[Today’s guest post is by Beth Kulikov.]
Women have been oppressed throughout history, in all parts of the globe. Our oppressors have been men, which is in no way meant to express an anti-man sentiment. Human nature is flawed and the human condition plagues us all. If women had been the ones with the stronger bodies and the ability to impregnate the other and walk away, I believe women would have oppressed men. But the reality is, women have been oppressed, due in large part to our bodies. Women’s bodies are weaker, on average, than men’s, and they play the much greater role in procreation.
Because of the fact that the mother bears the child, because of the nine-month gestation period, and because of children’s need for physical proximity to their mothers when breastfeeding, women have been denied opportunities to education and work. They’ve been expected to raise the children and they’ve been denied power and self-actualization.
Women’s indignation at this oppression is righteous. We have been seriously abused, largely because of our bodies. I know that makes it seem like our bodies are to blame, but don’t be fooled. It’s the way they’ve been treated that is to blame
Why should women have to bear the burden of abortion and all of its risks to succeed in a man’s world? Let’s not change women’s bodies – let’s change the world. We have made great strides concerning the first major difference between the sexes: physical strength. Marital rape is no longer legal or acceptable. Men are no longer legally permitted to beat or rape women just because they can. Undoubtedly, there is more work to be done to enforce these new norms, but the new norms themselves are a tremendous victory. The new norm is that women aren’t required to go to the gym until they get bulging manly biceps so they can fend off attacks. Instead, men are obliged to respect women’s bodies the way they are.
Likewise, we must establish new norms for the second principal difference between men and women – reproductive roles. But abortion culture stands in our way. If our current situation could be condensed into a conversation, it might go something like this:
Male-dominated society: If you want to win in my world, better put a muzzle on those lady parts!
Abortion advocates: You’re right! Absolutely. Your world, your rules. I’ll just go have an invasive surgery and increase my risk for premature birth in subsequent pregnancies. My parts actually started to function! Can’t have that now, can we?
Male-dominated society: No, not if you want education, careers, power, freedom. If you want all that, you can’t be pregnant. You have to be just like men, but with boobs.
Abortion advocates: Okay. I’ll repress my womanhood as much as possible. As you wish. Even if it means losing my children, I’ll just have to deal with it, cuz I’m tough, like a man.
As women, if we want to overcome the male-dominated society, we must do it as women. We cannot “beat them at their own game.” We need to make it our game. We need to be ourselves, which includes letting our bodies do the phenomenal thing only they can do: bring new life into the world. Women are much more important to humanity in this sense. Let’s acknowledge this power for what it is: power.
What if we, as women, embraced ourselves and each other? What if we encouraged and empowered ourselves, while celebrating our womanhood? Let’s build that perfect society wherein no woman ever has to think about abortion, because having a baby is not a problem! This involves removing stigma, sharing the wealth, helping our neighbors, and seeing adoption for the win-win solution it is. It involves much more, but I’ll leave you to think about that. In any case, in women’s long, slow struggle for equality, abortion is a step backwards. Let’s not take a wrong turn now, when we’re so close to our goal!