Feminist

I stand with Bahar Mustafa – Reverse racism isn’t real

I was considering jumping straight into this post but when I did so on Twitter white people got unnecessarily agitated so I shall explain first. Goldsmiths University bme students have been hounded by the white left and right of the mainstream media and beyond, for demanding safe spaces for ethnic minorities. Bahar Mustafa, a student officer has been accused of racism, with white people everywhere chucking their newly acquired race cards in for their two pennies. This post will attempt to demonstrate how ludicrous these accusations of reverse racism are. Racism isn’t about fighting back at people who have structural power and control over you or initiating spaces within which it is safe to speak about the systematic targeting of people of colour by the state or indeed institutions like universities, it’s those people in power using their wealth and position to deny non-white people freedom in all things.

If reverse racism was real and PoC had any influence this is the world we would live in.

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Edward Smith? What kind of name is that? It rhymes with dead bird shit! No seriously, look, it sounds exactly the same. Your parents obviously didn’t love you with a name like that.. Couldn’t they have given you something that sounded a bit more, well, Indian? Explains why you people don’t get very far, you’re not willing to muck in and work as hard as the rest of us. Why is that? You think you’re better than me? At least I don’t smell of bacon sarnies. At least my skin doesn’t look like I rubbed pigeon shite all over it. I don’t believe in some weirdo nailed to a cross, what kind of lost prophet allows himself to be crucified? What a weak God, must have been a paedophile. I suppose that’s the only way you people still exist, no standards y’see, just at it like rabbits, like a virus..

Hello there madam, please take your shoes off and open your bag, take off your coat, and your belt. Ahmed will search you now. What is the purpose of your visit? Why have you chosen to come to our country? You say you’re here visiting friends but why aren’t they here to pick you up from the airport? Are you lying? This name Churchill, who gave you this name? What is its significance? Oh, it’s just a name is it? Well I disagree. He put 3 million of our people to death, he was a tyrannical dictator. I think you’re hiding something. I think you want a cavity search.

Police have just arrived at the scene and are hoping to apprehend the assailant described as white with a thick west country accent following an incident in which dozens of young Asian girls were thought to have been drugged and plied with alcohol then raped whilst they lay passed out and vulnerable to other white predators. Every day we see a new case pop up, musicians, TV personalities we let into our country who repaid us by raping our daughters. When there is obviously such a huge cultural element to the exploitation of vulnerable children, is it any wonder we are in the crisis we are in today, when so many white people simply turn a blind eye and condone abuses like this? (Actually, this one is just too true)

So what do we have on our agenda today sisters? I know! Let’s demand better makeup artists on all Bollywood movie sets! It’s only right the likes of the Kapoors get only the best that capitalism has to offer. Erm, what? Why are you criticising me? Why do I care if white working class disabled people are gonna get all their benefits cut? They should have thought of that before they bothered rocking up to the Indian border with their bullshit asylum claims. Oh sure, the Irish are starving them, the Welsh have cut off their water supply, the Scots are bent on revenge.. why is any of this our problem? That’s the problem with white people, no solidarity. Only interested in themselves and now they dare try to oppress me.. I’ll show them. The gall of it all! A proper feminist doesn’t criticise other women or make it all about herself. She learns when to shut her mouth and stand quietly behind people who are smarter. Positive discrimination is for idiots who wouldn’t get through otherwise.

I see that you’re thinking up ever more elaborate excuses for not bothering to get out of bed. I don’t believe you’re depressed or in pain. I think you know exactly what an easy ride India is for scroungers like yourself and you’re playing the system. You say you’re not like all the others but you’re still leeching off the state which is paid for with MY taxes. I don’t want to bankroll you and your 13 kids. Typical whitey, with your stupid Marxist analysis. Bet he was a rapist too.

Honkies out! Honkies out! Burn all bibles! No more churches or cathedrals here! We have the right to protect ourselves and our country from this whitey invasion. You can tell the atheists to fuck off home too, just cos they don’t believe in God doesn’t mean they’re not fanatics.

