Like most sane women in the United States right now, I am angry. I am angry that once again we have rights over our own body taken away. I have seen so many videos and attempts by women, and some men, to talk about what it means to take away a woman’s right to carry or end a pregnancy. While true and impactful to me, to men who support the stripping of rights, it will not make a difference because that life is not valued in the first place.
This is just the end result of the problem, people. The issue runs much deeper and much clearer than this end result of abortion rights. If you did not grow up as a girl, you cannot fully grasp the reality. I love my trans people. But just as your journey has it’s own reality unique to your experience of your gender not matching your biology, the female experience starts at birth. Stay with me.
Let’s think about some of the protections that have to be in place, legally, for females. Rape. Incest. Trafficking. Sexual slavery.
These laws exist because men and boys since the dawn of time have felt empowered to do what they want with a female body. Males have taken over and forced themselves onto girls from infancy in some horrific cases. Infancy. Toddlers, children are molested and abused in. their. own. families.
That is a reality that needs to be identitified and pointed out. From the beginning, men feel that females are available to them simply because they are stronger. The first rule is not protection in their own families, but a being available for their own pleasures.
Some may say, “Hold up. There is value because there are laws to protect from these heinous acts.” My point is, why is there a need for a law to protect a child from her father, or brother, or uncle in the first place?
Girls are targets from the time they are children, and it never stops. We fight for our bodies from day 1. 93% of child abusers are known to the minor. NINETY THREE PERCENT. (RAINN.org)
34% of child abuse victims are under 12. Stop and think about that. I will put a disclaimer out now, that yes it happens to boys as well, and yes it is just as horrifying. But we are talking about female rights today.
One in 9 girls and 1 in 53 boys under the age of 18 experience sexual abuse or assault at the hands of an adult.3 (RAINN.org) Do you see the difference? 1/9 vs 1/53. Lets keep the focus on the point.
If these statistics aren’t surprising to you, I would question why that is. You might know someone with a story, or maybe you were the cause of someone’s story…? The war on girls is a disgusting, silent, pervasive problem in our country.
I have a daughter, and I have had to talk to my daughter about keeping her body safe. I did not exclude anyone from that threat when speaking to her. She gets to say “NO” to anyone who attempts to manipulate her including her father, her brother, her uncle, her teacher, anyone. There is no one but her who gets to make decisions about her body. Is this because I expect any of those people to put a hand on her? No, but it’s also not out of the realm of possibility. I know that because I was a girl. I was a girl whose family member decided when I was under 8 years old that I should touch their penis until it erupted. Another family member was in the room with us and did nothing.
That same family member attempted to give their friends access to my half naked body one hot summer night in our own home when I was around 11 or 12. Because I already knew this person was a danger to me, I brilliantly managed to avoid any regretable actions, but that was because of my own protection. Not because my family member protected me.
I know the advantage males take with females because I had a close family friend tell me explicitly what he wanted to do to my twelve year old “tits” at every function, which was most holidays and a lot of spontaneous weekends. This person liked to threaten me with detailed explanations of how I would “want to fuck him” when I was 14 and he was and adult over the age of 21.
When I was around 8 years old, I had an afterschool counselor try to hide me away from my mom when I was the last kid at daycare so that I would kiss him.
I do not speak on this subject from internet research. I am speaking about this because I lived it. And those were just the childhood experiences I had. That is not including the adult threats and actions that were fought off or avoided. I also know I am not alone in any of these attempts. This is not an out of the question, one off scenario. It’s a statistic for a reason = because it’s prevalent in our community. In 88% of the sexual abuse claims that CPS substantiates or finds supporting evidence of, the perpetrator is male. In 9% of cases they are female (RAINN.org) Men do not value women.
The reversal of Roe V Wade is just a symptom of what many of us already knew. Men find no value in our bodies other than what our bodies can provide for them. For the male allies, the feminist male allies, I hope you stand up and fight with us because your voice is more powerful than ours right now. You need to start having hard conversations with your friends and family about their experiences if you don’t already know them. Most likely, if you have a woman in your life, you will hear a story about a man taking priviliges with her body one way or another. We can spew all the facts about abortion we want. We can talk about why abortion needs to be legal for the safety of women’s health, but that will fall on deaf ears.
They. don’t. care.
If they cared, the law would have been left alone. What needs to happen is women need to start getting loud and real about their own experiences, and who was involved. The silence is what gives them the power. Only the perpetrator and the victim know what happens. That tells you who is talking. It isn’t the child. It isn’t the infant. It isn’t the teenager. It’s the adult woman that fought her way out of it, or learned to cope with it, or in the smallest percentages, who prosecuted the abuser. And even then, the liklihood there was a conviction or punishment is highly unlikely.
“This isn’t a sexual abuse debate”. You are right. It’s a debate about the validity and importance of women to have domain over their own bodies because it is theirs and theirs alone. THAT is the argument. Why are we not debating the prosecution of men who got that woman pregnant who had to abort the baby? Why are we not stripping men of their legal right to health care and contraception? Why are we not passing laws demanding wives sign off on men getting a vasectomy? Why don’t college men carry rape whistles or know how to hold keys in the event they are assaulted walking to their car? Why aren’t there hand signals we all know when a man is at a bar and potentially roofied?
Because these atrocities have become so accepted and so normalized that they are part of pop culture. It’s just accepted, and it isn’t talked about. We need the medical field to chime in and be EXPLICIT in explaining why medical abortions are necessary. It’s hard to hear, no one wants to hear the tragedy of how a fetus’ life might end, but it’s easier than burying the fetus with the mother.
And you want to know why we are so mad?! WE MATTER. Women MATTER. Your mother mattered. Your daughters matter. STOP policing other people’s bodies. It is not your business!
The next step is stripping other marginalized groups of people of their rights. You know the other time in history this happened? World War II. The people who instigated that war ended up losing, but at great cost to the entire world. That war saw the most human casualties of any other war in the history of the world. According to guinnessworldrecords.com, 56.4 MILLION people died. That war started with civil unrest from WWI. The middle class in Germany was crumbling, making way for the ELECTION of Adolf Hitler. The combination of crumbling economy, nationalism, and war fatigue made a perfect formula for Hitler to be invited to run Germany and slowly begin his unimaginable atrocities on the world, in cooperation with Italy’s Benito Mussolini. History repeates itself, people, and I for one am horrified at where we are headed. We do not have to sit back and let it happen.