Another GOP candidate has stirred the hornet’s nest of women’s rights and abortion by making one of the most blatantly absurd statements— no, that’s inaccurate, mainly because there is no way to gauge “most absurd” in this context. So many of them have come out and said shit everyone knew they were thinking but till recently had managed to either not say or have couched in more sophisticated and euphemistic language.
Richard Mourdock said that any pregnancy resulting from rape is “God’s intent.”
How to delicately respond to this…?
Oh, fuckit. This is bullshit.
The basic assumption of Biblical literalism these asshats have been using is a compendium of tribal law no one would approve across the board anymore because we don’t believe that shit anymore!
Did you know that, per the Old Testament, if a woman is raped and does not immediately scream and accuse the man, she is presumed guilty of adultery and is to be stoned to death? (All the various sexual rules related to this can be found in Deuteronomy 22.)
What is wrong with this is that it all—all—reduces a woman to property. I don’t care how you dress it up, interpret it, or reconstitute it, the reason we no longer regard Old Testament morays as valid is that they treat so many categories of people as property. It condones slavery, chattel bondage, the rights of fathers to kill children. They are rules, sure, and it does not give categorical rights to the father, but that doesn’t matter because it is all based on a construction of human rights we no longer support.
At least, most of us don’t.
Here is the basic problem and the reason I have always supported a woman’s right to choose.
It is her body, her life, her choice. Period. It’s not yours, it’s not the state’s, it doesn’t belong to the man who fucked her or her father or her husband and certainly not her rapist. It belongs to her, to decided what to do with. If people did not own their own bodies, then we wouldn’t have to get permission from them as individuals for organ donations (even after death).
So at what point does this cease being true? How does becoming pregnant alter that fundamental fact, especially if said pregnancy was not her choice?
I’m sorry if you think that embryo/zygote/fetus is a human being, it does not by its simple existence trump a woman’s right to decide if she is willing to serve as incubator to it. It does not trump her right to determine how she wants to live her life from that moment on. It does not trump her right to be able to say yes or no to a situation that will irrevocably alter any course she may have set or predetermine what options she may have in the future, regarding career, partners, and personal matters having nothing to do with other people.
Because it doesn’t trump any of these things for a man, who can walk away and have nothing further to do with what he has left behind.
The argument that, among certain seriously neurotic types, that if she didn’t want to be pregnant she should not have had sex is nothing more than a different set of constraints to tell her what she can or cannot do with her own body. Besides, she invited him inside, she never said he could leave any relatives behind.
I base my support on a lifetime of privileged autonomy, knowing that this was not something I, as a man, would ever have to deal with, so any pronouncement on my part would be at virtually no risk that my life would ever have to change. Realizing that, I knew that I rather liked that autonomy and would never deny it to anyone else. I see it as the epitome of hypocrisy for men to dictate this to women. They would have to enforce a situation on women that they themselves would never be subject to. This is the basis of discrimination.
I, were I a woman, would damn well insist on being able to live the life I want to live and determine my procreative future entirely for myself. No one should insist, through law or any other means, that a woman do something not of her choice.
But we have been seeing the naked assertion of male privilege in all this, of men insisting that women should not have the same choices they do.
Well, to be perfectly blunt, fuck that.
Unless you are willing to embrace all of the rules in Deuteronomy and Leviticus, your presumption of speaking for Biblical morality is a sham. If you do embrace all that nonsense, then you have no place in the government of a democracy, because all of it is born out of an autocratic mindset that has no problem predeterming what people are—master, chattel, slave, outcast.
Now. This is all, ultimately, a major distraction. The GOP was never serious about rolling back Roe v. Wade—why would they give up such a wonderfully effective campaign issue by fulfilling the implied promises they’ve made since the 80s and actually outlaw abortion? Furthermore, they know very well the shitstorm that would create. Most of the antichoice movement is leery of discussing legal redress—punishment—for what they claim is murder. Most don’t want to talk about it. The leadership very well knows why—because the fervent hope of most of these folks is that abortion simply go away. If you punish people for it, it will never go away. It will be in the courts forever, until one day the tide reverses again and it once more legal, and maybe after that it will remain so because we will have really locked down this argument over who owns a woman’s body.
But now all it does is serve to obscure other issues and delude a large segment of the voting population into thinking this is something that will really make any difference. By this tactic, they have you all voting for people who while touting “family values” have just been picking your pockets and diverting your real power into the hands of oligarchs.
I have one parting question for all you people so bent on ending abortion. How come none of you advocate mandatory vasectomies, not even for dead-beat dads? I never hear anything like that, even as a theoretical argument, from any the antichoice folks. Nothing that would shift the focus to the man. You don’t want people getting shot (pregnant) don’t take their guns aways, just the bullets.
That was rhetorical, yes, but the question is legit. Why is this all put on the woman, every time?
I think I may write nothing more political till after the election.