I think it was Andrea Dworkin who said - ages ago - something along the lines of to men, women are private property. Or at least, men think this is the case. The way drivers think that public roads are made for cars, never mind the rest of the public. I realise, this is not necessarily the best analogy but I am mostly travelling by bicycle and it is Sunday evening and I have yet to recover from the week behind me while getting in shape for the week ahead. I did cycle today and yesterday and the day before, as a means of getting from A to B on public roads. Also, Andrea Dworkin probably meant right wing men.
Anyway, I have just worked my way through my usual Sunday paper reading tasks and here is my top find.
To All Those Who Dare Rob Us of Our Bodily Choice, I ask you:
What is it about our bodies that makes you so afraid, so insecure, so cruel and punishing?
Is it their singular autonomy or mere existence?
Is it their capacity for immense and unending pleasure – orgasms that can multiply orgasms inside orgasms? Is it our skin? Is it our desire?
Is it our openness that rattles you and reminds you of where you are closed?
Is it the pure strength of our bodies that allows us to bleed and birth and bend and carry and continue on in spite of all the ways you have reduced us and objectified us, humiliated us and disrespected us and tried to shape us into baby-making machines? Our strength that is inherent and doesn’t need to prove itself or show off or rely on weapons or violence to control and terrorise? Doesn’t need to abolish laws, or lie to become supreme court judges or president or rig the decks when they get there.
Do you know this power? Can you imagine it? A power that comes from respecting life, caring for others before oneself, holding communities together?
. . .
What is it about our bodies that make you think you have the right to invade them, determine them, control and legislate them, violate and force them to do anything against their will?
Perhaps you mistake our generosity for weakness, our patience for passivity, our vulnerability for fragility.
. . .
This is our world now. And these are our bodies. We know what you are up to – this is just the beginning of your diabolical plan to rob us of contraception and marriage equality and civil rights and on and on. This is all part of your desperation to prevent the future that is on the verge of being born – a future where we know our past and begin to reckon with it, a future where we teach critical race theory and the truth about white supremacy and sexism and transphobia.
A future where we care for our Earth and devote our lives to protecting air and water and forests and animals and all living things, a future where people have autonomy over their bodies and wombs and gender and marry who they want to, and don’t get married if they don’t want to, and have babies if they want to, and don’t have babies if they don’t want to. Despite all your lies, strategies and devious ways you are simply never going to stop us.
You have unleashed our fury, our solidarity, our unity.
(to read the whole commentary article by V (formerly known as Eve Ensler) click here)
I live in a country where abortion is generally punishable for all parties involved but exceptions apply which means that abortion is exempt from punishment in certain situations incl. medical indications such as if the woman's life is in danger or there is a risk of serious impairment of her physical or mental state of health. Also, if the pregnancy is based on a sexual offence such as rape. The costs are covered by statutory health insurance, i.e. everybody. But we are watching. We know there are (mostly) men who are getting very excited watching what's happening across the Atlantic.