Monday, March 06, 2006

On the ability to bring new life into the world

The problem with the discussion of abortion is that it has been entirely framed by the patriarchy. In the patriarchy's view, pregnancy is something that happens to female bodies, part of "nature" and once a female happens to become pregnant, her body belongs to the patriarchy.

And this is the enlightened view. In extreme patriarchy, even non-pregnant females are owned by the patriarchy - females are not permitted to decide when to have sex, much less when to become pregnant. In cultures that exist right now girls are sold into marriage and women cannot refuse to have sex with their husbands.

It is time for a new, holistic understanding of the female body - not a collection of organs in service of the patriarchy but a single entity with self-determination.

The fact that the actual process of growing a fetus is not a conscious action of will in no way invalidates the conscious will of the woman growing the fetus in her body.

Girls should be taught that the future of the human race is up to them. If they decide to get pregnant, and decide to grow a fetus to term, they are doing humanity a favor.

It is the woman's decision to grow life or deny life. If society wants another generation, we, as women, may decide to provide one if we can expect the proper amount of gratitude for undertaking such a body-sapping, time-consuming, sometimes even life-threatening project.

And as soon as enough women have wrested control of their lives from the patriarchy, that's how it will be. Which is why the patriarchy is terrified of both abortion and birth control.