Oh God, not another white terrorist incident. When they so clearly want a war, why don’t we give it to them? Oh innocent people will die will they? What about the Amritsar Massacre eh? #neverforget Let’s call it collateral damage and speak no more. I don’t care what the international community, UN or anyone else has to say about human rights violations. If we take away their human rights, there’s nothing to violate.

They said fucking WHAT? White people have the right to express their faith and beliefs through their way of life? But their way of life is savage and not for the civilised. Is that what we want? A planet overrun by crusading Neanderthals? I say we exterminate them before they sully the purity of our supreme race. Who’s gonna tell us we can’t? The good Indian citizens of our fair and just land? No course not, they’d have to be a race traitor to even consider it and worthy of the gas chambers for even thinking it.

The Christians right *slurs* They’ve got these Christianity balls that are made out of glass and they chuck them at your head really fast like, and smash into millions of tiny little swastikas that then sprout legs and crawl under your skin and baptise you from the inside out. Their Godot is a bastard, he’s not after peace but revenge.

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This is just a short example of a weird world none of us recognise. That’s because it doesn’t exist. If we reverse racism and behave as many white people do, we are perhaps no more than a hateful violent nuisance, as the white critics of Bahar Mustafa claim to be, but if we then also assign ourselves structural power and influence as journalists, academics, politicians who are white with the privileges of a national platform, well then the power imbalance is plain for all to see except hypocrites, liars and cheats. That’s racism; having the power and reach to claim you are being racially abused and people believe you, despite the everyday abuse actual marginalised people experience which you enable and nobody believes. Without power, racism is simply prejudice. In some cases prejudice is justified, for example if you’re a woman and you’re sick of men killing women or you’re non-white and tired of white supremacists killing non-whites.

When you are conditioned to fear something and you fight back, that’s not racism but radical and revolutionary.

reverse racism dictionary

reverse racism dictionary 2

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Femme and Proud

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Gender is something that is very personal to each and every one of us. It can’t be written off as a binary with two distinct identities or dismissed altogether as a construction of the patriarchy, it is often complicated, as it should be in a world we share with billions of other people. Culture influences our perceptions of gender and what we deem acceptable from other people. Except it really shouldn’t be about what other people think, our bodies are our own. If someone is more concerned about the contents of your pants, if determining your sex is the most important thing in their mind, then you are reduced to their idea of your primary function, which is to procreate. We think of our babies having babies as soon as they are born (even if we’re not consciously thinking it) and in many cases months before they make their entry into the world. Isn’t that odd?

I was inspired to write this piece after reading a friend’s disclosure regarding their gender identity. They have been empowered enough to state what has been a constant for them but couldn’t before because of society’s expectations of men and the way they are to interact within a patriarchy. It’s a brave step and one that has become possible because of the many ways it is becoming more acceptable to talk about, and our awareness of the rest of the planet and their attitudes towards gender. It is becoming clearer that the binary is predominant in western societies and those nations generally deemed backwards tend to be more relaxed with the idea of a spectrum of many identities. It is with this knowledge and support I now feel able to make my own statement.

I am a cis femme woman and a feminist and I adore my femininity. There, I said it, judge me all you like. I did the tomboy thing, when I thought that was the path to true feminist nirvana, when I bought into patriarchy and behaved as my male peers did so that they couldn’t treat me like a woman (that just made me a bit of a prick tbh). I became that manic pixie dream girl, girly but with enough blokey humour to ensure my place with the lads. All of that sucked for me. I’ve spent my whole life trying to be everything anyone could ever want me to be and it didn’t feel right. I noticed the looks from my feminist colleagues, the comments about my clothes or the ways in which white women just have to write about your hair and your desperate gender performance because you’re not so enlightened and don’t know any better. I’ve tried to be something I’m not to fit in with others ideas of what it is to be x but I’ve never felt more empowered since I embraced the femme within.

