A lot of men were confused by the anger and distress of women over the end of Roe vs Wade. Some were even dumb enough to give voice to their confusion, wondering aloud why any woman outside of America would care.
Boys, if you survived your lethal stupidity and are somehow still drawing breath, now would be the time to pay attention.
This wasn’t about jurisprudence in Mississippi – a ferociously picaresque pursuit in which m’learned justices decide the deeper legal issues by plucking at a banjo with their toes.
It was about power.
It’s always about power.
When a regime, an autocracy, a power system of almost any kind preferences control over autonomy, it first looks to control women. I imagine there are a whole bunch of deep-seated evolutionary reasons for this. A long time ago, a lot of caveman bullshit was written into the limbic system about securing the tribal wombs against insemination by those neanderthal dipshits on the other side of the ol’ rift valley.
But reasons don’t stretch to excuses or justifications, and it’s been a long time since we had to fight each other with mastodon bones for control of the valley or the wombs within it.
Unfortunately, three hundred thousand years of thinking like that has left some of us incapable of thinking otherwise. And others, who are a little more imaginative and should know better, are in a position to exploit it.
There are some first principles worth keeping in mind.
In no particular order, they might run like this.
It’s not about the rights of the child.
Initially, there is no child. There’s just a bunch of cells. Living cells, yes, like the melanoma I had cut out of my scalp a few months ago, but no more sentient than that.
The Catholic Church would raise an objection here about the creation of an immortal soul at the moment of conception. Still, they’ve been moonlighting as an international pedophile ring, which is awkward.
Suppose this was about the rights of the child. In that case, the same people who blow up abortion clinics might put some of that bomb-making energy into lobbying various representative bodies for policies that make a difference in the lives of children after the umbilical cord gets cut. Politically, however, an unborn baby is way more useful and far less inconvenient than one which has popped its little noggin out into the world and started crying for paid parental leave or, I dunno, fewer high school massacres.
Under the new reality, as Arianna Huffington points out…
…because the rights of the child simply cannot erase the rights of the Colt Manufacturing Company to make bank on AR15 sales.
If this isn’t about the rights of the child, then perhaps it’s about the rights of women.
Yeah. Nah. Not so much.
To borrow from Laurie Penny this time, the appeal to “choice” does not work on people to whom women’s freedom of choice is a fearful thing.
To legislate for any outcome that affords anything but freedom of choice to a woman is to straight-up deny that women can have choice, rights, or agency. “Two distinct legal persons with absolute rights to self-sovereignty cannot occupy the same body,” Penny wrote three years before Roe was overturned, meaning that
regimes of male supremacists and religious extremists around the world are now in agreement that a six-week-old clot of cells is more of a person than any adult woman.
To what end, though?
What benefit accrues to those who would magic away the humanity of billions of women, turning them into nothing more than a grow chamber for a new cellular cluster that will, in time, be born as either a replacement chamber or a man. A man, it goes without saying, with all the rights and privileges men have presumed for themselves since those happy days killing neanderthals in the Rift Valley.
Power accrues to them. By promising to control women, in the American instance, they take control of state houses and governorships, the senate and the Presidency.
It will not end with women.
But this is not simply an American story. It is a power struggle everywhere, all at once.
The absurdity of being Pro-Life and Pro-Gun should be blatantly obvious to all, but it seems the denizens of the USA have an appetite for the absurd.
Dark fucking times.