Saturday, February 11, 2012

The Handmaid's Tale......

 If you think medievil thinking is a thing of the past, think again.  As we progress into a future of massive over-population, diminishing resources, and global warming,  the wise patriachs have a solution:  let's keep girls  pregnant, barefoot,  ignorant and in their place, as "He" supposedly ordains in the Bible. Remember Margaret Atwood's The Handmaid's Tale?

The right-wing has officially gone off the rails. Some have even compared Obama to Hitler - why?  Because the administration approved a rule mandating insurance coverage of birth control.Now Congress is saying they're going to overturn the mandate. "Pro-choice" used to mean abortion.  Now it is also apparently used to mean people who advocate birth control and women's rights to control their bodies.

According to NARAL  since the beginning of the 112th Congress the anti-choice majority in the U.S. House of Representatives has consistently been unleashing legislation attacking women's right to chose contraception.  They tried to eliminate funding for birth control and cancer screening at Planned Parenthood clinics nationally.   They have passed legislation that would allow hospitals to deny women emergency abortion care, even if it means she will die without it.  If this  was happening to people of color, there would be a huge outcry.  But because it's an issue of sexual control and discrimination, instead of racist, few take the time to notice.

I find this, and the very idea of government determining the availability of birth control........scary.  This pushes the envelope towards theocracy, a theocracy of the religious  right that, ironically, also reacts violently to any suggestion of "socialism" and a "welfare state".  It seems that girls may not protect themselves from becoming pregnant, but after conception, they and their children are on their own.....punished, just like the good days, for the great sin of not having been "chaste".

I know from first hand experience what it's like to be a very young girl, pregnant, and alone. I have great compassion as well for children born to children themselves.    I know  how hard women have fought for the right to vote, to work, to own property, and to control their own bodies, rights only available within the relatively recent past. Remember:  It wasn't until the end of the 19th century that a woman could own property, or control her own assets.   Black men were given the right to vote in 1870But women (of any color)  were not allowed the right to vote until 1920, 50 years later!  Until very recently, birth control was still illegal in some states, including Connecticut ( in 1965, the Supreme Court  ruled in the case Griswold v. Connecticut  that prohibiting the use of contraceptives violated the "right to marital privacy"). In 1972, the case Eisenstadt v. Baird expanded the right to possess and use contraceptives to unmarried couples.  1972!
Here's a petition circulating to support birth control today:


Valerianna said...

Good Goddess, a big slide backwards if it gets to this.
Yikes, YIKES!!

Lauren said...

We need to be aware of this regressive trend. And it amazes me, historically, how very recent any kind of freedom for women is. Slaves were emancipated and allowed to vote 50 years before women were!

Trish and Rob MacGregor said...

It does seem at times that we're moving closer and closer to the Handmaid's Tale. I didn't think it could get any worse than 8 years with Bush. But he set the bar so low that now, anything goes, even comparisons of Obama to Hitler. Great post, Lauren!