I LIKE looking after people. I prefer dresses and skirts to ambiguous clothing. I’ve had my hair cut into a million styles, even a short back and sides yet the only one that feels comfortable is the one that covers my breasts. I also LIKE being looked after. I LIKE the idea of staying at home and looking after any children I might have. Heck, I love babies, most of them, in fact. I know some people find it difficult to handle, but they would, it being a patriarchy, where femininity is judged and mocked by both men and women alike. It’s weak to be feminine or sexually coercive, the mere sight of your curves drawing unsuspecting predators to you like a moth to a flame. Yet all these judgments, these insinuations come from the feelings your body provokes in them (and their tiny little minds). The men hate you for having any control over them and their trouser snake (what are they, 2 fucking years old? Nobody MAKES you do anything. You have to work for that privilege not demand it as your birth right) and the women hate you cos the men are looking at you and not them. They think you’re a strumpet dancing to the tune of the MRAs who believe they deserve a real girl except they get to define what is and isn’t one, something they also have in common with TERFs. Those women who deny gender completely, who seem indistinguishable from power tripping white middle class men.

So there, I’ve said it and I’ll say it once more out loud; I’M FEMME AND I’M PROUD.

I know who I am and I couldn’t give a stuff what you think about it.

A Woman’s World 2012

“What were you doing when the Olympics were here, grandma?”

What will I tell them? It is possible that I will say; I vehemently refused to be part of an event that actively encouraged division of the human race and placed insurmountable pressure on a few select individuals who were only as important as the medal they snatched from the claws of their sworn patriotic enemies and that my actions were confirmed to be the only plausible reaction to a persistent offender of misogyny, highlighting wherever possible how they’d ‘let the women’ do things like that man sport, boxing. Yes children, can you believe, in the 21st Century, the great Britons were obsessed with how the women actually performed exceptionally well on the world stage yet it still didn’t stop them from commenting on their beautiful smiles? I wished that Tom Daley would smile, just to see whether they’d comment on his but in my heart, I already knew… Men don’t smile…

What does a fat female Olympian look like? As a Snatch weight lifting competitor, you’d need to be a little on the heavier side for balance and strength, core stability and strong legs to support the weight of an average teenaged male. From a squatting position, one is required to lift the barbell to chest height and in one smooth action extend overhead and hold. Size 0 need not apply. Male weightlifters are barrel shaped and sturdy, females are just fat.

But Jessica Ennis, y’know, pretty, feminine Jessica, she’s fat too. Sporting a 6 pack most men would die for, Jessica is not rakishly thin. She treads the tightrope many of her compatriots have succumbed to, wanting to be taken seriously as an athlete in her own right whilst allowing the gutter press to photograph her applying her girly makeup. It gives her a ‘boost in confidence’, to run in a full face. Well, it’s one thing being called fat but ugly? It doesn’t bear thinking about. The pressures she and her teammates are under to conform to the disgusting standards set to us by the Western press are unachievable. They are, in fact, dangerous. The gruelling schedules they are subjected to, the many hours of training they have to put in; if they do not eat well, they will burn out. But since when did patriarchy care about the illnesses it has invented to control women?

“Obama applauds Saudi women Olympians.” A massive step forward for feminism..!

STOP. Stop holding the East up as an example of how shoddy brown women’s rights are when I’m still opening my free English newspaper up to the words “The sisterhood knows how to celebrate a win. When it comes to girls scoring goals and women winning gold, the female athletes at London 2012 have no shame in showing each other the love. Here’s the best of the girl-on-girl action.” Lesbians. That’s what I’m thinking now. And so are you.

“I did not watch any of the nudge-nudge girls’ volleyball.” And there you have it. Bruce Anderson, Tory rent-a-gob actually manages to get himself published on the Conservative Home Blog (why I am so surprised at this, I don’t understand) saying what he and many other Tories – no doubt – really think about women. “It sounds a charming digression from the more serious events (how dare you dude?). But girls’ boxing: no. That sounds indecent. In the nineteenth century, we prevented females from working as coal-miners. That was an advance in civilisation. Now, we are allowing female boxers. That is regression. The whole notion is deeply squalid. Above all, it is nothing to do with feminism. Feminism insists that women should have the right to stand alongside men in scrutinising the farthest frontiers of the universe, the tiniest sub-atomic particles. Feminists should demand equality of opportunity in the arts, in commerce, in law, in politics. Not in the boxing-ring, lest they lose contact with femininity. Any girl who feels uncontrollable pugnacious impulses need not despair. She could always try to emulate Margaret Thatcher.” (Bet they laughed at her behind her back).

