The easy mention of what we used to call our “private parts” has become very much un-private. We have devalued the body, we have thrown around the clinical terms to the point of crassness, and I wince. Please excuse the crass and clinical language I must use in order to say this.
“…When you have a vagina I will take the time to listen to your viewpoint.” This often repeated argument, directed toward men who object to abortion, by women who defend abortion, is meant to be a trump card, an argument-winner.
Well, I have the standard full set of lady parts. Am I allowed to have an opinion then? I have a vagina, a uterus, fallopian tubes, and the typical collection of female hormones, and I disagree with you wholeheartedly.
First of all, I am a little puzzled. Are we supposed to be thinking with our vaginas? You’ll have to tell me how you do that.
I use my brain. The assertions that either we women are sharper (more insightful and intelligent) or duller (more emotional and therefore irrational) because of our female anatomy have always struck me as equally insulting. We men and women all have sexual anatomy, and we all have brains.
Yes, I have a perspective on childbearing, pregnancy, and child-nurturing that men cannot have. But a perspective does not equal sole rights to form an opinion. The right, and the responsibility, to challenge human rights issues belongs to every person, men and women. And preborn babies are the subject of the major human rights issue of our time.
I do not have a corner on convictions regarding human rights because of my anatomy. All people have the right to think, evaluate, discern, and form opinions. And in this particular place, they still have a right to express those opinions. That is a right that all persons share. That is, persons who are recognized by our laws as having any rights at all. The other ones have no right to opinions, and no chance to form any.
They apparently need defenders. Both men and women can and ought to speak up for those who cannot speak for themselves.
So, according to you, your opinion-forming processes are predominantly informed by your vagina. And yours tells you that your right to direct the course of your own life necessarily trumps the right of a child conceived by you…to live. Your vagina tells you that you may dispose of that child for any reason you choose, unquestioned, at almost any time during your pregnancy. Without consequence, without undue cost. Any restriction upon any of these conditions is injustice.
As a woman, with my woman’s anatomy and my female mind, I am convinced that I have no right to terminate the separate and distinct life I carry within my body. My female nature encourages me to celebrate and protect that life, and to know that it is a special privilege to carry and nurture that life.
It seems to me that if failing to possess a vagina excludes views, then we must exclude all men’s views. Why do some men have a right to support abortion rights, while other men have no right to object to abortion rights? So, keep your arrogant misogynist opinions to yourself, Bill Clinton, President Obama, and your favorite male celebrity!