Mouse rant blog vent mouse.

Saturday, March 27, 2004

If it doesn't attack women's autonomy, what's the point?

Two new bills were passed this week that ostensibly existed to help protect women against sexist hate crimes committed against them, but the only thing that got them passed was wording designed to reduce women's bodily rights. One of course is much more serious than the other. Of course, in the Georgia case, it's almost a little more insulting because they are pretending that they don't know that their bill banning the abhorrent practice of FGM is cleverly worded to go after adult women who choose to pierce their genitals. At least the assholes who passed the Unborn Victims act don't take pains to hide the fact that it's a step towards removing the decision to have an abortion or not from women's hands and giving back over to men's.
Of course what's really saddening about this is that the suffering of women who are mutiliated or attacked for being pregnant would pretty much go unheeded if they couldn't be used as a token to take away rights. It's putting feminists in a horrible position, because we support and have always supported the notion that women have a right to government protection against violence, but we want to be able to have that protection in the same way that men have it, without having to give up the right to autonomy. I fear a situation like in The Handmaid's Tale where certain feminists are tricked into supporting women's total subservience in exchange for relief from rape and other sexual violence.
That line of logic isn't as outlandish as it sounds. Fundamentalist Muslims are often arguing that keeping women locked in the house and veiling them in the street has reduced the incidence of rape. Of course, I don't believe that for a millisecond. Rapes probably just go unreported because if women can't leave the house alone, they certainly don't have the freedom to pursue criminal charges against a rapist who is likelier to be believed anyway due to his male superiority.
The Laci Peterson case has done alot to galvanize support for this bill. It seems like men murdering women whose pregnancy is causing them problems is a surprisingly common problem. Actually, not surprising at all. Sexism is alive and well in this country and there is no doubt in my mind that plenty of assholes get so angry about losing control over the bodies of the women in their lives that they lash out violently. This stupid bill isn't going to do a damn thing to actually reduce the violence against pregnant women. Anything that is going to actually address the problem has to reduce, not increase, male entitlement to control over female bodies.

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