be deterred through holistic sexuality education programmes, such as those already being carried out in educational institutions.

But the best laid plans of mice and men often go awry; there will be people who fall through the cracks, as well as accidents that happen.

Single-parent benefits will address these unfortunate scenarios – not incentivise more women and men to make the beast with two backs.

Thank you.

Best regards,
Laremy LEE (Mr)

(Published as “Unprotected sex, not state benefits, causes unintended pregnancies” on 4 Aug 2015 in TODAY.)

Dreams

Nani has begun dreaming again.Since she began recounting her life, she’s been having dreams of her youth.She dreams…

Posted by Laremy Lee on Saturday, 11 July 2015

 
Nani has begun dreaming again.

Since she began recounting her life, she’s been having dreams of her youth.

She dreams about 1930s Sindh, in what was still India, and not yet Pakistan.

In them, she recalls the freedom of childhood and being a child: how she and her friends ran races, played games like dog and bone, how they roamed the streets of Hyderabad – courageously, in all their urchin-like temerity.

She remembers fearlessness: her father never scolded her so she was very brave; her mother would back down whenever Nani stood up to her – which was often.

There were neither borders nor obligations; no boundaries to be afraid of crossing.

Most of all, she remembers the freedom.

Were you happy, Nani, we ask.

“Khush,” she says, spreading her gnarled fingers in an expanse of expression. Happy.

“Ma free has; ma sochandas ma free aayah.”

“I was free,” she said. “I would think then, ‘I am free.'”

A Taste of Home: Moong Ki Dhal

Nani, my grandmother, making dhal

A Taste of Home: Moong Ki Dhal
By Laremy Lee

Despite speaking disparate tongues, food bridges different generations and brings this family together.

“Where did she put it?” my grandmother asked in Sindhi, as she rummaged through the freezer.

“Put what?” I asked my grandmother in English, watching her with curious eyes.

Methi, methi,” she replied.

Methi?” I asked, perplexed. “What’s methi?”

While I’ve heard of this spice, I couldn’t cross-reference its name in Sindhi with its English name, and hence, picture how it looked like.

Biji, biji,” she said, using the Malay term for seeds as she continued rummaging through the freezer.

Methi? Seeds? I thought to myself, puzzled, wondering how I could avert this potential crisis in the kitchen.

Alas, too late. My grandmother sighed dramatically before announcing to no one in particular, her voice slightly muffled by the still-open freezer door: “I don’t know where Shanta put.”

Turning to Google for explanation, I soon found my answer…

(continued…)