Men don’t get to be vocal about their disappointment about abortion, while women are still expected to sit in silence and in shame. Men don’t get to stake a claim in the abortion conversation, when the bodily burden of pregnancy or abortion will always be carried by those with a uterus.
The statistical disparity is telling. Birthing folks are not offered support for their choices. Forced cesareans are the extreme examples of the brutal birth culture of slapping women around until they mouse-up or shut up or say, “yes, sir.” But there are countless other ways birthing people endure harsh treatment, from forced vaginal exams to forced separation from their babies to everything in between. One woman’s gruesome, filmed, forced episiotomy from last year highlights this rampant culture of mental abuse and hospital-sanctioned rape. She’s having trouble finding a lawyer to take her case – even with the damning footage. Because the baby is okay. And apparently slicing a woman’s vagina twelve times like she’s a swath of fabric on the counter at JoAnn’s isn’t a mutilating enough injury. What does this say about the established value of women in the judicial system? Did we ever actually come off the shelf as baby-making containers?
2014 was a full year. For my family, it held extremes of financial terror and relational bliss. As an individual, this year led me into a deep, internal, and very personal exploration of my femininity and relationships with other womyn. As a parent, I continued to struggle with being present enough, loving enough, and forgiving enough – [Read More…]
Women have held their place as an inhuman conceptual idea – one that is clothed in the dirty rags of one’s imagination so as to maintain a believable discourse. Society, at large, feels the need to leave it that way because as soon as we begin to actually listen to women’s stories and experiences it becomes complicated. We can no longer maintain our pretend image of what kinds of women make certain choices. We have to begin to acknowledge that choices are personal, that women are best positioned to know what is best for themselves and their families, and that women, alone, should be held with the responsibility and right of making their own healthcare decisions.
In looking back, will we see a history that illuminates the boldness of folks with a uterus – one defined by insistent non-compromise? Or will our struggle be laced with concessions, excused by ourselves and society, named baby-steps and progress and forward thinking?
If you live life as a woman you know that in any given day or week something like this will happen to you. You'll be walking briskly down the bread aisle for a package of rolls to go with your soup, while your family waits in the parking lot, and as you race by a [Read More...]
We can’t eliminate gender-based violence, while we ignore the way we usher so many women into parenthood on the heels of violence, itself.