June 10, 2005

What She Said!: Women's Autonomy Movement

I really like these names:

Shakti suggested we call it reproductive sovereignty. I've been thinking we need to take a two pronged approach. First would be the Women's Autonomy Movement, which would be a continuation of feminism, emphasizing our right to our own bodies, medical decisions and to safety from rape, sexual abuse, assault, domestic abuse, slavery and war. The second would be the Sexual Sovereignty Movement that would assert that adults have a right to have sex as they choose, in accordance with their own beliefs. I'm sick of the Christian assumption that sex is bad and only for procreation. I'm a proud hedonist in a free country. I won't be limited by ideas from a book written by a tribe of hash-smokers a few thousand years ago that have nothing to do with my life. The government exists to make the trains run on time and keep the peace -- it has no place in my bedroom, or my doctor's office.

As should be obvious by now, I take the right to an abortion (and birth control of all sorts) to be nothing more than a direct application of a woman's right to reproductive, sexual, and bodily autonomy.


Joy said...

It's all well and good to have a women's autonomy movement and to say "Damn right! We're safe from rape and abuse and assault!" but holding your head up high and having the support of thousands of women doesn't mean that society is any safer. Because my self-esteem quotient is higher doesn't mean that I'm any safer from attack. I'm not afraid in "bad" neighborhoods, I consider myself a person that wouldn't be bothered but isn't that a bit of false-security? And bully for being a hedonist but that still doesn't mean that this particular woman isn't any less at-risk of acquiring an STI than a married woman with a cheating husband. And if the government exists to make the trains run on time and to keep the peace, I guess they can stop supporting education, unemployment assistance, medicare, and other programs that would come along and bail you out in the bedroom and the doctor's office. Not to tear down an autonomous woman but there's a very fine line between reason and insanity, rationality and hubris and she's dancing on it. This seems less informed and more rant but hey, more power to her. I'm not arguing that the recognition of women as autonomous beings is bad, I'm arguing that it's not enough.

Noumena said...

I don't think she's saying the existence of a Women's Autonomy Movement will, in and of itself, eliminate rape and sexual assault; rather, it'll be a movement which has this as its goal, and links this up with, for example, abortion rights. You seem to be reading her in an oddly narrow, literalist way; this is actually much more of a polemic than a carefully-worded policy paper, as the rest of the piece makes clear.

GrannyGrump said...

I wish abortion advocates would be honest enough to say, "I wanna screw and I'll kill anybody who gets in the way." Because isn't that what you're saying?

No, sex isn't purely for procreation. But it is how babies are made. You go into it knowing you might make one. Have enough character to take responsibility for the new life you create and at least get him or her into a loving home. It's your sex life versus the entire life of another human being.

Joy said...

Golly, thanks for the sex-ed lesson, GrannyGrump. Glad I learned it from you 'cause I probably wouldn't get it from an abstinence only education class. "But Mrs. Grump, isn't sex where babies come from?" "No, Brian. All you need to know about sex is not to have it." "Oh. Thanks Mrs. Grump!" Read other posts about safe, legal, and rare and let's determine who's doing more to prevent abortion - the right which ignores the problem advocating sex without information (i.e. STIs, birth control, what to do if someone assaults you) or the left which provides affordable reproductive health services (because, believe it or not, sometimes women WANT to have babies and places like Planned Parenthood actually DO provide them with the care they need), education, and counseling not limited to "You wanna screw and kill anybody that gets in the way? Sounds great!" I think this is the point where you say something ill-informed effectively shutting down dialogue, quote scripture at me, and say you'll pray for me. And (to sozialismus) concerning my narrow literalist reading, I'm in government. I "do" policy. All the well-thought out polemics in the world don't necessarily result in legislation that will possibly lead to substantive change. As food for thought, great and if it makes people think, great.