When will men stop defining feminism, femininity and stop referring to themselves as we and us as females?

..Possibly when they stop seeing us a threat.

The crux of the matter is that patriarchy bullies women into submission. It cannot let us believe that we are valid and worthy of international praise based on our skills and abilities. Patriarchy is fixated with the way we look; it has made it so that our popularity is heavily dependent on how attractive we are to men. If there are physically strong women giving out a righteous message of solidarity and independence, it messes with their power and control structure. They are scared. And despite my anti Olympics stance, this makes me very happy. The Olympics haven’t shown us how far we women have come; it’s shown us how utterly afraid patriarchy is.

Well done Team Woman. We’re winning.

*Bruce Anderson also believes in child abuse and violence against women (just google him and ‘torture’).

Monotheism and the War on Women

“..Your desire shall be for your husband and he shall rule over you” Genesis 3:16

The Church of England is procrastinating whether women deserve equal promotion to senior clergy, initially proposing legislation that would mean “it would have enshrined in law the very prejudices against which supporters of female bishops have battled so long. It would, they say, create a two-tier system in which not only female bishops, but men who ordained women or who had themselves been ordained by women, would be considered second-rate.” Meanwhile in Afghanistan, Taliban tribesmen are using ‘Sharia’ law to execute women ‘accused’ of adultery. Religions the world over proclaim peace and equality whilst consistently using their beliefs to promote power and control of women.

As someone who was indoctrinated into an Abrahamic faith from a very young age, I have my issues with religion and whether it can ever be considered supportive of the feminist cause. God is masculine. His first human was male. His first female wasn’t designed exclusively of her own flesh and bone; she was created from one of man’s ribs. In another tradition, Eve is described as being the second wife of Adam. Lilith was God’s first female creation, an equal; she refused to ‘sleep or serve under him’ and was banished for knowing her own mind. This version of events is not in any of the holy books. When God is a man (and a blond blue eyed one, at that) and all the prophets, disciples and saints (more or less) are also men, as a woman you face one of two choices. Accept that man is wiser; pure and blessed, and revere him as the creator and administrator of the life force OR open your eyes, revel in your ability to create fullstop and accept you might have been a little duped by the men holding the pens who, 2-3000 years ago orchestrated the abomination that is the subjugation of women through ‘original sin’.

Several thousands of years of being so tempting to poor, pure man that he cannot control his own impulses and only because he is so gullible and naïve; when confronted with an apple, he cannot control the urge to take a bite. Eve might have presented the apple but she didn’t force Adam to eat it. How old is Adam? Small children and perpetrators of abuse often bemoan “they made me do it!” And apparently God, the highly strung sleep deprived parent took Adam’s word for it and grounded Eve! Loving and understanding and forgiving God gave Eve pain. What should be a joyful miracle of creation marred forever more by Eve’s seductive ways. Obviously I don’t really believe this. Evacuating a fully formed human out of your body takes a lot of effort and is going to be extremely painful. Not punishment but rather basic human physiology.

Allegorically, the Old Testament is anti-feminist. It describes to men the punishment they face if they are swayed by feminine wiles. Did Eve nag Adam into taking a bite? Eve is beguiled by the snake, all slithery and penis like. He tempts her and she tempts him. And then because they know it all, God banishes them from Heaven. Desire is bad. Temptation is bad. It’s all woman’s fault.

Without desire and temptation, one is pure and worthy of God’s affection. Except God made each and every one of us horny! Yet men from all over the world don’t seem to want to own their desires. It’s easier to blame the witches and wenches. What is the value of female life when the honour between two warriors of Allah is at stake?

Is this why religious institutions openly defend their rights to exclude their female believers from more involved roles? There is a belief that they will tempt the holy men of the clergy into debauchery by being so pervasive and goddamn sexy?

We recoil in horror and our politicians condemn the slaughter of a woman whose country they want to pillage for all their natural resources. We’re more ‘civilised’ here in the West, we exclude and eliminate women through proper bureaucratic channels. The centuries old witch trials of burning free thinking women at the stake are a distant memory for many.

If we are all equal in God’s eyes, why can’t they prove it?

