Monday, June 3, 2013

Perspectives

Personhood

Harper backbenchers look to reopen the "when life begins" argument

Submitted by Betty Krawczyk, Cumberland BC

 

orth Dakota is very much in the lead with “The War on Women”. Last March the North Dakota legislature passed “a personhood abortion ban” declaring that a newly fertilized human egg is a “person” and has all the rights of an American citizen.

Of course a newly fertilized egg can’t vote yet, hold a job, go to school or run for office, nevertheless this bill does what it is intended to do…make US women cringe and be afraid of the powerful men who lust after the control of their eggs.

By elevating a fertilized egg to that of a citizen, it guarantees that women will lose their citizenship…their own personhood. Because this is what these right wing fundamentalist Christians really care about…to control women, to crush the personhood of women, otherwise women might turn on them and call them what they really are…sick bullies of the maximal kind.

It is glaringly obvious this “personhood” bill passed by the North Dakota legislature is not about caring for and about babies. Republican right wingers (responsible for this bill) in fact hate babies other than their own, especially poor babies, as they loath every cent spend on poor babies of poor women in the US. Their actions show they also hate women in general, even when the religious right wingers are women, because right wing religious women can speak and yell the extreme fundamentalist Christian rallying cry to crush other women’s personhood as well as any group of vicious, misogynist men. After all they don’t have a personhood, why should other women? Any woman who has no say so over her own eggs has no legal personhood.

Women the world over treasure their babies. It’s built in. For the most part women will sacrifice their own lives for their children. A lot of men will, too. But it is women who make the babies, who breast feed them, who also go out to work for them, who struggle with this separation, who give, every day, to their children, to the society, to their partners, to the economy of the US and of Canada. There are now more women in the work force in Canada than men, more women in universities, more women out front everywhere in Canada in spite of their motherly duties (whether they are already mothers or just preparing, most women want children at some point).

In my opinion, one could do a psychic interchange between the North Dakota legislature and Stephen Harper’s back benchers ( and Stephen Harper himself) on the subject of women’s’ personhood, and get the same ignorant, misogynist mind set. In fact, I believe one could psychically interchange fundamentalist Christian men with the radical Muslims who pray and fight for the return of Sharia law to destroy Muslim women’s personhood rights, rights that Muslim women have attained in Canadian law. The Christian Bible is an affront to women as is the Quran, regardless who believes these doctrines and presents them as divine law. Fronting misogyny with religion doesn’t cut it anymore. At least with increasing numbers of women the world over.

Women must stop being nice about these religions and the men who use them to make women serve their illusions of grandeur. A large part of the world is being torn apart from religious in-fighting while we all face the spectre of nuclear weapons, the never ending war on terrorism compete with drones, the tensions surrounding the environmental wars, the war on drugs which is turning Mexico into a failed state, and in Canada and the US as well as in Europe the ensuing struggle with austerity while the fat pigs of finance swill in the trough, slurping up the last of working peoples wages and savings. This world needs more woman power, not less.

Harper’s back benchers, emboldened by North Dakota, are ever so slyly trying to re-open the conversation around “when human life begins”. They think this argument around “personhood” has legs. Don’t these men have anything important to do like maybe trying to figure out how to feed the undernourished children in their own ridings instead of trying to terrorize and criminalize women who desperately need social help with the children they already have? How about a universal seven or ten dollar a day registered child care program so mothers don’t have to worry about their children while trying to earn the money to feed them?

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