Lawsuit-free since 9/14/05

Wednesday, November 17, 2004

A Reply to My Critics, Part II: When Did Feminism Become "Politically Neutral"?

There will be no rhetorical meandering posing as an introduction. I'll simply get on with it:

part 1-
While it is impossible to remain completely apolitical in any situation. A group such as the WRC, in cases concerning victims of sexual violence, should strive to maintain a more politically neutral stance. Even if the group as a whole is not apolitical, the group’s aim is to provide a service to ALL women. Take Back the Night is a program set up to empower victims of sexual violence not to alienate them. Sponsoring a highly political speaker, despite how much fellow left oriented thinkers would enjoy this, would ultimately alienate some of the women that need the opportunity to speak out. Through making this a political forum rather than an empowering event, the possibility of re-victimizing the victim is created. Making the victim feel that because they believe something different their voice does not matter potentially causes more damage. There is a time
part 2-
and place for political speakers, in this situation the WRC's choice to maintain some semblance of an apolitical environment is well based.

At the same time I do agree with promisebreaker’s comment, it is the responsibility of the WRC as a resource center to provide information concerning structural sexual violence. However, this would be more effective if approached as another event. While it does have strong links to Take Back the Night, and sexual violence, this is not the intended purpose of the event. If one of the women chooses to stand up and state political feelings that is her right, but the WRC should not blatantly alienate women by making this only about political views.

I realize that my point will inevitably be disregarded in favor of counting the number of grammatical mistakes I have made. Regardless, here is something to think about.
The ironically named "radicalfeminist" suffers from a simple logical fallacy, one from which many of our correspondents also suffer. Issues are divided into the categories of "political" and "non-political." "Non-political" issues are viewed acceptable while "political" issues are generally seen as both unnecessary and unacceptable.

For example, these individuals distinguish "sexual violence" from reproductive rights, as though the two have never met. Thus I will make the case that forced pregnancy is a form of sexual violence. A pregnant woman without the right to abortion is sentenced, against her will and without her explicit consent, to nine months of painful extra weight, exhaustion, dizziness, high blood pressure, back aches, nausea, and difficulty breathing. (However, this is rarely considered by religious zealots, already fond of the hair shirt, which doesn't begin to compare.) Additionally, the woman sentenced must spend at least two months unemployed due to her sufferings. Let's hope she has enough money to keep her and the fetus housed and fed during her tenure of zero-income.

During the actual birth, a 6-9 pound (on average) child is forced through the victim's vagina, causing rips and gashes to the vaginal area (stitches are often needed), as well as mortifying pain to the (again, unwilling and unconsenting) victim. Go here for some horror stories about this. In the event of a Caesarean section ("C-section") the victim's belly is sliced open, hardly a less violent option.

[To my critics-- as a science experiment, try fitting your head into a child's glove. Then you might have some idea as to the violence done to an unwilling and unconsenting woman forced to give birth. (Afterward, please apologize to the child for destroying his/her glove.)]

Whether her vagina or her stomach is made gory and stitched, the victim has now has a choice to make (if she has not decided prior to the birth). She can either adopt out her child (and subsequently deal with mind-fucking post-partum psychosis and ensuing feelings of guilt for the rest of her life) or become legally responsible for the child's upbringing for the next eighteen years. In this case, as the time involved is so much, she may as well forget about finishing/continuing her education and about any career that involves spending over eight hours a day in the office. As the rise in wages is (politely) never commensurate to the rising cost of raising children, the (likely single) victim can also assume a life of poverty.

Now-- why are some forms of sexual violence (e.g. forced pregnancy) set apart from others (e.g. rape or physical abuse)? As I see the two as similar, one would have to address that to my critics. I will address this to my "feminist" critics-- if you so blindly accept the religious-right's dogmatic notion that forced pregnancy is not sexual violence, why not take to heart all of Christianity's tract's belittling women? For example, take God's punishment of Eve's "sin" of eating the fruit of knowledge: "To the woman He said, 'I will greatly increase your pangs in childbearing; in pain you shall bring forth children, yet your desire shall be for your husband, and he shall rule over you.'" [Genesis 3:16]

In furtherance of this point (in which I really live up to my moniker), I offer a few quotes (the teachings of Christ's disciple Paul) also held as gospel by those who oppose abortion:

Let the woman learn in silence with all subjection. But I suffer not a woman to teach, nor to usurp authority over the man, but to be in silence. [I Timothy 2:11-12]

Wives, submit yourselves to your husbands, as unto the Lord... as the Church is subject to Christ, so let the wives be to their own husbands in every thing. [Ephesian 5:22-24]

A man should not cover his head because he is the image and glory of God, but woman is the glory of man. [I Corinthians 11:7]

Let your women keep silence in the churches: for it is not permitted unto them to speak; but they are commanded to be under obedience... And if they will learn any thing let them ask their husbands at home. [I Corinthians] 14:34-35

The focus of the Take Back the Night rally should be community-building as well as education. It would do the young women of SLU a disservice to further abuse them with the notion that the opposition to abortion is anything but the expressed misogyny of a Christian patriarchy.

I await with baiting breaths the response of my critics.


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