I never write dreams or nightmares.. I write my own reality

“I paint self-portraits because I am so often alone, because I am the person I know best.”

There’s something about Frida Kahlo that touched my soul from the first time I laid eyes on her work. Her honest self-depiction, mono-brow and all, thrilled me and saddened me too. I was thrilled to see a brown woman with such a distinction in the world of modern art, adorned in splendiferous colourful materials, her hair drawn tightly off her determined face. She certainly wasn’t a shy girl but a beautiful woman, bold and proud of her sex. And more than a little bit ‘ethnic’. She wasn’t worried about silly things like facial hair.

But I felt sad for the woman Frida, and felt a parallel with my own life. Like Frida, I had problems with the parts that make you a woman. Two operations for a humongous ovarian cyst left me considerably shaken and uncertain as to whether I would ever become a mother. It hurts more than you expect it to. You set the standard pretty high in your head but it surpasses that.

The hardships she suffered were of no consequence to her work, if anything, they made her art more accessible to women. Shocking, yes, but then isn’t that life? Madonna purchased Frida’s painting entitled ‘My Birth’, a fan of Kahlo; she has many of her other paintings. It is this one in particular though, that her ex husband Guy Ritchie is said to be ‘creeped out’ by. Admittedly the sheet over her mother’s head can be interpreted as somewhat sinister but Frida painted this to mark the passing of her late mother. She commented in her diary that she gave birth to herself.

Childbirth is pretty gruesome but also amazingly beautiful and magically overwhelming. What can seem hopeless in one moment suddenly becomes a miracle. It’s real. It is what it is. It’s how Guy Ritchie’s children were born too.

During her drawn out period of convalescence Frida started painted having given up on a career in medicine. Of all her artwork, 55 pieces are self-portraits. I feel an affinity with her here too. In ‘The Broken Column’ she expresses her confinement and pain, a picture that could best describe my own predicament. Having recently had a 2nd operation to fix a faulty disc in my back, I have been limited in what I can do. My movement is quite restricted, I have been told to never attempt to touch my toes ever again. But I am able to type. A lot of my writing is what I have experienced for myself, whether personally or professionally. It is, for me, a never-ending story. Frida expresses some of that in her work.

Frida Kahlo inspires me to keep going, whatever the obstacles. She is thought provoking and emotionally charged. She is vital. And also, very vulnerable. But you only see her vulnerability through her eyes.

For her first solo exhibition in Mexico, she was too unwell to travel and had been advised to stay at home and recuperate. With dogged determinedness, she shunned the doctor’s words and arranged to be transported to the opening, her bed followed behind in a truck. I don’t idolise many people, or connect with the famous or even infamous but I have to say, she sets a shining example to women and feminists everywhere. She was way ahead of her time. She painted things people were too afraid to discuss. She had opinions, raw emotions. She did not care about what they thought of her life and her loves. She was strong and compassionate, assertive yet very feminine.

…one of history’s grand divas…a tequila-slamming, dirty joke-telling smoker, bi-sexual that hobbled about her bohemian barrio in lavish indigenous dress and threw festive dinner parties for the likes of Leon Trotsky, poet Pablo Neruda, Nelson Rockefeller, and her on-again, off-again husband, muralist Diego Rivera.

I wish Frida had lived a little later. It would have been a resplendent honour to have her as my fantasy dinner guest. I wouldn’t need to invite anyone else.

Oppressive White Men

‘Why are you dressed like that? So you’re born over here. Why not take our identity? Why not take our ways? When was the last time you came out in a mini skirt and a low cut top?’

Yes, big burly white man on Make Bradford British, I will wear a mini skirt and low top, and then when I get raped, you can tell me I was asking for it.

I usually avoid watching anything with Asian people in it because I usually end up screaming at the television. Telly has a knack of seeking out the stereotype and whilst some people will acknowledge this, middle England read them like the Daily Mail. Insomnia is one of those gifts I’ve come to accept, where you can catch up on all the stuff you really didn’t need to know. It’s not like you have much of a choice, everyone else has gone to bed.

