I hardly have a word to add to this piece on the Huffington Post, by Soraya Chemaly: 10 Reasons the Rest of the World Thinks the U.S. Is Nuts.
Just a few gems:
Just because you cannot get pregnant does not mean I cannot think clearly, ethically, morally, rationally about my body, human life or the consequences of my actions. Just because you cannot get pregnant does not mean that I do not have rights when I am pregnant. I have responsibility but am powerless. You have power but are irresponsible with my rights.
Or how about this:
I gestate humans, you do not. I know how it feels to be pregnant. You do not. I know what happens to a fetus in a womb. You do not. I have carried three fetuses to term. You have not. What I experience when I am pregnant is not empathy. It is permeability. The fetus is me. And the state is you, apparently. But, no matter what you say or do I have fundamental human rights. What makes you think that you, who cannot have this fully human experience, can tell me anything about gestation or how I experience it? Especially when you compare my existence and experience to that of brutish animals.
Property, control, sex, reproduction, morality, defining what is human. Sounds a lot like issues surrounding slavery 170 years ago. It is no surprise that of the 16 states that never repealed their anti-miscegenation laws, but rather had them overturned by the Supreme Court in 1967 more than half have introduced personhood bills. Like anti-miscegentation laws, anti-choice laws and bills that humiliate women, that treat them like beasts, that violate their bodily autonomy, are based on ignorance, entitlement and arrogance. These laws are not about “personhood” but “humanity.” That women of color are massively, disproportionately affected by these assaults on their bodies and rights should also come as no surprise – their rights and their bodies have always been the most vulnerable assault.
This is about keeping women’s wombs public and in other people’s control — the exact opposite of private and in their own control.
I salute and thank Soraya Chemaly with all my heart. This is one of the most well-reasoned attacks on the War Against Women that I’ve read so far.
Yet another case of a man who is affronted that his property — pardon me, his wife — wants a divorce and will no longer be in what he perceives as his control.
So naturally, he kills her.
Same scenario played out countless times in North America, by men who are such whiny babies that if someone they perceive as “theirs” doesn’t want to be with them any more, they are unable to be grownup and accept the valid choice of their equal, adult partner, but must throw a violent tantrum. The equivalent of stomping all over their toys to make sure that if the toys are being taken away from them, nobody else can own them or enjoy them — ever.
Men who grew to be five years old, and stayed there. Stupid, stupid little immature, whiny babies.
There’s one difference in this story, though: the man and woman had started Bridges TV, a television station “with the message of developing understanding between North America and the Middle East and South Asia.”
That means that all Muslims, even moderate ones, are going to get tarred with the same brush as this guy. So he’s destroyed a whole roomful of everyone else’s toys, not just his own. He must feel real powerful now, that hollow little shell of a man.
Nancy Sanders, a former employee of Bridges TV, says in the article that she doesn’t believe this was an “honour killing,” but that it was just the conclusion of a streak of domestic violence that had been going on in the family for a while.
She may be right, in theory. But the fact is that these men always find an excuse in their beliefs. It is not a coincidence that this man beheaded his wife. There’s your “honour killing” tradition just staring you in the face. It was there, perfectly at hand for this man, when he wanted it.
Fundamentalist belief systems give these men exactly what they’re looking for when they want to wreck their toys. It doesn’t even matter how “moderate” they are. That goes for all fundamentalisms — Christian, Muslim, Sikh, Hindu — they all have the weapons just waiting for their men to use against the women they regard as their property. Same song, always, in perpetuity — just a different tune occasionally.
And frankly, it’s when your philosophy meets a real test that you discover whether or not you truly believe it. This guy’s “moderation” only lasted while it was convenient and he didn’t have to work to live up to it. First big test his philosophy meets? BLAM.
Small, whiny little immature bug of a tantrum-throwing baby. So much for your principles, pig.