Tuesday, August 21, 2012

The female commodity

Throughout history, a woman's body has been a commodity. Men have used women to buy, barter, and force their way into power.

It's not a new thing.

The Old Testament is full of women being traded for land or livestock. Fathers bartered with their daughters and sought out valuable deals to obtain wives for their sons.

Monarchies used marriages to create allies and gain strength in their kingdoms. Marriages needed to create sons because the son could take the throne, whereas the daughter was possession for trade. A negotiating tool.

Even in Jamestown, the first English settlement in America, a group of women from England were auctioned off as brides to the men who had settled there. For 150 pounds of tobacco, they bought themselves a new wife.

We didn't belong to ourselves for a very long time, ladies.

Now, the Republican party wants to use women's bodies to barter again. They are selling us out to try and gain votes. They are trading away ownership of something they don't own unless we give it to them.

Do you hear that part? We have to give it to them. Republican women, especially. I won't tell you how I think you should vote. That is up to you. What I will tell you is that if you are a woman, and you still want to be a Republican, then you have to start demanding more from them. You have to maintain ownership of yourself and insist that they quit using you as a commodity.

The economy is a driving force in this election. The economy should be about dollars and cents though, not about rights to the female body.

Y'all, it's not an abortion debate. It's not a contraception debate. It's about the fact that Republican men are using women's bodies to buy votes. It's insulting, it's wrong, and we have to make sure that it does not work. We cannot let them continue to pimp us out for their right wing smoke screen.

Terms like "forcible" and "legitimate" in front of the word rape have got to stop. Blaming women for being victims has got to stop. Impeding access to contraception has got to stop. And while we are at it, abstinence only sex education has got to stop. AND let's go ahead and start reforming the birth industry in this country, because I'm pretty tired of that woman as last priority business model too.

The choices a woman has to make regarding her body are so much more than abortion. We have to be free to choose what kind of birth control we will use. We have to be free to choose if, when, and how we will have children. We have to be free to choose the kind of prenatal, labor, and delivery care we will use, birthing those children. We have to be free to feed our children whenever, wherever, and however we see fit.

Perhaps above all else, we need to be free to be women. Free to be women who are not sexually abused and then attacked over and over again for it for the rest of our lives. It's time we were safe, strong, and respected in our own country.

We can do better than this, y'all. We can do much better.