So I found myself watching Channel 4s latest “Shock! Brown people in Britain” series. It follows a group of people living in the notoriously overrun by brownies area of Bradford. Or Bradistan as it is affectionately termed. This was a coupla weeks ago but I have not been able to shake off the image of the white man barking down to the Asian girl in a headscarf.

I lolled. I’ve been told I smile when I’m talking about the worst stuff. My lol wasn’t one of joy, he certainly wasn’t making funnies. Big white man was telling small Asian girl that she was not welcome if she was going to cover up. Yes dear, strip so we can see whether you’re worth having a go on. And then, he rubbed her leg. Being a woman, if some strange, frankly disgusting man touched me without my consent, I could have him for assault. Yet, whilst I watched in horror, the Asian girl pushed his hand away, clearly mortified but did not say anything. And nobody else did either.

I would like to share my disgust. How dare he? How dare any man tell any woman what to wear?

They make it about race so we forget the misogyny.

Why Do We Abort?

Jane* was a client at one of the places I worked. She was a working mum, barely making enough to break even with childcare costs but she preferred to work. She had been accessing our service for a while. We provided support to women still in abusive relationships, safety planning so as to reduce the frequency of abusive incidents.

She adored her small child; she was maternal and caring and would often begin a conversation with an update on how her baby was doing. Except on this occasion she was fighting to get her words out. She’d called me at the office, asked for an emergency appointment, she’d just found out she was pregnant. I asked her what she wanted to do. “I can’t keep it.” She repeated this sentence a few times. I asked her why. “Because the last time I was pregnant, I lived in fear for my baby’s life.”

30% of domestic violence starts in pregnancy.

Between 4 and 9 pregnant women in every 100 are abused during and after their pregnancies.

(Women’s Aid Statistics)

That’s right. When a woman is at her most vulnerable, most in need of support to protect and nurture the life she is creating within, she has an increased likelihood of experiencing violence at the hands of the father of her child. I’m reminded of a training course where a male middle manager responded to this fact by saying “women are a nightmare when they’re pregnant; I’m not surprised some men react”. An acquaintance shared how his father had beaten his mother when she was suffering postnatal depression. He’d grown up believing his father had been pushed to the limit. It is only when I challenged his belief by pointing out that pregnancy is a difficult time for women, many people appreciate this and make allowances, decent people at least, that he began to see it differently. Personally, I could not understand how he had ever felt his father had been justified. But then, this acquaintance had also been beaten.

Jane felt guilty she had already subjected one of her children to this man. She had been taking steps to leave him, setting a little money aside each week, moving her baby’s toys out one at a time. She did not want to have sex with him. She tried to say no at the start but knew better than to say it again. And so she became pregnant.

“I can’t keep it”. I had to respect her wishes so I arranged for her to attend a Marie Stopes clinic. I went with her. She held my hand whilst we waited, but barely spoke. I wanted to say it was OK if she changed her mind but didn’t want to sound like I was suggesting anything. I just reassured her that I was there to talk, without judgement, if she needed. She smiled gratefully whenever she looked at me and my heart broke a little for her. She was a good woman and an exceptional mother. She shouldn’t have to go through this. But I knew she had no choice. The alternative would mean reinforcing their relationship, enduring another nine months of physical and mental torture, the effects of which would leave a lasting impression on the foetus inside her womb. Attachment and dependency on a person who seeks to control and manipulate and abuse, even his own children should he see fit. She wanted a better life for her children.

I stand by her choice because I have seen the alternative. Abigail* had three children and was expecting a fourth from her new partner. He was a known sex offender. Because of her faith, Abigail did not have the choice to abort. She was however frightened for her life. She endured being dragged around by her hair in the 8th month of her pregnancy. Whilst she was in labour, she had to defend herself from an attack, struggling to prise his fingers from her neck as she experienced another contraction. Following multiple agency intervention, her children were eventually removed from her by social services for neglecting the needs of her children by remaining with her partner. It did not matter that Abigail had been warned she would die if she ever did. The perpetrator was not being brought to justice through a lack of physical evidence, yet they had enough evidence to call her a bad mother and take her children away. How many pregnancies start off unwanted and end up in the care system?

