Friday, June 24, 2022

let's not do the time warp again

I am always a little shocked each time I remember this fact that it wasn't until the year I was born--1974--that women could own their own credit cards.  That women actually could be distinct financial beings independent of men. I grew up in what felt like a feminist world--maybe not one that was as progressive as I'd like--and still moribund in so many 3rd Generation issues like media portrayals, slut shaming, unequal pay & opportunities, diet culture, marriage and family expectations--but one that at the very least guaranteed women fundamental rights to their own bodies, and to like vote. Numerous times, we were promised that the ERA was just over the horizon, but it never really was, and today cements that firmly.  

This morning, I saw my boyfriend off, climbed back into bed and opened Instagram to suddenly discover we had regressed nearly 50 years in not only feminism but human rights. I used to have a lot more compassion for conservatives. Or at least the pro-life conservatives.  Since Roe v. Wade was in the books, and in my understanding of it mostly gleaned from fashion magazines as a youth, I was certain was that those rights should be assured and I would definitely feel safer, as a woman, as someone who would eventually have sex, would eventually be making those sort of possible choices that they would exist. I would occasionally glimpse pro-life propaganda in the 80s--a billboard somewhere, a bunch of people with signs on the corner of a catholic church we passed frequently.  As a woman in my 20's and 30's I would have been more tolerant of the abortion issue as an issue--convinced that the while my own bodily autonomy was important to me, I could see why people would be concerned about fetuses if they were really into preserving something that was (they believed anyway) alive. You could say I could see both sides of the issue.

Except they weren't.--these people were usually also pro-death penalty and pro-guns. These same people would balk at restrictive measures when things like school shootings happened. Were it about the children, about babies, they surely would not make it so easy for people to just randomly pick them off one by one once they were out of the uterus.  It took me longer than most to realize it was about CONTROL--over women, their lives, their bodies.  We've all heard the story of the mythical woman pricking holes in condoms with a needle, and maybe these women exist, but a friend told me about at least two men she knew talked about rogue impregnation of women in order to secure their relationships or at the very least, link themselves to a woman, via a child to fuck up her life and ensure the trauma they wanted to inflict would last. (see this movie for an excellent example of this.)

The supreme court, the government --at least the government under Trumpf (and probably even still the government now in many ways) wants that control. Women who have reproductive freedoms revoked can be controlled and manipulated much easier than those free to choose.. I am thankful that I live in a blue state, and am probably long out of childbearing age anyway, Thankful that I never had a daughter of my own who would have to live under these conditions.

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