Even though I grew up in the JWs, my parents always expected me to be able to function independently. They wanted me to go to college after high school and have some kind of career to fall back on. I got a lot of flak for it too, and eventually quit college because of the conflicting demands on my time. I wasn't able to keep my grades at a level that I wanted to achieve while still being an active JW. Something had to give.
I wasn't much liked by the JWs, because I had strong opinions about gender equality, and because I balked whenever a male JW attempted to 'put me in my place'. They ignored the JWs' own Headship Principle™ and tried to reprimand me directly rather than speaking to Mr Scully. I'd always remind them that they were out of line and if they saw something that I was doing that was really needing correction, they should be talking to my husband out of respect for his Headship™, but that it probably wouldn't be of any use, because Mr Scully didn't have a problem with things I was doing, and since they were Matters of Conscience™, they needed to mind their own business.
Eventually, I woke up to the reality that a woman needs to have her own independent income stream - should I ever find myself widowed or otherwise alone with children to raise, I wouldn't have been able to manage on a low-level retail income to keep a roof over our heads and food on the table, and I certainly couldn't rely on the JWs to provide assistance (being the stellar examples of christian love that they are ). I went back to school, contrary to the chiding I received from JWs we knew, who kept bleating about how Armageddon™ is Right Around The Corner™, and that I was wasting my time in college. That was over a decade and a half ago, and in the interim we left the JWs and their nay-saying and dream squashing. We're much better off in so many ways, and far happier than we ever were in the JWs.
The ban on blood transfusions, in my professional opinion, exemplifies the Organization™'s misogyny at a visceral level. Consider the fact that the first fractions to be allowed were clotting factors used for the treatment of haemophilia. Haemophilia A (deficiency of Clotting Factor VIII) is a disease that almost exclusively affects males, at a rate of 1 in 5000-10000 live male births. Haemophilia B (deficiency of Clotting Factor IX) affects 1 in 20,000 to 34,000 live male births. Using the most conservative of those statistics, there are roughly 1000 male JWs (given a total population of 7.5 million JWs worldwide) affected by haemophilia, whose lives are vastly improved with the use of clotting factors to treat their condition.
On the other hand, obstetrical emergencies, including DIC (Disseminated Intravascular Coagulation) which is the result of out-of-control Pregnancy Induced Hypertension (PIH) and HELLP syndrome (Hemolysis + Elevated Liver enzymes + Low Platelet count), as well as postpartum haemorrhages, antepartum haemorrhages, abruptio placentae and uterine rupture, are life-threatening emergencies that have claimed the lives of more JW females in the developed world than is warranted in the 21st century. The only treatment for DIC is completely replacing the woman's blood volume with transfusions, sometimes the patient's blood volume needs replacing several times over. I've seen patients who spent weeks in ICU and had over 50 units of blood transfused. But they lived.
In an article published in the BJOG, it was determined that JW women are six times more likely to die in childbirth than non JW women. The statistics included a 130-fold increased risk of death due to major obstetrical haemorrhage.
Yet the WTS continues to deny women the self-determination to choose life-saving treatment, while men whose lives were at risk due to haemophilia were the very first ones for whom the WTS approved the use of blood fractions that would save their lives and improve the quality of their lives.
I've said this before and I'll say it over and over again until the day I die:
If it were MEN instead of women and children who were dying in childbirth for lack of blood transfusions, you'd see the WTS change its tune on blood transfusions in a heartbeat. I believe, in my heart of hearts, that this evil policy demonstrates more clearly than anything else how little value the lives of women and children have in the WTS.
This is why JW women need to become feminists - so they can advocate for their own lives, so they can advocate for the opportunity to raise and love the children they bear, so they can keep their families intact. They need to become feminists and, if they choose to remain JWs, they need to advocate for change that will save their own lives, their daughters' lives, and the lives of their Sister™ JWs. They have to stop allowing JW men to tell them how to live and how to die for this belief system.