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Wednesday, April 21, 2004

Are women capable of making their own choices?

I think it's a rhetorical question, duh. Of course, women are capable of making their own decisions. Whether you like it or not, there is absolutely no reason to believe that men are better judges of women's lives than women themselves. In fact, there is a long and sordid history of what can happen to women when their autonomy is handed over to others, always on the theory that women can't make decisions for themselves. And even though women are considered legally equal to men in this country, there are still tons of people who think that women shouldn't have autonomy, because the Bible says no-no:

Wives, be subject to your husbands as you are to the Lord. For the husband is the head of the wife just as Christ is the head of the church, the body of which he is the Savior(Eph 5:22-23).

Of course, most of us hear about a bunch of men already in charge of the church voting themselves the Biblical authority not to hear backtalk from their wives and we just roll our eyes and snicker. A small faction of super-religious people are free to make their own decisions and that doesn't have any effect on women who don't believe in their religion, right? Well, not quite. Women are daughters of Eve, sinful and dangerously out of control.

I would like to outlaw contraception...contraception is disgusting – people using each other for pleasure. -Joseph Scheidler, Pro-Life Action League

Women who seek emergency contraception reveal an 'inability to control themselves in sexual situations.- Jennifer Taylor of Human Rights International, an anti-choice group

Women can't control themselves and they need an outside force to keep them under control. If a husband isn't there to do it, the government needs to step in. The constant threat of unwanted pregnancy is a very effective way to keep women's sexual decisions under control. That most women use or have used contraception and that a third of them have had an abortion is just all the more evidence that female immorality is rampant and needs to be brought under control.
That's why abortion and contraception rights are critical even to people who don't have immediate need to use either. This is about equality. Women are not monstrous, sinful creatures who need god, government and men to bring them under control, they are simply human beings who deserve the right to make decisions about themselves for themselves. There will be alot of rhetoric about sex and babies, whores vs. families flying around this weekend from those who will be protesting the March for Women's Lives. Think about what they are saying, about you and your sisters and friends and girlfriends and wives and mothers, and don't let them take control of this country.


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