Our Bodies Ourselves

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As women it seems like we have spent a lifetime trying to keep men away from our bodies uninvited. From the little girl who subconsciously realizes that having a man’s hands down her pants is somehow wrong, to teens who fight the pressure to go to “second base”  if you “really love me;” females are always having to fight men who are constantly deciding what “is right for them.”

Many years ago when I was in grad school I interviewed and surveyed over 100 teenage girls in regards to how they viewed feminism. Many didn’t know what feminism was. Even more commented that it was not relevant to them and that there was no need for feminist thinking in this day and age. I was shocked and dismayed.

As a child who grew up in the last 60’s and 70’s, I remember the feminist revolution very well. I remember Phyllis Schaffly condemning women who wanted something more for themselves than a frying pan in their hand. I remember women working hard to try to achieve equal work for equal pay. I remember women waking up to their own sexuality and unique health care/reproductive needs, and realizing that they could and should take those matters into their own hands especially when “those matters” concerned their own bodies.

Lately, the political right wing is getting louder in their demands to further control women’s bodies. In this day and age where access to abortion is harder to obtain than purchasing an assault weapon, and Planned Parenthood, where so many millions of poor women receive their gynecologic health care, is under attack and  being defunded; it amazes me how few women are doing anything about it. Once again men have their hands “all over our bodies” and once again women’s needs and wants are subjugated to men in power-conservative men in power who really want to put women “back in their place” where “they belong.” Yet, what I find really disturbing is that if God did indeed give us each free will that conservatives fail to honor this principle of self governance given by God when it comes to women’s minds and bodies.

When, I wonder, will women finally realize it is ALWAYS in their best interest to control their own reproductive health, their bodies and their souls? And when will these ideas that others should control a woman’s  body for their own political and religious gain ever stop? It’s time we end these outdated practices and let women live in peace without having men’s unwanted hands all over us.

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4 thoughts on “Our Bodies Ourselves

  1. Love this. I think in part, the new wave of feminism – be whatever kind of woman you want, frilly, bra burning or loving, it’s created an apathy and a lot of women aren’t really noticing the things that were fought for by our fore-sisters are now being quietly hidden and removed again. It’s very unsettling. I have survived assault. I have terminated an unwanted pregnancy. I also know that options exist which prevent it and they are safer and more effective. This plan b option is more widely utilized, and I remember reading an article in glamour where younger generations of women were now so confident that they had access to that kind of second chance prevention that they had formed a bit of a stigma around abortion, because- you shouldn’t have waited that long. You should have dealt with it before it was a positive test… And in some senses I get it, I get the ‘don’t strain the few resources we have, don’t put yourself at risk, don’t be irresponsible’ … But I also know that life is really complicated and shit happens when you never ever expect, and I will never judge people for something that isn’t about fault. It’s about choice. And we need to understand that a kid born to a gal with no job, no diploma and a habit, or good grades and a scholarship, or a married couple with other priorities… That choice can be made, and that doesn’t affect anyone else. But it might change that person or couples perspective and it might allow full potential for greatness to be reached… Or we also as a culture need to prepare and help and support if the choice is made for the pregnancy to come to term. Regardless… Not having that choice doesn’t make us better people. I love this post.

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