And then there was Sarah*, a very close friend of mine. Following a casual relationship, she discovered she was quite happy to be expecting. She hadn’t known her partner very long but he seemed nice enough and in agreement about the pregnancy. They sailed through the first few weeks, excited about their little secret. One day she called me. “I can’t do it”, she simply said. They’d been out together at the work’s Christmas do. She thought he’d had enough to drink and attempted to hold his arm. He responded by pushing her down. My brave and strong friend did not want a child with a man who did not care about harming her or the baby. She was upset before the termination. And through it. But she maintained she’d made the right choice.

One of the main reasons we abort is to protect the future. Pregnancy is vulnerability. No longer are you only responsible for yourself but innocent new life that does not deserved to be abused. “Pro-lifers” argue that the foetus has rights, more rights than that of the mother. Despite the mother’s mental and physical well-being, she is a vessel bringing forth Mr Man’s seed and effectively signs over her rights. Is it preferable that unwanted pregnancies are forced to continue thus resulting in unwanted children who will have possibly been abused, growing into abusers themselves when they are big enough?

When a 12 year old school friend had to abort, where were the “pro-lifers” and their campaigns to make fathers more accountable?

How many domestic violence refuges offer mother and baby units? Not very many.

This war on women and our wombs is not about the brazen baby killers. It’s about control.

And patriarchy.

Again.

*Names have been changed

** I am aware that this entry has received some attention from ‘no choicers’ who think I have chosen to justify ‘killing of the unborn’ by using domestic violence as some sort of get out clause. They have made the assumption that this is an easy option rather than tackling the abuse and helping mothers leave abusive relationships. *sigh*

I have been involved in women’s services almost 10 YEARS as a refuge worker, outreach floating support in the community and advocate for women at risk of domestic abuse, at crisis point and survivors. I am fully aware of the support available to women both through the state and various charitable organisations.

No choicer comments:

“The fact that these women DO have a choice, i.e. to leave their abusive relationships”

NO THEY DON’T. 76% OF WOMEN LEAVING ABUSIVE RELATIONSHIPS WILL FACE ANOTHER INCIDENT OF VIOLENCE FOR DARING TO LEAVE THEIR PARTNER. WOMAN IS PROPERTY, WOMAN HAS NO AUTONOMY.

“If she is helped to extricate herself from the abuse and domestic violence, then so will her children be too!”

EASY SPEAKING AS A MAN ISN’T IT? THE ONUS IS ON A VULNERABLE WOMAN TO GET HERSELF AND HER CHILDREN OUT. WHERE IS THE PRESSURE ON VIOLENT MEN TO STOP BEING VIOLENT?

“If there is a lack of mother and baby united in women’s refuges, campaign and fundraise for more!”

MAKING ASSUMPTIONS AGAIN.. NO CHOICER, DO YOU KNOW THE DEVASTATING EFFECT TORY GOVERNMENT CUTS HAVE ALREADY HAD ON WOMEN? DO YOU UNDERSTAND HOW RECESSION OFTEN HURTS THE MOST VULNERABLE, IE WOMEN AND CHILDREN LEAVING VIOLENT RELATIONSHIPS? SUPPORT FOR VULNERABLE WOMEN AND CHILDREN IS NOT CONSIDERED IMPORTANT UNDER RICH WHITE MEN.

“If society is lacking in holding fathers to account, campaign and politically lobby for a change in the law so they can be – but don’t think that you can say “father’s have no rights” if then you wish to make them accountable, it doesn’t work!”

NO CHOICER, THESE THINGS WILL NOT HAPPEN IN MY LIFETIME. IT PAINS ME THAT PROTECTING VULNERABLE WOMEN AND CHILDREN IS MY LIFE’S WORK AND YET I KNOW, DESPITE MY BEST EFFORTS AND OF THE THOUSANDS OF WOMEN WORKING TIRELESSLY EVERYDAY, WOMEN EXPERIENCING DOMESTIC VIOLENCE WILL CONTINUE TO ABORT THEIR PREGNANCIES BECAUSE.. PATRIARCHY.

THAT’S YOU SIR. WITH YOUR JUDGMENT AND CONTROL. YOUR RELIGIONS AND YOUR PATHETIC OPINIONS.

Solidarity with my sisters. It is your body, it is your choice. #Feminism