Friday, December 22, 2006

Why does it make us so angry?

Over at Bread & Roses, a feminist board I sometimes lurk on (shy me), the discussion about Elizabeth May has been ongoing, especially since high-profile feminist Judy Rebick withdrew her support from the Greens because of May's comments on abortion (May responded today). When one of the B&R posters wondered about the intensity of her anger at the situation, I empathized immediately -- it makes me almost crazy with rage that anyone would question abortion rights or suggest there should be further debate on them.

It's because the very suggestion of a "debate" on abortion feels like a personal attack, and in fact it is -- it couldn't get more personal. It feels like a bunch of strangers grabbing you by the crotch and saying "This belongs to the us". Because it isn't just about the right to choose: the anti-abortion movement is symptomatic of a desire in some quarters to oppress women by biological imperative, and to punish women who dare to be sexual. A good many anti-choicers would not only ban abortion, but contraception. If you want to avoid pregnancy, keep your legs closed, otherwise shut up and be a good baby-making machine.

The abortion issue is the tip of an anti-female ideological iceberg that represents the lowering of women back into second-class citizenry, where they're victimized by the whims of their biology. I am not going back, especially not at the behest of an ideology I despise. Not going back. And when someone suggests that maybe I should just think about it, discuss it, debate it... I go to DefCon 1, readiness for imminent attack, anger and outrage locked and loaded.