Some feminist pop culture commentary from Roxane Gay, this article addresses Robin Thicke’s rapey Blurred Lines, Kanye West, the abortion restrictions from the past week (oh, the things that happen in a single week!) and more, ’cause the issues don’t end there.
“The problem is not that one of these things is happening, it’s that they are all happening, concurrently and constantly. These are just songs. They are just jokes. They are just movies. It’s just a hug. They’re just breasts. Smile, you’re beautiful. Can’t a man pay you a compliment? In truth, this is all a symptom of a much more virulent cultural sickness — one where women exist to satisfy the whims of men, one where a woman’s worth is consistently diminished or entirely ignored.”
She’s so right! It often seems that when people don’t understand something is sexist, theydon’t see the bigger picture – how all of these things work together to form and perpetuate sexism.
“A culture that treats women as objects, that gleefully supports entertainment that is more often demeaning toward women than it is not, that encourages the erosion of a woman’s autonomy and personal space, is the same culture that elects state lawmakers who work tirelessly to enact restrictive abortion legislation. Or is it that state lawmakers who work tirelessly to enact restrictive abortion legislation encourage their constituents to treat women as objects? Perhaps this is trickle-down misogyny — which came first, the chicken or the egg?”
I especially like the author’s discussion of abortion and why women need to have the ability to make their own reproductive choices. And that includes much more than just abortion rights – pregnancy, birth control. Every situation plays out differently and consists of a different combination of choices. But choice is always a factor, and it needs to be available.
“On June 30th, in their Room for Debate section, The New York Times asked, “Would support for abortion rights grow if more women discussed their abortions?” When I first saw this question, I bristled. Women shouldn’t have to sacrifice their personal histories to enlighten those who are probably uninterested in enlightenment. At some point, the greater good isn’t enough of a justification for this sacrifice.
Here’s a woman’s story. Who she is doesn’t matter. She could be any woman — a friend, a sister, a mother, an aunt. Say she becomes pregnant. Say the pregnancy is unplanned but she’s financially and emotionally stable enough that she and her boyfriend decide, let’s do this. Say she’s pro-choice but from the moment she realizes she’s pregnant, it feels like she’s carrying a baby. Still, she is staunchly pro-choice, always will be. Say if she didn’t think she and her boyfriend could give the baby a good life, she would have an abortion. Say she’s in the kitchen during her 27th week when she falls to her knees because there is a terrible cramping in her abdomen. Say she starts bleeding and it won’t stop. Say she and her boyfriend rush to the hospital. Say she loses consciousness. Say when she wakes up, the baby is gone because it came down to her life or the baby’s. Say she spends years feeling like the wrong choice was made. This is a story about reproductive freedom. This is a story about a woman’s life and the value of her life. Choices were made. Choices were taken away. Say this woman lived in a state where certain choices were sacrificed in favor of the sanctity of life. Say she died, and so much for sanctity. Who would tell her story then?
What if she doesn’t want to tell her story? What if it’s too personal, too painful? What do these confessions really do? Some people will be moved, but those are rarely the same people who support legislation to erode reproductive freedom. Immovable people will not be moved by testimony. Her story becomes an emotional spectacle, something for people to consider, briefly, before moving on to the next sad story. There is no shortage of sad stories when it comes to women and their reproductive lives.”
Having rights includes access to them and information regarding them. But Texas’s SB5 passing would reduce the state’s 42 abortion clinics to 5. Texas is huge. Forty two is already a low number. Ohio passed abortion restrictions in the state budget. Public hospitals may no longer be an option in medical emergencies. And the state redefined pregnancy. All in the state budget! Allow Rachel Maddow to further inform you of the details. Annd lastly, Katie Stack’s continued undercover activism shows us that women are not receiving the information they need to make informed choices because they’re being lied to.