Thursday, February 16, 2012

Whore of Babylon . . .


Seems like a lot of conservatives are sure getting interested in lady-parts.

In the last few years, women's reproductive rights, or, one could concede, just plain old women's rights, have been taking a pretty heavy beating. Let's take a look at a few things:

-Planned Parenthood, a healthcare provider and referral service for millions of low income women, has been defunded or severely limited in several states, with more eager to jump on the bandwagon. (3% of PP services go to abortion, and 97% go to healthcare. Think about that.) I'm not even going to talk about Komen. That's all been said.
-Personhood Amendments are advancing in several legislatures, which basically favor the existence of cells over the life of the woman carrying them. (Does that make masterbation reckless abandonment? Or cunnilingus (or fellatio) cannibalism?)
-Hospitals in several states are now allowed to refuse treatment to a dying woman if aborting her fetus would save her life. (She could be bleeding to death in the ER waiting room, and they could send her away.)
-The Catholic Church now wants any employer, not just religiously-affiliated ones, to be able to choose what healthcare coverage a woman can have, based on the employer's belief system. (Let that sink in for a second. That means that if Chuck E Cheese wants to deny coverage for, say HIV testing, because, you know AIDS is, like, a gay-disease, then they could. Any employer could deny coverage for anything, based on nothing more than saying it is against their conscience.)
-We have two Republican presidential front-running candidates who believe, with varying levels of intensity, that a ten-year-old child who conceives a child from a rape perpetrated by her own father must be forced to carry that child to term.
-The military is considering letting women serve in more combat functions than currently, and at least one presidential candidate thinks women are too weak and fragile to deal with this.

I could go on. Frankly, I don't really want to.

Ladies, it's been said before, and by better, but I'll say it again: there is a war on us right now, seeking to take us back to a time when rape was our fault ("women in the military should just expect to be raped"? Hello? Since when?), when we were pregnant every year and essentially could not work, when we are censured and called whores for dressing "immodestly" or behaving "mannishly" (or, to use the term I prefer, "confidently"). Have we really come so far to watch it all slip away like this? What if I want to wear a mini-skirt and have a drink at a bar? What if I don't ever want to have children? Shouldn't I be allowed to make these choices?

 And, I'm becoming troubled by a small trend I'm seeing, especially when reproductive rights and contraception comes into the discussion. Even amoung my liberal friends, who would probably rather be force-fed semolina than vote red, I'm starting to hear what sound suspiciously like apologies where birth control is concerned. They are quick to insist we need a right to contraception, but in the next breath comes:

"But, I needed the pill for my terrible cramps."
"I used it to regulate my period."
"I was on the pill for my acne."

That's all fine and good. I'm not denying that these are good side-effects for being on hormone therapy. But, every time I hear an argument about keeping our right to contraception, I hear these reasons, and often not the reason birth control was invented in the first place. There seem to be a lot of women that are defending our right to be mothers whenever we damn well choose with one hand, and then apologizing for it with the other. It's like all this pounding, pounding, pounding away at these issues by the conservative right is starting to poison our brains.

Ladies, can we all just get together now and link arms and agree that it's okay to be on the pill (or the patch, or what have you) because you WANT TO HAVE SEX AND NOT GET PREGNANT? I will fully own that this is why I was on the pill. I was having sex. I did not want to get pregnant. The only reason I am not still on the pill is that I am not in a relationship anymore, and am not having sex. When I decide to start up sexy time again, I will be happily heading over to my local PP to get a prescription for that little pink wheel.

I am an adult woman. I'm 32, for Christ's sake. If I want to have sex and not become a mother right at this moment, by God, I'm going to do it. I am more than old enough to be able to make a choice about what goes into my body, whether it's a cheeseburger or a pill or a penis. No one, and I mean no one, be it a lawmaker, employer, church, or boyfriend/husband, should feel they have the right to tell me any differently. If I agree to face the consequences for what I put in my body (which, seeing as I'm an adult, I do) then no one else should have anything to say about it.

And, let's address the abortion-issue. I am staunchly pro-choice. That does not mean that when faced with such a decision for myself, I would not agonize over whether or not abortion is the right choice for me personally. But, it should be MY CHOICE. If I were to agonize and decide I could not, emotionally, abort a child, then that's my decision, and I would face the consequences of that. But, to have the options removed, to be told that I have NO choices, that I am essentially a baby-machine for the men of the world, is terrifyingly awful. And then to have my contraceptive options removed, so that I cannot even have sex without facing the fear that I might become pregnant? Just another level of awful right there.

I am 32. I dress how I want to. I date who I want to, man or woman, and will damn well let whomever I want into my bed. I will have children when I choose, when I am ready, emotionally and financially to be the best mother I can be. 

I do not apologize for being an independent woman. I proudly own my body, and my choices.

Do not take either from me.

5 comments:

magadociousrex said...

I love you. That is all.

And hilariously, the "prove you are not a robot" words are "amasibi and sin" TEE HEE.

Stephen Simpson, CFA said...

I know you have no idea whatsoever who I am, but I thought this was awesome and very well-said.

It troubles me to see how many people feel they must water-down, qualify, or otherwise shrink from their opinions and viewpoints.

Christine said...

Very well said! I come from a conservative background (not anymore!) and recently got married this year. My husband and I actually waited to have sex when we were married (not so much of a religious choice as a personal choice) but you better believe that I was on birth control since day 1! I'm terrified of having a child right now because we financially would never recover, not to mention we're not ready to be parents. Even staunch right wing Republicans would say that I've "played by the rules" and been a "good girl". Yeah, we waited until marriage, but no, no I do not want a kid. Not for a while. Maybe someday, when it is my choice, maybe never. I totally agree with your points. If we lived in a country where the leaders cared as much about the mothers as they do the children then everyone would be better off. Why not make birth control more easily obtained so women wouldn't have to have abortions? Sorry, I'll get off my soap box. Ginger, keep writing, this is great stuff :)

Rorie said...

I completely agree with every fiber in my being. I often get the look of condemnation when I proclaim my desire to have no more children (I have one and am married). The more we proclaim, talk, blog and resist we have a chance. Thank you for doing your part.

anastasia said...

huzzah! our women foremothers fought too damn hard and long for our rights, the least we can do now is protect them and men be damned; i think they're the ones who are "too weak and fragile" to deal with women in power over themselves and the ability to give birth to a new life, or not. damn fragile machoism egos; they can't even tell the difference between viagra and bcp, for fuck's sake.

well, anyways, love your blog, kudos for going after your costumer dreams, and best of luck at comic con!