Slaves to love?
You know, it was F. Scott Fitzgerald who said, "The test of a first-rate intelligence is the ability to hold two opposing ideas in mind at the same time and still retain the ability to function." But let me remind you, Fitzgerald was not only drunk most of the time, alcohol also drove him to an early grave.
I only raise him here to disagree with him. That's because I will never understand, say, how some people can claim to be pro-family and yet be vehemently opposed to gay men and women having families. How can they be against expansion of government and yet want to expand government right into women's wombs? How can they be against a woman's right to choose -- ostensibly because it ''murders innocents'' -- and yet proclaim the bombing of Iraq and its innocents a ''task that is from God?''
Doesn't this ''logic'' defy logic?
Which brings me to today's treeware column, all here with some links and amplifications to satisfy those readers who wrote today accusing me of making stuff up:
Whenever my feminist politics are attacked by social conservatives – there is a daily onslaught in my inbox – I have to question how it is that they hold such contradictory views.
Aren't these are the very people who usually condemn "big government" and, indeed, any government intervention into their lives, sometimes even taxation? So how is it that they demand government control of women's bodies and choices?
They want pharmacists and medical professionals to have the right to refuse women contraception – and that includes the Pill and condoms, by the way – even as they deny women the right to not be pregnant.
They want the freedom to practise their religion, no matter how far out their sects and dogmas may be, and yet want to impose their morality on the rest of us.
Never mind how, as this week's New Yorker reports, their abstinence-only philosophy results in more teen sex and pregnancy than most other groups, at least in the U.S. (Come on down Bristol Palin and Levi "I don't want kids" Johnston.)
It's "Do as I say unto thee" until it's "Now where's my shotgun?"
Although it's not getting much mainstream coverage, two states, Colorado and South Dakota, have measures on their ballots that would strip women not only of their reproductive rights but would also define life as beginning at conception.
In other words, zygotes would be defined as legal persons, with their rights protected by the state.
That would mean that pregnant women would be wholly owned by government, as walking incubators, with absolutely no right to make any decisions, and I mean any decisions, about their, as John McCain disdainfully put it in air quotes two weeks ago, "health."
These amendments would include not only women who want to end their pregnancies, but also those who want to carry their babies to term. This has already begun to happen, in a horrifying way in some states.
One Pennsylvania woman lost legal custody of her fetus before, after and during delivery. Why? Because it was decided she was risking her baby's life by her choosing to go with natural labour. She was ordered to undergo surgery against her and her husband's will.
A Maryland woman became critically ill five months into her pregnancy. She, her husband, parents and doctors all decided that, with medical support, she could bring her baby to term. But the state decided otherwise and a Caesarean was ordered. Both mother and child died.
Women have been forcibly removed from their homes, their legs strapped together by police, and railroaded into operating theatres because some state board decided their lives and decisions were secondary to their fetuses'.
Time out to watch the video and get some background here.
This year, when Canadians protested against Bill C-484, the so-called Unborn Victims of Violence Act, they were afraid that the proposed law would not only take away the right to choose abortion, but also to choose life.
The government, which insisted it wasn't about any of that until it killed the bill because it would "reopen" the abortion debate (as if it has ever closed), now faces the wrath of the social conservatives who looked to Prime Minister Stephen Harper to take away women's rights.
Which raises the question: Why is it that the heads of most anti-choice organizations, including the Roman Catholic Church, as well as virtually all my angry emailers, are men? But, if you were to ask them if they believe in slavery, most would say no.
And yet, here they are, advocating the utter subjugation of women to biology, the state, and even to men.
How do they reconcile these ideas? Anybody?
UPPITY DATE (3/11/08): Here's a great piece on the situation in South Dakota.