What if Jeremy had a uterus?
I can’t tell if it’s because I am writing these blogs or that time machine I was working on finally worked and I have gone back a few decades, but these past few months I have found myself having, what feel like draconian arguments, reading journalism reminiscent of an 80’s Tory speech and hearing comments that would make a suffragette turn in her grave. Patriarchy is very much alive and well.
These past weeks we have been vomiting up and re-serving (what a pleasant image) the same debate on abortion rights. Perhaps ‘rights’ isn’t the correct term given where the debate is currently. Jeremy Hunt has decided to tell us all what to do with our Uteri (sp…what the hell is the plural of Uterus?!?) he believes that 12 weeks is a more acceptable restriction than the current time limit which is 24 weeks. Many thanks, Jeremy.
Naturally, this came up in chats with my niece this week. Now I won’t lie, I am relieved that she is old enough (she is an adult…kind of) to know what an abortion is and I don’t have to explain it – my parenting skills are questionable as we have already discussed…
But someone who isn’t particularly well-informed on the details of the debate and, will herself, carry her own morals and experiences simply put like this: “I’m not sure why this is so difficult, what someone wants to do is up to them, no one is telling anyone to get an abortion, if you don’t believe in it don’t have one, that’s, kind of it Right?” Well, quite. I wonder if I should be pushing her to run in an election, I am already convinced she’d do a better job than most.
The arguments about choice in abortion are well known, you can easily google yourself some intelligence on it, but the political argument almost always comes down to access and time limits. Usually (more so in the UK) politicians are advised not to tread the religion/start of life line (though many ignore this). Instead political arguments are often masked with poorly researched ‘scientific fact’. Ironically, science is on feminism’s side and 24 weeks has time and time again been proven to be a perfectly safe time limit. But that’s the thing about facts and stats. 99.9% of them are made up on the spot. Especially when you are trying to win an argument.
But, what science misses out, and what can never be ignored, is what the woman who find out she is pregnant want to do with her own body. No science, no research, no facts can quantify that or give you a spreadsheet of significant data to tell you how one woman will feel in comparison to another.
So really I guess what I’m saying is this; No uterus, no opinion, Jeremy.
Jeremy Hunt’s obsession with a woman’s right to choose is not about ‘morals’ as he puts it, nor is it about health and wellbeing or science. It’s about politics. His personal politics, which, in the matter of feminist issues, is about as relevant as my opinion on the latest football strategy by [insert name of some well known football manager here].
Yet, he, alongside other men, seem to think their opinion is some kind of defining article on women’s issues. Men, can and should be allies on feminist issues, I believe they should be able to call themselves feminists too – but not decision makers.page 3 telling us what feminism should be – Get your man body out of my woman business (I laughed when I typed this…if you know what I mean…)
What if Jeremy Hunt had a uterus though?…Well, maybe I would listen more and would consider it acceptable that he had an opinion, but we also need to tread carefully there, because there are some uteri who agree with him and other methods of suppressing women’s rights. For instance, Maria Miller, aptly name ‘women’s minister’. As a woman, yes, be part of the debate, it’s more valid than privileged male politicians talking about it, but equally, speak for your own uterus not mine, or all women in the UK. I mean for goodness sake, I’m from a muslim family, trust me, there are plenty of others (including the friend of my mum’s, neighbour’s mother in law’s pet cat – you know how culture rolls) in my life who will tell me what to do, I don’t need a politician on BBC breakfast news doing it too.
Feminism fights for opportunity and choice and there is no greater illustration of this than the abortion debate. Feminism is not endorsing the ‘killing of children’, as always, feminism is battling to have multiple avenues for women to make their choices in life. But, these choices should never come with the caveat of harassment or bullying, which is, quite frankly, the way every woman who has ever had, or is considering, an abortion must feeling right now.
Feminism is a movement, yes, but within that a diverse range of individuals, with their own morals, beliefs and circumstances. The choices that feminism fights for are to allow all of the individuals within the movement to have their own route in life.
I’d like to leave you with this little video, telling me why contraceptives are evil. Not just evil, but make me less desirable to men and turn them gay. I sometimes think if we leave the republicans in the states to discuss abortion, the issue may just self-destruct.