Saturday, May 11, 2013

women < fetus

I am a Catholic woman who is squeamish about abortion; but I am also a pro-choice feminist.  So that’s where I am starting.

I am so sickened by the multiple forced miscarriages, violent abortions that the pig of Cleveland perpetrated on the woman he held captive.  It is abhorrent.  But I am conflicted about the potential of charging him for murder.  These are the moments when I am most challenged by my faith and by my political philosophy of life.

The charge of murder is, I believe, what prosecutors want so that they can charge him with a capital crime.  I completely understand the urge of the State to murder that man.  But it somehow feels that the lives of the fetuses are somehow more valuable than the lives of the women.  The life of Ariel Castro in exchange for the lives of the fetuses; but not the life of Ariel Castro for imprisoning three women, holding them in chains, locked in a basement and repeatedly raping them for a decade.  The lives and well being of the women are less valued  (prison) than the potential lives of fetuses (death penalty). 

The State, like Arial Castro, sees women as receptacles of future children.  The women were held captive and in at least one case, one of the women was raped and forced to carry the fetus to term.  Like the State and our broader culture, Castro sees women as sources of sexual pleasure that should be dominated and controlled.  In his view, women have no humanity, no agency.  In the eyes of the State, we also lack humanity and agency.  We are sexualized and objectified, but if we become pregnant then we are forced to carry that child to term because our only value is as receptacles of future children.  The lives of future children are of greater value than our own.

So I am angered that the lives of fetuses are more important than the grave wrong that was done to the women.  I am hurt and sad that as a woman, I am less than the seed of a man.  I am enraged at a State that so clearly tells me that my only value as a human is to be sexually available and make babies.

Fuck you, State.