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June 15, 2009
Male Privilege #2 - Ownership of Women's Bodies
In Short: From prostitution, to the anti-abortion/contraception movement, to the lack of criminal penalties for rape and the marginalization of women's self-defense, to the fight against HPV vaccination, to traditional marriage itself, women are subject to a complete gender apartheid.
Derived From: #1 - Rape #4 - Privilege of Violence #8 - Privilege to Make the Rules #24 - The Inviolate Male Body
Exclusive to Men Because: Men enjoy a sovereignty of self that no woman will never experience. Men, as a class, are not subject to violence and gender terrorism under Rape Culture. Only men can control all the personal functions of their bodies without interference from the state.
Women, on the other hand, are blocked from basic autonomy by the government.
"We don't have any of these [American Association of] University Women in Perry County, but I'll tell you what we do up there when one of our women starts poking around in something she doesn't know anything about. We get her an extra milk cow. If that don't work, we give her a little more garden to tend. And if that's not enough, we get her pregnant and keep her barefoot." ~Paul van Dalsem, Perry County representative, AK, 1963
Justified by unscientific and archaic social customs, a woman's body is owned by the state the very moment a man's sperm enters her uterus. It does not matter whether it was intentional, by mistake, through deceit, or by rape. It does not matter whether the woman is a mature adult or an eleven-year-old child. Women -whose personal use of their bodies is already restricted during while they are fertile- loose autonomy the moment pregnancy is suspected. Her value and legal standing as a human being is immediately superseded by a small collection of non-feeling, non-thinking cells. The "human rights" of a collection of cells (which are only valued after a man has ejaculated into a woman) are regarded as more important than the woman's entire life. Thus, the pregnant woman is no longer regarded as fully human by the state.
For the entire nine months, the existence of a life which has never walked this Earth is unquestioningly valued more than a life which has lived and grown for decades. At no other time does society suspend the rights of an entire class of adult humans for the sake of children. After these nine months, children are regularly abused, neglected, denied food and healthcare, under-stimulated, under-educated, left unloved, and abandoned (often by their fathers) without consequence. The restriction of women's lives during pregnancy, and the complete delegation of childrearing to the mother (with pitiful levels of societal support), maintains gender apartheid.
Nor do women have the choice to avoid pregnancy in the first place. From the "consecration" of marriages, to familial expectations for maternity and grandchildren, to sexual-assault euphemisms like "blue-balls" , women are expected to submit sexually to men whether they want to or not. This coupled with the anti-abortion/contraception movement, forces rape and pregnancy upon women.
Nor is the situation improving. Federal and state governments are dominated by men, the majority of whom are dismissive of reproductive rights of women, do little to address the rape epidemic in the US [see: #1 - Rape], and are, on the whole, accommodating to political movements that restrict the freedom and humanity of women.
Harms: Apartheid is a system of inhuman acts committed for the purpose of establishing and maintaining domination by one group over any other group through systemic oppression.
Gender apartheid is the act of maintaining domination over women through:
restriction of women's education and personal liberty
elimination of reproductive rights
forced isolation from mainstream society through restrictive gender roles
restriction of women's movements and the right of free association
exclusion of women's opinion and expression from social discourse
marginalization of women in the realms of politics, business, and cultural life
persecution of lesbian relationships
acts of terrorism
All of which are either directly related to, or justified by, the state ownership of women's bodies.
Gender apartheid is a crime against humanity, directed explicitly at women.
If You are a Good Guy: You will oppose gender apartheid in all its forms. You will speak out against rape and Rape Culture. You will use contraception responsibly and without pressure or complaint. You will encourage women to grow strong; to them arm themselves both mentally and physically to defend their human rights.
You will not support organizations that violate women's rights. You will oppose pornography and prostitution. You will oppose Islamic Sharia law, and all fundamentalist systems which violently oppose the humanity of women. You oppose anti-abortion/contraception movements, which exist only to deny medical care to women, and to force women into pregnancy and motherhood against their will.
1. Blue-Balls: "The excrutiating [sic] pain a man receives when his balls swell to the size of coconuts because of lack of sex, unfinished bjs, and just not cummin [sic] when he knows he should...note to all women, NEVER NEVER NEVER give your man blue balls. Its the worse pain he will ever feel in his life and he never deserves it...well, almost never."
Unfortunately, this misogynist human stain of a lexicographer never got around to defining the few exceptions when a man doesn't deserve to sexually assault his woman-slave.
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