21 January, 2006

You Oughta Pick A Better Canary

This is one of those times that I've been inspired to write a post based on something I read at someone else's blog. This is one of the times where what I have to say is too long for a comment section.

Aunt B. says
I've come to believe that they really, really don't get how many of us who are pro-choice view the right to an abortion as the canary in the coal mine of women's rights in general.

There are many issues falling under the umbrella of Women's Rights. Equal pay, fair hiring practices, educational accessibility, military service, childcare tax credits--the list is endless. Yet every single issue, apart from abortion on that list is an issue of gain. They are positive steps in the direction of creating and maintaining a whole society. I believe in society as a Gentlemen's Agreement, the basic premise of which is to better the living conditions for all of its members.

As B. affirms, there are a large swath of pro-choice feminists who view abortion as the bellwether, and that's a shame. It's also the main reason I'm no longer a card-carrying member of NOW. I believe that women deserve equal rights. I don't think a vagina should be a barrier to opportunity. But for so long the Official Feminist Movement has decreed abortion to be it's prime mover. Why? What does the right to legal abortion gain for women that the right to educational accessibility and childcare tax credits don't?

The natural response is "say over what I do with my body." Yet the same feminist organizations fail to be a forceful lobby for legalised prostitution, legalised drug use and other self-directive issues. The one "say over my body" issue that drives feminism is the one that includes "say over the life and death of another human being." It's very hard to take seriously the idea of women as a subjected class when the single idea they are most passionate about is the right to subject another class of human being. The right to deny rights to gestational human beings.


At 9:48 PM, January 21, 2006, Anonymous Anonymous said...

As always, you hit the nail on the head. You are so wise. Too bad that "Keep your laws off my body," is such a catchy slogan.

At 9:07 AM, January 23, 2006, Blogger Joel Maners said...

Wow. Very thought provoking post. You'll have my wheels turning on this one for a while!

Thanks for the insight.


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