Tuesday, 17 January 2012

My good fortune.

I read this last night off my phone, frowning furiously at the little screen not because of its size but because of the vehemence I felt for the post.

Through feeds and media I get a bit of the US primaries and what not, and I watch with interest knowing that the attitudes voiced in American culture are echoed here through their media products and our reporting media's recounts. When Obama says something significant, it will be shown on our news. When a republican front-runner makes a gaffe, I can see it somewhere on our free-to-air network.

So when I read this, a lament sparked from the impotence of the US government (and alternatives) for their own 'feminist voice', I am riled for the women of the US. I am so thankful that abortion is legal in Australia (governed state-by-state) and that, even though there are people who opposed it completely, terrorism here towards those who provide abortions is minimal. However, McEwan's excellently expressed fury had me thinking of women's rights in general and not reproductive rights alone.
They count on feminist men never showing up en masse for the main event.

They count on the Democratic Party being too squeamish, too spineless, too unprincipled, too apathetic to stand up for reproductive rights, unyieldingly.

They count on reproductive rights being the first bargaining chip on the table.

They count on the still almost entirely male leadership of the Democratic Party and the vast number of male Democratic partisans giving themselves permission to not get publicly involved, or to get publicly involved only when it's convenient and not all that risky and not all that hard.

They count on men trading on that privilege of not having to get involved.

They count on Democratic partisans being more interested in hectoring dispossessed progressive women than in being their allies and fighting this fight alongside them, every day.

They count on reproductive rights being treated as Woman's Work, and thus being devalued as woman's work inevitably is.
I shudder to think how my world would be different if abortion were illegal here, how I would feel about my autonomy, my choices. I feel 'othered' enough as a woman without having to defer to the state about my body's

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